SPED*NET is a great resource for parents throughout their child’s special education process. As a board member it’s always great to hear of all the great success stories that SPED*NET helped facilitate. I myself have used our special education guide book many times throughout my own special education journey.
Having a child with Autism can feel overwhelming and isolating. There is so much to do and to learn. Sped*Net of Wilton has been an invaluable a community resource to me. It is run by a knowledgeable and dedicated group of women, who know the special education world from multiple perspectives. They provide high quality, relevant speakers on a wide range of special education and parenting topics (including some bilingual programming) for no cost, and provide other resources, all of which can help parents to feel less alone and more equipped for the sometimes daunting task of understanding their child's needs and how best to advocate for them. It is such a gift to our community!
We strive to educate, support and empower families as they raise their children with disabilities. We work to provide families with critical information they need to advocate for their children and access the public school and private supports /services available. The support we provide to families on this difficult and emotional journey is free of charge.
When I was 3, I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, but my diagnosis was ADHD with sensory issues. In preschool, I received special services, Occupational and Physical Therapy, and Music Therapy. There was a trampoline outside my kindergarten room and a pull-up bar in the cafeteria. The school made a speech therapy room out of a janitor’s closet.
My mom, Eve Kessler, was a Public Defender in New York City at the time and saw the lack of attention to children with special needs in our achievement-oriented educational system. And so she started talking to other parents, attending countless conferences, and learning everything she could. As a result, she and another mom started a group to help other kids with special needs and their families. Eventually, this morphed into SPED*NET, Special Education Network of Wilton. For over 20 years now, they have empowered parents, supported families, and advocated for kids with learning differences and special needs. I don't know where I'd be without them.
Please don't be afraid to ask for help.
"It takes one to know one."
When that statement was tossed around the playground in my grammar school MANY years ago, it was certainly neither a positive nor complimentary retort. With SPED*NET Wilton, however, it's a descriptor that speaks directly to reasons that this organization serves its vital role in the community so successfully.
What better genesis of an organization designed to be a resource for parents of kids with special needs than... a group of parents of kids with special needs? That's especially true when these parents are bright, resourceful and dogged in their quest to provide the best possible educational, social and family programming for their children. More than two decades ago, co-founders Eve Kessler and Carol Kennedy realized that they had much to learn about navigating the circuitous path to getting their children the help they needed in school. And throughout these past decades, they've shared what they've learned with the Fairfield County community and beyond. Via providing workshops, speaker series, webinars and person-to-person consultation, SPED*NET Wilton has been an invaluable resource for parents and professionals seeking to better understand, better serve and better support kids with special needs.
The very best non-profits provide exceptional services with a broad range of resources to underserved communities. SPED*NET Wilton is such a non-profit. Professionals in the field of Special Education utilize SPED*NET Wilton's array of presentations. Parents rely on the group for guidance and advocacy. And children with special needs reap the benefits all the services they provide, and better positioned to achieve the best outcomes they can.
Everyone who works at SPED*NET Wilton is a volunteer and not compensated for their time and effort -- and there is a great deal of effort involved in providing the valuable and timely special-needs information that this organization provides to parents, families and educators.
Most impressive has been their ongoing work since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic: not only shifting their Expert Speakers presentations to a zoom webinar format but greatly increasing the number of presentations that otherwise would have been offered.
Be sure to check out SPED*NET Wilton's resource-packed and recently upgraded website -- spednetwilton.org -- for timely videos, articles, Guide to Special Services, and more. You won't be disappointed.
Great organization that has helped many families get the information and support that they need.
SPED Net Special Education Network of Wilton has the most useful and easy to understand guide for parents as to their rights and the special education process anywhere. Everything on the website is free to parents. It has a wealth of up to date resource information. They have excellent speakers via webinar on all topics for all ages constantly - 3 in November 2021 alone - and the entire library of talks is available online, free of charge.
Sped Net Wilton is an amazing organization that provides multiple resources to help parents become their children's best advocates. I love the numerous free articles and webinars they offer. The Guide to Special Education Services is one of the best handbooks I have ever read! It provides information about the IEP and 504 processes in a way that we, as parents, can understand and there are informational links included throughout. This organization is run by volunteers who have experienced the special education process. They are understanding and caring individuals who only want to help parents learn how to help their children.
Sped*Net Wilton is a terrific online resource. The archived speaker series provide an easy way to look up a topic that is relevant to me or my child. This library removes the pressure I used to feel to attend the free lectures especially when it wasn't good timing for me. Now I can listen, learn from professionals and look at the handouts when it works for me. I truly count on the guide, Bringing Knowledge to the Table. My old fashioned hard copy is a treasure that I have referenced it, earmarked and used many times over the years. I am grateful that it is kept current and continues to be available in paper form.
Sped*Net Wilton hosts incredibly informative talks (always free) about all aspects of parenting a child with special education needs. The speakers are top notch experts about the area they are presenting, and I always leave knowing so much more. Knowledge is power - power to make decisions, pursue appropriate therapies, and advocate for your child. I can't thank them enough for all the help they've given me!
SPED*NET Wilton was a true lifesaver for me 21 years ago, when my son was diagnosed with developmental delays.
I was a new mom of a child with disabilities and I did not know where to turn. Luckily a friend told me about SPED*NET.
This amazing organization offered all the expertise I needed to help me navigate this very complicated new world.
SPED*NET organizes seminars by the top experts in their fields. I learned about new therapies, how to be an advocate for my son, best practices and so much more. Most important of all, SPED*NET became a community for me, where I could be with other parents of children with disabilities and not feel so alone and lost.
Run by an amazing group of smart, empathetic, and accomplished women, I credit SPED*NET Wilton for the amazing young man my son is today.
The Sped*Net website is a treasure trove of valuable information for parents of special needs children of all types. The organization has been super helpful in pointing the direction in the confusing world of special need services and issues. For me, The information on their website got me through the emotional roller-coaster and gave me straight information that I was able to leverage for my child’s benefit. Bless you girls!