Not long after we moved to Ankeny our second son was born. We would soon learn that he would have autism along with some other special needs. I remember the first time Brandon went to RidgeKids in the Square – it was an experience for everyone involved :).

The Ridge with help from parents of kids with special needs worked to introduce SPARK. This program has had a huge impact on our lives. SPARK  (Special Programs Assisting Ridge Kids) provides opportunities for Ridge Kids with special needs to participate in Sunday morning and midweek activities with other kids their own age. To make this happen, a team of volunteer called SPARK Buddies are partnered with a special needs student to help encourage and support them in anyway they need.

Without SPARK, our son Brandon would have a hard time being himself at church. It has allowed our family to attend church together – and has created a safe place where Brandon is welcome, taken care of and most of all loved. It has been amazing to see him grow and learn about God.

SPARK is a welcomed addition to our community and allows more families to feel welcome and able to attend church with their special needs children.