No membership fees or dues
Kim Novak created SHALE out of her passion for working with families with children with disabilities. She holds an undergraduate degree in Special Education as a Certified Learning Behavior Specialist (LBS) from Illinois State University and a Master of Education Degree from Benedictine University. Kim has worked in Special Education for more than 35 years. Her experiences include working with children and adults challenged with a wide range of disabilities from mild learning disabilities to intellectual disabilities. In addition, Kim has worked with children and adults experiencing social, emotional, language, and physical challenges. Throughout her entire career, Kim has also worked closely with children with Autism and their families. During her career, Kim has worked as a teacher, consultant, and advocate for families with children with disabilities. Throughout her career of working in the field of special education, she has always worked closely with parents of children and adults with disabilities, drawing from her personal experience of living with a sister with multiple disabilities and growing up with an aunt with Down Syndrome. The genesis of SHALE grew out of Kim's experience attending support groups as a result of her child's struggle with addiction. While attending a Special Education conference and listening to the keynote speaker talk about the challenges of raising a child with significant emotional challenges, Kim realized that she had a support system for her emotional health and well-being that was not available to parents of children with disabilities. Kim's mission for SHALE is to provide support to families of children with disabilities through meetings that address topics in the SHALE Book/Meeting Manual.
Meetings adhere to the following model:
Confidentiality is a core principle of SHALE meetings
Every meeting begins with a relaxing breathing exercise
Each meeting addresses the specific meeting topics
The leader provides an overview with personal experiences regarding the topic
Mindset is addressed regarding the topic
Every member has the opportunity to discuss the meeting topic per their choice
Time is allotted for a moment of gratitude
Meetings end with The Serenity Prayer by Theologian Reinhold Niebuhr
After meetings, time is available for further discussion among interested members
For your strongest benefit, it is recommended that you attend the first meeting and continue to attend ongoing meetings. Sequential topics will build on experiences from previous meetings. However, you would always have the opportunity to catch up with the group if you miss any meetings.
There are no dues or fees to attend any SHALE meetings. It is your choice if you would like to purchase your own copy of the SHALE Book/Meeting Manual. A complimentary book will be available to share among the group at monthly meetings. If you would like to purchase a book, they will be available at meetings or by clicking below.
Audio Link to Book Introduction https://tinyurl.com/qteuugt
You may purchase your personal copy of the SHALE book/meeting manual. This book was written for the purpose of personal growth for parents of children or adults with disabilities. While this book/manual was developed for the purpose of group parent meetings, parents may also find benefit in reading it individually or with a small group.