We are the SPARK Project was founded by John Vasquez, a small business owner of 7 years with a BS degree in psychology and 13 years of experience in business management, and Denise Falcon, a small business owner of 6 years with more than 10 years of experience in business management. The project has been the brain child of John’s for the past few years after witnessing multiple acquaintances going through the struggle of supporting their autistic children. John has witnessed multiple families have to continue to move around constantly and fall further and further behind on their bills to the point to where the parents are ready to throw in the towel. After seeing this John decided that something had to be done to help give these families hope. At this point John and Denise with the help of Alfred Bulling, a parent of an autistic child, had multiple sit downs to discuss what could be done to most benefit these families in need and how the project could approach and implement its strategies. This is how We are the SPARK Project was born.
It is our mission to dedicate ourselves to enriching and empowering daily life for families on the spectrum. How do we do this you may ask? Our answer to this is by using inside knowledge from autistic people, parents and professionals to assess and assist in sensory calming and over all well-being. We strive to create calm comforting and supportive environments for the entire family. We want to know what your experiences are and what we can do to help assist in any way. We currently have grant programs in place that provide assistance with home repairs, food, outings, respite care and emergency financial assistance for families that are in need. We help provide respite care so that the long term care giver can have a moment away to get daily tasks of everyday life done. We offer specific training and education for families and caregivers. We help with recruiting for qualified caregivers and assist with matching the appropriate caregiver with each individual family. We offer books and materials to help engage and promote growth in the individual in need. This is just the tip of the iceberg for us and with your assistance and input we hope to continue to move forward and push for new inventive ideas that helps promote growth, educate and look after our community!
Open Door Forum… Advice/Concern/Consultation
We want to 'get it right' for the autism community. Our open door forum is something that we take great pride in. We have our supportive vision and understand that life and visions evolve with the help of information from our community. We will welcome, respect and utilize your on-going feedback. We believe many minds are stronger than a few and we want to give the voices back to our community. We want to know what you feel would benefit and strengthen our community. We want to know what your experiences have been and what we can do to help in any way that we can. Together we can achieve greater comfort and success levels leading to new opportunities for those on the autism spectrum. We want to be able to provide the proper education and occupational therapy for family members on the spectrum. Our goal is not to find a cure via countless research processes like other major organizations, but to develop and distribute resources through the autism community at large. Our goal is to help here and now! To give the opportunity for our community to speak, to provide comfort and caring for individuals and to work on providing these individuals with the best opportunity to join a workforce of our community that will not judge or criticize in any way shape or form. Aiding the family in the 'RESPECT EFFECT' will achieve greater connections and productivity for all. Please email us with your input and ideas.
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Committed to helping families achieve their dreams
We are the SPARK Project is leading the way of innovativeness with a call to action to bring a one of a kind art gallery facility to our communities. What makes our art gallery a one of a kind facility you ask? The answer to this question is we are not going to be a simple art gallery. The art gallery will integrate multiple facets into one. We will serve as a central information and resource hub, an educational and occupational therapy facility, a think tank facility for like minded organizations and of course the art gallery. The amazing thing about the art gallery is it will be the launching point to our next developmental phase into our planned home security system.
The We are the SPARK Project art gallery will include art primarily from the children and adults of the autism community so we can highlight and bring to the forefront the amazing artistic talents these individuals possess but are often overlooked by the mass public due to their troubles to socially communicate. These beautiful minds have a lot to say and we want them to be heard. The art gallery will also include all walks of art such as paintings, sculptures and exhibits from the fine art community that support raising awareness for the autistic community. We want the art gallery to bring all walks of life together and break down the existing barriers and fears that people have about our autistic individuals. We want to show that due to many people’s beliefs that the individuals of our autistic community can in fact function and thrive in today’s society.
Central Information and Resource Hub
The central information and resource hub of the art gallery will bring new breakthroughs with the current way for the individuals to obtain the information that they need to find the right organizations, grants, financial assistance and scholarships they need to move forward. Parents and primary care givers seeking information to help assist their child or loved one on the autism spectrum or with a disability will have a one stop place with assistance to help get guided to the proper places without the standard hassle of trying to locate the information at home through
a Google search with countless hours of frustration. We will have experienced helpers that can ask questions about their particular needs and then guide them to the direct source of information that they need so they don’t add to the tremendous amounts of stress that they already endure on a daily basis. Students looking to further their education in the autism field that are looking for programs to volunteer with or obtain a scholarship to continue their education can come directly to our facility to obtain this information and resources to move forward with this process.
Educational and Occupational Therapy Facility
Our educational and occupational therapy facility will be a definite game changer within the autism community. We will have on staff skilled artists with a background in special needs education that can spend time with the child and work with them in an artistic atmosphere. This will allow the child to open up and express their self freely through art. This will allow the child to create associations through objects and link them to words to help increase their understanding of vocabulary. It will also allow the child to work with individuals that are caring and sensitive to their needs which in turn will help break down the barriers the child has with social anxiety. For the occupational therapy side of things, we will have a staff in place of qualified individuals to help the children and adults on the autism spectrum get the one on one time they need to help them gain further knowledge via the methods that work best for their specific needs. Currently this type of therapy is only offered in home and is very limited time. With increased occupational therapy time for each individual on the autism spectrum we can get the individual prepared to become more comfortable in certain environments where they can join a work force if wanted and be a valuable asset to society.
The think-tank concept of the art gallery is another unique idea that we have here at We are the SPARK Project. This will be a dedicated room of the art gallery where single or multiple organizations can come together for a meeting of the minds and merge the inspirations of many into the reality of one. We feel strongly about the concept of bringing unity to the autism community to better suit all of its needs than having thousands of sources that can get complicated to find. Over time as more and more organizations join forces and integrate uniformity to obtaining information we can form a large data base of direct sources to take out the confusion of endless searches to not find the information you are seeking.
Plans for the Next Developmental Phase
Once we get the art gallery off the ground and running our plans for the next developmental phase is to dive head first into developing a new form of home security system. This home security system will integrate a GPS tracking system into a bracelet for the child to wear that will allow the parent to be notified if the child has exited the house or went into a room of the house that could possibly pose any forms of danger to the child. The GPS can track the ware bouts of the child so the parent can get to them as quickly as possible. But that is not the ground breaking feature of this concept. What will change the standard of today is we will develop an app within the home security that will become a form of an amber alert for the community surrounding the child so they too can be on the lookout for a child that has exited the home. At the point that the child has exited the home while the home security system is active it will instantly notify all members of the direct community with the app on their phone as well as the local authorities to be on the lookout for the child. If the parent has located the child they can make a single click within the app to let the neighbors know that the child is back with the parent and if a neighbor locates the child they can make a single click that will directly call the parent to let them know where the child is at and that someone is with them for their safety. We feel this innovative idea will save hundreds of lives each year and can work well with all families and not just the ones with children on the autism spectrum. The app within the phone will also serve as a source of information to multiple organizations if the individuals do not have the time or are not in the general area of our art gallery.
The Calming Colors is the first installment of coloring books that Caring Matters Respite and We are the SPARK Project have created to help get our autistic community involved in the arts. Thank you Golden State Tattoo for providing the artwork.