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    Lone Star Abilities Network

    same passion, new name

  • Who's Ready for an Epic Dance Party?

    To register for this free event please click here.

    Honored Guests (8th grade through adults), Peer Buddies, and Adult Volunteers welcomed and must register/apply. To keep this event sensory-friendly Peer Buddies and Adult Volunteers will be notified if they're approved subsequent to the registration of our honored guests. Thank you!

    THURSDAY APRIL 27th, 6-9 p.m., VERONA VILLA

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  • May 2023 Election Information

    As advocates for the disability community, we ask that you exercise your right to vote! Voting sends a message to those making decisions for the city goverment and the school district Board of Trustees that citizens with disabilities want and deserve access to community resources! Your vote is your voice of advocacy!

     

    First Day of Early Voting - Monday, April 24, 2023

    Last Day of Early Voting - Tuesday, May 2, 2023

    Election Day - Saturday, May 6, 2023 

     

    For voting specific voting locations and hours, please visit the link below:

    https://www.friscotexas.gov/1272/30037/Voting-Dates-Hours-Locations

     

    We sent questionnaires to all candidates for Mayor, City Council and Frisco ISD Board of Trustees. Their responses are printed exactly as they responded below in the order of their response. We will update as we receive responses as well.

     

    To respect their time constraints during campaign season, candidates could respond to any 5 questions, but could opt to answer more. You can view the complete list of questions for Frisco ISD Board of Trustees HERE and the complete list of questions for City Council and Mayoral Candidates HERE.

     

    As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) we cannot and will not endorse any candidate, but we do ask that you read their responses and contact the candidates directly with any questions you may have.

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     Mark Piland

    Mayor

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      Jeff Cheney

    Mayor

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    Laura Rummell

    Frisco City Council

    Place 5

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    Anwer Azam

    Frisco City Council

    Place 5

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    Brian Livingston

    Frisco City Council

    Place 6 (unopposed)

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    Mark Hill

    Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

    Place 5

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    Susan Kershaw

    Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

    Place 5

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    Dynette Davis

    Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

    Place 4

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    Reed Bond

    Frisco ISD Board of Trustees

    Place 4

  • Career & Techical Education Center Tour - March 21, 2023

    Parents of students in special education can tour the CTE with our group to see what there is to offer & decide whether any of the programs may be of interest or appropriate for your 9th-12th grade student.

  • XFL Arlington Renegades

    Thank you to NBA Star Thaddeus Young and Resource Ventures for donating 50 free tickets to the XFL Arlington Renegades vs San Antonio Brahmas game!

    Sunday, March 26th at 2 p.m.

    Choctaw Stadium in Arlington

  • Our Pillars

     

    Empower

    individuals, familes, communities, & businesses

    Include

    Everyone can participate in some way!

    Advocate

    supportive & positive

    Educate

    awareness at home & in the community

    Connect

    to self, one another, and resources

  • What We Do

     

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    Diverse Abilities School Program

     

     

    Our Diverse Abilities School Program provides kits to Frisco and Prosper ISD schools to allow students to experience what it might be like to live with a diverse ability. This popular program has been used in Frisco ISD schools for over 10 years and has been very sucessful at promoting understanding, compassion, and empathy while celebrating differing abiliites.

     

    Frisco ISD schools can reserve stations, at no charge, for one week each school year on a first come, first served basis. Please talk to your school administration about dates and stations desired before officially scheduling. Questions? Email melanie@friscosage.org for more information! Prosper ISD schools can contact the Prosper ISD Family Resource Center to reserve.

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    Presentations & Programs

    Schedule a presentation at your school, corporation, small business, organization or church. Our presentation are customized to your audience, needs and time allowances and can be between an hour and a full day. We have continuing education options, new hire training options, customer service options and educational options. Let us do the work and provide an engaging and hands-on presentation to your group that is filled with awareness, collaboration opportunities and opportunities to create a more inclusive environment.

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    Diverse Abilities Corporate Kits

     

    Thanks to several corproate partnerships we have developed a Diverse Abilities Corporate Program geared towards a workplace audience. These kits allow participants to see the value of a diverse and inclusive workplace and provide experiential activities that foster understanding of diverse abilities in the workplace.

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    Family Nights

     

    Come and go family dinner nights at local restaurants. A great relaxing way to socialize with other families in your community. You can relax...you and your family are amongst friends when you join us!

     

    Check out our social media or community calendar below for dates and locations.

  • Share Your Knowledge!

    Recommend providers / caretakers / community programs that have experience and expertise with our kids! Parents want to know about your experiences. Want access to the list of recommendations? Sign up for VIP Access! You'll have the list at your fingertips anytime you need information.

  • The Blog

    Thoughts, musings, and ruminations.

    2023年2月4日
    Y'all. These ice holidays have gotten the best of all of us lately. From Monday midday to Friday midday, we were stuck inside without even a snowy landscape to enjoy. This was NOT fun. So today we met up with some of our other teens and moms of teens with disabilities and set out to explore! ...
    Staci Henderson, M.S.CCC-SLP As a pediatric feeding therapist, I have many families who seek my services when they are at the end of their rope with their child’s picky eating. Often the families are frustrated that the mealtime has become a source of frustration, anxiety and not enjoyable for...
    Thank you to our 2021 student volunteers who have contributed over 95 hours (and counting) hours this year! Cobb Middle School  Sarah Jackson Griffin Middle School Elyse  Odland                    Perryn Cote Lone Star High School   Victoria Rott                        Kassidy Smith  ...
    My journey like any other mother with a special needs child is a journey and a story in itself – unique as each person involved.   I read the word autism sixteen years ago for the first time when I looked up speech delay for my struggling almost 3-year old son, Hamza. A year before that my...
    I never win contests.  Let me rephrase that: I never win contests for myself.  But if I enter a contest with someone else in mind, it is uncanny how often I win!  It became a challenge that my family supported wholeheartedly when we realized how much we could benefit those who work with special...
    Several years ago, our board members were made aware of a project that had been taken on by Amy Coolidge to provide homecoming mums and garters to students in centralized programs at her children's schools.  If you have lived in Texas for very long, you know that this is no small feat!  They say...
    Once upon a time in a land not so far away, Frisco SAGE helped make dreams come true.  But we are getting ahead of ourselves as we were just the helpers in a much larger dream..... Grace Jensen was a senior at Reedy High School in 2019 and had dreamed of hosting a sensory-friendly prom for...
  • Our Board of Directors

    Our board is made up of parents of children with disabilities with a wide variety of skills and volunteer experience. We desire to help families connect to, collaborate with and provide and seek support from families with similar needs.

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    Kristy Hutchins

    Kristy lives in Texas and has been married to her wonderful husband Clay for almost 30 years. They have two handsome boys: Brett, who is 25 years old and Jake who is 14 years old. Their younger was diagnosed at 8 years with autism.

     

    She became involved in Frisco SAGE through a friend. After diagnosis she reached out to SAGE and was direct to resources needed to advocate for her son. She became a board member as the organization was becoming an independent nonprofit in 2018. In addition to serving on the SAGE board, she works for a law firm as a case manager.

     

    Kristy's favorite part about being a board member is having the opportunity to meet families who have children with disabilities and their willingness to share their journeys with others. She says that her connection with disability has taught her to trust her gut and given her patience.

    An integral part of helping SAGE establish a stronger community presence, Kristy has helped establish a stronger social media presence and has helped with just about every program SAGE has been part of in the past 3 years. She helps us all be aware of current events in special education and the needs of others in the community who are not necessarily on social media or comfortable posting in a group.

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    Melanie Neystel

    Melanie lives In the State of Reality, or Texas as the rest of us would say. Her current zoo includes her husband, a daughter, a son, and their dog and cat.

     

    Her connection to the world of special needs is her amazing daughter who has Cerebral Palsy, but she also has experience as a former Special Education teacher in Frisco ISD. As if this is not already an amazing resume, Melanie is also a former federal agent and, in her own words, "a breast cancer surviving."

    Melanie's first connection to SAGE was through the PTA SAGE connection at her campus level as well becoming involved at the district level. The part of being a Frisco SAGE board member she most enjoys is learning of new resources that can help her family and also be passed along to others families navigating a life with special needs. She enjoy the Diverse Abilities program and the way it spreads awareness and understanding to the community.

     

    She continues to help expand the program to the new corporate level program and has most recently arranged the distribution of hundreds of pairs of adaptive shoes through a connection with the Steve Madden shoe brand. Assisting with Special Olympics and Brant's Grants has also been areas where her leadership has been key.

     

    When asked what positive impact being part of the special needs community has had on her own family, she says, "We’ve met many amazing people we would never have met. We appreciate that our daughter has been able to share her personality and change some people’s perspective on different abilities."

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    Cindy Badon

    Cindy lives in with her husband Patrick and 2 sons, Chance and Reagan. She is a former inclusion teacher prior to becoming a mom to one child with autism and another child who is twice exceptional (2E). She now looks back at her time in the classroom as HER education on disabilities, inclusion and her future role as a mom with a child with autism. "Little did I know that those students with special needs were not only helping me teach the other students, they were also preparing me for being a parent of a child with autism."

    When it became clear that her younger child had significant delays and needed early and involved intervention, she left the classroom to ensure that she was available to supervise his therapies and appointments, which was a full time job! The family relocated to the north Texas area because of the many resources available, the education provided by the school districts, and the opportunities for involvement.

    Her history with SAGE goes back to attending a meeting one week after moving to Frisco in the summer of 2009. She became involved with SAGE at various campuses and at a district level, helping to add to the offerings as opportunities presented themselves. She is proud to pay it forward by helping others make connections and find the joy in their journeys as well.

     

    Cindy's favorite board duties are those involving community and professional education opportunities. "The best thing about having a family member with a disability, in my opinion, is becoming part of a community of people who are truly accepting and have embraced the gift of seeing life through a different lens."

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    Shonna Cole

    Having lived in Frisco for almost 20 years and volunteering countless hours at the Parent Sanctuary and Lending Library at ECS, you may have met Shonna. She lives with her husband and her high school age son Ryan who was diagnosed with autism at 3 1/2 years of age. Shonna became an active volunteer on the PTA that existed at the time while Ryan was at ECS during the first years it was open.

     

    Prior to Ryan's birth, Shonna worked in the corporate world, which explains her great people skills. She particularly enjoys working with those who have children who have been newly diagnosed by helping them find their "people." Connecting with this community is what she considers one of the upsides to a disability diagnosis. Another would be the new view she has of experiences she would have never had were Ryan not who he is - a curious young man who loves animal encounters of all kinds!

    Shonna first encountered SAGE at a resource fair hosted at the Early Childhood School. When asked what her favorite event is as a board member, she has trouble picking just one as she finds joy in giving back to others.

     

    Shonna's claim to fame is that she was once on the Jay Leno show in his segment called JayWalking. If anyone can find a video clip of this we would LOVE to see it!

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    Amy Coolidge

    Since 2001, Amy has lived in Frisco with her husband Andy. The predictably, unpredictable life of the 5 Coolidge humans and 2 dogs is never boring: "We laugh, we cry, we dance and sing (some better than others) and we always try to make lemonade out of the lemons that come our way."

     

    Their entry into the world of special needs was gradual as each of their children had the same rare genetic condition, but it presented in different ways and with different needs. They began with medical needs and the insurance maze that comes with that, but as they began to enter school, they also needed educational support. They set out to understand the alphabet soup that comes with IEP/ARD/FIE and meetings. When her 3rd was born, they feel they fully entered the world of special needs, though having children with rare conditions means sometimes still having to navigate uncharted waters and in different ways for each child.

     

    Amy became involved with SAGE in helping with Partners PE training before her youngest child, Chase, entered middle school. Because he was in a centralized program, he needed the support of the program rather than being a peer buddy as her older two had been able to do. She sought to help with the program because she wanted the peer models to understand how important their job was and how much it was appreciated. Her favorite project is one that she brought with her to Frisco SAGE - the homecoming mum and garter project!

     

    Amy's claim to fame was that during her previous job in personal training and corporate health and wellness in the 90's, she once told Paula Abdul she couldn't reserve a stairclimber at the Four Seasons athletic center. When she came down to exercise, the center was empty! Amy is "Forever Your Girl, Paula!"

  • How You Can Help Us Help Others

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    Donate

    Help support our existing programs! Earmark donations for a particular program if you wish.

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    Event Sponsorship

    Families, groups and businesses can sponsor events! Find out about this option here!

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    Wishlists

    See a list of items needed for our existing and / or upcoming programs, classrooms or events.

  • Social Feed

    Social Media Updates for Lone Star Abilities Network

  • Connect With Us

    Thank you for your patience as we transition our social media platforms from Frisco SAGE to

    Lone Star Abilities Network!

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    Instagram
    LinkedIn