WELCOME TO OUR GROUP!
The Hoboken Special Needs Parent Group (HSNPG) is a supportive network for parents and caregivers of special needs children and the professionals who make a difference in our lives and guide us through this wonderful journey!
The HSNPG is intended to be a valuable resource for all members, as together we can network, form relationships, give and receive advice, refer therapists and specialists, develop special needs activities, explore fundraising opportunities, discuss educational concerns, and share our experiences.
The HSNPG was formed by Dena Russell, a mother of twin boys who are both diagnosed with Autism and ADHD. Dena was born and raised in Hoboken, NJ. She was a Case Manager for the Federal Bureau of Prisons in Fort Dix, NJ and temporarily relocated to Pennsylvania for this job. Upon her boys' diagnosis before the age of two, Dena quit her job and dedicated her time to helping her boys on a full-time basis. She moved back to Hoboken so she could be near her family and have her boys attend the Special Education program at Wallace Elementary School. Dena has made it her mission to make her hometown of Hoboken a better place for special needs children. She helps educate families, and works closely with local businesses to develop appropriate programs and activities for special needs children. Dena gives a voice to those families and children who are touched by special needs.
Dena was the Special Needs Columnist for Metro Moms (www.metromoms.net) and was voted "Hoboken Mom of the Week" by Metro Moms CEO and Shorty Awards Winer Kathy Zucker!! She was also a Special Needs Contributor for Mommy Poppins - NJ (www.newjersey.mommypoppins.com). Dena is on the Board of Directors for the Association for Science in Autism Treatment (www.asatonline.org).
I would like to
introduce you to fellow special-needs Mommy and new Co-Director of the HSNPG,
Sheillah Dallara! Sheillah is a native of Queens New York. Prior to
moving to Hoboken and becoming a stay-at-home mom, she worked as an Auditor for
7+ years at a CPA firm in NYC. She moved to Hoboken in 2010 with her
husband Aaron, and her son Alexander. She gave birth to her
daughter, Felicity, in 2011 at Hoboken University Medical
Center. Alexander was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder at the
early age of 2, and he is currently enrolled in the Applied Behavior
Analysis (ABA) program at Wallace Elementary School. Felicity is
also attends Wallace Elementary School.
Sheillah is a certified spin
instructor and teaches at Work it Out Fitness Studios in Hoboken. When
not on the bike teaching, she is actively involved in our community through the
Hoboken Family Alliance as their newest Special Events Director. She is
also a member of a newly-formed group Residents for Redwings, and is now
one of the top fundraisers for the Wallace ABA program. Her biggest
passion, besides her family, is our special needs community and families, and
so she joins me as my newest Co-Director of HSNPG. I am so excited to have Sheillah join us in this capacity
and I know together we can make wonderful strides in making Hoboken the best
place for our children!