Current Projects


SPARC Project: Supporting Parent-Adolescent Relationships and Communication

The Notre Dame SPARC Project is a program designed to support effective communication and strengthen relationships in families that include a child with an intellectual and/or developmental disability (IDD).  In particular, the SPARC Project is geared toward supporting parents and typically developing adolescent siblings of individuals with IDD by promoting effective communication and conflict resoluation between couples and also between parents and their typically developing children.  The goal of the study is to evaluate how best to support parents and typically developing siblings of individuals with IDD by improving communication and strengthening family relationships.

The Notre Dame SPARC Project is actively recruiting participants in South Bend and Ft. Wayne, IN and the surrounding areas.  Eligible pariticipants are families that include fathers and mothers who are married or living together in the same home with a typically developing child between the ages of 11 and 17 years old, and a child of any age who has been diagnosed with any type of intellectual and/or developmental disability.  Paritcipating families will be invited to visit one of our centers (in South Bend or Ft. Wayne) several times over the course of one year.  Families could earn up to $310 for their paritcipation over the course of one year, and free childcare is provided at all visits by team members who are trained to work with individuals with IDD.  

Interested families can call Jessica at 574-631-6009 or email us at for more information.


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***If you do not qualify for any of these studies, but are still interested in participating in future research, feel free to contact us at We will put you in our database and contact you with future studies that might interest you.