The Spark Development & Fitness Program originally evolved from a sensory integration training program specifically designed for schools. With a proven track record of helping struggling students achieve academic success, hundreds of schools across the country took advantage of the original enhancement program.
However, some students required greater intervention. In addition, we noted that many students required services beyond basic sensory integration remediation. In response, we created the Spark Development & Fitness Program. With a more personal and attentive instructor to client ratio, broader array of sensory work and fitness exercises, and nutrition counseling, we are able to help a greater, and more diverse, number of clients.
Indeed, our program has proven effective not only those who seek general fitness training, but also those with coordination and balance issues, including seniors, individuals with mood and behavior issues, and special populations, including high functioning ASD individuals.
The Spark Development Story
While Spark Development Centers opened its doors in April of 2005, its origins date back to December of 1989 when co-founder Rob Stevens and his wife and Nutrition Counselor, Catherine (“Tina”) Stevens’ son, Robert, was born. You see, if there had been no Robert, there would be no SPARK.
Meet Robert today, and you find a creative and intelligent college graduate with a degree in packaging design. Perhaps more importantly, you find a gifted, independent, and confident young man with many good friends. So, what is Robert’s connection to Spark Development?
Before he turned five, Robert had been diagnosed with "Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder" possibly coupled with "Oppositional Defiance Disorder." By age six, "Pervasive Developmental Disorder" had been added to the list. Despite the efforts of his special education teachers and one-to-one aide, individual and group counseling and multiple drug therapy, Robert made little progress. Indeed, in many ways, Robert’s issues only grew worse.
Not sure where to turn, Rob and Tina began exploring natural alternatives including dietary changes and sensory integration training. By third grade, Robert had been mainstreamed and was off all medications. By sixth grade, Robert demonstrated few, if any, issues.
Since 1998, Rob has been working with children who demonstrate attention, learning and behavior issues. His extensive training in many varied, and proven development programs, as well as his collaboration with doctors, therapists, and educational experts have culminated in the Spark Development & Fitness Program. Joined by Tina, who provides invaluable nutrition counseling services, Rob Stevens has the privilege of helping individuals improve fitness, balance, coordination, attention, behavior and cognitive skills through natural, safe, and effective programs.
Rob Stevens, Director
Inspired by his son, Robert, Rob Stevens began work as an educational consultant in 1998. Helping shape and refine various learning programs for both learning centers and in-school programs, Rob gained thousands of hours of hands-on experience working with children struggling in school. Joined by other education and development experts, Rob created the Spark Development & Fitness Program. A graduate of Brown University, magna cum laude, New York University School of Law, and Hofstra University's AAPTE Personal Training Program, Rob now has extensive experience working with special needs individuals, students and seniors.
With the help of his wife and partner, Tina Stevens, Rob has written a book about his son's remarkable recovery. Backed by extensive research on the diagnosis and treatment of attention, learning and behavior problems, Finding Robert (2015 Square One Publishers) is available on Amazon.
Catherine Stevens, known to all who work with her as "Tina" (it's a long story), similarly was inspired by her son, Robert. With a solid background in science (BA (Biology – Boston University); BS (cardio-respiratory technology – Stony Brook University)), Tina was so moved by the positive impact diet and nutrition intervention had upon Robert, that she returned to college for a Masters in Nutrition (with distinction) from New York Institute of Technology. Tina now specializes in working with children who demonstrate learning, attention and behavior issues.