Archives for June 2014

Santa Clarita To Serve as Special Olympics World Games 2015 Host Town

The City of Santa Clarita has been officially selected as a Host Town for the Special Olympics 2015 World Summer Games. Before the games begin on July 25, 2015, more than 7,000 athletes from 177 countries will be welcomed to Southern California through the “Host Town” program, which includes 100 communities from San Luis Obispo to San Diego. Host towns provide the athletes with hospitality, and treat them to a variety of culturally immersive experiences during their stay. “The Host Town program is an exciting way for Southern California locals to open our doors and show the athletes and coaches...

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Go Fourth! – And Celebrate Independence Day

By Michael Berick It’s not hard to find fireworks on July 4th. Just look up. However, if you are looking for more bang for your buck, Southern California is home to many interesting Independence Day events. Head to the hills – Big Bear Lake, to be precise – for that city’s annual Fireworks Spectacular, where the pyrotechnics launch from a barge anchored in the middle of the lake (630 Bartlett Rd.; Spectators can line the lake or watch the free 8:45 p.m. show from a boat. The local Rotary Club also hosts a holiday barbeque ($25-$100) from 4:30-9:30 p.m....

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Evaluating Research 101 – Your Handy Guide To Evidence-Based Interventions

By Lisa Stoddard, M.A., BCBA From the time our children are born, we parents are faced with a seemingly endless stream of decisions. Disposable or cloth? Cow’s milk or soy? Montessori or Waldorf? But for parents of children with special needs, decisions about treatments and therapies can be daunting. When facing a sea of conflicting theories, treatment models and news reports touting the latest study, how does a parent determine the most effective plan? And, more importantly, how can parents avoid wasting precious time and money on ineffective treatments? The Evidence-Based Movement Scientific evidence can often offer some guidance. From...

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Julius Jr. Toy Launch Party: More Fun Than a Barrel of Monkeys

By Rina Baraz Nehdar When I was offered an invitation to go to the Julius Jr. toy launch party June 24 at The London West Hollywood, I jumped at the chance. Not so much because I am such a big fan (although I do like that cute little monkey), but it’s summer and I have two very demanding munchkins at home who need constant entertainment. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity. Plus, they would not hesitate to tell me their opinions. I’ll call them Critic 1 and Critic 2. I figured it’d be pretty casual since I’ve been to...

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Target and The Honest Company Team Up

  Westwood Target shoppers got an “honest” surprise June 25 as they stumbled upon an in-store launch event celebrating the chain’s new partnership with The Honest Company (, a brand that offers natural, non-toxic family essentials. Six interactive stations, including a fun photo booth and a trivia board, were set up around the store. Each provided guests with the opportunity to learn more about the Honest Co. collection now available at Target. Items include diapers, organic body care and natural household cleaning products. An expanded assortment is also available at   The Honest Company strives to make affordable products...

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Free Beach Wheelchairs Keep Summer Fun Rolling

By Christina Elston Last spring, Jim Schwab and his family traveled to Southern California from their home in Atlanta, and some friends recommended a visit to Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach. Schwab and his wife, Helen, have 15-year-old twins, Matt and Alison, and Alison has cerebral palsy. They were delighted to find that her need for a wheelchair wouldn’t keep her off the beach. “During our visit, Alison was able to get up close and see the anemones, crabs, starfish, urchins, etc., easily, and we all enjoyed our walk down the beach together,” Schwab wrote in an email...

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Los Angeles Students Win Grand Prize at 48th Annual California Media Festival

Three Los Angeles schools were the Grand Prize Winners at the 48th Annual California Student Media Festival. During the June 7th awards ceremony, held at the Harmony Gold Preview House, 87 awards were presented to 47 elementary and secondary schools from across the state. The festival, presented by on PBS SoCaL and CUE, as well as support from eighth-year presenting sponsor, Wells Fargo, is the nation’s oldest student media festival. The awards ceremony featured the winning entries, red carpet interviews, and Academy Awards-style acceptance speeches. Grand Prize winning schools were chosen to receive a $1,000 cash grant for winning the...

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Pediatric Obesity Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Receives $1.5 Million Grant

The EMPOWER Weight Management Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles – dedicated to helping young patients struggling with significant weight issues, and their families – has received $1.5 million from the UniHealth Foundation to help expand clinic hours and community outreach activities. EMPOWER stands for Energy Management for Personalized Weight Reduction, and the clinic is part of the Diabetes and Obesity program at CHLA. EMPOWER gives patients access to a variety of services at one appointment, where they also receive a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation that can include screening for type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity-related liver disease...

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Unplug For Successful Family Dinners

By Randi Goodman, LMFT When I was a child, I remember family dinners as a time to be with the family without interruptions. When the phone rang, my mother would scream, “Nobody answer that.” As a mother myself, I find it difficult to hold a conversation with my children without them being attached to their cell phones and other electronic devices. They are Tweeting, Facebooking, and looking at Instagram instead of being present in the moment as a family. As a marriage and family therapist, I see many parents who feel disconnected from their children and aren’t sure where to...

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The Value of Pretend Play

By Patti Rommel, Director of Research and Development at Lakeshore Learning Materials Does your child love to dress up as a fearless superhero and conquer menacing villains, or reenact a scene from his or her favorite movie with friends? Maybe your little one can transform a cardboard box into a bottomless treasure chest … with just his or her imagination! If so, your child is engaging in pretend play, an essential part of childhood development that’s as natural as walking and talking. However, because children are “playing,” parents often do not realize the true impact of these wondrous and imagination-building...

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