Archives for March 2015

New Star Wars Display Unveiled at LEGOLAND

What’s 13 feet high, eight feet wide, weighs 1,900 pounds and is one of the newest Los Angeles attractions? If you guessed the new Death Star Model Display at LEGOLAND California Resort, you’re correct! Made with more than 500,000 LEGO bricks and unveiled in early March, this interactive display is the largest to be added to Star Wars Miniland, which first opened to guests in 2011. Patterned after the version of the moon-sized military battle station featured in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, the Death Star display features the film scene where Luke Skywalker destroys the Death Star...

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Our Special Needs Magazine Is Out!

The 2015 edition of Your Child With Special Needs -- a free magazine packed with resources, advice and informative articles to help kids and their families through every stage of life -- is now available. You can find it around town at schools and businesses that serve the special-needs community, and it isn’t easy to miss. It features actor RJ Mitte (from TV’s “Breaking Bad”) on the cover! The magazine has been honored with Parenting Media Association General Excellence awards two years in a row, and this year’s edition carries on that tradition. It includes articles about safety for kids...

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Getting Kids With Special Needs Ready for Adulthood

Avremel Mayer has Down syndrome – and an independent streak. When he was a teenager, a yellow school bus picked him up each morning for the trip to Fairfax High. He had convinced his parents to let him wait for the bus on his own. One day, he decided the school bus was coming too late. “He walked to the corner, picked up the [city] bus to Fairfax Avenue and told the driver that he wanted to go to Fairfax High,” says Avremel’s father, David. “The bus driver told him the number [of the next bus to take], and after...

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Families With Special Needs: Get the FriendMaker App For Free

If you wanted to start a conversation with someone you didn’t know, you might follow steps like these: Casually look over at the person. Use a prop. Look for a common interest. Make a reference to the common interest. Trade information about the common interest. Assess interest. Introduce yourself. Most people wouldn’t use a checklist for this, but for teens and young adults on the autism spectrum a simple social skill such as conversation doesn’t always come naturally. That’s why clinical psychologist Elizabeth Laugeson, Psy.D., developed the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS) at the UCLA...

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Nonprofit Plants a New Summer Camp in L.A.

Kids can cook garden-inspired dishes and learn about composting and garden science at a new camp launching in L.A. this summer. The Garden School Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to creating interactive garden-based learning experiences for kids in underserved communities, is offering City Seedling summer camp Los Angeles at its 24th Street Elementary School garden. The program is an expansion of GSF’s popular “Seed-to-Table” curriculum, according to Executive Director Cassie Martinez. “Our City Seedling summer camp provides a unique opportunity for L.A. parents to provide our Seed-to-Table experience for their children while supporting GSF’s Seed-to-Table programming in Title1 schools across L.A.”...

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Music Video Debut: “I Like You” by Earthworm Ensemble

Earthworm Ensemble, a Los Angeles-based children's band, is debuting their song "I Like You" from their new "Backyard Garden" album. As an exclusive video debut partner, L.A. Parent is sharing it with you first! In the video, band mate Denny Moynahan is the featured singer, shown with his two young daughters, enjoying a fun weekend in LA. Take a look! Want to hear more by the band? Click here to listen to three more songs.

Get Thee to the Ball

Sound the trumpets! Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella has come to town as a royal treat among Los Angeles attractions, and is playing at the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center through April 26. I recently saw this family-friendly Tony award-winning Broadway musical, which puts a modern spin on the classic fairy tale. In this version, Cinderella, played by Broadway superstar Paige Faure, is sugary sweet as ever, but has a streak of confidence and is determined to make the world a better place. Off stage, life on tour is a family affair for Faure, who also played Cinderella on Broadway....

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Los Angeles Things to Do Grand Park Bookfest

Bookfest Is Bigger and Grander Than Ever

Grand Park (200 N. Grand Ave., L.A.; www.grandparkla.org) welcomes literature lovers to its third annual Downtown Bookfest, noon-5 p.m. March 28. One of the festival’s unique features is its focus on Southern California authors and publishers. A pop-up bookstore, for example, will stock with work from more than 30 L.A.-based presses, putting it high on the list of most people's Los Angeles things to do. The Bookfest’s readings and activities will be centered around this year’s theme, “Cite Your Sources.” The multicultural event will explore the idea of our origins, identity and self-expression by featuring authors from a variety of...

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Spring & Summer Fashion for Kids

By Deanna Zaccari  Smiles, shy glances and giggles were the main accessories as little models walked – and sometimes ran – the red carpet runway at Youth Fashion Week’s Spring/Summer Fashion Show, held in early March at the Radisson Grand Ballroom in Los Angeles. One word to describe the show, which benefits The Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD) Foundation: adorable! The runway featured styles for boys and girls from toddlers to pre-teens. They were bright, colorful and shiny. The audience was crazy for these cute little fashionistas! River Babe was the first designer to step out onto the stage, showing off...

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7 Safety Strategies for Kids With Special Needs

As parents, it is our job to worry about our kids. And we worry about our children with special needs at every stage of their (and our) lives. As it turns out, worry is a waste of mental energy – energy we cannot afford to waste! The best thing to do with worry is convert it to action, doing something positive to mitigate the unsettling thoughts that keep us awake at night. The need to do something is particularly crucial when it comes to safety. The list of worries is long. Will my child wander off? How can I prepare...

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