Archives for November 2017

Winter [Break] is Coming! Five Tips for Parents with Kids on the Autism Spectrum

Yes, winter [break] is coming, which means no school for two to three weeks for a lot of students. Are you concerned about how you’ll keep your child busy? Children are accustomed to the structured routine of school. As a parent of elementary school-aged triplets who have faced neurodevelopmental challenges, I value the importance of routine and predictability. When the calendar flips to November, my wife and I start to think about winter break and how we will strike the balance of keeping our girls busy while still providing the restful benefit of a break from the demands of school....

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parenting

Why We All Need a Parenting Village

My need for a parenting village became clear when I found myself sitting in my son’s school valet line belting out the lyrics to Barbara Streisand’s “People.” The chorus of horns behind me was drowned out by my off-key karaoke: “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world!” I was sleep deprived, coming off a slew of stressful doctor appointments for my middle son, and I had decided it was best that I pick up in valet since I had worn the same shirt for three days in a row. It was during this frenzied moment that...

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Keeping the Holidays Inclusive and Fun for All

Keep things simple. Plan ahead. Stay flexible. Keep the lines of communication open. They may seem like common-sense tips for just about any life situation, but for parents of children with disabilities, these bits of wisdom are especially applicable during the holiday season – a time of year that is often as stressful as it is joyous. You want to celebrate just like – and often in the company of – friends, family and loved ones. The demands of your child’s disability make “traditional” celebrations challenging or, in some cases, not possible, but people still want to include you in...

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Stratford School Expands with Fourth SoCal Campus

Stratford School touts itself as, "an unparalleled education where tradition meets 21st century learning." Its unique and nurturing school environment motivates students through high expectations in a collaborative and fun learning environment. Opening its first SoCal location a year ago, the school continues its expansion. Its fourth Southern California campus will be located at 2000 Stoner Ave. in West Los Angeles. This campus, which is currently accepting applications for Preschool through Kindergarten, will officially open for the 2018-2019 school year in August. Along with the newly renovated campus, it will feature a new, secure playground space designed just for young...

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theater in los angeles

The Many Spirits of Holiday Theater

When the winter holiday season makes its annual visit, you can expect to find Sugar Plum Fairies and Scrooge on many Los Angeles stages. This year brings more than a dozen productions of “The Nutcracker” and a handful of “A Christmas Carols.” However, there is also a nice variety of theatrical options if you are looking for something beyond Tiny Tim and Tchaikovsky.   Beauties and Beasts  Two of this season’s most popular characters, in fact, are Beauty and the Beast, with three different incarnations of this favorite fairy tale planned for December. The silliest version comes from the zany folks at Lythgoe Family Panto. For the past few years, they have taken a famous fable and given it the Panto treatment – meaning they’ve created a delightfully light-hearted mash-up of slapstick comedy, dancing and contemporary music. This year’s...

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la families

Wilmington’s Wild Winter Weekend

If you are looking to pack as many winter holiday happenings as you can into one geographically compact weekend, visit the Wilmington/San Pedro area the first weekend of December.   For those who like their Christmas with a dash of history, Wilmington hosts a pair of yuletide events Dec. 2 and 3 that offer a glimpse into Christmas past. A Victorian Christmas Celebration will be happening at the Banning Museum (401 E. M St.; www.thebanningmuseum.org), while you can see how Americans celebrated Christmas during the 1860s at the Drum Barracks Civil War Museum (1052 N. Banning Blvd.; www.drumbarracks.org). Adding to these events’ old-fashioned charms is the...

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7 Don’t-Miss Events for December

So many ways to celebrate the season this month – from a very L.A. Hanukkah to CHILL ice shows and ice bikes, innovative performances from Kubinek and Cirque, our county’s free annual show and reindeer at the zoo.

teacher of the year

Two Teachers in L.A. County Earn 2018 California Teacher-of-the-Year Awards

Northlake Hills Elementary School teacher Erin Oxhorn-Gilpin has a rule about her own cellphone usage during class: it’s absolutely prohibited. The students in her first- and second-grade combo class are well aware of this rule. So when Oxhorn-Gilpin answered her phone during a recent math lesson, their eyes grew wide.   But their teacher had her reasons. As an L.A. County Teacher of the Year in the running for the coveted California Teacher of the Year award, she was aware that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson would likely make his calls to the winning teachers that day.  With shaky fingers, she answered her phone and it was, indeed, Torlakson. “I was so...

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toddler's window fall

A Toddler’s Window Fall – A Mom’s Nightmare

As many as 5,000 children in the U.S. fall from windows each year, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. L.A. Parent Assistant Editor Carolyn Richardson’s son recently fell from the window of their building. Here is her story in her own words:    “You are a great mom,” said an EMT as we stood in front of our apartment building in Encino. It was a warm afternoon this past September, and he was trying to calm me down and keep me from falling apart. My 3 year-old-son Mikko had just fallen from our second-floor window, and in the minutes before he was rushed to the hospital, I wondered whether he would be OK and asked myself, “How the...

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Harry Potter World Brings the Christmas Magic

Let’s face it, theme-park tickets don’t come cheap in these parts. Even the most frugal outing can cost several hundred dollars for a family of three or four, so you want to make those visits count. The winter holidays offer the best return on that investment, and the debut of “Christmas in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter” makes that especially true at Universal Studios Hollywood this year. It’s a complete package tied up in a magical bow. First, you have the delightful architecture of Hogsmeade village – with buildings snow capped and chimneys smoking year-round – evoking that quaint...

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