Family Road Tripping Goes Global

Rebecca Bernard wants your family to go to camp. Together. And bring your passports. Bernard is founder and chief culture officer at FamilyGo, a company offering group travel curated for kids, parents and even grandparents to enjoy together. Bernard calls her program a “camp on the road.” Groups of families visit a destination, and the children are immersed in local camp programs from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. – giving the adults a chance to explore. Families reconnect at the end of the day. Upcoming trips depart for Costa Rica in June and Spain in July. The trips are about two-weeks long,...

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L.A. Parent’s Awesome Kids Contest

Deadline to enter is midnight July 17. Chosen winners must be present at L.A. Parent’s Birthday Bash from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m. August 2 to receive their award and prize, including a gift card to The Original Farmers Market. Submit your nomination below!

Strategies For Struggling Readers

Strategies For Struggling Readers

Whether they have a learning disability or other special needs, your child can build a relationship with books. by Christina Elston Paul Curtis’s favorite childhood book was The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. He read it in fifth grade, and there is a particular reason that it stayed with him. “It was the first book that I think I really pictured in my mind, and I can still see those images fairly vividly that I created in fifth grade,” Curtis says. Curtis, the Lower School Reading Chair at The Westmark School in Encino, says imagery can be key to helping struggling...

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Steve Everett-Power(ful) Soccer Role Model 1

Steve Everett: Power(ful) Soccer Role Model

Steve Everett plays and promotes power soccer, where adults and kids play together from their power wheelchairs, and learn powerful lessons. by Christina Elston When Steve Everett talks about the sport of power soccer, played in power wheelchairs, he makes it sound fun. “We have these guards on the front of our chairs. They almost look like snow plows,” he says, “and when we spin in a circle, that’s how we can generate a lot of power in kicking the ball. It’s called a spin kick.” The game is played four-on-four, on regulation basketball courts with goals instead of nets....

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Snip-Its Hair Salons Specialize In Special-Needs Kids

With extra training for stylists and helpful guides for parents, the chain makes haircuts easier for children on the autism spectrum. by Christina Elston For parents of a child on the autism spectrum, little things that other families take for granted – things like a simple haircut – can be a real challenge. Children with autism can find the sights and sounds of a hair salon, the feel of someone combing their hair, or the idea of scissors cutting their hair overwhelming. And parents can dread the “looking and pointing” that often takes place if a child acts out, says...

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Seven Keys to Keep You Smiling Through Dental Visits

Seven Keys to Keep You Smiling Through Dental Visits

These tips will help children with special needs – and their parents – feel more comfortable in the dentist’s chair. by Elaine Hall I’m scared of dentists. Well, not the dentist himself (my brother is a dentist in San Diego), but I am scared of sitting in that chair, opening my mouth and not knowing what pain I am about to endure. Just thinking about the sound of the drill, the feel of the needle and the look of those shiny tools can keep me awake many nights before my appointment. Imagine how much more intense this experience is for...

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Making Sense of Fine Motor Skills1

Making Sense of Fine Motor Skills

More than 20 tips and activities from an occupational therapist that will improve your child’s handwriting. by Annie Baltazar Mori, ODT Handwriting or any fine motor activity seems like it is a simple and straightforward learning process. But when we pull back the curtain, there is a lot going on behind the scenes, working in seamless harmony to create a perfectly formed and spaced sentence or well-constructed craft project. Occupational therapists are skilled at evaluating and treating underlying issues that might be creating a road block for progress in fine motor skills. Let’s take a look at some of the...

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Keeping Bullies At Bay

Keeping Bullies At Bay

Children with special needs are bullied more often, but Dawn Barnes of Dawn Barnes Karate Kids has some wonderful prevention tips. by Dawn Barnes Sending children back to school is exciting. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of worry. Bullying is in the news more than ever and mothers are rightfully concerned about the safety of their children. Mothers of children with special needs may hold even deeper concerns about how their child will be treated at school. The heartbreaking news is that children with special needs find themselves targeted by bullies more often than other children. The reason...

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Helping Your Special-Needs Child Build Meaningful Friendships

Helping Your Special-Needs Child Build Meaningful Friendships

These seven keys will help you pinpoint the ways in which your child is social, and use them to create rewarding relationships. by Elaine Hall “Hey guys! I had fun! See you next week,” calls 12-year-old Jackson as he climbs into his mom’s SUV. “Mom, I had a great time and I think I made some friends,” he beams. This was Jackson’s first day in our theater class and, as his mom later told us, this was the first time Jackson had ever made a friend. There is a myth that children with autism, learning disabilities and other social/emotional challenges...

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Financial Planning Today Means Care For Tomorrow

Special Needs: Financial Planning Today Means Care For Tomorrow

Coping with a special-needs child’s diagnosis can take its toll, but don’t delay planning for the future. by Melanie Gaball Financial planning is important for parents, but for those who have a child with special needs the complexities of funding a lifetime of care can be overwhelming and emotional. While many parents are still dealing with the acceptance of their child’s diagnosis, developing a financial road map for their family’s life may not be something they’re ready to face. When a child first receives a special-needs diagnosis, parents want to believe things will get better. Whether they hope for a...

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