Archives for January 2016

Pairing Special Needs Families With Quality Providers

Need a restaurant recommendation? Try Yelp. A plumber? Angie’s List. And if you’re looking for a reliable service provider for someone with special needs, you can turn to Love My Provider (, a fee-free website specializing in therapeutic services such as Applied Behavior Analysis; occupational, physical and speech therapy; summer camps and day programs. The nonprofit company was founded by special educator and behavior analyst Sara Gershfeld, who provided special-needs services through schools and Regional Centers – including Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center and Westside Regional Center – for more than 10 years, and noticed quite a disparity in the...

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Eyeing Digital Device Safety

Nearly 64 percent of parents spend more than five hours a day looking at digital screens. And if we’d put down our smart phones and tablets long enough, we would notice that our kids are right behind us, with 65 percent connected two hours a day or more. Those figures are from a recent report by The Vision Council, a vision care industry group. The report, “Eyes Overexposed: The Digital Device Dilemma,” details how this constant exposure to technology is a shock to our eyes, which are designed to view a variety of objects both near and far in natural...

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The Klub Gymnastics’ Big Time Move

After 9 years in Silverlake, The Klub Gymnastics is moving to a 40,000-square-foot space opening Feb. 1. Not too far away in Frogtown, the big move makes The Klub one of the largest gyms in Southern California. The cornerstone of the Klub’s offerings is its recreational gymnastics classes for toddlers to adults, voted Best Children’s Recreational Gymnastics five times by LA Hot List. The possibilities beyond gymnastics include Kamp, Klub Night Out and birthday parties, and plans to add a swimming pool, preschool and other activities for the entire family. Located between Pasadena, Hollywood, Silverlake, Los Feliz, Highland Park, and...

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Foster Youth on Display as PBS Readies SoCal Initiative

Southern California boasts one of the largest foster youth populations in the country, and PBS SoCal is poised to share their stories. The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation recently awarded PBS SoCal a $1.7 million grant for a three-year foster youth initiative. The goal of the initiative is to start a dialogue among stakeholders, such as schools, agencies, and community leaders to find creative solutions to the tremendous challenges many foster youth experience throughout their lives. The Struggle is Real for Foster Youth “The idea for this initiative came out of conversations with our community partners about ways we could better...

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USC Telehealth Offers Free Help For Special-Needs Caregivers

Mary Ann Frattarole thinks it was early 2012 when she started getting desperate calls from parents and caregivers of children and adults with special needs. “I got some heart-wrenching calls from parents that had a special-needs child,” she says, including one mom who also had a husband with a disability for whom she was the only caregiver. “She said, ‘I don’t know how I can make it another day. Can you please help me?’” The state provides many resources for people with special needs, but offers little help to their caregivers. Parents and other family members often find themselves exhausted,...

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products - beauty

Beauty Products We Love

For the last six months, the staff and parent testers at the National Parenting Products Awards have examined and experimented with an abundance of creams, gels, lotions and potions in search of beauty products that actually deliver results. Here are our favorites. (See more beauty product reviews at

Summer Camp 2016

Rethinking Summer Camp

Seek out options that create a stronger sense of self. In choosing a summer camp, hours, location and schedules matter, but if you dig deeper, you can book a camp experience that gives your child more than just a place to hang out. While a good amount of the school year has likely been focused on achievement, fitting in, doing what everyone else is doing and being a “good” student, summer camp is a chance to go beyond your child’s ability to make the grade and explore how to bring the best of what’s inside out. An Independent Streak Whether...

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Finny’s Screen Time Initiative Gives Parents a Say

How to control and monitor screen time while preventing device addiction is a constant balancing act for parents. A Santa Monica-based app company is helping turn screen time into teachable moments and giving back at the same time. Finny recently released its parental engagement app with the goal of increasing awareness around device addiction making it easier for parents to control their child's smartphones, but also make their screen time better. Their “Devices Down” campaign urges parents to share their screen time experiences using #devicesdown. For every download of the mobile app, Finny will donate $1 to charitable partners that promote...

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There’s Still Time For Flu Shots

Even as L.A. County officials reported the first deaths of the 2015-16 flu season in mid-January, health experts reminded families that it isn’t too late to protect themselves by getting a flu shot. Both of the deaths occurred in people – a man in his 40s and a woman in her 90s – with pre-existing health problems, but pregnant women and very young children are also especially vulnerable. “Even though influenza activity in California and much of the country is still at low levels, these deaths are a reminder that flu is circulating and potentially can cause serious illness,” L.A....

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CDC Issues Travel Warning for Pregnant Women

Planning a “babymoon” cruise to the Caribbean or a Mexican getaway? Take note of a CDC travel alert that is especially directed at pregnant women and women trying to become pregnant traveling to countries where Zika virus has become a threat: Brazil, Colombia, El Salvador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Martinique, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Suriname, Venezuela, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. This alert follows reports in Brazil of microcephaly (a birth defect associated with an abnormally small head and incomplete brain development) and other problems in babies of mothers who were infected with Zika virus while pregnant. The agency...

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