Archives for March 2016

Walk-up Registration Still Available For Cover Kids 2016!

L.A. Parent’s 2016 Cover Kids Contest is coming to The Point at Rosecrans and Sepulveda (850 S. Sepulveda Blvd., El Segundo; from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sept. 24. Join us at this wonderful new addition to Plaza El Segundo for a day of fun. Have your child’s picture taken by one of our professional photographers, visit our activity tables and enjoy shopping and dining at The Point. We will choose four lucky kids to be on the cover of L.A. Parent in 2017. Entry fee of $35 per child includes the sitting, plus a digital image of your child on a mock L.A....

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Why the World Needs Kids of All Abilities

Vincent Van Dyk was born with a rare condition called Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes developmental delays, delayed growth and other issues. “When we first got his diagnosis, it was really scary,” says his mom, Felicia. “I thought back to my own childhood, how kids used to make fun.” Still, Van Dyk decided to make sure Vincent, who is now 12, was fully included when he started attending Rio Vista Elementary School in Studio City. And she says his inclusive experience there from kindergarten to second grade made a huge difference. Vincent’s hearing is impaired, and he was...

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Crayon Collection Hosts Nationwide Crayon Drive

The Crayon Collection is asking teachers, students and parents nationwide to participate in the largest national crayon drive in history on National Crayon Day, March 31. By redistributing discarded crayons to children in underserved schools, participants are also eliminating tons of waste destined for landfills. Proceeds will support the Crayon Collection's distribution of crayons to more than 1,000 Title 1 Schools and Head Start Centers across the country. This relieves the burden placed on many teachers to purchase crayons out-of-pocket, most spending approximately $750 a year on basic classroom supplies. "No child should have to attend school without the most...

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Come to L.A. Parent’s Special Needs Resource Fair

L.A. Parent is hosting a resource fair for families with special needs from noon-3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Skirball Cultural Center (2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd., L.A.; We hope you'll join us! Admission is free. The event will celebrate diversity in the arts with a performance by The Miracle Project (, an award-winning theater arts program for kids on the autism spectrum. Dancers from Infinite Flow (, a wheelchair dance company, will also entertain. And students from L.A. Speech and Language Therapy ( will share their song “Beyond the Label,” which they have performed at the White House and recorded with...

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Exhibit at our Special Needs Resource Fair!

We are delighted to offer local businesses that serve families with special needs the opportunity to meet our readers at our Special Needs Resource Fair. Exhibitor space is limited, so book your table today! Completing this form does not guarantee space at the event. Once your form is submitted, our staff will follow up with details shortly with pricing and details.

Eight Ways to Calm Autism-related Anxiety

Professionals say a little anxiety now and then is natural, and even good for us. But anxiety that interferes with daily life – as it does for some children who have special needs or are on the autism spectrum – is not. Here are a few tried-and-true techniques for calming feelings of anxiety in children with autism. Be prepared. A big part of stress reduction is planning for stressful situations, so that your child has tools to use when they occur, according to clinical psychologist Patricia Engert, Ph.D. “The first step for parents is to establish a routine for your...

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Ace Your Next Well-child Checkup

Before they turn 3, kids are supposed to have 10 well-child visits with a pediatrician (apart from those inevitable visits for childhood illnesses). These should offer a chance to address the many questions parents of young children face, but time with the pediatrician is often less than 15 minutes – hardly enough time to cover even the basics. To make the most of that time, be prepared. Before your child’s next visit, write down the three most important questions you want to ask and bring those to the pediatrician’s attention as soon as she or he enters the exam room,...

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South Bay Moms Can Work Out – And Give Back

Baby Boot Camp has long relieved moms of an excuse for not working out by letting them bring their kids and baby bumps along for some exercise. Now three locations in the South Bay are giving them some extra incentive as well. This supportive community of moms working out with their kids in tow has partnered with Sweat Angels, which allows businesses to use Facebook check-ins to donate to charity. Each month there is a new cause. In February, moms who attended BBC classes and checked in on Facebook helped provide 30 hours of care for shelter animals. This month,...

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belvedere middle gets fitness center

UCLA Health Gives Belvedere Middle Fitness Center, Hope

The damning statistics about childhood obesity are not as much fun to report as good news about programs that support physical activity for kids' health. This good news comes courtesy of UCLA Health's Sound Body Sound Mind, which just donated a $50,000 state-of-the-art fitness center to Belvedere Middle School in East Los Angeles. Belvedere is one of seven L.A.-area schools chosen to receive a new fitness center this year. The program was created to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles by enhancing physical education programs and fitness resources for inner-city students. East Los Angeles has the highest rate of childhood...

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Deaf Son’s Need Inspires Swim Shirt Company

Cole Sherman is profoundly deaf, has cochlear implants and loves to swim. “My son, he’s a water baby,” says Cole’s dad, Eric. For many years, water and the processors that implant users wear outside the body just didn’t mix. But in 2012, when Cole was 7, he got his first set of waterproof processors. The Tarzana family quickly discovered that the processors weren’t convenient to wear in the pool. “The wearing option that they provided was basically an armband,” says Eric, adding that the bands were uncomfortable for Cole, who is also on the autism spectrum. “He didn’t like the thing...

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