January 2017 Special Needs Newsletter

Visit the Festival of Human Abilities The Aquarium of the Pacific hosts its annual Festival of Human Abilities Jan. 28-29. The weekend includes music, sign language choirs, wheelchair dance, art, service-dog demos and classes by artists with disabilities. Sign-language interpreters and audio tours for the blind will be available. Read on … New Savings Plans for People With Disabilities Newly launched ABLE for ALL savings plans allow those with disabilities...

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Students from The Miracle Project will perform at the event.

December 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

We’re Hosting a Resource and Arts Fair We at L.A. Parent are excited to be hosting our Special Needs Resource Fair from noon-3 p.m. Dec. 11 at Skirball Cultural Center. We’ll celebrate diversity in the arts with performances from The Miracle Project, Infinite Flow and L.A. Speech & Language Therapy Center, and an art show featuring work by L.A. County students. There will also be information on educational resources, therapy...

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November 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

Find Free Accessible Rose Parade Viewing The City of Pasadena and Tournament of Roses coordinate three accessible street-level viewing areas, one of which offers audio description and ASL interpretation. The areas allow convenient drop-off the morning of the parade and are served by accessible restrooms. Registration is open and the reserved spaces are available free of charge for people with disabilities and up to four guests, but the new online...

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October 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

Step Out to Raise Funds for UCPLA Count your steps this month to get fit and raise funds and awareness for United Cerebral Palsy of Los Angeles, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Money raised helps purchase adaptive athletic equipment so people with cerebral palsy can get their “steps” in, too. Keep your participation virtual or cheer on student runners, see art and screen a film at pop-up events where your...

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September 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

Moms of Special Kids: Take Care of You Areva Martin is a busy attorney, legal analyst, TV commentator and founder of the Special Needs Network advocacy and resource organization. She is also a wife and mom with a son on the autism spectrum. Yet she understands the importance of taking care of her health and career, and thinks all moms of kids with disabilities should do the same. She offers...

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Letter to Teacher Square

August 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

Writing Your Child’s Teacher The new school year will soon begin, and if your child has disabilities or other special needs, a letter of introduction to his or her new teacher could help get things off to a good start. The key is to keep your note positive, supportive and brief, and to follow up throughout the year. Share successes as well as concerns. These tips from Kathleen Secchi of...

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July 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

An Animated Look At Autism Owen Suskind has autism and uses Disney films to help make sense of his world. Nonverbal at age 3, Owen was an avid viewer of the films, and his family discovered they were the key to restoring communication. A new documentary, “Life, Animated,” is based on the bestselling book by Owen’s father, and begins its run in local theaters July 1. The film provides food...

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June 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

Does Autism Mean Intellectual Disability? Many people assume that all children on the autism spectrum are intellectually disabled as well. But IQ tests don’t tell the whole story. Some are focused on measuring verbal intelligence and don’t do justice to those with autism, who can struggle with verbal skills. Others focus on non-verbal skills, but rely on social connections that are also difficult for many on the spectrum. Clinical psychologist...

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Special Camp Square

May 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

It’s Time For Summer Camp! School will be out soon. What are your kids doing this summer? There are many great local programs that will allow your child to have a real camp experience in a safe, nurturing environment. There are camps for teens who could use a chance to build independent skills away from home, and programs for families that want to stick together, and for kids of all...

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April 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

On the Spectrum, A Dose of Calm Professionals say that 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 on the autism spectrum – is not.  Try to plan ahead for stressful situations. Pack a “fidget” or two to keep worried hands busy. Learn to use the “KICK” method, and try a...

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special needs - find'em scent kit

March 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

A Kid-Saving Scent Kit For Parents Many children on the autism spectrum tend to bolt or wander away from caregivers and into unsafe situations. Many of these kids are never found alive. Bloodhounds can often locate these children, but only if they have an uncontaminated item that contains the child’s scent to work with. This new kit, invented by a local mom who handles bloodhounds for law enforcement, offers parents...

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Abilities Expo Square

February 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

Families Can Get Moving At Abilities Expo Play power soccer or adaptive basketball, try all-abilities skateboarding, rise to the top of the 25-foot adaptive climbing wall, meet service dogs and help create the world’s largest wheelchair painting at this showcase event coming to the L.A. Convention Center Feb. 5-7. There will be technology demonstrations, an artist marketplace, face painting, adaptive dance, workshops and free wheelchair repair. Admission is free! Learn...

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Outside the Box Square

January 2016 Special Needs Newsletter

Hot Wheelers Comes to Outside the Box Discussing a wheelchair-accessible doorway for her learning center’s new home inspired owner/founder Octavia Lindlahr to create a weekly class just for young children in wheelchairs. Like all of her center’s classes, Hot Wheelers will include multisensory learning and play, but will also help build upper-body motor skills. Parents and caregivers attend the classes as well, so they can use the fun activities they...

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Benny Square

December Special Needs Newsletter

Sesame Street Launches Autism Initiative For help in creating material for and about families with children on the autism spectrum, Sesame Workshop turned to Sherman Oaks vocational animation studio Exceptional Minds. Young animators on the autism spectrum produced the video “Benny’s Story,” an animated short designed to highlight that we are all different – in a good way. We chatted with Shane McKaskle, who created and voiced Benny. “I wanted...

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November Special Needs Newsletter

It’s Time For Our Special-Needs Resource Fair! We’re excited to host our second annual Special Needs Resource Fair from 1-4 p.m. Nov. 15 at Skirball Cultural Center. Along with a host of resources for families with children who have special needs, we are planning a kids’ zone full of fun activities plus performances by The Miracle Project and Ballet for All Kids. Admission is free, and families registering by Nov....

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October Special Needs Newsletter

Get Involved In Your Child’s School Many parents of kids with special needs spend tons of energy on IEP meetings, but don’t get involved in school beyond that. Find out how taking some time to get active in the PTA, chaperone field trips, volunteer in the classroom or cheer on sports teams can give you a new and more positive perspective on your child’s school. The connections you make will...

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DEAFestival Square

September Special Needs Newsletter

DEAFestival Comes To Grand Park Designed to raise awareness and showcase achievement and talent in the deaf community, this gathering taking place from noon-4 p.m. Oct. 3 in Grand Park and L.A. City Hall includes a fashion show, art workshops, car seat giveaways, children’s stories performed in ASL and community resources. There will also be face painting, an auto show, and food trucks with tasty treats. The free festival is...

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1-Bringing Balance Conference

August Special Needs Newsletter

Conference Focuses on Family Balance The Balance Conference for Special-Needs Families taking place Aug. 16 and 17 in Pacific Palisades features one day for fathers and siblings of children with special needs, and another day just for moms. It will include information on meditation and mindfulness, roundtable discussions with therapists, nutrition information and a drum circle and beach walk for teens and tweens with special-needs siblings. Conference fees may be...

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Special Olympics WG square

July Special Needs Newsletter

Special Olympics World Games Come to L.A. Seven thousand athletes from 117 countries will compete in 25 sports in this huge event, designed for participants with intellectual disabilities and taking place July 25-Aug. 2 at 27 different venues. Fans can cheer on their favorite competitors in aquatics, athletics, badminton, basketball, beach volleyball, bocce, bowling, cycling, equestrian, soccer, golf, gymnastics, half marathon, handball, judo, kayaking, open-water swimming, powerlifting, roller skating, sailing,...

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June Special Needs Newsletter

Adaptive Sports Event Comes to L.A. The Angel City Games, brainchild of the Frech family, will bring adaptive track-and-field events to UCLA June 19 and 20. This is the first event of its kind in Southern California, and 10-year-old Ezra Frech, born without a left knee or shin bone, is looking forward to the long jump and the celebrity wheelchair basketball game. Volunteers are welcome and athletes can register to...

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Special Needs Newsletter, April 2015

» Lekotek Toy Baskets   » Playability Toys Pick Up Our Special-Needs Magazine The 2015 edition of our “Your Child With Special Needs” magazine is available! It includes interviews with actors RJ Mitte, who has cerebral palsy, and Henry Winkler, who writes books for kids with dyslexia. You’ll find an update on the Special Olympics World Games, coming to L.A. this summer, a free inclusive play program for teachers, and...

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Special Needs Newsletter, March 2015

Wild Fun With L.A. Zoo Outreach The Los Angeles Zoo Special Needs Education Outreach Program brings docents and critters to people who aren’t easily able to visit the zoo, turning classrooms, hospitals and nursing homes into “zoos for a day.” Students have hands-on experiences with the animals, and docents teach about wildlife habits and habitat. Read about the free program’s visit to students in the special-needs program at Granada Hills...

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special needs

Special Needs Newsletter, February 2015

Brain-training Holds Promise For Fragile X Memory Skills When mice bred to have fragile X symptoms were trained in three short sessions with hour long breaks between, they remembered information just as well as typical mice, say UC Irvine researchers. People with fragile X struggle with memory, and the study suggests that the technique could help children with fragile X – and possibly those with other types of special needs...

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