Issue 4 - Sept 2012

A Message from the Director

Early Intervention (EI) has been a key component of the Children’s Services program. EI services are provided for children ages 0-3 years identified with a developmental delay, genetic disorder, or other disease/diagnosis that compromises their development. We work closely with San Gabriel/Pomona and Inland Regional Centers to provide a variety of services to these children.

A physician, clinical service provider or parent can refer a child with developmental delays to their local Regional Center for an "intake". If in our service area, the Regional Center will then refer the child to Casa Colina Children’s Services for EI intervention. If the child presents with a 50% delay in one area or a 33% delay in more than one developmental area, they may become eligible for EI services. Goals will be established to improve gross motor, fine motor, language, cognition, self-help and social development - all with a focus on parent education. In-Home and Center-Based Peer Group EI services are provided by our Child Therapy Instructors (CTI). Occupational therapists (OT), physical therapists (PT) and speech language pathologists (SLP) provide consultative services for the CTIs and families participating in these Regional Center funded programs. OT, PT and SLP may be warranted and will be funded through insurance coverage, with Regional Center funding as a last resort.

Children’s Services prides itself on having a Family Specialist to assist with ongoing parent education and support, even past the time that these families are enrolled in our EI program. Our Family Specialist, Susan Stroebel, works closely with families, school districts, and Regional Centers in transitioning our EI patients into the public school systems, as warranted, shortly after their third birthday. Susan also has a broad knowledge of community services available to families for other needs they may have.

For patients authorized to participate in the EI program, our outcomes prove their effectiveness. At least two-thirds of goals established for our EI patients are met on a quarterly basis. At least two-thirds of family and clinical goals are also met for our patients. Finally, in our specialized EI program (S.T.A.R.T.) for children on the autism spectrum, patients present gains in developmental growth above the average length of stay for patients in this program.

If you would like additional information on our Early Intervention programs, please call us at (909) 596-7733 ext. 4200.

Cindy Sendor, MA, CCC-SLP
Director, Casa Colina Children’s Services and Speech Pathology

Therapy Corner

Waiting in the Waiting Room

Spotlight on Advocacy

Resources & Links

Upcoming Events


Focus on Genetic Disorders

Therapy Corner

by Lacy Wright, MS, OTR/L

Is My Child's Backpack Too Heavy?

I remember coming home from school, dragging my backpack with me and dropping it to the floor with a loud THUD. After hearing this my mom would predictably ask, “What are you carrying in there? A pile of bricks?” As I progressed from elementary school to junior high and high school, my backpack only grew heavier. One day I put my backpack on a scale just out of curiosity and it weighed close to 25 pounds, at the time that was close to 30% of my body weight! Not only was it heavy, it was cool to wear the backpack in the worst way possible for my body….you know, over one shoulder and as low as it could go. Unfortunately, children today are also strapped with heavy backpacks. In fact, 55% of students wear backpacks that are heavier than recommended guidelines. Over 2,000 people with backpack-related injuries were treated in hospitals and doctors’ offices in 2007.

The American Occupational Therapy Association is trying to change the tides of backpack use by encouraging students to “Pack It Light, Wear It Right” on National School Backpack Awareness Day on September 19th. Here are a few tips that they recommend:

· A loaded backpack should never weigh more than 10% of the student’s body weight (for a student weighing 50 pounds, this means the backpack should weigh no more than 5 pounds).

· Load heaviest items closet to the child’s back and arrange items in a way that they won’t slide around.

· Check what your child carries to school and brings home. Make sure the items are necessary for the day’s activities.

· If the backpack is too heavy or tightly packed, your child can hand-carry a book or other item outside the pack in their arms.

· When wearing the backpack, distribute the weight evenly by using both straps. Wearing a backpack slung over just one shoulder can cause a child to lean to one side, curving the spine and causing pain or discomfort.

· Adjust the shoulder straps so that the pack fits snugly on the child’s back. The bottom of the backpack should rest in the curve of the lower back and never more than 4 inches below the child’s waistline.

· When buying a backpack, select one that is an appropriate size that fits comfortably with padded shoulder straps and a waist belt to distribute the weight evenly. If the backpack is too heavy on a regular basis, consider using one on wheels.

For more information, visit the National School Backpack Awareness Day Web site at

Waiting in the Waiting Room

by Kesley Johnston

As special needs parents, we wait not just in the waiting room, but we wait for everything else, too. Our job requires a patience that no one else can understand. We wait for the moment that our child correctly holds a pencil. We wait for the moment that they speak to us. We wait for the moment that they have friends. We wait for the moment that the therapy clicks together. We wait for the moment of hope. We all have that moment. Some of us sooner than others. No matter the diagnosis, we all wait for a moment of hope.

Some of us hope for a higher quality of life for our children. Some of us hope for our children to gain independence. Some of us hope for a break in our own lives, as this is the hardest job on earth. Some of us hope to reclaim our own dreams in life. No matter what it is, we all experience the moment when hope comes back into our lives and the lives of our children.

I sit, writing this today, in my newly redecorated living room that was recently turned into a home office and homeschool classroom, whiteboard mounted on the wall and all. I have felt stuck and trapped in this new profession of mom, but today I saw the first glimmer of hope. Today we went to the dentist...and had a very….long….wait….and my child did not have a meltdown. Today we went to Target, and my child did not get his way, and my child did not have a meltdown. This afternoon was naptime…and there it was. My child finally had the meltdown. Tears welled up in my eyes out of frustration. The day had been going so well. And then the moment of hope came…my son recovered from his meltdown faster than ever before. He wanted to feel better. He wanted his body to feel better. For the first time in the past year, I felt a true surge of hope.

For the first time, I realize that hope comes in small doses, and that if I just wait a little while, it will find me…and I hope that these moments of hope are finding all of you, too.

Kesley is ‘Waiting in the Waiting Room’ every month for Connections.

Spotlight on Advocacy

by Lisa Lockwood

In the August issue, we continued our examination of IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), the federal law that guarantees a free and appropriate public education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment for every person with a disability.

IDEA has six principles that provide the framework around which special education services are designed and provided. Thus far, we have discussed the following:

June issue: First principle, Free and Appropriate Education (FAPE)

July issue: Second principle, Appropriate Education

August issue: Third principle, Individualized Education

Now, we will break down the fourth framework principle: Least Restrictive Environment (LRE).

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) - This principle reflects IDEA’s strong preference for educating students with disabilities in general education classes with access to general education curriculum. Placement in the general education classroom is the first placement option the IEP team must consider.

Students with disabilities do not have to start in a more restrictive or separate class and then "earn" the right to move to a less restrictive placement. If it is found that a general education classroom would not meet the child's needs, even with support services, then other options may be pursued. These options may include, but are not limited to, special education classes, special schools or home instruction. The range of such placements that each school system is required to have available is commonly referred to as the “continuum of alternative placements.” Thus, like all other components of a student's special education, the LRE must be determined for each student based upon that child’s individual needs.

A school district may not refuse to place a child in an LRE because it lacks the appropriate placement option (Tucker & Goldstein, 1992). Moreover, if gaps in the continuum exist within a school district, the district must fill them through whatever means are required (e.g., consortium-type arrangements). This does not mean that each school district must provide for a complete continuum within its own boundaries. When the educational needs of a student cannot be met in district programs, the district is obligated to provide a placement where the student’s needs can be met. The regulations for implementing the IDEA require that the various alternative placements in the continuum of placements “are to be available to the extent necessary to implement the individualized education program” (IDEA Regulations, 34 C.F.R. § 300.552(b)). This may necessitate the district sending the student to another school (public or private) that provides the needed placement. In such cases, the neighborhood school district retains financial responsibility for the student’s education.

In the October issue we will look at the fifth principle of IDEA: Parent and Student Participation in Decision Making

As always, to continue your education on your own, visit

Yell, M.L. (2006). Least Restrictive Environment, Mainstreaming, and Inclusion. In Retrieved from

Principles of IDEA (2005-2011). In Learning Disabilities Association of America. Retrieved from

Lisa explores advocacy issues of special needs parents every month for Connections.

Resources and Links

by Sandra Zaragoza-Kaneki
Children's Hospital Orange County
Early Development Assessment Center
For information, call:
Dini Baker, RN, BSN
Program Coordinator
(714) 532-8821
To make an appointment, call:
(714) 289-4041
Loma Linda University Children's Hospital
Pediatric Neuroscience Center
2195 Club Center Dr, Ste A
San Bernardino, CA 92408
(909) 835-1810
Children's Hospital Los Angeles
Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics
(323) 361-6102
The Parents' Place and Family Resource Center
1500 S Hyacinth Ave, Ste B
West Covina, CA 91791
(626) 919-1091
Early Start Family Resource Network
PO Box 6127
1425 S Waterman Ave
San Bernardino, CA 92412
(909) 890-4788
State of California Department of Developmental Services
1600 Ninth St
PO Box 944202
Sacramento, CA 94244
(916) 654-1690
Sandra provides helpful links and resources for the special needs community every month for Connections.
This publication is produced by Casa Colina Children's Services and the parents of the children it serves. It is intended for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or medical advice or the endorsement of specific products or services by Casa Colina.


Lunchtime Social

October 10, 2012 12:00PM - 1:30PM
Tamkin Education Center & Courtyard
on the campus of Casa Colina Centers for Rehabilitation

We are hosting another informational lunchtime social aimed at giving members of the community an opportunity to learn more about what we do, as well as why, how and where we do it. The October event will highlight Children's Services and will feature a testimonial by parent, and regular newsletter contributor, Kesley Johnston.

A light and healthy lunch will be served and guided tours of our 20-acre Pomona campus, including the Children's Services Center located in the A. Gary Anderson building, will be available. We encourage you to join us and learn more about our renowned continuum of care for children and adults.

Please RSVP to Adriane Garbayo, Foundation Coordinator, at (909) 596-7733 x2232 or

3rd Annual Harvest Festival

October 18, 2012 4:00PM - 7:00PM
Casa Colina Children's Services

Games, prizes, music, food and fun for all ages! Once again, Children's Services will celebrate the autumn season with its Harvest Festival. General admission is free for adults and children, and the purchase of food and game tickets will help support the work of Children's Services. This is also a great opportunity to show off your Halloween costume early!!

Please RSVP by October 10, 2012, by contacting Teri Andres at Children's Services: (909) 596-7733 x4202 or

An Evening in Casablanca

October 26, 2012 6:30PM
Padua Hills Theatre
4467 Padua Ave, Claremont, CA 91711

Join us for the fundraising event of the season to benefit Casa Colina Children’s Services! Set against the sultry backdrop of Morocco and incorporating many themes from the beloved 1940s celluloid classic, An Evening in Casablanca is a night not to be missed! Come place your bet at the gambling tables, enjoy live entertainment and bid on fabulous auction items - including a private dinner with legendary performer Dick Van Dyke, and an exciting Las Vegas weekend getaway.

For information on sponsorship, advertising and individual tickets visit or contact Krista Struve, Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Events, at (909) 596-7733 x2223 or


11th Annual Trends in Autism Conference
April 6, 2013
Western University of Health Sciences, Pomona, CA

An opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the research and treatment of autism from some of the leading authorities in the field, including Margaret L. Bauman, M.D.

For more information, visit

255 East Bonita Avenue
Pomona, CA 91767

Toll-free 866/724-4127
FAX 909/593-0153
TDD-TTY-Q 909/596-3646