Issue 1 - June 2012

A Message from the Director

Welcome to the inaugural issue of Connections. We have often been asked by families and supporters of Children’s Services about starting a newsletter, and are pleased to present you with our first effort. With some exciting new parent and community volunteers, and new Casa Colina Foundation staff, it is finally a reality. Each month we will focus on a certain diagnosis, providing a therapy corner written by staff, as well as stories, perspectives and resources shared by parents of special needs children. We will also include a calendar of upcoming events for Children’s Services and relevant happenings in the community. Our goal is to educate, inspire, and invite you to participate in the mission and vision of Casa Colina.

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

JULY ISSUE:

Focus on Autism

Therapy Corner
by Cindy Sendor, MA, CCC-SLP

Education will be the focus of this column, written by different members of the Children’s Services staff depending on the overall subject matter of each newsletter. As this issue is an overview of what to expect, it gives me an opportunity to highlight the many services provided at Children’s Services. Early Intervention Services, funded by the Regional Center, are provided for children from birth to three years of age by our creative and skilled Child Therapy Instructors in home, community and center-based settings. Our Clinical Program consists of Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, and Speech Language Pathologists under the direction of world-renowned pediatric neurologist, Dr. Margaret Bauman. Clinicians provide 1:1 and group therapy in clinic, school and community settings.

Staff of Casa Colina Children's Services

Through the interest of Children’s Services staff and the expressed needs of our families, we have developed some specialized programs to meet the needs of the families we serve. With the prevalence of Autism Spectrum Disorder increasing, we have designed two social skills groups: Kids Crew (ages 4-8) and Teen Scene (ages 12-18). We also provide a Summer Day Program for children ages 4–10, for four to five weeks each summer. Our Handwriting Workshop and Aquatic Program are also popular throughout the year. The newest addition to Children’s Services is the Learning and Language Center. Although initially designed to meet the needs of typically developing children who are struggling in school, the intervention has evolved into a specialized tutoring program for children with a variety of special needs in addition to struggling typical students. Our newest programs are specific to feeding and language stimulation.

Each month, Connections will address a specific topic, including Autism, Early Intervention, Down Syndrome, Multiple Births, Genetic Disorders, and Orthopedic needs, to name a few. As we move forward, we would also like to hear suggestions from our readers regarding topics that may be of interest or concern. So, don’t be shy! Let us know what you think and Happy Reading!

Waiting in the Waiting Room
by Kesley Johnston

September 9, 2011… we sat in the office of a local neurologist… I looked down at the prescription pad… “Autism Spectrum Disorder.” My heart sank. My eyes filled with tears. I went numb. Now what? Our pediatrician told us to see Dr. Bauman at Casa Colina Children’s Services.

I walked in for our first evaluation. We were lost. We had no idea what to expect. This was my first time in the Children’s Services waiting room. I felt scared and alone.

I sat next to a ten-year-old boy and his mother. They knew this place. The mom started talking to me. Telling me her experiences. Giving me advice. It was the first time I realized that I was not alone. The waiting room started giving me hope.

We started therapy at Casa Colina, which meant a lot of time waiting in the waiting room. I cried during the first session. I was bitter about having to sit and wait… and sit and wait… as our son completed his therapy. But then I began to realize that this place, this waiting room, was a blessing. It is a support network. It is a place of friendship and understanding.

Now, as I wait, I talk to other moms, dads, grandparents, and professionals. Whether the diagnosis be Autism, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy… we all share a piece of the same story. We all have challenges and successes. It is a place where everyone understands, and where no one is alone.

I have officially joined this waiting room sorority, which has led to deeper friendships, support networks, and dinners out with the girls on Saturday nights. I look forward to going to a place where I know everyone understands my story, my new life with a special needs child. This waiting room has become my 'Cheers' because sometimes you just want to go where everybody knows your name.

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

Spotlight on Advocacy
by Lisa Lockwood

Welcome and applause to you for devoting yourself to the well-being of your precious children. By reading and sifting through the never-ending onslaught of litigious and bureaucratic prose you have come to know all too well, it is in this column that you will find relief.

As the mother of a child that has some special needs, I know, firsthand, how confusing and frustrating it can be to find answers, take action, and get your child the best care they deserve. Navigating the insurance and school system bureaucracies can be frustrating and confusing. You are an advocate for your child and, therefore, your grasp of key terms and their definitions within the law is crucial. For the next few issues, I will focus on these terms and delve into their application. Due to the enormity of detail involved, I’m going to strive to present the information in bite-sized pieces that are easier to follow.

I want to begin by breaking down IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), as a first step to understanding your child’s rights in America's public schools. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act of 2004 (P.L. 108-446) is the federal law that guarantees a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment for every person with a disability. This means that if you enroll your student in public school, his/her education should be at no cost to you and should be appropriate for his/her age, ability and developmental level. IDEA is an amended version of the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (P.L. 94-142), passed in 1975. IDEA establishes that an appropriate educational program must be provided, and the law specifies that educational placement should be determined individually for each person, based on their specific needs, not solely on the diagnosis or category. No one program or amount of services is appropriate for all individuals with disabilities. It is important that you work with the school to obtain the educational support and services that your child needs.

IDEA has six principles that provide the framework around which special education services are designed and provided for students with disabilities. In this issue, we’re going to concentrate on just the first principle: Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE).

FAPE refers to special education and related services that:

  • Have been provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and without charge
  • Meet the standards of the state educational agency
  • Include an appropriate preschool, elementary or secondary school education
  • Are provided in conformity with the Individual Education Program (IEP)

To continue to your education on your own, visit http://idea.ed.gov

Lisa will continue to break down the principles of IDEA and other advocacy issues every month for Connections.

Resources and Links
by Sandra Zaragoza-Kaneki
Special Needs Project
1405 Anderson Lane
Santa Barbara, CA 9311
(805) 962-8087
www.specialneedsproject.com
Bookstore specializing in special needs publications
Early Start Family Resource Network
P.O. Box 6127
1425 S. Waterman Avenue
San Bernardino, CA 92412-6127
(909)890-4788
info@esfrn.org
A free service for families of infants and toddlers (0-36 months) with special needs
Casa Colina Children’s Services
Summer Day Camp & Writing Workshop
255 East Bonita Avenue
Pomona, CA 91767
(909) 596-7733 x4200 or (800) 926-5462
www.casacolina.org
The Parents’ Place and Family Resource
1500 S. Hyacinth Avenue, Suite B
West Covina, CA 91791
(626) 919-1091
www.parentsplacefrc.org
Empowering families with special needs children
Lauren's Hope
4823 NW Gateway
Riverside, MO 64150
(800) 360-8680
www.laurenshope.com
Specializing in safety products
Pacific Pediatric Supply
29990 Technology Drive, Suite 18
Murrieta, CA 92563
(877) 777-3010
www.pacificpediatricsupply.com
Occupational therapy and sensory products for children
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.

Upcoming Events

Summer Day Program
5-day sessions, July & August 2012
Casa Colina Children’s Services

Casa Colina Children’s Services offers a summer day program that is designed for both children with special needs and their typically developing siblings. The focus of each weekly session is the improvement of social skills such as recognizing personal space, engaging in play and using socially appropriate language during play, and sharing/turn-taking. Typically developing children will also be given guidance on understanding and helping children with special needs.

Fee is $300 per week, per child. $15 ‘materials only’ fee for typically developing siblings.
Open to children 4 -10 years of age. Each session is Monday-Friday, 9am-12pm.

July 16-20: ages 7 to 10 July 23-27: ages 7 to10 July 30-Aug 3: ages 4 to 6
Aug 6-10: ages 4 to 6 Aug 13-17: call for information

REGISTRATION DEADLINE FOR ALL SESSIONS: JUNE 22, 2012

To register or for further information, contact Kristin Horn or Nikki Henderson at:
(909) 596-7733 x4200

SAVE THE DATE

3rd Annual Harvest Festival
October 18, 2012
Casa Colina Children’s Services

Games, prizes, music, food and fun for all ages! Once again, Children’s Services will celebrate the autumnal season with its Harvest Festival. A great social event for parents and children, and an opportunity to show off your Halloween costume early!!


Children of all ages enjoyed the 2011 Harvest Festival

For more information, contact Children’s Services at (909) 596-7733 x4200.

An Evening in Casablanca
October 26, 2012
Padua Hills Theatre, Claremont

Mark your calendar for the fundraising event of the season to benefit Casa Colina Children’s Services! Set against the 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 roulette table, sample the baklava and bid on fabulous auction items. For more information, including ways to assist us with the planning of this event, contact Krista Struve, Director of Corporate Sponsorship and Events, at kstruve@casacolina.org or (909) 596-7733 x2223.

255 East Bonita Avenue
Pomona, CA 91767
909-596-7733

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