Children’s Village has made an impact in her life…

untitled“I walked into the doors of Children’s Village nearly 15 years ago and knew I wanted to be a part of this amazing place.  I wanted to help families get connected by “crossing the bridge” to resources to benefit the whole family.  As a sibling of a brother with cerebral palsy, I know what trials and tribulations the entire family goes through with every stage of life.  There really is no moment and no transition in life that doesn’t require more focused, detailed attention when you have a family member with a disability.  As a physical therapist here – I hope to do what I can to help children explore their worlds, by rolling, crawling, walking or rolling with wheels!  I am inspired every day to come to work- joining families on their journeys, supporting, connecting to resources for the parents, the siblings, and the child to improve their journeys!  Every individual that works here has such a commitment and their passion is unsurmountable.  I believe in Children’s Village and how much we can do to continue (and improve) on how we support children with special needs and their entire family.” 

 

– by Karla Pezzarossi, Children’s Village Physical Therapist

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Thankful for Children’s Village

“Being involved at Children’s Village has been a privilege to me.  I love the children, and I have the utmost respect and admiration for all the parents I meet who advocate and care for their children so beautifully.  I also think the Parent to Parent team is amazing.  I have thoroughly enjoyed co-leading Holland, a parent support group, with Tracie Hoppis.  She is a pro when it comes to providing a welcoming, safe and caring atmosphere where parents feel comfortable sharing.”          – Debbi Baldwin, Children’s Village Volunteer

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Autism 200 Series

Autism 200 is a series of free 90-minute classes for parents and caregivers of children with autism who wish to better understand this disorder. Community providers are also welcome to attend. Faculty from Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington and community providers teach the classes. Each class includes time for questions.

Parent to Parent, in partnership with Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy (WAAA), will be offering Autism 200 classes each third Thursday, monthly (with the exception of December) at Children’s Village. We will be participating in the class via teleconferencing with Seattle Children’s Hospital. Topics will vary from month to month.

November’s class will be:

Autism 211: In Our Own Words: A panel of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

November 17, 2016 Facilitator: Gary Stobbe, MD

7-8:30 pm

Children’s Village Host: Erin Deery, WAAA

Childcare is available to parents and caregivers only. Please call Stacy at 509-574-3255 to reserve childcare. (Childcare is for children 1-12 years old).

Please note: The Autism Support Group also meets each third Thursday, monthly, at Children’s Village (from 6-8:00 pm). This group is for parents and caregivers only. We ask that parents/caregivers choose which group they would like to attend each month, as it would be disruptive to try to attend both.

For questions please contact:

Elizabeth Cruz (509) 574-3266                 Erin Deery (509) 574-6727

Parent to Parent Program Specialist              Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy

Autism Support Group Facilitator

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2016 Holiday Open House

open-house open-house-sp

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Now enrolling families for DDA Individual & Family Service Waivers!

Announcement! 

If your son or daughter is a client of the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) and not receiving a paid service, they may be eligible to receive a broad array of services and supports through the Individual & Family Services (IFS) waiver.

Some important things to know about this service:

  • The Child must be over the age of 3 and eligible for DDA (includes intellectual delay)
  • Family income is not considered
  • Includes 4 different annual funding levels (determined by assessed need) which can pay for a number of different kinds of services/supports (see flyer)
  • With this Waiver, families can receive in-home support (through a caregiver) and respite care!
  • Includes MEDICAID (!!!) So, a family could have private insurance AND Medicaid (provided through this Waiver), thus having no out-of-pocket expense for their child’s health care needs.  With private insurance, and Medicaid, families can apply for the Washington State Medicaid Premium Payment Program.  If eligible, Medicaid PAYS monthly private insurance premiums.   Visit this link for more information:

http://www.hca.wa.gov/free-or-low-cost-health-care/program-administration/premium-payment-program

Learn more about this service here »

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Autism 200 Series

Autism 200 is a series of free 90-minute classes for parents and caregivers of children with autism who wish to better understand this disorder. Community providers are also welcome to attend. Faculty from Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington and community providers teach the classes. Each class includes time for questions.

Parent to Parent, in partnership with Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy (WAAA), will be offering Autism 200 classes each third Thursday, monthly (with the exception of December) at Children’s Village. We will be participating in the class via teleconferencing with Seattle Children’s Hospital. Topics will vary from month to month.

November’s class will be:

Autism 211: In Our Own Words: A panel of Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder

November 17, 2016 Facilitator: Gary Stobbe, MD

7-8:30 pm

Children’s Village Host: Erin Deery, WAAA

 

Childcare is available to parents and caregivers only. Please call Stacy at 509-574-3255 to reserve childcare. (Childcare is for children 1-12 years old).

Please note: The Autism Support Group also meets each third Thursday, monthly, at Children’s Village (from 6-8:00 pm). This group is for parents and caregivers only. We ask that parents/caregivers choose which group they would like to attend each month, as it would be disruptive to try to attend both.

For questions please contact:

Elizabeth Cruz (509) 574-3266                       Erin Deery (509) 574-6727

Parent to Parent Program Specialist                        Washington Autism Alliance and Advocacy

Autism Support Group Facilitator

 

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My Children’s Village experience, by Maria Armenta

As a sophomore in high school; I was given a list of different organizations that I would dedicate twenty (20) hours of community service to. At the bottom of this list was Children’s Village One2One Mentor program. I did not know exactly what it would mean to be a mentor, or even if I had what it would take to be a good one, but I signed up for the orientation anyway. As soon as I walked into the doors of what was then the Community Room; I fell in love.

 

The one thing I remember, and I will always remember, is that every single person in the room looked like they were genuinely happy to be there. And they were happy that we were there too. I thought to myself at this moment that it was the first place I had ever seen someone so happy while they were at work, and I wanted that to be me.

 

For the next few years I went to every event and activity that I could attend (Gymnastics, Basketball, Soccer, Ballet, Teen Club, CV Prom). I had grown to love my time at the Village so much that I surpassed the amount of community service hours that were required of me and I kept going. Kristi Messer was the first smiling face I saw at Children’s Village when I walked through the community room doors, and she was the person that told me about the Youth Works council that was being started. I applied to be a part of the Council, was accepted and served happily; always keeping in mind my ultimate goal to one day work at Children’s Village.

 

When I saw the job posting for a position in Early Intervention at Children’s Village, I jumped at the opportunity. I eagerly applied and anxiously waited for a call-back for an interview. The day I walked into the Village and immediately saw a familiar, smiling face; I knew I was back to where I should be. I now am part of the Children’s Village Staff with Early Intervention and continue my education towards becoming a Physician’s Assistant. I feel so blessed to be able to continue to be a part of such a wonderful organization with such passionate staff, and hope to continue my work at Children’s Village for years to come.

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Way to go, Manny!

2017-mannyManny recently enjoyed celebrating his birthday and actually ate some of his birthday cake!  This was a big accomplishment for Manny and cause for celebration for him and his family.

Thanks to the occupational therapy services he has received at Children’s Village, Manny has experienced several successes this past year.

Manny was born at only 26 weeks, weighing in at a tiny 2 lbs. 5 oz.  As a newborn, he received early intervention services at Children’s Village to help his developmental delays.  But then when he was six months old he had a serious lung issue and was rushed to the hospital with trouble swallowing and respiratory failure.  He survived this health crisis but needed a g-tube inserted into his stomach so that he could take in nutrition.  Since that time, Manny has been coming to Children’s Village to work with an occupational therapist to gain interest in eating solid food.  Manny thinks he is just coming to the Village to play, but actually he is gaining food acceptance and learning vital eating skills.

When he first started the therapy, he could not tolerate food textures and really had trouble transitioning from the feeding tube to eating by mouth.  With his therapist, he works on sensory therapy and acceptance of different food textures.

Recently Manny went to his mom and said, “tummy hungry”, and asked for food.  A real milestone!  He is touching different textures and has more acceptance of food.  His therapist has also helped his parents make changes and adjustments at home to help Manny to eat.

Today, we are happy to report that Manny is eating and doing great.  And, he’s enjoying his birthday cake!

 

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Jared’s Incredible Water Balloon Launcher!

Jared is learning to greet strangers, shake hands, look people in the eyes, and his therapist, Susanna, at Children’s Village is very proud of his progress. Jared lives in a world of the Autism Spectrum which makes daily interactions with people, especially strangers, scary and difficult.

jaredLast June as the school year ended, Susanna asked Jared what would excite and motivate him? His answer: a super-powered water balloon launcher! At that same time, a business nearby Children’s Village asked if their employees could take on a volunteer project to benefit the kids being served. Aha! The Morgan Stanley team lead by Sonia, Business Service Manager (and engineered by her neighbor) Jared’s Incredible Water Balloon launcher came to life!

On the hottest day of the year, we were taken to Susanna’s therapy room where she had been prepping Jared to being introduced to a crowd of strangers who would witness his first launch. There was no shyness, no reservations, just a firm handshake from a boy who was bursting with excitement to finally get to see those balloons sail! Outside we all walked where the launcher lay ready. And sail, they did! His grandmother stood by proudly, marveling at her usually quiet grandson as he enthusiastically pulled waaaaayyyy back, and WHOOOOSHHHHHH! KERSPLATTT! HOORRRAAAYYY!!! Further and further his water balloons flew and hit with a satisfying explosion of water and vapor in the hot air.

Susanna has found the launcher to be a “super fun therapy tool this summer.” She also added that “we have brought it out on the last day of the Girls’ Group and for other individual therapies where it has worked it’s magic to motivate or win over kids who need something a little out of the ordinary to do their work this summer.”

Jared’s water balloon launcher is a wonderful example of how one boy’s dream was fulfilled by a dedicated and creative therapist, a group of community business partners wishing to give back, a stranger with a little PVC pipe and rubber tubing, and a village.

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Children’s Village Test Flight

Group Picture in front of the plane DSCN0128 DSCN0168 DSCN0117 DSCN0041 DSCN0062On Saturday, July 16th 23 Children’s Village kids and siblings participated in an amazing experience at the Yakima Airport. Alaska Airlines gave the children and their families the experience of departing, boarding and of course waiting for the plane to arrive.

The children began with walking through the doors and standing in line to receive their tickets. They then found the line for the TSA check. The children had to remove all metal (belts, watches and phones) and their shoes, then walk through the scanner. Once through the scanner the children played a game we all play when taking a flight, the waiting game. The kids colored airplanes to help pass the time.

This event gave parents and children the opportunity to see how their child would react in an airport setting. Giving the parents an opportunity to see what “tools” their children may need to fly. One of the best parts of this event was having the children wait for the plane to land, increasing their level of patience. Many of these families have never been on a plane or even to an airport.

Once the plane landed the children gathered in another line and waited to board. We had a few of our children that use wheelchairs and they were able to experience how a wheel chair user would board a plane.

After everyone was on board and seated, they closed the doors and started the engines. The Flight attendants were amazing, they gave the full show of exits, food options, and other required information given before every take off.

Next, to the children’s surprise, we began to taxi the run way. The children got to feel what it was like to sit in a moving airplane. After we arrived back at the terminal the children continued to show proper and respectful plane etiquette and de-boarding procedure.

We would like to extend a huge thank you to the staff at Yakima Airport, Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air and TSA for their time and support. This was an experience the children and their parents will never forget and has opened up a great opportunity for families to travel.

 

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