Our journey

By Kelli Blakney

“We began our journey at Children’s Village when our daughter Katie was about three years old. We had her tested, as she was not developing like her older brother and we were concerned about her development. Through many months of occupational and speech therapy, Katie began to grow and develop and eventually aged out of the system. We continued speech and occupational therapy through school all the while hoping and praying that everything would work “out in the wash,” and to some extent, things have changed! She in now eleven. She is independent, determined, and beautiful. It’s funny how life has a way of coming back around in a circle. Our journey includes working with the excellent, dedicated, and caring staff to open new doors, new pathways to help Katie be the best person and friend that God made her to be!”

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Art at the Village

On Wednesday, September 17, a fall social by the “Friends of the Village” will be held at Children’s Village from 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

This social will feature a private showing of artwork by local artist Duane Heilman, whose work is well known throughout the region and has been displayed at several area events and shows. A selection of Mr. Heilman’s favorite pieces will be on display and a portion of the proceeds from any artwork that is sold will go to benefit Children’s Village.

There will also be a sampling of some of the Valley’s finest local wine, cupcakes, as well as appetizers.

Come discover how the Friends of the Village are making a difference in the lives of young people throughout the Yakima Valley – and discover how you can too!

To RSVP for this event, please call (509) 574-3209 or email Mary Lynne Brewington by clicking here.

To view some of Mr. Heilman’s artwork, you can click here.

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A grateful parent – Why I love Children’s Village

“I have been bringing my son Pablo to Children’s Village for about two years. In two years, Pablo has improved his speech greatly due to the therapists that treat him with kindness and respect. Going in the heated pool and playing games are his favorite parts of therapy. I am very pleased with the staff at Children’s Village. They’ve given our family the tools, information and resources to better help our family interact with Pablo.”

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Miracles happen every day at Children’s Village

By Mark Day

Meet Ramon.

After four years in various therapy services at the Village, it was time for Ramon to take the next step in his development and at this same time the Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) program made its debut at Children’s Village, being the first of its kind in Eastern Washington.

The program is now approaching its first graduation and Ramon and his family are a part of this extraordinary class. For 6 months, Ramon and his family participated in intensive in-home therapy. Between parent trainings and countless hours of work, Lead Behavior Analyst Kamilia Calderon says it is safe to say that “Ramon is like a completely different kid.”

In March, Ramon had absolutely no communication skills, other than hitting his head on hard surfaces and pointing. He had various behavior problems that would concern his mom like coming near a hot stove or leaving the house unattended. Ramon was also unable to be at the grocery store for more than 20 minutes without having a breakdown.

Now just 6 months later Ramon is an entirely different kid. Ramon can now speak and communicate his frustrations and is learning and writing different words. He has come a long way!  He can now be at the grocery store for extended amounts of time as well.

For more information on Applied Behavior Analysis click here.

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There’s a new chief in town

By Mark Day

Congratulations to Adriel – He was Yakima’s “Chief for the Day!”

The state-wide “Chief for a Day” program is an incredible experience for the children involved. Each year, the Yakima and Selah Police Departments contact Children’s Village in search of a nominee. And this year Adriel’s name was selected through a blind drawing.

Not only did Adriel receive countless gifts, an official police uniform, and a police car ride but he got to attend a police motorcade in Seattle with all the other little chiefs! He was sworn in as an official police officer, met numerous Seattle celebrities and enjoyed carnival-type events.

We would also like to thank Adriel and his family for their generosity. Adriel received several gifts; among these was a karaoke machine and a gift certificate to a craft store. Adriel was gracious enough to donate these to the Parent to Parent program at the Village!

Congratulations Adriel! And thank you for your generosity!

Adriel 1 There’s a new chief in town Adriel 2 There’s a new chief in town Adriel 3 There’s a new chief in town

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Sibshops – Fun, Friendship and Support Services at Children’s Village!

By Mark Day

What will kids find at a Sibshop workshop? Just maybe something a little different from what you’re thinking. You’ll find awesome food, great games, friends, and laughter in this support group!

Sibshops is a unique program coordinated through Parent to Parent. Once a month during the school year, siblings of children with disabilities get the very rare opportunity to branch out of their home and spend time with peers who may be going through some similar stuff. It is very easy for neurotypical children who grow up in a home with a developmentally disabled sibling to possess feelings of loneliness, and I speak from experience. Sibshops gives these kiddos the chance to realize that they really aren’t alone!

I grew up attending Sibshops, and even as I graduated the program, they couldn’t keep me from helping out. The experiences, opportunities and friendships from this program are lifelong.  So when you ask me if support services are necessary for kids, I will answer yes; . . . just with a little more flare!

For more information on Sibshops support workshops click here or email Parent to Parent!

SS1 Sibshops – Fun, Friendship and Support Services at Children’s Village! SS2 Sibshops – Fun, Friendship and Support Services at Children’s Village! SS3 Sibshops – Fun, Friendship and Support Services at Children’s Village! SS4 Sibshops – Fun, Friendship and Support Services at Children’s Village! SS5 Sibshops – Fun, Friendship and Support Services at Children’s Village!


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Magical Moments at Children’s Village

Each week, we’d like to feature a comment or story from a parent’s perspective about their experience at Children’s Village and share them on our Facebook and Twitter pages as well as our blog. If you’d like to share your experience with us please email markday@yvmh.org! We love hearing from our families!

Here’s today’s Magical Moment!

“One of our daughters is on the autism spectrum. She had an incident happen that led to a very necessary medical appointment. She was NOT in the mood to be seen, have her blood pressure checked, or her heart listened to. Her medical assistant and nurse were not only able to get her in within hours of me calling, but they sat on the floor of the main hallway to see her. They understood that was all she could handle that day. They were both so amazing with her and didn’t care that we were not in an exam room doing typical things. Thank you!”

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The Firemen and the Grass Monsters

Written by: Mark Day

Cheers and shouts of joy echoed around the Village on Wednesday as little “Grass Monsters” dashed, ran, jumped and stood in the downpour (25 gallons a minute) of water being sprayed by fire hoses held by Yakima’s finest firefighters. A
s the massive fire engine dominated the scenery of Children’s Village, the Kid’s Club crew danced in the foreground with radiant, permanent, and dripping wet smiles.IMG 3332 The Firemen and the Grass Monsters

“Who knew being sprayed by a hose could be so much fun?!” said one parent. As Kid’s Club came to its final Wednesday of the Summer, they spent their time here at the Village. What started off as safety presentations from the police department and Smokey Bear casually turned into being doused by water and exploring a real fire engine!

“No hugs” was not an option for these kiddos; as if my dryness was even more so an invitation for a water-soaked hug!

As I stood there, watching the main event, I couldn’t help but notice all-natural excitement. 30+ children with developmental disabilities and their siblings were all over the Village grass. Standing in the “rain”, playing with their peers, and waiting their turn in line to help the fire fighter soak their parents. With grass-covered backs, these “little grass monsters” (as the firefighters would say) brought an overwhelming joy to the Village, and the Valley.  As one parent shared…“So many continuous smiles in one spot!”

Special thanks to the Yakima Police and Fire Departments and the Naches Ranger Station!

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Pulling Weeds for the Village

Written by: Mark Day The hottest day in the history of the universe? No problem! Yesterday, on July 29, the YouthWorks council fulfilled their labor commitment from the Passion for a Village auction. Through the blistering heat and tears of sweat, members of the council pushed themselves through patches of sun and shade to pull buckets full of weeds. As a part of the annual Passion for a Village dinner and auction, the Memorial Foundation’s YouthWorks Council donates three hours of physical labor. Through the labor, over 700 dollars was raised for services at Children’s Village this year! In case you were wondering how you could get the YouthWorks Council to work for you, plan on attending the Passion for a Village event next June and prepare to bid!

Giving our all and always for the Village. weeds1 Pulling Weeds for the Village weeds2 Pulling Weeds for the Village weeds3 Pulling Weeds for the Village

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Pinewood Smiles and Electric Cheers

kc4 Pinewood Smiles and Electric Cheers kc3 Pinewood Smiles and Electric Cheers kc2 Pinewood Smiles and Electric Cheers kc1 Pinewood Smiles and Electric CheersUsually when you step foot into a workspace, you may notice a variety of sights, smells, or sounds.  On Wednesday, July 23, as I entered the new Yakima Maker Space on 16 S. 1st St, it wasn’t the pine sawdust, or the familiar sound of machinery that caught my attention. Rather, it was the captivated smiles and cheers of awe from the children of Kids Club as their “Minds were blown”, because “that… is awesome”, as my friend Jack would say while electricity sparked off the (extremely loud) tesla coil.

Kids Club is a program that is provided under the phenomenal One 2 One program. Every Wednesday in July, parents can register their children with developmental disabilities (and their siblings) to various venues and locations around Yakima to participate in fun and exciting events.

“Kids Club has been a blessing for my family, but especially for Adriel. He likes to be outside exploring things and places. During club time, Adriel can be himself and nobody cares if he runs, screams, or just sits.” –Rocio (mom)

“I have two boys in the summer Kids Club: John-13, and Marshall-10. This is our second summer. They have enjoyed the many activities and friendships.” –Marie (mom)

“My son has been attending Kids Club for the past several years. It always gives him something to look forward to. He learns new things, has new experiences, and enjoys being with his peers.” –Lisa (mom)

This week, Kids Club was at the Yakima MakerSpace. There, they split into four groups and witnessed awe inspiring presentations, and even got some hands-on experience! Here are a few pictures from the event! For more on Kids Club, stay tuned next week!

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