Girls Social Group at Children’s Village

Through the Behavior Assessment Team at Children’s Village, the Girls Social Group has been a unique experience for four girls to go from being shy to supporting each other and speaking their minds. The goal for the group is to provide a safe place for girls to learn how to share their thoughts, build friendships, learn about their emotions, hygiene, and coping in anxious situations, and how to understand others’ perspective.
As a group, several difficult situations were identified and explored for solutions and adaptive techniques were taught.

An achievement from the session was how willing all of the girls were in sharing their thoughts with one another and how supportive they were. It was incredible to see two girls build a strong bond because they both felt like an outcast. By the end of the group, they had become best friends. One participant commented that, “I love coming to the group, I learn in a fun way, and my parents get to spend time with me after the group. It is a day for me, only me.”

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I found a treasure!  by Beth Palmer 

Eighteen years ago I received a call from Tracie at Children’s Village asking if I would reach out to a new mom whose son had Down syndrome.  I guess you could say it was the beginning of a “beautiful friendship”.  As corny as that may sound, it is so very true.

Having a baby with special needs can be overwhelming.  The emotions that race through 

you can take over and the responsibilities that fill every waking moment can make you crazy.  I experienced that myself and was so grateful to be able to reach out to another mom and try to help her through when she found herself in the same position.

Megan and I would never have been friends had we not been blessed with our sons JJ and John.  We lived in very different worlds with very different interests, but through the years we have become the best of friends; at times we have fought for each other, laughed until we cry at ourselves and our sons, complained about inequalities and watched each other’s backs.  I have shown Megan the fun in a sledding party with bonfire and hot dogs, and she has taught me what the beginnings of a blue ribbon sweater looks like when she starts to knit it.  As a teacher at our boys’ high school, she keeps me up to date on all the important events and news.  I do all the driving to the boys’ sporting events with Special Olympics, because she hates to drive.

You cannot put a price on something like a friendship and as I look back 18 years, I think of the call I got from Tracie and I am so grateful that she made it.  I am also grateful for everything Parent to Parent and Children’s Village has offered this community and our family.  I am so grateful for my dear friend, Megan.

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Cherished Memories of Mr. West Valley Pageant 2018

We cannot express how important the Mr. West Valley pageant is to our family. My father-in-law, Dennis Cline walked on stage with Tanner as his hero. Tanner was able to give his hero tribute in front of hundreds of friends and family before he was crowned Mr. West Valley 2018. Sadly, on Friday, March 9, Dennis passed away suddenly. The joy that the entire event brought to our family, including all of the funds all the boys raised for Children’s Village, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and pediatrics, mean more to us than anyone could ever imagine.

Our whole family cherishes the Mr. West Valley pageant even more since it was like a final good bye to our father, grandfather and great grandfather. Tanner understands what a gift it was to be able to tell his grandfather how he felt on the stage that night. Most people don’t get to say good bye in such a meaningful way, even though we didn’t know it was good bye at that moment.

Having our niece, Amaya, be Tanner’s child buddy in the pageant as well was very special to our entire family.  Amaya is a Children’s Village kid who has grown, developed, and blossomed because of so many of the programs and therapies she has received at Children’s Village.

Decades ago my in-laws lost a premature daughter. Knowing the Virginia Mason Memorial Neonatal Intensive Care Unit facilities, programs and caregivers are available for Yakima and the surrounding region is truly a gift.

We are honored to share our little part of the big story that is Virginia Mason Memorial, the YouthWorks program through The Memorial Foundation, and the Mr. West Valley pageant. Thank you for letting our entire family be a part of such a wonderful event.


Kristine Cline

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Becoming Olivia’s mom and finding Children’s Village 

When I found out I was pregnant and that it would be a high risk pregnancy – I was shocked. For the first time in my life I couldn’t plan for the future because I didn’t know what to expect and this led to a lot of fear and anxiety. I questioned myself – What did I do wrong? What could I have done better?

At 20 weeks, we found out Olivia had Intrauterine Growth Restriction – IUGR for short – which means she wasn’t growing at the normal rate.  At 30 weeks, we found out the IUGR was due to a restriction in Olivia’s umbilical cord and it was getting worse. There was a possibility Olivia wouldn’t survive.  We were admitted at UW Medical Center in Seattle so I could be on bed rest and Olivia could be monitored.

Olivia was born weighing 3 pounds, 12 ounces and measuring in at about 17 inches. There was a room full of doctors when Olivia came into the world and all I heard was silence. I remember asking – “Why isn’t she crying? What’s wrong?” Olivia wasn’t breathing. She was quickly given oxygen, and after what felt like an eternity, she finally let out a tiny cry. I was only able to hold my tiny newborn for a few minutes before she was taken to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Two-and-a-half years later we still don’t have a lot of answers. We are learning as we go. What we do know is that Olivia suffered a brain injury while I was pregnant, which could be the reason for her global motor delay – she also has hearing loss, impaired vision due to optic nerve hypoplasia, hypothyroidism, and requires a feeding tube to eat because she can’t swallow very well on her own.

After Olivia was released from UW Medical Center I was told Children’s Village would be contacting me about services – sure enough, within days of being home, Gretchen, our Family Resource Coordinator, contacted me about the birth to three program and the services Olivia could receive.

I was surprised to hear there was a place like this in Yakima. As a brand new mom taking care of a newborn with special needs, I was lost and I really thought we would be on this journey alone, but Children’s Village became our guide.

I worked with Gretchen to come up with a plan for services and within weeks we had therapists coming to our house working with Olivia – a speech therapist to work on getting Olivia to take food by mouth, an occupational therapist to help her build strength in her upper body so she could tolerate tummy time and hold her head up, sign language to expose her to another form of communication due to her hearing loss and physical therapy to help her build strength in her lower body so she can learn to crawl, stand, and one day walk.  It’s been a difficult journey, but the therapy and resources Olivia receives from the Village is what has contributed to her success.

It wasn’t too long ago that I agonized over the thought that my baby girl may never be able to look at me and smile, hold her head up, touch my face, grab my hand, roll over or sit in my lap – things most families take for granted – but Olivia has accomplished all of these major milestones and more and continues to grow and develop, thanks to the Village and our amazing team of therapists. 

Children’s Village has become a part of our family – they not only provide support for Olivia, but for me and my husband. Through the Parent to Parent program we have been connected with families who have children with similar issues. 

When  you donate to Children’s Village, know that you are giving to more than just services – you’re providing a place we can call home – a family we can relate to – and an invaluable resource we rely on to help our children succeed.

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Yakima Symphony at Children’s Village

Join us for a summer concert at Children’s Village and a special opportunity to hear the musical talents of Yakima Symphony Orchestra Music Director Lawrence Golan and his daughter, Giovanna.

The performance will be on Tuesday, June 19, 3:30 pm, at Children’s Village, 3801 Kern Rd, Yakima. Maestro Lawrence Golan will perform a special mini-recital and visit with children, families and community supporters of Children’s Village.

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Equine Assisted Education

The NYU Langone Dental Medicine Advanced Education in Pediatric Dentistry residents, who provide dental care to children at Children’s Village Pediatric Dentistry and YVFWC Lincoln Avenue Pediatric Dentistry, and the Children’s Village pediatric dentists had the opportunity to participate in a unique training opportunity on Saturday April 14, 2018.

The training took place at the Pegasus Project and was facilitated by Sue Moore of Chava Naturals’ Medicine and Horsemanship Program ( who is a certified equine educator and organizational development coach. She and the horses of the Pegasus Project facilitated an experiential learning opportunity to help the pediatric dental residents and pediatric dentists develop their non-verbal communication and leadership skills. Fostering non-verbal communication is particularly important given that many of the children who receive dental care at Children’s Village communicate non-verbally.

This experience was made possible by the generosity of Wells Fargo, The Memorial Foundation, the Pegasus Project, and Chava Naturals’ Medicine and Horsemanship Program. The training the pediatric dental residents and pediatric dentists received will allow them to continue to provide high quality, child- and family-centered care to all children in the Yakima Valley.

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Jonathan is a little boy who has a bright smile and a love of water!

Jonathan is a little boy who has a bright smile and a love of water! He also has a very limited ability to use his legs and comes to Children’s Village for therapy in the pool. Using the benefit of the warm water in the pool, his therapist works to stretch and strengthen his muscles. As his father positions the chair lift on the side of the pool, he gently lowers Jonathan into the water as his big smile brightens the room! At that point he knows he is heading into the comforting warm water. His therapist gently sways him back and forth along the top of the water’s edge, helping stretch his muscles and he’s able to experience the enjoyment of floating on the water. Jonathan’s legs are moved in a kicking motion to build strength and increase movement, buoyed by the magic of the water at the pool at Children’s Village.

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It takes a village to support families raising children with special needs.

It takes a village to support families raising children with special needs.  Children’s Village coaches families who are supporting their child with special needs, as they experience a lifetime of challenges.

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April is autism awareness month

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March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month!

“What does inclusion mean to you? That’s the question posed to people with and without disabilities in this video celebration of National Developmental Disabilities Month.” Learn more at »

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