Thursday, December 22, 2011

Via West Gives Back this Holiday Season!

During the glorious Winter Wonderland weekend at Via West on December 2-4, our 64 participants created wellness bags for women and children affected by domestic violence. Rather than stuffing stockings full of goodies for themselves, our teens and adults selected products to promote health, including toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, deodorant and lip balm. An outgrowth of the Health Self Management Across the Lifespan program funded by The Valley Foundation, this activity provided a very real sense of accomplishment and sharing during the holiday season.

Allie Keefe and her mom Sandy, Via West’s associate director, delivered the bags to Next Door, a non-profit agency that provides safety for battered women and their children through emergency shelter; multiple points of entry for victims; individuals, system and institutional advocacy; crisis intervention; education for victims and the community; and the changing of community norms through prevention activities. Staff members appreciated the thoughtful nature of the gifts, and snapped this photo of Allie.
 Happy Holidays to everyone from the Via West Campus and Via Services!!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Please help Via Services support children like Nicky and Gino

 Dear Families Who Care,
My name is Gino and I am a sixth grader. I have a brother with special needs and he goes to Via West Camp. Nicky is a great brother but he has some things about him that make it hard for Nick to have the same kind of life and fun as other kids. He doesn't always understand how to play games, or be a regular friend. My family loves him so much but sometimes it is difficult for him and difficult for us to have a regular day.
Gino (left) and Nicky (right)
This is why Via West Camp is so important to him!! At camp, Nicky is just himself. He is with a bunch of other kids just like him and it is like he is at home. When he gets to Camp, he runs, jumps and laughs as soon as we get out of the car. My brother loves that camp so much and it makes me and my family feel good to see him really happy like that. That is where we get a little break from Nick and he gets to have a break from us.    

He also learns many things at camp, like how to ride a horse, how to eat good foods, and do crafts, get along with others, and be in a talent show! He has made real friends there.
When I went to the camp last year it was really sad to see there were not very many kids. My mom explained that because there is not enough money in the government to help families with children like my brother, only families with extra money can afford the camp. This seems really unfair. If you don't have the money you would need the break even more because you would be working harder to pay your bills and to live. And you might not have any money for help at home with your special- needs child.
So I am asking you to please help Via West Camp. I have and so has my family, but we need more help so more special- needs kids can go there. You should see how much they all love it! That is why I am doing this and writing this letter.

Thank you!!

Sincerely,
GINO

Won't you help people like Nicky enjoy their favorite week of the year?  Please donate to Via Services and help us serve even more children, teens, and adults with disabilities and special needs.  By donating $50 this holiday season, you will be ensuring that Via West Campus serves more children, teens, and adults with disabilities and special needs.  






 Thank you and Happy Holidays from Via Services.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Via West Enjoyed a Private Booth at Sharks Game!

Last Tuesday, December 6th, 7 Via West participants and a parent were invited to attend the Sharks vs. Minesota game in a PRIVATE SUITE!!  This event was made possible on behalf of Sharks forward Martin Havlat #9, and the Sharks Foundation. 

Our Via West participants who came were Steve Erickson and his dad Chip, Connor Dalzell and his mom Deidre, Galina Griffy and her dad David, Sander Roat-Shumway and his dad Dale, Julie Paulson and Charlie Colby (Counselors In Training) and Allie Keefe with her mom Sandy. The suite was lovely, with complimentary popcorn, honey-roasted peanuts and potato chips with dip. The group could see out across the entire arena either from comfortable sofas or chairs on the balcony. The Sharks lost 2-1 to top-ranked Minnesota Wild, so the action was cut-throat and we were all glued to the edges of our seats. Sharkie, the Sharks’ mascot, circled the ice several times, to cheers from the group.

At one point, the cameras and announcers panned to the Via West suite, identifying us as “Havlat’s Heroes” after Marty Havlat, the player who donated the suite. All the participants wrote him a lot of thank you notes on Via Services stationery, and the concierge promised to place them in a notebook for Marty to review at the end of the season.

For many of the Via West participants, it was their first Sharks game ever, and they appreciated the new experience. The group stayed engaged for the entire game, and talked all the way back to the main Via office about the novelty and excitement.









Thank you Martin Havlat and the Sharks Foundation for this wonderful experience!!


Monday, December 5, 2011

Give the Gift of Happiness This Year!!

A Child's Happiness is a Gift Like No other.  

By donating to Via Services, you help children, teens and adults with disabilities and special needs experience the gift of a richer, fuller life. Via Services relies on your support to continue serving these individuals. And it relies on your generosity to allow us to reach even more people through our Via West Campus and First Step Early Intervention Program.

 These programs serve not only children and adults with disabilities, but their families as well.  By donating to Via Services this holiday season, you help give the gift of time by taking pressure off family members who provide nearly full-time care for loved ones.   

There is no one better suited to describe how important Via Services is than someone who directly benefits from our programs. Gino Palatella is 11 years old.  His brother, Nicky, attends Via West Campus. Gino tells us in his own words how important this program is:

 Dear Families Who Care,
My name is Gino and I am a sixth grader. I have a brother with special needs and he goes to Via West Camp. Nicky is a great brother but he has some things about him that make it hard for Nick to have the same kind of life and fun as other kids. He doesn't always understand how to play games, or be a regular friend. My family loves him so much but sometimes it is difficult for him and difficult for us to have a regular day.
Gino (left) and Nicky (right)
This is why Via West Camp is so important to him!! At camp, Nicky is just himself. He is with a bunch of other kids just like him and it is like he is at home. When he gets to Camp, he runs, jumps and laughs as soon as we get out of the car. My brother loves that camp so much and it makes me and my family feel good to see him really happy like that. That is where we get a little break from Nick and he gets to have a break from us.    

He also learns many things at camp, like how to ride a horse, how to eat good foods, and do crafts, get along with others, and be in a talent show! He has made real friends there.
When I went to the camp last year it was really sad to see there were not very many kids. My mom explained that because there is not enough money in the government to help families with children like my brother, only families with extra money can afford the camp. This seems really unfair. If you don't have the money you would need the break even more because you would be working harder to pay your bills and to live. And you might not have any money for help at home with your special- needs child.
So I am asking you to please help Via West Camp. I have and so has my family, but we need more help so more special- needs kids can go there. You should see how much they all love it! That is why I am doing this and writing this letter.

Thank you!!

Sincerely,
GINO

Won't you help people like Nicky enjoy their favorite week of the year?  Please donate to Via Services and help us serve even more children, teens, and adults with disabilities and special needs.





 Thank you and Happy Holidays from Via Services.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Video Contest!!! Videos received until December 9th!

From our friends at NDSC:

The plus15 campaign has launched a "One of Them is My Sib" video contest for siblings who want to show the world what their sisters and brothers with Down syndrome are capable of.  We started receiving videos November 14 and will accept them until December 9.  You can see some of the early contest participants on Facebook or our Youtube Channel. 
Two prizes will be awarded: People's Choice award, for those with the most "likes" on their videos, and a "Judge's Choice" award, which will be determined by a panel of judges from the Down syndrome community!  Winners in both of these categories will receive gift certificates to Amazon.com!   Find out more HERE and SPREAD THE WORD! 

Are YOU going to make a movie??? If so, let us know and we will show it on our YouTube and Facebook Pages too!!!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Via West Gives Thanks During Joyful Respite Session

Via West had its third respite session of the season this past weekend, which was Thanksgiving themed.  Participants had a chance to experience all aspects of Thanksgiving, starting with shopping for a traditional dinner.  Our "Via West Market", complete with baskets and food prices, allowed our participants to gather and pay for all the components for the dinner.

Later in the weekend, using a traditional recipe that incorporated fresh herbs, our participants made the stuffing for dinner and even took turns stuffing the turkey!  Participants chopped, sauteed, and measured ingredients safely and efficiently.  Everyone also had a chance to bake mini-pumpkin loaves which were warm and delicious. To top it all off, everyone got to take home a cookbook and apron as a memento!


Finally the time came for the feast, and everyone's hard work was apparent in the beautiful decorations, table settings, and food.  Everyone participated in the decoration and set up of the banquet tables, and to make a good evening great, all participants shared with the group what they were most thankful for.

It was such a wonderful weekend! Check out all the pictures on our Facebook Page!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Operation Snowflake at Via West Campus December 3rd and 10th!!!

The Cupertino Rotary supported "Operation Snowflake" day has become a tradition at Via West Campus!

For our adult "Winter Wonderland" session December 2-4th, Rotarians will donate materials to Via West and run afternoon rotations with our counselors.   Activities such as tree decorating (the tree will be delivered by an antique firetruck and 4 firemen!!), elf hat making, and creating gift bags with wellness products for the homeless will be just a taste of the weekend!  Other activities include decorating Via West inside and out and a Holiday Banquet. It will be quite the festive weekend.

Then.. for our children's "Visions of Sugarplums" weekend, the Rotarians will be back, along with volunteers from Stevens Creek Quarry, Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Club, the Almaden School and many others to execute "Operation Snowflake"! This day will start with our participants going to rest after lunch at Via West Campus... and waking up in a snow covered wonderland!!  Cupertino Rotary and the Stevens Creek Quarry will have brought 10 tons of snow to Via West and volunteers will have transformed the lower campsite into a sled run and the main lawn into a snow play zone!!  Top that off with stocking making, cookies and cider, a sing-a-long, and that special man in red (SANTA!!!) will be making an appearance for photos. 

We can't wait for these wonderful weekends!!


Barnes & Noble Bookfair to Benefit DSRTF (Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation)

Hey everyone!

Time to do your holiday shopping (already!!) and what better way to do some good this year than to purchase a gift that will give back to the community.  Barnes and Noble is having a fundraiser on November 25th and 26th to support Down syndrome research!! Check out below for details!  Happy Holidays to everyone!

A Portion of the Proceeds from In-Store and Online Sales Nationwide will be Donated to Advance Down syndrome Research  On November 25 and 26 if you provide the DSRTF Bookfair number - 10570232 - at checkout, DSRTF will receive a portion of the proceeds as a donation. You can also participate by shopping online from November 27 through December 1. Click Here for more information or get a copy of the Bookfair flyer here.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Holidays with Special Needs Family Members


A wonderful story from the National Down Syndrome Communicator!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Ahh...the holidays. Relaxing with family and friends. Great food and fellowship. Shopping for just the right gifts...

Or...

"AHH! The Holidays! How long are these relatives staying? Stop eating so much! I've never seen so much food in my life! Are you kidding me? I'm not going to the mall!"

The holiday season can provide some of the most joyful times in our lives, but they also undoubtedly can cause loads of stress. Is there anything we can do to make them less stressful? Planning and perspective. Here are some ideas: 
  1. Lower your expectations. No one really has a holiday that looks like a magazine photo shoot, with the possible exception of Martha Stewart. (And we suspect there's a little stress happening in that house, too.)
  2. Look at your calendar with the rest of your family and make realistic plans for shopping, baking and traveling. Say no to requests or events that put you over the edge.
  3. Be flexible. How often do things really go according to plan? Be ready to go with the flow.
  4. Ask for help. You can't be all things to all people all the time.
  5. Try to get enough sleep and exercise. It's good for you mentally and physically.
And how about for your family member with Down syndrome?
  1. Prepare for new places and new people by talking about where you'll be going and who you'll be seeing. Showing pictures will be helpful, too. "We're driving a long, long way to Aunt Peg's house. This is a picture of her dog named Molly. You'll be sleeping in a sleeping bag in your cousin Emma's room."
  2. Expect a disruption to normal routines, but try to keep to as many routines as practical. Especially when it comes to getting enough sleep and making healthy food choices. Too much sugar and too little sleep makes everyone miserable. (But, it is a holiday, so it's okay to ease up a little, right?)
  3. You know your child best - what can trigger a behavior problem or cause anxiety - so do your best to plan ahead to avoid those triggers.
  4. If you'll be seeing people who are unfamiliar with your child, educate them ahead of time, too. Let them know if there are safety concerns, sensory issues, or food allergies that could present a problem during a visit.
  5. Plan for alternate activities and enlist help from family and friends. If you know all of your relatives will want to go bowling, but the bowling alley is just too loud and chaotic, plan another activity for your child with Down syndrome. (A walk to the park with Uncle Jim? Hot chocolate at the coffee shop with Grandma?)
Planning ahead and preparing for both the expected and unexpected really does help. Enjoy these next few weeks as we wind down 2011. Take lots of photos and help create fun memories for your whole family!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Via Services will be at the Abilities Expo November 18-20th!!

We will be at the San Jose Abilities Expo on November 18-20, 2011 at the San Jose Convention Center where we would like to introduce you to all the great things they have to offer. 

In addition to us, there will be nearly 140 suppliers of products and services that will increase your quality of life through new technology, great seminars on important issues and networking opportunities that will meet your specific needs. The expo is FREE and it’s the leading event for people with disabilities, their families, caregivers, seniors, veterans and healthcare professionals. 

If you have not pre-registered, you can do so now and receive priority access to the show onsite. Here are just a few of the things that you will see at the Expo:
·         The latest products and services for people with ALL disabilities
·         Cutting-edge assistive technology at the AT Pavilion
·         FREE wheelchair repair
·         FREE loaner scooters
·         Low-cost daily living aids at the Retail Pavilion
·         Compelling workshops on the issues that make a difference to you
·         Special guest famed actor and best-selling author Henry Winkler will share his personal story about his mother's struggle with Upper Limb Spasticity
·         Check out award-winning film shorts at our disability film festival
·         Witness an innovation new horse therapy and meet one of the stars of The Horse Boy, a critically acclaimed film about a family's worldwide quest to help their autistic child
·         Canine assistance demo to learn how dogs can help their human partners
·         Hip-hop wheelchair dancing for the hottest dance moves on wheels
·         Adaptive sports like power soccer, adaptive tennis and pep squad
·         Essentials for seniors
·         Face painting for kids
·         Artist Market featuring the works of local artists with disabilities
·         FREE sign language interpreters
·         And more! 

Don't keep it to yourself! Bring your family. Tell your friends. With all of its life-enhancing possibilities, this event is a must-attend for anyone in the Community.

Abilities Expo San Jose is right around the corner so mark your calendar now, Friday, November 18 through Sunday, November 20 at the San Jose Convention Center. Click here
for directions and parking. We will see you there!!!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thank you Kiwanians!!

A few weeks ago, over 60 Kiwanis members from various clubs came up to Via West Campus and planted flowers, painted the tool shed and Letterman Lodge, and helped to beautify the place for our participants. Check out their story in the Mercury News!! Thank you Kiwanians for your time and efforts!!




Wednesday, October 19, 2011

First Respite Weekend a Great Time for Everyone!

The first respite weekend of the 2011-2012, "Homecoming and Sports" was last weekend and gave parents and participants a first look into the new programing features Via Services will be offering during sessions.

 Danielle Samson, a Speech and Language Pathologist led a hybrid iPad/social communication session.  This activity built on former iPad sessions and was geared thematically to our dance to help participants with social communication options they later used that evening.  Counselors also built social communication by teaching our participants a few dances, including the classic Electric Slide!
Counselors instructing participants




The College of Adaptive Arts performed their amazing combination of dance, cheer and song for and with our participants.  The exciting pep rally showcased performances by the "Showboaters" and the "Spirit Squad", choreographed dances, cheers led by CAA founder DeAnna Persai, and group activities.  Thank you DeAnna and CAA for a wonderful show!

The Collage of Adaptive Arts "Showboaters"




After a delicious dinner, ladies from San Jose State Sigma Omicron Pi Sorority came to Via West to help prepare our female participants for their special night.  The SJSU students did hair, makeup, nails, and helped the ladies pick out their perfect dress for the evening.  Once everyone was dressed and looking their best, corsages and boutonnieres were pinned on and a formal picture was taken.
Sigma Omicron Pi Sorority at Via West

Doing nails

Hair Salon

Ready for the dance

Beautiful flowers for every participant

Via West Director Leslie Davis pinning flowers on participant

Group shot before going into the dance


Finally, at the Homecoming Dance, professional DJ Randy Lira from RPM mixed it up on the dance floor!  Randy has worked for years with the Special Olympics and gave our participants a high energy mix of new pop and old classics.  Randy has a unique way of involving everyone in the fun and has a knack for touching everyone in a special way.  Thank you so much for your show Randy!!

Y-M-C-A!!

DJ Randy Lira handing out glow necklaces
To see all the pictures from this weekend, please visit our Facebook Page!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Via West Launches Counselor-in-Training Program


On October 1, 2011, eight veteran Via West participants completed a four-hour training course to become Counselors-in-Training, or CITs.  Stacey Hall, Anne Berry, Kelly Anderson, Jenni Pencer, Charlie Colby, Julie Paulsen, Jessica Codromac and Samuel Hinojosa worked closely with associate director Sandy Keefe, junior counselor Ava Romero and unit director Ashley Rice to master the skills and knowledge they need to serve as coaches and mentors to their peers.
All eight passed the course with flying colors, and will begin serving as CITs during the children’s Healthy Halloween session on October 21-23 at Via West. Some will work closely with counselors and unit directors in the lodges, while others will contribute their expertise during sports, creative arts, dramatic arts and other programs. 
The CIT program is just one more example of Via’s commitment to promoting competence and independence among the clients we serve.  For information about the next CIT training course in the spring, please contact Sandy Keefe at skeefe@viaservices.org, or 408-867-1115, extension 106.



Back Row: Stacey Hall, Ava Romero, Sandy Keefe, Anne Berry, Kelly Anderson
Front Row: Jenni Pencer, Charlie Colby, Julie Paulsen, Samuel Hinojosa, Jessica Codromac

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Visit Via Services at the 4th Annual Disability Awareness Day!


Come visit Via Services as we present a workshop on how to use iPads to play, learn, and socialize. Workshop is from 9-10am at the San Jose Rotunda room 120.

Disability Awareness Day is a celebration of unity, inviting the entire community to participate while promoting awareness and appreciation of people with differing abilities. Disability Awareness Day provides educational opportunities to the general public on the many barriers people encounter in our society. Disability Awareness Day seeks to empower persons with differing abilities and their families through information and resource acquisition to overcome those barriers. Disability Awareness Day celebrates diversity and strives to build an integrated community in which all people are valued.

Disability Awareness Day includes:
  • Free Educational Workshops
  • Live Music and Entertainment, Presented by MCs Sam and Lisa of K-Bay
  • Demos
  • Art Displays
  • Resource Fair
  • Games and Activities
Entertainment Schedule
10-10:15 Subacute Saratoga Children's Hospital/ scribbles and giggles pediatric day health for special needs kids
10:15-10:30 Elwyn Inc.
10:30-10:45 Andrew Wilson, solo drum performance
10:45-11:20 Friends of children with special needs group performance with Lawrence Wang, saxophonist
11:20-11:50 Bernard Smith, keyboard and solo vocalist
11:50- 12:25 Nick Guzman...Headliner
12:30 welcome/Lunchtime Program
12:45-1:15 Basketball with Lee
1:15-1:45 College of Adaptive Arts
1:45-2:15 Colours in Motion dance team 

Workshop Schedule*
*The current workshop schedule is still being finalized so workshops currently listed may be subject to change
Workshops at 9 AM
Location: Room 120
Workshop: How iPads Provide Opportunities to Learn, Play, and Socialize
Presenter: Shannon Des Roches Rosa, co-founder and editor of the book “Thinking Person's Guide to Autism” and blog project “Squidalicious”, and Via Services
·Location: Room 119
Workshop: How Work Affects Social Security and SSI Disability Benefits
Presenter: Mel Irvin, Disability Claims Representative
·Location: Room 118
Workshop: Building a Village of Support
Presenter: Anna Wang, Vice President of Programs at Friends of Children with Special Needs
Workshops at 10 AM
· Location: Room 120
Workshop: The Value of an Inclusive Early Education
Presenter: Dilnavaz Bamboat, Program Manager / Inclusion Specialist, Milestone Preschool
·Location: Room 119 
Workshop: Music is Therapy
 Presenter: Jody Wilfong, M.M.,MT-BC,NMT
·Location: Room 118
Workshop: Autism Coming of Age and How to Plan for the Future
Presenter: MFP Special Care Planning Team and Premiere PBS Documentary
Workshops at 11 AM
·Location: Room 120
Workshop: How iPads Provide Opportunities to Learn, Play, and Socialize
Presenter: Shannon Des Roches Rosa, co-founder and editor of the book and blog project, “Thinking Person's Guide to Autism” and VIA Services
·Location: Room 119
Workshop: Warm Water Therapy to Benefit Disability Health Issues
Presenter: Jenna Pioli, Program Manager of Abilities United Aquatic Services
·Location: Room 118
Workshop: Autism Coming of Age and How to Plan for the Future
Presenter: MFP Special Care Planning Team and Premiere PBS Documentary

New Director and Associate Director at Via West Campus!!

Via Services is thrilled to announce that our very own Sandy Keefe has become Via Services' Associate Director as well as the Health Care Manager at Via West Campus!!   Sandy Keefe has been with Via Services for 10 years and has her Masters Degree in Rehabilitative Nursing.  Sandy also has a daughter who attends Via West Campus.  Sandy is a familiar face to all Via West parents, as she has been the Health Care Manager at Via West and actively involved in the care of all participants. She has already been instrumental in developing the programs for weekend respites, and has taken over staffing responsibilities (among other duties).  We are so happy that Sandy has taken on these responsibilities, and we look forward to a wonderful respite season.

Sandy Keefe, MSN, RN  Associate Director and Health Care Manager at Via West


Our new Director is Leslie Davis.  Leslie is originally from the San Jose area and has resided here her entire life.  She loves the area – the people, the weather, the spirit, etc.  Her undergraduate degree is from Santa Clara University in Spanish and History in the teacher waiver program.  She started her career in teaching – ESL, Spanish, and SPED.  She moved into counseling in the public and private sector doing job development for persons with disabilities.  Having worked with both adults and children with disabilities, she then returned to school to gain her Master’s Degree in Rehabilitative Counseling and Special Education from San Jose State University.   She opened her own practice following that and provided transition, social security disability, and workers compensation to adults with disabilities.  Feeling the need to get back to the young ones, she returned to the public sector and worked as a Special Education Manager for a growing group of charter schools.  These schools served minority children in grades K through 5.  She is quite happy with the fact that she was able to establish an inclusive program serving all children of all of needs in this highly academic charter school setting.  In all of her positions, she specialized in bringing social/life skills to all clients.  She is thrilled to now be with Via Services as her beliefs completely mirror the mission of the organization.  Leslie believes in lifelong learning for EVERYONE and feels that this position will allow her to serve both adults and children in the most beautiful setting.  She is a hands on manager and is very excited to lead Via West in its’ next phase.

Leslie Davis, Director of the Via West Campus

Friday, September 30, 2011

10th Morgan Autism Conference this Saturday!!


Morgan Autism Center's 10th Annual Autism Conference is this Saturday, October 1 at Santa Clara University and Via Services will be there! If autism touches your life in any way, here are several reasons why you should attend:

1) Stephen Shore - Stephen is autistic, and is able to describe with great clarity his journey from being diagnosed at four years old through graduate school and obtaining his doctorate, as well as getting married. To hear descriptions of our chaotic world seen from the perspective of a person with autism reveals much to those of us who are not autistic, but know that the world is challenging enough to the most 'normal' among us.

2) Peter Gerhart - Peter has been working with people with autism for over 30 years and has focused on adolescents and young adults, a much overlooked population. Much of the focus in the autism world in recent years has been on early intervention, but as we all know, not everyone is mainstreamed after intense early intervention. So, what does happen and what should we do to prepare for all these children who will inevitably grow up? Come hear Peter's eloquent and reasonable suggestions and interventions.

3) Jim Ball - a behaviorist in the field and author of "Early Intervention & Autism: Real Life Questions and Real Life Answers". He is also on the board of the Autism Society, and focuses on behavior, social skills, technology and trauma.

4) Shannon Des Roches Rosa and Danielle Sampson - both experts in the world of iPads and their application to people with autism. Shannon and her son Leo (who has autism) have demonstrated the power of utilizing the iPad with facilitated direction. Danielle has conducted numerous very popular workshops since the iPad came out, focusing on her expertise as a Speech Pathologist.

5) Glen Elliot, M.D. - talks inlay terms about the latest research on medications for people with autism and the when and why they should or should not be used. Glen's expertise is always sought out and he is always very willing to answer questions.

6) Jamie Marshall - Jamie will be speaking about the wonderful Boston Higashi School and their "Daily Life Therapy". The school has a unique way to capitalize on our routine oriented students and through routines and patterns teach them to function as best they can in the classroom, social and community settings.

7) Ellen Cookman, Esq. from Gilfix and LaPoll - this is always an informative presentation on how best to marshall resources for the future of a child with disabilities.

So, reason enough to attend. Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One of Via Services' Partners (The College of Adaptive Arts) Is Putting On Film Festival!

The College of Adaptive Arts adult students with differing abilities cordially invite you to their 3rd Annual Celebrating Differing Abilities Film Festival at the RETRO DOME in San Jose.  The Film Festival will be run by the CAA Student Council with CAA students emceeing the event and interviewing the film-makers/actors after each short film featured.  Each of the 12+ locally made films, documentaries, music videos, and/or animation highlights and celebrates individuals with differing abilities:

Event:  “Celebrating Differing Abilities” Film Festival Featuring 12+ Local Documentaries by, for, and about individuals with special needs

Date:  Sunday, October 2nd, 2011

Time:  2 – 5pm

Venue:  The RETRO DOME, 1694 Saratoga Ave., San Jose 95129

Ticket Price:  $13 (includes ticket fee) Children 2 & Under FREE:  https://www.vendini.com/ticket-software.html?t=tix&m=8bd318e5110cc1dba439c28dcb2724eb

The College of Adaptive Arts (CAA) is featuring 12+ locally made 5-20-minute films/documentaries by and about individuals with differing abilities.

*There is a $3 fee per ticket. To purchase online, select the number of tickets next to the type of tickets. Once your order is complete, you will receive an email confirmation with e-tickets. For assistance or to order tickets for children 2 & under, please call the box office at (408) 404-7711 or email diana@guggyent.com. Enjoy the film festival!*

Here is part of the ticket receipt you’ll receive when you purchase tickets:
Thank you for your ticket purchase to the
COLLEGE OF ADAPTIVE ARTS 3RD ANNUAL FILM FESTIVAL "CELEBRATING DIFFERING ABILITIES."
Please note your credit card statement will show a charge from "Guggenheim Entertainment."

GREEN NOTE: To save paper and ink, simply print from page three (3) on. Two (2) tickets print per page.
HOW LONG IS THE SHOW? The film festival will run approximately three (3) hours.
There will be one (1) 20-minute intermission after the first 90 minutes.

Please remember: For this family-friendly event, everyone entering the theatre must have a ticket, including infants.
To order tickets for children ages 2 and under, please call the box office at 408-404-7711.
Any questions, please call the box office at 408-404-7711 or email: diana@guggyent.com
Thank you!  Enjoy the film festival! 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Research Project about Down Syndrome.. Take the Survey!!

Research Study Ongoing

Marcia Van Riper, from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is continuing her research project called "Adaptation and Resiliency in Families of Children with Down Syndrome". She has had great participation so far, but would like to have more families participate. She is particularly interested in getting fathers to respond. The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) believes this project will provide very important information in regard to how a diagnosis of Down syndrome is presented by the medical community.



If you are able to take the survey, please follow the links above.  Or, if you know a family who is caring for someone with Down syndrome, please share the links!! 
Playing in the motor-skills room at Via Services

Jr.  taking part in Via's First Step class
Christian at Via West, Summer 2011


Happy Friday :)