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:

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 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
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:
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 :)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Via West is Hiring!!!

Via West Campus is currently hiring counselors, unit directors, nurses and program staff for scheduled weekend programs that run from October 2011 through April 2012. We are particularly interested in bringing onboard students and/or graduates in professional fields, including recreation therapy, kinesiology, adaptive physical education, special education, occupational therapy, speech and language pathology, audiology, physical therapy, child and adolescent development, and nursing.

Via staff members from nursing, occupational therapy, adaptive physical education, recreation therapy and speech language pathology are actively involved in these weekend programs, so students will have the chance to see how professionals provide education and training to our clients. Staff members are expected to live on campus, receiving room and board, throughout the weekend. We are a non-smoking facility. Staff members can choose the weekends they work, and are given first priority for summer positions as well.

We are holding open houses for potential staff on Sunday, September 25 from 10A-1P and again on Wednesday, September 28 from 5-8P at Via West, 13851 Stevens Canyon Road, Cupertino. Applicants will learn about the program, tour the campus and have a personal interview for hiring purposes. If you would like to attend an open house, please email Sandy Keefe, MSN, RN, Associate Director, at and fill out an online application at

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Registration Day for Via West!!

Today is the first day of registration for the Via West Campus.  We have certain numbers of regional center spots, private pay spots, and 1:1 spots.  Don't delay in getting your participant registered!! You can call Via at 408-243-7861 and ask to register for Via West.  Click here to see visit Via's website and download all the necessary forms and brochure. We have financial aid for those who apply for it.


We look forward to seeing our participants back this Fall, Winter, and Spring season!!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Autism Awareness Day at Great America this Saturday

Come to Great America this Saturday and say HI to the team from Via!! We will have a booth in Celebration Cove from 10-3.30pm. Celebrate a day of fun with the autistic community.  For only $35 per person your ticket includes:            
  • All-you-can-eat picnic of BBQ Chicken, Western Style Beans, Fresh Garden Salad, Soft Drinks & Ice Cream Novelties served from 11:30am-12:30pm (unlimited beverage service from 10:30am -1:00pm)
  • Autism Organization Exhibits
  • A great opportunity to gather with the autistic community
  • A ticket to participate in our raffle.
    (Season Passholders can purchase a picnic only ticket for $13.)

Click here for more information and to purchase tickets!!


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Important Employment Survey about Down Syndrome!

Currently, there is no information available on employment and unemployment status for adults with Down syndrome. There is also no information describing where people work and the kinds of jobs they do. We all need that information in order to document the current situation and advocate for job training programs, funding, and more variety and choices in jobs for individuals with DS.

Dr. Libby Kumin has created a survey to begin to collect that information. The survey is designed for parents/caregivers and their adult children with Down syndrome, ages 18-50 years old.  It is important for you to take this survey whether you are working in paid or volunteer jobs, not currently working, or are in a training program to prepare you for jobs.

Please also share this link with your family, friends, and colleges. The survey will be online until December 31, 2011, but don't delay! Take the survey as soon as you can. Everyone's response is important. Together we can make a difference!