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August, 2014
What's happening at the Center for Developing Minds...

Welcome Dr. Govindappa and Ms. DiVittorio!
There are some new faces at the CDM this summer, and everyone at the clinic is excited to have these two professionals on board!  
Kushma Govindappa, M.D. - Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrician
After a lengthy search for an additional developmental pediatrician, we are very pleased to announce that Dr. Govindappa has joined our team of clinicians and is accepting new patients. Dr. Govindappa provides diagnosis and treatment for children with neurodevelopmental problems such as autism spectrum disorders, fragile X syndrome, learning dysfunctions and attention deficits. During her fellowship, her research focus was in autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Govindappa crafts effective interventions for patients and families that address a wide variety of behavioral and developmental issues. Dr. Govindappa recently completed her behavioral and developmental fellowship training at the M.I.N.D. Institute, University of California, Davis, and she is fluent in Kannada, Telugu and Tamil.

Jennifer DiVittorio - Front Office Receptionist
Jennifer was the first person to be hired as a part of our administrative team restructuring. She joined the CDM in May and has been a terrific addition to the clinic. She is working part-time at the CDM while she completes her graduate school training in Clinical Psychology and Marriage and Family Therapy at Notre Dame de Namur University in Belmont. Originally from the San Jose area, she holds a B.A. in Psychology from Loyola Marymount University. 
A Note from Dr. Korb
At our home, we enjoy the relatively lazy days of summer. I write "relatively" because with active children we always have something on our plate, but in the summer we certainly notice the decreased pressure from fewer school-related deadlines. We work hard to avoid overscheduling summertime with camps and encourage the kids to play. Every August, we have mixed feelings about school starting again. Clearly, hours of school each day does free up some of our parenting obligations, but the rush to get out of the house in the morning, coupled with the hours of carpooling from one after-school activity to the next, can be exhausting -- turning your main parenting objective to be the successful creation of a family transit schedule!

As we begin the new school year, take a moment to assess your family's goals for 2014-15. Spend some time to consider these important questions that should not be overlooked.

For the elementary and middle school-age child: 
  • How are they managing their school work? 
  • How are they coping with stress? 
  • Are they achieving social success? 
  • Are they finding opportunities for artistic and athletic gratification? 

For the high-school student: 

  • Have they developed the executive functioning skills needed for them to eventually launch from home? 
  • Are they prepared for the SAT/ACTs? 
  • Are the college applications ready? 
  • Have they developed some close friendships?

For students that need support: 

  • Do they qualify for services? 
  • Are the appropriate supports in place? 
These areas of concern are just some of the domains of child development that we specialize in caring for at the Center for Developing Minds. As this school year begins, if you are worried that your family's objectives are out of alignment, or if your child's needs are not being met, or if you have a friend whose family is struggling -- please ask the experts at the CDM for help.
We wish your family a healthy and relatively relaxed school year!
Warm Regards, 
Damon Korb, M.D.

Child Development Chat: "Tips and Suggestions for IEP/IFSPs"

The next Child Development Chat, "Tips and Suggestions for IEP/IFSPs," will be held Thursday, September 25, from 12:30pm-1:30pm at the Center for Developing Minds.  The CDM's behavior and development specialist, Janel Astor, and educational psychologist, Lara Zawacki, will be moderating this popular chat that helps parents prepare to be an advocate for their children in the development of school educational plans and annual IEP/IFSP meetings. Please bring your questions and topics of concern to share. 
New Service:  Dynamic Dyads
Dynamic Dyads is a new parallel and complimentary service to the Social Climbers Jr. groups that are held at the Center for Developing Minds. This smaller-sized group - just two children - is an ideal option for children who may not be ready for a large group experience, and/or children needing additional practice and generalization of their emerging social abilities. Each dyad is designed and led by a developmental specialist, and children will work together in a play-based setting. Individualized skills to be worked on may include imitation, initiation, social conversations, social rules and expectations, developmentally appropriate play, games, and leisure activities. 

Dynamic Dyads and Social Climbers Jr. instructors work together to design a coordinated curriculum, and dyads will be formed based on children's current abilities. If you are interested in dyad work for your child, please contact the Center for Developing Minds and an instructor will contact you to determine an appropriate classmate match for your child. For complete details about the CDM's dyad program, please see this link:
Fall Classes and Groups           Call the office to enroll!

Setting the Stage for Social Success

Develop Better Social Skills Through Dramatic Activities


Does your child struggle with understanding the non-verbal aspects of communication? Do they have difficulty understanding the perspective of others? Do they struggle having back-and-forth conversations with their peers? This new course will explore the use of drama and theatrical games to help children develop these types of communication and social skills. Additionally, this group will help children improve their ability to understand other perspectives, while working in a group setting. Each week, participants will enjoy a variety of dramatic activities and skits, designed build their social-skill set.

The instructor, Nicole Kristal, has many years of experience working with children with social-cognitive challenges and has facilitated the drama and theater activities at Camp Altitude since 2010. In addition, she has performed in an improvisational comedy troop for the past several years. She is a quick-witted teacher that will engage and entertain your child, while helping them discover the many hidden rules of social cues and communication skills.


Open to children, age 7-12 years old. Classes will be held on Mondays and Tuesdays, beginning the week of September 15.

Organized Bodies, Organized Minds

Improving self-regulation and executive functions in children and young teens.


Does your child struggle to do school work in a timely manner and then forget to turn it in? Is it impossible for them to keep their room clean? Students who struggle with their executive functions have challenges with planning, working memory, attention, problem solving, verbal reasoning, and a variety of other issues. 

This group will teach children and teens about how to be in control of their bodies and minds by helping them to be organized - internally and externally. A variety of techniques will be practiced to enable them to be more self-aware and to better self-regulate their sensory systems, so they can stay on track when they are studying, doing chores or playing with friends. The class will draw from the "Zones of Regulation" curriculum and will educate the students about how to control their response to unexpected circumstances. In addition, each class the students will participate in a group task which will focus on specific executive functioning skills. 

Open to children, age 9-17 years old. Classes will be held on Thursdays and Fridays, beginning the week of September 18.

For more information about all CDM class offerings, including pricing and a complete schedule, please see the individual class links on our website:

The CDM is Hiring
The Center for Developing Minds currently has positions available for a:
  • Speech & Language Pathologist
  • Educational Therapist
  • Psychotherapist or Counseling Psychologist

For more information about these opportunities, please see our website:


Full or part-time opportunities are available in a comfortable and flexible work environment.  

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