December News & Notes
Dear Friends,

After 23 years at PCDA, I will be retiring this month. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to lead this great team of professionals, and to share in the lives of so many children and families. I am confident that PCDA will continue to grow and help even more children in the years ahead. In the DIRFloortime® approach we have a comprehensive framework to guide our work, and we have witnessed the value and effectiveness of this system of understanding and guiding children's development. 

I would like to introduce Christopher Perri, LCSW (see below), who will be the new executive director. Christopher comes to us with a wealth of experience in DIRFloortime® and is a talented clinician and leader. We are so fortunate that Christopher, along with Mimi Winer, RN, MS; Julie Miller, MOT, OTR/L, SWC; and our entire leadership team will now take PCDA into its next chapter. Thank you to everyone who has supported our mission and will continue to provide your time, talent and treasure to help the children and families who come to PCDA. 

Thank you and best wishes,

Dr. Diane   
Executive Director
Help PCDA Make a Difference
 Please help us help
children with autism and
other special needs.

Click the PCDA client artwork to make a donation today!
Upcoming Events
Happening Tonight! Friday, Dec. 6: NoteAbles Choir Recital
Tomorrow! Saturday, Dec. 7: Teen Buddies/Teen Club Art Show
Ongoing Through Dec. 24: PCDA's Eighth Annual Holiday Toy Drive
Saturday, Dec. 7, 14, and 21: Sibling Saturdays (for siblings 5-12)
Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13 and 14: Creative Arts Holiday Recital
Tuesday, Dec. 17: Winter Art Workshop
Dec. 24 through Jan. 1: PCDA Holiday Closure
Wednesday, Jan. 8: New Young Adults Program session begins
Saturday, Jan. 25: Special Olympics Young Athletes Program Kickoff
People of PCDA
Meet Christopher Perri, PCDA's Incoming Executive Director
Christopher Perri, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with extensive experience in the field of child development, will become PCDA's Executive Director in January 2020, upon Dr. Diane's retirement. 

Christopher joined PCDA in 2018 as the head of our Child and Family Counseling department before being named Deputy Executive Director. He brings nearly 20 years of practice supporting children with special needs and their families in a wide variety of settings, including considerable experience as a leader in clinical nonprofit organizations in numerous states and countries. Like Dr. Diane, Christopher is a recognized leader in the field of DIRFloortime®.
Opportunities to Support PCDA
Help PCDA Help Children and Families
There are so many ways to help PCDA! Opportunities include:

  • making a monetary gift
  • making an in-kind donation
  • creating your own PCDA crowdfunding page
  • making PCDA your charity of choice with AmazonSmile
  • selecting PCDA as your preferred charity in the Ralphs Community Contribution Program
Support the NoteAbles Children's Choir
PCDA's NoteAbles Children's Choir is an adapted choral group for children ages 6-18 with special needs, conducted by board-certified music therapists. ( Catch them in concert tonight, Dec. 6! )

Join us in making a difference in the lives of young people by helping to provide them with an experience that is often not available to them within their schools and communities. Together we can use music and the arts to make a difference!
PCDA Happenings
Thank You, Pasadena Host Lions Club!
PCDA is deeply grateful for the kindness and generosity of our friends at the Pasadena Host Lions Club! Thank you for supporting the children and families of PCDA!
PCDA in The Outlook
Thank you to Outlook Newspapers for their wonderful coverage of PCDA in the current Celebrating Charity issue (on newsstands now!) and recent articles about our Harvest Moon Gala and Dark Spirits events!
Upcoming & Ongoing
NoteAbles Choir Recital
PCDA's amazing NoteAbles Children's Choir can't wait to share this special performance filled with music and fun! The NoteAbles is an inclusive choral group for young people ages 6-18, conducted by board-certified music therapists.

When: Friday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m.
Where: PCDA
PCDA's Eighth Annual Holiday Toy Drive
PCDA's Holiday Toy Drive is in full swing! New, unwrapped, and non-battery-operated toys for all ages are greatly appreciated. Age groups include infant (birth-3 years), preschool (3-5 years), school-age (5-12 years), and teen (13-18 years). To find participating locations and wish-list items, please visit pcdateam.org/toydrive .

Thank you for your generosity!
Teen Club/Teen Buddies Art Show
Join us as teen creatives share their original, handmade, sensory art forms, photography, personal stories and a live performance in the auditorium.

When: Saturday, Dec. 7
10 a.m. to noon
Where: Pasadena Public Library
Teen Central, 285 E. Walnut St.
Questions? Contact Verliz at (626) 793-7350 ext. 262 or Verliz@pcdateam.org
Family Portraits with Stefan Studer
PCDA client families are invited to participate in a truly one-of-a-kind experience! Celebrity and fashion photographer Stefan Studer will host a day of private photography sessions with PCDA children and families on Friday, Dec. 13, with limited appointment times remaining. Portrait sessions are being held at no cost, but PCDA reserves the right to use the photos in promotional materials. Consent waivers will be available before your photo session.

Contact Maureen@pcdateam.org to learn more or sign up.
Creative Arts Programs Holiday Recital - Two Different Performances!
The Creative Arts Department is proud to present this beloved annual holiday event, starring the talented clients of PCDA!

When: Friday, Dec. 13 at 6 p.m.
and Saturday, Dec. 14 at 2 p.m.
Where: PCDA
Winter Art Workshop
Come participate in our second art event of the season! Parents, siblings, and kids between the ages of 5-15 are welcome to join in a festive art activity. 

Where: PCDA
When: Tuesday, Dec. 17, 5-6 p.m.
Cost: $15 per child

Please RSVP to Aimee at (626) 793-7350 ext. 256 or Aimee@pcdateam.org  
Programs & Services Spotlight
Sibling Saturdays - Weekly Program
All brothers and sisters of children with special needs, ages 5-12, are welcome to attend PCDA's Sibling Saturday program, held each Saturday from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at our office in Pasadena.

Sibling Saturdays provide a variety of fun activities just for brothers and sisters. Siblings can benefit from special time with other children who have similar experiences! In order to help us with planning, we request a phone call to RSVP by Friday at 5 p.m.

Special Olympics Young Athletes Program
PCDA has been proud to host a Special Olympics Young Athletes Program (SOYAP) since 2014, being one of the early programs of its kind to develop in Southern California. Since then, hundreds of families with young children have joined the program at PCDA to participate in fun activities and games designed to teach fundamental sports skills so young athletes can practice and play in a supportive, non-competitive environment. SOYAP is a free program designed for children 2-7 of all abilities. We're excited to kick off the 2020 season in January!
Young Adults Program - New Session in January
Young adults ages 18-22 with mild to moderate communication challenges (including autism) are invited to join the PCDA Young Adults Group !

The program meets twice a week, including a Wednesday-evening discussion at PCDA and a Saturday-morning activity in the community, selected by the group.

We focus on vocational exploration and discovery, while building friendships, planning activities, and learning how to get around in the community. Contact us today for an assessment!
Program participants talk with William Marston about the CNC Machinist Academy at Glendale Community College
This program is vendored by the Regional Centers (SVC Code 102, Vendor Code PD3088). For more information, please contact Aimee at (626) 793-7350 ext. 256 or Aimee@pcdateam.org .
Information for Families
Book of the Month:
"The Snowy Day" by Ezra Jack Keats
This classic book tells the visual story of a young boy and his enjoyment of a snowy day. He tries to save part of the day, a snowball, for the next day, and learns that snow disappears or melts. He is disappointed, but goes to sleep and dreams of hot sun, only to wake up the next morning to more beautiful snow.

This simple narrative and illustrations are especially interesting to our children here in Southern California who may never have played in snow themselves.
Stories and picture books help a child to gain knowledge about other places, climates, and experiences, laying the foundation for further learning and enjoyment.
Nutrient of the Month: Fiber
Fiber is important for overall health and digestion. It is found in whole grains, fruits and vegetables.

Research has shown that eating the recommended daily intake of fiber can help lower cholesterol and regulate blood sugar. It also promotes hearth health, bowel health, and a healthy weight.

Cranberries, and other berries, are rich in fiber and are usually part of holiday seasonal foods.

Try making cranberry sauce with your children. It can be a fun science experiment to watch the whole fruits pop as they heat up!

  • 1 12-ounce package whole cranberries
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Optional: zest of ½ lemon
Photo by Liz West via Flickr / Creative Commons
Place ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil on the stove. Once boiling, lower the heat until the mixture reaches a slow simmer. Kids can help stir the mixture and watch/listen to the cranberries explode!

Simmer for about 10-15 minutes and then let the mixture cool. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Serves 10 people
Work with PCDA
Share with PCDA
Help Us Tell the PCDA Story
We love receiving stories, photos, videos, quotes, and artwork that can help us illustrate PCDA’s impact on children and their families. This might be a moment that showed progress (big or small), a quote from you or your child, a fun or meaningful photo or video, a piece of art your child created, or anything else you can dream up to help us spread the word about our work and make a difference in the lives of more children and families. We may use content you provide on our social media channels, our e-newsletter, or other communications materials, but we’re happy to provide any level of anonymity you may want for privacy reasons. Please reach out to LindsayB@pcdateam.org to share.
PCDA is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to providing children with developmental challenges and their families the best possible programs. Your donations directly support children with special needs and their families. Thank you for your generous support! 
PCDA's Mission:
To profoundly impact the developmental outcomes of children with autism and other special needs through innovative multidisciplinary and family-centered therapeutic services, professional training, and outreach.