January News & Notes
From the Executive Director
Dear Friends of PCDA,

We hope that all of you enjoyed the winter holiday season, and we would like to wish everyone an excellent 2020! The New Year brings new energy, and this is especially true at PCDA. After 23 years of dedicated service to PCDA, our co-founder and Executive Director, Dr. Diane Cullinane, has retired. It is with great honor that I write to you as the new Executive Director, committed to continuing the high-quality and innovative family-centered care that PCDA provides to so many. We have a strong team and a strong community, and we are excited about all that 2020 has to offer.

We care about our relationship with each of you, and we hope you enjoy following us through this newsletter and also on social media (find us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn).

Happy New Year!

Christopher Perri, MS/LCSW
Executive Director
Second photo: Diane Cullinane, MD, Christopher Perri, MS/LCSW, and PCDA co-founder and Director of Programs and Services Mimi Winer, RN, MS
Help PCDA Make a Difference
You can help PCDA help children and families affected by autism and other special needs.

Click the PCDA client artwork to make a donation today!
Upcoming Events
Saturday, January 18 and 25: Sibling Saturdays (for siblings ages 5-12)
Saturday, January 25: Special Olympics Young Athletes Program kickoff
Tuesday, January 28: January Art Workshop for clients and siblings ages 5-15
Friday, January 31: NoteAbles Choir registration deadline for new session
Friday, January 31: Young Actors Squad registration deadline for new session
Saturday, February 1: Special Olympics Young Athletes new session begins
Friday, February 7: NoteAbles Choir new session begins
Monday, February 10: Young Actors Squad new session begins
April-May: Assessments for next Young Adults Program session (beginning July)
People of PCDA
Volunteer Spotlight: A Warm Welcome and a Special Thank-You!
Welcome to PCDA's new volunteer Molly Tran!

A BIG thank-you to Lion's Heart (Pasadena) volunteers for their dedication to PCDA's Holiday Toy Drive and its success in collecting hundreds of toys to benefit all of the children who receive services at PCDA! 

Volunteers helped with wrapping the toy-drive boxes, delivering/picking up, and sorting all the toys! 

Thank you to these amazing volunteers for your hard work and commitment to ensuring a successful Holiday Toy Drive, from beginning to end!
PCDA Happenings
2019 PCDA Holiday Toy Drive: A Big Success Thanks to a Caring Community
Thank you to our community partners for participating in PCDA's Holiday Toy Drive.  We had more than 24 toy-drive boxes throughout Pasadena and surrounding cities. All donated toys, supplies, and equipment will benefit the children who receive services at PCDA! We're grateful to all who took part. Participating businesses included:

  • Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices
  • Breakthru Fitness
  • Choy Chiropractic
  • Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Pasadena
  • Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, La Cañada Flintridge
  • Compassionate Scholars
  • Elements Dance Space
  • Fary Yassamy, DDS
  • Gilbert Motors
  • Lavender & Honey Espresso Bar
  • Lindamood-Bell Learning Processes
  • Lockton Insurance Brokers
  • Mamma’s Brick Oven Pizza and Pasta
  • Morgan Stanley
  • Orangetheory Fitness Pasadena
  • Regency Park Oak Knoll
  • Rev Cycle
  • Rose Bowl Aquatics Center
  • Run With Us
  • Sierra Madre Massage Company
  • SLS Consulting, Inc.
  • Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Assumption BVM Conference
  • SoulCycle Inc.
  • Town Square Real Estate
Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber Speaks at PCDA Teen Club
PCDA's Teen Club members were treated to an exciting and educational visit from Tournament of Roses President Laura Farber in December!

The teens got a special preview of the Rose Parade and learned about "The Power of Hope" (this year's theme) and the fascinating work that goes into planning this very special event.

A big thank-you to Laura Farber, Tomás Lopez, and the Tournament of Roses!
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
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. PCDA's NoteAbles Children's Choir is an adapted choral group for children 6-18 with special needs, conducted by board-certified music therapists. Together we can use music and the arts to make a difference for children and families!

Know a child who might want to join the NoteAbles? Registration for our Spring Session is open now (details below)!
Programs & Services Spotlight
Building Blocks Group Service - New Program
The Building Blocks Group service is a center-based Early Intervention program for children 12 months to 3 years of age and their parents or caregivers. Activities promote child development across all developmental domains, with an emphasis on social-emotional interactions between child and parent/caregiver.

Children will participate in activities such as Welcome Time, fine- and gross-motor activities, art, outdoor play, music, and story time. Children will also benefit from routines, practice with transitions, and behavioral support.
January Art Workshop
PCDA clients and siblings ages 5-15, and their parents/caregivers, are invited to participate in a fun arts and crafts experience! Children will have the opportunity to socialize and explore their creativity in a supportive environment.

When: Tuesday, Jan. 28, 5-6 p.m.
Where: PCDA Small Conference Room
Cost: $15.00 per child

Space is limited, so please RSVP to Aimee at Aimee@pcdateam.org or (626) 793-7350 ext. 256.
NoteAbles Children's Choir - Register Now for Spring Session Starting in February
The NoteAbles Children's Choir is an adapted choral group for children ages 6-18 with special needs, conducted by board-certified music therapists. Through making music and preparing for performances, the choir allows for musical expression, confidence-building, and socializing.

Rehearsals: Fridays, 6-6:45 p.m.
Registration Deadline: Jan. 31
Spring Session Starts: Feb. 7

Questions? Contact Aimee at Aimee@pcdateam.org or (626) 793-7350 ext. 256.
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.

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 - New Session Starting Soon
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 on Saturday, January 25!
Young Actors Squad - Register Now for Spring Session Starting in February
Know a teen age 13-18 who likes to play interactive games, develop characters and scenes, and make great friends? The Young Actors Squad (YAS) may be a perfect fit! YAS is an inclusive theatrical group formed in collaboration between PCDA and the acclaimed Pasadena Playhouse, and facilitated by PCDA staff.

Session begins: Monday, Feb. 10 Registration deadline: Friday, Jan. 31 Weekly rehearsals: Mondays at 6 p.m.

For more information, please contact Aimee at Aimee@pcdateam.org or (626) 793-7350 ext. 256.
Young Adults Program
The Winter/Spring 2020 session of the PCDA Young Adults Group held its first meeting on January 8, and will continue through June 20. 

We are focused on vocational exploration and discovery, building friendships, and life skills for the transition to adulthood.

The Summer/Winter 2020 session will start in July. If interested, ask your Service Coordinator about a Young Adults Group Assessment in April or May of this year (Vendor #PD3088, SVC code 102).
Recommended Reading
Positive news: "Parents with children in the special education system often struggle to balance work with the many appointments and school meetings kids with disabilities can require. Things just got a bit easier, thanks to a new Labor Department opinion that IEP meetings qualify for leave coverage under the Family and Medical Leave (FMLA)."
"In the end, truly seeing your kids isn’t about being some sort of super-parent. You don’t have to read minds or transcend your shortcomings or achieve spiritual enlightenment. ... You just have to show up, allowing your kids to feel that you get them and that you’ll be there for them, no matter what." Advice from Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and Tina Payne Bryson, Ph.D.
"I hope the project helps people realize that Down syndrome isn’t scary and that the people that have Down syndrome don’t have less of a life," photographer Nicole Louise Perkins says of her Disney-themed children's portrait series. "They have great lives and along with that, they make the lives of the people around them much richer."
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.