March News & Notes
From the Executive Director / Del Director Ejecutivo:
Dear friends and families of PCDA,

Spring equinox is just around the corner, which brings more light and warmth into each passing day. One of the most important (and most basic) goals in our everyday work at PCDA is to help our children, individuals and families find new ways to bring more light and warmth into their world.

As more plants and flowers bloom and emerge around us, please take time to enjoy them, and maybe take some inspiration in knowing that beauty and growth are often there, hiding within, waiting to reveal themselves when the surrounding environment supports their needs.

At PCDA we believe that strength and beauty lies within, and it is our challenge to help families find them, with the hope of promoting each person’s maximum potential through access to their innermost talents, ideas and motivation.

We hope you enjoy reading more about the many ongoing activities and achievements in this month’s newsletter.

Christopher Perri, MS/LCSW
Executive Director
Queridos amigos y familias de PCDA:

El equinoccio de primavera ya está casi aqui, lo que aporta más luz y calor a cada día que pasa. Una de las metas más importantes (y más básicas) en nuestro trabajo diario en PCDA es ayudar a nuestros niños, individuos y familias a encontrar nuevas formas de traer más luz y calor a su mundo.

A medida que más plantas y flores florecen y emergen a nuestro alrededor, tómese el tiempo para disfrutarlas, y tal vez tome un poco de inspiración para saber que la belleza y el crecimiento a menudo están allí, escondiéndose dentro, esperando revelarse cuando el entorno circundante satisface sus necesidades.

En PCDA creemos que las fortalezas y la belleza residen en nuestro interior, y es nuestro desafío ayudar a las familias a encontrarlas, con la esperanza de promover el máximo potencial de cada persona a través del acceso a sus talentos, ideas y motivación más íntimos.

Esperamos que disfrute leyendo más sobre las muchas actividades y logros en curso en el boletín de este mes.

Christopher Perri, MS/LCSW
Director Ejecutivo
Help PCDA Make a Difference
You can help PCDA help children and families affected by autism and other developmental challenges.

PCDA provides services for more than 1,000 children and their families each and every year, and we can't do this important work without community philanthropic support.

Click the PCDA client artwork to make a donation today!
Upcoming Events and Special Dates
Saturday, March 7, 14, 21, and 28: Sibling Saturdays (for siblings ages 5-12)
Saturday, March 21: World Down Syndrome Day
Month of April: Autism Awareness Month (support our crowdfunding campaign!)
Thursday, April 2: World Autism Awareness Day
Saturdays through April 4 : Special Olympics Young Athletes basketball session
Saturday, April 18: Special Olympics Young Athletes athletics session begins
April May: Assessments for next Young Adults Program session (beginning July)
Sunday, June 28: Fête d'Été, PCDA's summer party (save the date!)
People of PCDA
Volunteer Spotlight
Welcome to PCDA's new volunteers! A big thank-you to Annie Tahmassian (volunteering with our social skills groups), Shea McLaughlin (social skills groups), Miriam Castro (Teen Buddies and occupational therapy), Jacqueline Jimenez (Teen Club), and Aleya Cunningham (Teen Club) for joining the incredible team of volunteers at PCDA.
Community Outreach
As spring approaches, there is an increase in various community events popping up in our area and surrounding communities. PCDA's Community Outreach and Programs Department makes it a priority to spread the word about PCDA and DIRFloortime ®

Most recently, we attended a resource fair at St. Philip the Apostle Church during their Special Needs Blessing Mass and Community Fair. This was a wonderful way to connect with various resources in the Pasadena area who support individuals with special needs. Additionally, PCDA has attended career fairs at Occidental College and California State University, Los Angeles, to promote job opportunities to graduating students.

Upcoming community events include the San Gabriel Pomona Parents’ Place Resource Fair on April 26. Feel free to attend this free family event, and please stop by our booth to say hi!

For more information about Community Outreach, please contact Roz at RozR@pcdateam.org . For more information about recruitment in the Programs Department, please contact Grace at MaryGrace@pcdateam.org .
PCDA Happenings
Thank You, ICM Community Partners Foundation!
We're deeply grateful to the ICM Partners Community Foundation for their generous grant funding toward PCDA's Young Actors Squad program!

We were honored to welcome ICM Director of Special Events & Philanthropy Jennifer Knisbell to PCDA in February to take a tour of the clinic and see the Squad in performance.
PCDA Board Member Glenn Crawford, Development & Communications Director Maureen Girouard, ICM Director of Special Events & Philanthropy Jennifer Knisbell, and Executive Director Christopher Perri.
PCDA Clinical Director Julie Miller to Speak at American Occupational Therapy Association Conference
Julie Miller, MOT, OTR/L, SWC, PCDA's Clinical Director, will present at the 2020 AOTA Annual Conference & Expo, taking place March 26-29 in Boston, as part of AOTA’s Commission on Practice. Prior to being named Clinical Director at PCDA, Julie held the dual roles of Occupational Therapy Department Head and Coordinator of the Interdisciplinary Feeding Team. In addition to her clinical expertise, Julie is also an internationally known speaker, consultant, and published author.
PCDA Clinicians Head to Profectum Conference
PCDA is committed to continuing education for our team, and on March 14 and 15, many members of our clinical staff will attend Profectum's annual conference on the DIR ® Model. (PCDA is also a sponsoring organization of this conference.)
Opportunities to Support PCDA
Create Your Own PCDA Crowdfunding Page for Autism Awareness Month
Next month is Autism Awareness Month! Through PCDA's Autism Awareness Month crowdfunding campaign, parents and others who have been impacted by our work can share what PCDA means to them and ask friends, family members, coworkers, and neighbors for their support.

This online peer-to-peer fundraising effort works much like a GoFundMe page, but all donations come directly to PCDA with no processing fees. Participation is easy and pages can be personalized with text, photo, and fundraising goal. Raised funds will help support PCDA's work for children and families affected by autism and other developmental challenges.
Support PCDA at Fete d'Ete
Save the date for PCDA's summer party, taking place Sunday, June 28, at Bistro 45 in Pasadena!

We'll celebrate the important work made possible by our supporters, and enjoy Bistro 45's celebrated French-casual fare. This event will also feature an introduction to PCDA Clinical Director Julie Miller. We hope you can join us! Ticketing information available April 20.
More Ways to Help PCDA Help Children and Families
There are so many opportunities to help PCDA! A few of these include:

  • making a monetary gift
  • making an in-kind donation
  • making PCDA your charity of choice with AmazonSmile
  • selecting PCDA as your preferred charity in the Ralphs Community Contribution Program
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.
Sibling Saturdays Weekly Program
All brothers and sisters of children with special needs, ages 512, 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 in April
PCDA's Special Olympics Young Athletes Program (SOYAP) is one of the first programs of its kind in Southern California. Since 2014, 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 27 of all abilities. The first session of the 2020 season runs through April 4. The second session begins on April 20.
Young Adults Program Assessments Begin in April
The Winter/Spring 2020 session of the PCDA Young Adults Group is taking place now, continuing through June 20, with the Summer/Fall 2020 session beginning in July. 

The program focuses on vocational exploration and discovery, building friendships, and life skills for the transition to adulthood.

If interested in the Summer/Fall session, ask your Service Coordinator about a Young Adults Group Assessment in April or May of this year (Vendor #PD3088, SVC code 102).
Recommended Reading
How to Talk to Kids About Coronavirus
"By now, your children may have heard about the new coronavirus, whether it’s from a snippet of a news briefing or from other kids at school. ... So what should you tell kids about the coronavirus, and how? We spoke to a pediatrician, two psychologists, a pediatric infectious disease specialist and a safety expert for their best tips ."
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.
Work with PCDA
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.