October News & Notes
Dear Friends,

Fall is in the air! Here at PCDA we are looking forward to our big fall gala, called Harvest Moon . It will be held on Sunday, November 10! We hope you can join us. Our NoteAbles choir will be there to add to the fun of the evening. I want to extend a special thank-you to all of our donors and volunteers. We can only provide services because of your help and contributions. Please read below to learn about all of the activities happening this month!

Thank you,
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
October-November: Assessments for the Young Adults Program
Saturdays through Nov. 16: Special Olympics Young Athletes Program
Oct. 12, 19, and 26: Sibling Saturdays (for siblings ages 5-12)
Oct. 20: Dark Spirits (tickets now available)
Nov. 6, 13, and 20: Orientation to Floortime (parent workshop series)
Nov. 10: 11th Annual Harvest Moon Gala (tickets/sponsors/ads available)
Dec. 7: Teen Club/Teen Buddies Art Show
Jan. 8: New Young Adults Program six-month session begins
People of PCDA
Client of the Month
Congratulations to Amanda , PCDA's annual Achievement Award honoree! Amanda is a confident, enthusiastic teen who began her care journey with PCDA in 2008. She has participated in a variety of programs, including the Teen Club/Teen Buddies program, the NoteAbles choir, and the Young Actors Squad. Amanda's mother shares: "PCDA is like her family. I am thankful that PCDA has pushed my daughter to excel and go beyond my expectations. Amanda has reached more goals than I can ever imagine, such as being social. She went from showing difficulties to now achieving above and beyond what I can imagine." Amanda will be honored at next month's Harvest Moon Gala.
Volunteer Spotlight
Welcome to PCDA's new volunteers, China Lawrence, Danielle DeHerrera, Emily Zhuo, Esther Becerra, Karina Amor, Lilian Le, Lillian Zhu, Nikki Tran, and Yukiyo Ueda!

September was a busy month visiting high schools, meeting with volunteer groups, and planning for special events at PCDA.

Thank you to Westridge School for Girls (top photo) and Flintridge Preparatory School (middle photo) for including PCDA in your annual community fairs. We had so much fun sharing information about volunteer opportunities at PCDA with your students!

Thank you to Boy Scouts Pasadena Troop #24 (bottom photo) and students from Mayfield Junior/Lion's Heart for visiting PCDA. We enjoyed showing you around and sharing ideas about how your groups can become more involved in the work we do!

PCDA welcomes students from middle schools, high schools, and colleges to join our volunteer team.  Learn more !
Interested in volunteering in support of our annual Harvest Moon Gala , PCDA's largest fundraising event of the year?

This year's event will be held on Sunday, November 10, and volunteer opportunities for individuals or groups are available both before and during the event.

Sign up here to volunteer! For questions or to learn more, please contact Volunteer Coordinator Anne Yee at (678) 231-2283 or AnneY@pcdateam.org .
Opportunities to Support PCDA
Harvest Moon Gala
Sunday, November 10, 2019
5:30 - 11:00 p.m.
La Cañada Flintridge Country Club

Deadline to purchase tickets or tables is October 24.

Each year, more than 1,000 children and their families seek the services and programming found at PCDA, and the generosity of our supporters helps make this work possible. The Harvest Moon Gala is our largest fundraising event of the year, and proceeds directly support therapy and programs for children with autism and other developmental challenges.

This year's Harvest Moon honorees include Darryl Dunn , CEO and General Manager of the Rose Bowl Stadium and a man well-known in the community for his civic engagement and charitable works, as well as PCDA's co-founders, Diane Cullinane, MD , and Mimi Winer, RN, MS .

Dark Spirits
Sunday, October 20, 2019
318 Fairview Avenue
South Pasadena

This much-loved annual fundraiser returns this month! Dark Spirits features bourbon-tasting, a delicious dinner, and more. Tickets are available now!
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.

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!
More Ways to Support PCDA's Work
There are so many ways to help PCDA! Opportunities include:

  • 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
PCDA Happenings
Teen Club Members Visit Frida Pickles Flowers
On Saturday, September 28, one of our Teen Club groups had the chance to learn about work opportunities with a local flower shop, Frida Pickles in San Gabriel, which is owned by PCDA parent Susan Sanchez.

Frida Pickles has a mission of providing employment opportunities for young people (16+) with special needs.

The teens were given a tour of the shop and had the opportunity to create flower arrangements and even help some customers!

Frida Pickles:
Thriving Through Flowers
404 Leslie Drive
San Gabriel
PCDA Hosts Touring Percussion Group
PCDA staffers were delighted to connect with the Polar Light Percussion Group during their recent performance trip to the U.S. from Taiwan, and honored to host the group during a special visit to the PCDA clinic! Each of the group's talented members experience developmental and/or physical challenges, and they have worked hard and shown incredible determination to master their art form. Their skills were plain for all to see (and hear) at this recent performance!

Polar Light's leader, percussionist and conductor Hong-Qi Ho, says there are only two ways to teach the group to perform the way they do: "love and patience."
The Polar Light Percussion Group in performance.
PCDA Presents at Zero to Three Conference
PCDA Child and Family Counseling Department Head Desiree Yoro Yoo, LCSW, IFECMHS, RPF II, presented on the topic "Are You My Mommy? Evoking Emotional Resonance to Build a 'Family' for a Medically Complex Newborn" at the Zero to Three annual conference on October 3.
Desiree Yoro Yoo, right, speaks at the Zero to Three annual conference.
Information for Families
Enjoying Halloween with Sensory Challenges
PCDA's Occupational Therapy team shares this great resource from the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), full of great tips to enjoy Halloween despite sensory challenges! Tips include:

  • "Trick or treating is not mandatory: Meaningful participation in Halloween festivities could include helping to roast pumpkin seeds or picking apples. Choose activities that best fit your child’s sensory needs."

  • "At Halloween parties, some children enjoy wet or sticky textures like pumpkin filling and skinless grapes, whereas these make others feel uncomfortable and even nauseous. Instead of carving a pumpkin, decorate a jack o’ lantern with stickers and markers. A child who won’t enjoy bobbing for apples can put the apples in a bucket. Consider planning an event at home with a few friends. Small groups present an opportunity to socialize. A short, successful outing is always preferable to a longer stay that leads to a 'meltdown.'"
Book of the Month: A Weekend with Wendell by Kevin Henkes
This book helps children explore the perspective of others, or how another person’s experience might be different from your own through the lens of fairness.

When Wendell comes to Sophie’s house, he insists on having most of the fun and Sophie is not enjoying herself.

As the weekend progresses, Sophie learns how to initiate her own ideas and the two become fast friends.
Nutrient of the Month: Molybdenum
Molybdenum is an essential mineral that has multiple functions. It is important to many enzymes in the body and plays a role in metabolizing amino acids and DNA. Sources of molybdenum include whole grains, legumes (such as beans, lentils, and peas), and nuts. Many foods that are high in healthy fiber are often rich in molybdenum too!

Try making this refreshing lentil salad . Your children can help mix all the ingredients together!

  • 1 cup dry lentils (brown or green)
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Olive-oil-based salad dressing of choice or:
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. Add lentils to medium-sized pot and fill with water until lentils are covered by 1 inch.
  2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender (20-30 minutes for brown lentils, 40-50 minutes for green lentils).
  3. Drain lentils and place in a large bowl.
  4. Mix in remaining ingredients and add salad dressing. Toss.
  5. Store in refrigerator to cool.
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 since 2014, being one of the early programs of its kind to develop in Southern California. 

Over the past five years, hundreds of families with young children from the San Gabriel Valley and its surrounding cities have joined the Young Athletes 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. 

As a community partner of Special Olympics Southern California (SOSC), PCDA has helped developed a year-round sports-themed curriculum to include athletics, basketball, soccer, and softball. Young athletes are welcomed to participate in one or multiple sports seasons along with their siblings, cousins, or best buddies. Together, through play, young athletes are introduced to the world of sports and Special Olympics.
Young Adults Program: Accepting New Members
Young adults ages 18-22 with mild to moderate communication challenges (including autism) are invited to join the PCDA Young Adults Group!

Sign up now for an assessment in October or November 2019, for the next six-month session starting in January 2020.

The Young Adults 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.
Young Adults Program members 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.
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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.