November News & Notes
Dear Friends,

As the end of the year approaches, we take time to reflect, to be thankful and to enjoy the beautiful traditions of national holidays, religious and family celebrations. In particular we are more aware of the deepest values that give meaning to life, including our relationships with family and friends, goodwill and generosity toward all.

These values are foremost at PCDA every day. From the perspective of the DIRFloortime® approach, we recognize the complexity of individual developmental challenges, but the overarching goals are based on shared joy, connection, and mutual care and support. When children and families, or peers and friends, engage in fun, creative play, or problem-solving together, relationships grow in strength and richness. These are values to celebrate every day and last throughout life.

Please enjoy the holidays with your friends and family, and I invite you to join in one of the many holiday celebrations at PCDA. 

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
Through November: Assessments for the Young Adults Program
Nov. 23 and 30: Sibling Saturdays (for siblings ages 5-12)
Nov. 26: Fall Art Workshop ( RSVP by Friday, Nov. 22! )
Nov. 30 through Dec. 24: PCDA's Eighth Annual Holiday Toy Drive
Dec. 13: Family Portraits with Stefan Studer
Jan. 8: New Young Adults Program six-month session begins
Jan. 25: Special Olympics Young Athletes Program Kickoff Celebration
People of PCDA
Client of the Month: Thomas
Congratulations to Thomas, who recently graduated from Occupational Therapy! He and his brother Brendan worked hard and learned to control their bodies, solve problems on their own, and work together to navigate obstacle courses. Thomas made great improvements in slowing down and using his vision to figure out the most efficient way to complete activities. Way to go!
Volunteer Spotlight
Welcome to PCDA's new volunteers: Ana Monterrosa, Kavita Kumar, Rita Karapetian, Alvin Zhuo, and Jenne Suvapatrachai!

Also, welcome to the volunteers from Lion's Heart, who have been working hard to wrap all of the boxes for PCDA's annual Holiday Toy Drive ! Lion's Heart has wrapped and decorated boxes to be delivered to more than 25 locations next week. Thank you for your enthusiasm in helping to launch a toy drive that will benefit all the children who receive services at PCDA!

Lastly, a BIG thank-you to all of the dedicated PCDA volunteers who helped at the Harvest Moon Gala! The event was a success and we could not have done it without all of you! We appreciated everyone's help with loading and unloading, setting up and cleaning up, and providing amazing support throughout the evening!

For more information about volunteering at PCDA, please visit our website at pcdateam.org/volunteer .
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. (See announcement about their upcoming concert below!)

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
Harvest Moon Gala
PCDA's annual Harvest Moon Gala was held on November 10, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to celebrate with friends and supporters, and recognize this year's wonderful honorees! Darryl Dunn, CEO and General Manager of the Rose Bowl Stadium and an individual well-known in the community for his civic engagement and charitable works, received the Community Service Award; PCDA co-founders Diane Cullinane, MD, and Mimi Winer, RN, MS, received the Greenspan Humanitarian Award; and Amanda Arellano received the PCDA Achievement Award.

We're deeply grateful to all who supported this event through attendance, sponsorship, volunteering, participation in the evening's program, auction-item donations, and more!

Special thanks to the members of the Harvest Moon Committee, including Anne Perry (chair), Laura Bushley, Miranda Hayes, Hubert Ho, Edward Lee, Barbara Sinclair, and Andrea Valdez.
Above, the Harvest Moon Committee.
Above, honorees Darryl Dunn; Diane Cullinane, MD, and Mimi Winer, RN, MS; and Amanda Arellano.
Turkey Tryouts at PCDA
The 14th Annual Turkey Tryouts event was a huge success! Over 50 guests attended.

It was so wonderful to see our families enjoying time together, exploring holiday foods, and even starting to make connections with other families in a welcoming and pressure-free environment!
Dark Spirits Event Raises Funds for PCDA
PCDA was the beneficiary of funds raised at Dark Spirits, held at the home of Kate and Odom Stamps on October 20. We're grateful to all who supported PCDA at this event!

Special thanks to Dark Spirits committee members Ernie Arnold, Michael Bernard, Glenn Crawford, Bill Cullinane, Stephen Peters, Philip Putnam, Clay Sandidge, and Odom Stamps!
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
Fall Art Workshop: Next Week - RSVP Today!
PCDA clients and siblings age 5-15 are invited to participate in a festive arts and crafts experience.

Children will have the opportunity to socialize and explore their creativity in a supportive environment. All participants will walk away with an original creation that may be used to decorate your Thanksgiving table!

When: Tuesday, November 26
Where: PCDA
Time: 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Cost: $15.00 per person
Space is limited, so please RSVP by November 22 by contacting Aimee Nava at (626) 793-7350 ext. 256 or Aimee@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 appointment scheduling from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 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.
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 begins on November 30! 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
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 - 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.
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 .
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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.