News, Tips & More for October-November
From the Executive Director / Del Director Ejecutivo
Dear PCDA Community,

We are pleased to bring you our next newsletter, as the weather begins to cool and we move further into the Fall Season of 2020. We are still hard at work, and continue to have much we can share with all of you.

As many of you know, our work is focused on developing relationships, and fostering the progress that emerges from our connection with others. Most all of us continue to experience a loss of (or at least a significant reduction in) the in-person and community connections that we are so used to in our lives.

This is one of the reasons we are excited to be hosting our first virtual BINGO FUNdraiser on Sunday, November 22nd. While we will miss seeing our gala community in-person at our usual Harvest Moon event, we are eager to connect with all of you in this new interactive and family-friendly format! Please see more information below and consider joining us and/or spreading the word to others who may want to play with us. Registration closes in just a few more weeks.

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

In kindness,
Christopher Perri, MS, LCSW
Executive Director
Estimada comunidad PCDA,

Nos complace presentarles nuestro próximo boletín informativo, ya que el clima comienza a refrescar y nos adentramos en la temporada de otoño de 2020. Todavía estamos trabajando duro y seguimos teniendo mucho que podemos compartir con todos ustedes.

Como muchos de ustedes saben, nuestro trabajo se enfoca en desarrollar relaciones y fomentar el progreso que surge de nuestra conexión con los demás. La mayoría de nosotros continuamos experimentando una pérdida (o al menos una reducción significativa) de las conexiones personales y comunitarias a las que estamos tan acostumbrados en nuestras vidas.

Esta es una de las razones por las que estamos emocionados de organizar nuestro primer BINGO FUNdraiser virtual el domingo 22 de noviembre. Extrañaremos ver a nuestra comunidad de gala en persona en nuestro evento usual de Harvest Moon, estamos entusiasmados por conectarnos con todos ustedes en este nuevo forma interactivo y familiar! Consulte más información a continuación y considere unirse con nosotros y/o pasen la información a otros que quieran jugar con nosotros. La inscripción se cierra en unas pocas semanas más.

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

Con bondad
Christopher Perri, MS, LCSW
Director Ejecutivo
Have Fun, Do Good
PCDA's Virtual Bingo Night - Sunday, November 22
An evening that kicks off Thanksgiving week, when your family can join the family community of PCDA for an evening of fun, prizes, games and much more, enjoyed from your own home, in real-time, virtually.  

Gather with us, and let’s be thankful for all we have, and all we can do, together.
People of PCDA
Teen Program Participants Hold Virtual Art Show
Everything's been a little different this year, and our Teen Art Show is no different! The Teen Programs have had an annual art show for the past nine years and the teens were really motivated to continue the tradition virtually this year. They worked together in their groups and with their families to create art to submit and are really excited to share their work! See video of both amazing art shows below.
Teen Club Art Show, above.
Teen Buddies Art Show, above.
Clients of the Month: Matheson and Joey!
Way to Go, Matheson!
Matheson's mother shares:

"When we started our journey with PCDA, veggies were something that could not touch the tongue without a gag reflex. Now we eat carrots regularly and are taking one bite of everything on our plate. We have come a long way since we started and we are so grateful to be clients of PCDA."
Three Cheers for Joey!

This past month, Joey has been drinking a lot of water to stay hydrated in the heat.

He likes to make silly faces and letters of the alphabet using string cheese, grapes, and strawberries. Hooray!

Photos: Matheson, above, and Joey, below.
Board of Directors Spotlight: Daniel Davila
A native of Quito, Ecuador, Daniel Davila came to know about PCDA by working on a pro bono consulting project with the Stanford Alumni Consulting team. Daniel had received an MBA from Stanford University as well as an undergraduate degree in economics and film studies from Claremont McKenna College, and an MFA from The Peter Stark (producing) Program at USC.
Dan’s education demonstrates his diverse interests as well as his pursuit of personal growth and understanding. It takes a disciplined individual to not just be accepted through personal academic achievement to these institutions, but significant fortitude to successfully get to the other side.   
Now a film producer and strategy consultant to major studios and production companies, and under the banner of his company Divisadero Pictures, Dan specializes in leading diverse teams to take on novel business challenges to develop new entertainment products, experiences, and processes, to award-winning results. 
A practicing Buddhist for 20 years, Dan’s faith informs how his views are shaped and how these practices and teachings are applied to daily life for business, family, and community. Through his leadership and communication skills, any constituency that he is involved with share a greater collective understanding, creating opportunities for diverse groups to find common answers. 
Dan demonstrates through actions a depth of generosity that is all-encompassing, believing in the importance of generosity as a fundamental spiritual practice. Dan believes the chance to give and participate in local organizations is a prime opportunity to live a more meaningful, connected life. 
Dan’s willingness to engage in his Board of Directors role at PCDA and be a thought leader within the board, has served the organization well over the years. Dan was looking for an opportunity to have impact, “to move the needle for an organization that does great work, and is on the verge of great leaps towards its long-term potential.” Dan has stated that PCDA “can have a transformative effect on the field of childhood development services, and thereby, multiply the impact of the years of innovation, which are the legacy and future of PCDA.”
Important to Dan’s assessment and association with PCDA is that he’s a dad. He’s a dad whose son has been a client of PCDA’s. Dan shares that PCDA’s approach to client care is “open-hearted, open-minded and a patient approach to whole family wellness.” Dan’s son, Sebastian, was provided care in Feeding Therapy. PCDA’s executive director (at the time), Dr. Diane Cullinane, and then-deputy executive director, Christopher Perri, provided a forum for this family’s needs to be assessed, and “the care they took to see Sebastian for all he is, and all he can be….to be supported and seen is about all we can ask of any interpersonal connection. We got that and more at PCDA.”
Dan is involved. He’s not a side-liner. Whether it’s the time he spends with his children, wife April and two inquisitive doodles, canvassing underserved neighborhoods in “get out the vote” initiatives, or supporting other non-profits through volunteer efforts or with monetary support, Dan is committed to the tasks at hand. Dan even finds time to do something for himself, whether playing soccer or following his noisy musical pursuits as an ardent drum player, Dan sought out ways to create a purpose-filled life. A life that PCDA benefits from, greatly.
Programs and Services Spotlight
Halloween Fun with PCDA!

Children ages 5-12 are invited to join us for a virtual costume dance party.
See the NoteAbles Children's Choir, Live on Zoom!

The NoteAbles will perform at PCDA's virtual Bingo FUNdraiser on November 22.
Information and Resources for Families
Free COVID Testing from Collaborate PASadena

This walk-up testing site will be open to all; no insurance or ID required.
Free eBook Borrowing at OpenLibrary.org
Reading with your child is a great way to build their language, but after all these months at home, you both might be ready for some new selections. PCDA Speech & Language Department Head Anne Davis recommends signing up for the online resource Open Library. You do need to create an account, but there is no cost, and you can borrow ebooks to read with your child.

You can browse the selection and pick books at different levels. For those who are learning how to use words you can start with picture books and simple narratives (they have Mo Wilhems' Elephant and Piggie series) and classic early readers (like Cynthia Rylant's Mr. Putter and Tabby). Some books can be borrowed for one hour. Used books are also available to order and purchase. Books are available in many languages including English, Spanish, French, Chinese, Italian, and Japanese.

Go to openlibrary.org! You might even find something to read yourself after your child has gone to sleep.
Recommended Reading & Viewing
The Latest from PCDA Co-Founder Dr. Diane Cullinane

PCDA's co-founder and executive director emeritus has been hard at work educating the public about the benefits of DIRFloortime®! You can read her recently authored paper, Evidence Base for the DIRFloortime® Approach, as well as an article about this work. See a video interview with Dr. Diane from Affect Autism below!
5 Tips to Help Your Child Learn New Words

"Children learn language during the everyday interactions they have with their caregivers. By trying some of these tips as you play and interact with your child, you will help him understand what words mean and how they are used to communicate during everyday conversations."
Down Syndrome Awareness Month & What it Means to Me!

"October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month where we celebrate Down syndrome and let everyone know our abilities and that we are capable of doing anything we set our minds to. ... We have the same wants and dreams as everyone else. ... We are more alike than we are different."
Tip of the Month
How to have a conversation with your child
by Anne Davis, MS, CCC-SLP, Head of PCDA's Speech and Language Services

Tip 1: Just like everyone else, young children want to talk about the things that interest them. If your child isn’t talking a lot, it can be hard to know what is on their mind. Sometimes we need to watch what our children are doing, look where they are looking, or try to hear what they might be hearing. Take a walk and try to experience the world from your child’s perspective. Instead of asking what they see or hear, try modeling how they could make a comment. “Ooh! That was a big dog!” Or, “I hear a leaf blower. Wow! That’s loud.”

Tip 2: When your child begins to name people and things, you can let them know that you find these things interesting, too, and that you are very proud. Instead of saying “good job,” you could always repeat what your child says in an affirming and excited voice. Your child says “Cat” and you can say “Cat!” with a big smile and a nod, then repeat, "Yes! That is a Cat!” You might not realize it, but you and your child are having a conversation about a topic that may be highly interesting to them: the cat next door!

Tip 3: You have been working all day and you haven’t seen your young elementary age child. You say, “How was your day? What did you do?” Your child says “okay” or “nothing” or “I don’t know.” You really wish your child would talk to you, but maybe they haven’t yet learned how to do that. You can always be the one to start, talking about a simple experience that was interesting to you and that you think might also interest your child. For example, “When I was working on the computer, I looked out the window and I saw a hummingbird. It was beautiful. I liked it. Maybe we will see a hummingbird together.” Then pause and wait. Maybe your child will tell you something they saw, or ask a question. Even if they don’t say anything, you’ve shown them how we can talk to each other.
Quote of the Month
"As human beings, our job in life is to help people realize how rare and valuable each one of us really is, that each of us has something that no one else has ― or ever will have ― something inside that is unique to all time."

―Mister Rogers
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.

At this time, community giving is even more crucial in supporting our work.

Click the PCDA client artwork to make a donation today!
More Ways to Support PCDA's Work
PCDA's 2020 Virtual Holiday Toy Drive

Donations made through this year's Holiday Toy Drive will help families in need to receive access to telehealth services, toys, and other essential items. Visit bit.ly/PCDAtoys to learn how you can give the gift of play!
Support PCDA Through Your Online Shopping!

Use Amazon? Consider making your purchases through smile.amazon.com.
During this time of national emergency, when many households are using online purchasing to help keep their families safe, we wanted to remind you that PCDA receives a charitable donation from Amazon Smile for every purchase made when you create and use an Amazon Smile account, or use your existing Amazon account but make your purchases through the Amazon Smile website. You get the same products, same prices and same service at Amazon Smile as you do on Amazon!

Amazon Smile donates a percentage of your purchase to PDCA when you take these simple steps before shopping:

  • Create an Amazon Smile account or simply log into your existing Amazon account at smile.amazon.com.
  • Once you, the customer, signs into your Amazon Smile account, you’ll be prompted to “Support your charitable organization by starting your shopping at smile.amazon.com.”
  • You will then be prompted to “Select a charity to start shopping.” Please type in “PCDA” so that your purchase will automatically be eligible for PCDA to receive a percentage of your purchase as a charitable donation.

That’s it! The Amazon Smile platform will take care of the rest. Once you check out, a percentage of your sale will automatically be directed to PCDA. Thanks so much for considering this option when you shop online. We’re very grateful for all support of our mission, and what it means for the children and families we care for.
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. 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.
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.
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!