Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Bullying and the special needs child

Please join us for the January SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting! 
 
Remember, the meeting is postponed 1 week due to the New Years holiday!  

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interes...ted parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available.

Topic: Bullying and the special needs child

Speaker: Dr. Steve Becker, Becker & Associates

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, 1 mile off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

Date: Monday, January 9th

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Email me with any questions at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Raw & Gluten-Free Holiday Menu Ideas

Please join us for the November SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting!

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available.

Topic: Raw & Gluten-Free Holiday Menu Ideas

Speaker: Renee LaCoste, Raw Foods Chef  & Gluten-Free Specialist

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, 1 mile off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

Date: Monday, November 7th

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Email me with any questions at specialfamiliespc@gmail.co​m. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sensational Santa 2011!

Sensational Santa is a sensory-friendly Santa portrait experience for families with special needs children. No more waiting in lines! Your child will meet Santa in a supported environment at their own designated time. 

We are excited to announce the 2nd annual Sensational Santa will have 2 dates this year - November 19th and December 3rd!

The cost is $5 per person, up to $20 per family. Slots fill up fast so reserve your appointment with Santa today! We will be at a new location this year, so please visit our site to get all the info. Online booking and payment is now available!  
 
Like Sensational Santa on Facebook!
 
 
Sensational Santa 2011 is proudly sponsored by Simply Simons Photography, the Exceptional Families Network, and the Holy Names Society.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

AAC Devices: High-tech, low-tech, and everything in-between

Please join us for the October SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting!

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available.

Topic: AAC (Augmentative & Alternative Communication) Devices: High-tech, low-tech, and everything in-between

Speaker: David Pozolinski, AAC Services Manager at CLASS, Inc.

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, 1 mile off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

Date: Monday, October 3rd

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Email me with any questions at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Our Big Announcement



Please join us for the September SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting!
 
There will be a BIG announcement for our group and we will follow with a discussion.

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available.

We will resume our regular speaker schedule in October.

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, 1 mile off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

Date: Monday, September 12th

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

If you have library resources checked out, please bring them with you. Email me with any questions at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Fundraiser Garage Sale

ONE DAY ONLY - Saturday, August 6th!

9:00am – 3:00pm

Off of Cirque Dr. W. & 79th Ave. Ct. W. in University Place

Help us raise money for SPECIAL Families of Pierce County so that we can help families with special needs children!

To donate items for the sale or to volunteer at this event, please contact Angela at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com.

If you cannot attend but wish to donate, please click on the Donate button on the right-hand toolbar of our blog.

Thanks for your support!

Summer Family Social Saturday

Join us at 10am on August 6th for some play time with the families of SFPC at Bradley Lake Park in Puyallup (located behind the South Hill Walmart)!

FYI - I'll be leaving a bit early so that I can go help out at our fundraising garage sale. If you have time, stop by the sale! See the next blog entry for all the info.

And, don't forget that we will not have a regular meeting in August. We'll resume our regular meeting schedule in September on the 12th.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Parent Snack & Share

Please join us for the July SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting! The meeting will be postponed by one week in observance of the July 4th holiday.

Bring a snack and join us for an informal chat among parents.

If able, please bring an item to donate to the group - like a book for the lending library or an item to sell on eBay to raise money for group expenses.

**PLEASE NOTE**

We will be having a fundraising garage sale (date TBA for late July/early August) and I would appreciate any donations you might have that can be sold with the intent to help raise money. Feel free to bring items for the garage sale with you to the meeting.

If you would like to volunteer to help at the garage sale, please email me at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com.

I will not be bringing any library selections or new member binders this month.

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, just off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

Date: Monday, July 11th

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm

Email me with any questions at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Gluten-Free & Raw Foods Cooking Demo

Please join us for the June SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting!

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available.

Topic: Gluten-Free & Raw Foods Cooking Demo

Speaker: Renee LaCoste, Raw Foods Chef & Gluten-Free Specialist

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, just off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

Date: Monday, June 6th

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Email me with any questions at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Don't forget to check out Renee's blog and find her on Facebook.


 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Managing Behaviors with a Token Economy System

Please join us for the May SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting!

Topic: Managing Behaviors with a Token Economy System

Speaker: Dr. Penelope Zindt, DC

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, just off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

Date: Monday, May 2nd

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available.

Email me with any questions at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com. Hope to see you there!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Financial Planning Aspects of Special Needs Trusts

Please join us for the April SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting!

Topic: Financial Planning Aspects of Special Needs Trusts

Speakers: Matthew Robertson, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney & Michael Wiggins, Assure Estate Planning

Where:
Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, just off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

Date:
Monday, April 11th (postponed one week for Spring Break)

Time: 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available.

Email me with any questions at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com. Hope to see you on Monday, April 11th!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Summer Activity Ideas


Please join us for the March SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting!

Topic:
Summer Activity Ideas

Speakers
include representatives from: Easter Seals Camp Stand By Me, Pierce County Parks & Recreation Companionship Program, Metro Parks Tacoma Specialized Recreation

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, just off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

When: Monday, March 7th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rally on Capitol steps in Olympia - Fri. 2/18, 10am-1pm

A friend of mine, and fellow SFPC parent, is trying to draw attention to Shayan's Law. The deadline for it to get voted out of committee is Monday! It is stays in committee, it's dead...again. She's organized a last-minute rally tomorrow! Read below for the details.

-Angela Fish

For more information about Shayan's Law, visit http://www.washingtonautismadvocacy.org/
__________________________

Hi,

As many of you are aware, Senate bill 5059 (Shayan's Law) for autism insurance parity will die in the Health Committee by the end of the day this Monday, Feb 21st. I am getting together a grassroots group of parents, friends and family that will meet on the Capitol steps tomorrow 2/18 from 10-1pm for a demonstration in support of the bill and to urge Senator Karen Keiser, Chair of the Health Committee to put the bill to a vote immediately.

Please join me and others in support of the thousands of children with autism that receive no therapy due to insurance coverage denial. Let's all wear red to look unified and stand out and also bring signs (I've heard handmade ones are the most effective! :) I will also try to bring some extra signs, too. It's also really effective to bring photos of your child 5X7 or larger--it doesn't even have to be a current photo.

Even if you can only come for part of the time, (during lunch etc.) please try to come and support the bill. Please pass this along to everyone you know so we can get as many people there as possible--maybe church groups, your moms group, friend, retired neighbors, etc.??

I'm working on trying to get us some media coverage---people need to know that this is the 3rd time the legislature has not put the bill to a vote and they are failing their constituents. If we can get a group of us there and on TV it might really make a difference!!!

Thanks for your help and hope to see you tomorrow!

-Jill Karsh
cell:253-224-0081 (Feel free to call w/any questions!)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Tips for Smooth Transitioning

Please join us for the next SPECIAL Families of Pierce County meeting!

We're pleased to welcome Carrie Sheppard, LMHC and Elaine Duncan, LMHC from the MindSource Center, LLC. They will discuss the challenges that individuals on the autism spectrum have with transitioning, particularly from high school graduation to college or work. Their information will equip you with strategies, resources, and ideas for helping your child successfully move into adulthood with a minimum of stress. Even if you have young children, this information will help you with proactive tips on how to help move toward these major transitions, setting the framework for success over time.

There will be selected lending library resources available for check out, and new attendees receive a valuable binder of information for free (until they are gone). Professionals and other interested parties are welcome to attend. Childcare is not available. Email me at specialfamiliespc@gmail.com with any questions.


Topic: Tips for Smooth Transitioning

Speaker: Carrie Sheppard, LMHC & Elaine Duncan, LMHC - MindSource Center 

Where: Pierce County Library Processing & Administration Center
3005 112th St E., Tacoma
(at 112th and Waller Rd, just off Hwy 512 Portland Ave exit)

When: Monday, February 7th from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm

Hope to see you there!
-Angela

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New Year's Resolutions? Maybe not.


Well, here we are. It's 2011. Once again, it’s time to plan how we will fill the blank pages of a new year. I went out to shop some of the after Christmas sales and found that a majority of the stores already had made the move from Santa’s red and green Wonderland to the Pepto-Bismol pink glow of Valentine’s Day. Besides the change in holidays, I repeatedly saw items related to fitness and organization. There were stacks and rows of plastic storage tubs and boxes, wicker baskets, yoga mats, water bottles, heart rate monitors and more. Does everyone in the US resolve to the do same thing year after year? Get fit! Get organized!  Are we that predictable? 

I think so. I was one of those people. Every year I would resolve to be healthier, among other lofty and unattainable goals. Inevitably, I would disappoint myself. My resolutions were typically busted by the second week of January. What can I say? Willpower is not my forte.

Things changed for me about 5 years ago when my husband was diagnosed with lymphoma. For his 30th birthday, the gift he got was recuperation from surgery and the anticipation of chemotherapy and radiation. Needless to say, it was not a banner year for us. However, something happened to me that changed me forever. In my quest to help my husband, I opened my eyes, ears, and mind to things I never gave a second thought to before.

It was this forced awakening about things like toxic load that prepared me to make significant changes when we received the diagnosis for our boys. In learning about autism and changes I might need to make for our kids, I realized I’d done this before. It wasn’t as overwhelming the second time around. Yes, it sucks and it’s really hard, but I’m a combat veteran from cancer. I got this! At least I hoped I did.

Where to begin? Clean up your environment. What do you eat? What do you drink? What do you put on your body? What do you allow into your home? Changes are needed in droves! Cue the resolutions!

As I mentioned before, resolutions and I don’t usually get along. So instead of resolutions, I now make an agreement with my husband about what issue we want to take on over the course of a year. Then we set out to do the things necessary related to that issue. You know, accountability. Two heads are better than one. That kind of thing. And, these ideas are permanent changes that we incorporate into our lifestyle. Resolutions don’t work for us, but tangible planning in unison does. What does this look like in action, you ask? Well…

Three years ago we dealt with the air we breathe. We installed a hospital-grade whole house air filtration system. We also bought in-room air ionizers and several Himalayan salt lamps.

Two years ago, we tackled food and chemicals. We had already made the switch to mostly organic produce the year before, but then I made a newly concerted effort to buy exclusively organic products whenever possible. We’re talking organic grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, free-range organic poultry and eggs, replacing all of my spices with organic ones (which aren’t irradiated!), etc. We switched out all of our cleaning products, detergents, beauty products, etc., to ones that are plant-based, non-toxic and non-chemical. I even went so far as to carry the new standards over to my lawn and yard care products. Chemicals be gone!

Last year we focused on water. We installed charcoal filters on our shower heads to filter out the chlorine that our body was exposed to both topically and as a gas when we took a shower. We had already made the switch from tap water (chock full of fluoride and chlorine!) to spring water with naturally occurring minerals and a pH just a hair on the alkaline side of neutral. We used spring water for drinking and cooking, and typically went through a gallon a day, sometimes more. That gets expensive, especially when the government enacts a water tax on every ounce of bottled water you buy. As a result of the tax, something we’d talked about before as a “wouldn’t it be great?” item for the house became much more reasonable to entertain. We ran the numbers and decided to buy an atmospheric water generator. Yes folks, we make our own water from the air. It’s filtered in a multi-step process (reverse osmosis, UV, etc.), it adds minerals back in, and it has instant cold and instant hot spigots that you can set to whatever temperatures your heart desires. No more tea kettle for me! Now I water my plants with this water, we cook with it, we drink it, and not only is it good, we know it’s safe.

Now, we’re here at the dawn of 2011. What’s the plan for this year? We’re changing how we cook. I just bought some frying pans that don’t release PTFE when heated. The old non-stick pans are gone! I already acquired some cast iron and stainless steel pans over the past few years, and we’ve switched our daily usage containers from plastic to glass. We also took a big risk to our sense of convenience, and unplugged the microwave. I bought a toaster oven that has convection, and will use it to replace my dying toaster and my food-destroying microwave. It’s also large enough to replace my oven on most things (which will save energy). There will definitely be a learning curve here, as we’ve come to rely on the ease of tossing something into the microwave at the last minute. This change will require a little bit more planning and time, but we agree that it’s a good change and we’re willing to take the plunge.

The kinds of changes we’ve made at our house are much too intense to take on all at one time. By breaking things down into steps we can manage, we continue to better our household without incurring major sticker shock. It’s much easier and less overwhelming that way. I wonder what we’ll change for 2012? Who knows? I’ve got a whole year to think about it, and besides, I need to become an expert with my new style of cooking first.

Here’s to resolving to make permanent changes! Happy New Year!