An Au Pair for Your Special Needs Child

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					FALL 2011 • Vol 2 • Edition 3

                                Ser ving the San Francisco Peninsula & Silicon Valley.

 Special Needs & Education Guide

 An Au Pair for
 Your Special
 Needs Child
                                      Ideas for the
                                      Whole Family
                                   Hands-on Art Near You

 Learning Differences:
  Not Related to
 Learning to Navigate
 the System
2                 SHINE! By Parenting on the Peninsula                                                                                                                                                             October 2011

     Table of Contents                                                                                  Editorial
                                                                                                                                            Welcome to our third       We have another story about Arbor Bay School and
    Feature Stories                                                                                                                         edition of Shine! We’re    the positive steps they have made in many young lives.
                                                                                                                                            very proud to offer        Pam Joy reminds us that learning differences are NOT
    A Pocketful of Ideas: Enrichment  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 4                                                                     some great articles.Our    correlated with intelligence. People process and analyze
    Au Pair Option for Special Needs Child  .  .  .  .  .  . 6                                                                              wonderful Dr. Jason        things in many different ways. And for those of you who
    Encouragement for Children with Learning                                                                                                Clark shares some          are looking for household help for your special needs
    Differences  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 7                                       parenting strategies for   child, you might consider an au pair. Many au pairs have
                                                                                                                                            children with Learning     experience with special needs children and are, if fact,
                                                                                                                                            Disabilities. LD
    Columns                                                                                                                                 children need to realize
                                                                                                                                                                       preparing for a career in the field. Wouldn’t it be nice to
                                                                                                                                                                       have someone like that in your household!
    The Doctor Is In: Self -Advocacy .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 3                                                                   they are intelligent,
                                                                                                                                                                       Barbara Fischer gives us a tour of hands-on places to
    Go To Grandma: Special Needs Children  .  .  .  .  . 5                                                                                  but their brains just
                                                                                                                                                                       experience art up and down the Peninsula, places that
                                                                                                                                            work differently. Next
                                                                                                                                                                       welcome individuals with different abilities and challenges.
    News and More                                                                                                                           they need some great
                                                                                                        teachers to show them some coping skills. Donne Davis,
                                                                                                                                                                       From working with clay to charcoal, these are places the
    POP Special Ed/Special Needs Directory  .  .  .  .  . 4                                                                                                            whole family can enjoy. So please take a stroll through our
                                                                                                        our Go To Grandma, shares one grandmother’s struggle
                                                                                                                                                                       special section. We want all children to Shine!
                                                                                                        helping to raise a child with cerebral palsy. (Grab your
                                                                                                        handkerchief—the happy one, not the sad one.) We learn
                                                                                                        that through the magical power of love and some very           Tory Hartmann
                                                                                                        hard work, Julie Matsushima discovered a special clinic in
                           POP Team                                                                     Poland. I won’t spoil the read…I know you’ll enjoy it.
                                                                                                                                                                       Managing Editor

Publisher/Editor                                           Web Master
                                                           Len Ramirez

                                                                                                                                       On the Cover
Joanne Bracco
Managing Editor                                            Web Editor Intern
Tory Hartmann                                              Megan Ramirez

                                                                                                                                                                          SH NE!
Operations Manager                                         Advisory Council
Lyne-Marie Thomas                                          Joanne Adan
                                                           Lisa Rosenthal
Sales Manager
Carol Raisner                                              Columnists This Month
Advertising Executives                                     Jason Clark, MD
Joanne Bracco                                              Donne Davis                                  Say hello to the Kalra family whose son Arjun is enjoying the beautiful facilities at Community Gate Path. Arjun Kalra
Lisa Janny                                                 Contributing Writers                         (2 years old) has Cerebral Palsy and is in the program at Community Gate Path. Community Gate Path has one of the
Carol Raisner                                              This Month                                   most comprehensive service portfolios spanning all ages from early intervention for infants to community access and
Sonia Vittori                                              Barbara Fischer                              job training for adults and seniors. All programs are designed to prepare children and adults to actively participate in
Calendar Representative/                                   Pam Joy                                      their schools, community, workplaces and at home. At Community Gate Path children achieve their goals, believe in
Copy Editor                                                Wendie Karel                                 themselves and dream that anything is possible!
Amy Shulman
Cover Photo

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Visit us at                                                                                                                                                                                     (650) 477-2579
October 2011                                                                                                                                  SHINE! By Parenting on the Peninsula                         3

     is in                                                Self-Advocacy                                                                                             By Jason Clark, M.D.

T      here are many children who struggle in school.
       ADD, ADHD, dyslexia and auditory processing
issues are just a few of the diagnoses children with learning
                                                                do well and work on the problem areas.
                                                                One of the greatest tools my son left CAS with is
                                                                the courage to self-advocate. He has been taught to
                                                                                                                                        They quietly slip through our school systems
                                                                                                                                      just getting by. It is the parent’s job to advocate
                                                                                                                               for them, but a greater gift is to teach our children to
differences (LDs) are labeled with. My goal as a parent and     inform teachers of his disability and ask for help and         advocate for themselves. Encourage your child to ask for
a doctor is to keep kids positive about school even if they     accommodations when needed. He is not embarrassed              help and speak to their teachers at a young age. Many
are not “A” students. One of the most important lessons         by his LD and understands that his brain just works            teachers want the children to come to them for help. I feel
that a student can learn is to advocate for themselves. This    differently. We focus more on his effort than his grades. If   by 7th-8th grade a child should be able to self-advocate. It
is very difficult for most children but with encouragement      he comes to us upset over a bad grade, we ask if he tried      takes courage to do this but with some guidance children
from parents it is something that can be learned.               hard. If so, we don’t berate him for the grade. My wife’s      can stand up for themselves.
If you noticed, I wrote learning difference, and not            line is, “Your best has to be good enough.” His teachers       Dr. Jason Clark has been a pediatrician at Kaiser Permanente in Redwood
disability. Many children with LDs are extremely bright,        are impressed with how he comes to them and asks for           City since 2000. When not working he enjoys fishing, skiing, and spending
                                                                                                                               time with his wife and two children.
creative and can succeed in school. The trick is to get them    help when needed.
to the point where they feel successful and comfortable in      LDs can be difficult to figure out. Teachers will often
school even if they have to work harder than most. This         guide parents on how to
is not something that a child can understand in a short         navigate the system. Public
period of time. It can take years to help them realize that     schools tend to have more
they are intelligent but their brain just works differently.    services available, but many
My son is now a freshman in high school. He spent six           private schools are starting
years at Charles Armstrong School (CAS) in Belmont.             to help students with special
CAS is a school for children with dyslexia. They focus on       needs. If you feel your child
the whole child. This school finds a child’s strengths and      has an LD ask your local
weaknesses and focuses on both. Many LD children excel          public school in writing for
in sports or the arts. Building a child up and pointing         an IEP (Individual Education
out what they are good at is very important. Many of            Program). This will start a
the children who struggle have very low self esteem. CAS        cascade of events that will
makes sure to offer a variety of activities to teach the        determine if your child
whole child. Acknowledging that they do have trouble            qualifies for special services.
with spelling, math or writing is better than getting mad if    Many children with LDs
they come home with a “C”. Children with LDs need to            fall through the cracks.
feel good about who they are. Praise them for what they

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   School Age Therapy Services                                                                     with academic,
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                                                                                                  For more than ten years, the Brain Balance Program® has helped children become
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Visit us at                                                                                       (650) 477-2579
4        SHINE! By Parenting on the Peninsula                                                                                                                                  October 2011

                     A Pocketful of Ideas:
                             Enrichment ideas for Special Needs Kids                                                                                               By Barbara Fischer

A      re you looking for something fun for your special
        needs child? Let your child enjoy a wide variety of
activities that will provide fun and friendship, two very
                                                               make a positive outcome from what a child might think
                                                               is a ‘mistake’.” Melsa offers children a wide variety of art
                                                               materials to explore and to have fun with. Clay is used for
                                                                                                                                kids is evident at the Art Attack Studio. Nancy Call
                                                                                                                                Torres, owner of this art studio in Burlingame, helps
                                                                                                                                children with different learning differences, including
important things for all children. Encourage your special      its sensory value and the relaxing feeling that comes from       dyslexia and Downs Syndrome, to enjoy the benefits
needs child to focus, accomplish a project, gain self-         working with it.                                                 of art. Nancy believes that art allows kids to work in a
confidence, stretch his imagination and find his creativity.   At the All Arts Studio in San Carlos, owner Alla Chertok-        different way. For example, she has short-term projects
Art is an enrichment activity that lets your special needs     Tirpolsky welcomes special needs children to her classes.        that encourage children who rush through their activities
child enter a wonderful world. As one parent of an autistic    She offers a “unique personalized program that is                to slow down and focus on the work at hand. For those
child said, “Art is a very important thing for my son…it       specifically designed for individuals with different abilities   kids that tend to work more slowly, longer projects
makes his life more fun.” Melsa Wong, who is the owner         and challenges.” Through art, her students improve               encourage them to work consistently toward finishing
of an art studio in San Mateo, adds, “My students are          their fine motor skills. She uses a variety of materials         their artwork.
not only learning art skills, but also learning problem        to encourage her students to improve their hand-eye              Another art activity your child might be interested in is
solving abilities. Helping children turn their mistakes        coordination.                                                    using and creating with clay. While most of the art studios
into masterpieces is another way to show children how to       This same sense of awareness and feeling for special needs                                           (Continued on pg. 6)

     SH NE! directory
     Arbor Bay School                                          Days: M, T, W, F                                                 myofunctional therapy, voice, autism, aural rehabilitation,
     1017 Cedar Street, San Carlos                             Class Size: 4 – 8                                                swallowing disorders and many more.
     (650) 631-9999                     Amenities: Diapers Accepted, Special Needs                       Quest Therapeutic Camps
     A multi-disciplinary and experiential approach to         Brain Balance Achievement Center                                 2333 San Ramon Valley Blvd, Ste 125, San Ramon
     education for children with mild-to-moderate language-    3380 Geary Blvd, San Francisco                                   (925) 743-2900
     based learning differences that may impact academics,     (415) 213-1760                       Quest Therapeutic Camps have been providing innovative,
     speech/language, motor development, attention/focus                                                                        proven effective group therapy programs for over 23
     and social skills.                                        Brain Balance Program is an individualized, non-medical
                                                               program to help children who live with ADD/ADHD,                 years. Our 8-week intensive therapeutic day camp and
     K – 8th Grade: Age 5 – 14 years                           dyslexia, Tourette’s, Asperger’s and Autism Spectrum             weekly group therapy programs are designed for children
     Religious affiliation: None                               disorders reach their academic, social and physical              and teens with ADHD, Asperger’s disorder, anxiety,
     Enrollment: 42                                            potential. We utilize a comprehensive approach to                depression, self esteem and social problems. Visit www.
     Class ratio: 3:1 in lower grades; 6:1 in middle school    address the spectrum of academic performance, social    for complete information and online
     Entrance process: R, S, O, V, A                           abilities, cognitive function, sensory and motor skills,         registration. Robert Field, PhD, founder and licensed
     Application Testing: $150                                 visual-spatial organizational skills and nutritional health.     psychologist, supervises all treatment.
     Tuition: Varies
     Uniforms: No                                              Community Gatepath                                               Stanbridge Academy
     Extended Care: until 5 pm                                 1764 Marco Polo Way, Burlingame                                  San Mateo
                                                               (650) 259-8500                                  (650) 375-5860
     Associated Learning and Language Specialists, Inc                                                                          Stanbridge is an independent school, grades K-12, for
     1060 Twin Dolphin Drive, Ste #100, Redwood City          Community Gatepath fosters hope, dignity and
                                                              independence among children and adults with disabilities.         students with mild to moderate LD and ASD. Stanbridge
     (650) 631-9999                                                                                             curriculum includes class sizes of 1 teacher to 8 students,
                                                              We dedicate ourselves to building inclusive environments
     Early intervention classes led by speech pathologists.   where individuals of all abilities can thrive.                    California-standards based instruction, experiential
     Preschool classes led by CA credentialed teachers.                                                                         and enrichment activities and the integration of social
     Language, social skills, developmental play addressed    Optometric Center for Family Vision Care and                      pragmatics. Call for a tour!
     through a multi-disciplinary team including occupational Vision Therapy
     and behavior therapists.                                 1234 Cherry St., San Carlos                                       TALK: Teaching and Assessing Language for Kids
     Age Infant – 6 years                                     (650) 593-1661                           Burlingame
     Hours: 8 am – 12:30 pm (program dependent)                                                                                 (650) 344-9962
                                                              For over 20 years we have successfully treated vision
     Days: M – F                                                                                                                TALK provides comprehensive speech and language
                                                              problems that interfere with attention, reading and
     Class Size: 4 – 8                                                                                                          therapy for children. We offer assessments and intensive
                                                              academic performance. Developmental vision care can
     Amenities: Accreditation, Diapers Accepted, Educational                                                                    programs for the treatment of all speech, voice, language,
                                                              make all the difference for those with autism and other
     Curriculum Offered, Special Needs                                                                                          fluency, social and developmental delays and disorders.
                                                              special needs. We also provide non-surgical treatment of
                                                              eye turns or lazy eye. Call today for more information.           Our goal is to make speech therapy an effective and
     Associated Learning and Language Specialists,                                                                              rewarding experience for children and their families.
     Inc .
                                                              Peninsula Associates
     660 So. Bernardo Avenue, Ste #4, Sunnyvale                                                                                 Toren Psychological Services
                                                              Menlo Park, San Mateo, Santa Cruz
     (650) 631-9999                                                                                             Mountain View
                                                              (650) 324-0648
     Early intervention classes led by speech pathologists.                                                                     (650) 833-8834
                                                              Peninsula Associates employs 20 licensed and ASHA
     Language, social skills, developmental play addressed                                                                      We provide quality and comprehensive assessment,
                                                              certified SLP’s. We provide on- and off-site services
     through a multi-disciplinary team including occupational                                                                   counseling and advocacy. We specialize in neuro-psych
                                                              to public and private schools, medical offices and
     and behavior therapists.                                                                                                   testing, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Executive
                                                              rehabilitation facilities. Our staff is multi-lingual and
     Age Infant – 3 years                                     has specialties in childhood apraxia of speech, fluency,          Functioning Disorders.
     Hours: 8 am – 12 pm

Visit us at                                                                                                                                                 (650) 477-2579
October 2011                                                                                                                             SHINE! By Parenting on the Peninsula             5

   Go-to                                                      Grandma Advocates for
  Grandma                                                     Special Needs Children                                                                               By Donne Davis

W        hen Julie Matsushima learned that she was going
         to become a grandma of identical twin girls, she
was ecstatic. But her joy turned to sorrow when one of the
                                                              Their trip took 30 hours with many flight changes. They
                                                              stayed for a month in a tiny room. During that trip,
                                                              Aimee began speaking in sentences and her personality
                                                                                                                            Julie has chronicled their miraculous 14-year journey
                                                                                                                            in her book For the Love of Aimee. During one of their
twins, Aimee, was born with massive brain damage and          blossomed. She benefited so much from the therapy that        trips in 2001, Julie listened to other parents talking about
cerebral palsy. Doctors predicted Aimee wouldn't live and     Julie took her to Poland six more times over the next six     the fund-raising challenges they faced in trying to bring
if she did, she would be blind, deaf and unable to speak or   years.                                                        their children to Poland for therapy. She was inspired to
walk. The family was devastated.                              When a program based on the Euromed Rehabilitation            start That’s Amore Charitable Foundation, a non-profit
Julie was the first one to enter the ICU to hold Aimee,       Center opened in Anaheim, California, Julie continued         organization that benefits children with disabilities by
and as she did, she formed a bond with the infant. She        to take Aimee for month-long treatments. During one           providing therapy and equipment.
also noticed that the baby seemed alert and startled          trip, Julie suffered a massive heart attack and had to have   Julie is viewed as a lay expert on the subject and is
when a nurse dropped a metal container on the floor.          bypass surgery. But she regained her strength because of      frequently invited to share her inspiring story with
Something “magical” happened for Julie that first day in      her determination to help Aimee.                              parents, professionals and doctors. She has not only
1997, and she made up her mind to do all she could to         Aimee is now 14 and about to start high school. She uses      made a difference in her granddaughter”s life, but has
help Aimee achieve her maximum potential in life.             a wheelchair and attends special-needs classes. She is able   also become a devoted advocate for children with special
She read everything she could find on cerebral palsy and      to talk and write, and enjoys socializing. Physicians who     needs. She has raised awareness about the need for
connected with a parent who had organized a Web site          have examined Aimee have always been impressed by her         adaptive and equal play equipment in our parks by serving
devoted to children with cerebral palsy. Being part of        abilities. One neurologist told the family that if he had     as a Parks Commissioner for the City of San Jose Parks,
that community helped her stay positive as she faced the      seen Aimee’s MRI prior to meeting her, he would never         Recreation and Neighborhood Services Department
doctors’ negative prognosis.                                  have believed it was the same child. He said he thought it    and on the Advisory Board of the Office of Therapeutic
A breakthrough came after Aimee’s second birthday.            was “pure love from her family, combined with support         Services for the City of San Jose.
The family learned about an innovative physical therapy       and encouragement, that was responsible for Aimee’s
program in Poland. The Euromed Rehabilitation Center,         remarkable success.”
                                                                                                                            Donne Davis and her husband live in Menlo Park. They have
started in 1994, placed children in an “Adeli suit” that      When Julie reflects on the years since Aimee’s birth, she     two grown children and two grandchildren. Six years ago, after
corrected their posture and movements. After much             says she never could have imagined the journey they           witnessing the birth of her first grandchild, Donne founded the
research and fund-raising (the entire cost of travel and      would take together. “Through her I discovered the depth      GaGa Sisterhood, a social network for enthusiastic grandmas.
therapy for one month was $12,000), Julie and her             of my own character, the power of my love, the conviction     You can read her blog at or email her
daughter-in-law brought Aimee to the clinic in Poland.        of my faith and my courage in the face of hopelessness and    at:

Visit us at                                                                                                                                              (650) 477-2579
                            The Au Pair Option
6        SHINE! By Parenting on the Peninsula                                                                                                                                                              October 2011
                                                                                                                                                (Continued from pg. 4)

                                                                                                                                                A Pocketful of Ideas:
                            For Your Special Needs Child By Wendie Karel                                                                        Enrichment ideas for
                                                                                                                                                Special Needs Kids

I  n the United States today, there are hundreds of special
    needs children benefitting from the care of au pairs.
What is an au pair? An au pair is a young adult between
                                                               interview qualified au pairs interested in working with
                                                               special needs children. Although this pool of au pairs is
                                                               smaller than the general pool, families will find qualified,
                                                                                                                                                in our area offer clay instruction, some studios are set up
                                                                                                                                                just for clay. One such place is Clay Creations Studio.
                                                                                                                                                Owner Margaret Tassi notes that children like the feel
the ages of 18-26 who lives with a family and provides         loving and compassionate au pairs ready to become part of                        of wet clay. They like to mold and squeeze and rub their
personalized, quality childcare. Au pairs come from all        the family.                                                                      hands over the damp clay. She notes that autistic children
over the world, are conversant in English, love children                                                                                        particularly like the pottery wheel. Those who have used
                                                               Sophie Edwards was 10 when the Edwards family of                                 this spinning wheel feel that it has therapeutic benefits.
and are eager to learn about life in the United States.        Kansas City, MO matched with their first au pair. Sophie                         Children seem to sense that feeling, too, while molding
Au pairs are a perfect fit for many families because they      required complete care, and the family was delighted to                          clay on the wheel. Referring to the pottery that children
live in the family’s home, enabling them to have a better      have an additional person in the home to help with lifting,                      create, the owner states that “outcome comes overtime.”
understanding of how to care for a child with special          bathing and providing therapeutic playtime. They also                            It is what goes on during the process that counts.
needs while providing greater flexibility for the family.      benefitted from having an in-home caregiver who could
It is also extremely helpful to have an extra set of hands     spend more time learning Sophie’s non-verbal cues, thus                          Here are some other interesting options to check out. All
around! Au pairs can also care for the other children in the   creating a stronger bond between their daughter and the                          offer fun and learning for your child. Laurel Street Arts
home along with the special needs child.                       au pair. The experience was so positive that the family                          in San Carlos offers clay, but also includes mosaics and
                                                               continued with the program for many years throughout                             glass fusing. They welcome your special needs child to
The U.S. Department of State, which oversees the au                                                                                             come and join the fun of creativity. Don’t forget to check
pair program, specifies that an au pair can work with a        their daughter’s childhood.
                                                                                                                                                out our local libraries. The Belmont Public Library has
special needs child if he/she has had prior experience,        Au pairs provide 45 hours of individualized childcare                            an after school craft time on Tuesdays. Just call Belmont
skill or training in caring for special needs children and     for approximately $340 per week, including fees paid to                          Parks and Recreation for more information.
has selected to work with special needs children within        the agency and a weekly stipend paid to the au pair. This
the au pair program. Many au pairs looking to work with        totals around $18,000 per year compared to $30,000                               Judy Gittelsohn of the Art for Well Beings studio says,
special needs children are currently pursuing or have          - $50,000 to hire a nanny for a year. Unlike the cost of                         “Disabilities are not a hindrance in art class. All children
completed educational degrees in special education or          daycare, which increases with each additional child, the                         can enjoy art experiences.” As they work through the
child psychology in their home countries and are looking       costs associated with hosting an au pair remain the same                         process together, socialization and friendship begin to
to gain additional experience in their fields of study; or     regardless of the number of children in the family.                              flower and bloom. It’s the process that is important for
perhaps they have a special needs family member at home                                                                                         children. As Alla Chertok-Tirpolsky of All Arts Studio
                                                               The au pair program can be extremely rewarding for both                          says, “It is amazing what art can do.”
or are seeking a different type of childcare experience.       host families and au pairs. Most families enjoy the benefits
If you decide to bring an au pair into your home, the first    of having a young person living in their home and helping                        Art is but one enrichment activity that enables your
step would be to apply to a U.S. Department of State Au        to care for their children year after year, while au pairs find                  special needs child to enjoy themselves while learning. Art
Pair Agency and request a special needs au pair. Your local    working with special needs children both fulfilling and life                     is something everyone in your family can participate in.
area director will ask you for more information about your     changing.                                                                        Search online for “Art lessons for children in the San
child’s specific needs such as the child’s diagnosis, use of                                                                                    Francisco Bay Area.” You will find the above studios and
                                                               Wendie Karel has been an Area Director for AuPairCare since 2005. When
specialized equipment, medications and the availability of     Wendie is not helping host families and au pairs, she is busy with her six and   many more on this site.
local resources and support services.                          four-year-old daughters. She can be reached directly at WendieKarelAPC@
                                                                                                                                                Barbara Fischer is a preschool director with 20 years experience teaching
In programs like AuPairCare, a leading au pair agency or (650) 462-1789.                                                     in private schools. She is a freelance writer for children's magazines and is
headquartered in San Francisco, the host family would                                                                                           currently writing a children's book.
then be able to utilize an online matching tool to find and

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                                                                   1209 Howard Avenue, Suite 203 , Burlingame, CA 94010                                 1234 Cherry St., San Carlos • (650) 593-1661
                                                                                                                                                                                         (650) 477-2579
Visit us at
October 2011                                                                                                                                            SHINE! By Parenting on the Peninsula                           7

              Encouragement for Children with
                                                                           Learning Differences                                                                                                    By Pam Joy

O       ften, parents are concerned about altered dreams
         when their child is diagnosed with a learning
difference. When families first come to Arbor Bay
                                                                        teaching. Using all five of his senses for learning was a
                                                                        much better approach for Kent due to his challenges with
                                                                        language. Kent also participated in social skills sessions in
                                                                                                                                        Pam Joy is CEO of Arbor Bay School and Associated Language and Learning
                                                                                                                                        Specialists. Arbor Bay School’s mission is to increase opportunities for children
                                                                                                                                        in grades K-8 with mild to moderate learning differences to achieve academic
                                                                                                                                        and social success. We achieve this through highly individualized and
School or our clinic, Associated Language and Learning                  the classroom, where students learn how to better relate to     specialized instruction, combined with speech and occupational therapy, in a
Specialists, I like to first assure them that learning                  their friends and manage self-regulation. At the same time,     small classroom environment.
differences are not correlated with intelligence. Winston               Kent had Speech/Language therapy sessions both inside           For more than 30 years, Associated Language and Learning Specialists has
Churchill, Charles Schwab, Cher and James Carville are                  and outside of the classroom environment to improve his         strived to provide exceptional evaluation, therapy and educational services
just a few of the many people with learning differences                 communication abilities.                                        that enable our clients to overcome unique challenges and gain skills and
who have made a big impact regardless of their learning                                                                                 confidence. We believe that your child’s learning and therapeutic needs greatly
                                                                        By the time he was in first grade, Kent was much more           benefit from the collaboration and expertise of many disciplines working
differences.                                                            prepared to learn, although he still would have difficulties    together.
What does learning difference mean? People process,                     paying attention when presented with something too
analyze, express and store information in many ways.                    challenging. Arbor Bay School’s occupational therapists

                                                                                                                                          SH NE!
Individuals with learning differences may have a difficult              worked with Kent and his teachers and implemented
time processing information in a traditional sense, which               “Brain Gym” as part of his treatment plan. Brain Gym is a
can affect their academic and social understanding.                     series of intentional physical routines that lead to optimal
Without proper attention, ongoing academic challenges                   learning. After Kent started practicing these exercises
can impact confidence and self-esteem, which can affect
every aspect of a child’s life.
                                                                        every day at the beginning of school, his ability to pay
                                                                        attention improved and he had an easier time learning new                                                    Announces
At Arbor Bay School, we offer a multi-disciplinary, multi-              concepts. In fact, he became a proverbial sponge!
sensory approach to learning. Once a child with learning
differences “learns how to learn,” they can often return to
                                                                        By the end of second grade, Kent no longer needed to
                                                                        practice Brain Gym every day. He could self-monitor and
                                                                                                                                            Watch for….
their district school and experience success there.                     when he started to tune out he would initiate the Brain
For example, we have one student, Kent (not his real                    Gym exercises himself. This demonstrates incredible
                                                                                                                                            SHINE! Special
name), who started Arbor Bay School in Kindergarten.
At the time he had trouble with transitions and with self               Kent transitioned back to his district school in the fall and       Education/Special
regulation, and challenges with communication. With a                   we are confident he will be a successful learner, using the
low student-teacher ratio of three students to one teacher,             tools he has been given, for the years to come.                     Needs Fair
Arbor Bay School provided a tailored program where                      If your child was recently diagnosed with a learning                Coming to Hillsdale Shopping
he was presented with materials in an individualized                    difference, you are not alone. There are 15 million people
developmental sequence so he could experience success                                                                                       Center, San Mateo
                                                                        in this nation alone with learning differences, and at
before being given new challenges. Through this approach,               least 20 percent of those have difficulties with attention.
he gained self-confidence and became confident in his                   Quality teachers, a low student-teacher ratio and working
learning abilities.                                                     in partnership with speech/language pathologists,                   Saturday, April 7, 2012
Kent also benefited from Arbor Bay School’s multi-sensory               occupational therapists and educational specialists, can
curriculum, rather than the more typical lecture style of               help many children with learning differences adapt and
                                                                        meet his/her potential.

                             Arbor Bay School
                                A multidisciplinary and experiential
                               approach to education for K-8 children
                                     with learning di erences

                           We Offer:
                           Multi-Sensory Curriculum
                           Speech & Occupational Therapy
                           Integrated Technology Program
                           Credentialed Teachers
                           After School Programs

                           Serving Students from
                           all around the Bay Area
                           (650) 631-9999
                           Located in Beautiful San Carlos
Visit us at                                                                                                                                                                     (650) 477-2579
8      SHINE! By Parenting on the Peninsula     October 2011

Visit us at                   (650) 477-2579

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