This is a great trend I am seeing now on TV. Prime time, syndicated and streaming networks are all bringing series to us where there is a child with special needs as a star. We know our kids are stars, now we can have viewers everywhere see a glimpse into our days and hope that it is something they can learn from.
sensory friendly easter egg huntSpring holidays often include special events, meals with extended family, and other exciting activities that can be overstimulating for kids with neuro-developmental disorders like ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, and Asperger Syndrome. The changes in routine and activities that are fun for most can lead to meltdowns or withdrawal for kids who experience sensory overload. If your holiday plans include hunting for brightly colored eggs filled with sugary treats, find below tips for ensuring a sensory friendly egg hunt that all children can enjoy!
April. The month we, as a global community, come together to spread awareness on Autism. Social Media is pretty much blue, puzzle pieces are everywhere and pictures of our beautiful children are being shared with great momentum. It is all great. It is all for such a good cause and it is all done with the hope to spread awareness.
Camp Baker summer program for children and adults with disabilities focuses on fun
It is hard to believe that when Quarese, now 19, first began attending Camp Baker years ago, he was shy and introverted.
Especially since nowadays he says what he enjoys most about camp is talking to the staff, and making friends with them.
Quarese also enjoys other Camp Baker activities including horseback riding; boating at Pocahontas State Park; and participating in the weekly talent show.
Summer overnight sessions for 2017 for adults with disabilities ages 18 and up are: June 18- June 23; June 25- June 30; July 16 – July 21; July 23- July 28; July 30- August 4; August 6- August 11; and August 13- August 18, 2017.
Two overnight camp sessions for children with disabilities ages 6 to 17 will be held on July 2-July 7, and July 9 – July 14, 2017.
One weekly session of overnight camp is $900 or 120 Medicaid Waiver Hours. There are also day camp sessions available for $450 a week or 44 Medicaid Waiver Hours. For more information about Camp Baker, call (804) 748-4789 or visit richmondarc.org.
For Quarese, attending summer camp has been beneficial. “He’s come out of his shell,” said one ARC staffer, adding that Quarese also enjoys swimming in the camp pool and shooting hoops at the basketball court. For him, Camp Baker offers fun and friendship.
And if he didn’t have the option to attend? Quarese says he’d probably “stay home.”
KNOWDifferent.Net partners with SPARC, the School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community, on their LIVE ART program. In LIVE ART, nationally known recording artists and 200 SPARC students with and without disabilities take the stage together for a night of music, dance, visual art, and inspiring human connection for what has become one of Richmond’s favorite and most anticipated annual performances.
This year’s guest artists include: Rob Thomas, Paul Williams, Jason Mraz, Colbie Caillat, Rayvon Owen, Justin Willman, Chris Caswell, Ben Lee, Daniel Clarke, Desiree Roots, Steve Bassett, Samson Trinh and Susan Greenbaum! And of course, over 200 of the most inspiring young people you’ve ever seen!
Thanks to our participation in the program, you can get tickets before the general public. Go to http://www.sparconline.org/liveart, follow the links to buy tickets, and use the presale code SPARCDREAM. You can also purchase tickets at the Altria Theater Box Office, 6 North Laurel Street, Richmond, VA 23220.
The presale runs from Monday, April 3, at 10am, through Monday, April 10, at which time the tickets become available to the general public. So don’t wait!
A few weeks ago, Amanda Malkowski with 8News came to our home to talk about how and why I started this site as part of a series she is doing on women making a difference in Richmond.
I was so honored to have been selected as one of these woman making a difference.
Amanda was incredible to work with and I love seeing 2 of my 3 kids on TV!
Continuing on with our monthly suggestions of taking care of you, here are suggestions for April.
Did anyone start in March and if so, did the suggestions last month help?
1. Start working toward one of your goals every day. Whatever it is on your dream board, big or small, start doing something every day to get one step closer to it!
Jacob’s Chance is a not-for-profit organization in Richmond that runs River City Buddy Ball. Buddy Ball gives kids with special needs an opportunity to play sports with the help of a partner, or “buddy.” Some of the sports include basketball, baseball, and tennis. They change each season. I became involved in the program as a buddy for the first time this winter and got to play basketball with so many great kids. I also know many people who participated in River City Buddy Ball both as players and helpers, including my friends Michael Bone and Ryan Singer.
Michael Bone is a student who participates as a “buddy” in this program. Since fall of 2016, he has been a part of this program and helps with basketball.
“It started out as a way to get community service hours, but now it is a way to hang out, play sports, and make new friends,” said Bone.
Even in the short amount of time that he has been participating in the program, he has developed an unbreakable bond with one of the players, Okie S.
Bone has made numerous memories while participating in the program.
“When one of the kids hits a half-court shot, it brings a smile to everyone’s faces, especially mine,” said Bone.
Another student who takes part in River City Buddyball is Ryan Singer. He has participated in the program since the fall. Over the months that he has been volunteering, he has developed friendships with two of the players: John and Case.
“I was helping Case with football, and he scored a touchdown. Case then said, ‘I did it, Ryan, I did it!’ That made me so happy. Although I have only seen John a few times during basketball, I feel like we’ve become good friends,” said Singer.
Singer says that he is going to continue helping out.
“It is good for the community and it makes me feel good, especially when I make my buddy laugh,” said Singer.
In my experience helping with basketball, I have learned some important skills, such as kindness and tolerance. This was my first time volunteering with people my own age who have special needs. I learned that if you are kind to the players and are happy to be there, they are too. I have met quite a few people through the program, and have enjoyed spending time with each and every one of them. Spending my Saturday mornings at Buddy Ball is something that I will always enjoy doing, with new memories made every time. Even with all of my many activities, I hope to continue participating. Buddy Ball is one of those experiences that I will never forget. Jacob’s Chance runs a truly amazing program!
Buddy Ball offers many sports throughout the year. To get involved, visit the Jacob’s Chance website, www.jacobschance.org.
For over 15 years, she has provided 1:1 tutoring services for students in grades Pre-K- Grade 5 in all subject areas.
Here are some camp ideas for your children this Summer. We will continue to add as we get more info.
Bricks 4 Kids – RICHMOND
At Bricks 4 Kidz camps, we use LEGO bricks and STEM to build amazing LEGO models in a variety of exciting themes. From mini-sculptures, to LEGO Mosaics, to motorized LEGO machines, your child will be engaged in STEM-enriched activities and making new LEGO-loving friends. Learn, Build, and Play the Bricks 4 Kidz way!
We are excited to announce our new summer camp themes and we have included some of our favorites too:
Bat League – Heroes and Villains
A Pirates Quest
Brick City Engineers
Worlds of Amusement Park
Mining and Crafting
Combo camps with Challenge Island and Young Rembrandts