What’s new in the world of Special Needs? Here are a few of our favorite lesser-known resources helping OC families of those with Autism and ND Disorders.
Smile and Say ZZZZZZ’s!
Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County announced the unveiling of a new general anesthesia wing at their Garden Grove Smile Center. Children who have a physical, developmental, mental, behavioral, cognitive, or conditions that require medical management and specialized services may benefit from sedation dentistry.
In 2016, 41 percent of Healthy Smiles’ general anesthesia cases were children with special needs. The expansion, which will cut long general anesthesia treatment wait times in half and double the number of children served by the nonprofit, was launched with a ribbon cutting on March 28, 2017. Healthy Smiles for Kids of Orange County, a community-based nonprofit organization, offers a full spectrum of clinical services and mobile outreach into Orange County’s most underserved communities. For more information on Healthy Smiles, please visit www.HealthySmilesOC.org.
Get all Tech’d Out with Goodwill of OC’s Free Consults
Goodwill of Orange County’s Assistive Technology Exchange Center (ATEC) gives a voice to a boy who cannot speak, or hands to a young woman who has lost her ability to type. The staff of speech pathologists and rehabilitation engineers evaluate individuals, develop strategies, and provide equipment that enables and empowers our participants at home, school and work.
Services include: one-on-one assessment, training, consultations, technical set-up and support, equipment loan and reuse, and professional development. The equipment library includes: Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC) devices and systems, Alternative Computer Access, such as alternative mice, keyboards, switches and eye gaze, software for word prediction, speech recognition, screen magnification and screen reading, iDevices with apps, and talking word processors.
The Center is also hosting a series of free workshops to help parents and caregivers enhance their knowledge and understanding of assistive technology and its associated services. Offered in both English and Spanish, this workshop will involve equipment demonstrations and provide a free Assistive Technology Toolkit to all guests. Goodwill’s ATEC offers free consultations Monday through Friday, by appointment only. Call (714) 361-6200 ext 226 to make your appointment today.
Pretend City? You’re Good to Go!
In addition to this month’s blue lighting to celebrate Autism Awareness, and free autism nights, many are unaware that a visit to the imaginative Pretend City could also include a complimentary developmental screening. The “Good To Go From Head To Toe” assessments are a comprehensive developmental screening, health checkup, and developmental program for children with special needs. Children from infant through age five can be screened on site and at home with a validated tool called the Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ). The tool is scored by a trained specialist and based on results. Families are connected with resources and/or referred for further assessment as needed. Visit www.PretendCity.org for more information.