Monday, December 15, 2014

10 Ways to a Happy Holiday!

The December newsletter of has a treasure trove of resources for making the holiday season merry and bright!  Whether you're struggling with finding appropriate presents for your child, looking for ideas for cold weather activities, or worried about eating healthy and staying flu-free, this newsletter has a ton of tips and links to other helpful websites - check it out!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cool Toy Website!

Hasbro, Inc., the maker of such iconic toys as Mr. Potato Head and Play-Doh, is part of a project to make early play more inclusive and accessible to children with disabilities.   In collaboration with The Autism Project, they are introducing a series of online videos and other tools to help children with disabilities learn to play with seven toys in its lineup. “ToyBox Tools” is designed to help kids learn what each toy is all about, how to put the item together, and presents children with alternative ways to engage independently or with peers.

The project was initiated by employees at Hasbro, concerned that kids with developmental disabilities were losing out on valuable opportunities to connect with others through play, the company said.

Hasbro officials describes the effort as a pilot program and said they will continue to refine the tools, which are available online for free, based on feedback from experts and consumers.  Visit this link to check it out:

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Monologues and More"

The Athens Creative Theater is currently taking registration for an acting class called "Monologues and More", especially for youth & young adults with cognitive disabilities.  This award winning program is designed to help participants explore different emotional responses, develop communication skills, and provide enrichment through theatre.  The six-week class will begin on January 13, and will be held on Tuesdays, at Quinn Hall at Memorial Park in Athens, from 1:00 - 2:00 pm.  Click here for registration information:   ACT registration form  or call 706-613-3628 for questions. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

ESP Fall Recital

ESP (Extra Special People) is a local non-profit with the mission of supporting children and adults with developmental disabilities - "where people with disabilities don't just survive, but thrive!".  This fall semester was filled with afterschool activities at ESP, and this Sunday, December 7, ESP is hosting a Recital to celebrate the accomplishments of ESP-ers!  The ESP Fall Recital will be held at the Harrison Center at Athens Academy, 1281 Spartan Lane, Athens, 30606, from 5:00 pm - 7:00 pm.  The Theater class will present scenes from "Peter Pan", the Dance and Music classes will perform, and there will be exhibitions from the students in Martial Arts, Home Ec, Cheer, Sports, Outdoor Education, Art, Discovery, Aerobics, and Swim Team.  If you are not familiar with ESP and the opportunities that are available through their programs, you're invited to attend the recital and learn more - it's free and open to the public.  Join us for a wonderful evening!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Oconee Spirit Basketball

Oconee County Parks & Recreation Department is sponsoring the Oconee Spirit Basketball League for children & young adults with developmental disabilities.  This recreational program is designed to teach the fundamentals of basketball while building coordination, social skills, and teamwork with peer players.  Sessions are planned for Tuesdays at 6:15 - 7:15 from December 9 - February 10, at an Oconee school gym (to be decided).  Cost is $55.  To register, contact Jared Hightower at or 706-769-3965.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Region 2 Community Forum

On Thursday, November 20, Region 2 of the Georgia Department of Behavioral Health & Developmental Disabilities (DBHDD) is holding a Community Forum at Oconee Veterans Park, on Hog Mountain Road in Watkinsville, from 4:00 - 6:00.  The purpose of this forum is to identify unmet needs of people with developmental disabilities in our area....this is a great opportunity to come and voice your needs and concerns to the folks who make the decisions about Medicaid waivers and services!  See this link for more information: DBHDD Community Forum  or call 706-769-4974.

Monday, November 10, 2014

iPad Grants Now Available!

Autism Speaks sponsors a grant program that gives free iPads to children who have been diagnosed with autism.  The online application form for this annual iPad grant program opens today - and the deadline for application is this Friday, November 14.  Over 1100 iPads will be given to financially disadvantaged individuals with autism, and each will also come with a Kraken case.  The criteria for selection include:
  • have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder by a licensed professional
  • reside in the United States
  • have limited financial resources and cannot afford to purchase an iPad
Applications must be submitted by the person with autism, an immediate family member of the person with autism, or a licensed teacher, social worker or therapist. The Technology Grant Review Committee will review applications and select the iPad award recipients. All applicants selected to receive an iPad 4 will be contacted on December 9. If selected, the iPad will be shipped via UPS directly to the address provided with the application.

To apply, click Autism Speaks iPad Grant - you'll need to create an account to fill out the application.  Good luck!!!