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DSAOC LOVES our Interns!

Thursday, September 11th, 2014

You will hear some new voices answering the phone, and see some new faces at the DSAOC Center for the next few months…

The Down Syndrome Association of Orange County loves our interns, and we are very lucky and grateful to have 3 wonderful ladies that have chosen to get their experience with us and our families at the DSAOC Center.  Be sure to welcome them the next time you call or stop by.

OLIVIA Intern 3

 

Olivia Vought:  Growing up, Olivia loved school, music, art and dance… in that order. She explored different subjects in school, participating in marching band/jazz band, drawing/painting/making crafts, practicing tap/ballet/jazz and hip hop. In 2005, her excitement for the arts lead her to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston where she continued to draw, paint, and later sculpt. Having volunteered at Gateway Arts in Brookline, Olivia was studying art therapy at Lesley University for a short while. After observing what art therapy and art school is about, Olivia ventured back to California to pursue a new career.

Working her way through general education at Irvine Valley College, she learned about the Human Services program at CSUF. After transferring there in 2011, Olivia began to explore internships and volunteering at fine arts programs for adults with intellectual disabilities. First volunteering at Hope University in Anaheim, Olivia was able to work one-on-one with students as well as be an aide to the teachers. After interning for two semesters at Creative Identity, Olivia was finally able to teach her own classes including songwriting, tap dance, watercolor painting, and music theory. This was the time Olivia realized she really wanted to teach and become a Special Education instructor. After completing her Bachelor of Science in the Spring of 2015, Olivia plans on going back to CSUF to obtain her Master’s in Special Education.   WELCOME OLIVIA!

SHELBY Intern 3

 

Shelby Owens:  Shelby grew up in Trabuco Canyon, CA with her family.  She is the youngest of 5 children and has 12 nieces and nephews. She has a love for children and has served in her community volunteering with the Special Olympics and helped build bathrooms in Fiji.  She is currently the Philanthropy Chair in her sorority, Delta Zeta.

Shelby is currently living in Fullerton and attends California State University, Fullerton.  She plans to graduate in August 2015 with her B.S. in Human Services.  After graduating, Shelby wants to get her Masters in Social Work and work at an agency that specializes in Adoption and Foster Care Services.  WELCOME SHELBY!

 

 

 

ROSIE Intern 3

 

 

Rosie Meyer:  Rosie is our newest intern.  She is from Riverside, CA and is currently a Senior at Vanguard University of Southern California.  Rosie is working on her B.A. in Sociology with a minor in Psychology.  She has worked in restaurants all through college, so you’ll find her very cheerful and outgoing!  We are thrilled that Rosie will be supporting various program activities, but will concentrate much of her internship on our hospital outreach project.  WELCOME ROSIE!

 

 

 

If you have an interest in DSAOC’s Internship Program, please contact the DSAOC Center at (714) 540-5794 or programs@dsaoc.org.

Congratulations Rachel Osterbach on your Appointment to Area Board XI of the CSCDD

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014

The Down Syndrome Association of Orange County is THRILLED to share that our very own Rachel Osterbach has been appointed to Area Board XI of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Rachel Osterbach-Appointment photo-2014-resized 2

 

SACRAMENTO – Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today announced the following appointments:

Rachel Osterbach, 31, of Fountain Valley, has been appointed to Area Board XI of the California State Council on Developmental Disabilities. Osterbach has been a mailroom assistant at Scottish American Insurance since 2011. She was a store assistant at T.J. Maxx from 2010 to 2011 and an office assistant at Allstate Insurance from 2005 to 2010. Osterbach is a charter member of the Toastmasters Gavel Club and a global messenger at the Special Olympics Southern California, where she has been a member since 1993. She is a member of the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Osterbach is a Democrat.

We are so very proud of you, Rachel!  We look forward to watching you make a positive impact in your new role.

You can view this online at: http://gov.ca.gov/news.php?id=18611

You can also check Rachel out on an episode of our DSAOC “Community Corner”

Rachel’s Story: http://dsaoc.org/community-corner.html

DSAOC receives local Corporate support!

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Donation - 3 Point Asset Managment June 2014 2

 

Do you ever wonder how you can get your company involved in helping to raise Down syndrome awareness, and raise funds for DSAOC at the same time?

One of our awesome moms, Ericka, works at 3 Point Asset Management and asked her HR Dept to consider DSAOC for one of their ’cause’ months.

Employees pay a small fee to be able to wear jeans Monday-Thursday.  Once they pay, they receive a ticket that grants them ‘jeans’ for a day, and the ticket also contains information on where donations are going for that particular month.

McKenzie Keller, from the company’s HR Dept, visited with DSAOC today and dropped off June’s donations totaling $1,040.00 – WAY TO GO everyone at 3 Point Asset Management – THANK YOU!

DSAOC names their 2013-2014 “Educator of the Year”

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

Educator of the Year logo 2014 Small

The Down Syndrome Association of Orange County received several nominations for the 2013-2014 Educator of the Year Recognition program.   We sincerely thank all of our nominators for taking the time to put in writing all the wonderful ways their child’s education team is making a difference in their loved one’s life, and we are grateful to all of our nominees for the positive impact they are making on children in Orange County.

Our First Runner Up is Mr. Bruno Lopez Membrano from Lord Baden Powell.  He was nominated by the Avalos family.

We would like to give Honorable Mentions to Mrs. Joan Hersh from Gisler Elementary, nominated by the Miranda family, and Mrs. Dede Van Etten from Schroeder Elementary, nominated by the Ontiveros family.

Mrs Stotz and Alta Primus with Alexis Unter

DSAOC is thrilled to recognize Mrs. Laurie Stotz, an RSP Teacher at Robinson Elementary, and Mrs. Alta Primus, an Aide at Robinson Elementary.  Nominated by the Unter family, this education team has done a fantastic job contributing to their child’s scholastic success, as well as boosting confidence and a love of learning.

DSAOC staff member, Kristi Golden, attended a special school assembly this week to recognize Mrs. Stotz and Mrs. Primus for their dedication and belief that ALL children can learn and are deserving of a positive and challenging learning environment.

We will have more details in our upcoming Optimist Newsletter about the amazing work these educators do every day, so stay tuned!

Have you registered for DS-Connect? The National Down Syndrome Registry

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has launched DS-Connect, supported by the Down Syndrome Consortium.  The Down Syndrome Consortium fosters communication and idea-sharing about Down syndrome.

What is DS-Connect?

  • Helps connect people with Down syndrome to scientists who study Down syndrome
  • Promotes research opportunities in the Down syndrome community by collecting information scientists can use
  • Helps health professionals improve how they treat people with Down syndrome
  • Helps scientists develop new treatments that may improve the quality of life for people with Down syndrome

Please take a moment today to register.

Click the link below for instructions on how to register, and who to contact if you have questions.  Thank you!

https://dsconnect.nih.gov/files/DS_Connect_flyer.pdf

Down Syndrome Registry NIH DS-Connect2

DSAOC Self Advocates take part in the NDSC Self-Advocate Resolution Video

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The Down Syndrome Association of Orange County (DSAOC) was thrilled to have some of our Orange County Self Advocates featured in this resolution video!   Not everyone that we taped made it into the final video, but you all did an amazing job!

This video was produced and released by the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) for World Down Syndrome Day 2014.  In case you missed it, here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SRTwSsOT114

NDSC Resolution 2014 image for blog

Down Syndrome Education Conference 2014 – What a Day!

Monday, February 3rd, 2014

Conference host banner 2

Down Syndrome Association of Orange County was thrilled to partner with the Down Syndrome Foundation and UC Irvine’s School of Education to bring the Down Syndrome Education International Conference to Orange County this past Saturday, February 1, 2014.

With more than 300 attendees who pre-registered, and additional people registering that morning, it was a packed house full of parents, grandparents, siblings, caregivers, educators, therapists and more!  Presenters, Sue Buckley, CPsychol. OBE. and Becky Baxter CertMRC SLT were amazing, and provided information, tools, and food for thought to all who attended.

We would like to thank our conference sponsors, the Pujols Family Foundation and Union Bank.  Event donations were contributed by Bella’s Kitchen in Orange, and Trader Joe’s.  We appreciate your support – Thank you!

Visit the DSAOC Facebook page for PHOTOS.

For those of you that missed this conference, please stay tuned to the DSAOC Facebook page and/or request to join our e-mail list.  We will link to the conference compendiums soon.

Ed Conf photo montage for DSAOC Blog - Facebook 4

“The Happiest Life”

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2014

Hugh Hewitt's the Happiest LifeMany within our group have been fans of Hugh Hewitt for some time – You may know him as a well known author and commentator on matters of politics and religion, but not so well known is the very good and generous person that he is – a person who has been an amazing friend to the disabled community over many years, and to veterans, among many other causes that are not political.

His new book “The Happiest Life” is a profound and practical personal philosophy that could only have been written by a man who is as gifted as Hugh is, who has also passed through life’s stages (i.e., is over 50, having raised a family), and who has had an extensive dialog on the topic of Happiness over many professional years (most notably with Dennis Prager).

Just about anyone heading into serious adulthood or later will take many things away from this book about how to live your life.  Most importantly, the content will particularly resonate with families that contain or interact with those who have disabilities.  We heartily recommend the book.

 

 

View the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1595555781?tag=hhewitt-20

 

DSAOC Welcomes Michelle Bui to our Team!

Thursday, October 10th, 2013

The Down Syndrome Association of Orange County is thrilled to welcome Michelle Bui to our team!

Michelle Bui headshot SMALL2Michelle is our new Coordinator of Programs & Volunteers.  She will be working on her first event with DSAOC this Saturday October 12, as she coordinates the exciting Teen/Adult “Boo Bash” Halloween Dance.

Michelle graduated from Cal State University of Fullerton with a degree in Communications and Journalism, and had some great experiences working in the news industry during college.  She also worked as an Event Coordinator and continues to enjoy managing events. In her spare time, she loves to watch football, weight lift, and practice Bikram yoga.

Michelle had a family member with Down syndrome and is passionate about helping us spread Down syndrome awareness, especially among the Vietnamese community.

Be sure to welcome Michelle to our team!

We would like to thank Joanna Harvey, our previous Coordinator, for her time with DSAOC, and wish her the best in her new venture.

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

DSAOC is thrilled to have families who are coordinating awareness and fundraising events in honor of Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

You can help DSAOC fund Down syndrome awareness projects and events by supporting our October FUNdraisers.  With these 2 FUNdraisers, you GIVE and RECEIVE – whether it’s beautiful jewelry, or a delicious meal.  Thank you in advance for your support.

MIALISIA JEWELRY:    Beginning now through November 4th – Mialisia Jewelry fundraiser will give up to 40% back to DSAOC – perfect time to start your holiday shopping, and you can support DSAOC at the same time!  Visit the following link:  http://tinyurl.com/dsawareness

Mialisia fundraiser flyer image

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN:    Join us on Wednesday, October 9 and/or Thursday October 10 at the CPK in Anaheim on 321 West Katella Ave, where 20% of your total dine-in or to-go purchase will come back to DSAOC -  You MUST bring the below flyer with you!  Print out this page and bring it with you.

DSAOC Big Flyer (3)

The Orange County Buddy Walk is coming soon!

Tuesday, August 27th, 2013

bw-new-logo-color-2-09

 

DSAOC Staff and Families are working hard on the preparations for this year’s Orange County Buddy Walk, taking place on Sunday, November 3 at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

We have some new sights and sounds this year, including new exhibitors with exciting goodies, and a new line up for our stage performances, including live musical entertainment from U2JT, a U2 Tribute Band.

If you haven’t registered to join us yet, there’s still time… but it’s going by quickly! Don’t wait, register or support your favorite team today by visiting:  http://buddywalk.kintera.org/faf/home/default.asp?ievent=1080133

Thank you!

NIH establishes Down syndrome patient registry to connect with researchers

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of
Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)


Contact:
Robert Bock or Marianne Glass Miller
301-496-5133
A new Down syndrome patient registry will facilitate contacts and information sharing among families, patients, researchers and parent groups. The National Institutes of Health has awarded a contract to PatientCrossroads to operate the registry. The company has created patient-centric registries for muscular dystrophy and many rare disorders.

People with Down syndrome or their family members will be able to enter contact information and health history in an online, secure, confidential database. Registry participants will be able to customize their profile, update it online, and choose which information they would like to display, including reminders about their own medical care and general information about Down syndrome. They also will be able to compare their own medical information to that of other registrants in a confidential and anonymous manner.

If a participant gives permission to be contacted, clinicians and researchers who are authorized to access the database will be able to contact these individuals to see if they are interested in participating in a research study.

Ultimately, the registry will be able to link to biorepositories of tissue samples and other resources, with the goal of making it easier for patients to take part in clinical studies for new medications and other treatments for Down syndrome.

The contract, which will support the creation of the registry through September 2013, received $300,000 in funding for its first year.

“The new registry provides an important resource to individuals with Down syndrome and their families,” said Yvonne T. Maddox, deputy director of the NIH’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), which is funding the registry. “The registry links those seeking volunteers for their research studies with those who most stand to benefit from the research.”

Down syndrome most frequently results from an extra copy of chromosome 21 in the body’s cells. Infants with Down syndrome are likely to have certain physical characteristics, such as short stature and distinctive facial features, as well as health conditions like hearing loss, heart malformations, digestive problems, and vision disorders. Although Down syndrome most commonly results in mild to moderate intellectual disability, the condition occasionally involves severe intellectual disability. In addition, some individuals with Down syndrome age prematurely and may experience dementia, memory loss, or impaired judgment similar to that experienced by individuals with Alzheimer disease.

“Down syndrome is complex,” Dr. Maddox said. “A wide array of scientific expertise is required to address all its aspects in a comprehensive manner.”

Development of a patient registry was a leading recommendation in the 2007 NIH Down Syndrome Research Plan, which sets goals and objectives for the Down syndrome research field. Together with the Global Down Syndrome Foundation, the NICHD sponsored the Down syndrome National Conference on Patient Registries, Research Databases, and Biobanks to solicit the advice of a number of experts from the advocacy community, federal agencies, industry, and the clinical and research communities on how best to establish a Down syndrome registry.

The plan for the registry was supported by the public-private Down Syndrome Consortium, which was established by the NIH in 2011 to foster the exchange of information on Down syndrome research, and to implement and update the Research Plan. Membership on the Consortium includes individuals with Down syndrome and family members, representatives from prominent Down syndrome and pediatric organizations, and members of the NIH Down Syndrome Working group, an internal NIH group that coordinates NIH-supported Down syndrome research.

“We’re grateful to those who provided us with the advice that allowed us to establish a national registry,” Dr. Maddox said. “We are happy that this important step in furthering research on Down syndrome has been accomplished and hope that many families will take advantage of the opportunity to sign up as soon as the registry goes online.”

About the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD): The NICHD sponsors research on development, before and after birth; maternal, child, and family health; reproductive biology and population issues; intellectual and developmental disabilities; and medical rehabilitation. For more information, visit the Institute’s website at http://www.nichd.nih.gov/.

About the National Institutes of Health (NIH): NIH, the nation’s medical research agency, includes 27 Institutes and Centers and is a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. NIH is the primary federal agency conducting and supporting basic, clinical, and translational medical research, and is investigating the causes, treatments, and cures for both common and rare diseases. For more information about NIH and its programs, visit www.nih.gov.

NIH…Turning Discovery Into Health ®

DSAOC appears on the Cox Community Forum

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

DSAOC was thrilled to recently receive a grant through the Cox Cares community giving program, thanks to a Cox employee who has a child with Down syndrome and knows first hand how important DSAOC’s mission is. 

The Cox Cares Foundation, a fund of OneOC, is funded by employee payroll donations that are matched 100 percent by Cox Communications.  Jason Haywood, who has a young son with Down syndrome, nominated DSAOC to receive a portion of the grant funds.

After receiving the funds, DSAOC was also invited to appear on the Cox Community Forum (channel 3 for Cox subscribers) to talk about Down Syndrome Awareness Month and the Orange County Buddy Walk.

DSAOC appointed Ruben Rivas (DSAOC Board Member) and Jacob Braun (Self-Advocate) to be our representatives.  Besides having a great time meeting the hospitable team at Cox, Ruben and Jacob did a wonderful job representing DSAOC and our Down syndrome community.

Click here to watch the DSAOC episode on Cox Community Forum

DSAOC thanks Covidien!

Thursday, August 9th, 2012

Earlier this year DSAOC was invited to submit a grant request to Covidien’s local office.  The company is a global leader and best-in-class technology provider for specialists treating a wide range of vascular diseases and disorders.  They also have a commitment to giving back to their community.

DSAOC was thrilled to be one of the recipients of their 2012 grant cycle!  Linda Brownell and her colleague Richard Flask from Covidien came to the DSAOC Center and presented the check to our DSAOC Board President, Janette Mattson, during our 0 to 11 Circle of Friends support and networking group.

The grant will fund our hospital outreach and new parent support materials.  They also provided some additional funding to support our teen/adult computer lab!

The night of the check presentation, some of our adults were here for our Fitness program.  Linda and Richard were thrilled to join in!  What a fun night we had with some great people representing a generous company.

Thank you Covidien!

DSAOC reflects on the month of June and the EXCITING events the Pujols Family Foundation brought to DSAOC families…

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

An Evening at the Encore Dinner Theatre & Club

Presented by Lori & Peter Zappas of the Encore Dinner Theatre and the Pujols Family Foundation, in cooperation with the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County

More than 50 individuals with Down syndrome and their family members joined the Down Syndrome Association of Orange County (DSAOC) at the Encore Dinner Theatre & Club in Tustin on Thursday, June 21, for an exciting live stage show, delicious food and great hospitality!

The “Big Band Swing Show” was a wonderful mix of history, music, singing and dancing.  The full 13 piece band was spectacular and had the entire audience clapping their hands and tapping their feet.  Everyone was dancing in their seats!

And if that wasn’t enough… toward the end of the show our families were invited to the dance floor in front of the stage to show their swinging talents as the Big Band played on… the performers made their way to the dance floor and joined in.  The teens and adults with Down syndrome stole the show with their dance moves!  What an AMAZING evening.

DSAOC is extremely thankful to Lori and Peter Zappas, the owners of the Encore Dinner Theatre & Club, for their generosity and hospitality.  We would also like to thank the Pujols Family Foundation for bringing exciting opportunities like this to so many of our families.  THANK YOU!!

Check out the Encore Dinner Theatre event photo album on our Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/dsaoc

“Suite Nights” at the Angel Stadium of Anaheim

Sponsored by the Klein family and the Pujols Family Foundation

Who doesn’t love going to an Angel’s game?!  The smell of popcorn and hot dogs, the sounds of the crowd cheering on their team – it’s an overall thrill for the senses!

Now, imagine all of that, plus… front row, dug-out seats…

During the month of June, DSAOC was provided with three opportunities to thank some of our dedicated families and volunteers with free tickets to the game in a dug-out suite.

The suite was generously donated to the Pujols Family Foundation by the Klein family.  The Pujols Family Foundation very generously donated it to DSAOC for our use on those designated game nights.  The only downside is the limited number of seats available, as we wish all of our families could have enjoyed this awesome experience!

We are so grateful to the Klein family and the Pujols Family Foundation for allowing us to use this opportunity to thank those that are dedicated in their support of DSAOC.

Check out the Angels “Suite Nights” photo album on our Facebook page:  www.facebook.com/dsaoc

Ryan’s Banana Split Party

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

I had to grab some tissues, so be prepared.

This story has been circulating on Blog pages and has now hit news pages.

Let’s all celebrate life and our children with a Banana Split tonight, and let’s think about Ryan and his family, too.

Read story

DSAOC Golf Tournament, Banquet & Auction – Monday, June 11

Friday, June 8th, 2012

Eighth Annual Golf Tournament, Banquet & Auction: Monday, June 11, 2012 at Los Coyotes Country Club, Buena Park

Check out our exciting special guests & sponsors!  Want to see what’s on the LIVE Auction list… see below.

  • Live Auction items:
    • Foursome at Trump National for the Albert Pujols Celebrity Golf Tournament on July 26 – $6,000 value
    • Play Ball Package at Angel Stadium
    • Autographed Albert Pujols Baseball Bat
    • Access to Pre-game batting practice and tickets to game
    • 2011 World Series autographed Albert Pujols baseball
    • 2 Night stay at the Aria Hotel & Resort with 2 tickets to “Viva Elvis”

If you are interested in joining the “After-Golf Banquet” please e-mail Kellie Perez at kperez@dsaoc.org by Saturday, June 9.

Special Guests:

Generous Sponsors:

Tim Harris serves up food and hugs at Tim’s Place

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Service with a smile at Tim’s Place is truly what you get!

Check out this great article

Albert Pujols truly is an Angel

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

After meeting with the Pujols Family Foundation earlier this week, DSAOC was presented an exciting opportunity to attend Wednesday night’s Angels vs. White Sox game with Todd Perry, the CEO of the Pujols Family Foundation.

Mr. Perry’s hospitality certainly started things off with a bang, as he led our group to a beautiful suite donated for the evening by Mark Merhab from the Angels Baseball Foundation.

Just when we thought the night couldn’t get any better, Mr. Perry scheduled our families for a surprise visit with Albert Pujols.

I have one word for you…. AMAZING!!!!

Albert met with all of us before the game and was as nice as you can get.  He took the time to shake everyone’s hand, sign autographs and take pictures with our teens and adults with Down syndrome.  Albert truly is an Angel.

Check out the rest of this amazing night by visiting the Pujols Family Foundation Facebook page.

Research Opportunity: Doll Study needs additional volunteers with Down syndrome to participate

Monday, May 14th, 2012

If your child with Down syndrome is between the ages of 4-17 years, they have an opportunity to participate in this exciting and informative study.

As many of you are already aware, researchers from the Down Syndrome Program at CHOC Children’s/UC Irvine have been conducting a study on self-concept in children and young adults with Down syndrome. The research team is still seeking volunteers for this study and are scheduling final study visits for May and June.  Please see the information below on our blog posting for a brief description of the study.  If you have an interest in participating, or if you have questions, please contact Eric Doran at (714) 456-8443 or edoran@uci.edu.