Hundreds spend a fun-filled day at
Festival of Families event.
(WEST LOS ANGELES, Calif., May 23, 2012) -- Hundreds were on hand this past Saturday for Vista Del Mar Child and Family Services -- one
of the Southland's leading providers of therapeutic and educational
services for youngsters on the autism spectrum or with other special
needs -- first ever Festival of Families.
inaugural event featured both traditional carnival fare -- games, a rock
wall, a Velcro wall, jousting, a petting zoo, and tasty treats -- as well
as a sensory-friendly area for children with autism and other special needs. Here,
in this festival within a festival, kids with special needs enjoyed
activities geared to accommodate those with auditory, visual,
taste/smell, movement, and touch sensitivities. Sensory-friendly
activities included: making super-sized bubbles with a giant wand;
playing dress-up with an array of colorful costumes; having faces
whimsically painted; and making arts-and-crafts projects.
also were treated to musical performances by the Vista Inspire
Program's Miracle Theatre, which is composed of children and teens with
autism and other special needs. Many
of the youngsters in attendance receive services through one of Vista's
many programs for those with autism, developmental delays, and other
special needs. In addition to the Vista Inspire Program, these
services -- which are designed to help children develop motor, speech,
language, and social skills while simultaneously instilling a sense of
inclusion and self-worth -- include: Baron School for Exceptional Children
(ages 3 through 9); Vista Hills Middle and High School; afterschool
enrichment; summer day camp; and parent support groups.
on the extremely successful event, Vista Del Mar's President and CEO
Elias Lefferman, Ph.D., said, "Kids with special needs -- like all
youngsters -- deserve the opportunity to experience the simple joys of
childhood, such as spending an afternoon at a neighborhood festival.
That was the purpose of this event, and I think it was a very memorable
day for everyone."