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Parent to Parent Mentor Training

The Down Syndrome Association of Los Angeles
invites you to attend the Parent to Parent Peer Mentor Training

We are excited to announce that DSALA will be hosting an 8-week Parent to Parent Peer Mentor Training via Zoom. Since the 1980s, DSALA has matched highly-trained parent mentors with new and expecting parents who receive a diagnosis of Down syndrome. Parent mentors provide support, answer questions, and help new parents make connections with other families in their community. This training will give parent mentors the necessary tools to be effective peer counselors.

8-Week Training via Zoom
Saturdays at 10 am - 11:30 am
July 11, 2020 - August 22, 2020

*August 29,2020
Last session in-person training

Please know that we are carefully following our governor’s guidelines as it relates to COVID-19 and we will keep you informed should we need to make any changes to the last session. 
Please visit our calendar to register.

Who will benefit:
-Any parent who wants to support a new parent
-Any parent who wants to become a spokesperson on DS issues
-Any parent who wants to represent the DSALA speaking at hospitals, schools, and other community events
-New parents seeking education of Down syndrome and services available to families

The workshop will cover up-to-date information on:
-Down syndrome and genetics
-The grieving process
-Listening skills and role play
-Navigating resources
-Why peer counseling is effective
-Connecting through personal experiences

The training is free, but registration is required to participate. Each week will include a 1.5-hour presentation with questions and answers and it will take place on Saturday mornings. If you are interested in being a part of this incredible peer-mentoring opportunity, reserve your space today!

Bilingual parents in English/Spanish are encouraged to apply.


July 11, 2020 

Keeping Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome Healthy

You will learn:
• How to ensure that your son or daughter is getting the best medical care as it relates to Down syndrome?
• What is the medical workup for behavioral problems?
• What are some other medical conditions that occur in people with Down syndrome during childhood and adolescence?
• What healthcare resources are available to you, as parents?

Brian Skotko, M.D., M.P.P.

A Board-certified medical geneticist, Dr. Skotko is the Emma Campbell Endowed Chair on Down Syndrome at Massachusetts General Hospital.  As the Director of the hospital’s Down Syndrome Program, he has dedicated his professional energies toward children with cognitive and developmental disabilities. He co-authored the national award-winning books, Common Threads: Celebrating Life with Down Syndrome and Fasten Your Seatbelt: A Crash Course on Down Syndrome for Brothers and Sisters. He is a graduate of Duke University, Harvard Medical School, and Harvard Kennedy School, and he is currently an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Skotko is a leader in clinical and translational research about Down syndrome. He has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The L.A. Times, NPR’s “On Point,” and ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Dr. Skotko has a sister with Down syndrome and serves on the Honorary Board of Directors for the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress.


July 18, 2020

Early Start Services

You will learn:
•Up-to-date information about the Early Start Program
•How to access services
•Services available for your baby
•How to make informed decisions

Niaisha Gonzalez is a passionate advocate for empowering others. She has been with the Westside Regional Center for 13 years and has been a Program Manager for one of the Westside Regional Center’s Early Start Department’s for the past 3 years. She is the Westside Regional Center’s state liaison overseeing the SSIP (State Systemic Improvement Project) which focuses on improving the social and emotional (S&E) development in infants and toddlers. Outside of the office, you can find Niaisha exploring hiking trails around LA County, enjoying the delicious brisket machaca at Kiki’s Restaurant, or visiting her parents and siblings in Texas.



July 25, 2020

California's Development Disability Services System

You will learn:
How to get what you want and need from the Regional Center through the Individual Program Planning Process

Julie Eby-McKenzie 
Community Program Specialist, State Council on Developmental Disabilities
Julie Eby-McKenzie has worked in the field of Developmental Disabilities for more than 30 years including adult day programs, employment services, quality assurance, and training. She’s worked as an advocate for the State Council on Developmental Disabilities for 8 years. The best part of all of her jobs is getting to know and learning from self-advocates and families.


August 1, 2020

Down syndrome & Medical Genetics Research  

You will learn:

-What is the cause of Down syndrome?
-How do you diagnose it?
-What are its associated medical complications?
-Are there treatments available?

Dr. Julian A. Martinez-Agosto MD, Ph.D., FACMG, FAAP  is a medical geneticist and developmental biologist who has served as a faculty member at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA since 2005 in roles including Clinical Instructor, Chief Resident of the UCLA InterCampus Medical Genetics Program, and Associate Professor in the Department of Human Genetics.

Dr. Martinez is a recipient of the Pediatric Department Outstanding Research Award, as well as the David W. Smith Pediatric Trainee Research Award of the Western Society for Pediatric Research, among other honors.

Since becoming a member of the Division of Medical Genetics, he has maintained a clinical interest in genetic syndromes that lead to overgrowth, vascular malformations, and cancer predisposition. His laboratory research continues to focus on novel regulatory pathways in progenitor and stem cell maintenance.


August 8, 2020

Grieving Process 


You will learn:
Understanding the stages of grief 
 

Mariano Sanz

Parent of a beautiful 30year old young woman with Down Syndrome.  He was born and raised in Spain where he graduated from the Universidad Pontificia in Salamanca with a Masters in Psychology and an M.F.T.  He moved to the USA 33 years ago to work as a bilingual educator.  After the birth of his daughter, and deciding to settle in this country, he obtained a Masters in School Counseling from National University.  For the last 30 years, he has worked as a School Counselor for several school districts from Elementary to High Schools.  Presently he is at Palos Verdes Intermediate School. 
 
He has been very active in the Harbor Regional Center for the last 28 years.  First as a speaker and shortly after as a Board member.  He served in different capacities from the chair of the Client Services committee to State Representative to President of the Board.
 
In 2012 he was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Advisory Commission on Special Education. He served as a commissioner for two terms until 2018.
 
Over the years he has conducted several workshops for parents of children with disabilities, including the IEP Process, services, and supports in education, grief, and listening skills.


August 15, 2020

Speech and Language Therapy for Babies

You will learn:

-Pre-language and pre-speech
-Upright feedings
-Ears/hearing
-Total communication
-Oral Motor Therapy
-What will therapy target

Amy C. Johnson, M.A. CCC-SLP, C/NDT Amy is a pediatric speech-language pathologist and owner of Cornerstone Speech and Language in Glendale, California. She completed her undergraduate and graduate degrees at Northwestern University with a specialty in early intervention. For the past 24 years, Amy has provided play-based, family-focused, developmental communication treatment to infants, toddlers, and young children and with complex communication needs. She has completed advanced work in the Developmental Individual Relationship-based approach (“DIR/Floortime”) pioneered by Dr. Stanley Greenspan and works to blend many tools to support each child’s unique needs and profile. She has additional certifications or formal training in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), Oral Placement Treatment (OPT), Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT), the Social Communication Emotional Regulation Transactional Support (SCERTS) model and Hanen’s “It Takes Two To Talk.”


August 22, 2020

Listening Skills and Role Play

You will learn:
The qualities of active listeners 

Mariano Sanz

Parent of a beautiful 30year old young woman with Down Syndrome.  He was born and raised in Spain where he graduated from the Universidad Pontificia in Salamanca with a Masters in Psychology and an MFT.  He moved to the USA 33 years ago to work as a bilingual educator.  After the birth of his daughter, and deciding to settle in this country, he obtained a Masters in School Counseling from National University.  For the last 30 years, he has worked as a School Counselor for several school districts from Elementary to High Schools.  Presently he is at Palos Verdes Intermediate School. 
 
He has been very active in the Harbor Regional Center for the last 28 years.  First as a speaker and shortly after as a Board member.  He served in different capacities from the chair of the Client Services committee to State Representative to President of the Board.
 
In 2012 he was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Advisory Commission on Special Education. He served as a commissioner for two terms until 2018.
 
Over the years he has conducted several workshops for parents of children with disabilities, including the IEP Process, services, and supports in education, grief, and listening skills.


August 29, 2020, In-Person Training (TBD)

Sharing Personal Experiences
New Parent Procedures 

Last session in-person training
Please know that we are carefully following our governor’s guidelines as it relates to COVID-19 and we will keep you informed should we need to make any changes to the last session.

Mariano Sanz

Parent of a beautiful 30year old young woman with Down Syndrome.  He was born and raised in Spain where he graduated from the Universidad Pontificia in Salamanca with a Masters in Psychology and an MFT.  He moved to the USA 33 years ago to work as a bilingual educator.  After the birth of his daughter, and deciding to settle in this country, he obtained a Masters in School Counseling from National University.  For the last 30 years, he has worked as a School Counselor for several school districts from Elementary to High Schools.  Presently he is at Palos Verdes Intermediate School. 
 
He has been very active in the Harbor Regional Center for the last 28 years.  First as a speaker and shortly after as a Board member.  He served in different capacities from the chair of the Client Services committee to State Representative to President of the Board.
 
In 2012 he was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the Advisory Commission on Special Education. He served as a commissioner for two terms until 2018.
 
Over the years he has conducted several workshops for parents of children with disabilities, including the IEP Process, services, and supports in education, grief, and listening skills.


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