Archive for the ‘children’ Category

What happens when it’s not the fairytale you expected?

March 5th, 2013

I went to a conference last weekend and met a person who worked at Disney. She shared with me that Mickey Mouse’s character costume has been changed countless times because of children’s responses to Mickey. Interesting.
A clinician I worked with once shared that the most abused and projected upon toy in his child therapy office was Mickey Mouse. Hmmm.

It got me thinking about Mickey and what would cause such a stir. Mickey is a simple non-threatening kinda mouse, it seems like he’s friendly enough since he has friends, and even a girlfriend. Why would there be Mickey-haters or those scared of the Mouse?

My therapist colleague explained that many of the children who projected their anger onto Mickey were children who were robbed of their fairytale. They had experienced loss, abuse, sadness, anger, hurt, upheaval, bullying, let-downs. Their lives were not the way they were supposed to be, and they were mad/sad, and Mickey is an easy target for all those feelings.

I wonder how many children feel like they didn’t get a fairytale life. How many princesses have been let down to find that prince charming doesn’t make her whole, how many kids were out-casted to the role of Goofy, or that they never felt like they belonged and had to create their own internal magical kingdom build up with big walls and a moat for protection.

As adults we look to protect children, to shield them from the dragons (or at least minimize the impact). Yet, it’s in these moments of loss, change, struggle, when a child feels helpless and hopeless that everyone else got the pass to the fairytale and they didn’t, is when your presence matters the most.

Your Presence.

Not your words, not what you do to solve the problems, not how you try to help them fix it- but your presence.

Mickey Mouse doesn’t speak, he’s a witness to the tides of feelings that flow from children who cannot put into words the pain they are feeling. A witness who doesn’t ask the child to be different in the moment or try to fix, diminish, explain the child’s feelings away.

Art is a safe witness for many children a place where they can explore, express, escape. Just observe as a child picks up art materials and knows without guidance or direction how to express themselves. Then notice what happens as they get older, how their creativity gets squashed or marginalized and they start to express they are not good enough. Throughout their lives they are in need of a safe witness for their feelings.

How can you channel you inner Mickey Mouse and be a safe witness for your child?

If you need more support, please reach out and we can find the resources to help you.

In March you can receive individualized support in several ways:

*Join the LIVE Event: To Medicate or Not:What Choices Do I Have? Q& A with Heather Chauvin http://heatherchauvin2.eventbrite.ca

*or Join the IPPC Support Call Challenging Kids, Stuck Families, Difficult Cases: Creative Support for Child Quandaries  https://thecreativityqueen.com/ippc/

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Got impulsive, distracted, overwhelmed kids? “Egads, what do I do to help my attention deficit, impulsive (ADD/ADHD) child?”

February 25th, 2013

 ARE YOU A PARENT OR PROFESSIONAL? 

Are you looking for ways to help your child become more organized and focused? Tired of always reminding them to do what you asked? Frustrated by forgotten school work, disorganized rooms, and “I need that by tomorrow” last minute shopping trips? Worried that your child will not have the skills to succeed as a responsible independent adult?

It’s scary and overwhelming… so let’s come up with a plan to help your child and take of some of the stress and worry off you.

Join the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC) monthly Support Call Tuesday, February 26th. Dr. Laura will be speaking on the topic “Egads, what do I do to help my attention deficit, impulsive (ADD/ADHD) child?”

You suspect your child has ADHD, or perhaps you work with children who have impulsivity issues. You may be wondering if this term is being over used (and over diagnosed), you want to explore alternatives to medication, or provide the families your work with more concrete skills to help their child. Don’t miss this informative support call on a topic that impacts so many children & families!

On this call you’ll discover:

  • The struggles that parents of children with impulsivity and attention issues face. It’s good to know you’re not alone and what to expect if your child is diagnosed or you suspect that they have ADD/ADHD.
  • You’ll leave with a better understanding of your child’s behaviors and some of the things parents try to do that just don’t seem to work (and may make things even worse).
  • As a professional you may want to throw your hands-up in the air because of frustration and lack of changes. Before you do so you’ll want to learn more about how what you’re saying just may not “stick to the brain” of a child with ADD/ADHD.
  • I’ll reveal of “how-to”, easy to implement, creative tips and strategies that will help diminish power struggles over homework, daily tasks, and listening, so your child is set-up with skills for success.

You’ll leave this call with empowering information and a plan to help children with ADD/ADHD. Don’t miss this complimentary call for IPPC members. Click here to find out more

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Paint Brushes NOT Pills & Markers NOT Medicine

February 5th, 2013

The CQ is on a mission these days, so inspired by the possibilities of how connecting with our creativity can help transform our lives, our communities, and our planet. There is a shift happening, a movement from intellectualizing and rationalizing to embracing intuition, creativity, and connection. The cool part is that brain based research is leading the way on new developments on happiness, compassion, and awareness as treatments for mental health.  The feature article Paint Brushes NOT Pills & Markers NOT Medicine is the CQ’s declaration of a Creative Revolution from the new possibilities that are emerging, and how you can join the Creative Revolution!

I’ve been following mental health and medication treatment options since the 1980’s, when I began working at an agency for individuals with disabilities. The folks I worked with ranged from those who lived independently in their own apartments to those individuals who required extensive 1:1 supervision to meet their daily needs and prevent them from hurting themselves or others.

 

The advent of medication allowed many individuals who lived in mental institutions to become more independent. I saw firsthand people who were institutionalized for most of their lives become actively engaged in their community, and live a more fulfilling life. I was trained to give medications and learn the various side effects, and I felt it greatly benefited the individuals in need.

 

Fast forward several decades (I know the queen is aging herself) and it seems like everyone has a diagnosis these days. It’s great that there is so much awareness around mental health; consequently, it almost becomes a point of identity for so many teens and young adults. They jokingly reference their diagnosis, google disorders and label themselves or their friends. Yes, it helps to have language to understand your thoughts and behaviors, and at times it seems to be part of kid’s core identity (and when you identify yourself a certain way it’s hard to see yourself, or for others to see you, differently).

 

However, there is a new movement, one I am so very excited about. These are the parents and professionals who understand a need for a common language of diagnosis, and for medications to be used, only when they are absolutely necessary. These parents & professionals are the next generation, realizing that a pill is not “the” solution and that a label does not define their child. These parents are much more interested in finding solutions, having their children learn new skills, and teach ways to shift behaviors and thoughts and emotions (yay for cognitive behavioral therapy-CBT).

 

I imagine if you are reading this you are of this TRIBE and we are a powerful group that will shake up the mental health system (more yays)!

 

So you ask, what’s up with the title? Paint Brushes NOT Pills & Markers NOT Medicine!

 

It’s time to start a Creative Revolution to help our children learn to cope without initially reaching for a pill.

 

How can we bring art into the lives of children to help them manage with difficult behaviors and feelings? By becoming a Creative Revolutionist!

Become a Creative Revolutionist and set your child up for life-long success:

  • Encourage creative outlets to channel their energy, anger, sadness, and worries.

 

  • Teach them how to express their voice through art, music, writing, dance, and theatre.

 

  • Retrain the brain with creativity: Help improve focus with stimulating creative activities that require attention, mindfulness, and awareness of how their bodies, thoughts, and feelings are responding.

 

  • Sit with a child and help them build a challenging project and model how to manage frustrations in a positive way.

 

  • Allow for messy creative play with materials to encourage cognitive and physical flexibility.

 

  • Build something detail orientated that requires commitment to a project over a long period of time.

 

  • Bond over doing a project together, there is nothing like sitting at the same table working together on an activity to build connection.

 

  • Shoot a video of your child teaching you a new technique or activity, boosting their confidence and mastery.

 

  • Work on small projects that require patience.

 

  • Create imaginary worlds to work through problems they are encountering with peers of siblings.

 

I ask you: how can we support children so that they see themselves as so much more than a diagnosis, how can they learn the skills to cope with life’s difficulties, how can they learn to tap into their creative potential to shine their unique brilliance?

 

Let’s pioneer this Creative Revolution together!

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The Art of ‘Parenting by the Numbers’ to see your Child as a Unique Masterpiece

January 21st, 2013

I’m so super excited about the upcoming International Parents and Professionals Community Guest Speaker, Diana Dentinger.  Diana will be sharing The Art of ‘Parenting by the Numbers’ to see your Child as a Unique Masterpiece!

 Diana Dentinger was raised in a large Midwestern family, finished college and moved to Italy where she has lived since 1984, working as a Corporate Trainer. During those years she was certified in many behavior models while studying as a Neurobiology Therapist and she discovered  a “secret formula” based on your date of birth, (but it is not numerology).

As a mother of 4, she has seen how having this formula helped her more fully understand her children and made parenting so much easier. So after 20 years of training and coaching in Italian, she decided to offer her Number formula to the English speaking world and especially to parents. She’s sharing this very unique information with our community and you are going to LOVE this call!

You’ll want to join us for this Members Only call on Tuesday, January 22 nd. Click here access this Guest Expert Call (and all the other membership goodies).

Here’s what we’ll be sharing on the call:

~As a parent do you feel like you are fighting against your children to do things your way?

~Do your kids fight you and it feels like every little thing is an argument or struggle?

The true Art of Parenting is in being an art appreciator and not an art critic. Even more so, it is in appreciating what is unique about yourself and your relationships. If you are struggling with your relationships you may need a new perspective, and Diana is going share her unique system of Parenting by the Numbers. After 20 years of researching behavior, Diana created the most exact personality and needs profile providing an easy and effective way to understand ourselves, and our loved ones.

On this call you’ll discover:

  • How to use the antique symbols of Numbers to become a happy and satisfied parent and help your child become happier too
  • How your child is a work in progress and how you can use the Numbers to cultivate their unique strengths
  • What inborn qualities your child has and how these qualities can create conflict in relationships, and how you can draw upon these to help your child succeed.

You’ll leave this call with empowering tools to help you better understand the children in your life. Parents or professionals will learn unique information to guide children to be happier and successful (and reduce power struggles and arguments). Plus, you’ll learn all about the Numbers so you can apply this with your family immediately. Don’t miss this complimentary call for IPPC members. Click here to find out more

I can’t wait to welcome you to our awesome community and share Diana’s unique information too!

 

Until we connect again, let your brilliant light SHINE,

 

Dr. Laura Dessauer,

the “Creativity Queen”

Founder, International Parents & Professionals Community

 

P.S.- This call and audio recording is F-R-E-E for International Parents and Professional Community Members. Enjoy monthly parent & professional support calls, guest faculty calls with parenting and family experts, quarterly Q&A calls, instant access 24/7 to support resources, and a supportive, non-judgmental & downright awesome community of parents & professionals…all for just a few pennies per day. Click here now for all of the exciting details.

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Five ways to help your child build self-esteem & confidence

January 15th, 2013

As a parent you want your child to be confident, to have a positive sense of self, but at times it feels like what you are doing and saying may not be the most helpful thing.  Self-esteem and self-confidence are a gray area, and of course there are no ‘one size fits all’ rules, however here are a few ways that may help your child boost their self-esteem:

1. Help them become problem solvers. It’s just natural for parents to want to protect their child from struggles, right? Really, who wants to see a loved one in pain or hurt?  However, minor bumps or problems are opportunity to learn how to negotiate differences, speak-up for what you believe in, and find ways to overcome life’s obstacles. These experiences provide opportunities for divergent thinking, flexibility, innovative ideas and new possibilities. So encourage your child to seek out ways they can solve a problem before you jump in to fix things. Every opportunity where they tackle something difficult creates a sense of accomplishment and pride, and plants the seeds in their brain that they can accomplish something challenging.

2. Encourage competency. Okay, remember back to psychology 101 and the stages of psychosocial development? If you missed that class here’s a quick overview. Erickson believed we go through stages of development and as we master these challenges we move to the next stage.  For children between 5-12 (Latency) child work to master Competence. This stage is about developing skills, forming values, learning, exploring new things, and mastering interests. Learning to practice, commit to, and follow-through are ways to help your child develop a sense of mastery. Find out what your child is interested in (such as art, music, sports) and help them fine-tune these skills. They will feel a sense of accomplishment and self-pride and they learn and master new things.

3. Acknowledge their attempts and effort. Research shows that when children who work on complex tasks were praised for their efforts, they performed better on challenging future tasks. Children who were told by the researcher “they must be smart” were less likely to take risks on future tasks and increase their performance. Perhaps children who are praised are fearful of losing that praise or being seen as less than (can you relate)? So take time to acknowledge their hard work, tenacity, effort, responsibility, and help them to continue to expand and challenge themselves so that their sense of self is not dependent upon what others think.

 

4. Don’t fake it. Kids are so smart and savvy, and they are on to the things that adults have used over the years to attempt to build self-esteem.  All the kids win a ribbon at the event, game points are not counted, and endless cheering and praise- your kids are on to you.  External praise and declaring everyone a winner does not build self-esteem. Kids are smart and want to know you acknowledge their individualized efforts, keep it real.

 

5. Are you willing to be flexible too?  I often see children blossom in self-confidence and self-esteem when they learn how express themselves and feel like they are being heard and respected. When a child learns some ways to express their needs at times it’s like the floodgates open, often with lots of testing.  Inflexible parents may struggle in this period of growth wanting your child to express their needs, and then realizing that it may mean changing how you do things, your perceptions, or a willingness to do things totally different. To be honest, it’s often easier for a child to shift their behaviors, than for an adult whose been repeating these behaviors for 20 + years.  So take inventory of ways you can be flexible and allow your child to develop their voice. They will feel more empowered, which is a great way to develop their self-esteem. Additionally, if they learn that they can state their needs with adults and be heard and respected (even when you may not agree), then imagine how they navigate those teen years (and beyond) by being able to speak up to their peers about what they believe in.

 

Take some time this week to sprinkle in some of these suggestions into your daily routines and see how your child responds. If you need some more specific to help your child discover their unique abilities then do not miss the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC) Guest Faculty Call on Tuesday, January 22nd Topic: The Art of ‘Parenting by the Numbers’ to see your Child as a Unique Masterpiece”, an interview with international guest expert, Diana Dentinger. Click here to learn more about the IPPC https://thecreativityqueen.com/ippc/

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Brain Insights: Make a Positive Difference for Children interview with Deborah McNelis

December 13th, 2012

Do you want to help set your child up for a positive and healthy new year? Join the International Parents and Professionals Community December support call with guest expert Deborah McNelis, an Early Brain Development Specialist, on the topic of Brain Insights: Make a Positive Difference for Children!

Our next monthly International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC) Guest Faculty Call is Tuesday, December 18th on this call Deborah will share practical and important information that can shape your child’s brain!

The brain is greatly impacted by experiences. With the realizations you gain through this presentation you will learn eye opening ways to have a positive impact on behavior, moods and learning…even during busy every day life!

On this call you’ll discover:

  • The impact of the early years
  • What “out of control” behavior means
  • How important consistent nurturing relationships are
  • The importance of play for optimal brain development
  • How nutrition impacts behavior and learning
  • How to fit healthy brain development into your schedule with practical strategies for busy families.

You’ll get access to positive and practical strategies to help your child develop a healthy brain. This call is F*R*E*E* to all IPPC members. Click here to learn more about our supportive community and all the resources for children and families.

I adore Deborah and always learn something new when we talk. I can’t wait to share her pioneering and practical brain insights with our community! If you’re not a member of our community you can learn more here.

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Prevent Holiday Tantrums and Meltdowns at ANY Age

December 4th, 2012

The holidays are a very exciting and stimulating time of year, and regardless of your age you may find yourself overwhelmed, exhausted, and ready to meltdown from stress. Now imagine you are a child with limited control and resources to express and manage your stress. No wonder this time of the year can be overwhelming for kids and adults alike! Here are 4 ways to prevent holiday tantrums and meltdowns at any age:

 

  1. Overstimulation is… overstimulating! Running around from store to store and from activity to activity is exhausting for everyone, especially children who are sensitive to the environment or have sensory issues. All those bright lights and loud stores are enough to unnerve anyone.  Know your child’s limitations and don’t ask them to go beyond what they are capable of doing. Instead, arrange a play date, ask a relative to help out, have your spouse watch the kids as you go and take care of shopping or last minute details.
  2. Kids don’t always have the words to tell you. When children are exhausted and overwhelmed they don’t always have the awareness or ability to let you know that they are at their limit. Heck, even as adults we can easily minimize our spouse/partner when they say that they have had enough and need a break…”Oh but there are a few more things we’ve GOT to get done”! Listen to your child, look at their body cues, and help them identify when they need a break. By helping your child understand and positively express their limits you can avoid the meltdowns and tantrums, especially the public ones that leave you wanting to sneak out of the store from embarrassment.
  3. Get back to basics: Wacky schedules, too much sugar, not enough exercise will lead to mood dysreguation.  Keep a daily schedule with regular bedtimes and use a whiteboard to add special events.  Limit all those holiday sweets. A simple rule of 1 sweet a day can help diffuse the arguments over cookies and candy.  If your child drinks soda, it may be time to choose a natural soda or limit the amount of soda. Clean out the cupboards of salty snacks, toss the ice cream and other sugars, and get outside and exercise.  Head to the local YMCA, join a sport, or just get outside. Exercise helps reduce stress and regulate mood (and helps with anxiety and depression).
  4. Pick and choose what’s important. What do you want your holiday memories to be like? If you are trying to pack everything holiday into 4 weeks you’ll be creating memories, for sure, but they may not be the memories you would like your child to remember!

 

CQ Playful Creative Activity:           

 

Here’s a creative activity to help you choose what’s important for your family. Take a few minutes and some deep breaths then find some magazines (or just get paper and pen/pencils/markers).  Choose a few words that reflect what you would like this holiday season to be remembered as. Write those words or cut the words out from magazines and paste onto paper. Then write down all of the things you believe you “should” do over the holidays on a separate piece of paper.  Look at your list of things to do and remove activities that do not align with the words you desire to create. This can be an empowering activity for the whole family, to help your family choose what’s important (and not so much) for the holidays.

Set your child up for success by joining the International Parents & Professionals Community December support call with guest expert Deborah McNelis on  the topic of “Brain Insights: Make a Positive Difference for Children!” You’ll get access to positive and practical strategies to help your child develop a healthy brain.

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7 Creative Activities to Help Toddlers and Preschoolers Positively Identify and Express Their Emotions

November 13th, 2012

ARE YOU A PARENT OR PROFESSIONAL?

Join the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC) monthly Support Call Tuesday, November 27th. I’ll be speaking on the topic “7 Creative Activities to Help Toddlers and Preschoolers Positively Identify and Express Their Emotions

 

If you have a toddler or preschooler in your life then you are likely looking for tools to help children manage their big feelings? Perhaps you are looking for activities to engage your child and help them learn how to manage their behaviors? Maybe you are looking for creative support tools to teach children how to get along with others without hitting, screaming, and throwing a tantrum?  The Creativity Queen has got you covered!

 

On this call I’ll share:

 

Seven creative activities to help children regulate their social interactions, emotions, and behaviors. These activities will encourage young children to:

 

  • Express and communicate both verbally & non-verbally,
  • Identify and express their feelings, asserting themselves in positive ways,
  • Develop communication, problem solving, creativity and self-confidence,
  • Positively interact with other children and reinforce appropriate behaviors,
  • Participate in age-appropriate cooperative play, choosing positive behaviors,
  • and guide children through problem-solving and conflict resolution solutions

 

You will leave this call with art activities and creative ideas to encourage positive healthy expression with young children.  This call is F*R*E*E* to all IPPC members. Join us on this creative support call. Click here to learn more about our supportive community and all the resources for children and families

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Are you suffering from TMI syndrome? (TMI: Too much information)

October 30th, 2012

Recently I’ve been hearing lots of parents talk about how much is too much information (TMI) when they are talking with their children. Often it’s difficult to understand what are healthy boundaries. There is a tendency for parent to over explain situations. I see this happening with young children, whereby a parent will offer a lengthy explanation to their child why they can’t have a snack right now. The parent often is providing way too much information and justification as the child melts down into tantrums.  This not only happens with toddlers, but I see it in teens and young adults too. Parents lovingly offer up lengthy reasons why their teen shouldn’t do something and the teen launches into their version of a teen tantrum with whining, eye rolling, and anger.

 

Yes, modeling personal boundaries is essential to developing a healthy sense of self in your child. They need to hear you say “no” and they need to learn how to cope with the feelings around not getting what they want. However, there are many ways to set boundaries. You can set a boundary using a brief (one-two sentences) reason why. If it’s reasonable, allow your child a different choice or an opportunity to come up with a different idea. If you are firm on your decision do not launch into TMI lecture mode, this gives your child a reason to default to tantrums.

Here’s how you can use this simple strategy with your kids tonight and see changes in how you communicate.

For example, your child wants a candy bar before dinner.

 

Too much information:

Instead of saying, “You can’t have a candy bar you know it’s dinner time, you are always wanting to eat something before supper, why don’t you do something else instead, like take the dog for a walk, or help me out in the kitchen…”

 

You could respond this way:

“No you can’t have a candy bar before dinner, you can have an apple or grapes instead”. (Do not say anything more. If they default to whining mode remind them ONE time of their choice and do not saying anything more)

 

For example, your pre-teen wants to go to a party with some friends.

 

Too much information:

Instead of saying, “You’re always asking me to go to these parties and I’m tired of hearing about how all your friends are doing it, because we are not your friend’s parents, they let them do what ever they want …”

 

 

You could respond this way:

“I don’t feel comfortable with you being at this party without knowing who will be there. So I need to talk to the parents before hand if you’d like to go.” (Do not say anything more. If they default to whining mode remind them ONE time of their choice and do not saying anything more)

 

For example, you and your spouse have been arguing in front of the children.

 

Too much information:

Instead of saying, “Your father is so annoying I can’t stand it when he acts like that, he’s always doing things to get me mad…”

 

 

You could respond this way:

“Your father and I have been not getting along recently and I am sorry you have had to hear us arguing. We are doing our best to communicate better and will try to be respectful of your feelings.”

 

When you master TMI you can use it in all sorts of situations without becoming upset and reactive, and you will teach your child healthy and respectful communication. Try it tonight and see how it works.

If you need some tools and additional support join the International Parents & Professionals Community and get instant access 24/7  to support resources and a great group of professionals and parents! Our November support call is “7 Creative Activities to Help Toddlers and Preschoolers Positively Identify and Express Their Emotions” Can’t wait to welcome you on the support call!

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Is There Something Wrong with My Child? Indicators Parents & Professionals need to be aware of

October 22nd, 2012

Join the International Parents & Professionals Community (IPPC). Our monthly Parent & Professional Support Call is Tuesday, October 23rd. Topic: “Is There Something Wrong with My Child? Indicators Parents & Professionals need to be aware of”

Have you ever worried that your child’s behaviors were just not typical, and you’re concerned that something might be wrong? Maybe you thought they would just grow out of it, but it’s still there (or maybe gotten worse). You’re wondering if this is ‘normal’? You’d like to get some more information, but you’re worried that your child will be labeled or need medication. This candid call will answer your questions.

On this call I’ll share:

  • Indicators that something is happening with your child and they may need more support
  • Should you be concerned if things are fine at school, but your child acts out on you and his/her siblings
  • What if your child is having lots of problems at school? I’ll share with you what you need to know to help your child at school
  • Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity, Autism, Sensory Processing, Learning Disability, Anxiety, Depression? Are you confused and overwhelmed? It seems like everyone has their opinion about your child and you don’t know where to start to get help. I’ll share with you helpful information on finding support that’s aligned with your family values
  • Are you worried about your child receiving a diagnosis, being labeled, or medicated? We’ll talk about your options so your child can get the help that he/she needs
  • Plus, I will share tips on navigating the maze of professionals: what to look for in choosing a professional to help evaluate your child, what treatments may be beneficial for your child’s diagnosis, and what you do NOT want when you choose a professional to work with your child.

You will leave this call with clarity, ready to take action that will best support your child holistically. This call is F*R*E*E* to all IPPC members. Join us on this information filled call.

Click here to learn more about our supportive community and all the resources for children and families

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