Free Event This Saturday! 17th San Diego International Children’s Film Festival

This weekend is the 17th San Diego International Children’s Film Festival.

After an exciting festival opening, last Sunday at Comic-Con International Special Edition, the 17th annual San Diego International Children’s Film Festival continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. this Saturday, Dec. 4, 2021, at the San Diego Central Library downtown, 330 Park Blvd.

There will screen dozens of short films from around the world – animation, live-action, and documentary. These films are good for all ages, from toddlers through teens and beyond. See the complete film schedule at www.childrensfilmsd.org

Admission is free for everyone, and you don’t need tickets. Just show up anytime between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. and enjoy the films in the library’s beautiful Neil Morgan Auditorium on the ground level. If you have a moment, please register your planned attendance at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/206726182577. There will also be some fun giveaways at the event!

San Diego, Ca Area Halloween Activities!

It’s Spooky Season, which means it’s time for some local events!

Trunk or Treats, Halloween/Fall Carnivals, and other Halloween fun!

These events are just a few of the events going on in San Diego County. If you know of other events, please feel free to leave info in the comments.

 

  • Journey Church in La Mesa is hosting Journey Kids – Halloween Family Dance on 10/9/2021 from 5:30-7:00pm. RSVP here. 
  • If you live closer to downtown/Little Italy, check out Trick or Treat on India Street. This fun and safe Halloween event makes it possible for urban families to enjoy authentic trick-or-treating fun as Little Italy businesses along historic India Street open their doors to give out candy and Halloween treats. 10/27/2021 5:30-7:30pm.
  • HauntFest on Main is an exciting family-friendly event in Downtown El Cajon with a pumpkin patch, costume contest, kids zone, rides, entertainment, and more! 4pm-9pm on 10/29/2021

Faith Chapel in Spring Valley is hosting a Trunk or Treat event on Halloween 10/31/2021 6pm-8pm.

 

 

 

 

 

This Saturday: San Diego All Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair 9/25/2021!

We’ve gone to this event in the past, and it’s always a fun time with great resources.

FREE community event with activities, games, crafts, raffles, shopping, and resource booths for families of all abilities.

When: September 25, 2021 10:00AM-1:00PM

Where: Park de la Cruz Recreation Center 3901 Landis Street San Diego, CA 92105

Activity Booths • Giveaways • Games • Family Resources • Networking • Shopping & more

Children of all abilities can enjoy activity stations:

  • Play our adaptive Life-Size Candyland Game.
  • Wash a kid car and drive it through the FOAMO Car Wash and sensory station.
  • Make a ghost trap and receive a package of ectoplasm slime.
  • Spin the prize wheel for a prize* from the toy barrel. Everyone is a winner!
  • Stop by the ShopAble Marketplace to peruse and purchase fabulous products
  • and more!

Resource and service providers for children of all abilities will conveniently be onsite to speak with parents and offer helpful information.

All activities and resources are FREE and open to the public! To learn more or register, click here

Cartoon Network is Coming to the Children’s Discovery Museum!

I posted about Cartoonito earlier in the week. Look what popped into my email last night!

Sunday, September 19 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00p.m.

Join Cartoonito at The Children’s Discovery Museum for a FREE pop-up event with Cartoon Network’s brand-new preschool-age programming, Cartoonito!

Gather your little ones and get ready for a day filled with creativity, laughter, learning, and fun! Throughout the event, you’ll enjoy:

  • Customizable backpacks,
  • Free school supplies,
  • An ice cream truck,
  • Arts and crafts activities,
  • Previews of Cartoonito programming,
  • And more!
Availability is limited. Save your spot today! And if you aren’t in San Diego, this tour will be all over the US in coming weekends!

San Diego Area: Do You Have a 5-6 Year Old Kiddo? Check out the Big Emotions Study

San Diego Parents, if you have a 5-6-year-old kiddo, The BIG Emotions Study seeks to learn about young children’s emotional development.

Those who participate will be compensated $20/hour.

The study is being held in the SDSU area of San Diego, CA.

Contact them for more info:
Website: tendlab.sdsu.edu
Email: bigemotions@sdsu.edu
Phone: 619-784-5543

Naomi’s Closet: Helping San Diego, CA area women in need

I’ve written about Naomi’s Closet before, but it’s been a few years, and I wanted to bring it to the attention of some newer readers.

If you are a San Diego, Ca area resident, female, and in need, I have a great resource for you.

Screen Shot 2015-05-31 at 7.29.30 AM

Naomi’s Closet is run through the Santee United Methodist Church (Located at 8964 N. Magnolia Ave., Santee, CA 92071). They provide up to five items of clothing per month (Your choice from a very good selection in a wide variety of sizes), and 2 toiletries.

Starting in September, Naomi’s Closet is open on the following days and times:

  • Wednesdays 10am-12pm
  • 1st & 3rd Saturdays 9am-1pm

No appointment is needed, just show up during open hours. You do not need to show proof of need.

Donations accepted during open hours: Seeking clean, gently-used casual and business-casual clothing (no suits please), accessories, shoes. New/unused undergarments, sports bras, toiletries, and hygiene items of any type or size. I donate a lot of the toiletry freebies I receive, as well as clothes that I no longer wear.

If you have questions, or you would like more information, you can contact Naomi’s Closet at naomiscloset@cox.net.

 

Free Food Resources for September 2021 (San Diego County)

A new month means that it’s time for the monthly update of free food resources in San Diego.

You can still find resources here for Central and East County, and Here for North County.

If you are located outside San Diego County, call 211. If you are not familiar with 211, here is their website and it can point you in the right direction.

San Diego Food Bank Distributions for September 2021 can be found here. Enter your address (or just your zip code) and the map will show you all of the distributions in your area or closest to you. You can filter by the days of the week to find food when you are available. If there is an income requirement/limit to participate, each location/listing will say such.

Neighbor distributions are intermixed with the San Diego Food Bank Distributions, however, they have no income requirements, and you come as you are. These Distributions are primarily fruits & veg, however, some locations may also distribute canned goods, dairy, and bread.

Super Pantry Locations can be found here (this listing is countywide). The San Diego Foodbank website also has resources for Diaper banks, free food resources for seniors, and more.

All kids in public school K-12 in the State of California are eligible for free breakfasts and lunches at school. More information can be found here

If you know of other resources, please leave a comment! And feel free to share this post with anyone you may know in need.

San Diego All Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair 9/25/2021

We’ve gone to this event in the past, and it’s always a fun time with great resources.

FREE community event with activities, games, crafts, raffles, shopping, and resource booths for families of all abilities.

When: September 25, 2021 10:00AM-1:00PM

Where: Park de la Cruz Recreation Center 3901 Landis Street San Diego, CA 92105

Activity Booths • Giveaways • Games • Family Resources • Networking • Shopping & more

Children of all abilities can enjoy activity stations including Super Mario Wheelchair Course, Life-Size Candyland Game, Ernie’s Rubber Duckies Literacy Bathtub, Ghostbusters Ghost Trap Craft, and more!

Resource and service providers for children of all abilities will conveniently be onsite to speak with parents and offer helpful information.

All activities and resources are FREE and open to the public! To learn more or register, click here

What to do When You Have a Newly Diagnosed Child on The Autism Spectrum?

I’m in a few Facebook groups for parents of children that are on the Autism spectrum or are otherwise neurodivergent.

One of the things about being a parent of a neurodivergent child is that after you are informed of your kids’ diagnosis is there is nothing. It’s like, “Here is the diagnosis. Thanks for your co-pay… NEXT!!”

Typically, doctors and other clinicians don’t offer you resources, support, or give you any information. Sometimes you have to fight to get a copy of the diagnostic report.

In my Facebook groups, parents of newly diagnosed children come and ask, “What now?” or “How do I get my kid help and services?” After typing the same response literally hundreds of times in the past 5 years trying to help parents and guardians (because I had no help and had to google and claw and find help for my child and family), here are a few resources that have helped my family:

If you suspect your child may be neurodivergent, contact their pediatrician. Ask for an assessment. You may receive a referral to a psychologist. The intake process is lengthy. There are typically 2-3 appointments, plus lots of paperwork to complete. If you receive any pushback, keep pressing forward. If your doctor says no, call your insurance provider directly and ask for help. If you live in San Diego County, you can also contact the San Diego Regional Center directly for help getting an assessment.

Once you receive a diagnosis, request a copy of the paperwork for your files. You will need a copy of the diagnosis paperwork to access services.

Important side notes: Start a file/binder (I use this one) for all of your paperwork. There will be a lot of it. I also have heavy-duty page protectors and folders in the three-ring binder. I keep his IEP (Individual Education Plan), IHSS paperwork, Regional Center paperwork, a list of his doctors (including their phone numbers and addresses), and copies of the medication inserts/directions that come with the prescriptions.

If you are in San Diego County, contact the San Diego Regional Center. Any resident of San Diego or Imperial County believed to have a developmental disability may receive intake services through the San Diego Regional Center. The Regional Center can help you access services such as respite care, Medi-cal Waiver, and access to community services. For most families, Regional Center services are free or very inexpensive. The intake paperwork will go over income requirements for payment for being a Regional Center Client. Our kiddo has been a Regional Center client for 5 years, and they have been a great resource.

Once you get in touch with the Regional Center and your child becomes a client, you want to get your child on Medi-cal. This will allow them to receive the most services and can help your family access IHSS (In Home Support Services- Someone to help provide care for your child, as their special needs may mean that they require extra care or support above and beyond what a neurotypical child their age may require).

If your family makes too much money annually to qualify your child through Medi-Cal, ask for a Medi-cal Development Disability Waiver. Having this waiver for your child is really important, as it will open up so many services and programs.

Some neurodivergent children require services to help better their quality of life. Some of these services include:

  • OT (Occupational Therapy)
  • Speech Therapy
  • Behavioral or Mental Health Therapy
  • Feeding Therapies

The Regional Center Case Worker assigned to your child can help you navigate what services they can help with, and provide resources.

Note about Medi-cal: Just because your kid has it, doesn’t mean that you have to use it as their primary health insurance. For our family, we use Medi-cal to cover the gaps that we’ve found in our primary insurance. Covering co-pays for medication that relates to his diagnosis, and in the past, a few other therapies that we no longer utilize.

There are a lot of support groups online to help parents navigate life with Neurodivergent kiddos. It’s worth a Facebook or Reddit search, using your city, state, or geographic area.

There are also a lot of non-profits that are all about helping Neurodivergent people. I love NFAR (the National Federation for Autism Research), they are local to San Diego, and they have programs for parents, kids, and teens, and adults.

The Autism Tree Project Foundation is another NPO I love. They have all sorts of great playgroups, events, and resources for families of Neurodivergent people.

MOST IMPORTANT: Regardless of your child’s diagnosis, they are still your kid. Nothing changes your love for them and their love for you. If you are uncomfortable or if your child is uncomfortable with any therapies that they take part in, listen to your gut, and listen to your kid. There are some therapies that are commonly accepted that older Autists (people on the autism spectrum) recount as having negative mental or physical impacts on them.

Please seek out support- There are a lot of people who have gone through what you are going through. Lots of parents, friends, allies who can share their resources, and offer you a shoulder to cry on when you are frustrated, and hugs when you need them. I count myself among those supporters. When you need help or support, don’t hesitate to email me or DM/PM me on any of my socials. 

8/14/2021 Back to School Backpack Giveaway (National City, CA)

If you aren’t able to make the other school supply/backpack giveaways I have posted about, this event, brought to you by San Diego Child Support.

  • August 14, 2021
  • 9am-1pm
  • 401 Mile of Cars Way National City, CA 91950