On Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 at 7pm the People’s Light & Theatre Company will be offering a sensory-friendly performance of Arthur and the Tale of the Red Dragon: A Musical Panto. Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a theatre experience that is welcoming to all families with members (children or adults) on the autism spectrum or with other sensory sensitivities. For this special performance, the theatre environment at People’s Light will be adjusted to provide a sensory-friendly, comfortable and judgment-free space. Adjustments include:
- House lights will remain on at a low level in the theater during the performance;
- Lower sound level, especially for startling or loud sounds;
- A reduction of strobe lighting;
- Patrons are free to talk and leave their seats during the performance;
- Designated quiet areas within the theater;
- Space throughout the theater for standing and movement;
- Limited crowds and visitors through the theatre lobby during the day and timing of the performance;
- A quiet area will be available where children and their families can relax in our theatre’s lobby;
- Fidget and stress sensory toys will be available to borrow as needed; and
- People’s Light staff trained to be inviting and accommodating to families’ needs.
The Mental Health Channel (MHC) is a new online mental wellness channel. It will soon have 12 series of original documentaries, 120 episodes in all available to view. MHC was created to raise awareness by showing inspiring true stories and provide new perspectives on mental wellness. Currently 19 of the episodes are available to view. It’s a channel like any you’d see on cable but it’s free to view and commercial free. MHC is underwritten by the Mental Health Awareness Fund, a 501c3 nonprofit.
October 5-11 is Mental Illness Awareness Week. What we call “mental illness” really refers to BRAIN disorders. Depression is a very serious BRAIN disorder which can kill. Robin Williams’ recent suicide was a tragic example of the lethality of depression. The research shows that addiction problems are very highly linked to “mental illness.” Please join us on Saturday, October 18 for our third annual Family Resilience Conference, a free event where you will learn how to support your loved ones with BRAIN disorders and other special needs. Our keynote speaker, Andrew Solomon, has written about his own experience with depression. Learn more at www.devereux.org/resilientfamilies.
Caregivers of children with developmental disabilities often experience greater stress than parents of typically-developing kids. A new study published online last week in the journal Pediatrics demonstrates that more attention needs to be paid to the needs of parents of children with developmental disabilities.
The study randomly assigned 243 mothers of children with disabilities to one of two interventions led by well-trained, supervised peer mentors who received four months of training on the curriculums. The peer mentors were other mothers of children with disabilities who led 6 weeks of group treatments in 1.5-hour weekly sessions.
For the two treatment groups some parents were assigned to a mindfulness based stress reduction program others to a positive psychology based program. Results showed that mothers in both groups benefitted from the peer-led treatment programs. The researchers conclude more attention ought to be paid to address the unmet mental health needs of parents of children with developmental disabilities.
To read more about this study see the article published by the New York Times, “When the Caregivers Need Healing”.
A Building Bridges Initiative Tip Sheet
Supporting Siblings When a Brother or Sister is Receiving Residential Interventions:
Key Issues and Tips for Providers and Families
This document was developed by the Building Bridges Initiative Youth and Family Work Group and
was written by Dr. Lauren Polvere. The tips provided were developed based on feedback and
guidance from providers, family members and youth.
This new tip sheet describes the importance of sibling support and provides helpful strategies that
can be used by providers, leaders in residential and community programs, and families and advocates.
BBI values and principles reflect the need to create partnerships to support youth and families, and
this new tip sheet identifies the importance of supporting siblings as a key component of
strengthening families and communities.
The document can be downloaded at: http://www.buildingbridges4youth.org/products
On Saturday, October 18, 2014 Devereux will present its 3rd annual family resilience conference. This year’s theme will be, “Accepting and Supporting Our Children’s Differences: Building Resilient Families”. Each year, Devereux gives families the opportunity to learn ways to help support their loved ones with special needs, challenges, or differences by sponsoring a family resilience conference. This annual event is open to the public and all families are welcome to attend. Space will be limited and registration will be required.
The conference includes interactive workshops led by leaders in their fields, a parent panel, resource tables packed with valuable information on a wide range of subjects, and exhibitor tables staffed by representatives from local providers. Kicking off this year’s conference is Andrew Solomon, New York Times best-selling author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity. For more information on Andrew, please click here.
This year’s conference will be held on the campus of Saint Joseph’s University thanks to a partnership with the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support at Saint Joseph’s University. Complimentary childcare for youth of all abilities is available onsite, though space is limited. Childcare registration is required. Childcare will be located within the Kinney Center for Autism Education and Support on the campus of saint Joseph’s University.
For more information visit our new conference website at: devereux.org/resilientfamilies