E-Newsletter October 2020


Contributed by: Michelle Smith, Fund Development & Communications Officer

Many thanks to NORTHWEST MOTORSPORT serving as our title sponsor once again! What a generous company who cares so much about helping children.

For the last 11 years, the ANNUAL DINNER & AUCTION GALA brought people together to celebrate the tenacity and courage displayed by the ASAPC community, while raising critical funds all to support the CARES FUND, which covers the cost of uncompensated care, so every child receives the necessary therapeutic support they need.

Although we cannot be together in person this year, we can still come together, virtually, as a community, to show support for families and children with developmental delays.

We have planned 6 days of digital festivities, including an expansive silent and live auction, inspiring real-live ASAPC Superhero stories, and not to be missed door prizes!!! The event is FREE to attend, so send the link to all your friends and family around the globe!

So, mark your calendars for 8am MONDAY, OCTOBER 12, 2020 when the silent auction bidding begins. Each day new items will be launched and available for bidding. The robust online auction will feature over a hundred items ranging in value available for bidding.

Then, stay tuned 6PM on SATURDAY OCTOBER 17th for an Inspiring & Engaging Live Program offering giving opportunities and Signature LIVE Auction Items!

Registration, Info, Donate, and Special Offers visit asapc.org.


Contributed By: Leslie Frazier, Speech Language Pathologist

Imitate, Imitate, Imitate

We’ve heard it said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  But when you work with babies and toddlers, imitation is the key to learning.  

Imitation is the intentional copying of another person.  It can be a movement, a gesture, an eye gaze, a facial expression, a sound, a word, or a tune.  If you sit on the floor, banging on an old pot with a wooden spoon, singing “Row, Row, Row Your Boat,” it’s likely your baby will try to bang on the pot with you. 

At birth the brain is wired to imitate.   If one person can do it, another can reproduce it.   Infants and toddlers learn through imitation.  

Watch how even tiny babies watch an adult and imitate:

1-hour old baby:   https://youtu.be/ersyQKAIMPI

1-month old baby:  https://youtu.be/JPejofp9BnQ

Imitation is extremely important in the development of all early skills.   Imitation is the primary way we learn social skills, communication skills, and motor skills.  When therapists and teachers are working with children that aren’t talking yet or are struggling with early learning skills, we may work on imitation skills first.   A child may need to develop stronger imitation skills in play activities and daily routines before that child is able to learn sounds, words, and interaction skills. 

What can I do to help my child?

It is important that we all remember that the parent is a child’s first and best teacher!  Your child looks to you to learn every day.   Here a few things you can do to help your child learn to imitate:

Take time to play: Give yourself permission to play with your child.   When you play, your child will play.   It’s okay to be silly: use silly voices, use hand puppets, play peek-a-boo and hide and seek, play drums with an old pot and a spoon.   For a child, the best means of exploring and discovery is play.   When they see you playing they want to imitate you.  Relax and have fun. 

Repeat your words and actions, again & again:  Little ones learn best when they see or hear something modeled again and again.  You may get tired of singing “The Wheels on the Bus” but your little one is absorbing every word and every movement; the repetition is feeding their brain and helping them learn to reproduce the sounds, actions, and notes.   When you play with your child, consciously choose 4 words or actions to target for 10-15 minutes; the repetition will give your child a strong model to follow.

-For example: when it’s bath time you could choose the words “bubbles”, “splash”, “wet”, and “clean.”  How many times in the space of the bath could those words be modeled?  “Pop the bubbles!”  “Your hair is all wet.” “Splash your rubber duck!”  “Now your hands are all clean.”   “Splash! Splash!”  “Let’s blow some bubbles.” 

When you consciously focus on just a few words or actions for a short period, your child gets many models in the most natural settings.  This increases the opportunities to imitate.

No pressure: When you give your child the opportunity to imitate you, pause to give them a moment to try.  But don’t pressure them to imitate.   If they don’t respond just keep going and keep modeling.   

-For example: you get out the toy cars and track; you say, “ready, set.…” Then wait for a few seconds (with an excited look on your face) and look at your toddler expectantly.  If they say or indicate “Go!”, let the car go and celebrate.  If you wait and they don’t reply, model, “Go!” with exaggerated gestures.  No pressure to perform, but positively react to any attempt the child makes to get the car to “Go!”.  Praise the attempt, not just the accurate response.  

Follow the child’s lead: As much as we want a toddler to imitate the adults, a child also needs an adult to imitate them.  When your child is playing, give them opportunities to lead you.   If they are playing a maraca and singing a nonsense song, grab something to shake and join in the nonsense.  If they are babbling, “babababa duh,” respond by imitating it, “babababa duh!”   Imitating the child lets the child know that you are truly looking at and listening to them and want to interact with them.   This builds their confidence, builds turn-taking skills, and encourages them to try to interact and speak even more.   This also teaches them to make eye-contact with you and pay attention to your movements and sounds. 

Let them Lead Drumming: https://youtu.be/-rWKSTtM6Ys

Tips for Imitation: https://youtu.be/7ZERrCnMNtM

The most important thing is to enjoy your time with your little one.   The parent is the best and most present teacher a child can have.   


Contributed by: Harmony McCann, M.Ed; Early Intervention Teacher & Evaluation Team Coordinator

Every year, in the United States, Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes and celebrates the influence that the Latin American and Hispanic people have had on the country. From music and literature to art and food, Hispanic Americans have enriched every corner of the nation.  

Throughout this month-long celebration of culture, organizations and museums—such as the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, and the National Park Service—along with numerous schools, churches, and other venues will honor the importance and vibrancy of Latin American and Hispanic culture and people as they have deeply and beneficially influenced the United States.  

During this month, the independence days of several Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, Mexico, and Chile form part of the celebration.  

In Mexico, El Grito de Independencia (also known as El Grito de Dolores) is an important national holiday that commemorates the start of the Mexican War for Independence, a war in which Mexicans fought against a Spanish colonial government that had become increasingly corrupted by the invasion of Napoleon two years earlier.   

Every year, on September 15th, just before midnight, Mexico’s president rings a bell from the balcony of the National Palace in Mexico City, this is exact bell rung by the Priest, Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla two centuries ago when he first cried out for Independence. Citizens gather outside the Palace shouting along with the President a call of patriotism based on the Cry of Dolores. The call-out made two centuries ago by Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla that started the war for independence. This call is made all throughout Mexico, in every state, city, and town, by the highest-ranking government officials along with parades and other special events.  

In the United States, many Mexican American families celebrate El Grito de Independencia every year in different ways, often combining food, music and traditions that speak of their Mexican heritage. Hispanic Heritage is American heritage and talking about El Grito de Independencia is not just a means of recognizing Mexican culture but is also necessary to understanding and celebrating American history, which often leaves out people who have deeply and beneficially contributed to the United States  

and cultures who helped make America what it is today.     

Facts about Hispanic Heritage Month:  

  • Octaviano Larrazolo: The first Hispanic woman U.S. Senator.  
  • There are 1.2 million Hispanic veterans of the U.S. armed forces.  
  • Before Plymouth, Massachusetts, these Hispanic cities were founded: Augustine, Florida, and Sante Fe, New Mexico.  
  • Oscar Hijuelos: The first Hispanic writer to win a Pulitzer Prize.  
  • Ellen Ochoa is the first Hispanic woman astronaut to go into space.  
  • Spanish is the second most-spoken language after English in the U.S.  
  • Mario Molina, a Mexican immigrant to the United States, won the Nobel Prize for his crucial work in elucidating the threat to the Earth’s ozone layer of chlorofluorocarbon gases.  
  • The first Hispanic member of the 1822 U.S. Congress was Joseph Marion Hernández  
  • Romualdo Pacheco: The first Hispanic U.S. Representative elected in 1876  
  • Carlos Juan Finlay found the causes of yellow fever in 1881.  
  • Carlos Santana was the first Hispanic Rock & Roll Hall of Famer