Our Thrift Stores Welcome Spring
By Barbara High, Manager of Retail Fundraising & Volunteer Resources
Spring has most definitely sprung in both thrift stores - lots of lovely bright colors, customers and volunteers alike have a ‘spring’ in their step! Steveston thrift store is gearing up for a makeover and we are looking for volunteers willing to pick up a paintbrush. Give me a call at (604) 274-8866 if you have a few hours free on a Sunday.
Exciting news to share, the stores are now a Foundation on their own! ‘SOS Children's Village Thrift Store Foundation’ is our official name, though we still answer to Steveston and Kerrisdale.
We have a van at our disposal and are able to pick up donations locally, with more details to come. Becoming a Foundation means we will be able to help more people, work with other non-profits and much more.
Brenda McGuire and her team of volunteers hosted a ‘Spring Dress Event’ at the Kerrisdale thrift store on Sunday April 19th - the sun was shining, the dresses colourful, music entertaining, and yummy punch and snacks were served. It was a great day, good to see happy customers filling their baskets with lovely things. Thank you to the Run Inn, Adesso Salon and the Maple Leaf singers for donating great door prizes.
Please indulge me while I talk specifically to our wonderful volunteers at both stores: you are an inspiration to all, your dedication, loyalty and hard work does not go unnoticed, please know that you make a DIFFERENCE in the lives of the young children and youth we care for.
A special thanks as well goes out to Vera, Kathy, Caroline and Brenda without whom I would be pulling my hair out, ladies you are the best!
Neurofeedback Training is #1 at SOS BC
By Dr. Lise' DeLong, Ph.D, CPCRT, CCCM Clinical Director, Developmental NeuroCognitive Specialist
We are excited to be formally introducing EEG Neurofeedback as a healing modality at our SOS Village. This process of training a brain is used to modify the brainwave activity through auditory and visual feedback. Neurofeedback is a gentle method of creating a balance within the central nervous system. It is painless and non-invasive in its approach. We have had it here for a few years, but we are now using it as a number one approach with the majority of our children, and it is made available to our staff as well.
The training process incorporates the use of auditory and visual feedback on a computer screen, and turbulence - too much activity - is measured by the use of sensors on the head. The approach can be compared to potty-training. An individual is taking an internal organ and training it to respond by the use of feedback; clapping if a child potty's in the toilet. Neurofeedback will give an external signal (an interruption in the music) if a person is producing an amplitude (strength of a signal) in a time-frequency level that is within the parameters the system is measuring. The feedback/music will play and the visual picture will move. If the individual is outside of those parameters, then the music and the movement stops, giving them feedback that they've had a brain shift causing turbulence.
The process starts with a compilation of the participant’s emotional, behavioural and cognitive abilities, concerns and personal goals. After a thorough meeting involving some standardized testing and reviewing their social history, a profile is created. The profile is used to develop academic and cognitive strategies for school, home and social life. This profile is a starting point for memory, problem solving, reasoning and speed processing enhancement, better school behaviour and more self-confidence!
Most individuals will be seen weekly. The first twenty sessions are the most important. The central nervous system is learning a new neuronal pattern, and just like exercising any muscle, the more it is practiced the more habitual the movement becomes. The total number of sessions varies and is dependent on the individual, their progress and their personal goals. It is very important that the children maintain regular attendance once this process has started for them.
Computer games, board games and card games are often used during sessions as a method of teaching a new cognitive strategy. Relaxation techniques such as autogenics, visualization, Hemi-Sync music and diaphragmatic breathing can be taught to the individual as well. At times ‘homework’ will be given to the family so they can continue to practice at home, school or at the workplace.
EEG Neurofeedback helps with many different disorders and conditions. It seems to be effective for several reasons: It helps to remind the body how to relax the muscles - which allow the nerves to ‘let-go’ and not respond until needed. It also allows the blood to flow through the body at a normal rate and volume, keeping blood pressure lower during daily activity. Most disorders or conditions are affected by stress. Therefore, as the body reacts to the stress in a different manner, the characteristics of these diagnoses will decrease.
SOME OF THE CONDITIONS THAT ARE TREATED BY NEUROFEEDBACK:
• Anxiety Attacks
• Bi-polar Disorder
• Learning Disabilities (LD)
• Oppositional Defiance Disorder (ODD)
• Pain Management
• Tourette Syndrome (TS)
• Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
THE BENEFITS YOU CAN EXPECT TO SEE:
• Falls asleep within 20 minutes
• Stays asleep
• Wakes Refreshed
• Improved memory skills
• Increased flexibility in thinking
• Heightened sense of documentation and focus
• Increase in the speed of processing information
• Better reasoning skills
• Able to think faster
• Better skills in reasoning and deduction
• Better sense of self control
• Better social skills
• Less anxiety
• Less needless body movement
• Less impulse behaviour
• Less obsessive/compulsive behaviour
• Reduction of addictive behaviour
• More involved with family events and discussions
• More willing to share ideas and thoughts
• Happier and more content
• More composed physically/mentally
• Better self confidence
• Reduction of stress related behaviours such as headaches, nail biting, twisting hair, hair pulling, motor or vocal tics
Parent Driven Autism Services Celebrates 2nd Year
By Doug West, Manager of Autism Services
The Parent Driven Autism Services (PDAS) program recently enjoyed its two year anniversary. This unique fee-for-service program ties cutting-edge Neurofeedback training with Behavioural Consultation and Cognitive Remediation. While initially intended to provide services primarily for youth on the autism spectrum, PDAS is also providing services to youth in care, as well as a growing number of private clientele.
After enjoying steady growth during its first year, PDAS acquired the Clinical Supervision of Neuropsychologist Dr. Lise’ DeLong. Her experience with youth with neurodevelopmental challenges spans 30 years. The future of this program looks very promising as we move into year three. Currently PDAS is adding practitioners and pursuing contracts to provide this service to less fortunate youth in the downtown eastside of Vancouver.
Special Thank Yous
• Bouchard Enterprises for their $1,500 annual donation through monthly giving
• Envision Financial provided us with a $340 cheque through their Employee Giving Campaign
• Hasbro USA for their $18,850 grant to our Learning Club program
• KD Technical Services kindly donated $1,000 to the SOS Run & Walk
• Knights of Columbus North Surrey gave $2,500 for our summer camps
• North Vancouver Host Lions Club for their kind donation of $1,000
• Serena Fashions for their $2,400 annual donation through monthly giving
• Splitz Gymnastics Centres kindly donated $200
• Tag Liquor Store Cambie Plaza generously donated $1,000 to the SOS Run & Walk
• TELUS provided us with a $400 cheque from employee donations
• UBC Alma Mater Society – Dance Horizons for $200 from their third party event
• Vancouver Foundation - Youth Homelessness Initiative for the second cheque of $47,000 of a three year grant to our Transition to Adulthood program
We appreciate the support & generosity to the kids in our programs and our organization.
Employment Skills Workshop Introduced to TTA Program
This spring, the Transition to Adulthood (TTA) program held its very first Employment Skills Workshop that was made available to the youth in our Village and those accessing our service in the larger community. The workshops were held over six consecutive Saturdays and facilitated by Karen Hedberg, B.A. (Psych), CCRC, CLCP of Hedberg & Associates.
Karen was gracious enough to donate both her time and materials to help our youth gain the employment skills and confidence that they need in order to go out independently and seek employment.
The Job Search program “helps an individual identify their work skills, their work strengths/weaknesses and gives them the tools to build self-confidence to approach employers regarding possible work positions that are not advertised via Informational Interviews.”
Youth were also shown how to construct a professional resume and cover letters in response to advertised jobs. They were taught how to negotiate the minefield of searching for employment via the tool of Informational Interviews, which can be used to select out employers that are not a good fit, while still looking for unadvertised employment.
Each TTA youth received a 93-page manual that they can keep and can refer to throughout their work life. The Job Search book builds confidence in those who don't have the skills to do an effective job search. It contains the Interview questions and answers that employers ask. The book also provides the reason employers ask these Interview questions and gives suggestions as to how to answer those difficult questions skillfully and appropriately.
Upon completion of the program, each youth was granted a certificate amongst all the invaluable information that they can take with them throughout their life. We are so grateful to Karen for lending her talent and expertise to guide our youth on the road to employment success. We hope to run these workshops again in the future so others have the opportunity to access this valuable information.
SOS BC Ambassador Meets with SOS International President in Greece
, a teacher at University Hill Elementary School in Vancouver who helps promote SOS BC, got the chance to meet with SOS Children's Villages International President Siddhartha Kaul!
At the end of March, Eleni was in Greece visiting our sister Villages and spreading the word about SOS BC, SOS Canada, and our great province out here on the West Coast. She talked to Mr. Kaul about our local organization and about her SOS Club at U-Hill Elementary near UBC. Her club members signed their names on a big BC flag and drew their own cards and made SOS pins to give to our friends in Greece.