Partners in Lifelong Support Since 1966

In the News

Public Meetings to be Held Regarding Purchase of Services Differences in March

Lanterman Regional Center will be hosting three public meetings on:

  • Friday, March 4, 2016 in Korean at 10 a.m. at Lanterman
  • Tuesday, March 8, 2016 in Spanish at 7 p.m. at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles
  • Wednesday, March 23, 2016 in English at 7 p.m. at Lanterman

During the meetings we will be reviewing data on the disparity in purchased services for Lanterman clients related to age, race, primary language, and disability.

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Howard McBroom Heads to Germany to Share His Experience Living Life Through the Lens of Autism

Howard McBroom’s recent trip to Germany to share his experience living life with a diagnosis of autism all came about from a 2011 interview he did for the Los Angeles Times.

The article was read by Jette Paetz, a graduate student of Dr. Georg, and the wheels were set in motion. In 2012, Dr. Georg traveled to Los Angeles for a face to face interview with Howard for his book, “The Practice of Autism in America.” One thing led to another and three years later, Dr. Georg proposed that Howard travel to Germany to speak at a conference he was organizing about autism that would bring psychiatric professionals and people with autism together for the first time for meaningful discussion.

The biggest hurdle for Howard was getting a passport, but with the help of Jacquelyn Castillo, his community living specialist at United Cerebral Palsy, and Srbui Ovsepyan, his Lanterman service coordinator, he got it. With his essentials packed, Howard’s trip started on November 13, and for 10 days Howard brought, what he dubbed “Hope from America,” sharing his story, the effects of autism on him personally, and also about the regional center system on self-determination. The conference laid the groundwork for increased cooperation between the communities with autism in America and in Germany.

Howard shares, “This was an experience of a lifetime. I am very proud to represent the Regional Center in such a large scale advocacy effort and I look forward to more opportunities as an international speaker.”

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Read Across America Storytime at KYRC on March 2

Join the Koch-Young Resource Center for a Read Across America storytime in honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday. It'll be a fun afternoon with arts and crafts activities as well on Wednesday, March 2, 2016 from 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the KYRC Library.

Register online by February 29, 2016 to reserve your spot.

For questions, more information and to register, contact 213.252.5600 or


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Coloring for Adults

Color To Relax - Adults, join us on Wednesday, February 17, 2016 from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Lanterman for a relaxing, meditative and a great way to relieve stress by coloring creative images. Colored pencils and coloring pages are provided and you can take home your finished image.

Register online by Monday, February 15, 2016 to reserve your spot.

For questions, more information and to register, contact 213.252.5600 or


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Getting Ready for El Nino

As you know, heavier-than-usual rains, referred to as “El Nino” are expected in the Los Angeles area. The latest forecasts are for the heaviest downpours to be throughout January, February and March, 2016. Among the greatest concerns are flooding and mudslides in some areas, power outages, street closures, leaking roofs and extra traffic.

The City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County each have a registry which anyone can sign up for. If you provide your cell phone and e-mail address, notifications of emergencies and areas to avoid will be texted, called or e-mailed to you. All landlines are already automatically in the system. View a flyer that explains how to sign up for these registries.

There are also things you can do to prepare yourself and your family such as:

  • Create an emergency kit that contains a minimum of 72 hours of food and water for each person, medications, first aid supplies, a flashlight and a radio.
  • Develop a plan for communication and re-uniting if it should become necessary.
  • To prepare your residence, repair roofs, trim trees and clear out gutters.
  • For your car, make sure headlights and windshield wipers are in good working order.
  • Do not walk or drive through flooded areas.
  • For your pets, plan for pet food, water, medications and leashes.

Here are some helpful websites:

Unusual weather can cause increased fear and anxiety. Discuss it ahead of time if that strategy helps. For people with some types of disabilities, use pictures or videos or your home shower to illustrate heavy rain. Plan things to do for extended time indoors. Follow news reports and heed instructions to stay away from problem areas. It is impossible to know exactly how much rain is expected, but a little advanced planning can reduce panic and maximize everyone’s safety.

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State Council on Developmental Disabilities Begins Next Phase of Child/Family Surveys

Starting November 2, 2015 through March 2016 the State Council on Developmental Disabilities (SCDD) Los Angeles Office will be sending out National Core Indicator Child/Family Surveys to parents and guardians of children, ages 3 to 18, who receive services from Lanterman, Eastern Los Angeles, Harbor, North Los Angeles County, South Central Los Angeles, Westside, San Gabriel/Pomona and Tri-Counties regional centers.

The National Core Indicators are standard measures used by many states to assess how people feel about the services that they receive from the developmental disability system. The questions address key areas of concern including service planning, community inclusion, choice, health and safety, rights and employment. The responses to these surveys will help California identify essential changes necessary to improve the quality of services at a statewide and local level. 

The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. All responses are confidential. No one will know your answers - not case managers, providers, support workers, or any others. Your answers will not affect you, your child, or the services your family receives. The survey comes with a pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelope.

Surveys will also be available in the following languages: Arabic, Armenian, Chinese, Farsi, Hmong, Khmer-Cambodian, Korean, Laotian, Russian, Spanish, Tagalog and Vietnamese

If you need help reading or understanding the survey, or need an interpreter, contact the SCDD Los Angeles office at 818.543.4631 or When you receive the survey please complete and return it within two weeks.

Legislative Hearing Updates from ARCA

On December 1, there were two legislative informational hearings that are relevant to the work that regional centers do. Following is a summary by Amy Westling, Director of Policy, Association of Regional Center Agencies.

First, there was a hearing on the MCO tax in Los Angeles, which covered, by and large, familiar territory and information. Sen. Hernandez (chair) welcomed all participants and attendees. He noted with disappointment that the Department of Finance declined the conference committee’s invitation. He had been particularly interested in hearing from them why the tax is needed in light of the new funds recently reported by the Legislative Analyst’s Office (LAO).

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Kaiser Sunset Partners with Lanterman, LAUSD and Pathpoint to Implement Project SEARCH

Kaiser Permanente Los Angeles Medical Center has Partnered with Lanterman Regional Center, LAUSD and Pathpoint to Bring Project SEARCH to Their Medical Campus

Top photo is Jaime Rodriguez; bottom left photo is Adrian Garcia; and bottom right photo is Erick Morales. All 3 are Los Angeles Unified School District students participating in Project SEARCH and are supported by LAUSD Special Education Teacher Lisa Divers.

Photos taken by LAUSD Special Education Teacher Lisa Divers

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About Project SEARCH
Project SEARCH is a program for young adults with disabilities to learn job skills through unpaid internships. The interns are in their last year at LAUSD and they will participate in three 10-week internships throughout various Kaiser/Sunset departments such as OB/GYN, Ambulatory Services and Volunteer Services.

The goal for Project SEARCH interns is to gain valuable work experience that will lead to paid employment after graduation. Recruitment for students for the 2016-17 school year will begin soon. 

LAUSD students interested in finding out more about Project SEARCH should speak with their teacher or their service coordinator at Lanterman.

For general information about Project SEARCH visit their Web site.

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All About Autism BrainNet

It Takes Brains Solve Autism

What is Autism BrainNet?
Autism BrainNet is a new network of four university-based sites across the country that have come together to make brain donation both easier and more useful for future research. Brain donations to any of these sites will contribute to a common pool that will facilitate research by the best autism researchers in the world.

Why is Autism BrainNet Important?
Autism is a disorder of brain development. In order to make progress in all areas of autism research, scientists need to study brains. Understanding what is different about the genetics or structure of the brain will give autism researchers essential information to develop better treatments and ultimately prevent the debilitating symptoms of autism.

Read more to learn how donations are used and how you can help

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Making Ornanments for the State Capitol Tree

Breakout the Glitter, Glue Guns and Tissue Paper - It's Time to Get Crafty and Start Making Ornaments for the State Capitol Tree

For more than 20 years, ornaments made by persons with developmental disabilities have adorned the state tree during the holidays. The Department of Developmental Services (DDS) has been asked once again to participate in the official State Capitol Tree Lighting Ceremony, which will take place in early December.

DDS is requesting ornaments from regional center clients to decorate the tree. If you or your program/agency would like to make and donate one or more ornaments, please check out the ornament guidelines and shipping instructions.

Ornaments must be received by November 16, 2015

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DDS Director Santi Rogers to Retire Effective December 1

Santi Rogers, Director of the Department of Developmental Services will retire from state service, effective December 1, 2015. The surprise announcement was made by California Health and Human Services Secretary Diana Dooley at the beginning of the California Health and Human Services Agency Developmental Services Task Force meeting Wednesday morning, who praised the commitment and work of Rogers. She thanked Rogers, widely respected for his long career working for the rights of children and adults with developmental disabilities, noting that he ended up serving beyond his one year commitment as director of the Department of Developmental Services. Task force members and the audience in the room gave Rogers a strong ovation acknowledging his lifelong work.

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Promotora Project Family Graduation

Lanterman recently celebrated the first group of families graduating from the Center's pilot project with Esperanza Community Housing.

Called the Promotora Project, it is the first of its kind among the 21 regional centers in California.

The goal of the Promotora Project is to help families increase access to services in their community, increase advocacy skills, and improve their understanding of their child’s special needs.

Congratulations to all the families who participated.


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Kirk is a Shining Example of Life After the Developmental Center

Sometimes the unremarkable is remarkable - like going out for dinner, taking a trip to Target, or even decorating your own tree at the holidays. It's something many of us take for granted, but for Kirk, officially Lanterman's last client to move out of Lanterman Developmental Center in December 2014, after living there since 1997, these are experiences to be cherished.

Kirk He moved into the Verdugo 1 home in Burbank and his service coordinator, Jenny Arellano, shares, "Kirk has taken pride in and ownership of his home. He has made connections with his staff and has been heard calling his Direct Service Professional his 'brother.' Kirk has made significant improvement with his ambulation since his arrival at his new home; this is a result of his DSP providing constant encouragement to use his lower extremities. He is now able to move more efficiently throughout his home with support from his walker and on occasion he will even make short trips around his home without support from an assistive device."

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Dorothy’s 77th Birthday Luau

For nearly 70 years, Dorothy lived at Lanterman Developmental Center. In July 2010, she moved to Easter Seals Frederic Home, where she now resides with two other housemates.

According to her service coordinator, Jenny Arellano, "Dorothy seems to like having her own room and living in a quieter environment. She is the 'queen' of the house as she is the only female resident. And the staff is very attentive and caring. Dorothy enjoys being pampered and loves getting her makeup done and her hair coifed and is regularly treated to 'spa days.''' Staff recently threw Dorothy a marvelous luau to celebrate her 77th birthday.

Dorothy also enjoys spending time out in the community. Over this past year she has visited Universal Studios, Malibu Beach and ate at Duke’s Diner. She also visited Beverly Hills and went on tour of famous stars homes.

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Ramona’s Poem

When Lusine Gambaryan, SLS Assistant Program Director at InClusion Services, recently stopped by to visit Ramona, Ramona shared a poem she had written entitled "A Poem About Ramona." Ramona asked that they read it together, as it was written just after a particularly difficult experience that she went through and Lusine shares, "This touched my heart that Ramona was courageous enough to write out her thoughts and express them on paper."

Ramona is a young adult who has successfully transitioned from living in a state developmental center to living in her own apartment with supports. She is a member of Lanterman's Client Advisory Committee as well. 

Lusine adds, "After reading this, I am confident that Ramona is trying very hard to overcome her daily challenges. She also understands that with the help of her support circle she has come a long way to turn around at this."

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Information and Resources are Only a Click, E-mail or Phone Call Away

A few weeks ago, Lanterman's Koch-Young Resource Center (KYRC) received an e-mail at Help Desk asking for information regarding epilepsy. The information was provided, and then not too long thereafter, the KYRC received an update. It turns out the requester was a high school student who has epilepsy and lives in Wyoming - Gabbie Marie.

Rose Chacana, director of the KYRC, shares, "She found us on her own, researched the Lanterman Web site and used the information she gathered to create a school project designed to increase epilepsy awareness. I really like her initiative and she made very good use of the Web site and KYRC resources, all while residing in another state. We touch many lives..."

Gabbie Marie's project was presented at the Wyoming State FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) in Cheyenne. Her presentation and project placed bronze in the statewide Illustrative Talk competition. And while she didn't make it to the Nationals, her story is a shining example of what can be accomplished with the information and resources that are available with only a click, e-mail or phone call.

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Nurturing Staff at Casa de Adora Help Two Brothers from Lanterman Developmental Center

Nurturing Staff at Casa de Adora Help Two Brothers from Lanterman Developmental Center Find Their “Voice” and Express Themselves Positively

Eight years ago, brothers John and Daniel, who had spent much of their adult lives at Lanterman Developmental Center, moved into Casa de Adora. And contrary to all of the naysayers who argued keeping adults with developmental disabilities like John and Daniel in the developmental centers was better for them, with nurturing and support from the staff at Casa de Adora, John and Daniel have all but disproven this.

It’s not to say that it didn’t take time to achieve the marked progress that can be seen in their lives and the daily lives of the other residents at Casa de Adora, but they are a case in point example of the breakthroughs that can be achieved when clients are provided with ways in which to find their “voice” and express themselves positively.

“When they first came to Casa de Adora,” recalls Julio Vicente, a QA Specialist in Lanterman’s Community Services department, “the two brothers had uncontrollable behaviors, including hitting, kicking, head banging, yelling and spitting, and they didn’t like to be around others, especially people they didn’t know. For Daniel, these were the ways he used to communicate as he didn’t’ have any other means or know what else to do, and John would also retreat to his room and spend hours in his chair alone.”

Fast forward to Daniel’s most recent birthday celebration, and the two brothers can be seen celebrating with the Casa de Adora staff and the other two residents – Jaime and Mario. Julio adds, “Daniel no longer exhibits any of the above behaviors, enjoys hanging out and has learned some basic sign language to communicate with others. John, who never came out of his room and did not want to participate in any activities, now spends time in the living room watching television with his brother and his peers, partakes in meals with the rest of the residents, and has even learned to smile and attempt to communicate through sign language as well.”

Mario and Jaime have also made leaps and bounds since moving in. The staff have worked very closely with Mario and his doctors on medication reduction, and Jaime has gone from being introverted to talking, singing and making eye contact with his peers and with people in general.

Julio adds, “This is all very endearing to me, because I saw them when they first got to the home and I’m looking at a totally different and amazing picture now.  Wonderful to see!”


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Grassroots Day 2015 ~ Sacramento

Last week was Grassroots Day in Sacramento, and Lanterman board member and parent Karla Garcia, along with Enrique Roman, associate director of Client and Family Services, and Karen Ingram, director of Community Services spent the day in Sacramento visiting with members of the Legislature and their senior staff to build support for the much needed 10% funding increase for regional centers and providers. They shared how key this increase is for providers as far as offering competitive wages, hiring quality staff, reducing turnover and in the end their ability to stay in business.

Photos (clockwise from top left): Enrique, Karen and Karla with Senator Holly Mitchell (at right), an advocate for children and regional centers who was instrumental in restoring Early Start last year; Karla with the Golden Bear; and Karen and Enrique with Tina Andolina (center), Senior Policy Consultant to Senator Ben Allen

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Mark Your Calendars for the Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games

The Special Olympics Southern California 2015 Summer Games are coming to California State University, Long Beach on June 13 and 14. The games are free and open to the public and competitions include aquatics, athletics, basketball, bocce, golf and gymnastics. Learn more at and come out and show your support for more than 1,100 athletes from all over Southern California.


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Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing Requirements No Longer In Effect

On February 13, 2015, a federal court issued a ruling that the Uniform Holiday Schedule and Half-Day Billing requirements put into effect in 2009 could not be enforced until such time as the state had obtained approval for the requirements from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Essentially, the Court said the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) cannot implement Uniform Holiday Closures without prior approval from CMS, so they are no longer in effect. What this means for regional center clients and families is that programs and transportation services that were impacted by these closures MAY provide services on March 31 (what was to be the next Uniform Holiday Closure date), and on all other future UHC dates. Families should, however, confirm with the program that they will be open that day.

The Court also said that DDS cannot implement half-day billing requirements for day programs without prior approval from CMS, so this is no longer in effect as well. This applies to Activity Centers, Adult Development Centers, Behavior Management Programs and other look-alike day programs.


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