Kudos to our CPD Administrative Assistants!

April 25, 2012 by cpehrson

Three women

Can you identify these current and past administrative assistants?


They are the peanutbutter in our pbj sandwiches; the hub in our wheels; the lightbulb in our lamps; the eye of our storms; and the key to our doors.

Who are they?  They are the administrative assistants who work at the CPD.  No office can function without at least one of them.  Some offices need two or three!

Have you told your administrative assistant how much you appreciate him or her lately?  Today, April 25th,  is a good day to do that–National Administrative Professional’s Day across the nation.



We want them to know how much we all appreciate the great work that they do, and how much we depend on their accuracy, dependability, knowledge, and cheerful attitudes.  We truly have the best administrative assistants in the world, right here at the CPD!


Utah Disability Determination Council seeks new members

April 24, 2012 by cpehrson

The Utah Disability Determination Services is currently recruiting for volunteer members to fill vacancies on its Advisory Council.

DDS is the agency which makes the disability decisions on Social Security applications. The Advisory Council members are either an individual with a disability or parent of an individual with a disability who has life experience within the SSA programs or an organizations appointed employee who works with the disability community,  such as health care agencies or state agencies.

 The advisory council meets every other month with Disability Determination Services key staff, to provide advice on various matters. The meetings are held in Salt Lake City. If interested, please contact the council chair, Gordon Richins at gordon.richins@usu.edu or phone 435-797-2832

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Estate planning is critical

April 23, 2012 by cpehrson

Parents of children with special needs face many unique challenges. One of them is planning for the time when the parents will no longer be able to act as the primary caregivers.

There will be a free lunch and seminar on Estate Planning for Families with Special Needs Children on May 2, 2012 at 12:00-1:30 p.m. It will be held at the Coppermill Restaurant, Legacy Room, 55 North Main Street, Logan, Utah.

The presenter, Attorney Todd N. Hallock, will talk about the basics of estate planning for families with special needs children and provide answers to the following questions:

–  Do I have to disinherit a child with special needs?

–  Why not rely on another child? 

–  What is a special (supplemental) needs trust? 

Advance planning by the parents of a special needs child is critical and really can make a difference, both in the life of the child and the child’s caregivers.  Admission is free, but seating is limited. To reserve a seat, go online or call (435) 753-2335 by Monday, April 30th by 5:00 p.m.

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Music Therapy-opening doors for children

April 19, 2012 by cpehrson

Little girl dancing with a huge smile on her face

If you walk down the halls at the CPD at just the right time on just the right day, you will hear some delightful sounds coming out of the Lil’ Aggies Preschool classroom.  You’ll be tempted to stop and peek inside to see what the noise is all about. What you’ll find are some very happy little kids dancing, singing, and playing instruments.

It’s Music Therapy day at Up to 3.

This semester, two USU Music Therapy undergraduate students have come once a week for 30 minutes to give the little children a great experience with all types of musical instruments. Drums, bells, ukuleles, Glockenspiel, shakers, a xylophone, all have found their way into the classroom and into the tiny hands of children who are usually resistant to trying new things.

One of the biggest challenges was to make the activities age and developmentally appropriate to meet the needs of the children.


The USU students learned about wait time- waiting long enough for the children to respond-, giving limited  options-only one or two instead of ten that might overwhelm them-, encouraging language-waiting for them to use their words to ask for something.




The children learned many things, also: becoming comfortable interacting with unfamiliar adults; using their words to communicate their wants or needs- such as requesting an instrument-; practicing gross and fine motor skills – hitting the drum, ringing the bells, touching the guitar strings-; following directions-shake the maracas, stop, wait your turn-; and learning to express themselves througn music and movement. The music was also a great avenue for teaching concepts such as opposites- loud and soft; high or low; fast or slow.

Music therapist handing a musical instrument to a small child


“Our primary goal this semester was to help the children with socialization through direction following, sharing of instruments, and participation in the different activities through positive experiences with music,” shares Michele Folster, one of the Music Therapy students.

Involving movement with the children turned out to be the key to keeping them interested as well as involved.  “The children have danced with one another, two of the girls even holding hands while dancing,” Michele said.


Little girl playing a musical instrument


It was fun for the therapists to see that some of the children were more naturally drawn to music than some of their peers; the child that danced around the room, or hit the drum to the music, or used the shakers with little encouragement from the adults.

One image that will forever stay with the therapists is watching one little girl correctly hold a push button guitar with both her hands, pushing the buttons with her left hand like she was really playing a guitar, and bending her knees to dance along as the music played.

Music has power to enrich the lives of all people, but especially those with disabilities.




Aliandria Hansen, another of the Music Therapy students, has seen the power of music first hand as she worked with her little brother, who is on the autism spectrum.  At age 3, he was not speaking very much.  Through the next few years, as Aliandria spent time with him at the piano, playing and singing his favorite songs, she watched him starting to sing along, with his words becoming more and more clear.  Soon he began to vocalize more in general and his vocabulay grew quickly.  Over time, he became very good at communicating.  Aliandria says that, “The music was a catalyst.  It unlocked a door and helped him make a connection regarding communication that he hadn’t seemed to make before.”

That is the power of music, enriching lives and opening new doors.

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Heidi’s Happenings: March Merriment

April 19, 2012 by cpehrson

March was a great month here at the DSL worksite!  We had lots of activities!

Kite flying in a blue sky

        We went kite flying at one field on campus. 

Two people flying kites in a field

Three people on a hill flying kites






We also went by bus to the theater to have yummy, buttery popcorn while we all listened to and watched the movie “The Lorax.”  After that, we thanked those guys for inviting my bus buds to come down and see this flick.

My buds and I traveled by bus to an ice cream shop to have one lick of ice cream.

We went to the Logan Herald Journal and saw how their paper gets printed and put together.  When we got there, we got to see how these giant presses run.  After all of us had gone ahead, we thanked those guys for letting us come to the building.  Then we got loaded on the bus and van to run back here to DSL.

We grabbed what we needed, loaded up and buckled in, on our way home.  We are always very diligent about buckling up tight and low, preferably before we go!

We are excited to do things in April, and are excited that the weather is warming up!


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