The HRC Blog


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Dear Harbor Regional Center (HRC) Clients and Families:


Budget Update

2021-22 Developmental Services Budget

On June 27th, the Administration and the Legislature of the State of California arrived at a budget agreement that applies funds from a statewide surplus, and provides a comprehensive funding influx for developmental services over the next few fiscal years. This also represents a major success for several key ongoing advocacy issues over many years, as evidenced in budget reports for earlier years on this page.

 This budget will go into effect immediately upon signing by Governor Newson 

The 2021/22 Budget includes:


Advocacy for Service Coordination Funding

For More Client/Family Contact and Support

California’s 21 regional centers, represented together as the Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA), are supporting a number of Budget proposals to help our community. Together, we’re pushing for sufficient funding to hire enough service coordinators to meet both your needs and the promises of the Lanterman Act.

Blog Nancy Spiegel

Providing Non-Residential Services During a Pandemic

Our HRC Service Providers who provide non-residential services had to work quickly after congregate service settings were ordered to close, to find alternative ways to provide services to our clients and families on a virtual platform. Thank you to Service Providers for sharing your creative service delivery examples.

Blog Monique Leotaud

Screen Time While In Survival Mode

A lot of parents are currently in survival mode and that means doing things as a parent that they hadn’t planned on doing. For a lot of parents, that is letting your child have screen time or an increased amount of screen time. The first link below is to a great article to let you know that if your child is having screen time there are ways to make it quality screen time that they can learn from. I hope this article provides new tips for how to incorporate screen time, if necessary, and how to remove any guilt you may be feeling.

Blog Monique Leotaud

Fun Activities to Do At Home

Here are some fun ideas for activities to do with your kids with items you may have at home

Egg carton:

Sort materials such as beads, buttons, bottle caps, etc. Sort by color like in the picture below or sort by size, small items go in the egg slots and big items go on the other side. [Works on strengthening finger muscles and ability to differentiate items by color or size.]


Jurnee Takes Off On Her Road to Employment

Jurnee Hicklen, while in her last year in the Adult Community Transition (ACT) program with Long Beach Unified School District, had a goal to get a job in child development after graduation. We were excited to hear that she has successfully obtained an internship with Bright Futures Learning Center as a Child Development Teacher’s Assistant.


Violeta’s story

A Huge Accomplishment

This is a first for us at Willenberg…a student who has accomplished such a feat. Her story is so inspiring!

The faculty at Willenberg Career and Transition Center, LAUSD, are bursting with pride for Violeta!

While a student in their Transition program and attending Project SEARCH full time for employment preparation, AND while working two days a week at Brighter Days Montessori School, Violeta enrolled in a college class at Harbor Community College.

Blog Bea and Mariano SanzA & E TV Born This Way

Learning to Let Go

We get to experience Cristina differently. It is challenging but fun to find ways to see each other.

It’s hard for any parent to let go when their children are ready to move out and begin lives of their own, but there are special challenges and considerations for parents of adult children with disabilities. Bea and Mariano Sanz, Cristina Sanz’s parents, explain how they are coping with watching their daughter get married and gain independence.

Blog Sam Borin

What We Thought Was Impossible

With the help and guidance of C2C I have tasted so much success. I have made my high school self very proud.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Relationships Matter

Caring for our children has many facets, but what really matters is that we give our children a feeling of safety, and a sense of belonging. As Mona Delahooke, PhD tells us, “We need to begin with the “birthplace of emotional growth: the relationship”

Blog Kathie Sarles

Traditions: Refection of Our Values

At this time of year I often reflect on my traditions, and what they mean to me and my family. Traditions connect one generation with another, bringing shared family values into our daily lives. Our Children learn what we hold dear, what is important and necessary to us, through our incorporation of these values into our home life. Families are as unique as the people within them, and traditions exemplify these differences.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Social Emotional Development: Creating a Secure Base for Our Children

Children need to feel safe and secure in order to learn. As parents it is our job to make sure those safety nets and secure routines are in place. Creating an environment that offers positive social emotional experiences is essential for the rich relationships that children need in order to grow and development into their best selves. Social emotional development is the foundation by which our children learn about emotions, self- esteem, self -awareness and self- control.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Why Won’t My Toddler Share?

Before a child can share there are many skills they must develop, and many interactions they need to have. Sharing is a skill that is not mastered until preschool, as it involves others rather than the self. Toddlers are all about “me” as they interact with the world and relate to their caregivers. Babies explore the world from the inside out. As they mature and develop their connections are made from sucking, smelling, touching, seeing and hearing those around them. Caregivers respond to the baby’s actions, and that give and take is the beginning of their learning about themselves.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Setting Limits for Your Child

Why Set Limits?

Children need to feel safe and secure in order to learn. When a child has no boundaries, he/she feels out of control or anxious. Boundaries are not punitive, they are comforting and offer a place to try new things and explore safely. John Medina author of Brain Rules for Babies states, “The need for safety is so powerful, that the presence of rules themselves often communicates safety to children.” Parents easily set boundaries for infants, but find it harder once the child is mobile and becoming more independent.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Summer Sensations


Summer is here! Older children are out of school and younger children are excited and/ or anxious to have their sibling home. The entire family may also be looking forward to a vacation away from the daily norm. Whatever it is, very young children can feel the change in the air and may act in ways we do not expect. Being a prepared parent can help us get through a long, hot summer!
In previous articles I have written about creating routines and limits that help children stay regulated so that they can fully participate in the day. In this article I want to offer some ideas that can be used to help fill a day when the regular routines have been broken. Summer is a great time to offer new and exciting sensory based activities while at home. Traveling is another potentially tough activity, so being prepared by having a Magic Bag of tricks helps maintain stability at an otherwise chaotic time. Below I will offer some suggestions for sensory fun at home and ideas for magic bags to take with you. Thinking ahead and planning most of the details will aide in your child’s overall behavior.
Sensory Play: (Please note some children have a hard time with getting dirty, with loud noises or with too much stimulation in general. You know your child; some of these activities may take time for your child to accept. Offering it without expectation or with some adaptation might be warranted.)

Blog Kathie Sarles

Empathy: The Key to Positive Relationships

Developing empathy is a process that starts at infancy and continues throughout our life. Taking on another’s perspective can be difficult at times even for an adult, but nearly impossible for a toddler. Empathy needs to be modeled by the caring and trusted adults in a child’s life. Observing a parent showing genuine interest and concern to another family- member, enables the child to experience empathy by noting their parent’s behavior.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Toileting: What’s the Fuss?

This is a REPOST but worth a read….

There are many good parenting articles, blogs and DVDs that address this very natural and routine milestone,( look for these in our resource center). There are also many sage and “helpful” relatives and friends that offer advice on this issue. When it comes right down to it there are only 2 people who matter in this specific skill development: the child and the caregiver (s). It is up to you and your child to decide when you are ready and what method to use.
Below are the things to think about and the steps that might be helpful on this short, but intense journey.
Is your child ready? His chronological age is not a factor in this specific checklist. If he/ she is between 2 and 3 it is a good time to look for the signs.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Breathe in the New Year!

Parenting is hard enough, but add in the challenge of a child with delay or disability and your tough job becomes almost insurmountable. Steady breathing, and a calm demeanor are not often attributed to parents of young children. Our children actually take our breath away when they act upon impulse or attempt a new challenge that puts them in danger. Of course the same is true when they accomplish something new or when they just crawl into our laps (and hearts) for some love.

Blog Kathie Sarles

Calming Big Emotions

All young children have big emotions. We can see these big emotions and experience them first hand when our children tantrum or have meltdowns. Our children, however, don’t often know that they are experiencing emotions. What they do know is how they feel: bad! The overwhelming feeling of a strong emotion that begins deep inside and needs to come out is scary for children. Letting them know that we all have emotions, naming them and allowing them to understand that the feeling will pass, will help those emotions calm sooner.