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APRIL 2012

We Walk for One, We Walk for All

2nd nd d Annual Autism Awareness Walk Wa Saturday, April 21st • Sam Houston Park Amarillo, TX • 9 a.m. - 12 noon FFor More M IInformation: f ti h l @t ill or callll (806) 468 468-9400 9400 Thank you for your participation and support!

F U L L C A L E N D A R O F E V E N T S F O R K I D ’ S O N PA G E S 8 - 9 !



Lil’ Treasures Thrift Shoppe A Thrift/Resale Store Dedicated To Serving Families Affected by Autism and Bringing Awareness to The Amarillo Community. Support Groups Meet Every Tuesday and Thursday Nights at 7pm. Children are Welcome!

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Autism Affects 1 in 110 Children WHAT CAN YOU DO TO HELP?

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Gregory, MY Son... A dad’s story of autism

When Gregory was diagnosed, I thought that he would outgrow autism. Just like everyone else who has encountered the word autism, I didn’t have a clue. It was just another phase the boy was going through. When men discover something is broke they study the problem, look at all the possible reasons it is not working, promptly pull out their tools, and fix issue. Once repaired, the man will move on to the next project. Unfortunately, autism doesn’t work that way. It’s an ongoing project. You are constantly making repairs and tweaking other parts. Sometimes it will revert back to

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email: it’s original problem, so you have to find a different way to fix the old problem. The frustration is maddening, the tools go flying across the shop, and it chaps your hindend when you realize all the time you devoted to this one particular job. Ultimately, you find that the issues are so far above your expertise that you have to take the child to a “mechanic’s shop” like Specialized Therapy Services. They do the “21 point inspection” and relay their findings to you. The jargon is so foreign, you wonder if there is a “Therapy Terms for Dummies” published so you can get a grasp on all this mumbo jumbo. One day, as I was pondering our next move with Gregory, I saw this short story my wife had posted on our refrigerator. The author’s name was Emily Perl Kingsley



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and the title was “Welcome to Holland”. Ms. Kingsley describes what it is like to find out your child has autism in the most perfect way. A woman takes a trip that is supposed to take her to Italy and she winds up in Holland. Everyone will plan their trip in the same way by making the reservations, packing the clothes, and taking the means of transportation to get there. But, you shouldn’t always expect to arrive at the place that you have planned to, because you just might make an unexpected detour. That is exactly how I felt about autism. I was going through all the same stages that a father goes through when he is expecting a child. It’s the detour that threw me off. Gregory couldn’t do a lot of things kids his age could do.

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He was the classic case of autism. Gregory didn’t walk well. He didn’t talk at all other than cry and scream. He rarely looked at you and to get a smile out of him was like pulling teeth. Speaking of teeth, there was the eating issue. The boy didn’t have a clue what his teeth were for except to almost gnaw off the nubby’s on all his pacifiers. We could have bought stock in all the pacifier companies we came across. Gman would go through a pacifier in about two to three days. It was a wonder sometimes that he didn’t accidentally swallow it, but since he had major texture issues concerning food, it wasn’t that big of a deal. Food-his greatest enemy! He would eat nothing except Pedia-Sure for the longest time. We eventually got him to start eating baby food-at age two! You talk about a major event! As time

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went on we got him to eat baby food for older kids. We moved slowly to him eating table food. That first bite was like we won the Boston Marathon. Woo hoo! Yeah!! Then he would get sick and throw up. All the progress we made would go right out the window. We literally would have to start all over. By then, Gregory was starting therapy. It was at Specialized Therapy Services, that I learned that you must find ways to help these kids understand how important it is to learn new things. Introduce new things slowly, but do it in a non-threatening way. On top of that, I was really stressed out about the possibility that Gman might not make it on his own. Basically, I couldn’t die, not just yet. How was this boy going to survive if I wasn’t there to

We carry women's clothing & accessories, children's Stride Rite Shoes and handmade items from multiple vendors & crafters! Check us out on Facebook! take care of his every need? I realized I wasn’t thinking rationally and decided to do something about irrationality. One of the first things he was going to learn was how to eat on his own. The first thing I had to do was get him used to just holding a spoon. He would scream and cry. Slowly, I got around to putting the spoon in his hand and dipping it into the food. It was not uncommon for me to be a frustrated wreck and him dripping with tears, snot, and sweat. I finally reached the phase where I told him he had to pick up the spoon on his own and feed himself. The standoff would begin. A typical bowl of food for the average child would have been consumed in under 30 minutes. That same bowl of food in this situation would take over an hour to eat.



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Then one day, I was sitting there ready to do battle when he reached down picked up the spoon, dipped it in the food, and put it in his mouth. Tears started to stream down my face. Thank God. After nearly six months, my son finally figured out that eating on his own was not going to hurt him. Gregory is now seven years old. He can talk, sing, run, walk, and goes to bathroom by himself. He likes music. He sings to the radio every once in a while. The boy dances and shakes to the song “Shake It for Me Girl.” It is hilarious! Gregory plays music on his keyboard. His face gets very dramatic when he hits all the low notes at one time. It kind of reminds me of the “Phantom of the Opera”. Gman has made many friends. He takes

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those friendships very seriously. He had a girlfriend for a little while, but they seemed to have gone their separate ways. From my understanding, he smothered her with too many hugs and hand-holding. Gregory is the maintainer of the schedule in class. If the teacher varies one jot from the designated time-line, he is promptly tapping his instructor and demanding that they return to the correct order. He is my little organizer and helper. He likes to joke around. We even have are own verbal way of making each other laugh. I now know that he will make it as an adult. I compared what I had been through as a man and imagine what he went through as a baby. There is no comparison. Can you imagine the fear, the frustration,

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YOGA Every Mon.-Thurs. 6:00pm Every Sat. 10:00am Amarillo Rock Climbing House


Week of the Young Child: Indian Day One-hour programs with games, crafts and demonstrations for children ages 3-5. Pre-registration required. 9:00 am-11:30 am Panhandle Plains Museum


EVERY TUESDAY: Pajama Time Storytime Wear your jammies, bring your blankie and pillow. Call 806 359-2035 for more information. 7:00 pm-7:30 pm Northwest Branch Library


EVERY SATURDAY Fun Jump 11:30-1:30, 1:30-3:30, 3:30-5:30. For all Fun Jump Participants, Please wear socks, no jewelry and bring snack. Starz Gymnastics Great Day for A Story Children’s Storytime 2:00 pm Barnes & Noble NWA Top of Texas Wrestling 7:30 pm Wrestleplex



‘Our Country’s Good’ Presented by WTAMU Theatre. 7:30 pm Branding Iron Theater

Maverick Boys & Girls Club Luncheon 11:30 am-1:00 pm Amarillo Civic Center ‘Our Country’s Good’ Presented by WTAMU Theatre. 7:30 pm Branding Iron Theater




MOMS Club A non-profit organization dedicated to the support of stay at home and part-time working moms. All ages and backgrounds with kids of all ages. An easy way to meet other moms and a great way for your children to meet other children. Children are welcome at all events. 10:00 am Prince of Peace Lutheran Church

Family Fun Night! Join us for an evening of fun, family board games! Pajama Story Time offered for younger kids! 6:30 pm-8:30 pm East Banch Library


EVERY THURSDAY Laugh ‘n Learn Program Join us for music, play, and picture books to introduce your child to life-long learning in a 30-minute walk-in session. 11:00 am-11:30 pm Northwest Branch Library




Week of the Young Child: Cowboy Day One-hour programs with games, crafts and demonstrations for children ages 3-5. Pre-registration required. 9:00 am-11:30 am Panhandle Plains Museum ‘SHREK’ the Musical 7:30 pm Amarillo Civic Center

Kid’s Workshop Mosaic Butterfly $16. 4:00 pm-5:30 pm Brush With Art


EVERY WEDNESDAY Wee Wednesdays Open for children 5 and UNDER ONLY. 10:00 am-12:00 pm Jump-n-Jive Dollar Mania $1 Games, $1 Shoes, $1 Pizza Slice, $1 Hot Dogs, $1 Cokes, $1 Popcorn. Western Bowl





EVERY FRIDAY: Laugh ‘n Learn Program 2 sessions on Fridays at 10-10:30, and 11-11:30. Program is for babies, children and their grownups, with a focus on preliteracy! Join us for a 30 minute session of music, play, and picture books to introduce your child to life-long learning. 10:00 am-11:30 pm Northwest Branch Library

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Just Between Friends Consignment Sale 9:00 am Amarillo Civic Center Amarillo March for Babies 10:00 am Thompson Park Amarillo Venom vs Houston Stallions - GIVEAWAYS - Kids Replica Venom Jersey’s Theme: Teacher appreciation, kids night, los Venom Night. 7:00 pm Amarillo Civic Center


Just Between Friends Consignment Sale 9:00 am Amarillo Civic Center Story Time ‘’Russell the Sheep’’. Kids make a handprint tile $10 plus tax. 10:00 am Brush With Art Best of Texas Festival 11:15 am-2:00 pm Amarillo Civic Center

Conservation Celebration Bringing back the Wild! Learn about the importance of protecting endangered species. 8:30 am-3:00 pm Amarillo Zoo Amarillo Area Autism in Action Autism Awareness Walk Contact Alanna Hepler for team registration. 468-9400. 9:00 am-12:00 pm Sam Houston Park



The Sleeping Beauty Lone Star Ballet Amarillo Civic Center Walk MS: Amarillo 2012 Walk will raise funds to support MS research and programs. 8:30 am Caprock High school Youth Weather Workshop Class is suited for ages 6-12 years. Reservations Required. 1:00 pm-3:00 pm Amarillo Botanical Gardens


Panhandle Team Penning & Sorting Show starts at 9am. Also a AQHA show. $20 entry fee. RSNC rules apply. Riders BIll Cody Arena Tri-State Fairgrounds Easter EGG-citement Zoo’s 3rd Annual Easter event with treat stations, pictures with Easter Bunny, live bunnies and ‘’Alice in Wonderland’’ tea Party. 8:30 am-3:00 pm Amarillo Zoo


Parents Night Out Leave the kids with us! Price includes dinner, hands-on fun. Ages 4-11. Space limited, advance registration required. $25 first child - $20 each add. 5:30 pm-9:30 pm Discovery Center Golden Dragon Acrobats 7:30 pm-10:00 pm Globe News Center ‘Our Country’s Good’ 7:30 pm Branding Iron Theater


The Sleeping Beauty Lone Star Ballet Amarillo Civic Center Story Time ‘’Russell the Sheep’’. Kids make a handprint tile $10 plus tax. 10:00 am Brush With Art


First Friday Art Walk 5:00 pm-9:00 pm The Galleries at Sunset


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Just Between Friends Consignment Sale 9:00 am Amarillo Civic Center North Shore Animal League Adoption 1:00 pm-5:00 pm Amarillo Civic Center Mother’s Day Camp Paint a top Secret Mother’s Day Gift $25 plus tax. 2:00 pm-3:30 pm Brush With Art




EVERY MON-FRI SW Storytime 10:00 am-10:30 am Southwest Branch Library


MON-THURS. Homework Help Centers Exciting new opportunity! Students of all ages are invited to bring homework to the East Branch Library. Computers and a library staff member will be on hand to help access online tutoring, cool study resources, and research tools. You must bring homework or study materials to use Lab. 4:00 pm-6:00 pm East Banch Library

EVERY MONDAY: Kids Climb Kids will receive a day pass, gear, and instruction from staff. and how to have fun in a controlled climbing environment. Any age and experience level is welcome to attend. 4:00 pm-5:00 pm Amarillo Rock Wall Climbing House



EVERY SUNDAY: Fun Jump For all Fun jump participants, please wear socks, no jewelry and bring snack. 3:30 pm-5:30 pm Starz Gymnastics Family Day Open at 2pm. $2 games all day. Lunar Bowling Begins at 7pm. Eastridge Bowling Alley




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and the courage it took to overcome the trials he has encountered? When I ponder that, I find myself in awe of him. Most men would have crumbled and fell into a bottle of whiskey if they had to endure all these obstacles, but he faced them and by the grace of God, he overcame them. I am so proud of him. I can look other father’s in the face and say, “Yeah, my boy may be autistic, but he is one hell of a fighter.” I look up to him and turn to him for inspiration. Gregory has made me a much better man and father. I love that boy more than my own life. It is just like the song by George Strait says, “Daddy’s don’t just love their children every now and then. It’s a love without end. Amen.” No words can express my feelings better than that, because that’s MY Gregory-MY son.

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Meet a midwife...

Sandra J Elkins is a LM, CPM, licensed by the Texas Department of Health and certified through North American Registry of Midwives. Sandra practiced midwifery serving families in Amarillo and the Texas panhandle in a small practice from 2002 through 2009 while completing her Associates Degree in Nursing at Amarillo College in 2008. She relocated to El Paso Texas to work and teach at Casa de Nacimiento, a free standing birth center nestled in the Franklin Mountains on the Texas/ Mexico border for two years. She recently returned to Amarillo in December 2011. Sandra is excited to be back home and honored to be

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500 S. Fannin • Amarillo, Texas serving the woman and families of the Texas Panhandle region. Sandra feels women need more options during childbirth than what is currently being offered to them by the medical community in Amarillo. According to the World Health organization and adopted by North American Registry of Midwives: The Midwives Model of Care is based on the fact that pregnancy and birth are normal life processes and include monitoring the psychological and social well-being of the mother throughout the childbearing cycle; providing the mother with individualized education, counseling and prenatal care, and continuous hands-on assistance during labor, delivery and the postpartum period; minimizing technological intervention and identifying

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women who require obstetrical attention and intervention. According to Sandra all clients who are booked into her practice must be low risk, no chronic health issues, no high risk health habits or behaviors. They receive standard blood work and a urinalysis; this is the same that would be ordered in a physician’s office. Clients are seen on the same schedule as the patients of physicians, but without the waiting room. Done either in the clients’ home or Sandra’s home, prenatal visits are relaxed and informal. “My clients can ask questions, vent concerns, voice their hopes and wishes regarding their pregnancy and impending labor and

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2510 Paramount Blvd. • Amarillo, TX • 806.351.1752 birth.” Sandra says. Clients’ partner, children and family members can be present at prenatal exams, as determined by the clients themselves, they are encourage to play an active role and ask questions as well. Clients are given written and verbal instruction as to when to contact Sandra throughout pregnancy and once labor begins, this is often discussed at length during the pregnancy. If all is well, and it usually is, the birth takes place in the clients’ home. Postpartum care is given in the home. Sandra visits her clients at 36 hours, 5 days, 2 weeks and 4 weeks, more often if needed, she is there to assist with breastfeeding issues and is always a phone call away should her clients

need her and although not required Sandra encourages client to visit a pediatrician within the first week. Sandra is required to have written protocols in place to assure a level of safety for her clients and their infants. She must meet standards of practice and complete 20 continuing education credits on an annual basis. If you are considering natural childbirth, wish to be surrounded by those who support your choice to birth without medication and never want to be separated from you infant after birth, Sandra says that Midwifery care may be for you. You may contact her at 806 626 4963 or visit her website at www.birthriteOnline .com.



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Kid Flix... Chimpanzee

Opens: April 20, 2012 Rated: G Disneynature takes moviegoers deep into the forests of Africa with ‘Chimpanzee,’ a new True Life Adventure introducing an adorable baby chimp named Oscar. Oscar’s playful curiosity and zest for discovery showcase the intelligence and ingenuity of some of the most extraordinary personalities in the animal kingdom. Working together, Oscar’s chimpanzee family—including his mom and the group’s savvy leader — navigates the complex territory of the forest. The world is a playground for little Oscar and his fellow young chimps, who’d rather make mayhem than join their parents for an afternoon nap. But when Oscar’s family is confronted by a rival band of chimps, he is left to fend for himself until a surprising ally steps in and changes his life forever.



50 Years...

St. Paul Preschool Celebrates Anniversary St. Paul Preschool just celebrated its 50th anniversary! A program was presented on March 22 before the families and church members. Special guests were past teachers, directors, and students. The children sang, and several alumni shared their memories of attending St. Paul Preschool. St. Paul United Methodist Church began the program in 1961 with one kindergarten class. Today there are five morning classes for children from 3 to 5, as well as the Children’s Day Out program which serves infants through age 5 during the school year, and infants through 5th grade during the summer. The preschool and CDO are currently enrolling for summer and fall sessions. Call Amy Dyer for preschool information at 350-3318, and call Jamie Bates for CDO information at 352-8991.



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4317 I-40 West | Amarillo, TX State Licensed




KIDS EAT FREE EVERYDAY! Kids 12 and under w/adult entree purchase. 4pm-8pm. Drink not included.

WAFFLE HOUSE• 2804 W. 45th SUN-THURS- 4pm-8pm, Kids under 10 EAT FREE one child per adult.

RED ROBIN 8720 I-40 W • 806-359-9800 TUES.- KIDS EAT FREE! from 4pm-10pm with purchase of each adult entree.

JASON’S DELI- 34th & Coulter • 353-4440 TUES.- KIDS EAT FREE with adult meal after 4pm



TUES & SAT.- KIDS EAT FREE! Children 10 & under, with purchase of adult meal.


MR. GATTI’S MON.- KIDS EAT FREE! With the purchase of an adult buffet and 2 drinks at regular price. 12 & Under. Limit 2 kids per adult. 5pm - close. 2 & under FREE.

CHOP-CHOP JAPANESE STEAKHOUSE 3300 S. Coulter • 806-457-0700 THURS.- One child under 12 EATS FREE with each adult meal purchased


HOME PLATE DINER 5600 S. Bell • 359-4444 SAT.- One FREE KID’S MEAL adult meal and drink purchase required.

BEEF O'BRADY'S 7306 SW 34th • 806-358-0997

WED. (4pm-8pm)- One FREE KID’S MEAL with adult purchase.12 Years & Under.

APPLEBEE’S 2820 S. Soncy & 5603 Ama. Blvd. W WED.- Kids Eat for 99¢!

BUFFALO’S CAFE 2811 4th Ave. in Canyon • 655-4400 SUN.- KIDS EAT FREE! Some restrictions may apply

ROCK ‘N ROLL SODA SHOPPE 404 15th St. • Canyon • 806-655-3381 Hours: M-F 10am-6:30pm, Sat 10am-5pm SAT.- FREE Small Ice Cream Cone Age 10 & under.

VILLAGE BAKERY CAFE 2606 Wolflin Village • 358-1358 MON.- 99¢ Cupcakes for kids 12 and under. One cupcake per child. Hours: Mon-Sat. 7am-6pm

EL TROPICO 34th & Coulter • 111 C. E. Ama. Blvd. 1105 S. Grand Unit A WED.- Kidz Ice Cream Cone for only 99¢

LIN’S GRAND BUFFET 8440 I-40 W • 806-350-5688 KIDS EAT FREE EVERYDAY! Age 2 years and under.

BLUE SKY 4201 I-40 West • 355-8100 TUES.- after 5pm Kid’s meals $1.39 with purchase of adult meal

activities... HOME DEPOT

Kid’s Workshop 1st Saturday of each month from 9am-12pm, all ages. Call 457-0410 for more information.


Kid’s Workshop 2nd Saturday of each month from 10am-11am, all ages. Call 353-2003 for more information.

KALEIDOSCOOPS 6010 SW 34th • 806-359-4551 WED.- Junior Ice Cream Cone for only 99¢

LOGAN’S ROADHOUSE 8310 I-40 West • 806-467-8015 MON. & TUES. Kid’s meals only $2.99


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Sign up online for Free bowling at Eastridge Lanes

Submit Your FREE or Discounted Services For Children At No Charge! Email to: While the majority of the listings are places where kids eat free some of the restaurants charge a small amount – in most occasions $.99 so they are not actually “free” but a very good deal nonetheless. You will also find that some of the restaurants where kids eat free have certain restrictions whether it be limited hours on a certain day, the number of kids eating free per purchasing adult or age restrictions. Please call the restaurant location you plan on attending to get your free kids meal before you pack the kids in the car to go. Some of the individual restaurants may choose to opt out of the promotion or have slight differences. And please let us know if any of these special offers expire or have changed.



This Month’s Winners...

Aiden 6 Mos.

Aubrey 3 Years Old

Got A Cutie You Want To Enter In Our Cutest Kidz Contest?

Submit Pictures of Your Cutie...Infants up to 10 Years Old

For A Chance To Win A $150 Gift Certificate from Portraits by Tracy or Spoil U Photography! Winning photos will be based on funniest, cutest, most unique!

Please Email Photo to: Please include child’s first name and age (we will not publish their last name). By sending in photo, you are giving permission for photo & child’s first name to be published in the Kidz Digest and any contest marketing information. If your child’s entry did not win this month or is not featured on this page they may be eligible for re-entry for the next month...because it is so darn hard to decide! If your child is published you may pick up your winning Gift Certificate at: 1612 S. Washington, just 2 blocks North of I-40

KIDZ DIGEST | Amarillo, TX | April 2012  

The Kidz Digest is a glossy digest distributing over 30,000 copies each month to Amarillo and surrounding Panhandle Towns! We are committed...