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Alabama Family Trust Helps

PLAN FOR THE FUTURE of your Special Needs Child

Teach Your Child About

DIVERSITY Special Needs and


Our Fall Directory PAGE 12

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editor’s note

Welcome to the Fall Special Needs Issue 2016

P.O. Box 326 (add 800 Hwy. 52 E. for pkg) Helena, AL 35080 205-987-7700 205-987-7600 FAX

Thank you for picking up this issue of Birmingham Parent, where our focus is on children and young adults with special needs. You’ll find our Special Needs Directory repeated and updated from March 2016, as well as a number of new stories related to raising a child with special needs. One of the most interesting stories this month is a profile of Alabama Family Trust. No matter what your child’s special need is, planning for their future is imperative. Planning for our children’s futures is so important to all parents. And I can only imagine if you faced some of the challenges of parents of children with special needs, how much MORE weight this importance would carry. We all worry about what would happen to our children if we were no longer in the picture; the planning is important, along with the peace of mind it gives parents. Hopefully this story will give you some ideas and introduce you to AFT. We hope this issue will bless your family or Photo by Visual Arts by Jessica someone you know in some way. And it’s not only special needs, but we look at things like childhood obesity (page 26), getting ready for fall sports (page 32) and a new program for sharing the outdoors with your baby or toddler with Hike It Baby (page 36). And don’t forget our calendar of events (beginning on page 41) and our “Pumpkin Patch and Fall Events Guide” on page 39. Here’s a great way to plan those fall outings with your family! Please note our friends at Montgomery Parents magazine, who have their first Special Needs Expo on Saturday, September 10 (see the ad on page 21 for more), and save the date for the 6th annual Birmingham Parent’s Special Needs Expo on Saturday, March 4, 2017, at Pelham Civic Complex.


Happy Fall! Carol Muse Evans, Publisher/Editor

ABOUT THE EDITORS: Carol Muse Evans is the publisher/editor/owner of Birmingham Parent magazine, a publication she and her husband David began in 2004. The Birmingham, Alabama-based parenting publication attracts more than 60,000 readers monthly in a four-county area and receives 10,000 hits per month on its website. The magazine has a 20,000+ print circulation, plus several thousand in readership of the digital edition online. It is the only independently audited free publication in our area. Evans is an award-winning writer and editor who has also has written for several other publications as a freelance writer since the late 80s. She is a graduate of Auburn University in journalism and is a graduate of Scottsboro High School. She is married with two grown children and lives in Alabaster. She is a member of the National Federation of Press Women, Alabama Media Professionals and Southeastern Advertisers and Publishers Association (SAPA). Lori Chandler Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent, where she is responsible for the calendar and editorial editing. She also is a freelancer for Business Alabama magazine and has written/edited for several other publications. This award-winning writer and editor is a graduate of the University of Alabama in news/editorial and Hueytown High School. She is married with two children.

4 | birminghamparent | september 2016

Publishers David & Carol Evans Editor Carol Muse Evans Associate Editor Lori Chandler Pruitt Office Assistant Bethany Adams Hunley Calendar Lori Chandler Pruitt Contributors Vivian Friedman, Ph.D., Dr. Mia Cowan, Dr. Michael Patterson, Gerry P. Smith, Paige Townley, Stephanie Rodda, Melanie Bradford, Chris Manns

sales Account Executives Kayla Fricks, Brittani Ellison, Jason Watson Webmaster Digital Doo-Wop

art & production Art Director Hilary Moreno Distribution T&P Deliveries E-blasts Simple Southern Lace Designs Legal Counsel Balch & Bingham LLP

BIRMINGHAM PARENT IS A PUBLICATION OF EVANS PUBLISHING, LLC. Publishers: Carol Muse Evans, David K. Evans Sr. Birmingham Parent (EIN20-0694149) is published monthly by Evans Publishing LLC. or Birmingham Parent is © 2016 by Evans Publishing LLC. Family Connections Media ©2016 by Evans Publishing LLC. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part without written permission is prohibited. Editorial submissions are welcome. For back issues, please send a self-addressed 10” x 13” envelope with $4 for postage and handling.

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Alabama Family Trust Helps


PLAN FOR THE FUTURE of your Special Needs Child

24 22 36

Teach Your Child About


Our Fall

Special Needs and





departments Note 04 Editor’s Welcome to the Fall Special Needs Issue 2016

07 8 0 09




Parenting with Dr. Friedman Short Stuff School News Ask the Specialist Getting Ready for Fall Sports

41 September Calendar of Events




Poetry Party: Cat Poems

to Heart 26 Heart with AHA: Choose Healthier Lifestyles Tot Shots: 28 Locations Around Town


20 KultureCity Changing the Culture of Autism

What Your Need to Know About Special Needs Children & Guardianship

AFT – Protecting Your Assets for Your Special Needs Child’s Future

ON THE COVER: Melanie Bradford, executive director of Alabama Family Trust and attorney at law, poses with little Grace, age 2, of Birmingham, a student at the Bell Center in Homewood. Photographed by Visual Arts by Jessica ( at the Bell Center, Homewood. Alabama Family Trust is a nonprofit company that administers  special needs trusts for persons with disabilities, enabling them to protect and preserve their assets, while still receiving any available government benefits. See page 18 for more on AFT.

6 | birminghamparent | september 2016

Corner: 30 5College Ways the College Textbook Industry Gets You to Pay for More Textbooks & Me: 36 Baby Hike it Baby Birmingham Patch and 39 Pumpkin Fall Event Guide


Parenting with Dr. Friedman


My 9-year-old daughter will be having surgery. This is her second surgery but she was too young to remember the first one. How can I best

prepare her? How do I handle the fact that she doesn’t want to go through with it? Honesty is the best policy. An honest approach is essential for the child to be able to trust you and to cope with what is to come. If you are less than truthful with your child, not only will she fear the procedure, but she will lose faith in the parent she depends upon to guide her through the experience. While some parents think that giving facts will make the child anxious, the opposite is true. Children need to know. They need to be told what will happen to them in language and concepts they can understand. Nearly always, the reality is not as bad as the fantasies and fears created by a child who is unprepared. Begin by asking your child to tell you what she understands about her illness. Correct any misconceptions she might have and then ask her what the purpose of her surgery is. That is, assess what she already knows, correct anything that is not accurate and then add to her

understanding with simple facts. Be sure to use language that she can grasp. If possible, visit the hospital before the surgery. If she can’t see the floor she will be on, at least walk her through the lobby and visit the gift shop and the cafeteria. Read books with her about going to the hospital. Your local librarian or bookstore staff can help you find one of the many books available for your child’s age. In addition to books about the hospital experience, many children enjoy reading stories about children with illnesses even if the illness is not the same as the one your child has. While facts are important, do not burden your child with things that she might never experience. It is not necessary to tell a child about the possible risks or unlikely outcomes. If a low probability event does happen, you can always help her to understand it when it becomes part of her life. Tell a child what will happen, but not what might happen.

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It is natural for her to be reluctant to undergo a procedure that is frightening for her. Yet she has no choice in this matter. Children need to understand that there are things about which they can have a choice but there are other things that are not choices. Children understand that they cannot choose not to take a bath but they can choose their bath toys. Giving a child too many choices is confusing. Giving a child no choice at all leads to rage or passivity. Tell your daughter that you and her doctor will decide if she needs surgery or not. She will not get to choose that, but she

can choose what toys she will bring to the hospital with her and she might even get to choose the scent of her anesthesia gas. Children benefit when bad things that happen to them are balanced by a good thing. Tell her that she can choose a special gift from you that she will receive after her surgery is done.

Vivian K. Friedman Ph. D. is a child and family psychologist at UAB, Department of Psychiatry. Send questions for response in this column to No personal replies are sent.

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short stuff

Youth Triathlon Comes to Georgia this Month The largest youth triathlon in the country is returning to Alpharetta, Ga. on Sept. 18. The IronKids Alpharetta triathlon actively works to promote healthy living and fitness among America’s youth, providing children age 6 to 15 with the unique chance to test their strength in a family-friendly competitive setting. Race registration ends Saturday, September 17. Kids from across the Southeast compete in three age categories: junior (ages 6-8), intermediate (ages 9-12) and senior (ages 12-15). Race distances are tailored to each age group. The junior age group will swim 50 meters, bike two miles and run 500 yards; the intermediate group will swim 150 meters, bike four miles and run one mile; and the senior age group will swim 300 meters, bike eight miles and run two miles. The triathlon will take place at Wills Park, 1825 Old Milton Pkwy in Alpharetta. The race is an interactive experience, and triathletes and their families are encouraged to spend the weekend in Alpharetta to take full advantage of this unique, family-friendly event. With 23 upscale yet affordable hotels, Alpharetta provides families with ample opportunities to rest easy in-between racing, eating and exploring. Visiting families can enjoy the many Alpharetta activities and amenities all conveniently located near the race site. For race registration information, please visit For ideas on where to stay and what to do in Alpharetta, please visit

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short stuff

New Social Security Policy Benefits Youth Leaving Foster Care A new policy from the Social Security Administration (SSA) went into effect August 1 to allow foster youth of all ages with disabilities to apply for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits six months before they leave care. This policy will remain in effect for one year, after which SSA will evaluate its success and make any necessary modifications. SSI is a federal needs-based program for children and adults with limited income and resources who are disabled, blind, or age 65 or older. Individuals who are eligible receive a monthly cash payment. The 2016 payment amount for an individual without any other income is $733. Community Legal Services, Juvenile Law Center and Homeless Advocacy Project created a special toolkit to help qualifying persons take immediate advantage of this new policy and get the urgent support they need to make successful transitions. The toolkit will help guide foster youth with disabilities who are preparing to transition out of foster care and is available at “Providing stability for these vulnerable youth as they leave care requires thoughtful planning and coordination among many different agencies and actors,” says community legal services attorney and Independence Foundation Fellow Claire Grandison. “We commend the Social Security Administration for taking a leadership role in this process by changing its policies to better meet the unique needs of youth with disabilities in foster care. With this change, SSA takes a leadership role in supporting youth leaving foster care.” Research shows that youth who have been in foster care are more likely to experience negative outcomes that include homelessness, unemployment, incarceration, and lack of access to health care. Almost 40 percent of youth who “age out” of the foster care system become homeless or “couch surf ” at some point during young adulthood. Additionally, up to 80 percent of children and adolescents enter foster care with a significant mental health need, and a third have a chronic medical condition. Youth with disabilities have an even greater challenge as they prepare for adulthood. SSI benefits provide a vital source of income for these vulnerable youth as they transition out of care and onto their next step in life.

Toxicologist Says Lead Poisoning Remains a Threat to Children in Alabama Every year in the United States, 310,000 children under the age of 5 are found to have unsafe levels of lead in their blood, which can lead to serious health problems. Erica Liebelt, M.D., co-medical director of the Regional Poison Control Center at Children’s of Alabama and a professor of pediatrics and emergency medicine at UAB, says longterm lead exposure is dangerous to people of all ages, but children in particular, are more susceptible to its detrimental effects due to their greater absorption from the gastrointestinal tract, their growing bones and the rapid development of their brains. “Lead can have effects on the neurocognitive development of children, causing learning and behavioral problems as well as effects on different organs in the body like the kidneys,” Liebelt says.

Symptoms are not always apparent, she said, so it is important to have children tested for lead exposure if parents are concerned about exposure, or if the child has any risk factors for lead exposure. Symptoms may include headaches, stomach pains, anemia and possible behavioral and developmental problems. The most common cause of lead poisoning is lead-based paint used in older homes. Other causes include contaminated soil, certain toys and sports objects, bowls glazed with lead paint and old lead pipes or faucets. To reduce the risk of lead exposure and protect kids, Liebelt says experts recommend being knowledgeable about when your house was built and if any lead paint or pipes are present, keeping homes clean and free of lead paint/lead dust and ensuring adequate iron and calcium in your child’s diet. If you think your home could have lead poisoning, have your paint tested, contact your local water authority about having your water tested and have your child tested for lead. You can call the Regional Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222 for more information.

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school news

Shades Mountain Christian Gets a New Name Shades Mountain Christian School will become Heritage Christian Academy on July 1, 2017. Next summer, the school will open its doors for the first time at the facility that currently serves as Riverchase Middle School, located at 853 Willow Oak Drive in Birmingham. The name announcement came in August during a schoolwide assembly. The new name pays tribute to 40 years of history and is reflective of the school’s founder, the late Richard “Dick” Vigneulle, who often quoted Psalm 127:3: “Children are a heritage from the Lord, His offspring a reward from Him.” A school naming committee was charged by the school’s board of directors to make a formal recommendation for the future name of the school. The committee consisted of school administration, faculty, board members, parents and alumni. Shades Mountain Christian School has shared facilities with Shades Mountain Independent Church since its founding in 1974, graduating more than 1,000 students. In 2012, the school officially became its own 501 (c) 3 non-profit as a community Christian school. SMCS is comprised of a diverse community of families throughout the Birmingham metro area, and the new location will have ample room to serve up to 600 students in grades K3-12. “The new name will reflect our rich heri-

tage in Christian education, and allow us to continue our mission to assist parents in their responsibility to equip students for life through academics and service to Christ,” says Brian Willett, school headmaster. Bill Vandiver, school board president and SMCS graduate, adds, “Moving the school marks the beginning of a new chapter in our heritage. It will allow us to grow and expand our ministry.” For more information about Shades Mountain Christian School and the future name change to Heritage Christian Academy, contact Lora Vifquain at 205-978-9311 or email

Spring Valley School Gets New Home Spring Valley School recently moved to a new location on Lakeshore Drive in Birmingham, in the former Aldersgate Methodist Church. Spring Valley School’s board and director Dr. Laura Fiveash extensively fundraised and submitted more than 20 grants. The school board and the Aldersgate Board collaborated over the last several weeks to devise a plan to meet the needs of both entities.   Renovations for the school’s first permanent location included a new roof, moving walls, interior painting and a new office/reception window. Fiveash says she wanted to thank personally several foundations for their generous donations. 10 | birminghamparent | september 2016

SVS received grants through The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham; Crippled Children’s Foundation; Protective Life Foundation; The Thompson Foundation; Altec; Alabama Power; the SVS board; Individuals/Parents; and other private foundations. Regions Bank contributed to the scholarship fund. In addition, Protective Life employees gave over 250 volunteer hours to paint and clean the new building. Two Men and A Truck donated 100 percent of the move costs. Fiveash also thanked The Church at Ross Bridge (former Aldersgate church) for working to make this a reality. A generous donor will match all gifts, dollar-for-dollar. To support the building campaign or the scholarship fund, donations may be made via the website,  www.  or mailed  to:  P.O. Box 131431, Birmingham, AL 35213. SVS provides a multi-sensory environment enabling students to learn at their maximum potential utilizing small class sizes. They know that for young people with a language-based learning disability, like dyslexia, school can be frustrating and overwhelming. For students, grades 2-12, school is about experiencing an individualized academic program every day, building skills to make learning beneficial and meaningful, playing sports, exploring visual arts, theater and more, feeling confidence for the first time ever.  SVS is the only school in the Birmingham area that serves students with average to superior intelligence that have been diagnosed with learning differences; specifically dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, and ADHD. They are accredited through SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).

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DIRECTORY FALL 2016 Your One-Stop Source for Birmingham’s Kids with Special Needs Following is an abbreviated list of resources and services, both local and national, made available to Alabama residents who have children with special needs. There are a number of services offered throughout the state for parents with children with disabilities, from inclusive school care programs to music and sports teams and classes. If you know of an organization or service that should be included in the next special needs directory online in THE GUIDE 2017 (January), or the March 2017 special needs issue, please e-mail or fax to 205-987-7600 for updating in the next directory. Be sure to check out the advertisers that made this directory/issue possible. They are in color blocks below.

INFORMATION ADY’S ARMY 404-957-0090 Serving God by serving special needs families. ALABAMA ASSOCIATION FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH VISUAL IMPAIRMENTS 205-422-5826 Provides educational, social and recreational opportunities for families with children who are blind or have low vision, including children with multiple disabilities. ALABAMA COUNCIL FOR DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES 334-242-3973 or 800-232-2158 Provides educational resources for individuals with special needs and their families.   ALABAMA DISABILITIES ADVOCACY PROGRAM (ADAP) 800-826-1675 205-348-4928 Provides free legal services for disabled individuals who qualify. AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION/ AMERICAN STROKE ASSOCIATION 205-510-1500 Birmingham SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 26. AUTISM SOCIETY OF ALABAMA 877-428-8476 or 205-383-1674 The Autism Society of Alabama is a nonprofit advocacy group with the mission of improving services for those on the Autism Spectrum. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 23. BIRMINGHAM ANXIETY AND TRAUMA THERAPY 205-807-5372

We support families with special needs by providing parent training and behavioral & individual treatment plans for autism, developmental disorders and neurocognitive disorders. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 21. BIRMINGHAM COLLAT JEWISH FAMILY SERVICES 205-879-3438 Confidential counseling and social service support for individuals and families experiencing challenges in coping with some aspect or situation in their life. REGIONAL POISON CONTROL CENTER 800-222-1222 A fully accredited poison center by the American Association of Poison Control Centers, providing 24/7, toll-free access to life-saving Information. DISABILITY RIGHTS AND RESOURCES (Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Walker and Blount counties) 205-251-2223 Empower individuals with disabilities to fully participate in the community. PARENT CONNECTION NETWORK OF ALABAMA 800-441-7607 or 334-293-7500 A statewide network of families who have children with special health care needs or disabilities and who are willing to share their experiences with other families. UNITED WAY OF CENTRAL ALABAMA - INFORMATION AND REFERRAL CENTER 205-251-5131 A community resource directory of services in Shelby, Jefferson, Walker, Blount and St. Clair counties.

12 | birminghamparent | september 2016

CHILDCARE/DAYCARE CHILDCARE RESOURCES, BIRMINGHAM 205-945-0018 or 800-822-2734 Assists parents with children with special needs in locating childcare and information. KULTURECITY Started in Birmingham to help all children/people with autism be accepted, included and fulfill their potential. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 28. UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY OF GREATER BIRMINGHAM - HAND IN HAND EARLY LEARNING PROGRAM hand-in-hand 205-944-3939 A learning program for children 6 weeks through age 4 for children with and without disabilities to maximize each child’s intellectual, physical and emotional health. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 16. SHADES MOUNTAIN BAPTIST CHURCH HAND IN HAND MINISTRY special-needs 205-822-1670 A ministry providing assistance to special needs children, adults and the elderly.  


ALABAMA INSTITUTE FOR THE DEAF AND BLIND 256-761-3660 ALABAMA PARENT EDUCATION CENTER 334-567-2252 A nonprofit 501c3 dedicated to improving parental involvement and engagement. APEC provides training, information, support to

improve the quality of parental involvement in AL families, schools and communities. COMMUNITY OUTREACH SPECIAL EDUCATION PTA The Community Outreach Special Education Parent Teacher Association is a member of the Birmingham Council of PTAs. DOWN SYNDROME ALABAMA 205-988-0810 Promotes awareness, acceptable and advocacy for individuals with Down syndrome of all ages, their families, educators, health professionals, service providers and community. EPILEPSY FOUNDATION OF ALABAMA 251-371-0170 Provides FREE support services to persons with epilepsy and their families. FAMILY VOICES OF ALABAMA 877-771-3862 The state affiliate of Family Voices, a national grassroots network of families, friends and professional partners who care about children and youth with special health care needs. THE HORIZONS SCHOOL 205-322-6606 The Horizons School is a post-secondary program that teaches independent living, social and career skills to young adults, ages 18-26, with learning disabilities. JEFFERSON COUNTY CHILD DEVELOPMENT COUNCIL INC. HeadStart/Early HeadStart 205-379-6067 LINDAMOOD-BELL LEARNING PROCESSES 205-870-4181 birmingham-alabama-learning-center PAL – ALABAMA’S PARENTING ASSISTANCE LINE 866-962-3030 Provides helpful assistance to moms, dads, grandparents, and relatives whose children are age birth through adolescence.

SOUTHEASTERN DIABETES EDUCATION SERVICES 205-402-0415 SPRING VALLEY SCHOOL 205-423-8660 Spring Valley School’s mission is educating students with learning differences, such as dyslexia and ADHD. Serving students from all areas of Jefferson and Shelby counties. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 29. VSA ARTS OF ALABAMA 205-307-6300 ext. 3 A statewide, nonprofit organization dedicated to providing opportunities in the arts for people with chronic illnesses and disabilities.  


ALABAMA CHILD CARING FOUNDATION resourceDirectory/?companyID=4 205-220-5929 ALABAMA FAMILY TRUST 205-313-3915

A nonprofit special needs trust that holds and administers money for the disabled so they are able to become eligible and maintain government benefits for which they would otherwise be financially ineligible. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 23. ALLKIDS 800-252-1818 Provides insurance for eligible children younger than 19. BRADFORD & HOLLIMAN, LLC 205-663-0281 Estate and long-term care planning for young families, blended families, the disabled, empty nesters & the elderly. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 17. EASTER SEALS MEDICAL ASSISTANCE GRANT 205-942-6277 Assists in paying for medical requirements of children and adults who have disabilities, and those unable to provide for their own needs. MEDICAID OF ALABAMA 800-362-1504

SPECIAL NEEDS ALLIANCE Katherine Barr, Sirote and Permutt 205-930-45147 A nationwide educational organization for attorneys with advanced knowledge & experience in laws affecting persons with disabilities. Barr is Alabama’s first attorney selected for membership.

HEALTH AND REHABILITATION 4 PAWS FOR ABILITY 937-374-0385 Service dogs (including seizure dogs, autism dogs, hearing dogs, and others) are made available to help increase community acceptance and participation of people with disabilities. THE ADOLESCENT HEALTH CENTER AT CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA 205-638-9231 Provides specialized medical care for teenagers. Services include primary care, nutrition, long-activing reversible contraception and eating disorder clinics.

ALABAMA HEAD INJURY FOUNDATION 205-823-3818 ALABAMA PEDIATRIC THERAPY SERVICES LLC 205-274-2244 Alabama Pediatric Therapy Services LLC is a specialized outpatient clinic providing occupational and speech therapy to children with special needs. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 27. ALABAMA RELAY CENTER 800-676-3777 Communication systems for the visually impaired and hearing impaired. ARC 866-243-9557 The Arc of Alabama, Inc. is a statewide volunteer membership organization which advocates for people with cognitive, intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. THE ARC OF JEFFERSON COUNTY 205-856-2912


The Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders is committed to finding a cure for Will and the more than 1,500 children who come to us for care each year.

As a founding member of the Children’s Oncology Group,* Children’s of Alabama and UAB combine research and innovative therapies to help save the lives of children down the street and around the world. Although the cancer cure rate has risen from 50 to 84 percent in just 20 years and strokes in patients with sickle cell disease have decreased 90 percent through standardized screening processes, we are actively working toward a TOTAL CURE for children like Will.

*The Children’s Oncology group is a clinical - translational trials organization with more than 9,000 experts worldwide dedicated to finding better cures and improving the outcomes for all children with cancer. | 13

DIRECTORY FALL 2016 THE ARC OF SHELBY COUNTY 205-664-9313 Provides support and services that empower individuals with developmental disabilities and delays and their families throughout their lifespan to live happy, successful and productive lives. THE BELL CENTER FOR EARLY INTERVENTION PROGRAMS 205-879-3417 Provides early intervention services including physical, occupational and speech therapies and early childhood special education to children 3 and younger with special needs. BROOKWOOD BAPTIST HEALTH PRIMARY CARE 205-877-2726 Brookwood Baptist Health Primary Care is an extension of the Brookwood Baptist Health physician family, caring for patients in locations all over town – and backed by the resources of Brookwood Baptist Health.. Let our Family Care for Yours. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 5. CAPSTONE MEDICAL RESOURCES, LLC 205-305-6018 Licensed Clinical Psychologist & Team providing psychological evaluations and therapeutic services for children and adults, speech therapy, ADHD testing, court evaluations and co-parenting classes. Six locations. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 21. THE CHARITY LEAGUE HEARING & SPEECH CENTER 205-638-9149 Provides speech and audiology services to patients having or suspected of having any of the communication or hearing disorders possible in the pediatric population. CHILD-ADOLESCENT PARTNERS, LLC 205-991-7226 Provides evidence-based professional counseling services to children, adolescents and adults throughout central Alabama. CHILD’S PLAY THERAPY CENTER LLC Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services 205-978-9939 Occupational, physical, speech and music therapy, along with academic tutoring. Experienced loving staff and facility just for kids. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 17. CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA 205-638-9100 Children’s of Alabama has provided specialized medical care for ill and

injured children since 1911, offering inpatient, outpatient, and primary care services throughout Alabama. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 13. CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA PHYSICAL THERAPY & OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEPARTMENT Hospital: 205-638-9645 Clinic: 205-638-6289 Provides hospital and outpatient therapy services for children to support development, movement, play and daily activities. CHILDREN’S REHABILITATION SERVICE 205-290-4550 Children’s Rehabilitation Service is a statewide organization of professionals providing quality medical, rehabilitative, coordination and support services for children with special health care needs and their families. CHIPS CENTER (Children’s Hospital Intervention and Prevention Services) 205-638-2751 Provides free services to children and families affected by child abuse. Services include non-emergent medical examinations, counseling and prevention education. DISABILITY DETERMINATION SERVICES 205-989-2100 EASTER SEALS PEDIATRIC THERAPY 205-621-6503 Provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy to children with special needs ages birth to 21 regardless of ability to pay for services. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 23. FOCAL POINT - CHILD’SPLAY THERAPY CENTER 205-968-4157 Focal Point is a program developed to specifically target improved processing, organizational and attention skills for children with ADD or ADHD utilizing cutting edge technologies. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 21. FULL LIFE AHEAD 205-439-6534, 866-700-2026 Empowers the person with a disability to live as independently as possible. GASTROENTEROLOGY, HEPATOLOGY AND NUTRITION Children’s of Alabama Provides comprehensive, multidisciplinary evaluation and management of all pediatric gastrointestinal, live and nutritional problems.

14 | birminghamparent | september 2016

GLENWOOD, INC. 205-969-2880 or 877-295-8425 Glenwood was created for the purpose of educating and treating individuals diagnosed with autism, emotional disturbances and mental illnesses.

PEDIATRIC THERAPY ASSOCIATES, INC. 205-823-1215 Programs focus on specialized individual physical and occupational therapy services. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 27.

HANDS, LLC 205-733-0976 Services include one-on-one behavior based therapy for children 2 to 18, social skills groups, workshops and support groups. LAKESHORE FOUNDATION 205-313-7400 A nonprofit organization that serves individuals with physical disabilities through sport, aquatics, recreation, therapeutic exercise and research. Scholarships available to qualified applicants.

PRECISION CHIROPRACTIC 205-988-9848 Dr. Marty Lovvorn of Precision Chiropractic specializes in the Gonstead technique which is the most scientific and specific chiropractic adjustment in the world today.

MEDICAL AUTISM CLINIC AND THE DEVELOPMENTAL MEDICINE CLINIC Children’s of Alabama MAC serves children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The clinic assists a child’s doctor by offering a variety of special evaluations with special attention in certain areas that may be affected by autism. MILESTONES BEHAVIOR GROUP, INC. 205.253.6903 Milestones Behavior Group, INC provides Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) and speech & language services to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental and communication disorders. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 25. MITCHELL’S PLACE 205-957-0294 Comprehensive treatment center for children and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). NEWBORN FOLLOW-UP CLINIC Children’s of Alabama Provides follow up care to children that were born with an extremely low birth weight, at less than 29 weeks , have required major cardiac surgery, been on ECMO or cooling therapy. PATIENT HEALTH & SAFETY INFORMATION Children’s of Alabama A resource for patient families and the community, also providing community classes.

PHYSICAL THERAPY AND OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY DEPT. Children’s of Alabama Provides hospital and outpatient therapy services for children to support development, movement, play and daily activities. REGIONAL POISON CONTROL CENTER Children’s of Alabama 800-222-1222 Free confidential medical advice 24 hours a day. SERAAJ FAMILY HOMES, INC. (205) 942-7516 Seraaj Family Homes, Inc. is a nationally accredited child-placing agency. Become a Foster or an Adoptive Parent for a child with Therapeutic or Special Needs! THE UAB DIVISION OF PEDIATRIC REHABILITATION MEDICINE AT CHILDREN’S OF ALABAMA 205-638-9790 Treats children with conditions affecting development and function, trains tomorrow’s healthcare professionals and performs research to improve the lives of children with disabilities. THRIVE BEHAVIORAL SERVICES 205-222-0965 Behavioral services for children diagnosed with Autism and/or other developmental disabilities. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 28. UCP OF BIRMINGHAM LIFE WITHOUT LIMITS CLINIC 205-944-3944 We provide innovative services connecting people with disabilities to their communities and empowering individuals to live full and meaningful lives. UCPGB envisions a world where disability is neither defining nor limiting. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 16.

UNIVERSITY OF ALABAMA AT BIRMINGHAM - CIVITAN INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH CENTER, SPARKS CLINICS 205-934-8900 or 800-822-2472 Provides an extensive range of interdisciplinary clinics offering comprehensive diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of the needs of children and adults. UNIVERSITY OF MONTEVALLO SPEECH AND HEARING CENTER 205-665-6720 Assists children with communicative problems in obtaining diagnostic and therapeutic services; training of students majoring in speech language pathology.   VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION SERVICES 334-293-7500 or 800-441-7607  


ADAPTIVE AQUATICS 205-807-7519 Provides opportunities for people to learn to water ski, no matter what their limitations.

BETHANY’S KIDS/ CAMP MCDOWELL Bethany’s Kids is a 3-night inclusion camp at Camp McDowell for kids with & without disabilities. BIRMINGHAM DANCE THEATRE 205-822-3012 www.bdtdance.comn BDT knows the importance of making dance accessible to all, especially our special needs children. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 25. CAMP ASCCA EASTER SEALS Alabama’s Special Camp for Children and Adults 256-825-9226 Easter Seals Camp for children and adults with special needs. CAMP WHEEZEAWAY, click on Camp WheezeAway 334-799-3449 A free camp for children ages 8-12 with moderate to severe asthma. A week of learning, a lifetime of memories.

THE DANCE FOUNDATION 205-870-0073 Movement to Music for school-age children with special needs is creative, includes a variety of colorful props and features live music. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 29. THE EXCEPTIONAL FOUNDATION 205-870-0776 The Exceptional Foundation is a nonprofit organization that strives to meet the social and recreational needs of children and adults with special needs. LAKESHORE FOUNDATION 205-313-7400 Promotes independence for adults and children with physically disabling conditions and opportunities to pursue active healthy lifestyles. MOODY MIRACLE LEAGUE 205-225-9444 A full handicapped accessible baseball field for any special need player. More than 250 players range from 4-75.

THE MUSIC ROOM Music Education – Music Therapy 205-706-9759 Drums and Disabilities is a unique percussion based music therapy program currently serving a large majority of the special needs community in Alabama. OAK MOUNTAIN YOUTH BASEBALL/SOFTBALL CHALLENGER LEAGUE 205-223-6461 Provides boys and girls with disabilities the opportunity to experience the emotional development and the fun of playing Youth League Baseball. ROOFTOP FRIENDS 334-244-1385 RoofTop Friends exists to love, serve, fellowship, share faith with those affected by disabilities by providing AL Family Retreat, fun activities and other respite care.

Fostering independence, development, and fun...

205.916.0670 400 Old Towne Road, Vestavia, AL 35216 Open Monday - Friday 9 to 5 and Saturdays 10 to 2 Located off of Highway 31 in Vestavia behind the bowling alley and next to Chuck-e-cheese | 15

DIRECTORY FALL 2016 SPECIAL EQUESTRIANS 205-987-9462 Therapeutic horseback riding for those with disabilities. TENNESSEE JAYCEE FOUNDATION 615-504-1727 A specially designed summer camp for special needs individuals. We offer a week long camp, which offers swimming, fishing, arts and crafts and much more.

RESPITE & SUPPORT ALABAMA LIFESPAN RESPITE RESOURCE NETWORK 256-859-4900 866-737-8252 Works to create and connect family caregivers to quality respite resources. We have education opportunities for everyone and respite reimbursement programs to support caregivers. SAINT MARK UNITED METHODIST CHURCH RESPITE 205-822-1312

SOCKS 4 SURGERY Dedicated to providing a keepsake of a pair of socks; a reminder of overcoming the adversity of surgery.

SUPPLIES/SPECIALTY ITEMS/TOYS BIOTECH LIMB & BRACE 205-324-7897 Biotech Limb and Brace has 6 fully certified orthotic and prosthetic practitioners serving Birmingham and Central Alabama for the last 15 years. GRIFFIN MOBILITY 256-751-1365 Griffin Mobility restores independence and freedom to individuals and families dealing with disabilities through home and automobile modifications, making daily life more accessible.

highly trained and caring medical equipment professionals dedicated to the wellbeing of our patients. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 15. MOBILITY WORKS 877-275-4907 or 205-426-8261 Whether you’re looking for a new or used wheelchair minivan in Alabama – or need a scooter lift, our Birmingham location can provide every option. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 23. REIGNBOWS 205-222-6895 Handmade bows and accessories designed with special needs children in mind. These bows are as unique as your child. Adults can wear them as a broach. SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET Sprouts Farmers Market is a grocery store offering fresh, natural and organic foods at great prices. Sprouts works to deliver the best possible shopping experience to our guests and help them achieve a healthy lifestyle at an affordable price – not just buy groceries.

dream MOBILITY CENTRAL 205-942-2526 Mobility Central employs a team of

TRANSPORTATION CLASTRAN 205-325-8787 Transports persons who are elderly (60-plus), disabled or traveling to or from a rural area in Jefferson or Shelby counties. KID ONE 800-543-7143, 205-978-1019 Kid One Transport provides transportation for any child in need of reaching care that will better them medically, mentally or physically when they are without means of transportation.

RESIDENTIAL MONTGOMERY CHILDREN’S SPECIALTY CENTER 334-261-3445 A preferred children’s nursing and rehabilitation facility in Montgomery, AL. Providing services to children with severe developmental disabilities that require ongoing nursing care. SEE OUR AD ON PAGE 27.

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Dr. Charlie Law, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Specialist and one of only four physicians in Alabama certified in adult and pediatric rehab, oversees the comprehensive services at our Life Without Limits Clinic. Services provided include: • Comprehensive evaluations • Individualized care • Spasticity Management • Orthotic and Prosthetic Evaluation and fitting • Pain Management • Coordinated Care with other health providers • Outpatient therapy The Life Without Limits Clinic not only serves the client, but is dedicated to serving the whole family as well. For an appointment or more information, call today! Life Without Limits Clinic • Medical Services • Therapy Services | 205-944-3944 16 | birminghamparent | september 2016

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John Holliman and Melanie Bradford provide over 37 years of experience in assisting clients with estate planning, special needs trust planning, asset protection, tax planning, trusts, long term care planning, VA and Medicaid eligibility and appeals, probate matters and more. Plan ahead to protect what you have!

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AFT - Protecting Your Assets for Your Special Needs Child’s Future By Melanie B. Bradford


A top concern for parents of a child with disabilities is how to provide for the child’s security when the parents are deceased. A will or a living trust naming a guardian for the child is a start, but it is not enough. The goal of most parents is to provide enough assets to care for their disabled child during the child’s lifetime with any remaining benefits going to other siblings or family 18 | birminghamparent | september 2016

members at the child’s death. If your child is disabled, receiving SSI and Medicaid, or, should receive SSI and Medicaid upon turning age 18, the only way to achieve this goal is to have an estate plan that includes a special needs trust for the child. A special needs trust is a specific type of trust that holds the child’s inheritance so the assets are not counted against the child in

establishing or maintaining eligibility for SSI and Medicaid. The child receives available government benefits while the trustee for the trust is able to use the inherited assets to pay for supplemental items the child needs. This combination of government benefits and trust assets works to provide for the child’s needs while also preserving the inheritance for as long as possible. If the assets

are inherited by the child in any way other than a special needs trust and the assets cause the child to have more than $2,000 in total assets, the child will lose available means-tested government benefits such as SSI and Medicaid until the child spends the inheritance. In other words, to an extent, the system penalizes parents that provide for their disabled child if they do not have the right kind of estate plan. This means that it is critical for parents to have an estate plan that has a special needs trust. In addition, the parents also must plan for who can manage the trust for the child. Alabama Family Trust (AFT), a local non-profit company established by the state of Alabama to administer special needs trusts (of any size) for disabled individuals, gives parents peace of mind by providing a lowcost, highly skilled trust company that can oversee the trust for the disabled child. This is important because a special needs trust can be difficult for a non-attorney to manage properly to stay in compliance with federal and state law. AFT provides assurance that the trust will be managed properly. Trusted family members or friends can be named by the parents to serve as co-trustees to assist in making certain the needs of the disabled child are known. AFT also has a charitable trust that is available if a child’s trust has been depleted. This benefit gives parents the knowledge that needs for their child can be provided even if the trust assets have been spent. Additionally, if the trust was established by the parents, any assets remaining in the trust at the child’s death will be distributed to the people or charities named as beneficiaries by the parents. Parents should also talk with an attorney experienced in establishing estate plans with special needs trusts. Contact AFT for more information at 205-313-3915 or visit

Alabama Family Trust (AFT), a local non-profit company established by the state of Alabama to administer special needs trusts (of any size) for disabled individuals, gives parents peace of mind by providing a lowcost, highly skilled trust company that can oversee the trust for the disabled child. Above, Doug Marshall and Melanie Bradford of AFT.

ALABAMA FAMILY TRUST 2820 Columbiana Road, Ste 103 Vestavia, AL 35216 Direct line: 1.205.313.3915 Toll Free: 1.844.238.4630 Fax line: 1.205.313.3946 Protecting assets and helping ensure that children and individuals of all ages with disabilities get the care they need across the entire State of Alabama.

Melanie B. Bradford is a partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC, a law practice in Pelham focusing on estate planning, elder law and special needs trust. 205-663-0281, This article is for educational purposes and is not intended for specific legal advice. | 19

KULTURECITY By Lori Chandler Pruitt

Autism is one of the most common developmental disabilities, yet families who receive the diagnosis can feel isolated, afraid and unsure how to best help their child. UAB and Children’s of Alabama physicians Julian Maha and Michele Kong, whose son was diagnosed at the age of 4, experienced the same emotions. “It a hard, challenging journey, navigating the system and finding the right resources for your family,” Kong says. “It’s also finding how best to integrate your child into society. Really, that’s the biggest challenge.” That’s why in 2013 they founded KultureCity, a nonprofit group with the overall mission of changing the culture one city at a time. Maha is founder and CEO, and Kong is co-founder and chief medical officer. “People are aware of autism, but they are not sure what it means for these kids to have these challenges,” she says. She recalls a time when their son, who has sensory issues, had a meltdown in a barbershop. Another person there grabbed her son, shook him and yelled at her, reprimanding her for his behavior. “If you have a two-year-old, people tend to accept a meltdown as part of being a toddler,” Kong says. “But if you have an older child with sensory issues, the public does not show the same acceptance. Our son is almost 9 now. So many families are already guarded and nervous when they go out in public to begin with, and so if anything happens, many don’t go out again. That’s when we knew we wanted to provide tangible help for families.” KultureCity works to help businesses and community organizations better understand the needs of people with autism. One of the group’s most recent sensory outreach activities is at the Birmingham Zoo. The staff has been trained to recognize and handle many situations, including knowing what to do if their find a child who has wandered away. The group also has provided the zoo “sensory bags” with items such as noise-cancelling headphones and weighted lap pads that help the child feel more stable and secure on rides and during performances. Families can ask for one at the venue. Other sensory-friendly venues in the area include McWane Science Center, UAB Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center and Post 20 | birminghamparent | september 2016

Office Pies, a local restaurant. Businesses can apply to become designated “sensory-friendly.” Another major service offered to families is LifeBOKS, a kit that helps individuals with autism who are more prone to wandering and accidental drowning, among other dangers. The kit includes: • Window and door alarms that sound when a door or window is opened. • A BuddyTag, a child safety device that has out-of-range alert, a water safety alert; a panic alarm for a child to alert the parent and personal ID to help reunite a lost child with parents. It uses Bluetooth and is not a GPS. • SafetyTats, temporary child ID “skin stickers” that you customize yourself with phone numbers and other information. • SmartKidsID, a wearable shoe ID that contains child and medical ID with a 24/7 tollfree hotline to connect to a child’s ID profile to help identify a missing child. It can be worn on shoelaces, Velcro, sandals and more. Other services include: giving touchscreen tablets to children to help them communicate (new research has shown that using iPads and other tablets can help non-verbal children maximize language skills); toys, respite care, free art and music camps and free nights at other venues; scholarships for families; and helping children in other countries who are shunned, hidden or abused because of their disability. While KultureCity does not directly provide such materials to schools, if a family needs materials to help their child in the classroom, the group can provide help, Kong says. “The biggest need will always be educating staff, whether it is teachers, employees or volunteers

to react, interact and problem solve,” she says. While KultureCity is based in Birmingham, its influence is far-reaching. More than 15,000 individuals throughout the U.S. have been helped, and it is considered one of the top-rated nonprofits in the country. It has been cited by major companies such as Microsoft for its work. There are branches in New York, Boston and other major cities, along with the country of Uganda. KultureCity provides services free to families and is primarily funded through private donations and grants. It also has a major fundraising event, KultureBall, each August that attracts volunteers, celebrities and families. “It warms my heart to see so many families we have helped directly help others directly through KultureCity,” Kong says. “We connect with them, we feel empowered, we feel like a family.” Businesses and groups also can donate iPads and other tablets, along with donations for all the other items offered free to families. Sponsors also are welcome. The KultureCity team is made up of volunteers. “We are working to help our children fit in this world, to inspire the community to join us in creating a world where all individuals with autism can be accepted, included and fulfill their potential,” Kong says. Coming up next is KCFit, a program to promote fitness and wellness in families, Kong says. For more information, go to To best contact the organization directly, send an email to The group also is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Lori Pruitt is associate editor of Birmingham Parent.

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What You Need to Know About Children with Special Needs & Guardianship All parents face stress as they watch their children grow into adulthood and try to guide them on their life’s journey. Parents of children with special needs face even more challenges as their child reaches adulthood. In Alabama, a child is considered an adult at age 19 (18 with the Social Security Administration which operates under federal law). Upon reaching age 19, the child will be considered to be a competent adult able to make his or her decisions. The parents lose all rights to make decisions for the child. This means that the parents have no authority to make medical decisions, financial decisions, or any other decisions for the child. This is true even if everyone associated with the child agrees that the child is disabled and not capable of making decisions. Practically, parents often continue along 22 | birminghamparent | september 2016

for many years after the child reaches 19 without any problems because the child’s treating physician typically continues to work with the parents. Additionally, Social Security will usually allow a parent to be a representative payee and receive the child’s SSI check. However, eventually, an issue will arise where the parents are told that they have no authority to make decisions for the child. Typically, this happens when the child goes to a different doctor and the doctor refuses to talk to the parents; or, the parents want the child to attend a special event, try a new therapy, or enter a facility for some type of treatment. At that point, the parents are told they have no authority to release liability on behalf of the child, authorize the treatment, or force the child to go anywhere. The parents may even be told they cannot see the child’s medical re-

By Melanie B. Bradford

cords or be told the medications or treatments that are being administered to the child. What can parents do in this situation? The parents need to be named the legal guardians for the child. To be named as the guardians, the parents will want to hire an attorney and go through the process of being named guardian by the probate court. Once this is done, the parents will have all the decision-making authority to manage the disabled child’s life and provide for his or her well-being. Melanie B. Bradford is a partner, Bradford & Holliman, LLC, a law practice in Pelham focusing on estate planning, elder law and special needs trust. 205-663-0281, This article is for educational purposes and is not intended for specific legal advice.





• First Responder Trainings • Safety Net Campaign promoting Project Lifesaver in AL for those who wander or elope • Annual Family Camps in Alabama • AL Autism Identification Card • Autism Friendly Campaign to make businesses accessible • Sensory Movies • Annual Autism Day at the Barons and Biscuits • Alabama ABLE Act Implementation • Conferences for teachers, parents, therapy providers and adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) • 33 ASA Network Support Groups throughout Alabama led by local parent volunteers • Respite Program

Alabama Family Trust is a unique public service that helps parents administer special needs trusts for their loved ones; providing a safe haven for financial resources, and helping assure important government benefits for their future.

• Alabama Interagency Autism Coordinating Council member • Collaboration with AL State Agencies • Annual Legislative Day in Montgomery

2820 Columbiana Road, Ste 103 Vestavia, AL 35216 205.313.3915 • 1.844.238.4630

• Library Resources in AL Public Libraries • 1-877-4AUTISM follow us on...................... ......................

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Ournew pediatric clinicoffer offers a sensory room equipped with The clinic a sensory room equipped a a The new clinic will will offerexperiences. a sensory roomAequipped withwith a with variety of sensory large gym climbing Theof new clinic will offer a sensory room equipped with a variety of sensory experiences. Agym large gym with climbing minivan in Alabama – or need a scooter lift for your van, variety sensory experiences. A large with climbing wall, exercise bar with mirror, swings, and other fun exerwall, exercise bar with mirror, swings, and exercise variety of experiences. A large gym withfun climbing our Birmingham, AL staff can provide every Easter Seals offers an interdisciplinary team approach wall, exercise barsensory with mirror, swings, and other funother exercise cise equipment are alsoavailable. available. Each therapy room has an equipment will be Each room to treating theavailable. whole child. Our staff oftherapy speech-language option. We’ll make sure you get the right equipment equipment wall, exercise bar with mirror, swings, and will other funwill exercise will also also be Each therapy room pathologists, physical therapist, and occupational observation room so that parents or guardians can observe have an observation room so that parents or guardians can the first time. Stop by and see us soon! haveequipment an observation sobethat parents or guardians canroom will willroom also available. Each therapy therapists specialize in the diagnosis and treatment observe their in therapy. Parent support groups have of their child inchild therapy. Parent groups and a variety observe in therapy. Parent support groups havetheir an observation room sosupport that parents orhave guardians can ofchild various children’s disabilities. Each therapy room begun and a variety of other programs such as karate for other programs such as karate for special needs are off ered. begun and a variety of other programs such as karate for has an observation room so that parents or guardians observe their child in ers therapy. Parent support groups have Our pediatric clinic off a sensory room equipped with special needs will beoffer offered. The new clinic a their sensory room equipped with a a can observe child in therapy. special needs will bewill offered. The new clinic will offer a sensory room equipped with a begun a variety of other programs such as climbing karate fora variety ofand sensory experiences. A large gym with climbing Theof new clinic will offer a sensory room equipped with variety of sensory experiences. A large gym with variety sensory experiences. A large gym with climbing special needs willwith be offered. wall, exercise bar mirror,swings, swings, and other fun exerwall, exercise bar mirror, and other fun exercise variety of experiences. A large gym with climbing wall, exercise barsensory withwith mirror, swings, Sensory and other fun exercise Speech/Language Delays Processing Disorder Sensory Processing Disorder Speech/Language Delays Sensory Processing Disorder Speech/Language Delays cise equipment are also available. Each therapy room has an equipment will also be available. Each therapy room wall, exercise bar with mirror, swings, and other funwill exercise equipment will also beImpairment available. Each therapy room will Academic Difficulties Cognitive Academic Difficulties Cognitive Impairment Academic Difficulties Cognitive Impairment observation room so that parents or guardians observe have observation room so that parents or guardians can Feeding Disorders have anan observation so parents or guardians cancan equipment willroom also bethat available. Each therapy room will Autism Spectrum Disorder Feeding Disorders Autism Spectrum Disorder Feeding Disorders Autism Spectrum Disorder Sensory Processing Disorder Speech/Language Delays observe their child in therapy. Parent support groups have Orthopedic Injuries their child in therapy. Parent support groups and a variety 3747 Pine Lane SE observe their child inSyndrome therapy. Parent support groupsor have Down have anSyndrome observation room so that parents guardians canof Orthopedic Injuries & Needs Down & Needs Orthopedic Injuries & Needs Down Syndrome Bessemer, AL, 35022 Academic Difficulties Cognitive Impairment begun and a variety of other programs such as karate for other karate for special needs are offered. begun andprograms a variety ofsuch other such as karate for groups Seizure Disorders Handwriting/Fine Motor Seizure Disorders Handwriting/ observe their child inasprograms therapy. Parent support have Conveniently located off Interstate 459 Handwriting/Fine Motor Seizure Disorders special needs will be offered. Feeding Disorders Autism Spectrum Disorder Cerebral Palsy Fine Motor Challenges special needs will be offered. Challenges Cerebral Palsy begunPalsy and a variety of other programs such as karate for Challenges Cerebral Whether you’re looking for a new or used wheelchair

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The therapy program at Easter Sealsanoffers an special needs will at beEaster offered. The therapy Seals offers 240 Commerce Parkway, Pelham, AL 35214 Handwriting/Fine Motor Seizure program Disorders Sensory Processing Disorder Speech/Language Delays interdisciplinary team approach to treating the whole Sensory Processing Disorder Speech/Language Delays 205-314-2165 | interdisciplinary team approach to treating the whole Challenges Cerebral Palsy Academic Difficulties Cognitive Impairment child. Our of speech-language pathologists, Academic Difficulties Cognitive Impairment child. Our staffstaff of speech-language pathologists, physical physical Feeding Disorders Autism Spectrum Disorder therapist, occupational therapists the Feeding Disorders Autism Spectrum Disorder Sensory Processing Speech/Language Delays The therapy program at Easter Seals specialize offers therapist, andand occupational therapists specialize in thean inDisorder Orthopedic Injuries & Needs Down Syndrome | 23 diagnosis and treatment of various children’s disabilities. Orthopedic Injuries & Needs Down Syndrome Academic Difficulties Cognitive Impairment diagnosis and treatment of various children’s disabilities. interdisciplinary team approach to treating the whole Handwriting/Fine Motor Seizure Disorders Handwriting/Fine Seizure Disorders FeedingMotor Disorders Autism Spectrum Disorder

teaching ABOUT DIVERSITY Explaining Differences to your Children Back to school can be an exciting time of new experiences. Our children may face new teachers, new classmates and new challenges. Sometimes there is so much new to face all at once that it can be overwhelming, leaving our children unsure as to how to respond. Naturally we do all that we can as parents to prepare them so that they are as ready as they can possibly be. One subject we may overlook is how to respond to differences they may encounter among their peers. Children come in many varieties. There are different ethnicities, learning differences, special needs, unique families, and sometimes even differing languages. How will your child respond to what they are not familiar with? We’d like to think that they know enough about common courtesy and kindness that they would respond properly. After all, we’ve raised them to be considerate and mannerly. However, in the classroom or on the playground when a child with differences has been singled out by others, our children may not be sure what to do. 24 | birminghamparent | september 2016

By Stephanie Rodda

If you haven’t already, you may want to start with a simple discussion that mentions diversity. That’s a big word, but it can be simply explained to the youngest of children. We aren’t all the same, not exactly. Those differences can be celebrated and embraced or they can be the source of uncomfortable encounters. Ways to Explain Our Differences Once, after my two adopted daughters had joined our family, another child asked them why they didn’t look like their mommy. They didn’t know how to respond, so at home I took a blank piece of paper and drew a line down the center. I told them that we were going to make two lists, one of how we were the same and one of how we were different. The side with differences had one entry, our skin color. On the other side we listed many likenesses. We all were girls, we all had arms and legs and fingers and toes, we had eyes, we liked ice cream, we had beautiful smiles, and the list went on and on. The purpose of this was to help my girls see we had much more in common than we

didn’t have. This may be a good starting point with your children if they come home telling you about a child that is different. Some questions your curious child may ask are normal and include: Why does Maria use words I don’t understand? Why does Sam need a wheelchair? Why does Allison wear clothes different from mine? Why is Noah’s skin a different color than his mom’s? Don’t hesitate to answer your child’s questions that come from a natural curiosity concerning what is unfamiliar to her. If you don’t know, say so and then find out the answers together. Children with Special Needs The educational needs of many special needs children are best served by being included in standard classrooms. When this is the case, your students may be unsure how to react to children who need special assistance or interventions. Some teachers may be pro-active and give some guidance. However, we as parents also can be proactive by openly discussing special needs with our children in a positive tone. Shedding a little light on a

subject can often dispel any misgivings. For instance, if a student in your child’s class is on the autism spectrum, you may look for a book that explains Asperger’s syndrome on a level your child can understand. It may help you both understand a bit better the challenges that this child and his family face. Amy Garrett Martin, special education teacher at Vincent Elementary School, offers some helpful insight. “In today’s culture, so many parents treat their children like they are perfect. They aren’t. None of us are.” Her statement made me realize there is a bonus to teaching our children tolerance towards others. Perhaps it will relieve some of the pressure they may feel to be perfect or to blend in with everyone else. Martin adds that she strives to be very open concerning any issues a child may be facing in the classroom. With the parent’s permission, she will discuss these issues with the class and keeps a variety of children’s books that can explain particular disorders and their challenges on a child’s level. “My kids (students) are the most compassionate little beings because they feel so connected to our strugglers. They really come to see their differences as ‘their struggles’ and they become such encouragers.

They celebrate victories and progress and it is so beautiful,” Martin says. America is filled with cultural diversity and Alabama is a beautiful reflection of that. There are many resources available for those who are interested in other cultures and languages. The entire family could learn about Chinese New Year or Jewish Hanukkah. A few key words or phrases could be learned in Spanish. Unique recipes from other countries could be a fun family night experiment. Remember, the most valuable tool for teaching tolerance is by your example. Pay close attention to your reactions to those who look or live differently than you. Make an effort to show your child that you are open to people with special needs or to families that don’t look just like yours. Treat others the way you would want to be treated.

Make sure your children know that sometimes an initial reaction doesn’t define a budding friendship. People, even children, can sometimes react impulsively and make comments or ask questions that can make us feel uncomfortable. Although name calling or teasing is never acceptable, if a child is curious, they may just ask why a child is using a wheelchair, for instance. In that case, you might suggest an honest answer for an honest question. Make sure that your children know that they have a right to feel safe and be treated with respect in the classroom. Sitting down and having a conversation about personal space, personal property and personal dignity may be just the tool they need whether they are on the receiving end or the observing end of times when tolerance of differences is required.

Is your family different or unique? Teach your children how to respond. Teach your children to respond properly to comments and treatment that may come their way. Make sure your children know that they should tell you and their teacher if bullying is occurring, and that there are times to speak up for themselves and for others.

Stephanie Rodda is a freelance writer and adoptive mom of seven who lives with her family in the Birmingham area. She blogs at and has authored “How Then Shall We Live?”a fictional book about a family facing difficult times and relying on faith and family to make it through. (found at


Our services are available to children ages 2-18 years with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down’s Syndrome, ADD/ADHD, and other developmental disabilities.

Pre-School Dance • Ballet • Pointe • Jazz • Lyrical • Contemporary • Hip Hop • Tap • Clogging • Acrobatics • Voice



BDT knows the importance of making dance accessible to all, especially our special needs children! We’ve designed a unique program to add joy, through movement, to you child’s day! With music, props and choreography, your child has the opportunity to explore music and dance in a fun, welcoming and motivating environment.

205.253.6903 4244 Cahaba Heights Court #300 Vestavia Hills, AL 35243 Fax: 205.278.5869

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About the instructor: Jennifer Wilson McCraw is a graduate of Auburn University with a BS in Special Education. She has over 30 years experience working with people of all ages who have special needs.

100 Olde Towne Road, Suite 100 • Located off Hwy 31 in Vestavia REGISTER NOW! Age 2-Adult. Afternoon & Evening Classes • 205-822-3012 All inquiries please email: bdtdance | 25

Heart to Heart with AHA

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When you as parents and caretakers can model healthy behavior, your children will follow. Here are some tips to get you started in the fight against childhood obesity: k Encourage healthier eating habits. Provide plenty of fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Serve reasonably-sized portions. Small changes can lead to a recipe for success. k Cut out all sugary drinks. Do you know sugary drinks are the number one source from which kids get their calories? We have to cut these empty calories from their diet to reduce childhood obesity risks. The easiest way? Serve only water and milk. It’s time to #RethinkYourDrinkAL. k Remove calorie-rich temptations. Treats are okay in moderation, but limiting high-fat and high-sugar and salty snacks can develop healthy eating habits. Don’t use these snacks as incentive treats either; it creates the idea that these foods are more desirable and they’ll want them more and more. k Help kids stay active. Children and teens need at least 60 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity every day. Start adding in exercise to your routine and have the kids join you. Take a walk before dinner or turn the living room into a dance party. Make it fun but easy.

Choose Healthier Lifestyles TO FIGHT CHILDHOOD OBESITY By Dr. Mia Cowan

One in 3 American kids and teens is overweight or obese. The prevalence of obesity in children more than tripled from 1971 to 2011. Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. In my work as an OBGYN, comprehensive weight loss clinician, and American Heart Association volunteer, I’m seeing kids with high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and elevated cholesterol levels. For young women, I’m seeing girls that are hitting puberty at ages 6-8, and that’s becoming the norm, not the exception. And that’s just the beginning. Excess weight for kids is also associated with earlier risk of heart disease and even stroke in adulthood. In fact, the CDC has estimated that this will be the first generation that may not outlive their parents. That scares me as a mother and as a doctor. Something must be done. As we recognize Childhood Obesity Awareness Month in September, I encourage you to implement healthier lifestyles in your home.

26 | birminghamparent | september 2016

k Encourage your children to participate in sports. Sports are a great way to help your kids meet the recommended physical activity levels each day. There are also benefits besides the exercise – they can make new friends, have fun, learn to be a team member, understand fair play and improve self-esteem. Sports are a great way for your kids to focus on their health – both physically and mentally. k Reduce sedentary time. Limit screen time (TV, video games, Internet) to no more than two hours a day. Substitute excess screen time with more activity. k Help educate your children on the importance of nutrition and exercise. Talk to them about their health and visit your pediatrician or family practitioner for more advice. Knowledge is key! Childhood obesity is slowly killing our future. Find more tips on and follow the American Heart Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram on the handle @heartalabama. Join me and the American Heart Association in the fight against childhood obesity and take control of your child’s health now! Dr. Mia Cowan, Medical Director and Founder of MiBella Wellness Center

September is Childhood Obesity Awareness Month Consider & implement healthier lifestyles.


Saturday, February 11, 2017 10am-3pm • FREE RIVERCHASE GALLERIA UPPER LEVEL Booths & Sponsorships available! CALL NOW! 205-987-7700 or


We are Montgomery’s preferred children’s nursing and rehabilitation facility. Providing services to children with severe developmental disabilities that require on-going nursing care. Our team of professionals will create a plan of care that promotes a nurturing environment of respect, growth and healing.

2853 Forbes Drive Montgomery, AL 36110 (334) 261-3445 | 27

Each program is designed to meet your child's specific needs! • Autism • Developmental Disability • Parent/School Training • IEP Assistance • ABA/VB Program • Behavior Reduction • Communication • Social Skills Training • Speech Services

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TotShots SEPTEMBER 2016

The Jefferson County Department of Health offers free vaccination clinics monthly to children younger than 19 who have no insurance. Children must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian and must bring their immunization records. Call 205-930-1450 or go to www.jcdh. org for more information on your child’s eligibility, and call ahead to make sure the clinic will be held that day. HERE IS THE CLINIC SCHEDULE FOR SEPTEMBER:

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3825 Lorna Road, Suite 206, Hoover, Alabama 35244 205-988-9800 . 28 | birminghamparent | september 2016

2-4 p.m., SEPTEMBER 13 St. Peter’s Catholic Church 2061 Patton Chapel Road, Hoover 2-4 p.m., SEPTEMBER 19 Garywood Assembly of God 2730 Allison Bonnett Memorial Parkway, Hueytown 3-5 p.m., SEPTEMBER 22 First Baptist Church 910 Main Street (Family Life Center), Gardendale


AT OUR NEW LOCATION Thursday, Sept. 15 at 6 pm

We provide a multi-sensory environment enabling students to learn at their maximum potential. Spring Valley School knows that for young people with a language-based learning disability, like dyslexia, school can be frustrating and overwhelming. For our students, grades 2-12, school is about experiencing an individualized academic program every day, building skills to make learning beneficial and meaningful, playing sports, exploring visual arts, theater... and feeling confidence for the first time ever. Spring Valley School admits students with average to superior intelligence who have been diagnosed with learning differences such as Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and AD/HD. We are accredited through SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools).

Come visit. We invite you to contact us to set up an interview and a tour of the school.

Reading Intervention with Team of Specialists 8:1 Student Ratio Openings Available 205-423-8660 2701 Sydney Drive Birmingham, AL 35211 | 29

college corner

Ways the College Textbook Industry Gets You to Pay More for Textbooks (And How To Get Around It) By Chris Manns

The tuition cost was haunting. The dorm bill was daunting. The laptop your college freshman just had to have cost more than your first car. Now all she has left to do is hit the college bookstore with her list of required textbooks. Don’t be surprised if she comes out crying. A recent study by the U.S. Government Accountability office showed that the average prices for textbooks have risen 82 percent in just 10 years. Many expected that internet access would help bring costs down, but the college textbook industry appears to be keeping students from saving money by using such tactics as college-specific books, book bundling and eTextbooks, all of which raise prices. Luckily, there is something you can do about it. You just need to do a little homework before classes start. “There are many ways you can save when buying textbooks that the college textbook industry doesn’t want you to know about,” says Chris Manns of the price comparison websites and Both free services help students locate the cheapest prices for millions of books. Here’s his list of the ways the college textbook industry gets you to pay more, and some tips for paying less: COLLEGE-SPECIFIC BOOKS: Colleges have started asking students to buy college-specific books. They take a commonly-used textbook and have it printed with the college name and course number on the cover. This gives the book a new ISBN (International Standard Book Number) that is typically only available at the college it was made for.  The workaround: Ask the professor if it’s OK to use the book’s common version. “The common version will be available online and, in almost all cases, be much cheaper and apart from the cover, it’ll be the exact same. When you rent or buy it online, you’ll be able to rent or buy it used from anybody,” Manns says. ____________________________________________________________________ BOOK BUNDLING: Students are sometimes required to buy a “book bundle” with extra class materials that add to the cost. “These bundles often include items the professors aren’t even using,” Manns says.  The workaround: Email the professor or wait until the class starts and ask if the professor will be using the supplemental material. “If the answer is no, then buy just the textbook online,” Manns says. ___________________________________________________________________ NEW EDITIONS: “This problem has been around a long time,” Manns says. Publishers release new versions of books every few years, even though little changes. Usually, buying an older edition gives you the information you need. Older editions often cost less than $25. ___________________________________________________________________ ETEXTBOOKS: eTextbooks are usually more expensive than buying a book used or renting it, and they typically expire after six months or a year. The workaround: Shop around. Most eTextbooks are available from multiple sellers. If you have the option, go old-school and buy the hard cover or paperback, which will typically be much cheaper. “That way you can keep it if you want, or you can sell it later,” he says. ___________________________________________________________________ TIMING: Sometimes students don’t learn what textbooks they need until a couple of weeks before classes start, giving them little time to shop around. The workaround:  Don’t worry too much about getting your books before classes start.  If you don’t mind a little inconvenience, then wait until you’re a couple of days into the school year before buying. “The professor might even tell you that you don’t need the book,” Manns says. If it’s required, you can shop online and still have the book within a couple of days. Chris Manns is the managing director of price comparison websites and He’s been in the business of helping students find the cheapest prices for their textbooks since 2001.

30 | birminghamparent | september 2016

George Balanchine’s

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October 3rd 4-8pm

Dancers 8-12 auditions begin at 4pm Dancers 13-16 auditions begin at 6 pm

*Dance attire required (leotard, tights, and ballet shoes) **$20 Audition Fee

More information: | (205) 322-1874

Alabama Ballet is proud to present George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker® as one of only eight companies in the world licensed by The Balanchine Trust to perform this holiday masterpiece.

OPEN HOUSE Sunday,October 2 Program: 2-4 p.m.

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Back to School: Getting Ready for Fall Sports By Dr. Michael Patterson

Michael Patterson, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon specializing in sports medicine and is located at Lemak Health in both the Alabaster and Clanton clinics.

32 | birminghamparent | september 2016

School has started, and with that comes the beginning of fall sports. Many college and high school athletes participate in off season programs to remain in shape and acclimated to hot weather conditions. However, elementary and middle school age athletes lack this type of training which can often lead to injuries. Living in the South has its benefits, but when it comes to fall sports, the heat is a dangerous factor. Younger athletes are more vulnerable to the heat’s effects because of their increased sun exposure and lower sweat rate volumes. Early symptoms related to heat illness include thirst, increased sweating, light headedness and cramping. More severe symptoms include minimal sweating despite hot conditions, headache, mental status changes and loss of motor control. As thirst is usually the first sign of heat illness, I encourage athletes to drink large volumes of water or sports drinks both prior to the activity and throughout. Water replaces fluid volume loss, and sports drinks do the same plus replace minerals lost through sweating. I recommend that younger athletes drink 12 ounces of Powerade for every pound of weight lost after exercise or a sporting event. It also helps to relocate to a cooler environment, remove excessive clothing and place ice under the arms, groin and neck. In the majority of cases, this should resolve any symptoms within 10-15 minutes. If the symptoms persist or become more severe, emergency medical treatment should

be sought immediately. Athletes should also monitor their urine color and make sure it remains clear. If it appears darker, they should be encouraged to drink more fluids. Acclimating to the hot environment is very important. Athletes should spend short periods of time outdoors adjusting to the warmer environment for 5-7 days before actual practice begins. This allows the body to adjust to the climate and lowers the risk for heat issues once the season begins. In addition to heat related illnesses, participating in fall sports brings an increased number of muscle strains and ligament sprains. These injuries are often related to overuse or not stretching before a workout. The majority of these types of injuries can be managed with basic treatment referred to as RICE. This stands for rest, ice, compression and elevation. If pain persists after 3-5 days, evaluation by a physician should be considered. Medical evaluation is also a good idea if there is significant swelling and/or bruising that persists after 24 hours. Typically, more formal therapy and bracing may be required, but rarely any surgical measures. Eating well balanced meals, resting, stretching and acclimation can prepare the athletes can for a successful and healthy return to fall sports. As an Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine physician, I am always excited to participate in the care of the adolescent athlete.



Celebrating over 20 years of blockbuster fun! Outdoor movies for private parties, churches, schools & large-scale events.

Creating a fun environment with contagious smiles and lasting memories. Fun is limitless when you book with us.

You name it. We can do it!



Birthdays in Birmingham Your local birthday party resource Loved by Parents since 1997 Places to Go  Entertainment Party Supplies & Rentals  Facilities  Coupons

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Visit birmingham-parents-birthday-kids.html Deadline is the 12th of each month preceding the birthday month. May enter for later months, too.

Evans Publishing LLC, DBA BIRMINGHAM PARENT is looking for a motivated individual who likes to help businesses market themselves to families for an outside sales account executive position. You must be driven, hard-working, dependable, work well independently, comfortable talking to strangers and making warm and cold calls, able to use web and Word-based programs for reporting and customer management, comfortable taking on the phone, and available to work at least 30 hours per week. Generous commission based pay with bonuses for success. Your success each month increases your paycheck! Flexible hours, but must be able to make sales calls in person, go to staff meetings and special events. Can sell print advertising, web, event and sponsorships. Advertising sales experience strongly preferred. Can work from home base, but not a “work from home” position. E-mail your resume to, or fax to 205-987-7600. Health insurance, dental and life insurance after 90-day successful probationary period. | 33

TEAM UP WITH US FOR GAME WINNING SMILES! DR. CLARK THOMAS DR. LAUTEN JOHNSON Treating children, not just their teeth, for a lifetime of healthy smiles. KIDS LOVE US, PARENTS TRUST US! M-F 8-5


























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CHILDREN’S CARNIVAL Mini Race Car Ride 22’ Double Slide Football Toss Fire Trucks Police Cars Carousel Moonwalk Kiddie Bell Striker Ring Toss Duck Pond Game Face Painting Hawaiian Shaved Ice Go Fish Pond Moonwalk Castle (5 yrs & younger)

“Little” Cake Walk 34 | birminghamparent | september 2016

SUNDAY, OCT. 9th, 1-3PM MOUNTAIN CHAPEL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH 2541 Rocky Ridge Road, Vestavia 205-822-0020

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When avid hiker Shanti Hodges of Portland, OR welcomed her son, Mason, she was unsure and somewhat nervous about venturing out into nature with a newborn. But not one to stay inside, she decided to reach out to other moms to see if there were others that would be interested for going for a walk or a hike with her. To her surprise, many other moms were interested. In fact, so many responded to participate that regular city and trail hikes were soon being scheduled, leading to the development of Hike It Baby. Officially incorporated in January 2016, Hike It Baby is a nonprofit organization dedicated to “developing communities that get families outside and on trails with children from birth to school age.” The organization provides support to get families back into nature with volunteers who start branches and lead hikes in their local communities. “Hike It Baby is a great way for families and friends to get outside and enjoy nature together,” says Kathryn Jones, who is an ambassador for the Hike It Baby Birmingham 36 | birminghamparent | september 2016

branch. “The biggest benefit about the group is that it helps people get out into nature who otherwise might be too intimidated to do it.” Jones got involved in the Birmingham branch of the organization earlier in the year when her son, Tripp, was born. Like Hodges, she was uncomfortable venturing outdoors alone with Tripp and daughter, Ellie. “I came across Hike It Baby, which had just been started by Sabrina McClain, and I immediately wanted to get involved,” she says. “The opportunity the organization provides to get to know other families while enjoying the outdoors is great. It takes the fear out of doing adventurous activities with your kids.” Since Hike It Baby started in Birmingham in March of 2016, the group has grown to almost 250 members – from moms and dads to grandparents, aunts, and uncles – who regularly participate in various hikes and walks around the Magic City. The group has hiked at spots like the Botanical Gardens, Red Mountain, Moss Rock, Railroad Park, Turkey Creek, and various parks. The group even did a

campout at Cheaha State Park. “We’re always open to trying new spots and trails, wherever our group would like to venture,” Jones adds. “We want to foster our group’s love of being out in nature.” While the Birmingham branch of Hike It Baby continues to grow and welcome new members, the group is expanding around the globe as well. The organization has more than 130,000 members worldwide in 264 branches in eight countries – from the United Kingdom and Italy to South Africa and Australia. And no matter the particular branch or country, the mission is always the same. “We strive to build a community, a support system, for everyone involved so they will feel comfortable getting outdoors with their kids,” Jones says. “That’s the most important part to us, and through that we hope to raise a generation that loves the outdoors.” For more information, visit Paige Townley is a Birmingham freelance writer.

Family owned and operated for 35 years. Over 2700 square feet of unique dancewear, shoes, tights, liturgical and tutus from the top industry brands.

Toddler to Adult sizes Professional Shoe Fitting

1629 Oxmoor Rd | Birmingham, AL 35209 | 205-871-STEP | 37



100 Derby Pkwy, Birmingham, AL 35210 Welcoming children 6 weeks to 5 years

Call 205-434-2066 and allow us to give you a personal tour.


a ladies boutique with stylish and affordable fashion

Check out our baby clothes & gifts!

Come see the latest in trendy clothing including tops and tunics, summer must-haves, fun and fashionable jewelry and other accessories.


Becky’s at Brookwood Village • 205-414-8067 $10 OFF a purchase of $50 or more.

One coupon/person. Does not apply to previous purchases, sale or clearance items. Expires 9.30.16.

Learn about the weather with Charles Ghigna’s new board books!


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5 3



1 4D FARM CORN MAZE & PUMPKIN PATCH Open Sept. 24 thru Oct. 30 Thursday & Fridays: 2pm - 6pm Saturdays: 10am - 6pm Sundays: 1pm – 6pm 7066 County Road 703 Cullman, AL 35055 256-775-2924 New this year: Landslide and Gemstone mining! Ride on our cow train, zoom down an 80ft slide or our 200 ft. zipline, pick a pumpkin, get lost in our corn maze, squeal at the pig races, jump on Johnny Jumper, see the Goats on the Barn and MUCH MORE! Admission $11.95 + tax ,includes most activities. Thursdays & Fridays are $9.95 + tax. 65 and over- $7.95 + tax. Under 2 free.


(for 5th grade and under) Sunday, October 9, 1-3pm Mount Chapel United Methodist Church 2541 Rocky Ridge Road, Vestavia, AL  5243 205-822-0020

Rain or shine, with special guests Mickey & Minnie and Two by Two Animal Rescue. Featuring a children’s carnival…enjoy Mini Race Car rides, 22’ super slide, lots of games, moonwalk castle and face painting. FREE ADMISSION includes all games and rides(unlimited). Please bring cash for food and drinks.


Open the Month of October! (All 5 weekends) beginning Saturday, Oct. 1 Saturdays: 10am – 5pm Sundays: 1pm- 5pm Forrester Road Jasper, Alabama 35504 Mobile: Ricky 205.522.4137 Email: ​w​ Our Pumpkin Patch is the best fun family farm trip in Jasper! Activities include petting zoo, hay maze, moonwalk, inflatable slide, obstacle course, fishing, playground & face painting. Trail Rides available and pick your favorite pumpkin on our wagon rides!


Saturdays (Oct) 10am, 1pm and 3pm Sundays (Oct) 1pm and 3pm 1919 Ninth St. Calera, AL 35040 205-668-3435 Enjoy an autumn ride aboard the Pumpkin Patch Express. Hayride, jump station, cornstalk maze and good ol’ fashioned boiled peanuts! Pick your favorite pumpkin from the patch for an additional charge.


Saturday October 8, 9am-3pm 8090 Gadsden Hwy. Trussville, AL 35173 205-655-2541 Traditional German food plus kid-friendly fun foods, music, arts & crafts, raffles, pumpkin patch, vendors, rides, gently-used treasures, bungee jumps, face painting and kid games. This is a jampacked day of fun and festivities for the whole family!

national classified ads ADOPTION A childless couple seeks to adopt. Will be handson parents. Financial security. Expenses paid. Todd & Sharon toddandsharonadopt@ 1-844-3774077 ANNOUNCEMENTS Beware of loan fraud. Please check with the Better Business Bureau or Consumer Protection Agency before sending any money to any loan company. SAPA AUTOMOTIVE




BY BECKY The only voice in travel that MATTERS! Catch The Travel Voice by Becky on Saturday’s in Shelby County on FM 99.9 APH Radio at 11 a.m. and anytime on iHeart Radio! Great travel information, special deals, awesome guests, spectacular on location LIVE events and amazing giveaways!

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WE BUY DAMAGED VEHICLES! Top Dollar Offer. Free Towing From Anywhere. All Makes/ Models 2000-2015 Wanted. America’s Top Car Buyer! Call Now: 1-800-761-9396 SAPA CAPITAL CLASSIC CARS Buying all European & Classic Cars. ANY Condition. ANY Location. Porsche, Mercedes, Jaguar & More! Top Dollar PAID. Steve Nicholas 1-571282-5153 FINANCIAL Beware of loan fraud. Please check with the Better Business Bureau or Consumer Protection Agency before sending any money to any loan company. SAPA Lowest Home Mortgage Rates &FAST Approvals by Phone!!!! Programs available for Good & Bad Credit. Call 910-4013153 Today for a Free Consultation. ATTENTION! Landscapers, Carpet Cleaners, Handymen and General Contractors! Get Up to $250,000 in Business Cash, Credit and or Financing! 1-800417-6360 Ex. 7118 www. ExpertFundingSpecilaist. INFO HEALTH & MEDICAL Struggling with DRUGS or ALCHOHOL? Addicted to PILLS? Talk

to someone who cares. Call The Addiction Hope & Help Line for a free Assessment. 800-511-6075 Stop OVERPAYING for your prescriptions! SAVE! Call our licensed Canadian and International pharmacy,compare prices and get $25.00 OFF your first prescription! CALL 1-800265-0768 Promo Code CDC2016251 Got Knee Pain? Back Pain? Shoulder Pain? Get a pain-relieving brace at little or NO cost to you. Medicare Patients Call Health Hotline Now! 1800-480-7503

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Xarelto users have you had complications due to internal bleeding (after January 2012)? If so, you MAY be due financial compensation. If you don’t have an attorney, CALL Injuryfone today! 1-800-531-0529

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Does your auto club offer no hassle service and rewards? Call American Auto Club (ACA) & Get $200 in ACARewards! (new members only) Roadside Assistance & Monthly Rewards. Call 800-867-3193.

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PARENTS WARNING Kids who participate in contact sports may have 32% chance of developing brain disease! Learn more at StopCTE.ORG or FlagUnitl14.ORG AVIATION Grads work with JetBlue, Boeing, Delta and othersstart here with hands on training for FAA certification. Financial aid if qualified. Call Aviation Institute of Maintenance (866)724-5403 Life Alert 24/7. One press of a button sends help FAST! Medical, Fire, Burglar. Even if you can’t reach a phone! FREE Brochure. CALL 800734-2638 SATELLITE TV DISH TV 190 channels plus Highspeed Internet Only $49.95/mo! Ask about a 3 year price guarantee & get Netflix included for 1 year! Call Today 1-800-351-0850 ULTIMATE BUNDLE from DIRECTV & AT&T. 2-Year Price Guarantee -Just $89.99/month (TV/fast internet/phone) FREE Whole-Home Genie HD-DVR Upgrade. New Customers Only. Call Today 1-800-371-5352 19.99/mo. For DIRECTTV – HD Channels + Genie HD DVR + 3 months FREE HBO, SHOW, MAX & STARZ + FREE NFL Sunday Ticket! Call Now 888-437-6598 Cash for Unexpired DIABETIC TEST STRIPS! Free shipping. Best Prices & 24 hr. payment! Call 1-855-378-1147 www. Habla Espanol VACATION/TRAVEL FLAGLER BEACH FLORIDA Oceanfront Vacation Rentals Tripadvisor Award, Furnished Studio, 1-2-3 BR’s, Full Kitchen, WiFi, TV, Pool. Seasonal Specials 1-386-517-6700 or SAPA

THE ABOVE ADS HAVE NOT BEEN SCREENED BY THE SOUTHEASTERN ADVERTISING PUBLISHERS ASSOCIATION (SAPA) or BIRMINGHAM PARENT; Therefore, any discrepancies thereof shall not be the responsibility of the aforementioned association or this publication. Your publisher has agreed to participate in this program and run these ads as a service to the Southeastern Advertising Publishers Association.

40 | birminghamparent | september 2016

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SEPTEMBER calendar highlights

Your school-age kids are in the classroom, but the younger ones are still at home. What to do? Take them to your local library for story times and special programs, learn at a museum, or let them run all that energy out at the park. On the weekends, families can check out one of the last Birmingham Barons regular games of the season, a farmer’s market, hikes, concerts, festivals, special fundraisers that help others and more! Take a look at our calendar for a great mix of activities for all ages.

Through December 31, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute presents Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & the Chicago Freedom Movement: Photographs by Bernard J. Kleina. BCRI will display its collection of rare color photos in this exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Freedom Movement.



An annual favorite, the Saint George Melkite Catholic Church Middle Eastern Food Festival will be held September 8-10 at the church, 425 16th Ave. S. This three-day festival, starting at 10:30am on September 8, offers downtown lunch deliveries for orders of $75 or more, a convenient drive-thru service available until 7pm, and church tours available until 8pm. For takeout or delivery, call 205-495-9621. Along with delicious food, check out arts and crafts vendors and more. Proceeds will benefit local charities. Check our calendar for festival hours each day, and go to www.


Thinking about college? The public is invited to the free National College Fair from 1-4pm September 11 at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center. Presented by the National Association for College Admissions Counselors.




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Birmingham Barons vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos 7:05pm, Regions Field. Thirsty Thursday.

Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. S. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine.

2 FRIDAY Rocky Ridge First Fridays 5-8:30pm, Rocky Ridge Square/ Rocky Ridge Plaza, Vestavia Hills. Arts and crafts, bands, demonstrations, games, kid zone, outdoor family movies, specialty foods and more. Parking available at Vestavia Hills High School with shuttle service. Birmingham Barons vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos 7:05pm, Regions Field. Friday Night Fireworks. www.barons. com.

Valleydale Farmers Market 8am-noon. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Manning Place, Hwy. 41, Mt Laurel. Local fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts. 205408-2717. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church.

Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. Go on a shape hunt! www. FREE.

Birmingham Barons vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos 12:30pm, Regions Field. Bama Air Dogs.


Birmingham Barons vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos 6:30pm, Regions Field. Mad Chad appearance.

Lego League 4-4:45pm, Alabaster Library. Kids of all ages can play with Legos of all ages. Kids 6-younger must be with an adult.



Birmingham Barons vs. Pensacola Blue Wahoos 3pm, Regions Field. Salute to Armed Forces.

Saint George Melkite Catholic Church Middle Eastern Food Festival 10:30am-9pm, Saint George Melkite Catholic Church, 425 16th Ave. S. An annual favorite! Threeday festival offers downtown lunch deliveries for orders of $75 or more, a convenient drive-thru



PLEASE NOTE: Events may change after publication deadline; please phone ahead to confirm important information. The deadline for submitting calendar items for the October 2016 print issue is September 7. Mail calendar items to: Calendar, Birmingham Parent, P.O. Box 326, Helena, AL 35080; fax to 987-7600; e-mail to calendar@BirminghamParent. com; or enter directly to the online calendar at Entries added online after the print deadline will not appear in the print version. Information cannot be accepted over the phone. Guidelines: Birmingham Parent’s calendar is intended to be a resource and service to the community and our readers. Events which are open to the public, fundraisers, free classes, etc., are events that may be included in our monthly calendar. We reserve the right to reject any event or listing due to rules or space restrictions. For questions regarding calendar entries, call 987-7700 or e-mail 42 | birminghamparent | september 2016

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service available until 7pm, and church tours available until 8pm. For takeout or delivery, call 205495-9621. Along with delicious food, check out arts and crafts vendors and more. Proceeds will benefit local charities. www.

9 FRIDAY Giggles and Grace Consignment Sale 8am-6pm, Asbury United Methodist Church. Children’s clothes, youth clothes, toys, books, shoes, baby furniture and more. Proceeds pay consignors and the Asbury UMC children’s and youth programs and various mission groups in the area. Admission is FREE. Saint George Melkite Catholic Church Middle Eastern Food Festival 10:30am-9pm, Saint George Melkite Catholic Church, see Sept. 8.

10 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine. www. Sebastian’s Run/ Walk for a Cure 7:30am registration, 8:30am, 5K run/walk, 10am, 1-mile fun run/walk, Veterans Park, Hoover. Benefits the fight against childhood cancer, in memory of Sebastian Lemos. Wear camouflage! Registration, information, 205-638-9008, Giggles and Grace Consignment Sale 8am-1pm, Asbury United Methodist Church, see Sept. 9. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Manning Place, Hwy. 41, Mt Laurel. Local fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts. 205-408-2717. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program

for preschool children and their families. How do desert plants conserve water? FREE. Saint George Melkite Catholic Church Middle Eastern Food Festival 10:30am-9pm, Saint George Melkite Catholic Church, see Sept. 8. Wings for Autism 4pm, Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. A “dress rehearsal” for families who want to fly but have some concerns about their loved one with autism or another developmental disability. Hosted by the Arc of Jefferson County. Pre-registration is required. 205-705-1836, www.arcofjeff. org.

11 SUNDAY National College Fair 1-4pm, Birmingham Jefferson Convention Center. Presented by the National Association for College Admissions Counselors, this event is free and open to the public.

Every Saturday and Sunday in October, the entire family will enjoy an autumn train ride to the pumpkin patch for a hayride, jumpstation, temporary tattoos, and good ol’ fashioned boiled peanuts! Pick out your favorite pumpkin from the patch.

For Tickets and Information

205.757.8383 1919 9th St. • Calera, Al 35040

PUMPKINS & PEANUTS extra charge

12 MONDAY Homeschool Happening 10-11am, Alabaster Library. Ham it up with Charity Battles of Alabama 4-H. Learn about public speaking, listening, working together and storytelling. Kids grades 1-12 can sign up. 205664-6822. Knight Chess Tournament 5:30-7pm, Homewood Library. Monthly chess tournament! Preschool to 12th grade.

13 TUESDAY 10th Annual Harvest of Hope Luncheon 11:30am, The Club. This event benefits the work of Oak Mountain Missions Ministries. Silent auction begins at 10am! Keynote speaker is Phyllis Hoffman DePiano, president of Hoffman Media. Fox 6 broadcaster Janet Hall is master of ceremonies. Entertainment by Wilson Hill Band. Information, Dianne Cesario, 205-685-5757,


Alabama is 1 of only 7 states that allows some child care programs to legally operate unlicensed and uninspected for basic health and safety standards.

Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine. www. | 43


Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Manning Place, Hwy. 41, Mt Laurel. Local fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts. 205408-2717. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. Build a fairy house with your own hands! Learn about fairies and the flowers they love. www. FREE. Preserve Jazz – Over the Mountain Music Festival 11am gates open, 1pm, music, The Preserve, Hoover. New for 2016: arts and crafts vendors, BYOB/ small coolers allowed, Preserve restaurants open, park and ride from Hoover Met. Kids 10-under admitted free. Tickets, information, Southeastern Outings Potluck Picnic Lunch/Kayak Canoe Paddle/Dayhike 11:30am, Oak Mountain State Park. Meet at Mallard Pavilion near back entrance to the park. Information, schedule, please contact Acyenith Alexander 205529-2253 (picnic), Dan Frederick, 205-631-4680 or seoutings@ (boating) and Kerry Cooper 205-674-5470 (hiking).

18 SUNDAY 2016 Birmingham Ride for Kids 8-8:30am registration, 11am ride begins, Barber Motorsports Park. Enjoy a fun ride, food and entertainment! Cheer the “Stars,” local children fighting brain tumors, fundraise to earn incentives, a chance to win a new Honda motorcycle and other prizes and more. Come with any make or model of street legal motorcycle or just enjoy the day. Proceeds to Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation. Information, Greg Harrelson,, Denise Self, self.denise@yahoo. com. Southeastern Outings Black Creek Trail Hike 2pm, Black Creek Trail, Fultondale. Walk four miles on a railsto-trails conversion route on an old railroad right of way! Smooth,

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wide and level. No motorized vehicles allowed. Well-behaved, carefully supervised children 7 and up able to walk four miles welcome. Depart 2pm from Black Creek Park. Dan Frederick, 205631-4680, seoutings@bellsouth. net.

19 MONDAY LEGO Club 3:30pm, Homewood Library. An exciting new building challenge each month. K-5th grade.



23 FRIDAY American Girls Club 4pm, Alabaster Library. Girls 7-up can sign up for the fun of learning about the new girl Melody and performing in our talent show! Come with or without a doll. Family and friends can be in the audience but all kids in the audience must be with an adult. 205-664-6822.

24 SATURDAY Pepper Place Market 7am-noon, 2829 2nd Ave. South. Fresh produce, vendors and more. Rain or shine. Mt Laurel Market and Craft Fair 8am-noon, Manning Place, Hwy. 41, Mt Laurel. Local fresh eggs, cheeses, honey, fresh fruits and vegetables, plants, crafts. 205408-2717. Indian Springs Village Farmers Market 8am-noon, Indian Springs First Baptist Church. 7th Annual Head over Teal 8am-noon, Hoover Preserve Town Hall. Presented by Brookwood Baptist Health, this annual fundraising event benefitting the Laura Crandall Brown Foundation for ovarian cancer is a family and pet friendly race with a 5K, 10K and 1 mile fun run/walk. Fall festival activities and more. Online registration, www.ThinkOfLaura. org/HeadOverTeal and follow the links. 205-783-1285. Admission free.

44 | birminghamparent | september 2016

Love Your State Parks Day 9am-1pm, Oak Mountain State Park Dogwood Pavilion and Demonstration Farm. Volunteer groups needed to help make improvements to the farm; local groups will lead hikes, nature talks and other fun activities to support the parks system and promote Amendment 2, which will protect state park funding. Art in the Gardens 9am-5pm, Aldridge Gardens. See the works of some of the best artists in the country! Two-day event features shopping and more. $5 admission; children 16-younger, free. Food available for purchase and parking/shuttles at Bed Bath & Beyond parking lot, Lorna Road.

Family Day in Alabama As part of National Family Day, spend time with family or organize an event encouraging communities to support the family and promote good relationships. Sponsor, Alabama Family Rights Association, Neuroscience Café: Advances in Huntington’s Disease 6:30-8pm, Hoover Library. Michelle Gray, Ph.D. and Victor W. Sung, M.D. of the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center presents. 205-444-7840. FREE.


Hikes for Tykes 10am, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. A hands-on program for preschool children and their families. Fall flowers! FREE.

Southern Women’s Show 10am-7pm, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center. This annual four-day favorite in Birmingham features celebrity guests, exciting new features, exclusive offers, entertainment and shopping! Through October 2. Advance discount tickets at Walgreens. Tickets, 800-849-0248, www.

Teens and Tech 5-7pm, McWane Science Center. Hands-on activities for middle school and high school students interested in careers in biotech. Hosted by UAB SciTech Society students. Grades 6-12. Free, but must register. Dinner provided. 205-714-8414,

Homeschool Hour: Journalism with Jeh Jeh Pruitt 1:30pm, Homewood Library. Learn about broadcast media and journalism from WBRC Fox6 reporter Jeh Jeh Pruitt! Suggested for 4th grade and up. Online registration required.


Explore the Universe of Illustrator Ben Hatke 6pm, Homewood Library. From Zita the Spacegirl to Little Robot to the new release of Mighty Jack, Hatke has created a unique universe with his amazing illustrations. Meet Hatke, try Magic Bean snack mix and see if you can pin the Z on Zita herself!

Art in the Gardens 10am-5pm, Aldridge Gardens, see Sept. 24. Walk to End Alzheimer’s – Birmingham 1:30-4:15pm, Railroad Park. Held annually in more than 600 communities nationwide, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, support and research. 205-3798065,

26 MONDAY 18th annual Symphony 30 Picnic 4pm, Birmingham Botanical Gardens. This annual family-favorite event and fundraiser is a favorite in the Birmingham area for its delicious food and performance by the Alabama Symphony Orchestra Musicians. Children’s activities, gift raffles and more. Information,

30 FRIDAY Southern Women’s Show 10am-8pm, Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center, see Sept. 29. Continues through Sunday, Oct. 2. 2nd Annual Sweet Home Brews 6-10pm, Sidebar in Lakeview. The Junior Board of the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama host this event presented by Buffalo Electric Supply. Ten breweries participating. All proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. Tickets, sweethomebrews.

events & attractions

Member Mondays. Every Monday, McWane Science Center members receive extra perks while visiting! Includes a special gift for kids when checking in, 30 percent discount on gift shop purchases, $1 small popcorn at IMAX concession stand and a free members-only evening event each month. Also, on the second Monday of each month, McWane opens its doors from 5-8pm for its members. IMAX Movies: National Parks Adventure. A trio of adventurers’ quest to experience America’s wildest, most historic and most naturally beautiful places becomes the ultimate off-trail adventure. Narrated by Robert Redford. Through October 20.

Birmingham Zoo

Albert L Scott Alabaster Public Library

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Story Times: Tunes & Tales: Wednesdays at 3:30pm in Library Meeting Room, all ages Toddler Tales: Fridays at 10:30am in the Library Meeting Room, 2 and 3 year olds. 100 9th Street NW, Alabaster, AL, 35007. 205-664-6822,

Hope in Motion: The Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights. ACMHR was founded in 1956 by Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth and other Birmingham ministers after Alabama banned the NAACP from operating in the state. The exhibit features rarely seen photographs and is made possible with funding from the Alabama Humanities Foundation. It highlights key moments from December 1955 to January 1957. Through December 31.

American Village Highway 119, Montevallo. 205-665-3535,

Barber Motorsports Park 6040 Barber Motorsports Parkway, Leeds. 205-298-9040,

Birmingham Botanical Gardens When visiting the Gardens, be sure to download the treasure map to take with you. www. 2612 Lane Park Road, Birmingham. 205-414-3900, www.

Birmingham Children’s Theatre 1001 19th St. North, Birmingham, AL, 35203, 205-458-8181,

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. & the Chicago Freedom Movement: Photographs by Bernard J. Kleina. BCRI will display its collection of rare color photos in this exhibition marking the 50th anniversary of the Chicago Freedom Movement. Through December 31. 6th St. N., Birmingham. 205-3289696,

Birmingham Museum of Art Bart’s Art Cart! Free drop-in art program for kids and families features a different theme from galleries and art activity each month. Saturdays from 11am-1pm. 2000 Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd., Birmingham. 205-2542565,

Birmingham Zoo In-park Special Attractions include: Giraffe Feedings, 9:30-11:30am; 1-3pm, daily. $3. Train Rides, 9am-5pm Monday-Sunday, $3. Children’s Zoo Fountains daily. Carousel Rides, 9am-5pm daily. Sea Lion Training, Daily 10am & 2pm Lorikeet Feedings, 10am-4pm, daily. $1.50. Predator Zone, Saturday & Sunday 11:30am & 3:30pm. Children’s Zoo Goat Show, 2pm daily. 2630 Cahaba Road, Birmingham. 205-879-0409,

Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum 1919 Ninth St., Calera. 205-668-3435,

McWane Science Center Hall of Heroes: Discover Your Super Powers. Learn the circumstances that create superheroes, discover the ideals that heroes uphold and push boundaries as to what it truly means to be heroic! Exhibit features the five disciplines that are the basis for all super powers: body, mind, mastery, gadgets and the elements; and a half scale replica of the 1960s Barris Kustoms’ Batmobile and much more. Through September 5.

Wild Africa. Come on a spectacular ride across, over and through the magical realms of the most dramatic continent on earth. Through January 31, 2017. 200 19th St. N., Birmingham. 205-714-8300,

Moss Rock Preserve Preserve Parkway, Hoover. 205-739-7141,

Oak Mountain State Park 200 Terrace Drive, Pelham. 205620-2520,

Roy Downs Calera Library Story Times: *Family Story Time: Tuesdays at 10am *Sweet Pea (0-2 years old): Thursdays at 9am *Calera Kids (3 and up): Thursdays at 10am Summer Reading Program: Tuesdays at 5:30pm 9700 Highway 25, Calera. 205668-7200.

Ruffner Mountain Nature Center 1214 81st St. S., Birmingham. 205-833-8264,

Southern Museum of Flight 4343 73rd St. N., Birmingham. 205-833-8226,

Vulcan Park 1701 Valley View Drive, Birmingham. 205-933-1409, | 45

poetry party

by Charles Ghigna

Cat Poems Cats and poems. They go together like … You tell me! Here are a couple of cat poems to get you started on your own furry little poems.

Cozy Morning Cats Daddy Cat sits in the windowsill Watching the sun rise over the hill. Momma Cat sits on the window box Cleaning her furry snow white socks. Kitty Cat sits on the braided rug Watching a baby ladybug. Granny Cat sits in the rocking chair Watching them all in the golden air.

Leo the Sky Lion

Then who’s this pitter-patting down the hall Chasing his tail and having a ball,

Leo the Lion prowls the night, A proud constellation, a cat burning bright.

Tripping on himself and slipping on the rug, Jumping in my lap for a morning hug!

He sharpens his claws on Venus and Mars And lights up the sky with new shooting stars.

Purring like he’s already been here before— Another little kitty slipped in the door!

NOW YOU TRY IT! Write a poem about your favorite cat.

For more poetry activities, visit the Father Goose website at Want to submit YOUR poems for publication? Parents, here are some magazines that publish poems written by children: • http://www.

Have fun creating a purr-fect poem! 46 | birminghamparent | september 2016,

We’re for Youth Development The YMCA of Greater Birmingham believes that all kids deserve the opportunity to discover who they are and what they can achieve. That’s why, through the Y, youth throughout Birmingham are cultivating the values, skills and relationships that lead to positive behaviors, better health and educational achievement.

Register Today for Fall Programs • Afterschool Academy • Kindergarten Readiness

The YMCA of Greater Birmingham is proud to be chosen as a Family Favorite by the readers of Birmingham Parent.

• College & Career Prep • Youth Sports • Swim Lessons

Learn more online

November 11, 2016 – January 1, 2017 • More than 2 million lights and 9 acres of stunning décor

• Larry Gatlin & The Gatlin Brothers Christmas Dinner Show

• NEW – ICE! featuring Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer in 2 million pounds of colorful, hand-carved ice sculptures and slides

• The Elf on the Shelf® Scavenger Hunt

• Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! The Musical • NEW – Breakfast with the Grinch

• Gingerbread Decorating Corner • Build-A-Bear Workshop® • Carriage rides, snow tubing, outdoor ice skating and more!

Tickets and Packages on Sale Now!

| (888) 677-9872


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PEPSI, PEPSI-COLA and the Pepsi Globe are registered trademarks of PepsiCo, Inc. FUJIFILM and INSTAX are trademarks of FUJIFILM Corporation and its affiliates. © 2016 FUJIFILM North America Corporation. All rights reserved. TM & © 1957, 2016 Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. The Elf on the Shelf® and © CCA and B, LLC. All rights reserved. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and all related elements © & TM under license to Character Arts, LLC. All rights reserved. © & ® Build-A-Bear Workshop, Inc. Used with permission. All rights reserved. PEPSI_H1_NB_MEDIUM_4C (FOR USE 1.5" TO 4") CMYK

Profile for Birmingham Parent

Birmingham Parent Magazine September 2016 Issue  

Read the September 2016 issue of Birmingham Parent, or view past issues.

Birmingham Parent Magazine September 2016 Issue  

Read the September 2016 issue of Birmingham Parent, or view past issues.

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