Miami Kids Magazine issue 410

Page 1








Living with Special Needs






• Thanksgiving, The Appreciation of Life • 5 Ways to Celebrate Halloween at Home



An interview with South Florida PBS President and CEO Dolores Sukhdeo


• The magical paradise of Discovery Cove, only in Florida! • Book Reviews

Miami Kids Magazine October - November 2020






Heart-healthy lifestyle and nutrition during pregnancy helps kids develop healthy hearts




• MKM and Miami Lighthouse for the Blind Back to School eye vision test. • Miami Kids Magazine and Shops At Merrick Park, Back to School Drivethru celebration

22 Special Assistance Guide Sponsored


30 Fall Activity Guide

The fall season is already here with much excitement for all of us. Slowly we are going back to our regular routines after being in quarantine for many months.


We need to continue wearing our masks, washing our hands often, and maintaining social distancing. Even with all of these changes, we have to be thankful for the opportunity we have to value everyone around us and everything we have, and put in perspective the importance of being with the family. A special prayer for all the people that lost friends or family from this virus. This issue is very special for us because part of our mission is to integrate kids with disabilities into society and to provide information for them that will help in their daily activities as a family. It is for this reason that we are including in this issue, as we do every year, a Special Assistance Guide sponsored by the Rotary Club of Miami who strongly believes in our efforts, and also contributes to providing some of this information. This year we will have a virtual expo to complement the guide thanks to the sponsorship of Baptist Health. Don’t forget to check out our online magazine during October-November for daily information about therapies, insurance options, family advice, and more. On the cover page we have President and CEO of South Florida PBS, Dolores Sukhdeo. South Florida PBS and Miami Kids Magazine are proud to provide quality content and information to our community. Don’t miss the interview on pages 20 and 21.

SPANISH EDITOR Nelly Lusich MARKETING AND SALES Karla C. Richey EDITORIAL ASSOCIATE Claudia Del Castillo CRM Lucia Galeano PHOTOGRAPHY Enrique Tubio

Are you planning to do something this Fall season, or planning a get together with family members at your home and need some ideas for the party? Don’t miss our Fall Activity Guide on pages 30-31. We hope to see you at our drive-thru Halloween celebration in partnership with City of Miami. Where? at Miami City Hall. We will have 500 goody bags full of yummy treats from Bakerly and fun goodies. Don’t forget to decorate your car for a chance to win many prizes!


Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Nothing like saying the magical words “Thank You” and as in every issue, I want to thank all of you readers and partners for your continued support especially during these difficult economic and social times.


Karla C. Richey 6

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Diane Landsberg Mae Foch The American Heart Association Nelly Lusich Coach Nick Bevilacqua Esther Jacobo Sharu Goodwyn

Miami Kids Magazine October - November 2020


@MiamiKidsMagazine @MiamiKidsMagazine © 2020 Miami Kids, LLC. All rights reserved. Issue 410. Miami Kids™ Magazine is published bimonthly in the USA. Reproduction in whole or in partial without written permission is prohibited. Publisher is not responsible for claims and content of advertisements.

that self-care is priority. We all have different levels of resiliency, which is measured by your ability to bounce back and cope. It is suggested that you make priorities that are scheduled on a daily basis….even for just a few minutes Getting enough sleep, nutritional eating, regular exercise, and doing activities that give you pleasure. A hot bath, long shower, reading a book (or a magazine), binge-watching a series, isn’t selfish. It is proving to yourself that you deserve it.


By Diane Landsberg


ong before COVID-19 caused social isolations, families with a child with special needs had already experienced it on a daily and weekly basis. Too often family members have chosen to not be part of special gatherings, birthday parties, restaurants, movies, or Disney World, as it is never known when or if a meltdown will take place. It is far easier to avoid those situations, which too often brings critical judgements on their parenting skills. But with all schools being closed, until recently, along with the programs with much needed therapies and special classes, today’s COVID-19 restrictions have forced families deeper into isolation and ending all social interactions. Any child finds wearing a mask hot and bothersome, and breathing can be more

difficult. Imagine a non-verbal child being forced to wear one at a much-needed grocery store trip. I have a friend that solved that problem by ordering masks of a dog and cat face. It was truly delightful to watch this little boy bark or meow at fellow shoppers. It is said that “Necessity is the mother of invention”. You have the necessity…now get out there and invent!

This special time is a learning experience for everyone. I am a life-long fan of Maya Angelou. This is a perfect quote for all of us. “Forgive yourself for not knowing what you didn’t know before you learned it.” We all are learning as we go every single day. Be kind and loving to yourself as you learn to deal and overcome all the difficulties during this challenging time. You got this!

“I am the Parent of an Exceptional Child with special needs. What are my Super Powers?” This can be a mantra…or a snappy comeback to the insensitive, impatient individual that asks you, “Can’t you control your child?”. You have earned your cape! On-line learning is difficult for everyone. Being the parent of a child with medical or emotional challenges can be overwhelming for everyone involved. Therefore, it is critical

October - November 2020 Miami Kids Magazine


I By Mai Foch

I was cleaning out my closet; sorting through things when I found it. I recognized it instantly. I knew what it said, I had read it enough times that I practically had it memorized. It was a life changing paper.

10 Miami Kids Magazine October - November 2020

t said, 47, XX, +21. Cytogenetic analysis shows three copies of chromosome 21 (Trisomy 21) in each metaphase cell examined consistent with the clinical diagnosis of Down Syndrome. It said, common manifestations include developmental delay, cardiac anomalies, relatively small stature, neonatal hypotonia. Social development is typically more advanced than intellectual development. How wrong that paper was. What it should have said was; we have completed the testing. You are having a baby girl. Her cells are more unique than most of the ones we see. While the addition may make it more difficult for her to do things, it does not mean that she can’t. It does mean that she will find her own way to do them and she may do them at different times. There are lessons inside that additional chromosome. Lessons on acceptance, unconditional love, empathy, compassion and selflessness. Lessons that will make you stronger as parents. Lessons that will remind you not to rush and to take time to enjoy the little things in life. Inside there is an extra dose of determination, resilience and drive, humor and personality, understanding and patience. There is strength, forgiveness, steadfastness and even temper! There is sweetness, fierceness, willfulness, and stubbornness. There is rhythm and dancing, silly songs and imagination. There is intelligence and brilliance, ability and accomplishments. There is joy, hugs, cuddles, kisses and snuggles that are absolutely unbeatable. Hearts will be softened, perceptions altered, and lives changed by this sweet girl. You will be an advocate, a voice. You will find a strength that you didn’t know existed, a boldness that may even surprise you. The world would be seeing in a different way. It will be the most incredible experience of your life. You are not alone. You have a tribe of people who want to walk alongside and tell you “Yes it’s hard, it is different, and it will make you strong - you’re one of the lucky few”. What it should have said was: The baby you are expecting is a gift, a pure LOVE you never knew you wanted but your heart always needed.


Lifestyle and Nutrition during pregnancy helps kids develop healthy hearts By The American Heart Association

What a woman eats and how she cares for her heart health while pregnant may influence the child’s overall cardiovascular health and body weight years later, according to the American Heart Association research. The studies identified health and nutrition factors during pregnancy that may be linked to a child’s health as they mature, highlighting the longer-term impact of lifestyle and nutrition decisions during pregnancy. “Pregnancy is a perfect time for women to focus on living a heart-healthy lifestyle,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention. “We’re learning more every day about how a mother’s lifestyle and food choices while What a woman eats and how she cares for her heart health while pregnant may influence the child’s overall cardiovascular health and body weight years later, according to the American Heart Association research. The studies identified health and nutrition factors during pregnancy that may be linked to a child’s health as they mature, highlighting the longer-term impact of lifestyle and nutrition decisions during pregnancy. “Pregnancy is a perfect time for women to focus on living a heart-healthy lifestyle,” said Eduardo Sanchez, M.D., M.P.H., FAAFP, American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention. “We’re learning more every day about how a mother’s lifestyle and food choices while pregnant influence a child’s health in utero and after birth.” Mothers who had the highest cardiovascular health scores during pregnancy had children with the healthiest hearts as tweens and teens. Mothers with the lowest heart health scores during pregnancy had children with significantly lower cardiovascular scores at 10 to 14 years old.

Eating fast food during pregnancy raises risk of weight gain in young children Children of mothers who reported eating the most fast foods, such as fried chicken and fish, mayonnaise, sugary drinks, fruit juices and other items, defined as a fast-food eating pattern, had children who were more likely to gain weight rapidly during their first year and become overweight by age 4. “These findings are very important,” said lead study author, Zunsong Hu, Ph.D., a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. “Animal studies have shown that prenatal ’junk food’ intake leads to a greater preference for fatty, sugary and salty foods and increased risk for obesity in offspring. Our study provides evidence for this association for the first time in a U.S. population including both whites and blacks. Future studies are still needed to validate these findings.” Hu added that promoting healthy eating during pregnancy may provide an early and effective method for curbing the significant increasing health burden caused by childhood obesity. The study participants included 1,257 women in the CANDLE study (Conditions Affecting Neurocognitive Development and Learning in Early Childhood) who completed food frequency questionnaires to evaluate the foods and beverages consumed during pregnancy. The study identified a trend among the participants but does not prove cause and effect.

October - November 2020 Miami Kids Magazine



magical paradise of


! a d i r o l F

By Nelly Lusich

Discovery Cove is an allinclusive day resort where you and your family can enjoy a one-of-a-kind opportunity to swim with dolphins, snorkel with thousands of tropical fish and rays, hand-feed exotic birds and unwind on pristine beaches and it is only 3 hours and a half or so driving from Miami or Broward. With no lines throughout the park, you can plan your adventure at your own pace. For families with exceptional kids, Discovery Cove has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), a global leader in online training and certification programs, to become designated as a Certified Autism Center (CAC). They are proud to offer specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs.


Snorkeling in The Grand Reef Hand Feeding Exotic Birds in the Explorer's Aviary Up-close animal encounter

Unlimited food and beverages • Complimentary snacks throughout the day • Lockers for unlimited use throughout the day • Shower and changing facilities • Fresh towels • Animal-safe sunscreen • Snorkeling gear, with prescription goggles available upon request • Wetsuits and vests • Unlimited Food + Beverage • From breakfast to lunch, you'll find a selection of freshly-prepared, delicious and healthy options to enjoy. Discovery Cove’s Signature Dolphin Experience • Get ready to become one of the pod at the best place to swim with dolphins, Discovery Cove in Orlando, Florida! • Face coverings will be required to be worn by guests during the dolphin experience.

Explorer’s Aviary • Watch as hundreds of colorful birds soar above and around you. Feel your heart soar as a feathered friend glides in to meet you and nibble fruit from your hand. Freshwater Oasis Experiences • Freshwater Oasis features wading adventures and face-to-face encounters with playful otters and curious marmosets. The Grand Reef • Swim and snorkel with thousands of tropical fish through this stunning coral reef habitat. Serenity Bay • Soak up the sun and slip into relaxation at Discovery Cove’s tropical resort pool, Serenity Bay. Enjoy the scenic palms and tropical atmosphere of this beach-front paradise. • NEW! Each morning catch a glimpse as their flamboyance of flamingos journey around the park! Wind-Away River • Ride the soothing currents of a tropical river as it winds past sandy beaches, through a dense rain forest, beneath the rocky terrain of cascading waterfalls, and through an underwater cave.

October - November 2020 Miami Kids Magazine


By coach Nick Bevilacqua


MGeeeeeeeeeeeeee! we are already into Halloween and Thanksgiving! Take a deep breath and keep reminding yourself this is the weirdest year for everyone. We are all in this together, and regardless of how you or I feel this is our reality, for all of us. Let’s be thankful for what we have, this is a good time of the year to do it. Go outside every chance you get and connect to mother nature and with your family. Unless you are absolutely not an outside person, you need to get out there. Walk, run, exercise, explore. There is a religious phrase that says, “A family that prays together, stays together.” I say this often, and then I follow up with a family that plays together, stays together or exercises together or travels together or whatever together. There are several parks all over Miami-Dade County that have nature trails or places to get out with just “your crew” and learn something. We live in an era where it’s so easy to acquire information. Find info on your city, your speed of things, pack a healthy snack and lunch, and go. NEED SOME STARTING IDEAS: Places • Shark Valley • Everglades National Park • Bill Baggs State Park


Oleta State Park Virginia Key Hammocks Lake Old Cutler walking / bike trail

Snacks • Fruit - apples, cuties, bananas, grapes, etc • Veggies - little tomatoes, celery sticks, carrots • Nuts - peanuts, cashews, almonds Lunch • Pack a picnic Water • Try to drink .67 times your weight in water each day • Bring water bottles for everyone (reuse water bottles, not the plastic ones) Start small and create the habit. One of the greatest things about this journey you will take with your family is the different things you will learn about each other. Watching your children figure things out, make decisions, and even get through some adversity, is the joys of parenting. It

also gives you a chance to reconnect with your spouse, your partner in this game of life and also the responsibility to take care of children. Don’t take those moments lightly and don’t lack the appreciation for each moment spent together. Keep in mind, it is always about the journey, not the destination. The destination for humans is death, so don’t rush it, enjoy it immensely! As we approach and move into the holiday season, keep in mind its not about the bling and presents, it’s about giving thanks for what we have and honoring those who came and taught us previously. If you are thankful and grateful, your children will watch and will learn the same behaviors.

From our pool to yours and our family to yours, See you in the next issue!

October - November 2020 Miami Kids Magazine



Ways to


Halloween at Home By Sharu Goodwyn

Our kids have given up so much in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic: trips to the playground, play dates with friends, extracurricular sports and even the traditional first day of school. No parent wants to tell their child that Halloween is cancelled too, but with social distancing guidelines in effect activities like trick or treating, costume parades and haunted houses won’t happen this year. While Halloween will look a bit different in 2020, it's a great opportunity to get creative about celebrating Halloween at home!

1. ORGANIZE A VIRTUAL CHAT WITH FRIENDS Have your kids dress in up their Halloween costume for a chat with friends. They can tell spooky stories or watch a Halloweenthemed movie together while enjoying their treats. Many candy companies, like Hershey’s, are offering at-home Halloween kits. 2. HALLOWEEN GAME NIGHT Check out the free Halloween Bingo printable from the Artsy Fartsy Mama website. Pick up the Mad Libs Halloween-theme book or a spooky board game. Younger kids might enjoy Shadows In The Forest, and older kids and teens will prefer Mysterium and Betrayal At House On The Hill. 3. SPOOKY HALLOWEEN DINNER Get creative in the kitchen – make mummy hot dogs or bake monster cookies together. Decorate your table with a Halloween theme. The Family Table Time toolkit (on the Informed Families website) includes simple, tasty recipes that you can prepare as a family in addition to conversation starters to help your family connect.

“There are many ways to enjoy Halloween at home, but if your older teens are spending the holiday with friends remind them to wear a mask and be sure to set firm boundaries about engaging in risky behaviors like underage drinking, experimenting with drugs or driving impaired,” said Peggy Sapp, Informed Families President and CEO.

4. ARTS AND CRAFTS Save your pumpkin painting or carving for Halloween night. Make a candy wreath complete with your favorite goodies. Make witch slime or build your very own Halloween fort. 5. SAFELY TRICK OR TREAT Plan an indoor or outdoor candy scavenger hunt. Or you can trick or treat virtually. Mars Wrigley has created an online app, Treat Town. Users create a virtual avatar, decorate a virtual door, and knock on friends and family members’ virtual decorated doors. Parents can purchase credits to give their trick-or-treaters, redeemable for real candy like Snickers and M&Ms online or in stores.

We want to ensure that we all remain safe while enjoying Halloween this year.

October - November 2020 Miami Kids Magazine


An interview with

CREDITS: Photographer: Enrique Tubio

S outh Fl orida PB S President and CE O

20 Miami Kids Magazine October - November 2020

are appropriate for children with disabilities. They provide an opportunity for individualized instruction. The caregiver can watch the field trip with the child and discuss them at the child’s individual level of comprehension. The lesson plans are standards based and available for children 18 -to-24 months old, 2-year-olds, 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. The caregiver can do any of the 4 levels available or modify the lesson plans accordingly to the child. We have also included children with disabilities in the field trips.

1.Dolores, tell us about your background and formal education? I earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Spanish Literature from Columbia University and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Miami. I began my television career in 1990 at the international newsgathering division of Disney/ABC News Inc. - Worldwide Television News in New York, NY. I worked my way up through the ranks from Sales Assistant to Regional Executive for the USA & Latin America. While at Worldwide Television News, I managed large scale news events including the Oklahoma City bombing, Olympics coverage, presidential elections and the United Nations 50th Anniversary. 2. Why did you decide to join South Florida PBS? I have always watched and appreciated the value of public television so when the opportunity presented itself to combine my passion with my professional goals, I seized the opportunity. 3.- You have a big responsibility in managing South Florida PBS with all of the content that you provide for the youth in the community. Please explain your role and duties to our readers. As the nation’s most trusted institution, we have a duty and an obligation to provide lifelong learning opportunities to all our viewers many of whom begin their education and television experience by watching PBS programs. It is important to reach as many children as we can and provide educational programming that can make an impact in

their cognitive and emotional development. We do it through our on-air broadcast on the South Florida PBS Kids Channel which offers children’s programming 24/7 and on our main channels during the day and afternoon. We also provide several digital outlets to supplement the learning on our broadcast channels. In April, due to the pandemic, we offered 12 hours of at home learning programming on the South Florida PBS Kids channel for children who do not have access to WiFi. Additionally, we offered several virtual learning experiences on our social media platforms. 4.- South Florida PBS and Miami Kids Magazine have the same vision of integrating kids with disabilities into our community. What are the upcoming strategies for the station to continue with this concept? Since 2016, South Florida PBS has been hosting paid internships for young adults with ASD. During this time, we have participated in staff trainings and have truly been partners with UM-NSU CARD in our dedication to providing a positive employment experience to individuals with ASD with an interest in broadcasting and communication. We try our best to create a welcoming environment for our interns, and in addition to the paid internship we have extended offers of permanent employment to some of the interns. In 2019, we were honored by the UMNSU CARD as Outstanding Business Partner – Miami-Dade County South Florida PBS. That was most gratifying. Additionally, one of our programs, KidVision PreK, offers field trips and lesson plans that

5.- Tell us about the procedures and protocol South Florida PBS is taking during times of COVID-19? In these uncertain, rapidly evolving times, South Florida PBS is adapting to serve our community in new ways and create positive impact. Through South Florida PBS’ Health Channel we provided access to reliable information from credible sources about the spread, treatment, and prevention of the Coronavirus. For example, we started producing and airing Coronavirus short videos on a daily basis which included content sourced from the CDC, NIH & Baptist Health South Florida. Some of the topics we’ve covered are: Kids and adjusting to social distancing; Kids with autism and helping them cope with Coronavirus; Communicating effectively with kids during the Coronavirus pandemic; Pets and maintaining family health; Risks associated with the virus; and Precautions and safety measures, to name a few. We added a 24/7 news crawl on the Health Channel updated every two hours. We also transformed our in-person community outreach to virtual educational events for the whole family. Additionally, we produced various virtual events with medical experts that provided information about how to stay safe and healthy during the pandemic and over the summer produced content for broadcast and online which focused on COVID-19 safety measures, health related issues, mental health issues, vaccinations, how to talk to kids about issues related to the pandemic, and preparing parents and children for new school protocol. 6. What do you see as the future of public broadcasting in this country? With the advent of ATSC 3.0, public television will not only continue to move into a multi-platform delivery but will also become an interactive medium which will finally allow for the viewing experience to become an immersive learning experience. Our vision is to create learning centers that provide immersive and interactive learning experiences for the whole family centered around our PBS Kids programs, our own locally produced programs, and PBS national programs for adults, as well as our South Florida PBS services like KidVision Pre-K.

October - November 2020 Miami Kids Magazine


ROTARY CLUB OF MIAMI We are known for our enthusiasm, infectious spirit, camaraderie and commitment to serve others! A special part of our mission is to help children and individuals with special needs as we work to further advancement for all within our beautiful city. We work together on a number of different projects each year to benefit our youth and our community, touching thousands of people. Phone: (305) 443-5787 Website:

AREA STAGE COMPANY ASC’s Inclusion Theatre Project (ITP) reaches participants through multi-modal classes within the musical theatre medium and assists them on their journey as they move towards adulthood. ITP serves its target population of student actors across South Florida, ages five and up, with developmental disabilities who are eager to expand their talents. Coaches also travel to local schools to provide on-site training to individuals who might otherwise not have the opportunity to explore and access their abilities through the arts. Contact: Irma Becker, ITP Coordinator


ASSISTANCE AGENCY FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES The Agency for Persons with Disabilities works with organizations to service customers with developmental disabilities.A person must live in Florida/have a developmental disability that occurred before the age of 18 to be eligible. APD serves people with: Cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, Intellectual disabilities, Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, Severe forms of autism, and Spina bifida. Contact 305-349-1478 or visit apdcares. org for more information.

EASTER SEALS ISWIM ACADEMY iSwim Academy, managed by Coach Nick, is a fun way for children to learn how to swim. iSwim Academy works with children of special needs to make sure every child knows water safety. The classes are divided into two main areas: Private and group classes. Each class is 30 minutes long. Phone: 305-456-0518 Web page: Instagram: @Iswim_academy

LIGHTHOUSE FOR THE BLIND Miami Lighthouse for the Blind is Florida’s largest and oldest nonprofit serving the needs of the blind and visually impaired. Through education, training, research and vision enhancement, Miami Lighthouse provides hope, confidence, and independence to people of all ages, transforming the lives of 90,000 blind and visually impaired people annually, from babies to seniors, and their families. Our programs’ impact is statewide, national, and international. Phone: (305) 856-2288 Website: https://www.miamilighthouse. org/

Easterseals South Florida provides special education services for children and young adults with disabilities/special needs. Therapists, teachers and health professionals help each student to reach their full potential, increase their independence and reach his or her personal goals. Educational services include: Early Intervention, Pre School ESE, Special Education for Elementary & Middle School age students, and vocational Culinary Arts High School (students ages 14-22 with autism/special needs). For more information, please contact: 305-547-4743 Website:

DISCOVERY COVE Discovery Cove has partnered with The International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES), a global leader in online training and certification programs, to become designated as a Certified Autism Center (CAC). It is our goal to provide every family with an enjoyable and memorable visit to Discovery Cove, and we are proud to offer specialized services to guests with autism and other special needs. Website:

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e d i u G

EARLY STEPS Early Steps provides early intervention services to children ages 0-3 born with a disability or developmental delay.These include:Family Support/Training,Health/Nutritional/Vision/ Translator Services, Occupational/Physical/ Speech/Vision Therapy, Service Coordination, and Third Party Referrals. Evaluation is free, and services are covered by insurance or Part C funds. Once your child is deemed eligible you will receive the Individualized Family Support Plan with authorized services/guidance on what to do next. Call 305.929.8705 or visit for more information.

AMERICAN PEDIATRIC DENTISTRY Oral health is a vital component of healthy daily living. Children with special needs may experience more dental problems due to various reasons such as sensitivities around the mouth, difficulty with brushing, and no access to dental care. We offer options such as desensitization visits, private rooms for families, and sedation dentistry. Our team is very compassionate and trained to care for all children, regardless of their condition. We accept all dental insurance plans! American Pediatric Dental Group Pembroke Pines | Doral | Coral Springs | Kendall | Plantation | West Boca Toll Free: (844) 30-4KIDS

SPARK RESEARCH Why does autism affect people’s brain differently? Why can autism genes be present in children, but not their parents? Currently, researchers simply don’t know enough about autism. UM-NSU CARD is seeking participants for SPARK, the largest genetic study of autism. Joining is easy and can be done remotely. Visit SPARK for Autism at UM-NSU CARD Email: Phone: 305-815-5493

PARENT TO PARENT Parent to Parent of Miami’s Community Parent Resource Center provides peer support and advocacy to families of people with disabilities. The assistance and coaching provided empowers families/caregivers to access services that lead to increased advocacy at home, school and community. Each family is assigned an Education and Support Specialist to coach as they face the challenges of parenting children with special needs. Website:

BEST BUDDIES Best Buddies is the world’s largest organization dedicated to ending the social, physical and economic isolation of the 200 million people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Our programs empower the special abilities of people with IDD by helping them form meaningful friendships with their peers, secure successful jobs, live independently, improve public speaking, self-advocacy and communication skills, and feel valued by society. Interested in being involved in South Florida?


Is a center that provides Speech & Language, Feeding, Occupational, and Behavior Therapy services. We provide services at our office located in Kendall, and in schools and daycares in South FL, including Homestead! We accept commercial insurances, Medicaid, and private pay. Call us today! Address: 5600 SW 135th ave. Miami, Fl 33183 Phone number : 305- 746-4507 Instagram: Bilingualtherapiesfl

THERAPIES 4 KIDS / PSYCH 4U Therapies for Kids provides services in Occupational, Speech, Physical, ABA, Psychiatric and Mental Health therapy. We provide services in-clinic, in-home and virtually through Telehealth/ Telemedicine. Four South Florida locations. Free consultation. For more information call 954-356-2878 or visit our website

FLORIDA REHAB PROFESSIONALS GROUP, INC At Florida Rehab Professionals Group, Inc. we strive to deliver exceptional services with a bilingual team of rehabilitation specialists who focus on the medical, therapeutic, and educational needs of each child. Due to COVID-19, speech therapy services are being offered via Telehealth, in-person, and in the child’s natural environment.” Address: 401 Miracle Mile, Suite 403 Coral Gables, Florida 33134 Phone Number: (305) 446-1098 Email: Website:

GLORY TO GOD GTG PPEC is a prescribed pediatric extended care facility that caters to medically fragile children ages 0 -21. We provide the highest quality nursing care in addition to therapies; physical, occupational, speech, behavioral and respiratory. Transportation services are free of cost and care is covered through Medicaid. Join us now! Website:


Call us at 305-374-2233 ext. 243

October - November 2020 Miami Kids Magazine


FLORIDA BLUE Florida Blue is committed to helping make high-quality health care available to everyone, no matter your income. We have plans that include payments as low as $0 a month, no-pay virtual visits and up to $500 a year in wellness rewards. We work with more providers than anyone else. We tailor plans based on where you live so your doctors are close by, and we give you award-winning service and access to care around the clock. Web page:

LIMITLESS LEARNING ABA At Limitless Learning ABA we provide home, school, and clinic-based ABA services to children. We use evidence-based interventions, data, and science to teach skills and reduce dangerous behaviors. We work on: Behavior reduction, Skill acquisition, Functional Communication Training, Picky eating, Academic deficits, Toilet training, Social Skills, School readiness skills. Address: 9725 NW 12th Street Unit 130 Email: Phone: 786-870-5090 Accepted Funding: Aetna, Avmed, United, Cigna, Gardiner, VPK-SIS

SUPER CUTS At Supercuts we take pride in our ability to accommodate all of our customers’ needs. We have many years of experience working with children with disabilities both at our salons and at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Our skilled stylists go above and beyond to make the experience comfortable, fun, and enjoyable.

THE HEALTH CHANNEL In October the Health Channel’s social media pages will run a campaign with a focus on raising awareness about how people, young and old, facing disabilities can be successful and achieve great things. The campaign will consist of first-hand accounts from individuals of all ages who have and continue to struggle with physical challenges, but found ways to overcome them. Moreover, it will inform about organizations that can assist individuals of all ages with disabilities to achieve their goals.

BAPTIST HOSPITAL Stay on top of your health and get your FREE flu shot this season. Getting a flu shot with Baptist Health is a free and easy way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Save your spot at one of our Urgent Care and Urgent Care Express locations. Web page:

MGM ACADEMY FLORIDA KIDCARE Florida KidCare is the state’s health and dental insurance program for children from birth – 18. It covers benefits like check-ups, mental health services, prescriptions and more. Most Florida KidCare families pay $15 or $20 a month to cover all children in the household, even if one or both parents are working. Full-pay options are also available. It’s free to apply year-round! Learn more by visiting or call call 1-888-540-KIDS (5437) Monday – Friday between 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. ET.

SALVADORE PARK INCLUSIVE PLAYGROUND A Playground where every Child is welcome and children of all abilities can play side by side. A Place where children who use wheelchairs, walkers or braces or who have sensory or developmental disabilities, can have a integrative playground experience. Address: 1120 Andalusia Avenue Coral Gables Fl. 33134

Providing the Tools for a Life of Learning with ABA therapy. Day Treatment Program-Center Based, School-Based ,Home-Based treatment programs, Social Skills Program-Parent Education and Training Program,K-12 Specialize Educational Program. Phone: (305) 827-2822 Web page:

JOE DIMAGGIO CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL The Division of Pediatric Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital offers comprehensive rehabilitation services to support children and adolescents with physical and neurological conditions that affect the functionality of the brain, spinal cord, limbs, muscles, and nerves. We support our pediatric patients through every phase of their rehabilitation process, including inpatient and outpatient care. 1005 Joe DiMaggio Drive Hollywood, FL 33021 954-265-5453 rehabilitation

24 Miami Kids Magazine October - November 2020

OPTIWOW Our mission is to make sure that we empower every child that needs to wear eyeglasses so they feel confident, secure, excited and happy. And to give each parent piece of mind knowing that there child is seeing the world much better. We are committed to delivering the best and largest selection of the high-quality, great-looking prescription eyewear for kids. Optiwow stocks and curates the latest eyewear from top designers of children’s glasses. We only use top quality lenses with the latest technologies because we know how important a child’s vision development can be. Tel:18556784969

A.T. SERVICES THERAPY We are a pediatric therapy clinic offering occupational, physical and speech therapy for children in all of Miami Dade and Broward county. We provide services at home, clinic, schools, or telehealth. Our mission is to expand your child’s abilities and Independence while being a support system for the family. website: Phone: 954-549-3765 Locations: North Miami Beach 2020 NE 163rd street Suite 207, North Miami Beach FL 33162 Homestead 45 NW 8th Street #101 Homestead, FL 33030

CORTNEY VEGA SPORTS ATHLETIC FOUNDATION Sickle Cell Disease is an inherited, chronic blood disorder that affects approximately 100,000 Americans. Sickle Cell Disease exists in many nationalities including African Americans, and people with ancestors from South America, Saudi, Arabia, India, Turkey, Greece, Italy, the Caribbean, and Central America. In 1983, the federal government designated September as National Sickle Cell Awareness Month. Cortney Vega Sports Athletic Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of this life-long illness. Web page: http://www.cortneyvegafoundation. com/home.html

Fall Activity Guide TEETH-FRIENDLY TIPS BY AMERICAN PEDIATRIC DENTAL GROUP HALLOWEEN IS A TON OF fun every year, and it’s right around the corner! • Don’t give harmful oral bacteria an all-day buffet! If you’re planning on eating a lot of candy, it’s better to eat it all in one sitting than spreading it out across an entire day. • Drink water after enjoying some candy. • Wait half an hour after eating candy, then brush your teeth! • Schedule a cleaning appointment to make sure Halloween hasn’t had a lasting effect on your teeth and get ahead of the game!

Miami Kids Magazine and City of Miami DriveThru Halloween Celebration Dress up with your favorite costume and join with all your family, Miami Kids Magazine, and City of Miami on October 31st from 4:00 to 6:00pm for a fun Drive-Thru Halloween Celebration. We will have 500 goody bags full of treats with Bakerly crepes, and other goodies! One bag per car. We will have prizes for the 3 best cars with Halloween decorations! Address: 3500 Pan American Dr. Miami Fl 33133 Miami Kids Magazine and City of South Miami Drive-Thru Halloween Celebration The City of South Miami and Miami Kids Magazine will be hosting a different Halloween event this year. There will be a drive-thru “Scare Fun Zone” at the Gibson-Bethel Community Center, located at 5800 SW 66th Street, on Friday, October 30, 2020 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. While staying in cars, the free festivities will include a drive-thru haunted house, music, candy and surprise treats!

Goblins and Giggles Getaway Events Gaylord Palms Safe fall fun is closer than you think! Our family-friendly Halloween activities and all-ages entertainment offer the same fall fun with peace of mind. Our event has been purposely redesigned to respect social distancing and an enhanced Commitment to Clean program with activities including a ghost experience, jack-o-lantern walk, trick-or-treating, scavenger hunts, animal encounters and more! Phone: 1 407-586-0000 Amazing Parties This spooky season, celebrate Halloween in a safe and fun way with your family! Amazing Parties offers party packages that will make you creep and crawl with joy. Their team is designed to make your event spooktacular with tricks, treats, and great service! Phone: 786-344-2966

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Crayola Experience Families and groups can now take a virtual trip to Crayola Experience! This all-inclusive experience is packed full of hands – on fun, with 3 hours of go at your own pace creative activities. This Virtual Trip includes: • 7 Hands-On Attractions with Accompanying Activities & Keepsakes • 2 Pre-Recorded Shows (Catch the Factory Show & Silly Putty Show) • 1 Scavenger Hunt: Find Granny Smith’s missing color recipe as you venture through Crayola Experience! • Personalized Creativity Kits Per Child, Official Rainbow Award and More! • Individual and group pricing options available Phone: (407) 757-1700

Busch Gardens Howl-O-Scream Tampa Bay’s premier Halloween event is preparing to return in a whole new way this fall with the 21st annual Howl-O-Scream. This year’s modified production will be unlike any other, including significantly enhanced safety and health measures at the core of the event. The event will be modified to feature open-air scare cones, limited-capacity admission with reservations required, and physical distancing. Howl-O-Scream is a separately ticketed event, available during 18 horrifying nights at Busch Gardens beginning Sept. 25 - Nov. 1, 2020, every Friday through Sunday. Phone: 1-813-884-4FUN Bake It On Wheels - Halloween costume party Calling all goblins and ghouls: It’s time to grab your spatula and all of your spooky baking tools! Come in costume and snag a seat, this is one Halloween party ready to treat! From donuts, to cookies, and cupcakes too, our limited time Halloween Costume Party package will definitely bring the “Boo” to you! 1-877-IBAKEIT

Anais Fall Nails Style At Anais nails and spa any holiday is exciting for us. With Halloween just around the corner we make sure to stock up on decorative stickers to add life to your nails. Our creative artists will try their best to recreate any spooky idea you have in mind. Make your appointment at: 305-606-6748 Web page:

Princess Charming Having a Halloween Party? Princess Charming Parties is a children entertainment company providing professional high-end fairytale characters right to your door. We offer face painting, balloon twisting, caricature art, and live mermaid performances. Our performers are trained actresses, singers, and great with children. Have a virtual party with our Princess Video Call packages. Website: Phone: (305) 717-8135

Sesame Street® Kids’ Weekends at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay Everyone’s favorite, furry friends are getting into the Halloween spirit every Saturday and Sunday in October at Sesame Street® Kids’ Weekends at Busch Gardens® Tampa Bay. Included in park admission, the modified Sesame Street Kids’ Weekends feature additional health and safety measures to offer physically distant trick-or-treating and an open-air Halloween show for families to enjoy together. All Around Entertainment All Around Entertainment provides the perfect experience for those who want to celebrate Halloween in style. With their curbside and social distancing caravan, the party comes to you - safely! Whether you want to invite a DJ or set up safe neighborhood trick or treating, they work with you to make sure you are 100% satisfied. Phone: (305) 303-1211

SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular Cookies Lodge Are you looking for a sweet treat for your Halloween celebration? Cookie Lodge offers sugar cookies custom-designed and hand-decorated always making sure they are beautiful and delicious. If you are planning an event and need something to highlight your candy table, just tell us what you need and we will take care of every detail to make something special for you. Email: Phone: 754 308 1481 IG: @cookielodge FB: @BNcookielodge MadScience Miami Halloween Parties! During this time we know it can be difficult to find quality education and entertainment for children. We at Mad Science Miami are proud to offer such interactive, educational and exciting programs for kids. Through our many hands-on science experiments and interactive demonstrations we will help to build your child’s natural curiosity for science while we have a hauntingly good time! Programs are customized and include in-person sessions, virtual programs, and more. Contact us today and mention Miami Kids Magazine to get a 10% discount on all programs. Phone: (786) 361-2910 Hooray Yard Signs Hooray! Yard Cards Miami is so excited to help you celebrate any event in a BIG, social-distant way with vibrant, personalized Yard Card rentals. You tell us how you’d like to customize your greeting and we take care of the design, delivery, installation, and clean up the next day. Let’s celebrate! Contact Info: (305) 697-1198 Email:

It’s an ocean of Halloween fun for the whole family at SeaWorld Orlando’s Halloween Spooktacular! During this modified daytime event, guests can safely explore our slightly spooky trick-or-treat trail and meet silly Halloween characters with physical distancing protocols in place, and much more during this safe, family-friendly event. SeaWorld’s Halloween Spooktacular will return starting September 19 through November 1 and is included in park admission. Phone: 407-545-5550 Natural Soap Miami Nothing is better for your trick-or-treat than a special handmade Halloween-themed soap in this time of social distancing! Natural handmade soaps for birthdays, themed parties, or any special occasions. Call us at 305-794-2079 Legoland Brick or Treat This October, experience the spooky, kooky fun of one of the only Halloween events in Central Florida! Enjoy neighborhood-style trick-or-treating plenty of spooktacular sweets plus seasonal shows and exclusive creepy-cool LEGO characters in the ultimate kids Halloween celebration– all included with regular day admission. Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science Discover Nature’s Superheroes: Life at the Limits, a new special exhibition on view from October 10, 2020-April 11, 2021 at the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science That Explores the remarkable “superpowers” that some extraordinary organisms have evolved to survive and thrive, even under extreme conditions. Web page: Miami Book Fair

Horrorland You’re in a car and about to take the ride of your life. A HORROR ride that is! This is no ordinary fright road you will travel. It will take you deep into the darkness where creatures of the night such as monsters, vampires, ghosts, zombies and more eagerly await your doomed arrival. Welcome to The Horrorland, the first drive thru haunted house attraction in South Florida and Florida. 1-800-383-6119

Join Oprah Guest Kitty O’Meara, Bill Nye The Science Guy, actress Natalie Portman at the virtual 2020 Miami Book Fair. From Nov. 15-22, check out the Storytelling, Author Readings, Music Making, A Game Show with Pirates…and so much more. It’s all FREE, and perfect for kids of all ages. Information and registration at

October - November 2020 Miami Kids Magazine




H Fostering Hope For Miami’s Kids

Just the word makes most of us feel safe. But for hundreds of children in Miami-Dade, home is not safe. In these challenging times, the need for caring Foster Parents is greater than ever. by Ester Jacobo


uring recent months our community has felt the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the epidemic of child abuse and neglect has continued, increasing the need for Foster Parents to provide safe, loving homes. Children thrive when they have positive connections in their lives. Foster Parents create a nurturing connection that helps kids and teens heal. Foster parenting also strengthens families by allowing biological parents the space to complete their own healing journey, culminating in reunification with their children whenever possible. The temporary refuge Foster Parents provide can truly touch many lives in a short time. Often, Foster Parents say that the first life that is changed is their own.

It is easy to imagine Foster Parents as some distant ideal, and that you have to be perfect to foster. In reality, Foster Parents in our community are everyday heroes who do not wear capes. Foster Parents represent a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and professions. They live in houses and apartments alike. They are married and single, biological parents, adoptive parents, and grandparents. They are members of the LGBTQ community, firstgeneration immigrants, and fifth-generation Floridians. They come in all colors, creeds, and political persuasions. What unites all Foster Parents is an open heart for children – and the capacity to see beyond present challenges to future possibilities. They believe in the transformative power of love and are willing to give of themselves to assist children, teens, and groups of siblings in their moment of greatest need. They know the power of hope.

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As Miami continues to pull together to face these difficult days, our community needs more heroes to foster hope and love for the most vulnerable among us. If you would like more information about becoming a Foster Parent, visit us at, or call us at 1-855-786-KIDS (5437).

Opening our hearts and homes today, will create a better tomorrow for Miami’s kids. Ester Jacobo is the Director of Citrus Family Care Network, the non-profit lead agency contracted by the Florida Department of Children and Families to oversee child welfare services in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties

BOOK Reviews COMPLETELY ME The Author Justine Green. Is a powerful story about a little girl who never noticed there was something different about herself, until others pointed it out instead. When she stands up for herself, the people around her learn the important lesson of self-acceptance, that everyone is different in their own unique ways, and that those imperfections are what make you perfect. Completely Me was truly a labor of love for Justine, who poured her own story into every page in the book.

IN MY WORLD The Authors Tizina Vazquez and Gabriella Llano. The story is about Mika, a nine-year-old girl that sees the world differently than anyone else. Even though she is going through what every girl may one-day face, fighting with her best friend and feeling like an outcast, she is not like every other girl. Her mother, Ava and brother, Javi stand by her side while Mika struggles endlessly to feel normal, when instead she must embrace her uniqueness. Children with Down syndrome, like Mika, are angels that help us see the world with our hearts, instead of our eyes.

GOOD GIRL OR BAD GIRL The author Hinna Akhtar. Hinna’s books, “Good Girl or Bad Girl” and “Lily’s Little Friend connect with the children by understanding that we can all be heroes. When coming across challenging situations, Lily the dog never falls short of her morals. Hinna hopes that through her books, children can be motivated and have the desire to help people just as Lily would.

SLAY YOUR DAY: HOW TO GET MORE DONE, BECOME ULTRA PRODUCTIVE AND UNLOCK YOUR FULL POTENTIAL! The Author, Sandra Glandt. Too many women have been made to feel guilty about wanting to have a fulfilling family life, enjoy meaningful personal relationships, and achieve professional success. For too many decades women have been told they can’t have it all. The truth is that women can have it all,but trying to do it without the right tools and support can lead to epic failure. In Slay Your Day, Sandi shares the strategies and tactics that have worked not only in her own life, but also in the lives of the countless women she has coached. By adopting the right mindset and using the right tools, any ambitious woman can learn how to get more done, become ultra-productive, and unlock their full potential.

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Miami Kids Magazine and the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind provided Free Eye Exams to Students for Back to School On August 22nd, Miami Kids Magazine and the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind’s subsidiary, The Florida Heiken Children's Vision Program, provided free eye exams and glasses when prescribed to children in preparation for the new school year. The event took place at the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind’s main campus. Sharkie our mascot, greeted all the families at their cars, followed by the families having a temperature check by Lighthouse staff. Maintaining social distancing, the children entered the facility and their eyes were dilated to check the health of the eye. The Florida Heiken Program team provided disposable sunglasses to wear for light sensitivity and the parents received the exam results with a copy of the prescription. We also gave them goody bags on their way out and a chance to win gift cards to Walmart thanks to Florida Blue.

Amanda Blondet and Family winners of 2 tickets to Legoland Florida

Hajir Nuriddin, Assitance Chiel of police for the city of city of Coral Gables

Dr. Feldman and Superintendent Alberto Carvalho

Miami Kids Magazine Drive-thru Back to School Celebration! On August 8, Miami Kids Magazine in partnership with Shops at Merrick Park welcomed students back to the 2020-2021 school year with a Drive-Thru Back to School Celebration. Our guests of honor were School Board Director Dr. Larry Feldman and Superintendent of Miami-Dade Schools, Alberto Carvalho. We gave away 100 free backpacks and 400 goody bags filled with school supplies, goodies, and healthy snacks from our sponsors Bakerly. All the attendees received their goodies inside their cars and they were wearing face masks. Each car also received one raffle ticket and we had many winners of a variety of prizes including Zoo Miami memberships, tickets to Legoland, Pottery Barn backpacks, lunchboxes, baskets with school supplies and more! We had onsite entertainment by Safari Sam who was singing our theme songs Wash your Hands, Eat your Veggies, and many more. A Special thank you to The Rotary Club of Miami, All Around Entertainment, and Amazing Parties.


Johanna Cano Winner of 2 tickets to Crayola Experience

Karen Herrera Winner of Mad Science Toy box

Dr. Larry Feldman

Karla Richey

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho

Sabrina Russo one of the two winners of Zoo Miami Memberships

MC Rossie and Safari Sam

Scott Richey, Dr. Feldman, Karla Richey & Superintendent Carvalho

Julian Costa one of the 4 winners of PBK backpack and lunchbox

Generosity of space. Millions of twinkling lights and our soaring 60-foot Christmas tree. Hundreds of enhanced cleaning protocols. Boundless holiday events, from ice tubing and Cirque Dreams Unwrapped to our brand-new I Love Christmas Movies™ immersive pop-up experience featuring ELF™, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION™, THE POLAR EXPRESS™, and more! November 13 – January 3 | ELF, NATIONAL LAMPOON’S CHRISTMAS VACATION and all related characters and elements © & ™ Turner Entertainment Co. · THE POLAR EXPRESS and all related characters and elements © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. (s20)


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