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THE GARDEN GROVE

ONE LUMP OR TWO? WESTMINSTER SENIOR CENTER HOSTS CINDERELLA TEA PARTY, WHERE GUESTS SHARE A LAUGH, SNACKS. PAGE 1 0

JOURNAL ALSO SERVING WESTMINSTER AND MIDWAY CITY

AN EDITION OF

THURSDAY, SEPT. 26, 20 1 3

OCREGISTER.COM/JOURNAL

Behavioral Health Works aims to combat mental-health stigmas, help autistic and developmentally disabled children and adults.

PHOTOS: PAUL BERSEBACH, ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Vicky Ngo, 1 3, who has autism, gets a high-five from senior therapist Marie Medeck of Behavioral Health Works during a session at the teen’s home in Garden Grove. Ngo uses an iPad program to communicate and learn during therapy.

Center changes perceptions ‘‘ BY DOUGLAS MORINO ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

We chose specifically to stay in Garden Grove because there is a big need for help in the Vietnamese community. They were the unspoken community that didn’t know how to advocate for themselves. You would be in tears if you went to their homes.”

ROB DOUK FOUNDER OF B E H AV I O R A L H E A LT H W O R K S

B

y the time her severely autistic daughter, Vicky, was 9 years old, Vivian Ngo had seen it all – the violent outbursts and fits of rage in supermarket aisles, the suppressed anger over her inability to speak. Vicky was diagnosed with autism at age 2, and for the next seven years, Ngo attempted to treat her child’s symptoms and combat her behavior at home, often by searching for solutions on Google. Frustrated and tired, Ngo sought professional help four years ago, turning to a behavioral center in Garden Grove to treat Vicky, as well as Ngo’s teenage son, Danny, who was diagnosed with a milder form of autism. “I was exhausted,” said Ngo, who shares a Garden S E E T H E R A P Y ● PA G E 4

Dr. Rob Douk is the founder and executive director of Behavioral Health Works in Garden Grove. The center offers treatment for autism and other disorders.

Supervisors approve Garden Grove Unified bond sale Reversal of earlier vote paves the way for $120 million in upgrades at local schools. BY DOUGLAS MORINO ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER

Less than a month after declining the Garden Grove Unified School District’s request to issue bonds for $120 million to remodel aging schools, county supervisors have authorized the district to sell

the bonds. The board quickly approved the sale of $120 million in bonds with little discussion last week. Supervisors Shawn Nelson and Todd Spitzer voted against the proposal. “I’m comfortable supporting

this today, because one of my initial concerns with approving this item was related to the capital-appreciation bonds,” said Supervisor Janet Nguyen, who met with district Superintendent Gabriela Mafi and school district officials to discuss the resolution approving the issuance and sale of the bonds. Language was added to the resolution prohibiting district offi-

cials from using capital-appreciation bonds to refinance current interest bonds in the future. Voters in 2010 approved Measure A, which sought $250 million for school construction and repair projects. In August, supervisors said they were uncomfortable approving such a large debt. “Whatever the voters voted on, there’s no way I’m going to approve interest-only payments for

anybody’s bond indenture,” said Shawn Nelson, the board’s current chairman, during an Aug. 20 meeting. “I’m not going to be convinced that’s a good, sound business practice.” That interest-only-payment issue was resolved, but Nelson still wasn’t comfortable enough with the bond issuance to support it.

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