Saturday, April 11, 2015

UC Davis MIND Institute Toy Drive - Guest Blogger Diana Patterson

Diana Patterson is a stay at home mom of three. Diana and her family have been a part of the NCS community since 2011.  Prior to staying at home Diana worked in the accounting industry.

Early Start Lab

Hello Natomas Charter Families!! Spring break is coming up right around the corner and Star Academy thinks it’s a good time to do some spring cleaning! We are kicking off Autism Awareness Month with a month-long Toy Drive for the UC Davis MIND Institute which will run April 13th-30th.  There will be a collection bin in the library/media center of the NCS Main Campus and a collection bin in the front office of Star Academy.
The UC Davis MIND Institute is currently administering a study to compare the effects of two different treatments for young children with Autism.  One Type of treatment is Discrete Trial Teaching (DTT); many research studies show that this is an effective type of treatment for children with autism.  The second type of treatment is Play Based Teaching (PBT) based on the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). Research also supports the effectiveness of ESDM treatment for children with Autism.
The UC Davis MIND Institute hopes to learn more about the advantages and disadvantages of using one treatment over the other. They’re also hoping to compare the number of hours (15 vs 25) of treatment that young children with autism receive. Both amounts of treatment have been demonstrated to result in significant child progress. They hope to learn how the number of treatment hours children receive affects children progress in treatment. This research is being done because there are no well-controlled clinical trials ( a type of research study) that demonstrate differences between the two different types of treatment and the different number of treatment hours for young children with autism.
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The research focuses on teaching very young children, ages 18-30 months old.  Young children learn about their environment through play and toys, so those are the primary teaching tools used when teaching young children with autism.  In order to keep the cost down for families participating in the research, the toys are provided at no cost to the families for the duration of the study.  But they get a lot of love and don’t last too long, which is why we need your help!
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We are looking to collect New and Gently Used toys for toddlers in the 2-3 age range.  
Here are some examples just to name a few:
Shape sorters or Blocks
Imaginative toys (things to encourage pretend play)
Ball mazes
Shaving cream

Please check out the wishlist created for more ideas of toys they are looking for.

Due to sensory issues for some children we would like to avoid the following toys: 
-Stuffed animals or Noisy electronic toys gift cards are also welcomed. 
Please contact Diana Patterson if you’re donating a gift card.

Please contact Diana Patterson for tax deduction forms.

Collection Bin #1- Located in Library/Media Center at the NCS Main Campus.
Collection Bin #2- Located in the Front office at NCS Star Academy.
For questions or more information please call/text Diana Patterson at:
(916)730-8503 or email me at

For more information on the MIND Institute please see their website here
Check out this video on the Early Start Denver Model here