Friday, April 25, 2014

Our new star Jeffrey :)

When we were contacted by the Gilbert School District about teaming up on a campaign with them and the Mesquite High School chapter of the Best Buddies program I was very excited. Then they sent us art created by their students with special needs and out of the 15 pieces our Board of Advisors voted and three were selected. It just so happens all thee pieces were created by the same artist, Jeffrey ! His mother passed along this information for you to get to know Jeffrey a little better.

(The talented Jeffrey)

Our little guy Jeffrey has been a survivor from the beginning. He was born under very stressful conditions and has been fighting every day since. Though he wasn't diagnosed until he was three years of age, our family noticed he wasn't meeting the milestones that typical children do. He had no words at 18 months. We were introduced to early intervention, the autism journey began. He is now able to communicate his wants and needs but is not conversational.

(Jeffrey showing off those baby blues)

He was always happy, smiling, laughing and content as a baby. He was very young when he showed a great interest in Disney movies. Among his favorites are The Little Mermaid and Winnie the Pooh. It's amazing that even though he struggles with speech, he can rattle off the complete dialogue to some movies. He loves pizza, pop chips, and french fries. He loves to be outside playing in dirt and rocks. He spends much of the summer in our pool, swims like a fish. He has a trampoline and a swing in the yard that get a lot of use. He can bounce around our home on an exercise ball that has to be seen to believe. We call him the ”ball master”. The ipad is always close by. He uses it to draw the most adorable pictures, everything is always smiling. There are some dislikes for Jeffrey too. He does not like haircuts, loud noise, mixed vegetables or candy (chocolate not included!) 

(Jeffrey loves to play baseball)

 He rides a horse named Rosebud once a week for hippo/speech therapy and goes to a gym for physical therapy. He gets Occupational and Habilitation therapies in our home. We have very dedicated, exceptional therapists that have been with Jeffrey for years now. He attends Greenfield Elementary School, home of the Gators! He is in 2nd grade. I can't say enough to express the admiration I have for his teacher and the staff at school. They are the best.
Jeffrey is a blessing to our family. Having a child with special needs reminds us everyday about what should be priority in this life. Acceptance, unconditional love, courage and determination to appreciate all we have been given.

(Jeffrey enjoying the rain)

Hopefully you loved getting to know this awesome boy and will support the Gilbert Public Schools and the programs they have to help Jeffrey get the best learning experience possible. Thank you so much.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Rachel the super-hero !!!

Earlier this year I was contacted by a young lady named Hannah D'Avino to see if we could team up on a fundraiser to honor her sister Rachel. When she proceeded to tell me who Rachel was and what she had done, I could not say "yes" fast enough ! Rachel D'Avino had been hired by Sandy Hook Elementary to work with a nonverbal autistic girl and had been at the school for only a couple days when the horrible shootings occurred on December 14, 2012. Hannah created this bio about her brave sister;

(The amazing Rachel D'Avino)

  Rachel was working on becoming a board certified behavioral analyst. She was at Sandy Hook Elementary for a little over a week working with a nonverbal autistic girl. Rachel's whole life was dedicated to helping those on the autism spectrum lead easier more enjoyable lives. Autism Speaks was Rachel's favorite charity because one of their main goals is research. Rachel used to say the more we know the more we can help.We have a team called Team Rachel. We wear capes and Wonder Woman gear.

(Team Rachel)

  We walk in honor of Rachel Marie D'Avino a true super hero. Our family was shattered on December fourteenth. A pillar of strength and wisdom isn't coming home. The only thing that can keep our family functioning is to work as a group to be like Rachel. We find solace by continuing Rachel's dream and working as a team to make lives easier. Rachel was a hero to children before that day in December and it is our job to make that known.

(Rachel's passion was helping children)

 Rachel was more than a sister to me. She was my best friend and mentor. I have dedicated my life to continuing her dream. I will spread autism awareness with every step I take. After Rachel was taken from us I started working with a low functioning girl with autism and changed my major to applied behavior analysis. She may not be able to help a child be more independent, but she taught me well. I will follow her footsteps and do everything in my power to be like Rachel. 

(Rachel on graduation day)

Our two artists for this campaign also wanted to mention just what Rachel meant to them as well:

 Corbin Dillane age 8.
He wrote:
 " Rachel was my best big person friend. I have ADHD and Rachel used to help me think of things to do to keep me having good behavior. My picture is my own video game land. Rachel and I played video games together a lot. I think she would love my video game land."
(Corbin in Gameland)
  Evelyn Stone Age 8
She writes "Rachel was my friend and babysitter now she is my guardian angel." 
In this picture she is with her brother Andrew. He has Autism. Rachel was his para, babysitter and friend. The both of them love and miss Rachel. 

(Andrew and Evelyn)

It is a true honor to be helping Team Rachel keep her memory and her mission, to make this world a better place for those with autism, alive. Thank you so much

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Sharing is caring :)

Hello members of the PCA family :) I wanted to have a big contest that would come with a big prize and so here it is;

Paper Clouds Apparel is looking to really grow their fan base and offering an amazing giveaway for anyone to win the package below (Different shirt options available)

 (Win all these goodies)

1. Visit the Paper Clouds Apparel Facebook page
2. Scroll down below our cover photo and follow the arrow and click on the "see all"
3. Invite all your friends to "Like" Paper Clouds Apparel
4. The person who sends us a screen shot of their page and has the most friends liking our page on April 21st 2014? will win a Paper Clouds Apparel bag, hat, hoodie, and two shirts! (minimum 50 required to win)
Paper Clouds Apparel needs your help to spread our mission of helping those with special needs, and since we give away 50% of our proceeds, we depend on your help and word of mouth to grow and help more individuals with special needs. Thank you so much!
 (Follow the arrow, invite all your friends and win)

We will also award prizes for the second and third place finishers. Second place will receive a bag and a shirt, third place will receive a shirt and a magnetic bumper sticker. So over the next three weeks you can continually invite your friends and post on your Facebook page asking them to go "like" our page. Then on the 21st, email a screen shot like posted above to and we can see how many members of the Paper Clouds Apparel family you have brought us. Thank you so much and cannot wait to give away all this gear.

This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by or associated with Facebook and entrants and participants in the competition release Facebook and its associated companies from all liability arising from the competition