I met a delightful couple, Gary and Dee, at the last Laguna Canyon Conservancy meeting. During dinner, Dee exuberantly shared about a collaborative program between Assistance League of Laguna Beach and the Intervention Center for Early Childhood.
This free program serves developmentally delayed infants and their parents. Professional support is provided from occupational and physical therapists, developmental teachers and behavioral specialists. The parents receive guidance in nurturing their child’s development. The program contributes to the parents’ skill as teachers and caregivers of their infants.
The opportunity that puts that look of love on Dee’s face happens on Wednesday mornings. That’s when the parents hand their babies into the waiting arms of volunteers, who are sitting in the plush rocking chairs, set in a circle, at the ALLB Chapter House on Catalina Street.
This early intervention program has been provided since 1976. Members of the Assistance League serve as volunteers.
Dee’s obvious delight from her involvement was uplifting. I left the meeting with the nursery rhyme “rock-a-bye baby” running through my mind. On Wednesday morning, I decided to find out about the program first hand.
The Chapter House is a substantial, two story building with a large upstairs meeting room, a full kitchen and therapy meeting rooms. Beautiful tapestries drape the walls and homey elegance permeates the space.
Downstairs, the volunteers tend to the babies. They are settled into a circle of plush rocking chairs, ready for their little charges to arrive. The room is vibrant, colorful, and ready to welcome the tiny participants who will come for a few hours of their own therapy, while their parents have time with the professionally led groups upstairs.
Are you missing those days when your arms were routinely wrapped around your own newborn? If so, the warm and knowledgeable staff at the Assistance League will wholeheartedly welcome you to come and find out about how you can participate.
What could be better than gazing at an angel baby snuggled peacefully in your arms, as you gently slip into the back and forth rhythm created by the rock-a-bye ladies?
A membership coffee will be held on Monday, March 21, at 10 a.m. at the ALLB Chapter House. Call Karen Mauro at 499-1273, or the league at 494-6097.
Susan teaches self-inquiry seminars locally. She is the author of: “Beyond Intellect: Journey Into the Wisdom of Your Intuitive Mind.” www.susanvelasquez.com. (949) 494-7773.