10 Local Resources for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles
Children living with chronic illness may feel isolated because of their condition. Parents and guardians of kids with chronic conditions may feel overwhelmed by the cost and demands of medical care, and may lack the resources to seek out or afford extracurricular activities.
Our vision is that one day every family impacted by chronic illness will be connected to a community of support and an opportunity to learn and grow together. To support that vision, we want to share with you these 10 local resources for parents and guardians of kids with chronic illnesses in Los Angeles.
Their Vision: Fostering a bias-free world for children with disabilities.
Their Mission: Creating social inclusion for children with disabilities through inclusive playgrounds and educational programs.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: Shane’s Inspiration works in three main areas to create an impact for kids with disabilities: through play, through community, and through education.
Through Play: Shane’s Inspiration creates fully-inclusive playgrounds that are sensory-rich places where compassion and acceptance can flourish. Studies have proven that integrated play helps children with disabilities develop critical sensory, motor, cognitive, and social/emotional skills that impact them long into adulthood. Integrated play also gives children with typical abilities the opportunity to experience their peers with disabilities as equals and friends.
Through Community: Community outreach and family programs increase playground use and build public awareness of the benefits of integrated play. Outreach services include busing/field trip programs, monthly play dates that bring children of all abilities and their families together for fun-filled days at the playground, collaborations with other organizations, and national/international speaking engagements.
Through Education: Social inclusion programs help to break down the barriers of bias toward children with disabilities through education, promoting integration and understanding among students, teachers and parents/guardians.
Their Vision: Every child is empowered to create a peaceful, compassionate world starting with themselves and their community.
“Peace in Oneself. Peace in the World.”
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Their Mission: To spark children and families to engage in mindful compassionate action through service learning experiences, creative yoga and mindfulness programs, and heartful parenting resources.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: Mindful Littles believes that every child can be inspired and empowered to make a positive difference in the world, and they address this in 3 important ways: 1. Yoga, Mindfulness, and Social-Emotional Learning, 2. Engaging Service Learning Experiences, and 3. Heartful Parenting Resources.
Their Mission: To amplify the love, hope, and compassion in the world, making each health journey easier.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: Using CaringBridge, you can create a free website that has all the tools you need to keep your family and friends updated during a difficult time. For families struggling with the demands of childhood chronic illness, this is an excellent resource to help you:
- Share news and updates with everyone at the same time
- Communicate in a private, ad-free place
- Activate your community and coordinate help, and
- Receive emotional strength and support
Their Mission: The Painted Turtle seeks to reach beyond illness, to inspire children with life-threatening diseases to become their greater selves. It is our mission to provide a year-round, life-changing environment for these children and their families – one that allows children to participate in an authentic camp experience by supporting their medical needs and that offers their families care, education, and respite. Campers and their families attend free of charge.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: The Painted Turtle is where children with serious medical conditions celebrate just being kids thanks to innovative, camp-based programs that offer a great big dose of fun and support. Children with more than 90 medical conditions visit The Painted Turtle each year, reclaiming the joys of childhood. The Painted Turtle has served more than 55,000 children and their families through its Summer and Family Weekend camps since it opened its gates in 2004.
Their Mission: The Asthma Coalition of Los Angeles County is a collective, powerful voice for policy and systems change to prevent, minimize and manage the burden of asthma.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: This broad-based coalition of experts comes from community-based organizations, advocacy groups, universities, government entities, school districts, environmental groups, health plans, hospitals, and clinics in Los Angeles County.
The Coalition advocates for policy and systems changes in order to accomplish the following:
1. Increase access to and improve quality of health care;
2. Improve indoor air quality in homes;
3. Improve asthma management in schools; and
4. Improve outdoor air quality
In addition, through each of the above goals, the Coalition strives to address racial/ethnic and socioeconomic disparities and promote research related to asthma.
Their Vision: 24th Street Theatre believes that the young people we reach today will grow up to be active participants in their communities who are notable for their generosity, independent thinking, and passion for the arts. 24th Street Theatre envisions a change in the culture of Los Angeles: people animated by a greater sense of inter-connectedness, empathy and humanity.
Their Mission: To engage, educate, and provoke young people and their families with excellent theatre and arts education.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: 24th Street Theatre provides a variety of programming including free after-school arts enrichment programs, the Teatro Nuevo Latino Initiative project, music series, outreach programs for at-risk teens, free community events, teacher training programs, and gallery exhibits. Plan Your Visit.
7. Kids Like Me
Who They Are: The Help Group Kids Like Me offers programs designed especially for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs. Kids can benefit greatly from fun, recreational activities that encourage social skills as well as developmental growth.
How it Works: Each child from preschool age to high school age is engaged in structured activities facilitated and overseen by highly trained professionals. After-school programs provide each child with the opportunity to build lasting friendships and promote positive interaction with peers.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: Kids Like Me provides specialized programs including camps, social skills groups, and enrichment programs for children and teens with autism spectrum disorder and other special needs in the Los Angeles area. In addition, they offer free parent to parent support groups on the second Wednesday of every month.
Who They Are: MomsLA helps families with kids find everything they need to have a great family experience in Los Angeles.
What They Offer:
- A guide to neighborhoods in Los Angeles (check it out)
- Things to do in LA with kids
- Guide to museums in Los Angeles
- Summer camps in Los Angeles
- Family events calendar
- LA birthday party guide
- After-school classes
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: As one of the top blogs covering the Los Angeles area, MomsLA helps families navigate Los Angeles kid-friendly events and happenings. While MomsLA is not specifically for families impacted by childhood chronic illness, we think this is a valuable community resource that can help you take the stress out of planning time out and around LA with kids.
What They Do: The Beauty Bus Foundation provides beauty services such as hair styling, manicures, and facials to enhance the quality of life for seriously ill individuals and their caregivers.
- Home visits
- Pop-up salons
- Complimentary “Bags of Beauty”
- Beauty services for hospital and community partners
Who They Serve: Beauty Bus Foundation serves caregivers as well as men, women, and children with the following: ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Cancer, Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease, Spinal Cord Injuries, Stroke, and other select Neuromuscular and Motor Neuron Diseases.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: Beauty services can be life-enriching for children and families facing long stays in hospitals and on-going treatment. If a chronic illness or condition prevents you from accessing a salon, the Beauty Bus Foundation provides beauty and grooming services, free of charge.
Their mission: County of Los Angeles Public Health: Division of Chronic Disease and Injury Prevention aims to make Los Angeles County a healthier place. In collaboration with their community partners and key stakeholders, they focus on reducing the risk and burden of chronic disease, injury, and social conditions that affect health to promote well-being and quality of life for all residents in Los Angeles County. Good health is the foundation for a good quality of life for our children, families, and friends. When we focus on prevention and make our communities places of health, safety, and opportunity for social and economic growth, everyone benefits.
The Impact for Parents of Kids with Chronic Illnesses in Los Angeles: County of Los Angeles Public Health shares numerous resources to help LA County families focus on promoting healthy habits and prevention.
Making a Difference for Families Impacted by Childhood Chronic Illness
When a child requires ongoing care for a chronic condition, services offered by organizations like these can make a positive impact in your everyday life. What are some of your favorite local resources for parents and guardians of kids with chronic illnesses in Los Angeles? Please share them with us in the comments.
CoachArt creates a transformative arts and athletics community for families impacted by childhood chronic illness. Since 2001, CoachArt has matched volunteer coaches with kids for free one-on-one or group lessons in arts and athletics. We invite you to get involved!