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News

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Loyola Bridge construction parallel to the Fremont Avenue frontage may lead officials to alter circulation plans for the area.

Loyola Corners stakeholders last week mulled the issues that will likely shape the area&rsquo...

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Schools

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Los Altos High School Green Team members, above, quiz their classmates about water conservation. The club distributed plants as prizes during the club’s Earth Week activities.

Members of the Los Altos High School Green...

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Community

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition


Courtesy of the Cha family
Spencer Cha plays piano at a Santa Clara University recital. The sixth-grader also enjoys soccer, tennis, golf and skiing.

Spencer Cha has come a long way since he first sat down at the piano at age 2.

“I remem...

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Sports

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Jeremy Hsu, Mountain View High’s top singles player, competes against Pinewood Thursday. The Spartans won the match 7-0.

With freshmen playing the top three spots in singles, the future of the Mountain View High boy...

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Comment

Los Altos at a leadership crossroads: Editorial

Don’t look now, but there could be some major changes ahead regarding how the Los Altos city government is run.

The current city council has the opportunity to hire a new city manager in the wake of Marcia Somers’ recent resignation. Fur...

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Special Sections

How to personalize the wedding bar

How to personalize the wedding bar


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
A seasonal signature cocktail adds interest beyond the standard wedding bar’s spirits and mixers. Focus on one set of fresh ingredients, such as blueberries, blackberries and mint for a dose of budget...

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Business

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Journeyman farmer Jen Friedlander waters Hidden Villa’s greenhouse plants, which will grow stronger in the controlled indoor environment before being transferred to the field outdoors.

Around Hidden Villa, the gree...

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People

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

1930-2016

Heaven gained a beautiful angel today. Our beloved mother’s blessed life ended in her Los Altos home surrounded by her loving family on April 18, 2016.

Buol Joanne Dougherty was born Sept. 28, 1930 in Chicago. At the age of two, M...

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Stepping Out

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy  ends run this weekend

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy ends run this weekend


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
Bryan Moriarty, left, stars as Yossarian and John Stephen King plays the Psychiatrist in Los Altos Stage Company’s “Catch-22.”

Los Altos Stage Company’s presentation of “Catch...

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Spiritual Life

Parents and teachers frustrated, but empathetic after learning disability simulation

"I want to you to think of yourself as fourth-graders," said Steven John Corelis, of Educational Therapy Services, to a group of parents and teachers last Thursday night at Los Altos Christian School.

The role playing did not end there, as participants were asked to perform a series of tests, part of a learning disability simulation.

The simulation was sponsored by "Parents Helping Parents," a Santa Clara-based organization that offers support and services for children with special needs and their families. Corelis facilitated the event.

"You are going to be experiencing distraction, confusion, and pressure," Corelis said. "All of these things are typical to what the student who is learning different faces every day."

The two-hour simulation is divided into three parts: a five-minute introduction, a six-part simulation, and a debriefing.

Participants join small groups and attend a "class" at each station, designed to focus on particular learning difficulties. Classes are held by moderators or "teachers" who guide participants through the exercises.

For example, the "spelling test" is designed to simulate hearing loss or auditory hearing problems. Participants are asked to take a spelling test while getting their spelling words from a muffled and garbled audio tape.

"They do have a difficult time even with just the easy things we take for granted," said parent Janie Pollano, who has a daughter with a learning disability. "I think all of these exercises were valid. I could not do any of them."

The "mirror writing" exercise simulated problems with visual or motor tasks. Participants had to try and trace shapes, and write numbers and letters while looking at their writing hand through a mirror.

"It was hard to get your hand to go the opposite way. I couldn't get my hand to do what I wanted it to," said parent Julian Cervantes.

After an 90 minutes of participating in their fourth-grade learning disabled environment, parents and teachers were ready to call it a school day. After everyone had participated in each exercise and had a chance to talk about their feelings after each simulation, it was time for the group to meet and discuss their feelings as a whole.

Corelis asked people to give one-word answers as to how they felt during the simulation, which he then wrote on a white board. Words like frustration, tired, embarrassed, hopeless, stressed and unintelligent, made the list.

"You came into this room as parents and teachers, hopefully with a very high self-image," Corelis said. "After putting you through the stations, you can see how self-image can drop over the years out of these kids."

He said students with learning disabilities sometimes cannot help acting out or engaging in habits like fidgeting or being easily distracted.

It is important for parents and teachers to recognize the different learning needs of children and to accommodate them, Corelis said.

For more information about Learning Disability Simulations, call Parents Helping Parents at (408) 727-5775.

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