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Annual State Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

The Department of Developmental Services congratulates Kiran Dong (Age 7) of Valencia, CA, who has been selected by North Los Angeles County Regional Center (NLACRC) to help the Governor and First Lady light the tree at this year’s Annual Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

Kiran represents over 300,000 persons with developmental disabilities who receive services and supports from the State developmental centers, and twenty-one nonprofit regional centers. Kiran is a vibrant, seven-year-old boy who loves to swim, rock climb, ride horses and play soccer. While these are typical activities for young children, Kiran was born with Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS), a rare and complex genetic disorder that causes low muscle tone and an insatiable food drive. PWS greatly affects Kiran’s ability to eat, his motor functioning, and his overall development.

Kiran and his family received specialized therapies, including occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, and feeding therapy through the Early Start Program at NLACRC due to his diagnosis of PWS. Early Start, Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Act—IDEA, is for children and their families from birth to age three. Early Start services are designed to support and enhance the family’s ability to meet the special developmental needs of their infant or toddler with disabilities. The earlier intervention is started, the greater the quality of life is for children with disabilities and their families. In addition to Early Start, NLACRC provides services through the lifespan for individuals with developmental disabilities through the Lanterman Developmental Disabilities Act.

Intensive behavior services and adaptive skill training were also provided through the regional center and assisted Kiran in being fully included in his school program. He attends Tesoro Elementary School where he is fully included in a regular classroom with support.

With the support and spirit of his parents, and the specialized services from the regional center, Kiran has become a healthy boy who thrives in spite of his physical and developmental challenges. He is an avid reader, a proud boy scout, plays the violin and ran his first 10K in Vancouver, Canada in April of this year.

 
 
Last Updated: 12/10/2018