Presidents’ Message – December 2019

Hello SEED Friends!

The holidays are upon us! It’s been a busy start to our school year. SEED’s Parent Education series on Dyslexia and the IEP process were impactful and it was terrific seeing so many of you at our annual family picnic. Our new High School group is up and running – an informative conservatorship presentation and a fun teen outing were both on offer. And the monthly Wine and Cheese Nights have proven to be a great way to bring high school parents together. We have loved seeing you at our happy hours, breakfasts and playdates. We have a lot to be thankful for! 

One of SEEDs’ goals is to promote a culture of empathy and compassion for diverse abilities, so we were thrilled to collaborate with the Springhill PFC again this year during Ability Awareness Week. SEED provided in-class programming, including experiences, discussions and readings to give all students insight into what it’s like to live with special needs. The books from the program would make excellent holiday gifts. Here are some of our favorite titles that foster acceptance, understanding and self-esteem:

  • We’re All Wonders by R.J. Palacio
  • It’s Called Dyslexia by Jennifer Moore-Mallinos
  • Nathan’s Autism Spectrum Superpowers by Lori Leigh Yarborough
  • My Friend Isabelle by Eliza Wouloson
  • Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis

Our heartfelt appreciation goes to all who supported us on Giving Tuesday. We are proud to be part of such a caring and kind community that comes together for our kiddos with learning differences and their families. If you didn’t have the chance to give yet, it’s not too late. We are deeply grateful for your generosity. Make your tax-deductible contribution here.

We also want to give a shout-out to the Millar and Balaban families (and to our volunteer chefs) for supplying our community with some well-deserved adult decompression time at the SEED holiday party. The food was great and the company even better. Thanks to all those who came out to celebrate with us!

If you missed the holiday party, not to worry. We have one more opportunity to get together before school’s out. Join us for SEED’s monthly breakfast this Friday, Dec. 13th at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church.

Speaking of parties, mark your calendars for our SEED Mardi Gras Party on Friday, Feb. 28th at Lafayette Veterans Memorial Center! Tickets go on sale Tuesday, Jan. 7th, with $50 early-bird pricing until Jan 28th ($60 after). Be sure to check our Mardi Gras Party page for updates and to purchase tickets. Laissez les bons temps rouler! 

We are currently seeking sponsors and donations (trips, tix, vino) to help make this bash fabulous. Contact us if you would like to donate an item, sponsor the event or just help out!

Childcare will be available that night at the Lafayette-Orinda Presbyterian Church. To reserve a spot for respite, e-mail:

Whether you go all out or choose quieter celebrations, the holidays are a special time. Decorations, travel, gift-giving, the break from school structure, the annual family photo op and all the other hoopla can be wonderful. It can also feel more frenetic than festive and may not be straightforward for our children. We struggle to maintain routines, stay flexible, work breaks into the schedule, and explain our kids to Uncle Joe. I hope we can let go of perfect and embrace the crazy: tears, fears, laughter and all. Tend to your friendships and spoil your loved ones with your time. 

From all of us at SEED, here’s wishing you and your family resilience, strength and a stress-free holiday season.


Ember Bailey & Shannon Trifiletti, 2019-20 SEED Co-Presidents


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