Renewed Dreams Grow in the Garden

For some parents, learning that their child has Autism comes with a sense of sadness and worry as their fears are finally confirmed. Others experience relief, thankful that they have an explanation after years of doubt and questioning regarding their child’s differences and difficulties. For many others, receiving a diagnosis of Autism comes as a complete and total shock.

Chase’s parents experienced a mixture of all three reactions. As Chase grew, his family noticed that he seemed to play differently than his older brother and sister. He preferred to play alone. Initially, they simply chalked this up to Chase being independent. He liked trains and would place them in a straight line, but they gave it very little thought because that’s just what you do with trains. However, as time went on, they noticed he would do the same thing with refrigerator magnets, blocks and cars.

Something just seemed to be different about Chase, especially when compared to other children his own age. He tended to become overly focused on certain objects, rarely made eye contact and failed to engage in typical toddler babbling. His parents became more concerned as time went on. Chase seemed to get angry or had emotional outbursts, especially when he was placed in new or overly stimulating environments.

When Chase was two years old, a family member with an autistic child suggested that they should have him tested. Chase’s parents took him to two different doctors who both diagnosed him with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Concern… relief… shock. Having Autism wasn’t part of the dream when they started a family. At times, they felt overwhelmed, attempting to process all of the information being thrown at them all while trying to make the right decisions for their son.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for many families today. According to the CDC, about 1 percent of the world population has Autism Spectrum Disorder. More than 3.5 million Americans live with ASD. The prevalence of Autism in the United States has increased dramatically since the year 2000, rising from 1 in 150 children to 1 in 59 children.

Ultimately, Chase’s path led his family to Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy for Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Autism Intervention services. They had heard of how these life-changing services had benefited other children with Autism and wanted to do whatever they could for their son.

Following his first found of 40 HBOT treatments, Chase’s parents noticed that he was becoming more aware of his surroundings. He began babbling for the first time in his life. He started making eye contact and began expressing an interest in spending time with other people. His parents were so thrilled with his progress that they had him complete a second round of treatments where he continued to build on the successes and growth he had received during his first round.

The teachers and paraprofessionals who worked with Chase at New Horizons Academy noticed drastic changes begin to take place as they provided Autism Intervention services. He became so much less frustrated as his words began emerging and he was able to express himself and be understood by others. His social interaction also grew dramatically as he began to play and interact with his peers. Chase was making great gains and meeting milestones that his parents had previously feared might never be achieved.

Before coming to Sara’s Garden, Chase’s parents had many questions about their son’s future. Thanks to Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy and Autism Intervention services at Sara’s Garden, Chase’s family has been given a newfound hope and state that they are “grateful beyond words for what they’ve done, and continue to do, for our Chase”. They can now see their son’s emerging potential and have renewed dreams for his future.

Hope for a child to emerge into the responsible adults we as parents pray for. There is hope for those who were told they would not learn, or walk, or talk. That hope, is rekindled through the work that is happening at Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy. The loving, caring and true compassion that is shown to each and every client, no matter how difficult their condition, disability, or behavior might be, is where the success story starts. Come join us and you’ll see what is possible for a child who has been labeled as “different”.

No matter what you have been told, there is hope… and Sara’s Garden can help you find it.

QuarterMania 2018 Reminder

QuarterMania 2018 Reminder

Don’t forget! QuarterMania 2018 is just around the corner.

On Thursday, July 19, Sara’s Garden will be hosting its fourth annual QuarterMania FUNdraiser. Proceeds from this full-filled event will benefit our school for children with special needs, New Horizons Academy. New Horizons Academy at Sara’s Garden provides innovative educational, intervention and therapy services to over 100 children from over 20 school districts across Northwest Ohio. There will be many area vendors to shop from. The event will feature auctions, raffles, and 50/50 drawings.

Event Date: Thursday, July 19, 2018
Event Location: The Hope Center at Sara’s Garden, Wauseon, Ohio
Event Time: Doors open at 5:00, Auction starts at 6:30
Paddles: $3 each or two for $5

What is a QuarterMania?

If you are like us when we first heard of this, you are probably wondering, “What in the world is a QuarterMania event?”

A QuarterMania is a cross between an auction and a raffle where people ‘bid’ to win a product/prize of goods donated from local businesses and various home businesses participating in the event. Bids on these new items range from 1 to 4 quarters. There are usually between 40 and 60 items to auction during a QuarterMania.

When you arrive

When you arrive at the event, you will register and pick out a paddle (or several) with a number on each that is used for your individual bidding on the items you want to try to win. Paddles are $3 each or two for $5. All proceeds from paddle sales are donated directly to Sara’s Garden. 50/50 tickets are also available at this time.

How the auction works

The auctioneer begins by holding up a product and telling a little bit about the highlights and then tells everyone how much the item is going for – between 1 and 4 quarters. If you would like to bid on that item, you put the corresponding number of quarters in the collection pot then hold up your paddle(s) and wait for your number to be called.

Once all the bids are in – the auctioneer randomly selects a number. If your lucky paddle number is called and you have placed a bid , you WIN that item! Now, if you didn’t bid – you just say “no bid” and the auctioneer will re-shuffle the numbers and continue calling a number until someone who has placed a bid and is holding their paddle up wins.

It’s that simple, and it’s a load of fun!

That’s not all!

In addition to the biddings, there are 50/50 tickets and other raffle drawings going on throughout the evening. Tickets for raffle items will be $1 each or six for $5. Also, the participating businesses have a lots of specials as well as cash & carry items at their tables. Please stop by and support these individuals as these events would not be possible without them.

Food, desserts, and beverages will be available for a free will donation.

So… if you are ready for a fun-filled evening for a GREAT CAUSE, grab your QUARTERS and SOME FRIENDS and be there!

For more information on this event either as a participant or as a vendor, please visit the Facebook event page or contact Tina Whalen via email or phone at (419) 345-5302.

2018 “Drive Fore Hope” Recap

2018 “Drive Fore Hope” Recap

Friday, May 25th was the 7th Annual Sara’s Garden “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble.

We would like to thank all of the sponsors, participants and volunteers that helped make this such a great event. Twenty nine teams participated in this year’s outing on was an absolutely beautiful day at Ironwood Golf Course. We are so blessed by the turnout and continued support.

Next year’s “Drive Fore Hope” event will be held on Friday May 24, 2019. Make sure you save the date in your calendars now for another great time!

Tournament Champions

The tournament champion for the event with a score of 52 was the talented team from Gerald Grain made up by Clark Carroll, Dave Gerken, Doug Shaw, and Chad Penrod (Pictured above). Congratulations guys!

1st Place Drawing (Prize: TaylorMade M2 Drivers)
  • Martin Friess, Jake Haas, Teresa Haas, Reid Rayfield
2nd Place Drawing (Prize: TaylorMade M2 Fairway Woods)
  • Julian Giovarelli, John Korak, Nick Korak, Mike Burget
3rd Place Drawing (Prize: TaylorMade Hybrid Rescue Clubs)
  • Brent Winzeler, Doug Krauss, Mark Tussing, Doug Tussing
Men’s Longest Drive (Prize: Callaway Driver)
  • Drew Ginn
Women’s Longest Drive (Prize: TaylorMade Driver)
  • Tammy Johnson
Longest Putt (Prize: TaylorMade Putter)
  • Marty Schramm
Closest to Pin (Prize: Callaway Golf Bag)
  • Evan King

Volunteers: We are so grateful for your willing participation and involvement in supporting our event. Thank you so much for all of your work!

Participants: Thank you for taking time out of your day to spend it with us at Ironwood Golf Course. We hope you all enjoyed the event and look forward to seeing you again next summer.

Partners: Thank you so much for your partnership in this event. Because of your support we were able to provide fantastic prizes and giveaways to the participating teams.

Gold Event Partners
  • Rupp Seeds, Inc.
Silver Contest Partners
  • Andres, O’Neil and Lowe
  • Arrow Tru-Line, Inc.
  • Fitzenrider
  • Foundation Steel LLC
  • Haas Door
  • Meyer-Badenhop Insurance
  • Miller Bros. Construction, Inc.
  • Nature Fresh
  • State Bank
  • Subway of Archbold, Delta, Swanton, Waterville, & West Unity
  • Wauseon Machine and Manufacturing
  • Winzeler & Bok, Ltd
  • Worthington Industries Galvanizing Department
Bronze Meal Partners
  • Creighton Electric
  • D&G Welding
  • Grieser Transportation
  • North Star BlueScope Steel
  • Sonit Systems
  • Swanton Welding & Machine
  • Worthington Industries
“O2” Tee Partners
  • Aquatek Water Conditioning
  • Aschliman & Co. CPA’s
  • Beck Insurance
  • Car 1
  • Fulton Lumber Co.
  • Ironwood Golf Course
  • Kevin’s Plumbing & Heating
  • Kinsman Propane
  • M & R Redi Mix
  • Pettisville Grain
  • Sauder Woodworking
  • Scottdel Cushion, LLC

We are so grateful for everyone that took part in our “Drive Fore Hope” and are so proud to be a part of such a caring and supportive community.

2014 Drive Fore Hope Winner… Was it You?

2014 Drive Fore Hope Winner… Was it You?

We would like to create a memorial plaque to commemorate the annual winners of the Drive Fore Hope charity golf scramble… there’s only problem… we have no idea who won the tournament in 2014!

Below is a list of the yearly tournament champions as well as a gallery of photos of the teams who played in the 2014 event.

Yearly Drive Fore Hope Tournament Champions
2012:Rod Cheney, Chad Smith, Brian Huffman
2013:Joe Rodriguez, Moses Rodriguez, Dave Sauber & Brian Stuckey
2015:Justin Thompson, Rod Cheney, Scott Rychener & Chad Smith
2016:Wade Wheeler, Chad Penrod, Paul Jemison, Tyson Langenderfer
2017:Clark Carroll, Dave Gerken, Doug Shaw, and Chad Penrod
2018:Clark Carroll, Dave Gerken, Doug Shaw, and Chad Penrod

Did your team finish with the low score in 2014 and take home brand new drivers?

Can you help us figure out who won the 2014 Drive Fore Hope charity golf scramble? Was it you?

If you know who won and can help us solve this mystery, please contact Matt at 419.335.7272 ext. 201 or via email at

ACENA Conference Registration Now Open

ACENA Conference Registration Now Open

Parents and professionals… Registration is now open for the upcoming 2018 ACENA Conference. This year’s conference, hosted by Sara’s Garden, is being held at historic Sauder Village, in Archbold, Ohio from August 27-29.

We are so excited to be able to convene dedicated conductors, administrators and professionals from across the world to learn, connect, envision and build the future of the practice of Conductive Education.

The working theme of the conference this year is: CONDUCTIVE EDUCATION ~ BLENDING TRADITION AND INNOVATION. The conference aims to highlight how the discipline of Conductive Education is a holistic approach to intervention that bridges the gap between educational and therapy services.

The conference’s keynote speaker is Dr. Lynne Gauthier, Assistant Professor of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at The Ohio State University. Dr. Gauthier will be presenting on “Neuroplasticity, Rehabilitation & Gaming.” Though a relative newcomer to Ohio State, Dr. Gauthier has made significant inroads in finding collaborators and obtaining funding to support a research program that uses neuroimaging techniques to study the clinical efficacy of constraint-induced movement therapy (CI therapy), which is used to treat hemiparesis resulting from stroke, cerebral palsy, and brain injury.

This conference should be an invaluable resource to professionals, educators, special education teachers, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, physicians, social workers, program directors and administrators and parents of children with special needs. We hope you are able to attend.

For more information on conference details and registration or how to become an exhibitor and/or sponsor please visit the conference website at or contact Jackie Rice via email at or by phone by calling 419.335.7272.

Giving Tuesday NWO

Giving Tuesday NWO

Mark your calendars for #GivingTuesdayNWO!

Join the Giving Tuesday Movement by coming together with others in the community to maximize charitable giving!

Event Date:Tuesday, November 27, 2018
Event Location:Northwest State Community College, Atrium Building
22600 State Route 34
Archbold, OH 43502
Event Time:5:00 p.m.

Celebrate Giving Tuesday with:

  • The Difference Makers Expo and appetizers.
  • Dinner and panel discussions from local nonprofits.
  • Anonymous giving opportunities to support causes important to you.

Let’s see how many dollars Northwest Ohio can generate to change lives in our area!

Learn more at

Hope in the Midst of Life ~ July 2018

Hope in the Midst of Life ~ July 2018

Simple Decisions that have Significant Impact on Caregiving

School is out!! Yeah!! Welcome to summer… and routine changes. (Deep breath!) As we know, changing “normal” can be challenging, for all of us. Sometimes this is especially challenging for caregivers! The decisions we make about those changes and what “normal” is, can have profound effects on the quality of our lives and the ease or difficulty of our caregiving situations.

Currently, I find myself making decisions about paint colors, and I am reminded of some effects of color. Red (and colors close to it on the color wheel)  is extremely stimulating and exciting. As a counselor I know that the LAST color I want my office to be is red, especially for the children I see. If I have an appointment with a child that day, I will never choose to wear red. Instead, lavender and soft blues and greens effect our brains in ways that make us all feel much calmer with more clarity of thinking. It’s a simple thing really, that the colors of the environment effect behaviors and emotions of all of us, especially children. How calm are the colors in your environment?

Another very helpful plan is exercise. How much exercise are we getting? We all know that exercise will help us manage stress. We caregivers also have to consider, how much exercise the person we are taking care of, is getting!  It is easy to stay inside and watch TV. But summer is a fantastic time to be outside.  Just consider early morning or evening if the days are too warm for your workout or theirs.

Speaking of “outside”… research is now talking about “grounding” or “earthing” as something to help our bodies be calmer and healthier. Grounding is simply spending some time (preferably daily) outside barefoot or sitting on the ground. Research is also finding this is beneficial for inflammation, immune responses, wound healing, and chronic autoimmune diseases. Who knew getting your feet or hands dirty in the garden or yard is so healthy?!

There is always a long list of what we “should” be doing.  But another thing that is very exciting to me is nutrition!  A study at Arizona State University was just published that says they have proven that nutrition and dietary intervention IS effective at improving “symptoms, cognition, digestive health, and behavior” in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders!  You can read about it at  (Nourishing Hope also has all sorts of information related to this.)   The simple first focus would be on quality, chemically free vegetables and fruit. The study has many other things it considered, and even uses Epson salt baths.  Also consider and decreasing sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

To think that I can make a significant difference in my caregiving duties by the colors I wear and the colors in the environment, by exercise (mine and theirs), going barefoot and sitting on the ground, and by the food I eat and I serve…  Amazing!!

Enjoy summer and may the “new normal” be joyous!

Janet Miller  MA LPCC