Overcoming the Downward Spiral of Anxiety & Depression

Overcoming the Downward Spiral of Anxiety & Depression

Anxiety is a normal and healthy emotion all people experience. It’s a normal response to stressful situations and signals us to be alert and ready for impending danger. Depression is different from anxiety. Rather than feeling anxious and nervous, feelings of gloom and melancholy take center stage. Feeling sad or down after experiencing a loss or disappointment is normal, and everyone feels anxious from time to time. However, severe or ongoing feelings of depression and anxiety that interfere with life functions can be a sign of an underlying mental health disorder.

In the U.S. the most common approach to treating anxiety and depression involves using potent medications, called anxiolytics, such as benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Sadly, for many, these medications can actually increase anxiety over the course of time. While counseling and psychological therapy can address less severe forms of anxiety, they do not address the root cause of underlying brain imbalances.

So, what are the root causes of anxiety and depression? Recent advances in neuroscience reveal the root causes include a lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain, lack of specific brain chemicals, and brainwave imbalances. Inside the brain, we have billions of brain cells, called neurons, sending electrical signals to each other, which we measure as brainwaves. These electrical signals cause the brain cells to release small chemicals called neurotransmitters, such as serotonin, dopamine, and adrenaline.

This vast network of brain cells is fed with oxygen and other nutrients by blood from over 100,000 miles of blood vessels inside the brain. In children and adults with anxiety, studies show there are often not enough of these blood vessels supplying oxygen and important nutrients. This lack of nutrients begins to cause brainwave imbalances, as measured by an EEG scan. People with anxiety typically have too much brainwave activity on the right side of their brain, usually in the temporal lobe of the brain.

This, in turn, causes a downstream effect on brain chemicals called neurotransmitters, meaning that the brain cells start producing too little or too much of the chemicals they need. People with anxiety are usually deficient in serotonin and GABA neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitter imbalances are further exacerbated by nutritional deficiencies in the person’s diet, especially of key vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and amino acids.

Adequate blood flow in the brain is vital for mental health. Brain imaging studies using SPECT scans reveal that low blood flow is commonly linked to mental health/brain health issues, such as ADD/ADHD, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia and addictions. In fact, low blood flow is the leading brain imaging predictor that an individual will develop Alzheimer’s disease.

Kyle had been living with mild forms of anxiety and depression for some time. He was taking a small dose of medication to treat his disorder. It was manageable. He was hanging out with his friends, playing music, and finding joy in the hobbies and activities he was participating in.

Things changed for Kyle when he tried a treatment for depression called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) is a noninvasive procedure that uses magnetic fields to stimulate nerve cells in the brain in hopes to improve symptoms of depression. It’s thought to activate regions of the brain that have decreased activity in depression. Unfortunately for Kyle, it made his symptoms worse. After TMS, his depression and anxiety became unmanageable and debilitating. He no longer wanted to interact with friends or take part in any activities.

Kyle’s life became a dangerous circle of worsening feelings and increasing medications. He felt like he was spiraling out of control with no end in sight. Thankfully, he found Sara’s Garden and hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) while researching natural treatment options in hopes of breaking his never-ending cycle of medications.

Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) has been proven to reduce cerebral edema, reduce neuro-inflammation, increases oxygen saturation to the brain, promote new blood vessel growth, reactivate idling neurons and can create an 8-fold increase in your own stem cell production. In a hyperbaric chamber, the influx of oxygen helps increase blood flow and expedites cellular repair naturally. SPECT scans show that people who have had HBOT have marked improvement in blood flow to the brain.

By giving the body what it needs to thrive – and taking away other natural pollutants for the short time – the brain experiences reduced irritability, impulsivity, and mood swings while many patients notice an increase in uplifting emotions, motor function, and IQ. In other words, HBOT addresses the root cause of anxiety and depression.

Following his first 40 sessions of HBOT, Kyle noticed an increase in cognitive function and felt more optimism. He became more motivated to be around people again and felt that he had fewer negative thoughts. His brain felt stronger. Kyle’s family and friends noticed the changes too. He heard many comments from those around him that he was returning to his old self.

Kyle feels much better now. It’s an ongoing process. He can’t say that his depression and anxiety are completely gone, but he is now able to handle it better. Problems that once seemed impossible to overcome now seem doable. Kyle is so thankful to the entire staff at Sara’s Garden for being so helpful and understanding and having a heart for helping others.

No matter what you’ve been told, there is hope… for this and many other conditions. HBOT is treatment without drugs… without surgery… without pain.

Special Grounds Project Update ~ April 2021

Special Grounds Project Update ~ April 2021

We want to keep everyone informed on the status of our exciting new project, Special Grounds Coffee Shop.

Our new e-commerce website (SpecialGroundsCoffee.com) is now up and running! You can now order our delicious, locally-roasted coffees online for pickup or delivery right to your door! We have the following amazing coffees available for purchase:

All proceeds from this event will be used towards the purchase of therapy equipment for our clients and students at Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy. Sara’s Garden is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the only facility in the United States to offer Autism Intervention, Conductive Education, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration and Speech-Language Pathology services.

Below is a list of the past golf outing sponsors that we would like to honor. Thank you for your support!

  • Brazil
  • Colombia
  • Ethiopia
  • Guatemala
  • Peru
  • Sumatra
  • Uganda
  • Awe, Nuts!
  • Blueberry Crumble
  • Cinnamon Buttercream
  • Coffee Cake
  • Cool Mint Creme
  • Hawaiian Macadamia Nut
  • Peppermint Pig
  • Pralines & Cream
  • Red, White & Blueberry
  • Toasted Macaroon
Premium Blends
  • Ind’Nile
  • Tall, Dark & Rich
  • Throat Punch
  • Wake Up Well
  • Awe, Nuts! Decaf
  • Blueberry Crumble Decaf
  • Cinnamon Buttercream Decaf
  • Coffee Cake Decaf
  • Colombia Decaf
  • Cool Mint Creme Decaf
  • Guatemala Decaf
  • Hawaiian Macadamia Nut Decaf
  • Peppermint Pig Decaf
  • Pralines & Cream Decaf
  • Red, White & Blueberry Decaf
  • Sumatra Decaf
  • Toasted Macaroon Decaf
  • Top of the Morning Decaf

Progress continues on our actual coffee shop storefront renovations. We hope to be up and running with the fully operational coffee shop and drive up window by the end of summer.

Please continue to keep an eye out for our Special Grounds Coffee Shop Grand Opening invitation and announcement. We look forward to seeing you and serving you there!

2021 “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble

2021 “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble

The “Drive Fore Hope” is BACK!

After missing last year due to COVID restrictions, Sara’s Garden is thrilled to announce that our 2021 “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble is back on and scheduled for Friday, September 24th. Be sure to save the date! We have put together another fun-filled day at Ironwood Golf Course in Wauseon, Ohio and hope to see you there!

One big change this year, is that we will not be collecting any money for sponsorships. We know that you, our amazing local businesses, were negatively impacted by the pandemic this past year. As our way of saying thanks for all of your dedicated support of Sara’s Garden, we will be posting all of the sponsorship signs that we have for businesses that have sponsored this event the past four years.

Event Date: Friday, September 24, 2021
Event Location: Ironwood Golf Course, Wauseon, Ohio
Event Format: 4-Player Team Scramble
Event Cost: $75 per Player ($300 per Team)

All proceeds from this event will be used towards the purchase of therapy equipment for our clients and students at Sara’s Garden and New Horizons Academy. Sara’s Garden is a recognized 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is the only facility in the United States to offer Autism Intervention, Conductive Education, Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration and Speech-Language Pathology services.

Event has ended

Registration Includes:

  • Scramble format (4-player teams)
  • Green and cart fees
  • Range balls
  • Goodie bag
  • Contests and prizes
  • Awards for top teams
  • Lunch Buffet
Schedule of Events
7:00 a.m.
Range Open
8:00 a.m.
Shotgun Scramble
1:00 p.m.
Lunch Buffet at NHA Career Center
2:00 p.m.

Below is a list of the past golf outing sponsors that we would like to honor. Thank you for your support!

Platinum Title Sponsors
Gold Event Sponsors
Silver Contest Partners
  • 20/20 Custom Molded Plastics
  • Andres, O’Neil and Lowe
  • Arrow Tru-Line, Inc.
  • Fitzenrider, Inc.
  • Foundation Steel LLC
  • Haas Door
  • Meyer-Badenhop Insurance
  • Miller Bros. Construction, Inc.
  • Nature Fresh
  • Rupp-Rosebrock, Inc.
  • State Bank
  • Subway of Archbold, Delta, Swanton, Waterville, & West Unity
  • Wauseon Machine and Manufacturing
  • Winzeler & Bok, Ltd
  • Worthington Industries Galvanizing Department
Bronze Meal Sponsors
  • Creighton Electric
  • D&G Welding
  • Grieser Transportation
  • North Star BlueScope Steel
  • Schuette Construction
  • Swanton Welding & Machine
  • Worthington Industries
O2 Tee Sponsors
  • Aquatek Water Conditioning
  • Aeschliman & Co. CPA’s
  • American Legion Post 300
  • Archbold Container
  • Auto Images
  • Automatic Feed Company
  • Barber, Kaper, Stamm, McWatters & Whitlock
  • Beck’s Construction
  • Beck Insurance
  • Black Swamp Equipment
  • Car 1
  • Cordy Insurance Agency
  • David Geringer
  • Dr. McKernan and Dr. Spieles
  • Edward Jones, Wauseon
  • Fulton Industries
  • Gerig Eavespouting
  • Gearig Floors
  • Grieser Roos Insurance
  • Holthues and Associates
  • Ironwood Golf Course
  • J&B Feed
  • Joe Newlove Real Estate & Auction
  • Kevin’s Plumbing & Heating
  • Kinsman Propane
  • Krauss-Lane Electric
  • Lugbill Supply
  • M.E. Miller Tire
  • Miller Construction
  • Nafziger Chiropractic
  • Nofziger Door Sales
  • NWO Beverage Co.
  • OK Electric
  • Pettisville Grain
  • R&S Lines
  • Roth, Britsch, Dickman & Associates
  • Rychener Seed
  • Sauder Woodworking
  • Scottdel Cushion, LLC
  • Short Agency
  • Sonit Systems
  • Systech Handling
  • Terry Henricks Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram
  • Tomahawk Printing
  • Whalen Realty

For additional information regarding partnership opportunities or team registration for the Sara’s Garden “Drive Fore Hope” Charity Golf Scramble please contact Tara at 419.335.SARA or via email at tarad@sarasgarden.org.

Please join us for a great day of golf filled with fun, great food, auction items, skill contests and fabulous prizes. Take a day off work for a great cause and meet some of the amazing people you are golfing to help!

Summer Programs Quickly Approaching

Summer Programs Quickly Approaching

Our 2021 Summer Enrichment programs are quickly approaching and we are currently taking registrations for both our Wauseon and Springfield locations.

2021 Summer Program Dates:

  • Wauseon: June 01-25 (Registration deadline is April 23)
  • Springfield: July 06-30 (Registration deadline is May 20)

If you are considering either of these programs, now is the time to register and arrange funding.

Sara’s Garden offers amazing summer intervention programs for children with disabilities. These month-long programs deliver inclusive therapies that provide interventions for individuals with a variety of conditions and disabilities.

Our caring and experienced staff of licensed therapists, conductors and paraprofessionals create unique, intensive therapy-based programs that are tailored to the needs of each participant and are designed to enhance your child’s developmental skills. This approach not only helps your child to work towards greater independence, it also keeps the regression of skills and development that typically occurs over the summer months at bay.

Goals of these programs include:

Improving Interpersonal Skills:
  • Relationship building
  • Responding to his/her name
  • Learning the names of peers
  • Basic conversation skills
  • Behavioral skill development
Improving Fine and Gross Motor Skills:
  • Range of motion
  • Sitting and standing
  • Walking and transfers
  • Self feeding
  • Independent living skills
Improving Language Skills:
  • Vocabulary knowledge and understanding
  • Basic concepts
  • Following verbally presented directions
  • Improving story comprehension
  • Improve Reading/Writing Skills
Improving Social Skills:
  • Greetings
  • Turn Taking
  • Initiating communication
  • Informing and directing others
  • Requesting

Our summer intervention programs also provide support for children who use augmentative communication systems (low tech or high tech) who have language and literacy skills and need more experience with peer to peer social skills.

We serve clients with (but not limited to): ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, CDKL5, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Near Drowning, Seizure Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders, Spina Bifida, Stroke and Traumatic Brain Injury.

Additional information is being compiled on potential funding and grant options for families in need of financial support.

For more information, please contact Ronda Rupp at 833.668.7272 or via email at rondar@sarasgarden.org.

2021 Graduation in the Works!

2021 Graduation in the Works!

After a year of pushing back graduation, holding small family ceremonies, and staff not fully getting to celebrate with our students their academic accomplishments, New Horizons Academy (NHA) is so pleased and proud to announce that its 2021 Graduation Ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m. at the new Career Center, located at 854 S. Shoop Ave., Wauseon, OH 43567. All graduates are asked to arrive by noon.

To be able to celebrate this year with our graduates, NHA must comply with Governor Mike DeWine’s, the Ohio Department of Health’s, and the Ohio Department of Education’s COVID guidelines. All participants, their families, guests, and staff will be asked to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols, including all attendees wearing face coverings, practicing social distancing, and sitting with their family or classroom group. These plans are subject to change dependent upon state and local health guidelines.

Among our 2021 graduating seniors are Valedictorian Eli Travis Warncke and Salutatorian Ezekiel David Beck.

Eli is the son of Todd and Amy Warncke. Pettisville Local Schools is his home school district. He is graduating with a 4.0 GPA, having participated in College Credit Plus (CCP) classes through both Northwest State Community College and Cedarville University. Eli was awarded a Presidential Scholarship to attend Cedarville in the fall, studying prepharmacy.

Ezekiel (Zeke) Beck is the son of Tucker Beck and Ashley Estrada. His home school district is Archbold Area Local Schools. Zeke is graduating with a 3.38 GPA, and he is planning on attending the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) in its automotive technology program.

Three students from the Wauseon Exempted Village School District will also be graduating this year from NHA. They include Konner Light, Shalian McCarley, and Chloe Runke. Konner will be looking for a summer job while Shalian and Chloe will be returning to work part-time in our new Special Grounds Coffee Shop.

Due to COVID delaying vocational and work placements, several of our seniors will be deferring graduation and are electing to return for another year at NHA’s Career Center. Students may stay at NHA through their 21st birthday.

Congratulations to all of our graduates! We truly wish you the best, and we hope that everyone, who is available, will come out on Sunday, May 23 at 1:00 p.m. to celebrate their accomplishments with us.

NHA Students Avoid Academic Regression

NHA Students Avoid Academic Regression

NHA’s students’ progress is rosier than most of the country’s with our students avoiding academic regression!

Unlike most public school students from across the United States, New Horizons Academy’s students overall avoided academic regression. Most NHA students either held their own or made slight academic progress throughout last year’s COVID school closure and through this school year’s unpredictability.

According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, nationally, students started this school year three months behind in math and one and half months behind in reading. With continued uncertainty, online instruction, and quarantine issues, nationally, this regression continued with most students, at best, ending this school year a half a grade behind. By June 2021, McKinsey & Company predict that many students will be over five to nine months behind. They found that “some students didn’t learn any new materials once the pandemic hit and may have even slipped backwards.” Thankfully, that was NOT the case for most NHA students!

Even though many NHA students are academically behind their typical peers because of their disabilities, NHA students did not experience further academic regression this school year. According to the DIBELS Reading Assessment by the Center on Teaching & Learning, all of our first graders saw an increase in letter naming fluency this school year while all first through third grade students either stayed at the same level or saw an increase in their word reading fluency, in connecting letter sounds, and in oral fluency reading with two students learning 55 more new words in just four months. For our fourth through sixth graders, they all either stayed at the same level or saw an increase in their oral fluency reading with an average of 18 more new words in four months.

Nationally for kindergarteners, the pandemic was even harder! Nationally, kindergarten enrollment dropped by 16% with many parents electing to keep their children at home rather than face online instructional learning with preliterate preschoolers. The Ohio Department of Education found this same trend with an 8% drop in kindergarten enrollment this year.

That may have been the state and national trend, but NHA saw a 23% increase in preschool and kindergarten enrollment at its Wauseon Campus from the 2019-2020 school year to the 2020-2021 school year. NHA kindergarteners saw a 12% improvement in letter naming fluency from the beginning of the school year through mid-year. We hope to see this trend continue through May.

Early intervention is the key to special education services, and NHA is proud to say that early intervention works!



New Horizons Academy (NHA) is committed to the health and safety of its students and staff, and we will do everything in our power to keep them safe! That said, as we start the fourth quarter of this school year, we are celebrating our first baby step back to “normal.”

This school year, we have worked extremely hard to minimize in-school coronavirus transmission with face coverings, social distancing, frequent hand washing, hand sanitizing, rigorous cleaning, maintaining classroom pods, having staff rather than students rotate classrooms, and morning temperature checks for staff and students. We have been remarkably successful with just 9 individuals testing positive for COVID-19:

  • 1 student at our Wauseon Campus
  • 1 staff member at our Career Center
  • 2 staff members at our Springfield Campus
  • 5 staff members at our Wauseon Campus

With less community transmission, our COVID cases starting to drop, and staff getting vaccinated, NHA will no longer will be taking morning temperatures for all of its staff and students. This is the first little step back to normal, and a trend that we hope to continue! With just over a year since our forced COVID-19 school closure, it is definitely something worth celebrating!

To continue this trend, NHA will continue its other COVID protocols and will ask you to continue to:

  • Keep your children home when they are sick.
  • Encourage them to wear a mask or face covering.
  • Avoid unnecessary gatherings with people outside of your home.
  • Remind your children to wash their hands often with soap and water.
  • Encourage them to carry and use hand sanitizer.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces.

Thank you for helping us to keep our students and staff healthy and safe!