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'Happy Talkers' fair today to provide free workshop for autism, developmental delays

School of Imagination event includes screenings and referrals

Dublin's School of Imagination will host its Happy Talkers Community Outreach Fair starting at 10 a.m. this morning, an event touted as the largest and most comprehensive early intervention workshop of its kind.

From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at 7625 Ridgeline Drive in Dublin, parents can have their children screened for developmental delays and autism, as well as receive immediate referrals to onsite agencies. Experts in the field--including pediatricians, speech language pathologists, occupational therapists, child development specialists and more--will also serve as a resource in planning, if necessary.

SOI began as a Happy Talkers in a Pleasanton home and has since served more than 3,000 students since it was founded in 2000.

"We launched the Happy Talkers Community Outreach Fair as part of our mission to ensure that every child receives help as early as possible," said Charlene Sigman, speech therapist and founder of SOI. "Parents will receive information as well as relief from experts and ultimately a chance to change their child's future."

Early screening, diagnosis and intervention for children between 18 months and three years are critical because they need to begin services and therapies during this period to try to meet developmental milestones, according to Sigman.

To register and for more information about the fair, call 877-KIDS-TLC or visit www.schoolofimagination.org/outreach.

--Emily West

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