Together We Grow Times



President Terry Racciato discusses Together We Grow's connection to San Diego military families on NBC's Morning Salute with Jason Austell.  To see the video, please click here.


Thank You Parents!

Thank you for your support!  We have the best parents in the world.  It "takes a village to raise a child," and we take pride in being part of that village, but the parents are the most important people of all!


Sensory Integration Room

Each of our centers has a sensory integration room, specifically designed to meet a wide variety of needs. We like to refer to this room as “The Great Equalizer,” as we use the different tools in it to bring obtunded children up or hyperactive or self-injurious children down.

We use tools to work with children who may not have complete sensory abilities, in order to help them maximize the abilities they do have or to experience one sense through another. We have one child in our center who is deaf and blind. Our sensory integration room allows her to experience music. By sitting in a Somatron chair, which is connected to our stereo system, she can feel the vibrations of the music. She even has her own favorite songs. This room has many different lights, colors, textures and sounds, all geared toward enhancing certain sensory abilities in the children. Our sensory integration room also doubles as a disco for our teenagers on respite weekends!

Outside of the sensory integration room, we work with these children in the classroom using toys and a variety of materials to help them build their senses. We also teach the infants sign language to assist with their communication skills. It is our goal to see all the children attending Together We Grow maximize their sensory abilities and experience as much of the world as possible.


Let Us Know What You Think

When it comes to spreading the word about Together We Grow, we know that nothing holds more weight than your words. We’ve opened up several avenues for you to be able to tell the community and us what you think about Together We Grow. Please take a few minutes to visit one of the following sites and write a review:

  • Yelp—San Diego, Oceanside – requires a Yelp login, which you can register for on the site
  • Google Maps—type in “Together We Grow, San Diego” or “Together We Grow, Oceanside” – requires a Gmail login, which you can register for on the site
  • Yahoo Local—San Diego, Oceanside – requires a Yahoo login, which you can register for on the site


Getting to Know Together We Grow: Karen Waits

AustinKaren is one of our newest additions to the Together We Grow team, and we are so happy to have her on board. Our RN Nursing Supervisor since October of last year, Karen holds degrees in Nursing and Psychology. Before starting at Together We Grow, she was a pediatric RN at Rady Children’s Hospital.

Working in a management position that still allows her to work with children, Karen says she has loved every minute of working here since arriving. As the supervisor, she is involved with staffing, training, education, communication and the general daily operating functions of the healthcare staff. She also monitors charting and documentation and keeps our patients’ charts updated.

When asked why she likes working at Together We Grow, Karen said, “There’s no job like it in the world! The staff and management are top notch and it’s such a great joy to interact with the kids and their families. Plus, you can never have a bad day for too long, with all the smiling, giggly, silly little ones to brighten your day with hugs and lots of funniness.”

Karen described the most rewarding part of her job as being able to watch the typical and medically fragile children interact, share and care about one another, recalling the most moving moment she has had in her time here as when a medically fragile toddler returned from a long absence due to surgery and her friends immediately came up to her with hugs and smiles. Karen noted, “They may only be one-year-olds, but they remembered her and missed her! It was so sweet to see. This is truly a very unique place and will no doubt graduate some great kids with big hearts and caring souls.”

Since moving here from Louisville, Kentucky, Karen enjoys the perks of San Diego life by walking or riding her bike along the beach in her spare time. She also enjoys cooking, making jewelry, decorating and other activities that get her creativity flowing.


Did You Know?

Together We Grow serves the 1% of the most medically fragile children in the population. We serve approximately 120 medically fragile children. We have never had to place a child with a foster parent because of abuse or neglect. We have increased the population of foster parents willing to accept a medically fragile child because we can care for their needs during the week while they work and give them an occasional weekend of respite to support their efforts.


Low Fat Fruit Pizza


  • 1 graham cracker pie crust
  • Sliced fruit (Suggestions: strawberries, mandarin oranges, kiwi, berries, pineapple)
  • 1 package (16 oz.) sugar free vanilla instant pudding
  • 3 cups skim milk
  • 6 oz. Light cream cheese (room temperature)


In a mixing bowl, combine the pudding and milk. Beat on low to mix. Beat the cream cheese in until it is smooth. Spread this mixture over the pie crust. Arrange your fruit on top of the pizza. Set in the fridge to cool. Slice and serve.


Our Shining Star: Charlie

AustinCharlie is known at Together We Grow as quite the charmer.  With his bright blue eyes and loving personality, Charlie is quick to win over anyone who meets him.  Since starting with us at our Oceanside center 6 years ago, we have had the pleasure of getting to know Charlie as he grows.  Now 7-years-old and in the first grade, Charlie joins us during the week for afterschool care.

After Charlie was born, his parents realized the whole family would need some special help.  When it was time for Charlie’s mom, Julie, to go back to work, she began looking at local daycare centers.  She was soon overwhelmed as it became seemingly evident that there was not a single place that would accept Charlie.  As Julie began to consider alternative options, like staying home and possibly going on welfare, one of Charlie’s therapists told her about this new center in Oceanside that might be able to accommodate Charlie’s needs.  Julie called Together We Grow, and Charlie started soon after.  Not knowing such places even existed, Julie was astonished that there was somewhere special for Charlie right in her backyard.  She says Together We Grow is a huge blessing in her family’s life and that it is a true miracle for her to be able to go to work everyday with the peace of mind that her son is well taken care of. 
Julie explains that people are simply drawn to Charlie.  It might have something to do with his kisses, a gesture Charlie uses to express many things, like hello, goodbye, “I love you,” thank you, and so on.  Julie describes Charlie as a “happy and chill” child who touches the lives of others.  We have come to know Charlie as a boy who exudes pure love, and we feel fortunate to have been on the receiving end of that love for so many years.


Funding Reminder

We have three main sources of funding for our medically fragile children:

  • Medi-Cal—some children may qualify for Medi-Cal eligibility separate from their parents’ income.
  • Regional Centers—funding may come from Early Start or skilled nursing hours (including our weekend program).
  • Military – respite and child care hours are available through government funded programs for children of an active duty parent.

If you have any questions about whether or not a child will qualify for one of these programs, please contact us through the website, at or by calling 858-751-0506 (San Diego) or 760-757-6031 (Oceanside). We have knowledgeable case managers at each site to assist families and health care professionals.


San Diego

5055 Viewridge Avenue
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 751 - 0506


3815 Mission Avenue, Suite 107

Oceanside, CA 92058
(760) 757 - 6031


Togather We Grow


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