Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. March 04, 2017

In This Issue

Autism rates in the United States explained

Why Do Kids Have Trouble With Transitions?

No MMR-Autism Link in Large Study of Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Kids

Why Are Consistent Routines So Hard?

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Join us in Making a Difference, Race for Autism! 10% Discount Now Through March 10!!!

NFAR Men's Group - Mar 9, 2017

10th Annual Beach Bash Gala

Friendship Circle of San Diego's Purim Party!

Accounting and Income Tax

Jeremiah's Ranch March Newsletter

Summer Program Information Coming Soon!

Help Us Get Insurance Funding For ALL Autism Treatments!

Self-Advocacy Conference - Save the Date

Conference: The DIR® Approach to Pediatric Feeding

S4EA March Newsletter

What's Cool? What's In? What's Confusing? Current Pop Culture Trends

Announcing the Opening of Community Transition Academy



On Saturday, March 25, 2017 we are celebrating the 13th annual San Diego Race for Autism in Balboa Park, and it's going to be "Super!"

This family friendly event gathers together more than 6,000 families, educators, and autism professionals from across Southern California to help raise awareness and funding for one of our country's largest concerns- autism. Once considered rare, autism now affects as many as 1 in 68 children in the US, and more than 19,000 families right here in our community.

100% of the Race funds stay right here in San Diego and provide funding for early identification efforts, technical training in software testing for young adults, parent programs, educational workshops and has funded more than 600 community programs and classrooms, benefiting thousands of local children and families.

Want to learn more about Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) for your child on the spectrum?

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) is a unique treatment approach that empowers parents to guide their child to succeed in a truly dynamic world. Children who learn to actively engage with the support of their parents in safe but challenging learning opportunities (problems and situations that are just beyond their level of competence), develop a strong motivation to explore and expand their world, as well as develop competence and trust in themselves and their Guides. The program has no defined length. It is designed to accommodate parents and children with a wide range of obstacles and handicapping conditions. Therefore participation may range anywhere from one to several years. Have specific questions? See the RDI FAQs for answers!

  • Autism rates in the United States explained
  • The prevalence of autism in the United States has risen steadily since researchers first began tracking it in 2000. The rise in the rate has sparked fears of an autism 'epidemic.' But experts say the bulk of the increase stems from a growing awareness of autism and changes to the condition's diagnostic criteria.

    Here's how researchers track autism's prevalence and explain its apparent rise. Read on...

  • Why Do Kids Have Trouble With Transitions?
  • Being asked to switch gears is a common trigger for problem behavior like whining and tantrums

    Humans are creatures of habit. Even when we welcome it, change takes more energy. So perhaps it's not surprising that children often find it difficult to make transitions between activities, places and objects of attention. Being asked to stop one thing and start another is a very common trigger for problem behavior, especially for kids who have emotional or developmental challenges.

    "Transitions are hard for everybody," says Dr. David Anderson, senior director of the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at the Child Mind Institute. "One of the reasons why transitions may be hard is that we're often transitioning from a preferred activity - something we like doing - to something that we need to do." Read on...

  • No MMR-Autism Link in Large Study of Vaccinated vs. Unvaccinated Kids
  • Study of over 95,000 children included 15,000 unvaccinated 2 to 5 year olds and nearly 2,000 kids already considered at high risk for autism

    In the largest-ever study of its kind, researchers again found that the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine did not increase risk for autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This proved true even among children already considered at high risk for the disorder.

    In all, the researchers analyzed the health records of 95,727 children, including more than 15,000 children unvaccinated at age 2 and more than 8,000 still unvaccinated at age 5. Nearly 2,000 of these children were considered at risk for autism because they were born into families that already had a child with the disorder.

    The report appears today in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Read on...

  • Why Are Consistent Routines So Hard?
  • Every single book I have ever read about my son's diagnoses say it.

    Most homeschool mom blogs will tell you it's true, special needs or not.

    A steady routine is essential for our children's well-being.

    It's essential for mom's well-being too.

    I know it to be true.

    So why is it so hard to actually do? Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • We are a same sex couple with 11year old twins. Seeking an affordable lawyer knowledgeable in LGBTQ laws and special needs' laws. With the new administration it's critical that my partner completes second parent adoption for the boys, that our wills are updated, and that my severely autistic son is protected. Thank you. Laurena

    We are relocating to the San Diego area from WA in the Summer 2017. I have a 5 year old autistic son (mild-mod) who is in Developmental kindergarten (Special Ed), with pull out to general education Kinder during Math , OT 1X/week & ST 2x/week at school, and he gets outside ABA , OT, Social skills. I wanted to get parent feedback on experiences with the teachers, therapist & Special Education with Del Mar, Solana Beach, La Jolla, Poway or San Diego School District? I want to choose the best elementary school/ school district/special education with teachers, para's, OT, SLP who have experience interacting/teaching kiddos on the spectrum. I would also like to know which School District are open to ABA in the school setting. As well as, other resources in the community, coffee/talk, special needs PTA, support groups, swim classes, hairstylist, Dentist, Doctors, Social skills groups, ABA, SLP, OT's etc in the San Diego area that parent's can recommend.
    Any and all help is greatly appreciated...
    Kindest Regards,
    Diana Garzilazo

    I have a sister with special needs. She is now 20 years old and for about one year now, she has decompensated. She had been on depakote for many years which helped managed her aggression and impulsivity but somehow her body is now "allergic" to this medication. Psychiatrists have tried different cocktails of medication to hopefully help her return to her previous lifestyle. She would participate in sports for exceptional athletes and would participate in other community activities. She does not participate in activities that she once enjoyed due to her severe aggression. She is diagnosed with Autism and intellectual disability. She has recently returned to school (she is slowly progressing). My parents care for her full time and it is a tough tough job as you might understand.

    They are working with the regional center to hopefully find some respite for my parents. But honestly, we ran in to a wall with availability of services. My family is looking for a home for my sister to spend several days per week so she can learn some independent skills and detach some from my parents. I was wondering if you had any ideas of programs or homes we could look in to. Preferably in San Diego. She would be considered what they call a "level 14". Thank you! Norma

    My almost 17 year old son has high functioning autism and I'm trying to figure out what services I might be able to find for him. I'm getting nervous as he had more emotional troubles and gets closer to adulthood. Thanks. Linda

    We are new to San Diego and I am in search of a primary care pediatrician who is knowledgeable in ASD, autoimmune disorders, and chronic illnesses. My son has autoimmune thyroiditis and PANS.
    Thank you!

    I am looking for a psychiatrist for my non-verbal autistic son who is 21 years old and has self-injurious behaviors. Does anyone have experience with Dr. Joshua Feder or recommend anyone else?

    Family with Bi-polar and ADHD and other mental illness 12 /15 year olds seeking childcare worker with appropriate experience - especially residential/group home experience to help after school and weekend help. Carmel Valley/Del Mar area.

    If you have a question or request for this newsletter group, please send your email request to People who can help you will email you directly with their responses.

  • Join us in Making a Difference, Race for Autism! 10% Discount Now Through March 10!!!
  • On Saturday, March 25, 2017 we are celebrating the 13th annual San Diego Race for Autism in Balboa Park, and it's going to be "Super!"

    This family friendly event gathers together more than 6,000 families, educators, and autism professionals from across Southern California to help raise awareness and funding for one of our country's largest concerns- autism. Once considered rare, autism now affects as many as 1 in 68 children in the US, and more than 19,000 families right here in our community.

    100% of the Race funds stay right here in San Diego and provide funding for early identification efforts, technical training in software testing for young adults, parent programs, educational workshops and has funded more than 600 community programs and classrooms, benefiting thousands of local children and families.

    Please join us in making a difference on March 25th. Because everyone can be a SUPERHERO! 10% Discount Code HERO10

  • NFAR Men's Group - Mar 9, 2017
  • Thursday, March 9, 2017

    The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Giovanni's Italian Restaurant
    9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad, Soda.
    Dinner is provided

    March Topic: "Visual Communication Analysis, a new research based treatment for children with autism"

    Most people in the autism community have heard of the concept of thinking in pictures. Studies have shown that it is not really thinking in pictures but thinking in pixels. But, how does thinking in pictures/pixels affect learning, reading and speech in a child with autism? We discuss each of these and show examples.

    We will also discuss nonlinear learning and how visual thinking (thinking in pictures) lends itself to nonlinear learning.

    Guest Speaker: Gary and Dalia Shkedy

    Dalia is the Executive Director of Alternative Teaching Strategy Center, a California Non-Public Agency. Dalia is the original developer of Visual Communication Analysis (VCA) and has trained teachers, speech therapists, and BCBAs all over the world on the implementation of VCA. Dalia was an officer in the army and has extensive training in human behavior. Gary Shkedy is expert in statistics and is responsible for the technology used in the implementation of VCA and holds several patents including one related to VCA. Dalia and Gary have a 20 year old nonverbal son who has autism. Click here for all the info and to RSVP!!!

  • 10th Annual Beach Bash Gala
  • Include Autism's
    10th Annual Beach Bash Gala

    Event Details
    An exclusive night out benefiting Include Autism, being held at the Hard Rock Hotel on Saturday, April 22nd, 5:30 pm - 10:00 pm.

    To get involved please call 858.603.7344 or email


    Join us for our 10th Annual Beach Bash Gala on April 22nd, 2017 at the Hard Rock Hotel from 5:30-10:00 PM. This lively and meaningful event brings together our greatest families and supporters for an evening of gourmet food, live performances, exciting live and silent auctions, and more.

    About our cause: Include Autism is a local (501c3) nonprofit organization working to empower and include individuals with autism in all aspects of community life through skill-building community-based learning as well as through outreach and education at local businesses, organizations, and schools. Our facilities are located in Hillcrest and Poway/Rancho Bernardo, and participants come from all over the county.

    We need your help to ensure that these essential services are available to the San Diego community for years to come. Please consider this great opportunity to showcase your community involvement and review the following ways to get involved in this year's event.

    There are many ways to be involved in this exclusive event, which include diverse sponsorship options. For a PDF of our sponsorship packet click here or contact or 858.603.7344 for more information.

    Auction Donations
    Showcase your business or organization by donating directly to our silent or live auction. By donating an item, gift basket, or gift certificate to our auction your name and logo will be recognized by over 300 event attendees. Your brand will be advertised before the event via our cutting edge online/mobile bidding program. To donate to our auction, please contact Sophia Davis, Development Coordinator, at or 858.603.7344.

    By volunteering before or at the event you can use your time to help ensure our services are available to kids and teens with autism in San Diego for years to come. Opportunities include serving on the event committee, having a group volunteer at the event, or helping with preparation before the event. To learn more about volunteering at the event, contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Steve, at or 858.603.5022.

  • Friendship Circle of San Diego's Purim Party!
  • RSVP Required:

  • Accounting and Income Tax
  • I offer professional accounting services that are customized to your specific needs, including full service computerized bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparation for individuals and small to medium sized businesses.

    Services Provided:

    • Bookkeeping Services
    • Business Consulting
    • Payroll Preparation
    • Income Tax Return Preparation
    • Notary Public Services
    Customer service is my number one priority. I like to work closely with my clients to make sure they understand how their business is doing.

    As a small business owner it is important that you spend your time on running your business and not on bookkeeping. Let me give you the peace of mind you deserve by utilizing my 20+ years of diversified experience in accounting and in business.

    Call to setup an appointment for a free initial consultation so that I can evaluate your bookkeeping needs and provide you with a quote.

    Contact Information:

    Yvette Soto
    3633 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 205
    San Diego, CA. 92108
    Phone (619) 977-6586

  • Jeremiah's Ranch March Newsletter
  • jr

    Click here to read their March edition!!!

  • Summer Program Information Coming Soon!
  • At Social Communication Specialists, we help socially quirky kids, teens and young adults connect.

    We understand the social challenges kids face today. In order to have healthy friendships, kids need to understand not just the "how", but the "why" of social interactions. We currently have openings in groups for all ages. Summer program information coming soon! For more information email

    Social Communication Specialists
    (858) 558-9552
    Sorrento Valley, San Diego
    5703 Oberlin Dr, Ste 207
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • Help Us Get Insurance Funding For ALL Autism Treatments!
  • The DIR/Floortime Coalition has a new bill--Senator Anthony Portantino's SB 399 will require insurance funding for the most appropriate treatment approach for each patient with autism!

    We need you to add your name to our sample letter. We must show that parents, professionals, and organizations are behind this bill.

    **Please click here to ADD YOUR NAME!**

    Forward this email to all organizations and professionals who may influence the outcome by putting the support letter on their letterhead, adding their name/address, and emailing to


  • Self-Advocacy Conference - Save the Date
  • 858-278-5420, ext. 32 or

  • Conference: The DIR® Approach to Pediatric Feeding
  • June 8-9, 2017
    Portland, OR

    Eating is a complex process, with emotional significance for child and parent(s). This course illustrates how DIR® ( Developmental, Individual differences & Relationships) principles are used in feeding intervention for children 6 months-12 years with a range of feeding challenges.

    Participants will learn from the team of presenters about the importance of interdisciplinary collaboration, including medicine, nutrition, occupational therapy, speech therapy and mental health, and will explore relationship-based intervention to guide their practice in the home, clinic and school-based setting. Click here for all the info and to register!!

  • S4EA March Newsletter
  • s4ea

    Click here to view their latest newsletter!!!

  • What's Cool? What's In? What's Confusing? Current Pop Culture Trends
  • Click here to read their latest edition!!!

  • Announcing the Opening of Community Transition Academy
  • Community Transition Academy (CTA) is a non-public transition school (NPS) for emerging adults, 11th grade through transition age (22 yrs.), who have academic, language, social, and/or behavioral challenges most commonly associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The highly trained staff at CTA provide a unique educational program, based on a student's Individual Educational Program (IEP). CTA offers a complete transition curriculum taught both in the classroom and in the community, infused with the evidence-based principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

    CTA's weekday community-based program includes functional academics needed for the transition to adulthood, adaptive social behavior development, social skill training and vocational or post-secondary educational planning and training. Throughout the school day, whether on or off site, CTA students learn self-monitoring strategies to further access the diverse opportunities within the local business, recreational, and social community. By focusing on each student's interests, needs, and competencies, the CTA program gives them the tools they will need to maximize their independence while building long-lasting, meaningful relationships within their greater community.

    To maximize student independence, the CTA curriculum components include, but are not limited to:

    • Teaching core and functional academics taught in both the classroom and in the community
    • Providing safe, functionally adaptive behavior strategies while working to reduce socially inappropriate or unsafe behaviors in community settings, using evidence-based practices
    • Speech and language development and cooperative social communication taught utilizing AAC devices (as written in the IEP) both in the community and with peers
    • Practicing appropriate social skills, relationship development, network-building, and self-advocacy
    • Independent self-care, health & fitness
    • Learning skills in a variety of relevant settings such as restaurant dining, shopping and cooking/meal planning, etc.
    • Vocational skill-building, volunteering with community organizations and local businesses
    • Exploring post-secondary educational opportunities
    • Navigating and riding public transportation, transitioning between environments while acquiring community safety skills
    • Managing rec. & leisure time in a safe, meaningful, and socially-appropriate way
    The CTA program is led by our extremely experienced Lead Educator and Community Specialist that both have a profound understanding of ASD. The CTA support staff includes a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, an Autism Specialist and ABA and ASD specifically trained Coaches. We have partnered with Crimson Speech and Language for our Speech and Language services ​ and taking the lead on our social skills training and relationship development lessons is Dr. Jenny Palmiotto from the Family Guidance and Therapy Center.

    CTA staff members work collaboratively to foster the academic, social, behavioral, and vocational growth of all enrolled students. For more information, please call us at 858 360-0282 or check out our website:

  • ASD Mornings at theNAT

  • Please visit for more information.

  • Autism Accessibility Morning at the Fleet!

  • In February we began our, Autism Accessibility Mornings at the Fleet (, program. This morning is dedicated to the ASD community to come and enjoy the Fleet in a quieter setting and catch an IMAX film! Our film showings are presented with raised house lights and a lowered soundtrack volume, to provide a more comforting environment. Our goal is to provide an enriching experience for the ASD community

  • SIBSHOP 2016-2017 Schedule

  • October 2016 - August 2017

    WANTED: Siblings who have a brother/sister with special needs
    AGES: 7 - 12 years old
    Older siblings are welcome to attend as "Junior Leaders"

    WHAT: A fun-filled opportunity geared to the specific needs of siblings with brothers/sisters with special needs. Join us for games, crafts, hikes, cooking, and art. Meet other sibs - lunch provided

    TIME: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    March 19: Family / Community (Amtrak Train Ride) **

    April 30: Mission Trails Regional Park

    May 21: Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center

    July 9: Day at Mission Bay, family picnic **

    August 13: Santee Lakes, 9310 Fanita Pkwy, Santee, CA 92071**

    DONATION: $5.00 - $10.00 per meeting per family for craft materials, supplies & lunch for the kids

    REGISTRATION: Pre-registration requested (if possible) the Thursday before the event.
    CONTACT: Email for a registration form and / or additional information.

    Sibshop Leaders: Jody BonDurant-Strong, Administrator Gina Clifton, ECSE Medically-Fragile Teacher, Special Education
    Pat Moulton, Retired

    **Information for family / community locations will be emailed.

  • Children with autism and their mothers need for student research!

  • My name is Ariane Myers-Turnbull and I am a doctoral student at Alliant International University. I am currently recruiting participants for a project that is examining why children with autism are injured more often than children without autism. To participate you must be a mother of a child who is between the ages of 3 and 7 years old and who has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder (i.e. autism, Asperger's, pervasive developmental disorder).

    If you agree to participate in this study, you will be asked to come into a lab at Alliant International University to complete consent forms and questionnaires about you and your child. You will then be asked to observe your child in a room with simulated common household hazards from a live video. Your child will also be asked to complete simple tasks such as working with blocks. Overall, your participation in this study should take about 90 minutes.

    After you and your child complete these tasks you will receive $20, be entered into a drawing for $400, and your child will receive a prize in appreciation for your participation. You will also receive a video of your child in the room and safety proofing materials. For further information please contact Ariane Myers-Turnbull at or (858) 414-1076. Thank you for your time.

  • Know someone who may have autism, age 40-65 years?
  • Participate in a Study!!!

  • We are currently recruiting for the Parenting on the Spectrum Study, a brief study with mothers of children between the ages of 3 and 7 who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. The study is completed online, with the option (for participants living in the Greater Los Angeles Area) of conducting additional sessions in the home. We will ask parents about their experiences of parenthood.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Driving Anxiety - FREE 10 week program for teens and adults with ASD in San Diego!

  • This is a FREE group-format intervention for teens and adults with autism spectrum disorders who are interested in driving, but are dealing with driving fear/anxiety.

    Please share this flyer with anyone in the community that may qualify. We are only asking that our participants are minimum 15-16 years of age (i.e. of potential driving age) and have a formal diagnosis of ASD. There is no upper limit for age. The groups will be held in the Kearny Mesa area (zip code 92123).

    858-966-7703 x3682

  • Do you know someone with Autism??

  • Call (619)594-0176 or email

  • Participate in Research!!!

  • Contact 619-594-2500 or email

  • Research Study Recruitment

  • My name is Sarah Hacker and I'm the staff research associate for UCSD's Research on Autism and Development Lab ( We are currently recruiting participants for a study to measure the effects of training visual attention using video games. I was wondering if it were possible to put an ad on your website or in your newsletter for the purposes of reaching out to members of the autism community who might be interested in participating. I've attached a flyer for the study which outlines what happens, inclusion criteria, and compensation. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or comments.

    Thank you,
    Sarah D. Hacker
    Staff Research Associate - RADLab 858-246-1932

  • Autism Effects on Attentional Blink
  • For more information, please contact Sofia Schugar at the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab: 858-353-4929 (feel free to leave voicemail) or via email at

  • UCSD TEAM-UP Weight Loss Program for Children with ASD

  • TEAM UP (Transforming Eating, Activity, and Motivation Utilizing Parents) is a 16-week, parent-only group program focused on weight-loss, increasing physical activity, and promoting fruits and vegetables, designed specifically for parents of children with ASD. This research study is free of charge, and families will be compensated for participating. Interested families should call 855-UCSD-4W8 to get started.


    I never endorse anyone or anything. Opinions expressed in what I send out, may not be shared by me. Everything is for informational purposes only.
    People who "advertise" through this newsletter have never been checked out by me. Same goes for the "Sponsors". This includes professionals and even people who are interested in babysitting, etc. So, please take the time to thoroughly check out anyone and everyone who will be working with or caring for your child/adult. We are all sadly aware, through news stories and word of mouth, of people who prey upon special needs children and adults because of their extra vulnerability.

    Valerie Dodd-Saraf
    President, Foggy Coast Ventures, Inc.