Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. March 14, 2017

In This Issue

Why Kids Have Trouble Sitting Still-and What Parents and Teachers Can Do About It

Parents' traits predict autism features in children

Autism's hidden habit

Researchers find promising lead that reduces autism symptoms and more

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Special Needs Resource Foundation's Flourishing Families!!!

Animal Therapy Benefits Kids with Autism

10th Annual Beach Bash Gala

Join Therapeutic Approach to Growth as we team up with Hearts and Hooves Therapy to provide Mini Horse Therapy at our Miramar office!

Accounting and Income Tax

Friendship Circle San Diego: Young Adults Club

Summer Program Information Coming Soon!

Register Now for iCan Bike!!!

The Awesome Power of LEGO Groups!!!

ARI Enewsletter for March 2017

ONEHOPE ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk & Family Festival

StefG Photography: Spring-Time Minis

Toilet Training Tips for Children with Special Needs

Collaborative for Helping Improve Learning and Development

Autism Summer Camp Guide Now Available!



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 (RDIĀ®) 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!

  • Why Kids Have Trouble Sitting Still-and What Parents and Teachers Can Do About It
  • It's the second most frequent request I get in my work with teachers and parents: "My student/child has trouble sitting still. Do you have a cushion that will help?"

    So what's the number-one request? "My student/child can't sit still. Which weighted vest should I get?"

    Do you see a pattern? Why can't our kids sit still? Read on...

  • Parents' traits predict autism features in children
  • Children whose parents have a condition such as autism tend to have severe restricted interests and repetitive behaviors, even if they don't have a diagnosis themselves, according to a new study1.

    A second study shows that low scores on tests that parents took in childhood track with various autism-like features in adulthood, and with autism traits in their children2.

    Together, the studies add to mounting evidence that autism-related features run in families. Read on...

  • Autism's hidden habit
  • Conventional wisdom holds that people with autism don't get hooked on alcohol or other drugs, but new evidence suggests otherwise.

    hane Stoner's addiction began in 2008. He lost a factory job, his parents divorced, his father died - and then a relative introduced him to heroin. "I felt like heroin gave me confidence," Stoner says. "I could get out of bed in the morning and do the day. No matter what happened, it made me feel like it was going to be all right." It erased his constant anxiety.

    Stoner, now 44, eventually entered detox in 2013 after he was arrested for stealing copper from an abandoned house. It was obvious at that point that he was addicted to heroin. But it would take several more years for him to get the diagnosis that truly helped him understand himself: autism. Read on...

  • Researchers find promising lead that reduces autism symptoms and more
  • Fragile X syndrome is the most common cause of autism. Even though the single gene that's responsible for it was discovered in 1991, and the disease is detected by a simple blood test, there's no treatment or cure.

    A team of researchers led by Michigan State University, however, has provided a promising lead in battling this disease. In the current issue of Nature Communications, the scientists identified a single protein that appears to be the culprit in causing many behavioral symptoms as well as molecular and cellular abnormalities related to Fragile X.

    "We began with 600-800 potential protein targets, searching for the equivalent of a needle in a haystack," said Hongbing Wang, MSU physiologist and study co-author. "Our needle turned out to be ADCY1. When we compared levels of this protein in Fragile X mouse model to normal controls, we saw a 20-25 percent increase of ADCY1." 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.

    Our soon-to-be 15 year-old son has Aspergers and ADHD. We would like to find him an occupation (camp, job...) this Summer that would help him progress with his life skills and social skills, and have him experience something different. We have him registered for the LIT camp at the Y (he did it last year), but he doesn't care for it much. He doesn't like sports but loves Science and wants to become a physicist. Would someone have some advice?
    Thank you!

    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.

  • Special Needs Resource Foundation's Flourishing Families!!!
  • The new issue of Flourishing Families will be available soon! This year's issue will have more than 950 resources for families with special needs. Click here for all the info!!!

  • Animal Therapy Benefits Kids with Autism
  • Nick and Stitch
    Nick is 15 years old and has high functioning autism, which causes difficulty connecting with peers. As a young child, Nick had delayed social skills and often spoke using repetitive language. For a long time Nick's parents struggled to help their son bond with others, calmly handle personal interactions and speak clearly when spoken to. That changed when Stitch came into Nick's life.

    Stitch is a German Shepherd that became Nick's service dog when he was 7 years old. When Stitch was with Nick, communicating with others was easier. People approached Nick, wanting to learn more about his dog, which gave him opportunities to practice social skills. Nick's parents and therapists created a scripted response he could relay when asked about Stitch. Over time, speaking to others became more comfortable. Read on...

  • 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.

  • Join Therapeutic Approach to Growth as we team up with Hearts and Hooves Therapy to provide Mini Horse Therapy at our Miramar office!
    T 858.689.2027

  • 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

  • Friendship Circle San Diego: Young Adults Club

  • 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

  • Register Now for iCan Bike!!!

  • The Awesome Power of LEGO Groups!!!
  • (858) 452-9596

  • ARI Enewsletter for March 2017
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter!!!

  • ONEHOPE ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk & Family Festival
  • The 7th Annual ONEHOPE ACT Today! for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk & Family Festival returns to Tecolote Shores Park, Mission Bay - San Diego on Saturday, April 15, 2017. Net proceeds from the event benefit military families impacted by autism. Our 5k, 10k and 1-mile race accommodates all runners and walkers. Our family festival has something for everyone including music, wine & beer garden, 35+ resource booths and an awesome kids' zone with games, a bouncy house & egg hunt!

    Saturday, April 15, 2017, 6:30am - 11am
    Amy Zhang, 818-340-4010,

    Tecolote Shores Park, Mission Bay
    1300 E Mission Bay Drive
    San Diego, California 92109

    COST: Between $20 - $45

  • StefG Photography: Spring-Time Minis
  • Hello, we are hosting an Autism-Friendly mini-photo session on April 1, 5-7 pm. The theme is "Spring-Time"! All ages and abilities are welcome. Please email us at to reserve a spot! We will confirm on a first come, first served basis. Location and assigned times will be sent prior to event. Also, like us on Facebook @StefGPhotography for a chance to win a free mini-session! Don't miss out!

    ***A note to special needs families: The standard allotted time is ten minutes but if your child requires more time please indicate this in your email and we will be sure to schedule your session accordingly. As mothers of children on the spectrum, we understand how challenging a photo session can be. We promise to be as creative and patient as possible, in order to get you the beautiful photos you deserve!***

    See you there!

  • Toilet Training Tips for Children with Special Needs
  • Using the toilet independently is an important accomplishment for any child, though the prospect of toilet training a child with special needs can be daunting. A little preparation will go a long way in making the process faster and easier for you and your child. Traditional toilet training strategies can be adapted to suit the individual needs of children with disabilities to enable them to become toilet trained while minimizing challenges along the way.

    Wednesday, March 29, 2017 from 5:30 P.M. 6: 30 P.M.

    Gateway Office
    6540 Lusk Blvd.
    Suite C256
    San Diego, CA 92121
    Click here for all the info!!!!

  • Collaborative for Helping Improve Learning and Development
    CHILD is a collaboration of education, mental health, and service organizations that aim to share resources with the local community. They will have a resource fair in April!!! More info coming soon!!!

  • Autism Summer Camp Guide Now Available!
  • Check out NFAR's Summer Camp Guide!

    While not all the camp information is in yet, registration is already open for many of the popular camps, including San Diego Parks & Rec, I Can Bike, Xcite Steps, and more.

    Camp I Can opens March 20th. For surf camps, such as Surfer's Healing and Surfing Madonna, registration opens soon.

    Don't miss out. Many of these camps fill quickly!

    Summer Camp Guide

  • 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.

  • Seeking Research Participants for Autistic Sibling Study
  • business_finance_research.jpg

    Seeking individuals over the age of 18 who grew up with an autistic sibling to participate in a study exploring the experiences of growing up in a family with an autistic brother or sister.

    Participation will involve an in-depth interview, lasting between 1 to 1.5 hours about your autistic sibling experiences and a brief follow-up meeting about six weeks later.

    The purpose of the study is to provide an in-depth retrospective exploration of the experiences of adults who grew up with an autistic sibling.

    Eligibility requirements for participation in the study include:
    • Must have lived with autistic sibling for at least 8 years
    • Sibling must have been diagnosed with autism during childhood
    • Interested participant must be at least 18 years of age
    Participants will be provided a $100 Amazon gift card following the interview.

    Interested participants can email Barbara Tierney at:


    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.