Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. March 30, 2017

In This Issue

Five Children's Books About Special Needs to Inform and Entertain

In trials, repurposed drug shows promise for autism

Microbial transplant may treat gut, social problems

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Learn to Spell to Communicate!!

"Under the Big Top"

Social Skills Groups!

13th Annual Community Legislative Forum

Autism Awareness Game with the San Diego Gulls 4/15

CHILD - Resource Fair & Networking Event

Acting Workshop at Friendship Circle San Diego

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 9/30/17

SCIA Process - Also Known as 1-to-1 Instructional Assistant: A Balanced Approach

Serving the Special Needs Community Since 2008

Friendship DOJO: April 3rd!!!

Meet Our New RDI Certified Consultant

Mindfulness Groups for Kids

Participate in Research: Survey About Access to Services

CAMP JAM!!! This Saturday and Sunday!!!



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!

  • Five Children's Books About Special Needs to Inform and Entertain
  • Children with special needs and their families face many hurdles in life. Their days are filled with treatments, therapy sessions, IEP meetings, support groups, etc. These responsibilities and commitments seem endless. Juggling the needs of a child with disabilities with the needs of all the other family members is often overwhelming. Finding time for parents to recharge their batteries is also difficult.

    When siblings, family, and friends of a child with special needs understand what is going on, it is often easier for all concerned. When our kids with special needs learn new skills that make them more independent, it helps the entire family. Sharing books about these topics is one place to start making life easier for our children with special needs-and those who love and care for them. Read on...

  • In trials, repurposed drug shows promise for autism
  • A drug used to treat excessive swelling seems to ease autism features in some children on the spectrum, according to results from a trial in France1. But there are concerns about the drug's side effects, as well as possible placebo effects in the trial.

    Clinicians prescribe the drug, called bumetanide, to relieve fluid retention after heart failure and in people with liver or kidney disease. The drug is also used to lower blood pressure. In the brain, it affects a chemical messenger, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), thought to be important in autism. Read on...

  • Microbial transplant may treat gut, social problems
  • Replacing the microbes that inhabit the gut eases digestive troubles and social difficulties in children with autism, suggests a pilot study1.

    About half of children with autism have gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhea and constipation. Some children with autism have fewer types of gut microbes than their typical peers2. And an oral dose of the microbe Bacteroides fragilis improves gut function and eases autism-like repetitive behavior in mice.

    The new study tested the idea that transplanting microbes may ease some autism features. The study included just 18 children and lacked a control group of untreated children with autism. Still, the findings hint that the regimen is safe and effective for children with autism. Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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!

    We are moving to San Diego area and are wondering if anyone can offer recommendations about elementary schools in Poway area that may be suitable for our child who is 6 yr old with high functioning autism/aspergers and ADHD.

    No behavioral issues but needs speech/OT/Executive functioning skills at school which are in his current IEP.

    Any advice on elementary schools in poway area would be greatly appreciated.

    We are looking for a reliable respite care provider. We are located in Oceanside.
    Please email highly recommended provider info to

    My 21 year old daughter with high functioning autism is looking for a female roommate starting in the fall of 2017. Apartment is located in the 5025 Collwood Blvd student oriented community near SDSU. She is hoping to find a like minded girl who likes anime, cosplay, gaming and who does not smoke/drink/drugs. The apartment complex is student oriented but you are not required to be a student. The apartment is a 2 bedroom/2 bath and the roommate must be willing to share a bedroom and bath. There will 4 residents (2 in each bedroom). Each tenant has an individual lease and all utilities are included. Rent is approx. $660 each. There is a pool, gym and free shuttle to SDSU, Grossmont and Mesa. Please contact Debra at (619) 672-8893 or and leave a message.

    Parent of child with Dyscalculia (math disability) seeking to find other parents having this experience. It is very commonly undiagnosed yet has a serious impact on a child's learning and life. As with many things it can be very difficult to receive an appropriate response from the school district tasked to make the necessary accommodations.
    Please email me if you share this or a similar experience. Thanks so much.

    Seeking parent experiences in the Poway Unified School District IEP process.
    As a parent of two special needs adopted children I have had some seriously difficult experiences with Poway Unified School District. Having been inexperienced in raising children, much less special needs children, I was very naive in the process. I am hoping to learn more through hearing about other special needs parent experiences, good and bad. I will not share any personal stories.
    Please email me at Thanks so much.

    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.

  • Learn to Spell to Communicate!!

  • "Under the Big Top"
  • ...To The Greatest Gala On Earth!


    Meet us "Under the Big Top" for the 43rd Annual HGH Fundraising Gala at the historic US Grant Hotel on June 24, 2017. Astonishing auction items, magical entertainment, dazzling three-course plated dinner, and much, much more.

    All proceeds benefit more than 1,900 infants, adolescents, and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities that HGH supports annually in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

    The US Grant Luxury Hotel is offering discounted rates of $249 for the evening of the event. Rooms are limited so be sure to book your room soon at

    To purchase your tickets for "Under The Big Top," click here. If you'd like more information, please contact Jessica Brandon at 619-938-2854 or

    The event is sure to spectacular! We hope to see you there.

  • Social Skills Groups!
  • ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing (The ABA Group)

  • 13th Annual Community Legislative Forum
  • "Making Your Dreams a Reality"

    Presentations and Discussions around the topics of:
    Competitive Employment / Education
    Health Care
    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Autism Awareness Game with the San Diego Gulls 4/15
  • Please join us as the San Diego Gulls team up with Autism Speaks to bring you Autism Awareness Night!

    Go to
    Doors open at 6:00 p.m. and the puck drops at 7:00pm. Families will be invited to sit together in the terrace level. Ticket are $20 and support Autism Speaks San Diego

    Please know that games are filled with loud noises and cheering. Should you need additional assistance, specialized volunteers will be sitting in your section to help as needed.

    Families will have the opportunity to be selected for one person to ride the Zamboni or to be honored during the Community Spotlight!

    Questions? Contact: Larissa Kerstetter at

  • CHILD - Resource Fair & Networking Event
  • Wed, April 26, 2017
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

    Marina Village Conference Center - Bayview Room
    1936 Quivira Way
    San Diego, CA 92109

    Join us for a Resource Fair & Networking Event for families and professionals who are interested in bettering the lives of children and teens in San Diego! Come and learn about the CHILD collaborative and San Diego's many resources for children and teens. Network with professionals to learn about their services, as well as parents looking for resources.

    Help CHILD build our network and create more connections by sharing this event with families and professionals in your network!

    Professionals and service organizations contact us at for opportunities to exhibit your services.

    This event is FREE!, but registration is required!!!

  • Acting Workshop at Friendship Circle San Diego
  • For more info and to sign up please contact:

  • Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 9/30/17
  • Autism Speaks Walk is the world's largest autism fundraising event dedicated to improving the lives of people with autism. Powered by the love of parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives, and supporters, the funds raised help ensure people of all abilities have access to the tools needed to lead 'their best lives'.

    Our strength as a community is powered by love and built on the commitment of individuals like you. Start a team, join a team or come on your own. Walk and fundraise together to enhance the lives of people living with autism.

    September 30, 2017
    Liberty Station at Point Loma
    Click here for all the info!!!

  • SCIA Process - Also Known as 1-to-1 Instructional Assistant: A Balanced Approach
  • Tuesday, April 11, 2017 - 10 am - 12 noon

    The pros and cons of using one-to-one instructional assistants will be presented, as well as practical tips on how to tell if this is an effective intervention for your child. In addition, an overview of the evaluation process for special circumstances instruction assistance (SCIA) will be reviewed.

    Read more

    Click here to register online

  • Serving the Special Needs Community Since 2008
  • Yvette M. Soto Accounting & Income Tax
    3633 Camino Del Rio South
    Suite 205
    San Diego, CA 92108

    (619) 977-6586 Phone

  • Friendship DOJO: April 3rd!!!

  • Meet Our New RDI Certified Consultant

    9466 Black Mountain Road
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126

    5411 Avenida Encinas
    Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008

    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • Mindfulness Groups for Kids
  • San Diego Peers
    Individual and Group Therapy
    8885 Rio San Diego Drive Ste: 365
    San Diego, CA. 92108


  • Participate in Research: Survey About Access to Services


  • CAMP JAM!!! This Saturday and Sunday!!!
  • Last Chance to Register for Spring Camp Jam--Only $99

    Central County THIS SATURDAY / North County THIS SUNDAY

    Sing spring themed songs, make musical instruments and have fun making new friends. This group will focus on social and communication skills with peers. No music experience is needed. Camps will be facilitated by a board certified neurologic music therapist. Attendees will be paired with a volunteer camp counselor. There are two locations to choose from.

    Central County
    Date: This Saturday, April 1st

    Session 1: Ages 3-12
    Time: 9am to 12pm

    Session 2: Ages 13-Adult
    Time: 1:30pm to 4:30pm

    Location: Pioneer Day School, 4764 Santa Monica Ave. San Diego, CA 92107

    North County
    Date: This Sunday, April 2nd
    Time: 1pm to 4pm
    Ages: 3-12
    Location: Santa Fe Christian School, 838 Academy Dr. Solana Beach, CA 92075

    Limited scholarship funds are available. Contact 619-299-1411 or for details.
    Click here for more info!!!

  • 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.

    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:

  • 2017 Edition of Flourishing Families

  • The Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego is excited to present the 2017 edition of Flourishing Families, San Diego's resource guide for parents of children with special needs.

    This year's issue contains more than 950 resources including service providers, research institutes, specialized doctors, resource providers, camps, therapists, advocates, associations and so much more.

    Visit to see the digital issue now!


    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.