Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 11, 2017

In This Issue

Screening status quo misses most children with autism

Sharing an Autism Diagnosis With Family and Friends

5 Reasons Your Child's Autism Puts a Strain on Your Marriage

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

NFAR - Autism Men's Group - Thursday, April 13th

Development DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!!!

A Free Seminar Providing Information and Answers About IEPs and 504 Plans, Sponsored by CHADD

The ABLE Act: Are You Really Able to Save?

NFAR: Family Fun and Games!bowling2 Join Us Saturday Night, April 29 at Parkway Bowl!

Study shows TES improves facial recognition

Therapeutic Approach to Grow Upcoming Events

San Diego has a New Comprehensive Center Dedicated to the Treatment of Autism

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs - Monday, April 17th

Crimson by the Sea: Sing, Speak and Play!!!

Friendship Circle, Young Adults Club!

iCan Bike Almost Full!!!

Berard Auditory Integration Training

The Friendship Walk

Life Skills Class Every Friday!!!


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!

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  • Screening status quo misses most children with autism
  • Most children with autism go undiagnosed until after age 3, and many of these children remain undiagnosed until after they reach school age, according to a new study1.

    The findings, published in the April issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, highlight gaps in implementing best practices for early autism screening and diagnosis.

    "There's a lot of work to do," particularly in translating advances in screening into actual practice, says lead researcher Chris Sheldrick, now research associate at Boston University. Read on...

  • Sharing an Autism Diagnosis With Family and Friends
  • Tips for explaining autism to family and close friends, to help them become effective allies

    If your child has been newly diagnosed with autism, one thing that can be a challenge is telling your parents and extended family.

    Autism is something that more and more people are aware of, but there's still a lot of misinformation. Your family members might not know what it means, or they might have a limited or skewed understanding of what it looks like. They might have a stereotype of what autism is that doesn't fit your child.

    They also may have an understandable, if misguided, urge to resist the diagnosis. It's not unusual to be told by your relatives that you are overreacting, or that it's a mistake to give everyone who's a little different a diagnosis. Read on...

  • 5 Reasons Your Child's Autism Puts a Strain on Your Marriage
  • Collaboration Can Help Keep Your Marriage Strong

    There have been a number of articles, over the years, suggesting that parents of children with autism are more likely to divorce than parents of children with other disabilities. Several studies have looked into the issue and, unhelpfully, each came up with precisely opposite findings.

    What researchers do know, however, is that autism is a uniquely stress-inducing disorder for caregivers. Autism can lead to unusual and difficult-to-manage changes, disagreements, and frustrations for parents. Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

    Hi! We have two energetic boys. I'm looking for a reliable respite worker who is fun loving and understands Aspie kids. Boys are 11 and 13.
    Legoland, parks, bike riding, basketball, Yugio, board games, and Minecraft are in your future.
    Please contact me for more info. Ideally, after school 2-3x a week with younger kiddo and a weekend afternoon/early evening 2x a month. Summer schedule will shift a bit.
    Please Contact me if you are interested - Carmel Valley area-thank you!

    I am looking for a half day kindergarten program in San Diego county. Currently my daughter is in preschool in the Chula Vista Elementary School District. CVESD does not have any half day programs or EAK programs for the 2017-2018 school year. My daughter turns five in July, is autistic and epileptic, and has an IEP. We feel she would be better served in a half day program for one additional year. If anyone has any information they can share with me I can be reached at Thank you!

    Our son is 12, about to turn 13. He was diagnosed with high functioning autism, apraxia, and academic disabilities (cannot read or write independently). However, he is very artistic, loves to draw, loves movies of all kinds (comedies: Lego Batman, Boss Baby, anything by Pixar/Dreamworks and adventure movies: Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Pirates of the Caribbean, etc). He also loves nerf guns, zombies, video games, building legos (so so soooo many legos), watching Youtube about building Legos, and also likes to create Lego brick films. Most recently he has been talking about wanting to create his own movies with friends.

    The problem is, we have struggled with finding friends similar to our son's abilities. His one best friend moved away and the other few friends he does have don't share the same interests. We thought by posting here we might be able to reach a few families with children who are either typical developing or with special needs that have similar interests. I know other parents have to struggle with the same problem for their kids!?

    Are there any families with kids out there looking to find a friend with similar interests like our son? If so, we would love to meet you!

    We have also started looking into group therapy sessions through ABA companies and also speech to see if we can make new friendships. Does anyone have any recommendations for groups they participate in?
    Jennifer & Derek Thomas

    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.

  • NFAR - Autism Men's Group - Thursday, April 13th
  • Thursday, April 13, 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

    April Topic: "Facilitating Engagement through Activities"

    Learn how to help facilitate engagement at home, school, and during social activities. Topics of discussion include:

    - Understanding the importance of motivation and how to promote it.

    - Redefining regulation

    - Understanding the relationship between sensory processing difficulties and behavior, learning and motivation.

    - Understanding how success can lead to growth in all areas.

    Guest Speaker: Chris Vinceneux, OTR/L, Therapeutic Approach to Growth

    Chris uses a holistic approach and strives to think outside the box to design interventions that can minimize or eliminate the impact of sensory processing challenges to help his clients achieve the best possible quality of life.


  • Development DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!!!
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    Supporting and Partnering with Families of Children with Special Needs; Through Understanding, Engagement, and Relationships.

    Real Connections Institute - San Diego
    415 North Highway 101 Suite C
    Solana Beach, CA 92075

  • A Free Seminar Providing Information and Answers About IEPs and 504 Plans, Sponsored by CHADD
  • Thursday, April 20, 2017 from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
    @ Park Village Elementary School
    7930 Park Village Road
    San Diego, CA 92129

    RSVP Required: 858-945-6621 or

  • The ABLE Act: Are You Really Able to Save?
  • Most people in the disability community have heard about the "Achieving Better Life Experiences" (ABLE) Act over the last few years. Finally, after nearly six years of revisions, testimony and lobbying, ABLE won final congressional approval and was signed by President Obama on December 21, 2014. While adoption by states is voluntary, California will almost certainly adopt the ABLE Act. Now more than ever is the time for special needs families and advocates to become keenly aware of what it will...and won' for them.

    TheABLE account was meant to be a version of the "529" (College Savings Plan), but with the tax-free withdrawals to be used for "qualified disability expenses." Advocates had hoped that these accounts would be a viable alternative to special needs trusts: exempt from being counted against the eligibility limits for SSI, Medi-Cal/Medicaid, or other means-tested programs, while having the added bonus of tax-free growth. Unfortunately, the ABLE act that came out of Congress was neither the ABLE Act that went in...nor the Act that most advocates expected. Click here for all the latest info!!!

  • NFAR: Family Fun and Games!bowling2 Join Us Saturday Night, April 29 at Parkway Bowl!
  • Calling all Families! Join us during Autism Awareness Month for a bowling party at Parkway Bowl on Saturday, April 29 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm.
    All family members welcome!

    The cost is only $12 per player and includes two hours of bowling, bowling shoes, pizza buffet, and soft drinks. This will be a fun and social activity for the whole family!

    SIGN UP and reserve your space today!

  • Study shows TES improves facial recognition
  • Many of you are aware that people affected by Autism have a decreased ability for facial recognition. What you may not know is that transcranial electrical stimulation (TES) has been shown to improve face detection and memory! TES is one of the therapy methods we use here at Microcurrent Healing. We love sharing scientific research that demonstrates why we see such positive results with our clients. Enjoy!

    Click Here to Read the Research Article

    From our innovative Autism program to our highly effective therapies for chronic pain, Microcurrent Healing is committed to making a real difference in the quality of life for our clients. If you haven't yet experienced the benefits of microcurrent therapy, contact us to schedule a free demo session and receive 20% off the purchase of any of our packages.*

    *Offer good through April 30th, 2017. New clients only.

    Do you have questions? Would you like to learn more?

    Call or email us anytime!


  • Therapeutic Approach to Grow Upcoming Events

  • San Diego has a New Comprehensive Center Dedicated to the Treatment of Autism
  • A state-of-the-art clinic featuring advanced biomedical, behavioral, & sensory-motor therapies for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

    This Clinic is headed up by Dr. Suzanne Goh. Dr. Suzanne Goh is a board-certified pediatric neurologist with expertise in the evaluation and treatment of children with neurological conditions that impact brain development, cognition, and behavior.

    Dr. Goh received her Bachelors of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in History and Science from Harvard University (1993-1997). She went on to attend Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar (1997-1999). In 2004, she graduated from Harvard Medical School, cum laude. Dr. Goh completed her Pediatrics internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and her Pediatric Neurology residency at University of California San Francisco.

    Pediatric Neurology Therapeutics
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121

    Dr. Suzanne Goh with the ultimate medical breakthrough that changes lives.

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs - Monday, April 17th
  • Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene Raphael no later than April 14th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • Crimson by the Sea: Sing, Speak and Play!!!
    2210 Encinitas Blvd. Suite I
    Encinitas, California 92024

  • Friendship Circle, Young Adults Club!

  • iCan Bike Almost Full!!!
  • Click here for all the info!!!

  • Berard Auditory Integration Training
  • Does your child have difficulty coping with certain sounds? Is he/she struggling with auditory processing? Does your son/daughter hum or self-talk? Is your child's articulation delayed? Is the quality of your child's speech flat, without inflection?

    NOT the Listening Program - NOT Therapeutic Listening, AIT is a powerful intervention, provided 1:1 with professional supervision at all times. BERARD AIT enhances aspects of hearing perception. Individuals over the age of 3 can participate in the training program. Teenagers and adults benefit also. The treatment is not invasive. Individuals with Autism spectrum disorders, ADD, LD, PDD, CAPD, and hypersensitivity have benefited from this innovative therapeutic program. Results from BERARD AIT practitioners around the world document that when the Berard protocol is used, in conjunction with BERARD equipment, statistically significant positive results are achieved. We are planning a Berard AIT session in San Diego, May 19 through 29, 2017 Kearny Mesa, on Claremont Mesa Blvd Fee 7 registered - $1650; 6 registered - $1850; 5 registered- $2250 Reduced fee for second child in same family

    For more information contact: T. Silverman, Training and Consultation 414 405 7820 (phone and text)

  • The Friendship Walk
  • Friendship Walk 2017 and the Israel Fest will be held at San Diego Jewish Academy on Sunday May 21st. Enjoy a beautiful afternoon at with hundreds of old and new friends. Walk, skip, or roll on the wheelchair and stroller friendly 1 mile walk route. Join in the celebration at Israel Fest, sponsored by the Jewish Federation of San Diego. Early registration is FREE until May 7th, which includes a commemorative t-shirt, fruit & a bottle of water, and fun family activities. Standard and on-site registration will be available for $20, (t-shirt quantities will be limited). Visit and help the Friendship Circle make a difference in the lives of children, teens and adults with special needs. Show your support for inclusion by joining our friends and walking with them on May 21st!

    Friendship Circle: "The Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization with a mission to provide programs and support to the families of individuals with special needs. In addition to offering fun social outings and events for families to enjoy, the Friendship Circle provides friendship to individuals with special needs through a network of teen volunteers who want to make a difference. In this way, volunteers discover the impact of selfless giving that will last them a lifetime."

  • Life Skills Class Every Friday!!!
  • ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing (The ABA Group)

  • 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.

  • Participate in Research: Survey About Access to Services
  • 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.