Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. February 06, 2018

In This Issue

Special Education Costs Are Rising, But Money From State and Feds Isn't

3 Defining Features of ADHD That Everyone Overlooks

Following Delta's Lead, United Tightening Animal Policy

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

AUTISM MEN'S GROUP February Meeting

Announcing... the 2018 NFAR Community Project Grant Awards!

Save the Date: Love and Autism Conference

Conference: Teaching Social Competencies - More Than Social Skills

Registration for Camp I CAN Opens Soon!

The Movement Method

Support & Information for Adults: PERT-Psychiatric Emergency Response Team

The IEP Guy

Scholarships for Individuals with Autism

Hamantaschen Bake with Friendship Circle

Purim Under the Sea with Friendship Circle

Family Pizza & Pool Party Central San Diego

Jeremiah's Ranch February Newsletter

East County Autism Support Group


  • Special Education Costs Are Rising, But Money From State and Feds Isn't
  • Special education costs are increasing across California, but the state hasn't changed how much money it gives to school districts to help special education students. Add special education costs to the list of things crippling California school district finances.

    State and federal funds for students with disabilities aren't keeping up with districts' increased special education costs, leading districts to put increasing amounts of their general fund towards those services.

    At San Diego Unified, the amount of local funds contributed to special education increased nearly 65 percent between the 2012-2013 school year and the 2016-2017 year. San Marcos Unified's local revenue contribution during that time has increased by 67.5 percent. Read on...

  • 3 Defining Features of ADHD That Everyone Overlooks

  • The textbook symptoms of ADD - inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity - fail to reflect several of its most powerful characteristics; the ones that shape your perceptions, emotions, and motivation. Here, Dr. William Dodson explains how to recognize and manage ADHD's true defining features.

    The DSM-V - the bible of psychiatric diagnosis - lists 18 diagnostic criteria for attention deficit disorder (ADHD or ADD). Clinicians use this to identify symptoms, insurance companies use it to determine coverage, and researchers use it to determine areas of worthwhile study.

    The problem: These criteria only describe how ADHD affects children ages 6-12, and that has led to misdiagnosis, misunderstanding, and failed treatment for teens, adults, and the elderly. Read on...

  • Following Delta's Lead, United Tightening Animal Policy
  • United Airlines is following Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines in tightening restrictions on emotional support animals.

    The move by United comes after a high-profile incident in which a passenger tried to board a United flight with an emotional support peacock.

    Chicago-based United's new policy is similar to some of the new requirements Delta announced earlier this month. Read on....

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • My son has autism and his first insurance is anthem blue cross and secondary insurance is medi-cal. Alexa's playc is the service we are trying to get covered. First insurance will only cover 60% and Medi-cal phone representative I talked with said they will not cover the remaining 40% because Alexa's playc is not registered with them. Neither will they reimburse me if Alexa's playc bill me directly. I am wondering whether any parents had the similar situation and had a way to work around it.
    Also, can you recommend some special needs attorney?

    My name is Sara and I'm wondering if anyone has success with Vital Links headphones? Do you have a used pair you'd like to sell? Contact me:

    My son has autism and I would like to work on his focus and auditory processing. Does anyone have any good therapies that have helped address these two areas? I'd also be interested in any positive experiences with acupuncture. Thanks.
    Best, Kathy (

    Can you ask the group if anyone has set up an Able account for their son or daughter. I know a law pass to allow up to $100,000 to be set aside in an account.

    However California does not have this in place yet. Other states do have this in place and will allow person out of state to open an account. So I was just wondering if anyone had yet and what their experience has been.
    Thanks Laura S.

    Does anyone have a great referral for multiple overnight respite or IHSL care in Encinitas area? My son is 18, high functioning ASD, healthy, happy and easy to be with but needs supervision and direction. Not untypical of this age, he no longer wants to travel with his parents,​​ which we do for business and pleasure We are wanting to hire someone who has the flexibility and availability to stay with him 3-7 days/nights occasionally. When he is in school no care is needed from 8am-3pm. Regional Center nor our Respite Care providers have given us any good options.​ Looking for referrals or ideas. Thank you, Kalli​

    Can anyone share their experience with San Diego Center for Children residential program, good or bad. Thank you!

    Hi there, I'm wondering if you might have any resources for schools in North County SD that have a reputation for being good for kids with Autism? Public, Private, Charter, any...? Thank you!!!

    We are moving within SDUSD boundaries (Carson) is the school within our boundary. It is too big for my son who is in 2nd grade with an IEP for ADHD, SPD and ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder).
    He thrives right now in our current school with no Aide/One to one and he has been in Gen Ed since the start of school 76% of his day 24% of his day spent in SPED classroom. He is doing amazing! The only complaint is he 'is bored' He is ahead academically and required quite a bit of redirection to stay on task during his day. He requires a smaller environment and a very Structured, Patient, Positive Teacher.
    Has anyone heard of any Elementary schools within SDUSD boundaries (closer to Mission Valley, Pt. Loma, Linda Vista, Bay Park, OB, Hillcrest, Mission Hills etc. ) that have strong 2nd grade Teachers and the children have been challenged academically and happy at? Thank you for any suggestions!

    I am looking for a summer camp for my 6-year-old son who has autism in Southern California since we are moving to the area this coming May. Please let me know what camps are good!

    Looking for a daytime assistance for a 13 year old with autism. Someone to help with homeschooling and occasional appointments. Please email resume

    I am looking for some resources for my son. He has high functioning autism, adhd and sensory integration disorder. He also has behaviors that can be pretty aggressive at school. I am trying to find a school in San Diego north county that maybe able to assist. I would appreciate any suggestions.

    Hello, I am a of mom of beautiful boy with autism and also a graduate student of clinical counseling program from University of Phoenix. I am couple weeks away from finishing my theoretical classes and looking for the agency, center or private practice that might be able to host me for my practicum and 2 internships, 700 hours, towards my Master Degree in Clinical Counseling. I have an extensive experience in autism field and I am open to any sites that can be autism and family therapy oriented. Please let me know if you might have some ideas or if you would be to provide those hours for me.
    Thank you much !

    I'm a mom of a 17 year old student with high functioning autism who will be applying to college this fall. I wondered if anyone has worked with a professional college coach/planner who has some knowledge of best colleges for students with high functioning autism. Would love to talk to other parents for advice on making the transition from high school to college. Please email me at

    Hi! I am wondering if anyone has a name of a Medical marijuana doctor in San Diego(north county preferred) not a recommendation doctor- but a real doctor who can give advice for strains and doses. Also any info for trials would be appreciated. Please email me at:
    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.

  • AUTISM MEN'S GROUP February Meeting
  • Please join us on Thursday, February 8, 2018 for the Men's Group!

    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

    February Topic: Rx for Autism: Review and Update

    Click here for all the info and to RSVP!!!

  • Announcing... the 2018 NFAR Community Project Grant Awards!
  • NFAR is pleased to announce our 2018 Community Project Grant awards.

    Each year, funds raised by the Race for Autism help to support autism programs and new initiatives in our community. Together, we have supported over 93 major initiatives, increasing the learning, social, training and employment opportunities for those with autism in San Diego. Click here to see who got the grants!!!

  • Save the Date: Love and Autism Conference
  • The 2018 Love & Autism conference dates have been set! Parents, professionals, self-advocates or anyone who wants to get involved with an organization that stands for acceptance and authenticity, you don't want to miss this year!
    Click here to sign up to receive all the info about this upcoming conference!!

  • Conference: Teaching Social Competencies - More Than Social Skills
  • Our mission is to help people develop social competencies to better connect with others and live happier, more meaningful lives. We do this by creating concepts, curricula, and materials that help professionals and parents teach social competencies and help individuals as young as four and across the lifespan meet their personal, academic, and professional goals.

    Join us in San Diego! March 12-15, 2018
    EARLY BIRD - 20% OFF!!!

    Learn practical strategies for self-regulation, executive functioning, perspective taking, and more at the four-day conference. Learn More & Register!

  • Registration for Camp I CAN Opens Soon!
  • Coming Soon.
    Registration opens in March for Summer 2018

    Registration will begin soon for Camp I CAN at Toby Wells YMCA in Kearny Mesa and Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA in Carlsbad. For more information on Camp I CAN, click HERE.

    You will need to be a local resident, ability to show verifyable diagnosis, and have a current membership with Autism Society San Diego which can be easily accomplished HERE.

  • The Movement Method
  • Movement Method
    An evidence-based, kinetic learning theory, for children with neurocognitive difference such as autism. Through specific movement and interactive interventions, the child will experience increased curiosity and engagement with family members and their environment. Movement Method's focused interventions improve intrinsic motivation, attention, communication, social interaction and emotional regulation.

    February 10th 2018
    Liberty Station Conference Center
    Room 204A & 204B
    Point Loma

    Live workshop that will teach you the Movement Method and will give you practical advice you can start using immediately! Click here to register!!!

  • Support & Information for Adults: PERT-Psychiatric Emergency Response Team
  • Tuesday, February 13, 2018
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
    Autism Society of San Diego
    United Way Building
    4699 Murphy Canyon Road
    San Diego, CA 92123

    As a group, children and adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have a higher rate of psychiatric disorders than that of the general population. Research suggests that autism shares a genetic basis with several major psychiatric disorders. These include attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia. There are times when behavioral health and mental health issues become critical. This month's meeting will discuss the PERT program in San Diego. Click here for all the info about this meeting!

  • The IEP Guy
  • Developing an appropriate IEP should not feel like trying to unravel a Rubik's cube.

    The IEP Guy is an experienced non-attorney special education advocate working side by side with families to obtain appropriate placement, services, and outcomes for students.

    The IEP is the heart and soul of special education. Think of it as the heliocentric model of our solar system. Just as the planets orbit around the sun, so do placement, services, and outcomes revolve around the IEP.

    Therefore, it is imperative that parents develop an appropriate IEP for their child given the major impact it has on the student's academic and functional performance.

    Say goodbye to hourly rates! All services are provided on a flat fee basis. No surprises!

    IEP Services

    • IDEA Compliance
    • Student Eligibility
    • Placement
    • Related Services
    • Goal Development
    • Evaluations
    • Manifestation Determinations
    • State Complaint Procedure
    • Due Process
    • Student Suspension and Expulsion
    • Involuntary Transfers
    • Exclusion from Extracurricular Activities
    Academic Disputes
    • Grade Reduction and Loss of Credit
    • Student Record Removal
    • Student Promotion and Retention (K-8)
    Parent Coaching
    • Administrative Complaint Procedures
    • Section 504 Plans
    • Education Code
    Leo Marchena
    The IEP Guy
    4275 Executive Square, Suite 200
    La Jolla, CA 92037

  • Scholarships for Individuals with Autism
  • Scholarship opportunity available through the Autism Society of California for individuals on the autism spectrum. More information at

  • Hamantaschen Bake with Friendship Circle
  • For all the info and to sign up please email or call 858.487.4879!

  • Purim Under the Sea with Friendship Circle
  • For all the info and to sign up please email or call 858.487.4879!

  • Family Pizza & Pool Party Central San Diego
  • Every second Friday of the month
    Friday, February 9th, 2018
    6:00 - 8:00 pm
    Boys and Girls Club
    4635 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
    San Diego, CA 92117

    Bring the entire family to enjoy a swim in an indoor heated pool with free pizza and drinks. Lifeguards are provided. For safety purposes, no flotation devices or "floaties" are permitted.

    *Please remember there is NO childcare provided at this event. For safety reasons, ATTENDEES are expected to supervise their children at ALL times. Additionally: If your child cannot swim independently enough to pass the swim test, regardless of whether they will be in the deep or shallow end, you must be in the water with them at all times.

    A special thank you to Aqua Pros for making this event possible. Donations of (minimum) $5 per family GREATLY APPRECIATED!

    Autism Society San Diego County

  • Jeremiah's Ranch February Newsletter
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter!!!

  • East County Autism Support Group
  • Monday, February 12, 2018
    6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
    Every 2nd Monday of the month

    Office of Dr. Rienzi Haytasingh
    5550 Baltimore Drive, Suite 150 · La Mesa, CA

    Support, information, resources and referral for families of persons on the autism spectrum. Join us to learn the experiences of others and share your own. Light refreshments. Click here for all the info!!!

  • ASD Mornings at theNAT
  • Autism Accessibility Morning at the Fleet!

  • The third Saturday of every month, Fleet invites the Autism Spectrum Community to enjoy our museum through this special opportunity. Adults and families with children with autism can enjoy the Fleet's exhibit galleries in a quieter setting, an hour before regular open hours to the general public and with access to a special cool-off space. Visitors are welcome to stay and enjoy the museum all day. Admission includes a special IMAX film screening at 10 a.m. with the house lights on and a lower soundtrack volume.

    For more information, visit

  • San Diego Sibshop

  • October 2017 - August 2018

    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.

    Feb. 25: Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center
    March 25: Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center
    May 20: Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center
    August 19: Santee Lakes, 9310 Fanita Pkwy, Santee, CA 92071**

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

    REGISTRATION: Pre-registration requested by email (if possible) the Thursday before the event.

    CONTACT: Email for a Sibshop registration form and / or additional information.

    Sibshop Leaders:
    Jody BonDurant-Strong, Administrator
    Ndoto BonDurant-Strong - adult sibling & CSUSM student
    Gina Clifton, ECSE Medically-Fragile Teacher, Special Education
    Pat Moulton, Retired

    Directions for Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor's Center (MTRP):
    1 Father Juniper Serra Trail (92119). Interstate 8 to 15 North / East on Friars Road.
    Stay to left - turns into Mission Gorge Road / Turn left on 1 Father Juniper Serra.

  • Parents and Caregivers Needed for Online Survey

  • I am Arek Yetenekian, and as part of my doctoral research at Alliant International University I require the participation of parents or primary caregivers of non-communicative children with autism. Participants are requested to complete the survey packet via the provided URL, within a web browser. The study consists of several measures of mostly multiple-choice responses related to a child's quality of life, as well as related areas of interest such as familial quality of life and parenting stress. Demographic information will also be collected. Participants with at least a fifth grade reading level, residing in the US, with at least one minor child with autism who is unable to communicate through oral and written means, are required. Thank you very much for your consideration.

    Survey URL:

    If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at: 818-406-5199

    IRB #1607037250

  • Participate in Research: Attention Differences in Persons with ASD and their Family Members

  • Verbally fluent children with ASD between the ages of 8 and 16 and both of their biological parents are invited to participate in a new study examining attention skills. This study will follow recently published work that showed ­both the male sibling of a child with ASD and the child with ASD demonstrated similar attention abnormalities. This provides an important clue to the development of a better understanding of the genetic basis of ASD. This new study will examine trios, the child with ASD, and the mother and father. If one or both parents shows evidence of the attention difference we observed in children with ASD, we will have one of the first clear examples of a non-ASD core deficit that is experienced in first degree family members. Following with genetic analyses could potentially lead to a better understanding about the basic etiology of ASD. Families of a child with ASD are invited to participate in this research taking place at the Neuroscience Center of Alliant International University under the supervision of Alan Lincoln, Ph.D., MSCP, BCBA-D and Shamayne Brown, M.A.

    Study Requirements
    To participate in this study, both biological parents and your son must participate. Your family must be able to come to the Neuroscience Center at Alliant International University in San Diego, California. Participation for you and your son's other parent involves:
    • Completing questionnaires about yourself. This should take about 25 minutes.
    • Completing a brief standard cognitive measure. This should take about 30 minutes.
    • Completing a computer task. This should take about 30 minutes.
    Participation for your son:
    • Will require your child to complete the brief standard intelligence measure. This should take your child about 30 minutes.
    • You will be asked some background questions about your child and will be asked to complete forms related to your child's skills, abilities, and behaviors. This should take you about 25 minutes.
    • Your child will then be shown how to play the same computer games you will be shown and asked to play them as best he can. This should take about 30 minutes.
    We will try to accommodate your schedule as much as possible. Family members may come to the lab on different days if necessary. Some individuals may be excluded from participation in the study on-site. If your child is excluded, he will receive a $5.00 cash gift for his participation in the preliminary assessment. Upon the completion of participation in this study, each child will receive a $20.00 cash gift. Parents will each receive a $10 gift card upon completion of their participation. If a parent is excluded, he or she will be given a $5 gift card for participation in the preliminary assessment. You may also receive, upon request, results of your performance and/or your child's performance.

    If you are interested in participating, please contact us at our confidential e-mail: 858-635-4068, or by email: or Thank you in advance for your time and assistance. I look forward working with you and your family soon.

  • UCSD Autism Center of Excellence- SPARK

  • UCSD Autism Center of Excellence is working with the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) as part of an exciting research partnership called SPARK, and we would like to invite you and your family to take part. SPARK is an online, national genetics research partnership that seeks to improve the lives of people with autism. Through DNA analyses of saliva samples, the ultimate goal of SPARK is to gain a better understanding of causes and best treatments for autism. To get started, sign up and a saliva collection kit will be mailed to your home. A gift card totaling up to $50 will be sent to you once saliva samples from both parents and individual with ASD are received. We already have 1,991 participants registered on the website, help us reach our goal of 3,000 today!!!

    To register for SPARK: go to

    For additional information contact Hannah Kaplan at the UCSD ACE: or 858- 534- 6906

  • Children with Autism and Their Mothers are Needed for Student Reseach

  • Ariane Myers-Turnbull, MA
    Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student
    California School of Professional Psychology

    If interested please contact or call 858-414-1076!

  • BRAIN DEVELOPMENT IMAGING LABS - Recruiting Participants

  • If you are interested in participating in any of these studies, please call 619-594- 0176 or email

  • Join Our Study! Video Games to Train Attention and Eye Movement

  • Join our study at 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. Click here to view the brochure!!!

  • Parents and Children Needed for Student Research

  • My name is Shamayne Brown and I am a doctoral student at Alliant International University. This study is examining the attention abilities of kids with ASD and their parents. I am recruiting families with a child with ASD as well as families with typically developing children.

    We are looking for boys, ages 8 to 16 years old, who have a diagnosis of ASD and their biological parents - both mother and father need to participate. We are also looking for boys, ages 8 to 16 years old, who are typically developing and both of their biological parents to serve as a control group.

    If you and your family are eligible for participation, you will be asked to come to a lab at the Neuroscience Institute at Alliant International University. You and your child's other parent will be asked to complete consent forms and questionnaires about your own behaviors; this should take you each about 25 minutes. You will also be given questionnaires about your child's behaviors. Only one parent needs to fill out these questionnaires and should take about 25 minutes complete. You, your child, and your child's other parent will complete a cognitive test, which will take about 30 minutes. Each of you will then play some games on a computer. This will take each person about 30 minutes. Your child's participation will take approximately one hour. Your participation and that of your child's other parent will take approximately one and a half to two hours.

    After your child completes his tasks, he will receive a $20 cash gift as an appreciation for his participation. Once you and your child's other parent have completed all tasks, you will each receive a $10 gift card as a token of appreciation for your participation. For further information, please contact Shamayne Brown at or 619-416-1799. Thank you for your time.

    *Approved by Alliant IRB
    IRB #1604025150


    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.