Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. February 13, 2018

In This Issue

Decoding the overlap between autism and ADHD

Embrace by Empatica is the world's first smart watch to be cleared by FDA for use in Neurology

Disabled lives matter, too

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Developmental Parent Support Group in North County, San Diego

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

NFAR Mom's Group - Feb 21 in Kearny Mesa

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Friendship Circle San Diego: Men's Club Bowling League

Helping People with Autism Reach Their Potential

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Safer than Prescription Medication for Anxiety

It's Tax Time!

Coffee Talk in North County

Autism Parent Power Labs

My Special Needs Connection February Newsletter

Community Transition Academy now accepting students for the 2018-19 school year

Being a Kid is Tough - OT Helps!!!


  • Decoding the overlap between autism and ADHD
  • Autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder often coincide, but the search for common biological roots has turned up conflicting evidence.

    Every morning, Avigael Wodinsky sets a timer to keep her 12-year-old son, Naftali, on track while he gets dressed for school. "Otherwise," she says, "he'll find 57 other things to do on the way to the bathroom."

    Wodinsky says she knew something was different about Naftali from the time he was born, long before his autism diagnosis at 15 months. He lagged behind his twin sister in hitting developmental milestones, and he seemed distant. "When he was an infant and he was feeding, he wouldn't cry if you took the bottle away from him," she says. He often sat facing the corner, turning the pages of a picture book over and over again. Although he has above-average intelligence, he did not speak much until he was 4, and even then his speech was often 'scripted:' He would repeat phrases and sentences he had heard on television. Read on...

  • Embrace by Empatica is the world's first smart watch to be cleared by FDA for use in Neurology
  • Beautiful wearable device brings revolutionary help for people living with Epilepsy

    Empatica Inc has received clearance from the FDA for Embrace, its award-winning smart watch. Embrace uses AI (advanced machine learning) to monitor for the most dangerous kinds of seizures, known as "grand mal" or "generalized tonic-clonic" seizures, and send an alert to summon caregivers' help.

    In a multi-site clinical study, 135 patients diagnosed with epilepsy were admitted to top level IV epilepsy monitoring units for continuous monitoring with video-EEG, while simultaneously wearing an Empatica device. From these patients, 6,530 hours of data were recorded over 272 days, including 40 generalized tonic-clonic seizures. Embrace's algorithm was shown to detect 100% of the seizures. The trial used the gold standard of comparing to seizures clinically labelled by at least 2 out of 3 independent epileptologists, who examined the video-EEG data without seeing any data used by Embrace. Read on...

  • Disabled lives matter, too
  • Last summer in Citrus Heights, James Bradford Nelson, a man with mental illness who had been acting erratically, had his skin seared on the hot pavement until he passed out as police held him to the ground.

    A year earlier in Burbank, a police officer pulled over Tawnya Nevarez and her teenage son, who has autism and was not wearing a seat belt. The officer ignored her pleas about how to respond to her son's agitation and confusion and instead pepper-sprayed and Tasered him, causing a seizure. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

  • Developmental Parent Support Group in North County, San Diego
  • Date: Wednesday February 21th, 2018
    Time: 6:30-7:30pm
    Place: 415 North Highway 101
    Solana Beach, Ca 92075
    Contact: Mara Goverman, LCSW

    Please RSVP to Mara at 619-840-0015 by February 20, 2018

    We are looking to build a monthly developmental reflective parent community in North County, San Diego for parents with children on the Autism Spectrum. D.I. R. is a Developmental, Relationship Based, Individualized approach that builds relationships through mutually shared interests to help children become flexible, resilient thinkers. It is our belief that having a support group to think things through and learn together is vital to the well- being of the child and the entire family. It is important for parents to have a safe space in a supportive environment to problem solve, stay connected with others and deepen the parent-child relationship. Meet Floortime parents and professionals and learn about Dr. Greenspan's effective approach to Autism. Bring challenging behaviors and issues to talk about and we can discuss solutions from a DIR perspective. Discover the Floortime/DIR resources available to you in our community. Parents and caregivers are invited to share experiences, show video clips, ask questions, and get information. Come join us- everyone is welcome- childcare is not provided.

  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth believes that every individual is unique and has the potential for significant growth. We assume and foster competence while honoring family values and priorities. Our holistic approach is built upon trusting, supportive relationships and collaboration between disciplines and families.

    TAG, Inc. supports individuals of all ages and functioning levels. The following is a list of potential diagnoses we serve; however, this is not an exhaustive list: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit Disorder, with or without Hyperactivity, Brain Injury, Bipolar Disorder, Auditory Processing Disorders, Down Syndrome, Dysgraphia, Learning Disabilities, Non Verbal Learning Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Tourette's Syndrome.

    Here are the programs we offer:

    • Adult Program
    • Art Therapy
    • Handle
    • Home Programs
    • Life Balance Yoga Therapy
    • Long Distance Services
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Professional Training
    • RDI
    • Sage Learning Center
    • Speech Therapy
    • Summer Programs
    Offering support in the San Diego, Carlsbad, Orange County, Riverside County, and Bay area.
    In addition to supporting our clients directly, we offer guidance to parents, grandparents, therapists, teachers, siblings, school staff, babysitters etc.

    San Diego Office
    9466 Black Mountain Road, Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

    Carlsbad Office
    5411 Avenida Encinas, Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    Phone: (760) 448-5837

    Temecula Office
    43537 RidgePark Dr.
    Temecula, CA 92590
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • NFAR Mom's Group - Feb 21 in Kearny Mesa
  • Wednesday, February 21, 2018
    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

    Please join us! These meetings are for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet the 3rd Wednesday of the month for dinner and guest speakers. It's an opportunity to share resources, experiences and enjoy being with other moms of individuals with autism.

    February Topic: Authentic Parenting: Cultivating Joy + Belonging for 2018

    Please click here for all the info and to RSVP!!!

  • Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment
  • Experience a unique and effective approach to autism therapy.

    Our aim is to bring to families everywhere the most effective therapies for the treatment of autism. Our integrated care model is based on the scientific research and clinical practice of our founder, Dr. Suzanne Goh. We seek to set a new global standard for autism care by achieving superior developmental outcomes for the children and families we serve.

    At Cortica, we believe the world needs a higher standard of care for all those living with autism, or a potential diagnosis of autism. Families like yours deserve effective, collaborative, caring therapies that are accessible and reasonably priced, no matter who you are or where you live.

    Meet our extraordinary team of autism specialists.
    Our multi-disciplinary team includes specialists from many different fields. All of our team members have specialized training and expertise in autism care.

    • Pediatric Neurologists
    • Electroencephalography & Neuromodulation Specialists
    • Neurology Nurse Practitioners
    • Nutrition and Holistic Health Practitioners
    • Speech-Language Therapists
    • Occupational Therapists
    • Physical Therapists
    • Music Therapists
    • Board Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA)
    • Registered Behavior Technicians (RBT)
    • Social Workers and Marriage-Family Therapists
    • Special Education Teachers
    We provide every child at Cortica with an individualized program to accelerate learning and development. An essential ingredient for success is collaboration among physicians, therapists, parents, children, and our extended communities.

    Together, we clarify the complex, celebrate extraordinary efforts, and witness moments of brilliance as our children grow new skills and abilities. Many of our services are covered by medical insurance plans. Contact us for all the info!!!

    Cortica Care
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • Friendship Circle San Diego: Men's Club Bowling League
  • For all the info and to sign up please email or call 858.487.4879!

  • Helping People with Autism Reach Their Potential
  • Gateway Learning Group is California's Premier provider of ABA therapy. We are excited to announce a recent expansion of our services to Riverside County.

    At Gateway, we help individuals develop and strengthen their learning, language, behavior and social skills with proven-effective therapy treatment to support not only them, but your whole family as well. Gateway works with most health insurance plans and also provides services through school districts.

    Click here to learn more about our team and services, call us at 877-264-6747, or email us at

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • Monday, February 19, 2018
    7:00 PM
    Little Italy Bar and Grill
    10006 Scripps Ranch Blvd
    San Diego, CA
    (Approx. $15 per person)

    Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene' Raphael no later than Feb. 16th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • Safer than Prescription Medication for Anxiety
  • Safer than prescription medication for anxiety.

    Offering your child hope for a better future.

    Call 858-367-9108 to schedule your FREE consulation.

    Microcurrent 4 Kids is San Diego's premiere pediatric microcurrent therapy program for children with special needs. Our program is the BEST therapy for Autism & ADHD, as you will see by the rapid improvement in your child's skills and abilities, because of how well it promotes developmental growth and couples with ALL other therapies. Proudly serving all of San Diego and conveniently located in Kearny Mesa, just off the 163 freeway and Balboa Avenue.

  • It's Tax Time!
  • Need help navigating the tax ramifications of receiving public benefits such as IHSS? Have questions about which expenses are deductible (special diets, therapies, etc...)?

    As a mother of twins diagnosed with Autism, I am able to provide a personal level of service due to first-hand experience.

    Individual & Business tax returns welcome.

    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

  • Coffee Talk in North County
  • Wednesday, February 21st
    9:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Panera Bread
    2521 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad

    Sit....Chat....Relax. This is an opportunity to meet up with others facing similar life challenges in a comfortable, relaxing environment.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Autism Parent Power Labs
  • Sat, February 17, 2018
    10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    Sanford Autism Consulting
    4823 Alfred Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: $20

    Join us for our February Parent Power Lab. This month's topic is the impact of Autism on relationships of all kinds, including friendships, siblings and caregivers/parents. Come with questions, leave empowered!

    When a child is diagnosed with Autism, we realize first-hand that the family dynamic changes. However, with specific strategies and supports in place, children and families can thrive beyond the diagnosis.

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

  • My Special Needs Connection February Newsletter

  • Click here to read their latest edition for all the info!!!

  • Community Transition Academy now accepting students for the 2018-19 school year
  • Community Transition Academy (CTA) of Include Autism, our Transition NPS is accepting a limited amount of students, 11th grade through transition age, with moderate to severe disabilities, ages 17-22. CTA is a community-based program located in the heart of the centrally located Hillcrest neighborhood.

    The school day at CTA will balance classroom learning, with hands-on community experiences led by highly skilled staff trained in ABA techniques and supports. Our academic focus is enhanced with vocational, life-science, social skill, and inclusive post-school community opportunities that tie into the classroom lesson plans. Enrollment is very limited to keep the class size very small affording our staff the opportunity to personalize each student's educational transition program. The CTA Team upholds the philosophy that every student at CTA is entitled to the support necessary to maximize his/her potential as an active adult in the greater community with the least possible restrictions and most possible chosen opportunities. With roots in the community, our students flourish!

    We wish to invite you to call us at (858) 360-0282 for more information or to schedule a site visit. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

  • Being a Kid is Tough - OT Helps!!!
    T 858.689.2027

  • 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.


    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.