Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. February 24, 2018

In This Issue

Movement perception, autism traits may share genetic roots

Ten Things to ask for when Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism or Developmental Differences

Troubled transition: Tricare changes endanger autism therapy services for military families

Are Autism Friendly Events and Venues Right for Your Family?

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

TOMORROW: Friendship Circle of San Diego Purim Under the Sea

It's Tax Time!

Presentation: Neurotransmitters in Individuals with Autism

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

2018 General & Special Education Conference

Helping People with Autism Reach Their Potential

Spotlight Partners, Inclusion Baseball League, and Our Team Member of the Quarter!

Safer than Prescription Medication for Anxiety

Special Needs Tutoring in North County

FREE Housing Training

ACT Today for Military Families Run 2018

Healthcare Gaming company needs participants for Research based focus groups

Upcoming Dance for Teens and Adults with Special Needs

Joint Services EFMP 11th Annual Resource & Activity Fair

MiraCosta College in Oceanside welcomes Chantal and Jeremy Sicile-Kira in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day


  • Movement perception, autism traits may share genetic roots
  • The ability to identify human-like movements is rooted in genetics - and may share those origins with autism traits, a study of 117 twin pairs in China suggests1.

    The ability to interpret other people's movements is important for understanding others' intentions and making social connections.

    People with autism are known to have difficulty recognizing the movement of people and animals, known as biological motion, perhaps because their brains process this motion in an unusual way.

    The new work hints that these difficulties are at least in part genetic. Read on...

  • Ten Things to ask for when Your Child is Diagnosed with Autism or Developmental Differences
  • As a pediatric psychologist I know that families' journeys can be fraught with unexpected challenges. Discovering that your child has differences can be daunting. And sometimes, making sure that your child's needs are properly met by the outside world can be even more stressful. One aspect I am especially passionate about as a psychologist is supporting the social and emotional lives of children with developmental differences, including those on the autism spectrum.

    The good news is that we now know more than ever why it's essential to nurture strengths and relationships as the foundation of supporting children with developmental challenges. Unfortunately, this view is not yet a standard of care across disciplines. Many professionals work from a disability model, emphasizing skill acquisition rather than focusing and building on strengths. While skill acquisition is important, what is most important is the child's developing sense of trust and joy in human relationships. Read on...

  • Troubled transition: Tricare changes endanger autism therapy services for military families
  • The letters, as if coordinated, began going out the third week in January.

    First Anchorage, Alaska, then Jacksonville, Fla. Soon military families in Texas and Alabama hubs received notices too.

    Despite months of preparation, the 2018 overhaul of the military health insurance company Tricare was not going smoothly, the letters from service providers explained. Tricare's new management companies were not reimbursing providers and not responding adequately to phone calls, emails or online submissions.

    So therapy clinics like Bloom Behavioral Solutions in Jacksonville, Integrated Solutions in San Antonio, Texas, and A Perfect Fit, AK near Anchorage, which offer behavioral therapies for children with autism and other challenges, were finding themselves without recourse -- unable to cover the costs of the expensive therapies for children of military families. Services would have to be slashed, each letter said. Read on...

  • Are Autism Friendly Events and Venues Right for Your Family?
  • Here are pros and cons of "autism friendly" experiences.

    What Makes an Event or Venue "Autism Friendly?"
    Autism friendly events and programs are all the rage, particularly in major metropolitan areas like New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles. From zoos to movie theaters, managers are taking the time and making the effort to modify their offerings for people with autism. Most of the time, these modifications are fairly simple: Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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!

    Can you recommend someone in San Diego to establish a special needs trust for my 2 children on the Autism Spectrum. We live in Carmel Valley area.

    Hi im from chula vista my son is autistic and im having so much problems with his school theres any way you can give information about an advocate on this area please.

    Hello! I am a mom of an 12 yr old in an out of state residential placement. I am trying to find moms in a similar situation for support and questions. Please contact me at

    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.

  • TOMORROW: Friendship Circle of San Diego Purim Under the Sea
  • RSVP to

  • 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

  • Presentation: Neurotransmitters in Individuals with Autism
  • *RSVP REQUIRED* or call 760-448-5837.

  • 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

  • 2018 General & Special Education Conference
  • Brain-Based Science, Learning & Achievement
    Pre-K through 12th Grade

    A Professional Continuing Education Event
    May 2, 3, & 4, 2018
    Wednesday, Thursday & Friday

    Conference Location: Town & Country Resort & Convention Center-San Diego

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

  • 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

    San Diego Office
    2525 Camino Del Rio South
    Suite 335
    San Diego, CA 92108

  • Spotlight Partners, Inclusion Baseball League, and Our Team Member of the Quarter!
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all info!!!

  • 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.

  • Special Needs Tutoring in North County
  • Ed to the Future provides specialized tutoring services for students with Special Needs requiring Extra Support in North County, San Diego, CA.

    At Ed to the Future we provide an invaluable SENSORY-FRIENDLY service to students who are struggling in their Mainstream class. We work with IEP students as well as non-identified students who have a learning disability and need a little extra support in the after school hours with their homework and/or are in need of supplemental instruction to reinforce what they are learning with their Primary teachers.

    Our program specializes in Common Core learning support, Tutoring and Remediation. ALL of our teachers are fully credentialed Special Education Teachers (often with post-graduate degrees in the field of Special Education), this in addition to their many years of classroom teaching experience and dedication to the field of Special Education. Our teachers are also well versed in Applied Behavior Analysis Methods and use these powerful techniques to provide a positive environment in which students will thrive and learn their core subjects to the point of Mastery.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • FREE Housing Training
  • Space is limited, call to RSVP!! (619) 688-3323
    Please bring a sack lunch. Lunch will not be provided

  • ACT Today for Military Families Run 2018
    10k - 5k - 1 Mile Benefiting military families impacted by autism

    Join us on Saturday, April 21, 2018 for our 8th Annual ONEHOPE ACT Today for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk and Family Festival. Since the inaugural event in 2011, this event has raised nearly $700,000 to benefit military families impacted by autism. Our event is a unique opportunity for the San Diego community to come together with our military service members in support of a worthy cause...building autism awareness and helping make a real difference in the life of a military child.

    Saturday, April 21, 2018

    Register today at

  • Healthcare Gaming company needs participants for Research based focus groups
  • When: Wednesday 2/28, Thursday 3/1 or Friday 3/2st 2018 times to be determined based on participant availability.

    We need your input: San Diego Typical Gamers and members of the ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) community

    Age ranges needed: from Middle school through College (12-22)

    The purpose of these focus group is to get your input on the development of a new Healthcare gaming product. Participants will receive a $30 Visa gift card for approximately one hour of your time for a question and answer format on gaming and preferences. *This is not a sales pitch.

    Location: Stagecoach Park Community Center La Costa or The New Children's Museum in San Diego.

    Please email or call Karen Keeley at #760-519-0310

  • Upcoming Dance for Teens and Adults with Special Needs
  • RSVP to Caroline at 602-502-2743

  • Joint Services EFMP 11th Annual Resource & Activity Fair
  • For more information call 858-577-4668 or

  • MiraCosta College in Oceanside welcomes Chantal and Jeremy Sicile-Kira in celebration of World Autism Awareness Day
  • Monday, April 2, 2018
    6:00 pm to 7:30 pm
    MiraCosta College
    Little Theater - Room 3601
    One Barnard Drive
    Oceanside, CA 92056

    In celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, nationally known author, speaker, and expert on autism, San Diego resident Chantal Sicile-Kira will speak at MiraCosta about the evolution of special education and her family's story.

    Jeremy Sicile-Kira, a former MiraCosta student and a non-verbal adult with autism will share his story and how he's come to live a full and independent life with autism. Jeremy is an abstract painter who makes portraits using synesthesia, the ability that allows him to see people's emotions as colors.
    Map of Oceanside campus:

    Free and open to the public
    Free parking in the following lots:
    4C, 3A, 3B and 3C
    Questions: Contact Michelle Ohnstad

  • 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.

  • Join UCSD Autism Center of Excellence on either SATURDAY OR SUNDAY, APRIL 7-8 for our first SPARKforAutism live-registration event!

  • Join UCSD Autism Center of Excellence on either SATURDAY OR SUNDAY, APRIL 7-8 for our first SPARKforAutism live-registration event! There will be free parking, drinks, child care, games, and giveaways. Come out, join the fun, and enroll in the largest, genetics study of autism with over 9,000 families already participating nationwide! Staff will help guide families through the online registration process and assist with saliva collection. Child care will be provided while parents complete registration. Families who complete the study will receive up to a $50 Amazon e-gift card. Help us understand the genetic causes of ASD and develop better, more effective treatments so that each child can reach their full potential!

    Time: 9 AM- 5 PM
    Where: UCSD Autism Center of Excellence- 8110 La Jolla Shores Drive, Suite 201/202, La Jolla, CA 92037

    To reserve a registration spot, please RSVP by March 29th by calling 858-534-6906 or emailing Hannah Kaplan at
    RSVP is required for attendance and gift card giveaways. BOTH biological parents and the individual/child with ASD are encouraged to attend this event as this is a genetics study. Families must be able to consent and complete registration in English. We can't wait to see you there!

  • Spring 2018 Therapeutic Recreation Services Calendar

  • Click here for our new Spring 2018 calendar. Please note the following important dates:

    >>First day of registration for Spring activities
    Saturday, February 17 at 10:00 a.m.

    >>First day of registration for Summer Camps
    Saturday, March 3rd at 10:00 a.m.

    You may sign up online at or at our office 3325 Zoo Drive, 92101.

  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center: Residential and Respite Care Services Survey

  • The survey will take less than 30 minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous and voluntary and the responses are confidential. The responses will be helpful in determining issues and supports related to residential and respite care services. We will raffle ten $25 gift cards at the close of the survey for participants who complete the survey.

    Click here to take the survey and help with research to improve lives!!!


    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.