Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. February 27, 2018

In This Issue

The costs of camouflaging autism

Educational Options for Children with Autism

I'm autistic. I just turned 36 - the average age when people like me die.

Autism Research in 2017: Heterogeneity in Autism and How Science is Addressing It

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Registration for CAMP I CAN Opens March 19, 2018

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

Mapping Dreams: The Transition to Adulthood

YOU can be a SUPERHERO for Autism!

North County Coffee Club

Friendship Circle San Diego is Hiring!!!

33rd Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, San Diego

ACT Today for Military Families Run 2018

Healthcare Gaming company needs participants for Research based focus groups

TAG's Speech Therapy Program

The 2018 Winter Edition of The Q Report is in!!!

Conference: Teaching Social Competencies - More Than Social Skills


  • The costs of camouflaging autism
  • Many girls hide their autism, sometimes evading diagnosis well into adulthood. These efforts can help women on the spectrum socially and professionally, but they can also do serious harm.

    Except for her family and closest friends, no one in Jennifer's various circles knows that she is on the spectrum. Jennifer was not diagnosed with autism until she was 45 - and then only because she wanted confirmation of what she had figured out for herself over the previous decade. Most of her life, she says, she evaded a diagnosis by forcing herself to stop doing things her parents and others found strange or unacceptable. (For privacy reasons, Jennifer asked that we not use her last name.)

    Over several weeks of emailing back and forth, Jennifer confides in me some of the tricks she uses to mask her autism - for example, staring at the spot between someone's eyes instead of into their eyes, which makes her uncomfortable. But when we speak for the first time over video chat one Friday afternoon in January, I cannot pick up on any of these ploys. Read on...

  • Educational Options for Children with Autism
  • As with so much in the world of autism, the definition of a good educational program depends upon the needs of the individual child. Thus, while there are certain elements that are likely to be positive for any child with autism, the bottom line is all about your child's individual strengths and challenges, and whether they "click" with their teacher and setting.

    To make things even more interesting, services and programs are likely to differ from school district to school district and from region to region.

    One state may stress sensory integration therapy while another is strong in Applied Behavior Analysis and since there's no "gold standard" for autistic education, children wind up being offered potluck. Meanwhile, different families may also have specific preferences regarding therapeutic and teaching approaches, which vary greatly from district to district and from region to region. Read on...

  • I'm autistic. I just turned 36 - the average age when people like me die.
  • The stress of living with autism is exhausting.

    On March 21, 2017, CNN published an article on a new study from the American Journal of Public Health that found the average life span of an autistic person is 36 years. I wasn't shocked by this news. I know how dire things can be for so many of us on the spectrum, but that number struck me for a very specific reason. I had just turned 35 the previous month.

    Since I learned this news, I've been anticipating the milestone of turning 36 with a mix of confusion, dread, and a host of other feelings I can't quite articulate. I've had more existential episodes than usual, brooding about the meaning of life. It's been a lot like a midlife crisis - except that (I kept thinking) my own midlife might have happened as long as half my life ago. The average age of death for autistic people who live to adulthood might be older than 36 (and as of now, there is still no age-specific data). Still, the figure from the research journal haunted me. Read on...

  • Autism Research in 2017: Heterogeneity in Autism and How Science is Addressing It
  • The Interactive Autism Network is honored, once again, to publish the Autism Science Foundation's (ASF) review of autism science in 2017. Scientists learned a lot in 2017 and the ASF has a lot to share, so we've divided the review into the sections listed below: 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.

  • Registration for CAMP I CAN Opens March 19, 2018
  • We are looking forward to our 17th year of Camp I CAN! Camp I CAN was created and developed by the Autism Society San Diego in partnership with the YMCA to provide a fun, safe and nurturing camp experience. Funding for Camp I CAN is provided primarily by the Autism Society San Diego and our generous community donors.

    More information on Camp I CAN can be found here.

  • 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

  • Mapping Dreams: The Transition to Adulthood
  • Mon., Mar. 12, 2018, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
    FREE Admission. Registration required.

    ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing - The ABA Group
    1501 5th Avenue, Suite 400, San Diego, CA 92101
    Register online at or call 619.282.0846

  • YOU can be a SUPERHERO for Autism!
  • Start the new year by being a SUPERHERO for Autism! Sign up for the Race for Autism on Saturday, March 24, 2018. You can have fun while supporting a really great cause! Your support means a great deal to individuals and families in our community.

    Registration includes some super cool medals, and registrants can choose between a T-shirt or cape! Plus, we've got a great line-up of autism resources to check out at our Resource Fair.

    Sign up today at

  • North County Coffee Club
  • Hosted by Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) San Diego Chapter

    Thursday, March 8th
    10 AM - 12 PM
    2Good2B Bakery & Cafe
    204 N El Camino Real, Suite H
    Encinitas, California 92024

    Great Coffee, support you need in you autism journey and of course allergy friendly foods. What more do you need as an autism parent or caretaker? Join TACA San Diego Co-Coordinator Vanessa Surprise for all this and possibly more... Click here for all the info!!!

  • Friendship Circle San Diego is Hiring!!!
  • FC is hiring! Please take a look at the position, share with friends and colleagues, and make sure to follow directions on how to apply. Spread the word! The position is for a Development Manager. Click here for all the info!!!

  • 33rd Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, San Diego
  • March 19 to March 23, 2018
    Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Register at
    Fee: $555

  • 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

  • TAG's Speech Therapy Program
  • Offering support in the San Diego, Carlsbad, Orange County and Riverside County.
    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

  • The 2018 Winter Edition of The Q Report is in!!!
  • The 2018 winter edition of The Q Report is in. Enjoy stories about our organization, the incredible people who support us, accomplishments of HGH staff, reports and photos of fundraising events, and most importantly, the people we are so privileged to serve.

    Take a peek and let us know your thoughts. We welcome your feedback.

    Click here to read the edition.

  • 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

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

  • 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.