Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. March 03, 2018

In This Issue

What Is Social Skills Therapy for Autism?

Genetics underscores importance of motor deficits in autism

Anxiety's Toll on People with Autism

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Register for Involved Exceptional Parents' Day!

Presentation: Neurotransmitters in Individuals with Autism

NFAR: Please join us on Thursday, March 8, 2018 for the Men's Group!

YOU can be a SUPERHERO for Autism!

Autism Speaks Community Science Event - San Diego

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

Parent-to-Parent Training

Cara Lucier & Associates

33rd Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference, San Diego

Save the Date: Love and Autism Conference

Jeremiah's Ranch March 2018 Newsletter

ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing

RDI: Connecting with Your Child



  • What Is Social Skills Therapy for Autism?
  • Social skills training is key for people on the autism spectrum

    One of the most significant problems for people on the autism spectrum is difficulty in social interaction. The level of difficulty can be very severe (as it usually is for people with no spoken language) or relatively mild. Even mild difficulties with social communication, however, can lead to major problems with relationships, school, and employment.

    What Social Skills Are Affected by Autism?
    In some cases, people with autism lack very basic social skills. Read on...

  • Genetics underscores importance of motor deficits in autism
  • Spontaneous mutations that impair proteins can cause motor problems in children with autism even in the absence of intellectual disability, a new study suggests1. The findings indicate that motor problems are an inherent feature of autism.

    "People should pay more attention, when making the diagnosis [of autism], to look carefully at the kids' physical disabilities," says lead researcher Michael Wigler, professor at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in New York.

    The presence of motor deficits in a child with autism might also indicate that the child has a spontaneous mutation. The work appeared 6 February in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read on...

  • Anxiety's Toll on People with Autism
  • At the autism center where she works, Susan G. Gilroy fields phone calls about anxiety, a disorder that often travels with autism. Anxiety can complicate the challenges people on the autism spectrum already face, especially when navigating a social world that is not attuned to them.

    "Anxiety can be paralyzing. It can just stop someone," said Mrs. Gilroy, co-director of Northeast Arc Autism Support Center in Massachusetts. "There are individuals with developmental disabilities with severe anxiety who lead very limited lives, because they're not getting the help they need."

    Scientific studies have found that from 11 to 84 percent of youth with autism suffer from anxiety symptoms - intense fear, trouble concentrating, rapid heartbeat, tension, restlessness or sleeplessness. It's believed about 40 percent have an anxiety disorder.1-4 That is remarkably high when you consider that anxiety is more common in females, but autism primarily affects males.5 As for adults with autism? Research on them is limited, but some studies show from 29 to 50 percent of these adults have an anxiety disorder, compared to only 18 percent of the general population. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    Our pediatrician/family doctor is an ok doctor and is pretty good with my son with ASD. However, he did not understand the impact of ASD on our family well enough to adequately complete the health form for IHSS. Can anyone recommend a Sharp pediatrician for my son with autism (or another one who takes Health Net HMO insurance)? Please email me at with your recommendation. I would greatly appreciate it.

    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.

  • Register for Involved Exceptional Parents' Day!
  • Involved Exceptional Parents' Day (IEP Day) is an annual conference for parents, family members and caregivers of individuals with special needs. This year, the 35th annual conference, will be held on Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Handlery Hotel in Mission Valley. We are busily making plans for the 15 featured workshops (offered in English and Spanish), a networking luncheon, huge resource fair and more for the nearly 400 people who attend. This year's conference theme is "Finding Our Balance".

    The Registration Packet and online registration are on the conference website: SDRC funding may be available. For SDRC funding, please talk with your SDRC service coordinator.

    See you at the conference!

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

  • NFAR: Please join us on Thursday, March 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

    March Topic: Ways to Improve Your Financial Position

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • YOU can be a SUPERHERO for Autism!
  • You can be a SUPERHERO for those with autism on Saturday, March 24th!

    Race includes a commemorative medal, T-shirt or cape and includes a fantastic Resource Fair, children's activities, music, dancing & lots of fun!

    100% of the Race proceeds stay in San Diego and help to fund early identification and education efforts, technical training in software testing for young adults, parent programs, instructional workshops and has funded more than 700 community programs and classrooms, benefiting thousands of local children and families.

    Please join us in making a difference on March 24th. Because everyone can be a SUPERHERO! Register Today at

  • Autism Speaks Community Science Event - San Diego
  • Thursday, March 15, 2018
    6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    San Diego State University (SDSU)
    College of Arts & Letters Building
    5500 Campanile Drive
    San Diego, CA 92182

    The event will include a moderated panel discussion, an audience Q&A session, a resource fair, and many opportunities for networking. Refreshments will be served.

    This event is proudly brought to you by Autism Speaks with host partners SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders Research and SDSU Brain Development Imaging Laboratories.

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

  • Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!
  • Real Connections Child Development Institute
    Supporting and partnering with families of children on the autism spectrum through understanding, engagement and relationships.

    Developmental Play Therapy - 1:1 developmental therapy in your child's natural environment. Evidenced- based, emotional, cognitive and neurobiological therapy that assists your child in developing meaningful relationships.

    Parent Coaching & Support - Real-time training and education in your child's individual profile. Learn new ways to engage and connect, while focusing on communicative and cognitive/ social emotional development. Maximize your child's developmental growth through both daily interactions and parent-child intervention sessions.

    A "Whole Child" Program

    • Flexible Thinking
    • Problem Solving
    • Scripting
    • Perserveration
    • Meltdowns
    • Executive Function Skills
    • Regulation
    • Sensory Integration
    • Spatial Processing
    • Individualized Program
    Real Connections San Diego
    415 North Highway 101, Suite C
    Solana Beach, CA 92075
    619-840-0015 or 858-768-0313

  • Parent-to-Parent Training
  • Hosted by Community Advisory Committee for Special Education (San Diego Unified)

    Thursday, March 8 at 6 PM
    Kearny High School
    7651 Wellington Way
    San Diego, CA 92111

    Topic: Ways to support students with disabilities changing schools, whether due to relocation, choice, or articulation.

    We especially welcome military families.

    Childcare and Spanish translation provided.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Cara Lucier & Associates
  • At Cara Lucier & Associates we believe in the ability of every person to reach their potential. We believe that education is the key to opportunity. We advocate for the rights of individuals and their families:

    • IEP team meetings
    • Mediation
    • Due Process Hearings and Appeals
    • 504 Meetings and Appeals
    • Regional Center Meetings and Appeals
    • IHSS Appeals
    • Civil Rights Litigation
    For a free 60-minute initial consultation, please contact us at (760)505-2498.

    Law Offices of Cara Lucier
    Civil Rights and Education Law
    701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite #300
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    Phone: (760) 717-3451

  • 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

  • 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!!

  • Jeremiah's Ranch March 2018 Newsletter
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info about upcoming events!!!

  • ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing
  • For more information, please contact Marymichelle Lotano to schedule a free consultation.

  • RDI: Connecting with Your Child
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
    RDI is a developmental and cognitive based family focused intervention dedicated to treating the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders. Prior to beginning, families are extensively assessed and provided with specific tools and objectives to remediate (treat until they are no longer deficits) the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders. Below is a brief list of the core deficits that are treated.

    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

  • 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.