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

In This Issue

Preferred Interests: Supporting Children on the Autism Spectrum

Pros and Cons of Private School for Autistic Children

Parent training boosts language in nonverbal children with autism

Autism-Related Challenges Persist Well Into Adulthood, Study Shows

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Parents Who have a Child with Autism Wanted for an Online Survey

Presentation: Neurotransmitters in Individuals with Autism

Parent Power Lab: Autism, Health & Wellness

YOU can be a SUPERHERO for Autism!

Autism Speaks Community Science Event - San Diego

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

East County Autism Support Group

Cara Lucier & Associates

TACA San Diego's 2nd Annual IEP Day Workshop

Save the Date: Love and Autism Conference

Jeremiah's Ranch March 2018 Newsletter

ABA Behavior Therapies & Testing

RDI: Connecting with Your Child

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

Parent-to-Parent Training



  • Preferred Interests: Supporting Children on the Autism Spectrum
  • Thomas was proud of his young son "Roger's" remarkable knowledge of birds. Roger's grandmother, an avid bird watcher, had shared birding books and toy bird replicas with the boy when he was young, and he had shown such great enthusiasm for the topic that at age 3, Roger could identify more than 50 types of birds.

    But when the boy was diagnosed with autism, a therapist took a more guarded view of Roger's intense interest. The therapist described the boy's constant chatter about birds as "stimming"-short for self-stimulating behavior. Suddenly, the father worried that the conversations about birds that had been such a source of joy for him and his son might actually be causing harm to the boy. Read on...

  • Pros and Cons of Private School for Autistic Children
  • Explore the ups and down of private schools for autistic students

    It's tough for most children with autism to thrive in large general education classrooms. Some districts do a terrific job of including kids on the spectrum and adapting curriculum to meet their needs. Quite a few districts, however, do a poor or awful job. Would a private setting be a better option?

    Pros and Cons of Private School for Autistic Children
    If you're seriously considering private school for your autistic child, chances are your child has had significant problems in your local public schools. Read on...

  • Parent training boosts language in nonverbal children with autism
  • Children with autism who speak few or no words improve in their verbal abilities after their parents learn to engage them in conversation during play, according to a pilot study.

    The parents learn strategies such as following their child's focus and engaging the child with words and toys. These strategies are part of an established behavioral therapy for autism called JASPER, which is known to improve social skills and communication when implemented by trained therapists.

    The new work is part of an ongoing trend of coaching parents to provide autism therapies. This approach has the advantage of incorporating the treatments into the child's daily life. Few studies have explored the effectiveness of this approach, however. The new study's findings begin to fill that gap. Read on...

  • Autism-Related Challenges Persist Well Into Adulthood, Study Shows
  • As adults with autism mature and move into middle age, they are finding it difficult to live independently, hold down jobs and sustain relationships, researchers say.

    A new study is providing a glimpse into the daily lives of adults with autism as they hit their 30s and 40s, a time period that's traditionally received little attention from researchers looking at the developmental disorder. 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.

    Hello! I am a graduate student studying speech-language pathology and am planning to one day work with adults who are on the autism spectrum. I am currently seeking a summer practicum placement with the adult population that would last for 6 weeks and consist of 10 hours per week. If you are or know of someone who is a certified speech-language pathologist and would be open to supervising me, please contact me at Many thanks!
    Kathleen Winger

    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.

  • Parents Who have a Child with Autism Wanted for an Online Survey
  • Click here to take the survey!!!

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

  • Parent Power Lab: Autism, Health & Wellness
  • Join us for our March Parent Power Lab. This month's topic is Autism, health and wellness. Let's discuss strategies to help our children with Autism with their mind, body and soul. Come with questions, leave empowered!

    Wed, March 14, 2018
    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    Sanford Autism Consulting
    4823 Alfred Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: $20

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

  • 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

  • East County Autism Support Group
  • Monday, March 12, 2018
    6:30 PM to 8:00 PM
    Office of Dr. Rienzi Haytasingh
    5550 Baltimore Drive, Suite 150 ยท 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!!!

  • 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

  • TACA San Diego's 2nd Annual IEP Day Workshop
  • Hosted by Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) San Diego Chapter

    Tuesday, March 27 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    Rancho Bernardo Community Presbyterian Church
    12845 Poway Rd, Poway, California

    Come be a part of TACA SD's 2nd Annual IEP Day Workshop. Learn as much as possible to prepare for your child's IEP Meeting. The IEP (Individualized Education Program) is the foundation for your child's education, and you are a very important member of the team that develops it. Increase your knowledge so that you can be an active, prepared member of your child's IEP team. RSVP to save your chair at this very-knowledgeable table. If you are new to TACA, you'll receive the Autism Journey Guide as a take-home resource. We will have short presentation by the attorneys followed by direct support from the 2 attorneys and 2 advocates for your loved ones IEP. Remember to bring the IEP to receive maximum support.

    Special Education Attorneys Cara Lucier, Esq., Thomas S. Nelson Esq., Special Education Advocates Alishia Goyette and Shannon Primer will be here to support you.

    *Please note we meet in the Lower Fireside Room on the Southside of the Church.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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

  • 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!!!

  • 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!!!

  • 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.