Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. March 15, 2018

In This Issue

Falling Off the Cliff, Part 2 - Finding Good Help

How autism may stem from problems with prediction

'I knew I wouldn't be a good mother. I just wanted to be sterilised'

New instrument could assess effects of behavioral treatments

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Passover Model Seder

Join Include Autism for The Gatsby Gala!

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Encinitas Dance/Karaoke Party for special needs teens/adults

Individual and Family Therapy

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

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

No Wait for RDI!!!

Autism Society San Diego Spring Family Camp

Author of the Month: Saturday, April 7, 1:00 - 2:30 pm at the San Diego Central Library

Family Gymnastics Night

2018 General & Special Education Conference

Autism Care and Treatment for Military Familes Run/Walk and Family Festival

Registration for Camp I CAN begins on Monday, March 19th!

The Art of Autism March Newsletter



  • Falling Off the Cliff, Part 2 - Finding Good Help
  • For adults with disabilities and their families, getting a Medicaid waiver to pay for daily care is like winning the lottery.

    It took three years for Eileen and Chris Romich to painstakingly research where their intellectually disabled son, Jonathan, 28, should live when they moved him out of their family home.

    It took just three weeks for that plan to implode, leaving the family with ongoing fears for their son's safety.

    Flash back to 2014, when Eileen, 58, and Chris, 59, realized that Jonathan was ready to start establishing a life away from his family. Read on...

  • How autism may stem from problems with prediction
  • A 'predictive coding' theory of autism suggests that many of the condition's hallmark traits occur when sensory input overrides expectation in the brain.

    Satsuki Ayaya remembers finding it hard to play with other children when she was young, as if a screen separated her from them. Sometimes she felt numb, sometimes too sensitive; sometimes sounds were muted, sometimes too sharp. As a teenager, desperate to understand herself, she began keeping a journal. "I started to write my ideas in my notebooks, like: What's happened to me? Or: What's wrong with me? Or: Who am I?" she says, "I wrote, wrote, wrote. I filled maybe 40 notebooks."

    Today, at 43, Ayaya has a better sense of who she is: She was diagnosed with autism when she was in her early 30s. As a Ph.D. student in the history and philosophy of science at the University of Tokyo, she is using the narratives from her teen years and after to generate hypotheses and suggest experiments about autism - a form of self-analysis called Tojisha-Kenkyu, introduced nearly 20 years ago by the disability-rights movement in Japan. Read on...

  • 'I knew I wouldn't be a good mother. I just wanted to be sterilised'
  • How Rose Hughes, who has Asperger's, fought a long battle to convince doctors to take her seriously

    I don't want to be a mother, or even take the risk of finding myself in that situation. I have Asperger's, and although many people with autism make great parents, it's not something I feel able to contemplate. I simply don't have the reserves or instincts to look after another person properly - but I still want a fulfilling sex life.

    I've tried five types of contraceptive pill, but all of them caused psychosis, violent outbursts and extreme behaviours. I am bipolar and also have Addison's disease (a rare disorder of the adrenal glands). Other forms of contraception, such as the morning-after pill, were all offered and abortion was mentioned, but the one thing no one would speak to me about was sterilisation. Read on...

  • New instrument could assess effects of behavioral treatments
  • A new questionnaire assesses the frequency and severity of various behaviors in children with autism and could help scientists determine the effectiveness of behavioral therapies1.

    Diagnostic tests for autism generally rule the condition in or out. When tests offer separate ratings for behaviors such as poor social skills or communication difficulties, the purpose is typically to decide whether the behaviors meet the cutoff for autism, rather than to measure subtle changes over short time periods.

    The new test, called the Autism Impact Measure, offers a way to rate these behaviors independently and over short periods. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    Looking for someone to mentor and support my high functioning adult on the spectrum. Need someone at least over 25 and available weekends and possibly open to overnight stays. We are in east county, La Mesa area.

    Looking for a primary care physician for my 18 year-old severely autistic son -- non verbal with intense self-injuries behaviors and aggression. Prefer internal medicine specialty. Must have patience and compassion; must understand that autistic individuals manifest illnesses and pain with "behaviors"; must respect the parental point of view and expertise in developing treatment plan. Anthem Blue Cross PPO. Please send suggestions to: 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.

  • Passover Model Seder
  • RSVP to 858-487-4879 or

  • Join Include Autism for The Gatsby Gala!
  • An exclusive night out benefiting Include Autism, being held at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa on Saturday, May 19th, 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

    To get involved please call 858.603.7344 or email
    Sponsorships now available.

    We warmly invite you to join us at Include Autism's annual fundraising gala. This year's event is the Gatsby Gala, and this lively and meaningful benefit honors and brings together community members from San Diego and beyond in support of autism inclusion.

    This amazing event will feature the following:

    Delectable hors d'ouerves and fare
    Hosted bar, tray passed champagne, and hosted table wine
    Live entertainment, DJs, and dancing
    Extensive live and silent auctions
    Presentation featuring our very own kiddos
    Exclusive gifts and giveaways
    Photo booth and event photography
    Special guests
    & much more!

    Please note: This is a 21 and up cocktail style event.

    Click here for all the info and to purchase tickets!!!

    Include Autism is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization (Tax ID: 20-0948809) dedicated to providing services that instill community-wide autism inclusion. Our focal program, Community Coaching (CC) program provides natural, hands-on opportunities for our program participants to develop adaptive, functional skills needed to become included in their community. Include Autism also has Autism Inclusion Training for businesses and community organizations, Volunteer, Peer Pal and Inclusion Baseball League programs.

    Include Autism now has two sites, our Central location in Hillcrest and our North site in RB/Poway.

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene Raphael no later than March 16th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • Encinitas Dance/Karaoke Party for special needs teens/adults
  • Saturday, March 17, 2018
    7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
    1465 Encinitas Blvd, Encinitas, CA 92024-2931

    Please bring a $5 to $10 donation to cover our rent, and a healthy snack to share (not required) parental /caregiver supervision requested for those attendees who need it. please share this Event with those who might enjoy it!
    Click here for all the info!

  • Individual and Family Therapy
  • At Xcite Steps, we care about the emotional well being of the entire family. Our services extend beyond the child, as we provide psychotherapy to parents, couples, siblings, and families who are affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder, or other developmental disabilities. Having a child or sibling who needs extra support can provide stress and additional challenges to life. Coping with these stressors is not always the easiest. At Xcite Steps we want to provide you with the tools needed to cope with the stress and anxiety that comes along with a complicated medical condition like Autism Spectrum Disorder. We work with couples to help rebuild and strengthen relationship bonds, while also learning how to cope with parenting challenges. We also work with siblings or other loved ones who are struggling to cope with the family changes. Click here for all the info!!

  • 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

  • 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! Click here for all the info!!!

  • No Wait for RDI!!!
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®)
    Our primary approach for treatment of autism spectrum is a developmental program called Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®). RDI® is a unique treatment approach that empowers parents to guide their child to succeed in our dynamic world. Children who learn to actively engage with the support of their parents in safe but challenging learning opportunities develop a strong motivation to explore and expand their world, as well as develop competence and trust in themselves and their guides. Click here for all the info!!!

    Two Offices to Serve You
    3555 Kenyon Street, Suite 101
    San Diego, CA 92110
    10731 Treena Street, #105
    San Diego, CA 92131
    619-600-0683 ext. 1

  • Autism Society San Diego Spring Family Camp
  • Registration is now open for our Spring Family Camp, happening Friday, April 13th, through Sunday, April 15th, at YMCA Camp Marston in the beautiful hills of Julian. This fun-filled family weekend is open to all ages, and all activities and meals are included. Visit our website for more information and to register!!!

  • Author of the Month: Saturday, April 7, 1:00 - 2:30 pm at the San Diego Central Library
  • Join a wide-ranging, inspiring conversation about stories, families, and compassion with award-winning children's author, Sally J. Pla, and therapist/founder of the Love & Autism Conference, Dr. JennyPalmiotto, Saturday, April 7, at 1:00. - 2:30 at the Central Library. Their talk is entitled "Kids & Books & Love & Autism."

    Humans make sense of the world through story-telling. We all love good stories, but they may be especially meaningful for those whose brains operate just a bit differently - and for those of us who know and love them.

    Award-winning San Diego author Sally J. Pla has written two highly acclaimed books that touch upon what life is like with a slightly different neurology: The Someday Birds, and Stanley Will Probably Be Fine. She is eager to share why she felt compelled to write them, and what her ongoing literary mission may be.

    Dr. Jenny Palmiotto's nationally renowned Love & Autism Conference is held annually in San Diego. Its theme this year is "Stories." We'll hear from Jenny about why this theme is important to her conference, her practice, and her clients.

    Perhaps someone you love, someone you teach, someone you work with, or live with is somewhere on the spectrum. Or perhaps you care about compassion, acceptance, and the celebration of differences in our world. Or perhaps you just love good books and good stories from a unique perspective. In any case, we hope you join us for what's sure to be an enlightening talk.

    Refreshments will be served during a meet-and-greet after the talk. Sally's books will be available for sale.
    Resource information on autism also will be available.

    THE SOMEDAY BIRDS -- Winner of the 2018 Dolly Gray Children's Literature Award. Junior Library Guild Selection. "Nerdies" Book Award Winner. A New York Public Library Best Kids Book of 2017.

    "Offering a mixture of suspense, mystery, tragedy and humor, Pla's story captures both the literal and figurative meanings of journey." -Publishers Weekly Starred Review

    "Pla gives us a memorable hero in this lyrical and funny book." -Shelf Awareness Starred Review

    The Someday Birds is a debut middle grade novel perfect for fans of Counting by 7s and Fish in a Tree, filled with humor, heart, and chicken nuggets. Charlie's perfectly ordinary life has been unraveling ever since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan.

    When his father heads from California to Virginia for medical treatment, Charlie reluctantly travels crosscountry with his boy-crazy sister, unruly brothers, and a mysterious new family friend. He decides that if he can spot all the birds that he and his father were hoping to see someday along the way, then everything might just turn out okay.

    Author Sally J. Pla has written a tale that is equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an autistic boy who feels he doesn't understand the world, and an uplifting portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.

    This is a free event and all the info is here.

  • Family Gymnastics Night
  • Saturday, March 17, 2018
    4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
    Magdalena Ecke YMCA Gymnastics Center
    6100-B Avenida Encinas · Carlsbad, CA

    Join other families affected by Autism at a Family Fun Gymnastic Night in North County. The Magdalena Ecke YMCA will provide the gymnasium equipment; together, we will provide the fun! Bring the entire family for an enjoyable, relaxing night of family recreation. Click here for all the info!!

  • 2018 General & Special Education Conference
  • 2018 General & Special Education Conferece-San Diego, CA
    Location: Town & Country Resort
    May 2-4, 2018

    Early Registration Fee:
    One Day-$235
    Two Days- $399
    Three Days-$499
    Registration fees after April 23, 2018: One Day-$265; Two Days-$440; Three Days-$525

    Click here to view the brochure for all the info!!

    Click here to register!!

  • Autism Care and Treatment for Military Familes Run/Walk and Family Festival
  • 1 IN 68 MILITARY CHILDREN HAVE AUTISM 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

  • Registration for Camp I CAN begins on Monday, March 19th!
  • Visit the link below to verify if your Autism Society San Diego membership is current, and to request registration forms. Then take your forms to the location you wish to register (Toby Wells YMCA or Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA) starting on Monday morning at 8 AM. Financial aid is available for those who qualify, and you can find more information about that as well at the link below.

    Click here for all the info and to register!

  • The Art of Autism March Newsletter
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info and upcoming events!!!

  • 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.

    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!!!

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

    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.