Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 10, 2017

In This Issue

How Are Autistic Meltdowns Different From Ordinary Temper Tantrums?

Autism in motion

Exposure to heavy metals may increase risk of autism

FDA approves first generic Strattera for the treatment of ADHD

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

ATPF Bridge to the Beach - Family Beach Day

LEGO Robotics Workshop for Teens

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Monthly Membership Program at MicroCurrent 4 Kids!

Central San Diego Coffee Talk

"Beyond Bullying" on Sunday, June 11th

Summer Camp at ABA Group!!!

NFAR: North County Mom's Group - June 15, 2017

NFAR: San Diego Mom's Group - Jun 21, 2017

Books on Child Development, Autistic Teens and Young Adults, and Autism and the Extended Family

Autism Safety Fair! June 24th

SNAPOLOGY starts Jun 26!

Autism Society Family Gymnastics Night in Carlsbad, June 24th

Autism Kids Night Out!!!

SAVE THE DATE: Conference: Love and Autism



Want to learn more about Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) for your child on the spectrum?

Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) is a unique treatment approach that empowers parents to guide their child to succeed in a truly dynamic world. Children who learn to actively engage with the support of their parents in safe but challenging learning opportunities (problems and situations that are just beyond their level of competence), develop a strong motivation to explore and expand their world, as well as develop competence and trust in themselves and their Guides. The program has no defined length. It is designed to accommodate parents and children with a wide range of obstacles and handicapping conditions. Therefore participation may range anywhere from one to several years. Have specific questions? See the RDI FAQs for answers!

  • How Are Autistic Meltdowns Different From Ordinary Temper Tantrums?
  • There's a Good Reason Why They're Called "Meltdowns!"

    The word "meltdown" was originally invented to describe what happens when, after a series of incidents and warnings, the core of a nuclear reactor is exposed to the air. A major crisis occurs, and the possible outcomes include lethal exposure to radioactivity or a massive explosion.

    Some parents use the term to refer to their children's temper tantrums as in "Oh, he's just having a meltdown."

    What do parents really mean by this? Read on...

  • Autism in motion

  • Children with autism are often clumsy, physically awkward or uncoordinated. This understudied and nearly ubiquitous feature has researchers contemplating a new idea: Could motor problems be one source of autism's social difficulties?

    For 6-year-old Macey, lunchtime at school is not so much a break from reading and math as it is an hour rife with frustration.

    Here's how Macey's mother, Victoria, describes Macey's typical lunch break: In her special-education classroom an hour north of San Francisco, Macey's classmates gather at a big square table, chattering away and snatching one another's food. Macey, meanwhile, is sequestered away at a small white table in a corner, facing a bookshelf. She grabs the handle of a spoon using the palm of her right hand, awkwardly scoops up rice and spills it onto her lap. She wants to be at the big table with her peers, but she sits with an aide away from the other children to minimize distractions while she eats. (Victoria requested that we use her and Macey's first names only, to protect their privacy.) Read on...

  • Exposure to heavy metals may increase risk of autism
  • While it is not yet known what causes autism, researchers believe that a complex interaction between environmental factors and genetics is responsible for the condition. Separating these factors, however, can be a challenge. But a new study may have found a way to isolate genetics from environmental contributors to the disease, allowing researchers to focus on the link between heavy metal levels and autism risk.

    According to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as many as 1 in 68 children in the United States have autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    A recent study explores a new factor that may contribute to the risk of developing ASD: the concentration of heavy metals in a child's body.

    The new research was led by Manish Arora, Ph.D., an environmental scientist and dentist at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, NY, and the findings were published in the journal Nature Communications. Read on...

  • FDA approves first generic Strattera for the treatment of ADHD
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic versions of Strattera (atomoxetine) to treat attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in pediatric and adult patients.

    Apotex Inc., Teva Pharmaceuticals USA Inc., Aurobindo Pharma Limited and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals Limited has gained approval to market atomoxetine in multiple strengths.

    "Today's approvals mark an important step forward in bringing consumers additional treatments that have met the FDA's rigorous standards," said Kathleen Uhl, M.D., director of the Office of Generic Drugs in the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. "Quickly bringing generics to market so patients have more options to treat their conditions is a top priority for the FDA." Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • Job Coach
    Life Works has a career opportunity for you! We are looking for an outgoing, dependable full-time job coach working with a young, Autistic male who lives in the SDSU area. The job coach primary role is to assist the individual in performing his work duties at 3 different places of employment. Other tasks include: administering medication, assistance with morning routine, daily note documentation, and behavioral support. Experience working with people with Autism is required. Behavioral support experience is preferred. The hours are Monday thru Friday 8-3p.m. To review more about our agency, please visit us at For all serious inquiries, please submit a cover page, resume, and three professional references.

    We're looking to teach our 6 year old boy to swim. He has receptive and expressive delays, as well as sensory and motor delays. We're looking for someone who could teach him in his swimming pool, as our community's one is very small and usually overcrowded. If you can help, please contact us at

    I have 6 different GeoTrax train sets that we would like to sell. We know many kiddos on the spectrum enjoy trains very much.

    Please give our email to have people contact us if interested in buying them. They are in very good condition. We have had them stored in plastic containers inside. They are the older style, but they all fit together. Laura

    Looking for SIERRA ACADEMY & SPRINGALL ACADEMY families!
    My son attends Sierra Academy/Springall Academy and we recently started a Facebook group to better connect with other families from the school. We are new to the school and want to meet/talk to others. Their students come from all over San Diego County so I thought it would be nice to have a way to connect.

    If you have a child at either school and would like to be a part of this Facebook group please email me. I will send you a friend request, once you accept, I will invite you to the group. Please feel free to reach out to other families you may know at the school too.

    Looking forward to meeting other families,

    My son is a high functioning middle schooler with significant behavioral challenges including explosive aggressive outbursts. We are looking for any insights/experience into the San Diego Children's Center or Rileys? Also, any other non-public school options that can provide academic support in a safe environment with expert staff to address explosive outbursts? If so, please reach out to Thanks so much!

    Looking for credentialed teacher, graduate student in education, or ABA trained individual to assist with supervising school work for 4-8 hours per week during 2017/2018 school year. Location in North County San Diego. Student is HFA boy in 8th grade and mostly independent in completing all school work. No learning disabilities but needs some help with focus and organization. All curriculum and assignments are provided - he just need some supervision and guidance while he completes his work. Pay is completive based upon experience. Please contact if interested. Thank you!

    Hello! I will be moving to the San Diego (South Bay/Chula Vista) area and I'm looking for the best private school for my 3 year old son who is on the spectrum. His therapist recommended that he attend general education classes with typical peers assisted by a therapist. Helen

    Seeking IHSS caregiver for my female teen in SDSU neighborhood for weekday mornings. Please call Lisa 619-890-2652 or email

    I have a very gently used Kaufman Praxis Treatment Kit 2 (Advanced Level) for sale as my son is no longer in need of them. New they cost $199 but would like to see them for $90 plus cost of shipping. Kaufman Kit 2 refines intelligibility for children who have mastered sounds in Kaufman Kit 1 (p, b, m, t, d, n, h, w). Advanced level Kit 2 then works to refine articulation and build higher motor-speech coordination. Kit 2 uses familiar two and three-syllable words to target more complicated motor-speech movements and synthesis into initial and final word positions. Kit 2 targets synthesis of /f, g, k, l, s, sh/ and blends /s, r, l/ plus ber and ter.Kit 2 includes 285 visual referent cards and employs the same successive "word shell" approximation approach as found in Kaufman Kit 1. Email me at if you are interested.

    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.

  • ATPF Bridge to the Beach - Family Beach Day
  • ATPF & San Diego Junior Lifeguards have partnered to host our 3rd Annual Bridge to the Beach Program! Join us for a fun and family-friendly Beach Day where kids can surf, boogie board, kayak, paddleboard & more! To RSVP Contact or or 619-222-4465

  • LEGO Robotics Workshop for Teens
  • July 15th & 22nd!

    NFAR is offering students a unique programming and robotics experience for ages 12 - 18 years old.

    This Workshop is from 10:00 am - noon over two Saturdays: July 15th and July 22nd. Registration is free and the computers and robotics kits will be provided.

    Students will be creating a game using the Scratch programming language and a LEGO WeDo robotics kit. For more information, or to register, click HERE.

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

  • Monthly Membership Program at MicroCurrent 4 Kids!
  • We are offering everyone the easiest and most cost-effective way to come in for regular and follow-up therapy sessions. Announcing our New Monthly Membership Plan!

    Monthly Membership $89
    With the ease of a monthly auto-payment you will earn 1 session each month, plus any additional sessions you wish to buy will all be billed at our member rate of only $80 each! Membership provides the lowest cost-per-session option (36% off single session rate) and relives the burden of paying a large lump sum up front. Best of all the effects of microcurrent therapy are cumulative! So the more you come in, the better results you will see in your child's mental and physical health!
    *6-month contract required

    Membership Benefits Include:

    • One 30-min Microcurrent Therapy session; a full-body detox (systemic), or an anti-aging facial* for Mom (*Now offering facials, call for more details)
    • Unlimited additional sessions at our lowest member rate
    • Discounts for adding family members to your membership
    • Unused sessions roll over from month to month and can be shared with others
    • Earn free sessions by referring friends
    If you are looking for autism treatment like cranial sacral, PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field), transcranial magnetic stim, FSM (frequency specific microcurrent), hyperbaric oxygenation, MRT (magnetic resonance therapy), chelation, or other alternative treatment options -give us a call to learn about how Microcurrent 4 Kids may be the better choice for you and your family!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Rd, Ste 211
    San Diego, CA 92123
    858 257-1404

  • Central San Diego Coffee Talk
  • TACA

    Wednesday, June 14 at 10 AM - 12 PM
    @ Dr. Steve Tullius
    6342 Riverdale St, San Diego, California 92120

    Summer is almost here!! Join other autism families just like yours. Make friends and receive the support you need to make Summer 2017 a great one! We will provide the much needed coffee and a light snack. Just bring yourself. We always look forward to seeing you.

    Hosted by Nancy Kirkman:
    Nancy Kirkman is a Co-Coordinator of the TACA San Diego Chapter and a proud mom of 3, 2 girls and a son. She has 2 children on the spectrum.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • "Beyond Bullying" on Sunday, June 11th
  • Bring your young teens to "Beyond Bullying" on Sunday, June 11th, 7:00-8:30 p.m. at Dance North County, 535 Encinitas Blvd., Ste. 100 (large ballroom), Encinitas, CA 92024.

    This free theatre event is presented by Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT)'s traveling theatre troupe, which consists of four teens and young adults with autism and two neuro-typical teens. Their 'Beyond Bullying' theatre event includes sketches, interactive improv activities and video clips that illustrate the harm bullying can do, address how to avoid being a victim, show how to be a positive influence on bullying happening to others, and look at the causes of bullying. 'Beyond Bullying' utilizes humor and audience participation to create a moving and entertaining event.

    In April of this year the troupe began performing 'Beyond Bullying' at schools and Boys and Girls Clubs. Here are some quotes from San Dieguito Academy students after experiencing 'Beyond Bullying':

    "I saw how bullying really effects people and I know I don't want to ever affect anyone like that." "It inspired me to be kind!" "It opened my eyes to how many bullying events I have let slide by me, and now I'm more aware."

    RSVP at 760-815-8512, or You can learn more about PACT at

    Contact PACT if you would like to host a 'Beyond Bullying' theatre event for your group of young teens. You are welcome to come on June 11th to experience the event. We also invite anyone to attend who is just interested in what our traveling theatre troupe has been up to!

  • Summer Camp at ABA Group!!!
  • Email to register!

  • NFAR: North County Mom's Group - June 15, 2017
  • Thursday, June 15, 2017
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant
    3510 Valley Centre Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92130

    Dinner: Mexican Food (GF available)
    Dinner is provided

    Join us for the NFAR Mom's Group! It's an evening for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet the 3rd Thursday of the month for dinner and guest speakers. It's an opportunity to share resources, experiences and enjoy being with other moms of individuals with autism.

    June Topic: Eating Issues and Autism
    Picky eaters, special diets, sensory challenges and feeding issues - does this sound familiar? Our guest speaker will discuss many of the issues/ challenges families of a child with autism face at meal times, and ways that you can help them.

    Guest Speaker: Val Plummer, MA, OTR/L, Owner of O.T. Etc. Inc.
    Val Plummer, MA, OTR/L, owner of O.T. Etc. Inc., established in 1994. Val's over 30 years of OT practice, includes over 25 years of direct pediatric experience, with 20 years at Children's Hospital in San Diego, and at least 5 years of home health service.

    Val has been involved in numerous continuing education experiences, most recently obtaining certification in Vital Links, Therapeutic Listening and Interactive Metrondome. She has earned Advanced Practice Certification in the area of feeding and eating by the California Board of Occupational Therapy. She is also SIPT certified, with strong expertise in sensory based problems affecting feeding/oral motor coordination, organization of behavior, anxieties, developmental delays, and a variety of syndromes.

    To RSVP

  • NFAR: San Diego Mom's Group - Jun 21, 2017
  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017
    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

    Please join us! These meetings are for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet the 3rd Thursday of the month for dinner and guest speakers. It's an opportunity to share resources, experiences and enjoy being with other moms of individuals with autism.

    June Topic: Mindful & Compassionate Parenting

    Being a parent is one of the most important, fulfilling, and challenging roles we as humans can take on. In this talk, we will discuss the potential benefits an approach to parenting (rooted in mindfulness and compassion) can bring to family and interpersonal relationships, such as:

    ~ A deeper awareness of your own stress reactions

    ~ An increased ability to respond more skillfully to the unplanned and stressful moments with your child

    ~ Learning to listen with kindness and attention to yourself and your child

    ~ Learning to problem-solve with your child with patience and wisdom

    ~ Increasing your child's emotional strength and well-being

    ~ Improving your child's capacity to respond with kindness to others

    ~ Creating healthier and more productive relationships between family members

    Guest Speaker: Lucas LeardMann, Senior Mindfulness Teacher at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness
    Lucas is a Senior MBSR (Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction) and MCP (Mindful & Compassionate Parenting) teacher at the UCSD Center for Mindfulness. He attended his first multi-day meditation retreat in 2002 and has been meditating and cultivating a mindfulness practice ever since. He also has a bilingual teaching credential and has worked in education for over 15 years as an elementary school teacher and educational consultant. For Lucas, mindfulness has been integral to learning new ways of relating to the inevitable stresses of teaching, work, parenting, and daily life, as well living life with more presence and connection with himself and others. With two young kids at home, he explores daily the application of these practices in his role as father and husband.

    To RSVP

  • Books on Child Development, Autistic Teens and Young Adults, and Autism and the Extended Family
  • Raising children is difficult. Parents are often overwhelmed and insecure. If you are looking for practical advice for parents on everything you need to know about oral development from birth to 8 years, we have the perfect parenting book to recommend.

    Parents who are responsible for children with special needs face even greater challenges. Moms and dads raising autistic children are often stressed out with the demands of school, therapy sessions, and juggling other family responsibilities. Parents of tweens and teens with autism are always looking for information on how to help their growing child transition to high school and then to life after high school. We recommend two books written by a young man with autism.

    What do families raising children with autism need? First, each family with an autistic child needs professional guidance. Secondly, each family also needs an extended family to support them. Who constitutes an extended family and how can they help? The last book in this post has all that extended family members need to help them know how to lend you a hand. Click here for all the info!!!

  • Autism Safety Fair! June 24th
  • Safety is a concern for all parents but even more so when a child has autism spectrum disorder. Almost half of those with autism are prone to wandering or bolting from safety. Autism Speaks Southern California Chapter is hosting a free Autism Safety Fair, where children and adults with autism spectrum disorder, their families, caregivers and neighbors can find reliable information and resources. They will also meet local first responders in a fun, family-friendly setting.

    Community safety resources will include the "Take Me Home" program, provided by the San Diego County Sherriff's Department, and New York Life's "Child ID" station. Each family in attendance will receive a free Autism Safety Kit. Click here to RSVP for this FREE event!!!

  • SNAPOLOGY starts Jun 26!
  • Whether your child is already enrolled for Summer at Banyan Tree, or you're just looking for a short afternoon camp, check out Snapology of San Diego!

    Join a fun and challenging program that helps build critical thinking, collaborative skills, creativity, social skills and problem solving skills. Offered for the first time at Banyan Tree in two locations. Call for the details!

    Did we mention it is FUN?

    Enroll for only $200 per week from 1pm - 4pm Monday through Friday with a different theme each week. Check out this schedule!

    CALL TODAY (858)-367-5428

  • Autism Society Family Gymnastics Night in Carlsbad, June 24th
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    Saturday, June 24, 2017
    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.

    *Please remember that there is NO childcare provided at this event. For safety reasons, attendees are expected to be with their children at all times. The YMCA staff will be enforcing this rule.

    Pizza will be provided for participants - we encourage attendees to bring a side dish or dessert to share.

    *A $5 minimum donation is recommended per family.

    Click here for all the info!

  • Autism Kids Night Out!!!
  • FRIDAY, JUNE 30, 2017
    5:30PM 8:30PM
    From $35

    Kids Night Out! This date night is dedicated to children with special needs. Parents, drop off your children for a fun night of sensory art, crafting and dinner at Mint Studio. Kids will love the Mint Studio team members who are trained and experienced in working with kids with special needs. Suggested age range is 5-10 years but we are flexible. Sibling discount available. Includes all crafting and dinner!

    5965 VILLAGE WAY UNIT 105
    SAN DIEGO, CA, 92130

  • SAVE THE DATE: Conference: Love and Autism

  • ASD Mornings at theNAT

  • Please visit for more information.

  • Autism Accessibility Morning at the Fleet!

  • In February we began our, Autism Accessibility Mornings at the Fleet (, program. This morning is dedicated to the ASD community to come and enjoy the Fleet in a quieter setting and catch an IMAX film! Our film showings are presented with raised house lights and a lowered soundtrack volume, to provide a more comforting environment. Our goal is to provide an enriching experience for the ASD community

  • SIBSHOP 2016-2017 Schedule

  • October 2016 - August 2017

    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.

    July 9: Day at Mission Bay, family picnic **

    August 13: Santee Lakes, 9310 Fanita Pkwy, Santee, CA 92071**

    DONATION: $5.00 - $10.00 per meeting per family for craft materials, supplies & lunch for the kids

    REGISTRATION: Pre-registration requested (if possible) the Thursday before the event.
    CONTACT: Email for a registration form and / or additional information.

    Sibshop Leaders: Jody BonDurant-Strong, Administrator Gina Clifton, ECSE Medically-Fragile Teacher, Special Education
    Pat Moulton, Retired

    **Information for family / community locations will be emailed.

  • San Diego Regional Center's Recreation Resource Page
  • sdrc

    Recreation is important in promoting inclusion and quality of life. Studies have shown that it increases self-esteem and confidence, leads to improved communication, social interaction, and friendship skills.

    The San Diego Regional Center supports clients having time to recreate and believes it is essential to a healthy and well-balanced life. Below are links to some popular recreation activities in the San Diego and Imperial Counties. However, SDRC does not endorse, nor provide funding for any recreation activity. SDRC is not liable for anything occurring while participating in any of the recreational activities. Click here for all the info!!!

  • 2017 Edition of Flourishing Families

  • The Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego is excited to present the 2017 edition of Flourishing Families, San Diego's resource guide for parents of children with special needs.

    This year's issue contains more than 950 resources including service providers, research institutes, specialized doctors, resource providers, camps, therapists, advocates, associations and so much more.

    Visit to see the digital issue now!

  • Special Needs Law Center: Insights 2017 Directory

  • The San Diego Special Needs Law Center has put together a great magazine for the special needs community here in San Diego. Great articles and a resource guide. Available in a print edition and also on their website. Click here to view the magazine!!!

  • Autism Effects on Attentional Blink
  • For more information, please contact Sofia Schugar at the Cognitive Neuroscience Lab: 858-353-4929 (feel free to leave voicemail) or via email at

  • Seeking Research Participants for Autistic Sibling Study
  • business_finance_research.jpg

    Seeking individuals over the age of 18 who grew up with an autistic sibling to participate in a study exploring the experiences of growing up in a family with an autistic brother or sister.

    Participation will involve an in-depth interview, lasting between 1 to 1.5 hours about your autistic sibling experiences and a brief follow-up meeting about six weeks later.

    The purpose of the study is to provide an in-depth retrospective exploration of the experiences of adults who grew up with an autistic sibling.

    Eligibility requirements for participation in the study include:
    • Must have lived with autistic sibling for at least 8 years
    • Sibling must have been diagnosed with autism during childhood
    • Interested participant must be at least 18 years of age
    Participants will be provided a $100 Amazon gift card following the interview.

    Interested participants can email Barbara Tierney at:


    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.