Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 24, 2017

In This Issue

Doubt greets reports of suramin's promise for treating autism

Doctors twice as likely to miss girls as boys on autism screen

Attention deficit may mask autism, delay diagnosis

5 Games to Play with your Child in Floortime

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Your June Connection!

San Diego Special Needs Law Center

It's a Sensory-Friendly Family Roller Skating Party

Summer Workshops Start July 8th! at Positive Action Community Theatre

Hanen's More Than Words Parent Training Program

Face Your Fears! For Children 9-12 with ASD

Autism Society San Diego Surf Camp

Looking for a Holistic Approach to Therapy?

Autism Society San Diego Camp-I-Can

San Diego has a New Comprehensive Center Dedicated to the Treatment of Autism

Writing the RIght IEP Goals

Join Us for Girl Talk!!!



49th Annual Autism Society National Conference



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!

  • Doubt greets reports of suramin's promise for treating autism

  • A drug normally used to treat African sleeping sickness had only mild side effects in a widely reported trial of 10 boys with autism. But many researchers question the trial's rationale and caution that serious side effects may emerge in larger studies.

    Half the boys in the trial received a single low dose of the drug, called suramin, intravenously. All five developed a mild rash but experienced no other health problems, researchers reported in May in the Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology1.

    But suramin is not a benign medication. In higher doses, it is known to cause anemia and problems with the adrenal gland, which makes hormones, including the stress hormone cortisol. Read on...

  • Doctors twice as likely to miss girls as boys on autism screen

  • Pediatricians are failing to identify 80 percent of toddlers who need an evaluation for autism, and are missing nearly twice as many girls as boys. The unpublished results were presented Friday at the 2017 International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco, California.

    The results are based on the screening of 3,171 toddlers, about half of them girls, using the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) screening tool.

    Parents filled out the M-CHAT in 2014 and 2015 after bringing their toddlers to Children's Mercy Kansas City hospital for well-child visits. Using the completed questionnaires, doctors deemed only 92 of the children as needing an evaluation for autism. But after rescoring these forms, the researchers found that 467 children met the criteria. Read on...

  • Attention deficit may mask autism, delay diagnosis

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may mask autism in children who have both conditions. Many of these children receive their autism diagnosis an average of four years later than those who have autism alone, suggests a new study1.

    The findings are based on parent reports rather than vetted diagnoses and so do not prove that an earlier ADHD diagnosis is to blame for stalling the detection of autism in some children. Still, the researchers say that the data fit the hypothesis that ADHD overshadows autism in certain cases.

    "If a child is diagnosed with ADHD, the mindset becomes geared toward managing ADHD," says lead researcher Amir Miodovnik, a pediatrician at the Infant and Children's Hospital at Maimonides Medical Center in New York. By the time the child's autism is recognized, he says, "You've missed out on this window of opportunity in which interventions appear to be much more effective." The work was published 14 September in Pediatrics. Read on...

  • 5 Games to Play with your Child in Floortime
  • Floortime is about having fun with your child in play. It's not about the fun, but about having fun together. It's shared joy that will pull your child into a shared world. When you are sharing joy together in play, you can get very rich, emotional interactions with each other, and it is through these interactions that you can foster your child's development in significant ways.

    Here are some suggestions of games you can play with your child to create opportunities for shared joy. Remember that the games are secondary to what is most important: the shared joy and interactions you get with your child. Use each game as a guide to get you to the goal of shared joy.

    1. Peek-a-Boo/Hide and Seek
    Depending on where your child is developmentally, you can choose Peek-a-Boo or Hide and Seek. These are by far the best games to foster shared joy. They encompass play around separation anxiety, suspense, anticipation, excitement, and elation as well as turn-taking. Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

    I am an adoptive parent on an extremely limited budget. I'm hoping to find free activities for my two children 9 and 12 years old.
    My children are both special needs and I'm looking for places that give reduced or free entrance.
    To anyone who responded to this post, the email address was incorrect. Would you please resend your email to Thanks so much!

    I have recently removed my daughter from the San Diego Center for Children. As a parent in a crisis the treatment I received from both staff and management was unbearable.
    I am looking for other parents who have had experience with the Center either positive or negative.
    I greatly appreciate it. Please email:

    Hi, I have a 10 year old son on the spectrum who has always been in a regular school. We moved almost a year ago from Tijuana to Chula Vista. He has a good therapist in Tijuana but he needs a social skills group in San Diego or Chula Vista. If you have any information, please email me at

    We are parents to a 13 year old boy who has aspergers and ADHD. We are looking for a program and/or tutor that can help him with his writing. He is really having a hard time getting his thoughts and ideas on paper. 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.

  • Your June Connection!

  • Click here to read their latest edition for all the info and upcoming events!!!

  • San Diego Special Needs Law Center
  • If you have a family member with a disability, you want to assure they have the best possible care and quality of life, both now and later when you are no longer able to be the advocate you are today. If you are a person with a disability, you want to be able to qualify for the benefits and programs you need to achieve as much independence as possible. At San Diego Special Needs Law Center, it is our mission to make sure you have all the support and tools in place to achieve these goals.

    We have over 30 years experience in Special Needs Law and our community, working in the following practice areas:

    • Special Needs Trusts and Estate Planning for Families Developmental Disablilities
    • Conservatorships and Limited Conservatorships for those with Developmental Disablilities
    • Public Benefits Planning
    • Care Advocacy
    • Preservation of Benefits Eligibility in Litigation Settlement or Inheritance Scenarios
    • Life Care Planning
    We also enjoy our relationships with various advocacy groups and the disability community. It is through the interaction with our clients and these groups that we continue to learn and grow, and better serve our client's needs.

    Our Senior attorney, Phil Lindsley, is both a Certified Special Needs Law Attorney and a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate (State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization). He has been serving families and individuals with disabilities for over 30 years.

    To learn more about us, click HERE

  • It's a Sensory-Friendly Family Roller Skating Party
  • Calling all autistic kids and adults, their families, and friends, join us for our first ever Sensory-Friendly Family Roller Skating Party!

    Event Details: Sunday, July 16th, from 10:00 AM - 12:30 PM
    Skateworld, 6907 Linda Vista Road, San Diego, CA 92111

    Non-skaters welcome on the rink in closed-toed shoes. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Volunteers will also be on hand to help. Pre-registration is required for this event by purchasing a ticket below.

    Thank you to our co-sponsors for this event, Lisa Porter and Anders Wright, for helping make this event possible!

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

  • Summer Workshops Start July 8th! at Positive Action Community Theatre
  • Since 2008 our Saturday theatre, dance, and group singing workshops in Encinitas have been a port of entry for teens and young adults who have been isolated by autism. In our relaxed and fun atmosphere they can enjoy the arts with their peers and develop some friendships. Our goal is to teach them life skills that will enable them to reach their goals in all areas of their lives. New people join us, and many stay with us for years. We have developed a supportive community that is very important to its members. I continue to be inspired by the quality and potential of these individuals, and by the love their parents have for them.

    Although our workshops are inclusive and include neuro-typical teens and adults, some of our long-term participants with autism have developed into our best peer mentors. We have all watched them grow as actors and as leaders, and PACT has hired several of them as employees of our organization. For the past year and a half some of them have met under the leadership of PACT's artistic director to develop a 'Beyond Bullying' theatre event, which they are now performing for young teens in our community. We have received great feedback from their audiences, who say that the event has inspired them to respect their peers.

    Our newest project is an on-the-job training program at our local Boys and Girls Club, where we are mentoring young adults with autism as theatre workshop directors. The long range goal of this and all our programs is to empower those with autism to lead self-determined lives and maintain meaningful employment.

    If you would like to bring your teen/young adults to visit our Saturday workshops in Encinitas to see if it is a good fit for them, or if you'd like more information about scheduling a 'Beyond Bullying' theatre event for your young teens, contact PACT at, or 760-815-8512.

  • Hanen's More Than Words Parent Training Program
  • Please contact Crimson Center to schedule an intake session by August 15, 2017.

    More questions? Call (858) 6959415 or email Sarah at

  • Face Your Fears! For Children 9-12 with ASD
  • The "Face Your Fears" program provides your child the skills to more effectively manage their behavior in anxious situations and enhances your child's ability to cope with anxiety that negatively affect their daily lives. Face Your Fears is provided to kids in a small safe group and at the same time, parents participate in a separate group, so they can support what their child learns. Face Your Fears is a cognitive-behavioral evidence-based intervention with over a decade of funded research support.

    Center for Thoughtful Lasting Change, Inc.
    9606 Tierra Grande St, Suite 203
    San Diego, CA 92126

  • Autism Society San Diego Surf Camp
  • The Autism Society of San Diego is pleased to offer our annual surf camp for people with autism (ages 5 to adult). This special camp provides a one-on-one surf instructor aide for each person for the entire 4-day camp. Other activities include beach sports, arts & crafts and beach activities.

    Surf Camp takes place Monday thru Thursday 9am-2pm at La Jolla Shores Beach.

    • Week 1- July 10-July 13
    • Week 2 - July 17- July 20
    • Week 3 - July 24-July 27
    • Week 4 - July 31-August 3
    • Week 5 - August 7- August 10
    • Week 6 - August 14-August 17
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Looking for a Holistic Approach to Therapy?

  • Autism Society San Diego Camp-I-Can
  • The only camp in San Diego county designed and operated exclusively for kids and teens on the autism spectrum.

    ​Camp I CAN is held at two locations:
    Kearny Mesa: Toby Wells YMCA - SOLD OUT Carlsbad: Ecke YMCA

    Children participating in camp will have the opportunity to go on daily field trips to such places as Boomers, Knott's Soak City, Legoland, Chuck E. Cheese, Belmont Park and more. There will be swimming at the YMCA pool throughout the week.

    The staff to camper ratio is low to insure maximum safety and optimize participation. Each camper is evaluated for their needs and is provided a high level of experienced, knowledgeable supervision. Financial aid is available based on financial need.

    Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA
    6100-B Avenida Encinas
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    Ph: 760-942-9622​

    2017 Dates:

    • July 24-28 for ages 13-17
    • July 31-Aug 4 for ages 9-15
    • August 7-11for ages 6-12
    • August 14-18 for ages 6-12
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • San Diego has a New Comprehensive Center Dedicated to the Treatment of Autism
  • A state-of-the-art clinic featuring advanced biomedical, behavioral, & sensory-motor therapies for children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

    This Clinic is headed up by Dr. Suzanne Goh. Dr. Suzanne Goh is a board-certified pediatric neurologist with expertise in the evaluation and treatment of children with neurological conditions that impact brain development, cognition, and behavior.

    Dr. Goh received her Bachelors of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in History and Science from Harvard University (1993-1997). She went on to attend Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar (1997-1999). In 2004, she graduated from Harvard Medical School, cum laude. Dr. Goh completed her Pediatrics internship at Massachusetts General Hospital and her Pediatric Neurology residency at University of California San Francisco.

    Services Offered:

    • Medical Services
    • Nutrition and Holistic Health Services
    • Family Services
    • Sensory and Motor Therapies
    • Language and Cognitive Therapies
    • Behavior Therapies
    Pediatric Neurology Therapeutics
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • Writing the RIght IEP Goals

  • Join Us for Girl Talk!!!
  • We all remember those tumultuous pre-teen and teen years where we struggled with all sorts of challenges. But for girls, some of these challenges are unique and quite difficult. This is why we are proud to announce Girl Talk! - a group specifically for pre-teen and teen girls led by Nicole Guzman, PsyD (PSY 24952). Topics: body-image, friendships, communication, self-identity, and more!

    3760 Convoy St. Suite 118
    San Diego, CA 92111
    To register contact: Nicole Guzman, PsyD at 619-800-0821 or email at

  • San Diego Therapy Group
    3760 Convoy St. Suite 118
    San Diego, CA 92111

  • Join us for NFARs Charity Golf Tournament for Autism on Monday, Oct 9, 2017 at The Crossings in Carlsbad!

    Sign Up now for Early Bird Pricing: Tournament participation is $495 for a Foursome or $150 per individual golfer and includes dinner and lots of fun contests and prizes.

    Learn more or REGISTER

  • 49th Annual Autism Society National Conference
  • July 12-15, 2017 in Milwaukee Wisconsin

    The Autism Society's vision since our founding in 1965 is to increase the quality of life of everyone living with autism. Our 49th Annual Conference is the best way for individuals, families, educators, care givers, service providers and all concerned with ensuring basic human rights to gain insights and learn concrete strategies that allow people to interact with one another and the world in their own terms.

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

  • 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!!!

  • 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.