Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 27, 2017

In This Issue

8 Ways to Build a Strong, Loving Bond with Your Autistic Child

Where to Find Resources on Specific Special Needs

Affinity for faces may emerge in womb

Predicting treatment effectiveness for adults with autism

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Your June Connection!

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

Conference: Love and Autism

Theatre Event: Beyond Bullying

Hanen's More Than Words Parent Training Program

Summer Hoedown!

Autism Society San Diego Surf Camp

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 9/30/17

Autism Society San Diego Camp-I-Can



Join Us for Girl Talk!!!




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!

  • 8 Ways to Build a Strong, Loving Bond with Your Autistic Child
  • It takes extra work to build a bond with an autistic child, but it's worth it!

    Children with autism are different from typically developing children. For many parents, this creates a serious problem. How are parents supposed to connect with a child who doesn't ask questions, initiate play, enjoy sports, or want to try new things? Here are some tips for parents who want a strong relationship with their autistic child, but aren't sure how to get started.

    1. Don't Make Assumptions About Your Child's Thoughts and Feelings
    Most of the time, you can make a good guess about a person's feelings by looking at his face, listening to his tone of voice, or watching his body language. People with autism, however, may not speak at all -- or may use a flat tone even when excited. Body language -- including eye contact, appropriate gestures and facial expressions -- can be even more challenging. Don't assume that a flat tone, lack of eye contact, or difficulty with staying focused mean your child isn't having fun. There's a good chance that your assumptions are wrong! Read on...

  • Where to Find Resources on Specific Special Needs
  • The Friendship Circle Special Needs Resources blog is full of posts that tell you where to go online for information, ideas, advice, and support for parents raising children with disabilities. You can always use the search function to locate articles of interest, but we've gathered here some places to start for a number of specific diagnoses, as well suggestions of where to go next. Click here to see all the resources!!!!

  • Affinity for faces may emerge in womb

  • Fetuses favor patterns of light that resemble faces over those without face-like features, a new study suggests1. The study, published last week in Current Biology, is the first to test visual processing in babies before birth.

    The findings suggest that a preference for faces starts even before a baby has ever seen a face. And they run counter to the idea that babies like faces simply because that's what they see first.

    Gaining a better understanding of how face processing develops could help scientists better understand atypical development, including in the case of autism, says lead researcher Vincent Reid, professor of psychology at Lancaster University in the United Kingdom. Read on...

  • Predicting treatment effectiveness for adults with autism
  • Protocol to predict individual treatment effectiveness for adults on the autism spectrum

    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have identified certain brain regions that significantly correlate with an increase in social abilities following a virtual environment based training program. Adults on the autism spectrum who showed greater activity in the social brain network prior to the training improved more in emotion recognition than those who showed less activity. Click here to view the study...

  • 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.

    Do you know of any private home agencies willing to take a very high functioning 23 year old female with ASD and supply them with room and board for a year. My niece who is in the LA area will be moving to San Diego in September to attend a special school during the day. I am aware of the California Mentor program which is funded through the Regional Center of which my niece is a member of. Can you give me the names of any FHA agencies?

    I have a 10 year old who was diagnosed by the San Diego Regional Center with autism in April. He doesn't have a US health insurance so he can't get any services. When the social worker gave us the diagnosis she gave us a document where she mentioned that the SDRC could provide him with ABA through one of their agencys and now our newly designated social worker and his supervisor told me that the SDRC doesn't provide that service anymore. My question is: Should my son get any services from the SDRC?

    Kids Medical Items For Sale:
    Used Convaid EZ Rider medical stroller

    We also have a new in box AmTryke Pro Series red foot tricycle

    Please Contact:

    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 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

  • Conference: Love and Autism

  • Theatre Event: Beyond Bullying
  • Back by popular demand! PACT's traveling theatre troupe will present its 'Beyond Bullying' theatre event at Dance North County in Encinitas from 7:00-8:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 30th. 'Beyond Bullying' is powerful and entertaining, consisting of sketches, video clips, and improvisational theatre activities that draw on audience participation. This event is free of charge, and created for teen audiences.

    Everyone is welcome. We encourage those who serve teens to come and see if you would like to bring 'Beyond Bullying' to your groups in the future. So far feedback from teens in our audiences has been that it has inspired them to respect their peers and has given them concrete ways to prevent bullying in the future.

    Attending our 'Beyond Bullying' theatre event on July 30th is also be a great way for interested teens and young adults to meet our troupe members, who are regular participants of our on-going performing arts workshops. They are empowered individuals who are using their talents to make a better world and getting paid for their efforts.

    We offer performing arts/life skills workshops throughout the year in Encinitas. Our next 8-week cycles of theatre, dance, and group singing workshops for teens and adults with autism begin on Saturday, July 8th (improvisational theatre: 2:30-4:00 p.m., Dance/Group Singing: 4:00-5:00 p.m.). Volunteers are welcome and scholarships are available.

    You are always welcome to come and check out a workshop to see if it's a good fit. Many parents have reported being surprised at how quickly their teens and young adults feel at home and begin to participate in our group activities. Our workshop director is herself the mother of two children with autism. One of them has evolved over the years from a self-effacing young teen to a natural leader who serves as our program's best peer mentor.

    For more information about our workshops or to RSVP for 'Beyond Bullying' on July 30th, contact Kathryn Campion at, 760-815-8512, See flyer for details. Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 2008.

  • 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

  • Summer Hoedown!
  • For more information email or call (858) 689-2027

  • 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!!!

  • Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 9/30/17
  • Autism Speaks was founded on love. The organization was created by grandparents of a child with autism. Their love for their grandson was so great that it became the cornerstone of the world's leading autism organization...and that love is reflected in the eyes of thousands of volunteers and supporters.

    Now it is up to us, the autism community, to keep that love going and growing. And we need everyone to help. You can power the love by fundraising for the San Diego Walk. Please register today. At Autism Speaks the funds you raise will support our mission to enhance lives today while accelerating a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.

    Event Details:
    San Diego Walk
    Date: 09/30/2017
    Liberty Station at Point Loma
    Register Now

    Once you sign up, share with your friends and family and invite them to join your fundraising team. All are welcome at the San Diego Walk. The more who fundraise, the greater our impact.

    Thank you for being an important part of the Autism Speaks community. You are the power behind the love and we can't wait to see you in 9/30/17.

  • 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!!!

  • NFAR is offering students a unique programming and robotics experience for ages 12 - 18 years old on Sat. Jul 15th & 22nd. Free.

    The morning Workshop is full but we are starting an interest list for an afternoon workshop. If interested, click HERE.

  • Join us at the Fleet Science Center in Balboa Park for a morning of Fun! Includes the "new" Game Masters Exhibit with over 120 games.

    Autism Assessibility Mornings at the Fleet allow families to enjoy the exhibits one hour before the museum opens and includes a special IMAX film screening at 10 AM.

    Register HERE for $10 per person (Regular admission is $20 adult and $17 child).

  • 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

  • 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.