Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 29, 2017

In This Issue

Latino families face barriers on path to autism diagnosis

Mental Health Therapy and the Autistic Client: When Clinician's Don't See the Autism

Why do those with autism avoid eye contact?

Treating autism by targeting the gut

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Aceing Autism Summer Program

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

Conference: Love and Autism

Theatre Event: Beyond Bullying

San Diego: Responsible and Ethical Application of HIPAA and HITECH Policies

Summer Hoedown!

Jungle Poppins

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk - 9/30/17

Ed Asner and Hollywood Celebrities "UP THE ANTE" for Autism Society Poker Tournament



Children's Books to Promote Inclusion and Help Kids Be More Confident

8 Ways to Help Young Kids Make Friends This Summer (and Keep Them When They Go Back to School)



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!

  • Latino families face barriers on path to autism diagnosis

  • Serious obstacles impede Latino families' quest for autism diagnosis and treatment in the United States. Challenges include a lack of information about autism and a concern that consulting experts might bring them legal trouble1.

    The findings may help explain why Latino children with autism are diagnosed later on average than non-Latino white children in the U.S.2,3.

    "It's pretty obvious now from national data that's been collected for about 10 years that these disparities exist. It's not a fluke, and they're not going away," says lead researcher Katharine Zuckerman, associate professor of general pediatrics at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland. Read on...

  • Mental Health Therapy and the Autistic Client: When Clinician's Don't See the Autism
  • Today, autistic people, just like the population at large, find their way to therapy when symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD and other diagnoses become problematic to them in their daily lives.

    As clinicians we need to understand the autistic operating system - in other words, to see the autism - if we are to be helpful to our autistic clients. When we do not have a strong grasp on this the results are that our clients are not served well. Clinicians without a good understanding of autism generally make one of two mistakes. One mistake is not seeing the autism at all, but instead seeing individual characteristics of autism and matching them with a clinical diagnosis. (The next blog will explore this more.) The other mistake is, once the autism has been diagnosed every symptom from that point forward is attributed to the autism. Today we will look at an example of when clinicians think, "It's all the autism." Read on...

  • Why do those with autism avoid eye contact?
  • Individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) often find it difficult to look others in the eyes. This avoidance has typically been interpreted as a sign of social and personal indifference, but reports from people with autism suggests otherwise. Many say that looking others in the eye is uncomfortable or stressful for them -- some will even say that "it burns" -- all of which points to a neurological cause. Now, a team of investigators based at the Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital has shed light on the brain mechanisms involved in this behavior. They reported their findings in a Scientific Reports paper published online this month.

    "The findings demonstrate that, contrary to what has been thought, the apparent lack of interpersonal interest among people with autism is not due to a lack of concern," says Nouchine Hadjikhani, MD, PhD, director of neurolimbic research in the Martinos Center and corresponding author of the new study. "Rather, our results show that this behavior is a way to decrease an unpleasant excessive arousal stemming from overactivation in a particular part of the brain."

    The key to this research lies in the brain's subcortical system, which is responsible for the natural orientation toward faces seen in newborns and is important later for emotion perception. The subcortical system can be specifically activated by eye contact, and previous work by Hadjikhani and colleagues revealed that, among those with autism, it was oversensitive to effects elicited by direct gaze and emotional expression. In the present study, she took that observation further, asking what happens when those with autism are compelled to look in the eyes of faces conveying different emotions. Read on...

  • Treating autism by targeting the gut
  • Experts have called for large-scale studies into altering the make-up of bacteria in the gut, after a review showed that this might reduce the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Until now, caregivers have relied on rehabilitation, educational interventions and drugs to reduce ASD symptoms, but now researchers suggest that treating this condition could be as simple as changing their diet.

    A review of more than 150 papers on ASD and gut bacteria found that since the 1960s, scientists have been reporting links between the composition of bacteria in the gut and autistic behaviour. The review highlights many studies showing that restoring a healthy balance in gut bacteria can treat ASD symptoms.

    "To date there are no effective therapies to treat this range of brain developmental disorders", explains Dr Qinrui Li of Peking University, China. "The number of people being diagnosed with ASD is on the rise. As well as being an expensive condition to manage, ASD has a huge emotional and social cost on families of sufferers". Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

  • Aceing Autism Summer Program
  • Hi, I'm Dylan Nguyen, the director of Aceing Autism. We are a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching children on the autism spectrum how to play tennis through various tennis drills and games. No experience is required as we want children to have fun through exercise and the amazing sport of tennis. Our program dates are July 6th through August 10th. We start at 10:00 am through 11:00 am at the Stone Ridge Country Club in Poway. We would love to teach your child how to play tennis and we hope to see you there!

  • 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 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.

  • San Diego: Responsible and Ethical Application of HIPAA and HITECH Policies
  • Click here for all the info and to register!!!

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

  • Jungle Poppins
  • Jungle Poppins is an animated troupe performing upbeat originals, pop covers, and favorite movie soundtracks to make audiences happy. Two of its members have autism giving them a novel and endearing charm that appeals to families, other musicians, and people of all abilities. We bring our own sound equipment and can play for 2 hours or 30 minutes depending on what you need. Booking fee ranges depending on your budget.

    Check them out here: or on Facebook:

  • 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.

  • Ed Asner and Hollywood Celebrities "UP THE ANTE" for Autism Society Poker Tournament
  • TV Legend and Celebrities Lead Effort to Raise Money for Autism Society of America at 5th Annual Celebrity Poker Tournament Sept. 9

    Ed Asner and Autism Society of America, the world's leading autism advocacy organization, presents the 5th Annual Ed Asner & Friends Poker Tournament Celebrity Night on Saturday, September 9, 2017, 5:00 PM, at Haworth Los Angeles Showroom in Downtown Los Angeles (444 South Flower St). Asner leads a long list of celebrities, sponsors, and top movie studio execs who have teamed up on behalf of Autism Society of America. More than 300 guests are expected to attend at this year's event.

    Celebrities expected to join Ed Asner include Rosie O'Donell, Matthew Modine, Michael Chiklis, Dylan McDermott, Lou Diamond Phillips, Ed Begley Jr., Tom Bergeron, Peter Fonda, Darryl Hannah, Thomas Gibson, Lisa Loeb, Michael McKean, Holly Robinson Pete, Wayne Brady, Randy Rainbow, Sebastian Bach, Rocky Carroll, Patricia Heaton, and Greg Grunberg among others.

    "The Annual Texas Hold 'Em Tournament is always a memorable and rewarding opportunity for us to bring friends and members of the industry together to raise funds for Autism Society," said Asner, who has a son and grandson on the spectrum. "Our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders, which now affects 1 out of every 68 people in the United States."

    In addition to the Celebrity Poker Tournament, guests will enjoy a dinner buffet, cocktails and silent auction and opportunity drawings. Poker prizes will be awarded for the top three winners. Non-poker players can also join in to watch the poker tournament, enjoy the buffet, cocktails, and participate in the Silent/Live Auctions.

    Now in its fifth year, the poker tournament is expecting to raise over $100,000 to support Autism Society of America's mission to increase public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the autism spectrum, advocate for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and provide the latest information regarding treatment, education and research. For questions about the event, please contact Kayleigh Millet at: Website:

    FOR TICKETS: go to Poker Tickets

  • 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).

  • Children's Books to Promote Inclusion and Help Kids Be More Confident
  • The adorable children's books recommended in this post should be in our homes, schools, libraries, and children's health professionals' waiting rooms. They celebrate the strengths of all kids and show children working, playing, and succeeding in spite of a range of disabilities. With their inspiring messages, they help all children understand kids with different needs-or I should say, "different strengths."

    1. Emily's Sister: A Family's Journey with Dyspraxia and Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) Click here for all the info!!!

  • 8 Ways to Help Young Kids Make Friends This Summer (and Keep Them When They Go Back to School)
  • For young children, especially those who have finished their first year in school feeling emotionally and psychologically bruised, summer break can be a really important time to de-stress, rebuild self-esteem, and get some extra nurturing from family. After a week of chill time, some parents might be ready to reflect and ask themselves, "What might make next year better?"

    If you are reading this and quickly putting your fingers in your ears, saying "Nah, nah, nah, I can't hear you," I totally get it. It is more than okay to take a real break from it all and simply enjoy the time. Feel free to dig your toes in the sand, sip your fruity drink, and turn up the radio! No judgment, no pressure, no guilt.

    If you are reading this and thinking summer is a less busy time in which you can focus on what might make the next school year better, then here are some ideas to help your child connect with peers and, hopefully, begin to nurture some friendships that will extend to the classroom. Read on...

  • 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.