Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 01, 2017

In This Issue

Help Your Kids Become Whole Body Listeners: Fun Listening Activities to Try this Summer

People with autism may be more rational in their economic choices

Bipolar disorder: Signs, symptoms, and diagnosis

How would the Senate health care bill actually affect Medicaid?

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Aceing Autism Summer Program

DynamiX CeramiX

Conference: Love and Autism - Registration Now Open!!!

Theatre Event: Beyond Bullying

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

New Organization Launches to Unite Disability Community on Critical National and State Issues

Jungle Poppins

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk - 9/30/17

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

S4EA July Newsletter

Xcite Steps: South Bay Adventure ABA Social Club - July 2017

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)

Xcite Steps: North County Discovery ABA Social Club - July 2017

Little Trees Pediatric Therapy



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!


  • Help Your Kids Become Whole Body Listeners: Fun Listening Activities to Try this Summer
  • social thinking

    My mom is a devoted grandmother (a.k.a. "Grammy"), but lately she's been complaining that my boys seem too busy to "listen" to her. "They're preoccupied," she says, or "they're distracted by their devices." Yes, they are getting older and are less interested in sitting down with Grammy to read or play board games. But, given that my mom pointed out their need for better communication and listening skills and questioned whether I teach them what I teach my students, I thought it might be time to refresh some strategies at home. Even more importantly, I want to help my sons recognize how their behavior is making Grammy and others feel.

    The conversation with my mom was a good reminder to revisit what I so often teach others: how to listen with our whole body and how important it is to practice this concept outside the classroom or clinic, and especially at home. For the parents and grandparents out there facing a similar lack of attention from their kids, here's some background information on whole body listening and a list of activities to try at home this summer. Read on...

  • People with autism may be more rational in their economic choices

  • New research examines the decision-making abilities of adults with autism spectrum disorder, suggesting that they may be better at making rational decisions than adults without the condition.

    The new study - which is published in the journal Psychological Science - was co-authored by psychology researchers George D. Farmer, Simon Baron-Cohen, and William J. Skylark, who are all of the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects approximately 1 in 68 children in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Read on...

  • Bipolar disorder: Signs, symptoms, and diagnosis

  • Bipolar disorder is a mental health condition that is characterized by alternating periods of extreme high and low mood. But what are the signs and symptoms of this mood disorder?

    Over 18 percent of Americans will experience some sort of mental health problem over the course of any year. Bipolar disorder is not uncommon, with over 4 percent of people in the United States living with the condition.

    When not well managed, experiencing bipolar disorder can have a disruptive impact on a person's life. However, if diagnosed and properly treated, people with bipolar disorder can lead happy lives and achieve as much as anyone else. Read on...

  • How would the Senate health care bill actually affect Medicaid?
  • Democrats and left-leaning think tanks say Senate Republicans' health care bill would be disastrous for individuals and families on Medicaid, the federal program that provides health coverage to low-income Americans.

    But White House press secretary Sean Spicer on Friday said President Trump is "committed to making sure that no one who currently is in the Medicaid program is affected in any way, which is reflected in the Senate bill, and he's pleased with that."

    So, who is right? How would the Senate bill actually affect Medicaid and those who rely on the program for coverage? 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 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:

    Hello! I am looking to connect with someone who has their child in an out of state residential educational setting. Please email me at

    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!

  • DynamiX CeramiX
  • DynamiX CeramiX is a non-profit organization that caters to children and young adults with special needs. The program that is offered focuses on pottery making which encourages participants to develop creative abilities that do not require writing, reading, and advanced communication skills. Children and young adults with special needs can definitely benefit from the therapeutic attributes of pottery making in addition to learning a new skill that will enhance their self esteem, improve social, functional and vocational abilities. The group is under the supervision of Bob Driver, Master Potter and Special Ed Teacher. The groups meet on weekdays in the afternoon for 2-hr sessions. There is a $10 material fee per child per session. Visit for more details.

  • Conference: Love and Autism - Registration Now Open!!!
  • Registration Now Open!!! Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • 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!!!

  • New Organization Launches to Unite Disability Community on Critical National and State Issues
  • Founded by Self-Advocates and Families, Group Will Fight Federal Medicaid Cuts and Promote Choice, Equity, and Accountability in California

    A new disability rights organization launched today to focus on fighting potential Congressional cuts to Medicaid and improving the policies for individuals with developmental disabilities here in California. Disability Voices United is a unique statewide advocacy organization directed exclusively by the people most impacted - self-advocates (individuals with developmental disabilities) and their families.

    Founded by long-time self-advocate and parent disability rights activists in California who led the successful effort to pass the state's self-determination law, the organization will advocate for systemic changes that ensure choice and control, meaningful outcomes, equality, opportunity, adequate funding, and respect.

    "Our goal is to have thousands of members statewide that we will educate, empower, and mobilize to advance our community's advocacy efforts," said Judy Mark, President of Disability Voices United.

    One of the organization's first priorities will be to push back against Congressional attempts to drastically cut federal Medicaid funding, which individuals with developmental disabilities rely upon for their support services to stay out of institutions. Disability Voices United will sponsor town hall educational meetings in the districts of Members of Congress who are supporting these cuts.

    "We depend upon Medicaid-funded services to keep us working and living in the community. These proposed changes could be devastating for millions of people with developmental disabilities," said Tim Jin, a self-advocate with cerebral palsy from Orange County who serves on the organization's board of directors.

    In addition, Disability Voices United will focus on improving the life outcomes of many individuals with developmental disabilities, including those with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, intellectual disabilities, and epilepsy.

    "Despite billions of dollars spent on the system each year, most people with developmental disabilities spend their days in segregated classrooms or programs, are unemployed, suffer from poor health, and live in poverty. The situation is much worse if you are Latino or African-American, or live in certain geographic areas where there are huge disparities in the education and services received," Mark said.

  • 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

  • S4EA July Newsletter
  • s4ea

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

  • Xcite Steps: South Bay Adventure ABA Social Club - July 2017
  • Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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...

  • Xcite Steps: North County Discovery ABA Social Club - July 2017
  • Click here for all the info!!!

  • Little Trees Pediatric Therapy
  • Little Trees Pediatric Therapy began out of a desire to provide high quality occupational therapy services to the families of Southern California.

    We offer holistic, family-centered therapy that emphasizes empowering families with the knowledge, skills, and tools they need to support the growth of their child.

    We support the child at all levels! The roots that provide strong support, growth that facilitates development, and a playful and joyful approach that helps a child BLOOM!

  • 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!!!

  • Jeremy's Vision

  • Jeremy's Vision: Local San Diego resident, Jeremy Sicile-Kira, is an intuitive artist and paints colorful abstract portraits of people. Jeremy has synesthesia: he sees people's emotions in color. In August 2012, he began to paint in real life the portraits he was painting in his dreams. Now, Jeremy meets people in person or online, 'reads' their colors and then paints their portrait. Jeremy has his own art studio in downtown San Diego at Space4Art and recently had his first curated solo art show. For more information, visit

    Jeremy also is the coauthor of A Full Life with Autism ( about preparing for the transition to adult life.

  • Reset Fitness with Pam Bundy

  • I started off my career as a legal secretary then moved on to be a legal assistant, with the ultimate goal of becoming an attorney. After two of my boys were diagnosed on the autism spectrum 23 years ago, I came to the realization that I needed to be in a less negative environment. What I really wanted to do was to help people which puts me where I am today.

    I am a certified Stott Pilates Full Level One Instructor and ACE Certified Personal Trainer with 20 years of experience working with very large facets of the population. I also hold certifications as a Nutrition Coach, Parkinson's Wellness Recovery trainer, and Bosu Master Trainer. I am currently working on my ACE Behavior Specialist and Group Fitness Instructor certifications. My specialties include back rehabilitation, weight loss and toning, menopause management, Parkinson's clients, and bodybuilding. I have had several life experiences that has helped shape me to become a fitness coach who understands life's challenges, and I excel in helping people overcome obstacles to reach their health and fitness goals. Click here to visit my FB page and please contact me for more info!!!

  • Lisa Hawley-Jennings, Massage Therapist/Holistic Health Practitioner

  • Lisa Hawley-Jennings, Massage Therapist/Holistic Health Practitioner of 28 years, offers compassionate, experienced massage in her home office in Encinitas or in your home (within reasonable distance). As a mother of a 28 year old autistic son, Lisa carries a special place in her heart for working with caregivers and parents of special needs children. Please call or text Lisa at 760-212-2109.

  • Discounted Photo Services For Special Needs Families

  • As the parent of a child with ASD, I know how challenging a photo session can be. In an effort to pay it forward for the hardest working people I know, I am offering discounted rates for special needs families all year long. You will receive a 33% discount on all photo services, and a promise to be as creative and patient as possible, in order to get you the beautiful family photos or child portraits you deserve! Photo samples and standard rates are on my new Facebook page Openings fill up fast, so if you are interested in a photo session or event any time in the next 6 months, please email now to be added to the calendar


    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.