Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 06, 2017

In This Issue

Autism and the workplace: Adults with autism are the fastest growing group among the neurodiverse workforces

The interplay of common, rare variation in autism

How Much ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) is Enough?

Floortime Therapy Boosts Physical, Intellectual Skills

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!


Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together

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

The Alternative, Safe and Effective Therapy Option!!!

NFAR Men's Group - July 13, 2017

N. Jennifer Oke, PhD., Specializing in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Children with ASDs

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

Sensory Sunday Family Time

Central San Diego Family Pool and Pizza Party

S4EA July Newsletter

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

DynamiX CeramiX

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!


  • Autism and the workplace: Adults with autism are the fastest growing group among the neurodiverse workforces
  • Many of the employment challenges faced by adults with autism reflect the challenges most workers will face

    Excerpted with permission from "The Autism Job Club" by Michael S. Bernick and Richard Holden. Copyright 2015, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. Available for purchase on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and IndieBound.

    This book is about building a better structure of employment for adults with autism.

    It addresses how adults with autism and their families and advocates can best approach their own employment searches. More broadly, it addresses how collectively we can build a more effective autism employment system.

    At the start, we should say that while we hope this book finds an audience in the autism community, we believe it also speaks to a wider community of workers. Our focus is on autism employment. But autism is a proxy for other neurodiverse workforces. Further, as we argue throughout the book, many of the employment challenges faced by adults with autism reflect the employment challenges most workers will face in our highly competitive and rapidly evolving job world. Read on...

  • The interplay of common, rare variation in autism

  • Two seemingly different genetic influences contribute to autism: inherited factors and spontaneous mutations. We are racing to discover more about each of these paths, and yet this should not be viewed as a race. Indeed, an 'either-or' framing may well shortchange what we can learn about how these two influences may interact to govern an individual's risk of developing autism spectrum disorder.

    Genetic variation, like autism itself, occurs along a spectrum.

    First, the basics: Autism is common in the population, affecting at least 1 in 100 people. And it runs in families, which suggests that most risk factors for the condition are inherited. But people with autism have fewer children on average than their neurotypical peers. Read on...

  • How Much ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) is Enough?
  • You've weighed the pros and cons and decided that Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is the right therapy for your autistic child. Now -- you get down to brass tacks to figure out when, where, and how much therapy your child really needs.

    The literature recommends 40 hours a week . But so much therapy is very expensive and hard to find. Is it really necessary for a child to have 40 hours of ABA each week to be successful?

    Both the Lovaas Institute (which launched the use of ABA for autism) and the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (which trains ABA therapists) say "yes." According to the folks at Lovaas: The best outcomes have been attained when a child receives 40 hours per week of behavioral treatment. Intervention should always be individualized, and some factors, such as a child's age and current skill level, will influence the number of hours recommended. But, 40 hours per week remains the standard from which to deviate. Read on...

  • Floortime Therapy Boosts Physical, Intellectual Skills
  • Floortime builds emotional connections but can lead to other skills

    Can Floortime Therapy Build Intellectual and Physical Skills in Children with Autism?

    Floortime is a type of child-led therapeutic play. It's part of a larger therapeutic approach called DIR (Developmental, Individual-Difference, Relationship-Based). Floortime and DIR are best-known as techniques for building a child's emotional reciprocity and engagement. But can Floortime and DIR be used to build specific intellectual and physical skills?

    I interviewed Dr. Stanley Greenspan, one of the primary developers of this approach, for this article. 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.

  • July 15th & 22nd!

    NFAR is offering students a unique programming and robotics experience for ages 12-18 years old. The morning workshop filled quickly, so an afternoon workshop has been added.

    The afternoon workshop is from 1:00 - 3:00 pm over two Saturdays: July 15th and July 22nd.

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

  • Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together
  • aefct

    AEFCT provides high quality services that are structured, comprehensive, and individualized. Our mission is to provide intervention to children with autism, putting the needs of each child first so that they are met fairly and appropriately. We use developmentally sound strategies supported by empirical evidence, combined with a team approach that involves family participation. Autism affects the entire family unit, and we recognize that parent education and participation are essential to achieve success.

    Our Services:

    • Assessment
    • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
    • Supervision / Consultation
    • Parent/Caregiver Training
    • Funding Sources

    3954 Murphy Canyon Rd., Suite D105
    San Diego, CA 92123

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

  • The Alternative, Safe and Effective Therapy Option!!!
  • MicroCurrent4Kids is San Diego's premiere microcurrent therapy program for children, teens and adults with special needs. Our program is the BEST therapy for Autism and ADHD, as you will see by the rapid improvement in your child's skills and abilities, because of how well it promotes developmental growth and couples with ALL other therapies. (Inquire about other therapies also available!)

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

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

    Membership Benefits Include:

    • One 30-min Microcurrent Therapy session; a full-body detox (systemic), or an anti-aging facial* for Mom (*Now offering facials, call for more details)
    • Unlimited additional sessions at our lowest member rate
    • Discounts for adding family members to your membership
    • Unused sessions roll over from month to month and can be shared with others
    • Earn free sessions by referring friends

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

  • NFAR Men's Group - July 13, 2017
  • Thursday, July 13, 2017

    The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Giovanni's Italian Restaurant
    9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad, Soda.
    Dinner is provided

    Please join us for this informal group discussion where you can get to know other Dads and what they are doing to help their child with autism.

    July Topic: Service Dogs

    Discussion will include:

    - Who is a good candidate for a service dog?

    - How are service dogs different from other dogs?

    - What is the process for getting a Service Dog for my child?

    - What if you have other animals or dogs in the home?

    - Is there any type of insurance or financing available?

    - How do we align training with the needs of my child?

    As well as any other questions you might have.

    Guest Speakers: Laura Sylvester, Executive Director and Founder
    Laura is the Mother of a 16 year-old boy with autism and, along with her family, the owner of an autism companion dog named Orbit. Along with day-to-day operations of Good Dog! Laura teaches autism service dog courses at Bergin University of Canine Studies and lectures to parents and communities about the laws and benefits pertaining to autism service dog companionship. A UCLA graduate in Design she loves using her design talents to share the magical stories of connection between dog and child with the Good Dog! community.


  • N. Jennifer Oke, PhD., Specializing in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Children with ASDs
  • Dr. Oke has been in private practice in the San Diego area for over 16 years specializing in the area of autism, Asperger's, and Pervasive Developmental. She is dedicated to providing a warm, supportive environment for children and families while collaborating with parents on treatment goals.

    N. Jennifer Oke, Ph.D.
    5677 Oberlin Drive, Suite 214
    San Diego, CA 92121
    (858) 452-9596

  • 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.

  • Sensory Sunday Family Time
  • Sunday, July 30 at 11 AM - 12 PM
    Mission Valley Library
    2123 Fenton Pkwy, San Diego, California 92108

    In collaboration with Autism Society San Diego, Mission Valley Library will open its doors to children on the spectrum, siblings, parents, and friends. Come at 11:00 AM for a sensory-friendly program featuring Sparkles the Clown. This 45 minute interactive show is recommended for preschool and elementary ages. After the performance, families can explore the library, check out items, or enjoy the sunny patio. Regular Sunday hours for the general public start at 12:30 PM. Contact Marika at Mission Valley Library at 858-573-5007 if you have any questions or need any further information. Click here for all the info!

  • Central San Diego Family Pool and Pizza Party
  • Friday, July 14 at 6 PM - 8 PM
    Aqua Pros Swim School
    4635 Clairemont Mesa Blvd
    San Diego, California 92117

    Bring the entire family to enjoy a swim in an indoor, heated pool with free pizza and drinks. Lifeguards are provided. For safety purposes, no flotation devices or "floaties" are permitted. A special thank you to Aqua Pros for making this event possible. RSVPs are greatly appreciated!

    ** Admission is free but a $5 donation per family is appreciated to help cover the cost of the food and venue.

    ** For the safety of your children, we ask that you do not enter the pool area until 6:00 pm.
    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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!!!

  • 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.

  • 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!

    Little Trees Pediatric Therapy serves North County San Diego and Riverside County.
    27537 Commerce Center Drive, Suite 106
    Temecula, CA 92590

  • 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.