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

In This Issue

Large study shines spotlight on 'mosaic' mutations in autism

Cause of schizophrenia found in a type of brain cell

Girls on the spectrum may have problems with planning

Art therapy best practices for children with autism

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

NFARs Charity Golf Tournament for Autism in Carlsbad! EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS AUGUST 1ST!!!

USD Football Player Mentor Program

Xcite Steps is Now Offering Individual and Family Therapy

RDI Information Night at TAG in Mira Mesa!!

RDI Information Night at TAG in Carlsbad!!!

How the Roles of Special and General Educators have Evolved

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

2016 Foundation Day at the Races

Back-to-School Countdown: A 4-Week Plan to Get Ready

Self-Advocacy & Leadership Training Conference

Xcite Steps is now offering The Autism Connection



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!


  • Large study shines spotlight on 'mosaic' mutations in autism

  • About 8 percent of de novo, or non-inherited, mutations in people with autism appear in only some of the body's cells, according to an analysis of sequences from nearly 20,000 people1. Previous studies missed the vast majority of these so-called 'mosaic mutations.'

    The findings, published Monday in Nature Neuroscience, add to mounting evidence that mosaic mutations contribute to autism risk. These mutations arise after conception; the later they occur, the fewer cells they affect.

    The new study relied on DNA from blood and saliva. Identifying the pattern of the mutations in the brains of people with autism might provide new insights into the condition's neural underpinnings, says lead investigator Christopher Walsh, chief of genetics at Boston Children's Hospital. "It might help us learn what parts of the brain are really critical to autism," he says. Read on...

  • Cause of schizophrenia found in a type of brain cell

  • New research has found one of the causes for schizophrenia, and genetic faults in the brain's glial cells seem to be responsible for the condition.

    It is currently estimated that more than 21 million people are living with schizophrenia all over the world. In the United States, the National Institute of Mental Health report that over 1 percent of the entire adult population are affected by the disease.

    For now, available treatments are limited to eliminating the symptoms of the disease rather than "curing" it, as the causes of the condition remain largely unknown.

    New research, however, moves closer to understanding what causes schizophrenia, as scientists foray into its genetic background and examine the brain cells involved. Read on...

  • Girls on the spectrum may have problems with planning

  • Girls with autism have more difficulty making and executing plans than do boys with the condition, a new study suggests. They also have relatively poor daily-living skills, such as personal hygiene, cooking and using public transportation1.

    The results suggest that girls with autism would benefit from therapies to improve their adaptive function, or daily-living skills, and executive function - including the ability to process information and to set goals and see them through.

    "[Executive function] has everything to do with how you show what you know, and how you act on your knowledge," says lead researcher Lauren Kenworthy, director of the Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders at Children's National Health System in Washington, D.C. "These skills are absolutely trainable." Read on...

  • Art therapy best practices for children with autism

  • A Florida State University researcher is working with art therapists to find better ways to treat children who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

    Theresa Van Lith, assistant professor of art therapy in FSU's Department of Art Education, led a study that surveyed art therapists working with children with ASD to develop a clearer understanding of their techniques and approaches. The study was published this month in the journal Arts in Psychotherapy.

    "I had noticed that is there is a high number of art therapists working with people who have autism, but I wanted to understand what their practice wisdoms were in terms of how they go about facilitating art therapy sessions," Van Lith said. "We want to make it a transparent process for the client or the parents of a client, so they know what to expect." Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

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

    I am a mother to an 11 yr old boy diagnose with Moderate Autism, ADHD and severe speech delay. I was able to move him from Chula Vista School district where he was not receiving the best of services in anyway, to a Charter School close to the exit at Market st coming out of FWY 15. I was wondering if anyone could give me information of a young, responsable adult who could baby sit and transport my child from his new school to home at eastlake. And some days stay with him for a few hrs until I got back from work around 5pm. I will pay for miles and obviously for the care at home. Preferably a person with knowledge of ASD behaviors and techniques to work with them. Claudia

    We are looking to find friends for our 12-year old son Robbie, who is high functioning ASD.
    He is quite isolated and would love to develop relationships with other kids. Among other things, Robbie loves reading; computer games; shooting hoops and soccer.
    We live in Tierra Santa with 2 dogs.

    Hi! My name is Rosalyn. I am a highly experienced and exceptional house cleaner with a genuine personal touch. I am looking to find a monthly or bi-monthly house cleaning job for a family in need of these services in the North County Area. If you are interested please email me at or call me anytime 209 241 9489.

    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.

  • NFARs Charity Golf Tournament for Autism in Carlsbad! EARLY BIRD PRICING ENDS AUGUST 1ST!!!

    NFAR is hosting its second Charity Golf Tournament for Autism on Monday, Oct 9, 2017 at the The Crossings in Carlsbad.

    The Crossings, with its scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, an award winning golf course, and great food, is a memorable place to play. Of course we'll add in the fun with interesting contests and prizes for everyone. So please join us - your participation helps those with autism in our community!

    There are a lot of ways to participate: consider becoming a sponsor, create a foursome, donate Silent Auction items, or simply join us for dinner.

    Golfers don't wait! Sign up now for Early Bird Pricing, good through August 1st. Tournament participation is only $495 for a Foursome or $150 per individual golfer and includes lunch and dinner and lots of fun contests and prizes.

    REGISTER Today

  • USD Football Player Mentor Program
  • August 12th, 2017 12:00 PM - 2:00 PM
    Location: University of San Diego Manchester Field, Alcala Park 5998, San Diego, California

    Click here for all the info about this program and to participate, please contact Lisa at (619) 222-4465.

  • Xcite Steps is Now Offering Individual and Family Therapy
  • Xcite Steps is now offering individual and family therapy for children and adults, providing a personalized and therapeutic approach to assist each client with their unique path to personal and emotional development. Our aim is to enhance skills for overcoming common emotional health challenges, such as anxiety, depression, social isolation, and relationship conflicts. Our approach is genuine and comforting, allowing the individual, couple, and family to explore emotional and systemic patterns in a safe setting.

    Individual and family therapy services are offered on an appointment only basis. We currently accept TRICARE and Molina Healthcare insurance for therapy services, and also offer sliding scale, low-fee therapy services for applicable individuals.

    For more information or to register for our Clinical Therapy Services, contact Xcite Steps at: (858) 428-0222

  • RDI Information Night at TAG in Mira Mesa!!
  • Click here for all the info about RDI at TAG!!!

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth, Inc.
    9466 Black Mountain Road
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • RDI Information Night at TAG in Carlsbad!!!
  • Click here for all the info about RDI at TAG!!!

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth, Inc.
    5411 Avenida Encinas
    Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • How the Roles of Special and General Educators have Evolved

    In the inclusive classroom, special and general educators complement each other. Before inclusive education was part of the educational landscape, special and general educators had different roles. Here are a few ways that the roles of special and general educators have evolved.

    Before: The special education teacher was only responsible for the education of students with disabilities.

    Now: Both special and general education teachers have a responsibility for the education of all students including those with disabilities.

    Before: Some special education services were provided with a "pull-out" model, where students were taken to a separate place to learn skills and were provided by a special education teacher.

    Now: Since the "pull-out" model can interfere with a student's sense of belonging in the classroom, special education can be provided in the context where it naturally occurs with a special educator in the general education environment. Read on...

  • Conference: Love and Autism - Registration Now Open!!!
  • Love & Autism: A Conference with Heart held annually in San Diego, focuses on relationships - bridges lived experience, clinical practice & research.
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • 2016 Foundation Day at the Races
  • Click here for all the info!!!

  • Back-to-School Countdown: A 4-Week Plan to Get Ready
  • Start the new school year off right! There's a lot going on-and a lot to keep track of. Download this one-month planner, which has daily tips to get your child with learning and attention issues ready for going back to school. Click here!!!

  • Self-Advocacy & Leadership Training Conference
  • To register for this conference, please contact Maham Khan at or at 714-656-2737

  • Xcite Steps is now offering The Autism Connection
  • Xcite Steps is now offering The Autism Connection, a group therapy program for young adults on the Autism Spectrum!

    The Autism Connection combines the mindfulness practice of Yoga and empirically-based group therapy models to engage individuals to start making positive changes in their life.

    The Autism Connection meets on Monday from 5:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at Mission Bay Park, for a therapeutic evening of yoga and group therapy at the beach!

    Registration is required prior to attending. For more information or to register, contact Xcite Steps at 858-428-0222.

  • 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.

    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

  • I have a paintbrush, a keyboard and autism. Jeremy's Vision is my view of the world expressed through my painting, writing, and advocacy.

    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

  • Join Our Study! Video Games to Train Attention and Eye Movement

  • Join our study at UCSD's Research on Autism and Development Lab ( We are currently recruiting participants for a study to measure the effects of training visual attention using video games. Click here to view the brochure!!!

  • Parents and Children Needed for Student Research

  • My name is Shamayne Brown and I am a doctoral student at Alliant International University. This study is examining the attention abilities of kids with ASD and their parents. I am recruiting families with a child with ASD as well as families with typically developing children.

    We are looking for boys, ages 8 to 16 years old, who have a diagnosis of ASD and their biological parents - both mother and father need to participate. We are also looking for boys, ages 8 to 16 years old, who are typically developing and both of their biological parents to serve as a control group.

    If you and your family are eligible for participation, you will be asked to come to a lab at the Neuroscience Institute at Alliant International University. You and your child's other parent will be asked to complete consent forms and questionnaires about your own behaviors; this should take you each about 25 minutes. You will also be given questionnaires about your child's behaviors. Only one parent needs to fill out these questionnaires and should take about 25 minutes complete. You, your child, and your child's other parent will complete a cognitive test, which will take about 30 minutes. Each of you will then play some games on a computer. This will take each person about 30 minutes. Your child's participation will take approximately one hour. Your participation and that of your child's other parent will take approximately one and a half to two hours.

    After your child completes his tasks, he will receive a $20 cash gift as an appreciation for his participation. Once you and your child's other parent have completed all tasks, you will each receive a $10 gift card as a token of appreciation for your participation. For further information, please contact Shamayne Brown at or 619-416-1799. Thank you for your time.

    *Approved by Alliant IRB
    IRB #1604025150


    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.