Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 08, 2017

In This Issue

Autism may reflect excitation-inhibition imbalance in brain, study finds

Am I Spoiling My Child or Accommodating His Special Needs?

Drug that shifts brain's signaling balance could treat autism

Study offers toothy look at environmental risk for autism

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Welcome Back Picnic with Friendship Circle, San Diego!

Family Fun at Kid Ventures! Friday, Sep 22nd 5 PM

Science-Based Social Skills Group (ages 8-12)

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!!!

Autism Speaks, San Diego Walk, September 30th

Lost in the Paperwork? I Can Help!!!

Friendship Circle, San Diego Dojo, August 21st!!!

Start a Speech Program Today at TAG!!!

Jeremiah's Ranch August 2017 Newsletter

Love and Autism Conference in San Diego!

Sanford Autism Consulting

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

You are Invited to a Dance on August 12th in Vista!!!

Parents Advocating Together Meetings at a NEW Location!!

Know Their Character Strengths


  • Autism may reflect excitation-inhibition imbalance in brain, study finds

  • A study by Stanford University investigators suggests that key features of autism reflect an imbalance in signaling from excitatory and inhibitory neurons in a portion of the forebrain, and that reversing the imbalance could alleviate some of its hallmark symptoms.

    In a series of experiments conducted on a mouse model of the disorder, the scientists showed that reducing the ratio of excitatory to inhibitory signaling countered hyperactivity and deficits in social ability, two classic symptoms of autism in humans.

    The study is published in Science Translational Medicine. Karl Deisseroth, professor of bioengineering and of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, is the study's senior author. The lead author is former graduate student Aslihan Selimbeyoglu, PhD. Read on...

  • Am I Spoiling My Child or Accommodating His Special Needs?
  • Last week, I sat on yet anther couch and prepared myself for whatever the therapist had to say. She has been working with my son for a few months, I am not involved at all in their sessions. (This is social skills therapy and apparently, mommas aren't really helpful... I mean he's almost twelve years old. I get it.)

    So as I have sat in the waiting room on a different couch, this therapist has been getting to know my son. For more than two months, she has been sitting on bean bags with him and asking him questions about his life. She has been playing Battleship and Chess with him as a way to discover how he learns and perceives his world. And up until this meeting, she has said absolutely nothing about what she thinks.

    And I am freaking out.

    All week-long I have been thinking about all the ways she will likely tell me I am doing this wrong. That the decisions I make in the moment, with very little knowledge, are not helping him. Read on...

  • Drug that shifts brain's signaling balance could treat autism

  • A drug that alters the balance of two key chemical messengers in the brain may help treat autism, suggests a proof-of-principle study1.

    In the study, researchers tested the effects of a drug called riluzole, which is approved as a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a neuromuscular disorder.

    They found that in people with autism, the drug boosts brain levels of gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), which dampens brain signals, relative to levels of glutamate, which excites brain activity. This effect is opposite to that seen in the study's controls.

    The results support the theory that the balance between inhibitory and excitatory signals is altered in autism. The researchers say riluzole itself is not ideal for use in autism because of its broad effects. But their study suggests that a drug that restores this balance could treat the condition, even in adults. Read on...

  • Study offers toothy look at environmental risk for autism

  • A small study suggests that baby teeth may afford a way to explore environmental risk factors for autism.

    The study analyzed baby teeth from 13 sets of twins in which at least one of the twins has autism, and 19 sets of neurotypical twins. The researchers found that the children with autism have less zinc and manganese and more lead in their baby teeth than their unaffected twins do1.

    The findings hint that unusual absorption of these metals early in life tilts the balance toward autism. They are preliminary and need to be validated - and may not be specific to autism. But they offer a promising strategy for evaluating environmental exposures, says Amy Kalkbrenner, associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, who was not involved in the study. 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.

  • Welcome Back Picnic with Friendship Circle, San Diego!
  • For questions or to RSVP please contact the Program Director:

  • Family Fun at Kid Ventures! Friday, Sep 22nd 5 PM
  • NFAR is hosting a family play session at
    Kid's Ventures in 4-S Ranch on
    Friday, September 22 from 5pm - 7pm

    Families of children with autism and their siblings (ages 2 - 8 years old) are invited to join us for a fun filled early evening of structured activities, food, and creative play.

    Kid's Ventures creative indoor play facility is designed to help nurture your child's imagination and creativity in a healthy and fun environment.

    Registration is free but pre-registration is required. For more information, contact NFAR or register HERE.

  • Science-Based Social Skills Group (ages 8-12)
  • Aug 31-Oct 19; Thursdays 4-5pm
    Registration deadline Aug 28


    Please click to see our calendar.

    *an intake is required for new clients prior to registration to determine eligibility and appropriate fit. Groups are located at Family Wellness Center in La Mesa

    To schedule or get more information
    (858) 634-8300

    San Diego Center for Children
    7339 El Cajon Blvd, Suite J
    La Mesa, CA 91942

  • Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!!!
  • NOW IN SAN DIEGO!!! Why choose us? In a program such as ours the child learns to think reflectively and base behaviors on their own desires and feelings rather then on repetitiously learned non-reflective patterns of behavior. We work from a multi-displinary perspective considering functional language use, visual-spatial processing, auditory processing and motor function.

    Real Connections Child Development Institute
    415 North Highway 101 Suite C
    Solana Beach, CA 92075
    (858) 354-2006

  • Autism Speaks, San Diego Walk, September 30th
  • Autism Speaks Walk is the world's largest autism fundraising event dedicated to improving the lives of people with autism. Powered by the love of parents, grandparents, siblings, friends, relatives, and supporters, the funds raised help ensure people of all abilities have access to the tools needed to lead 'their best lives'.

    The commitment of individuals like you plays a critical role in raising the funding needed to fuel innovative research and lifelong supports and services. Working together, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

    September 30, 2017
    Liberty Station at Point Loma
    Event Starts at 8:00 am

    Click here for all the info about registering and about having a booth at the Resource Fair!!!

  • Lost in the Paperwork? I Can Help!!!
  • I offer professional accounting services that are customized to your specific needs, including full service computerized bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparation for individuals and small to medium sized businesses.

    Services Provided:

    • Bookkeeping Services
    • Business Consulting
    • Payroll Preparation
    • Income Tax Return Preparation
    • Notary Public Services
    Customer service is my number one priority. I like to work closely with my clients to make sure they understand how their business is doing.

    As a small business owner it is important that you spend your time on running your business and not on bookkeeping. Let me give you the peace of mind you deserve by utilizing my 20+ years of diversified experience in accounting and in business.

    Call to setup an appointment for a free initial consultation so that I can evaluate your bookkeeping needs and provide you with a quote.

    Yvette Soto
    3633 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 205
    San Diego, CA. 92108
    (619) 977-6586

    (As a mother of twins diagnosed with autism, I am able to provide a personal level of service due to first-hand experience.
    Individual & Business tax returns welcome!)

  • Friendship Circle, San Diego Dojo, August 21st!!!

    For questions or to RSVP please contact the Program Director:

  • Start a Speech Program Today at TAG!!!
  • Programs Offered at Therapeutic Approach to Growth:

    • Adult Program
    • Art Therapy
    • Handle
    • Home Programs
    • Life Balance Yoga Therapy
    • Occupational Therapy
    • Professional Training
    • RDI
    • Sage Learning Center
    • Speech Therapy and MORE!!!
    Therapeutic Approach to Growth Inc.
    9466 Black Mountain Road, Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    5411 Avenida Encinas, Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    (858) 689-2027

  • Jeremiah's Ranch August 2017 Newsletter
  • jr

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

  • Love and Autism Conference in San Diego!
  • Love & Autism: A Conference with Heart held annually in San Diego, focuses on relationships - bridges lived experience, clinical practice & research.

    September 30 - October 1, 2017
    Liberty Station Conference Center
    2600 Laning Road
    San Diego, CA 92106

  • Sanford Autism Consulting
  • Speech therapy and family support since 1998!

    Sanford Autism Consulting provides speech-language therapy services to children and adults ages 4 and over who have solid language and learning abilities, but struggle in social language skills. The diagnostic labels of our clients include not only Autism Spectrum Disorder, but also Asperger's syndrome, Social Communication Disorder, PDD-NOS, ADHD, NVLD, twice exceptional, social anxiety, etc. We offer screenings, assessments, and therapy groups in our home office. We also provide services in the client's home or school setting within a 10 mile radius of our office, on a case by case basis. We believe in the power of family and actively involve parents, caregivers, and significant others throughout the process of therapy to facilitate increased client success.

    Services Offered:

    • FREE Consultation
    • Communication Screenings
    • Communication Evaluation
    • Therapy Groups
    • Parent Support and Mentoring
    Sanford Autism Consulting
    Located in Allied Gardens, San Diego, 92120
    (619) 403-9097

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene' Raphael no later than Aug. 18th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • You are Invited to a Dance on August 12th in Vista!!!

  • Parents Advocating Together Meetings at a NEW Location!!
  • Please RSVP to Dayon Higgins at, or leave a message at 858-213-8620.
    Visit our Website:

  • Know Their Character Strengths
  • There are many different kinds of strengths, including interests (what we enjoy doing) and skills and talents (what we're good at). Character strengths, though, are about who we are at our core. We are at our best when we use the character strengths that come naturally to us, called "signature" strengths.

    It is important to know your son's/daughter's character strengths and to encourage their use often for the positive experience it provides and to build on their strengths. Knowing all their strengths and how they use them is important for the IEP process, Person-Driven Planning, and other interventions.

    See how you can identify your son's/daughter's character strengths and encourage their use by answering the 4 questions at

    The information gained from your responses will help the survey authors develop new understandings of character strengths use by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and how parents can encourage that use.

  • 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!!!

  • 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.