Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 15, 2017

In This Issue

What Are "Independent Living Skills" for Those With Autism?

Simple Ways To Transition Back To School (for the mom who just wants a little more summer)

No wonder cure, but music therapy can still be helpful for children with autism

Temple Grandin Is Getting the Incredible Honor She Deserves

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

2017 Special Education Law and Advocacy Series at USD

Video Games to the Rescue

Teen Social Skills Group (middle and high school ages)

Social Communication Specialists!

Open House at Banyon Tree's Compass Academy in Point Loma

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Adults with Asperger-like Thinking Therapy Group - Theme: Motivation, Volunteering and Work

Start a Speech Program Today at TAG!!!

Social Hour for Autism Moms of San Diego!

San Diego Special Needs Law Center

FREE!!! IEP Evaluation Day in Rancho Bernardo


TERI's Kilmer College: Healthy Dinner Entrees

IEP Resource: SES Tutoring/Coaching News


  • What Are "Independent Living Skills" for Those With Autism?
  • Ever since my autistic son, Tom, became a teen, I've been hearing about the importance of "Independent Living Skills." As a good mom, of course, I want Tom to live as independently as possible - so I started looking into the definition of Independent Living Skills to find out just what the term means. I started out assuming that "Independent Living Skills" referred simply to the skills that teens and young adults need to get through the day -- but there are (or can be) much more to it.

    The first thing I learned is that the term "independent living skills" is not universally used -- and when it's used, it may mean different things to different people. There are multiple assessment scales and tests. Often, Independent Living Skills are broken down into other types of skills which overlap -- such as: Read on...

  • Simple Ways To Transition Back To School (for the mom who just wants a little more summer)
  • It's been a really, really good summer here.

    We have had our share of crazy to be sure. Summer travel, family visits, and even our new service dog all brought increased levels of stress. The usual sensory overload that only summer can unleash has been a constant for the past three months.

    It has not been easy.

    But it's been good - really good.

    Part of what worked so well was our approach to summer school - a bit of a break while still adding structure and lots of Harry Potter. It was fun. My boys enjoyed our activities and crafts. I enjoyed listening to audiobooks and having long drawn out discussions about Professor Snape and Lily Potter. (In fact, this week is our final week at Hogwarts Summer School. We are having a feast and awarding points to the two top performers - can you guess which two they might be?) Read on...

  • No wonder cure, but music therapy can still be helpful for children with autism

  • An international study finds the improvements from improvisational music therapy, on symptoms of autism, to be similar to those who do not receive music therapy.

    Christian Gold from Uni Research in Bergen and his international team of co-researchers wanted to know if there is reliable evidence that music therapy produces lasting effects on core symptoms of autism.

    Hence, in a new study published in JAMA the researchers enrolled 364 children from nine countries around the world and assigned them to either improvisational music therapy or enhanced standard care.

    The researchers compared autism symptoms before and after therapy, based on the observation of a professional who did not know the children or what therapy they were receiving. Read on...

  • Temple Grandin Is Getting the Incredible Honor She Deserves
  • Doctor Temple Grandin is one of the world's most well-known and respected individuals with autism. This incredible woman, a Professor of Animal Sciences at Colorado State University, has worked hard to advocate for autism. She is also well-known for her revolutionary work in the meat production industry, which gave us a more ethical way to handle livestock. Parents of children with autism go to her for advice and insight. People read the six books she has written. I got an incredible opportunity in November 2016 to see her give a live presentation-which was met with a standing ovation.

    For the impact she has imparted on this world, it's really no surprise-but still an incredible honor-that Temple Grandin will be one of September 2017's ten inductees into the National Women's Hall of Fame. It is an honor that has been given to a host of amazing women over history, including Susan B. Anthony, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Rosa Parks. Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

    I am looking for a 2-3 bedroom house (if possible), apartment or mobile home in North County for my sister, who is severely autistic and non-verbal, and will be in a supported living program (24-hour caretakers plus hopefully another similar roommate).

    The ideal house would be:
    -Anywhere in North County
    -Somewhat isolated so neighbors are not disturbed by her occasional screaming
    -Rustic or "fixer-upper" so we could fix up to our specifications and there would be less concern over possible damage
    -One of the bedrooms large enough for 2 beds
    -No carpet
    -Not depressing - possessing some sort of charm
    -Affordable (a relative term)

    Thank you everyone! Just putting it out there in case anyone knows of such a house!

    Daria 619-294-6577 (home), 619-788-2042 (cell) or

    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.

  • 2017 Special Education Law and Advocacy Series at USD
  • Sat, Sep 9, 2017 thru
    Sat, Nov 4, 2017
    10am to 5pm

    University of San Diego School of Law
    Warren Hall Room 2B
    5998 Alcala Park
    San Diego, California 92110

    Building on past and current efforts to educate the community on special education law, the University of San Diego School of Law has developed a new Special Education Law and Advocacy Series (SELAS). This new program builds on the previous Special Education Advocacy Certificate Program, with new curriculum meant not only to educate but also offer practical, hands-on experience in special education law and advocacy.

    Each of the six, day-long seminars may be taken individually, or the entire series may be purchased in full at a discounted rate. For all the info and to register, please click here!

  • Video Games to the Rescue
  • Cost: $19.95.
    Tickets: Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online.

  • Teen Social Skills Group (middle and high school ages)
  • Aug 31-Oct 19; Thursdays 5-6pm
    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

  • Social Communication Specialists!
  • At Social Communication Specialists, we help socially quirky kids, teens and young adults connect.

    We understand the social challenges kids face today. In order to have healthy friendships, kids need to understand not just the "how", but the "why" of social interactions.

    Social Thinking
    Our program is for bright kids, teens and young adults with good language skills. Many of our students have a diagnosis of High Functioning Autism, Asperger Syndrome, ADHD or Social Anxiety while others have no formal diagnosis. Our students are intelligent, creative and want to have friends but often struggle with social interactions.

    SCS's cutting-edge Social Thinking® groups are based on the work of world renowned expert Michelle Garcia Winner. Social Thinking teaches the thinking that we do when we interact with others. This helps students use their social skills in a variety of settings. Our program teaches a wide variety of concepts with the lessons targeted to the needs of the students in each group. Click here for more info about our Social Thinking program!!

    Executive Functioning
    Even the brightest students can struggle to keep track of assignments, plan out and manage their time and prioritize and initiate tasks needed to meet their goals.

    Executive functioning skills help us with everything from getting dressed and out the door on time to managing distractions so we can complete the task at hand. While these skills develop naturally for most of us, some children need direct teaching and therapeutic treatment to help develop these skills and put them into practice. Click here for more info about our Executive Funtioning program!!

    Social Communication Specialists
    5703 Oberlin Dr, Ste 207
    San Diego, CA 92121
    (858) 558-9552
    Information on fall groups coming soon!

  • Open House at Banyon Tree's Compass Academy in Point Loma
  • Open House at Banyan Tree Learning Center's Compass Academy
    When: Friday, Aug 18th, 10am-12pm
    Who: Parents (childcare available)
    Why: Take a tour and learn more about the Compass Academy

    What is the Compass Academy? 
    The Compass Academy is a focused academy for children requiring individualized learning plans. Class sizes are small offer one-to-one instruction to help children experiencing learning disabilities, trouble focusing, or help in catching up to grade level. 

    Spaces for Fall 2017 are still available. 
    For more information or to talk to one of our staff please contact us: 858-578-6616

    Banyon Tree Educational Services
    Liberty Station, Point Loma
    2820 Roosevelt Road, Suite 104
    San Diego, CA 92106
    Tel: 858-578-6616 #1
    Direct: 858-367-5428

  • Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment
  • We design and deliver comprehensive treatment programs for children with autism and their families. Our multi-disciplinary clinical team harnesses the insights and technologies of emerging neuroscience to change lives.

    The Cortica Care Model is an evidence-based, neurological approach to autism treatment that involves the application of specific therapies in the right way at the right time.

    During childhood, brain networks form in distinct patterns with an orchestrated sequence. It's an extraordinary, intricate choreography of neurophysiological and biochemical events. These events can be shaped and guided in many different ways.

    The Cortica Care Model, with its six treatment areas and integrative approach, simultaneously addresses all important aspects of the developing brain. The treatments and techniques that we use at Cortica map purposefully to specific neural networks. The strengthening of these neural networks allows a child to develop new abilities for life.

    Explore the Cortica Care Model:

    • Neurophysiolgy
    • Biochemistry
    • Sensorimotor
    • Communication
    • Cognition and Behavior
    • Family and Home
    Click here for all the info on the Cortica Care Model!!!

    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • Adults with Asperger-like Thinking Therapy Group - Theme: Motivation, Volunteering and Work
  • Sept 11-Oct 19; Mondays 6- 7:30pm
    Registration deadline Sept 6


    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

  • 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

  • Social Hour for Autism Moms of San Diego!
  • Coming this Fall!!!
    For more info, please contact
    T 858.689.2027

  • San Diego Special Needs Law Center
  • If you have a family member with a disability, you want to assure they have the best possible care and quality of life, both now and later when you are no longer able to be the advocate you are today. If you are a person with a disability, you want to be able to qualify for the benefits and programs you need to achieve as much independence as possible. At San Diego Special Needs Law Center, it is our mission to make sure you have all the support and tools in place to achieve these goals.

    We have over 30 years experience in Special Needs Law and our community, working in the following practice areas:

    • Special Needs Trusts and Estate Planning for Families Developmental Disablilities
    • Special Needs Trusts and Estate Planning for Families Developmental Disablilities
    • Public Benefits Planning
    • Care Advocacy
    • Preservation of Benefits Eligibility in Litigation Settlement or Inheritance Scenarios
    • Life Care Planning
    We also enjoy our relationships with various advocacy groups and the disability community. It is through the interaction with our clients and these groups that we continue to learn and grow, and better serve our client's needs.

    Our Senior attorney, Phil Lindsley, is both a Certified Special Needs Law Attorney and a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate (State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization). He has been serving families and individuals with disabilities for over 30 years.

    For more info and to contact us for an appointment, click here!!!

  • FREE!!! IEP Evaluation Day in Rancho Bernardo
  • Saturday, September 9th
    Call to reserve 1 hour block between 9am and 4pm
    RSVP Required!!!
    858-945-6621 or

    The Special Education Advocacy & Law Firm of Thomas S. Nelson
    16466 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite 106
    San Diego, California 92128
    Tel: (858) 945-6621

  • Presentation: SEXUALITY AND AUTISM
  • We have arranged for a Stacy Everson the founder of SEEDS to explain to parents about sexuality concepts for 3-25 year olds with autism.

    Stacey is an expert in social-sexual education and has provided training to many schools, the San Diego Sheriff's Department, U.S. Fire Department, Homeland Security to name a few.

    This presentation is a must for parents, as Stacy will talk about general strategies for dealing with sexuality as well as tips for getting help through Regional Center.

    The presentation followed by Q&A will be on Tuesday, August 22, 2017 from 7pm - 9pm at ATSC offices located at 10640 Scripps Ranch Blvd. Suite 200, San Diego 92131

    You may invite any parents that you know who have children with autism. However space is limited so only those who RSVP will be permitted to attend.

    Please respond to by August 18th if you would like to attend and tell us if your spouse/significant other will be attending.

    We look forward to seeing you at this important presentation.

  • TERI's Kilmer College: Healthy Dinner Entrees
  • Contact for applications and more information.

  • IEP Resource: SES Tutoring/Coaching News
  • Dear Parents and IEP Professionals,

    I'm sure you are aware that California has stopped funding the SES Tutoring services for schools. With the change in the NCLB law to ESSA , now individual districts and even individual schools can contract out their intervention services to outside providers. This opens up the doors for schools to have more flexibility in providing contracts to specific tutoring and coaching organizations such as Club Xcite, as a Direct Service Provider. When you set up your IEP this year and see the need to add 1-on-1 Tutoring or Executive Functioning coaching, then it may be possible to request Club Xcite as a Direct Service Provider.

    Club Xcite is unique in that they offer social, emotional and other executive functioning skills development as a foundation in addition to academic subject support. For children with IEP's, a private tutor or executive functioning coach can support the teachers, clinical staff and parents with innovative and individualized academic, social and behavioral support in school or at home.

    If you would like to learn more please contact Club Xcite at 858-779-9674 or visit!

  • 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.