Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 22, 2017

In This Issue

MRI reveals striking brain differences in people with genetic autism

A Lost Generation: Growing Up With Autism Before the "Epidemic"

It's Not Always Forward - mothering a regressive child

9 Books That Shine a Light on Autism

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Early Bird Registration Extended to August 24th!!!

Helping Young People with Autism Reach Their Potential

Back to School Special Pricing at MicroCurrent 4 Kids!!!

Social Communication Specialists!

FREE Consultation: Back to School Changes

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Join a Social Skills Group in Rancho Bernardo!!

Join Us for a Luau Celebration in Carlsbad!!!

3rd Annual CAPTAIN Conference

San Diego Special Needs Law Center

Community Voices Series at P.A.T.

LET'S GET PREPARED: An Emergency Preparedness Training for Self-Advocates

Fall 2017 Therapeutic Recreation Services Calendar

Special Education Decoder System


  • MRI reveals striking brain differences in people with genetic autism

  • In the first major study of its kind, researchers using MRI have identified structural abnormalities in the brains of people with one of the most common genetic causes of autism, according to a new study published online in the journal Radiology. The abnormalities visible on brain images corresponded to cognitive and behavioral impairments in the study group, suggesting a future role for imaging in identifying people with autism who are in most urgent need of intervention.

    Autism spectrum disorders are a group of developmental problems, affecting more than 3.5 million people in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms typically appear early in life and frequently include communication problems and repetitive behaviors. Many people with autism have abnormalities at a specific site on the 16th chromosome known as 16p11.2. Deletion or duplication of a small piece of chromosome at this site is one of the most common genetic causes of autism spectrum disorder. Read on...

  • A Lost Generation: Growing Up With Autism Before the "Epidemic"
  • Jennifer Scriven was that kid, growing up. The butt of jokes, the girl who was tripped in the hallway, bullied on the playground, and, on a good day, merely shunned. When she complained, teachers suggested she was partly to blame. She didn't talk, act, or dress the way other kids did. "The message was, 'You're not conforming, so what do you expect?'" she recalled.

    That was Kansas in the 1970s and 1980s, but it could have been anywhere. What no one knew, or could have known, was that Jennifer was different by design, not choice. The thing that made her different would not appear in a diagnostic manual until she was 26, and it would not be formally applied to her until age 48: Asperger's syndrome, or "autism spectrum disorder without cognitive impairment," as it's now called. Read on...

  • It's Not Always Forward - mothering a regressive child
  • Regression happens. Five years post diagnosis, I have lost track of how many times it has happened. I know this is just the nature of things.


    We were getting used to things being easier, not so intense, not so destructive, not so rigid. We began to relax, to exhale, to forget.

    We also began to schedule more, take on more daily requirements, travel, eat less strictly - because we were doing so well. Maybe we got a little too ambitious. Maybe we forgot a little too easily.

    It was almost imperceptible at first - a minor irritation over the schedule not being just so, small noises suddenly being an issue again, a meltdown always simmering there, under the surface. Now, it's obvious. Read on...

  • 9 Books That Shine a Light on Autism
  • Whether an autism diagnosis is new or a parent is already several years into the journey with their child, autism can be a challenging condition to understand and live with.

    According to the National Autism Association, autism spectrum disorder affects 1 in 68 children in the United States. Some may have difficulty with social interactions, communication, and play activities. Additionally, about 40 percent of children with an autism are completely nonverbal.

    Read on to learn about some of the best books that offer essential reading for families who have children on the autism spectrum. Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    My son is aging out of his school program (TERI - The Learning Academy) in May 2018, he will be 22, and I'd like to begin the search for an adult day program for him. Is there a list or directory that contains the programs available in north county ?

    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.

  • Early Bird Registration Extended to August 24th!!!
  • 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
    SDRC Vendor Number PQ9571
    Questions? Call 619-600-0683 or email

  • Helping Young People with Autism Reach Their Potential
  • Gateway Learning Group is California's premier provider of ABA therapy.

    At Gateway, we help children and teens develop and strengthen their learning, language, behavior and social skills with proven-effective therapy treatment to support not only them, but your whole family as well.

    Gateway works with most health insurance plans and also provides services through school districts.

    Direct Therapy Programs typically involve:

    • Initial assessment of a child's needs
    • Implementation of intensive therapy based on the principles of ABA
    • Transitional support of skills to new environments
    • Parent training
    • Monthly team meetings
    • Daily data collection and analysis
    • Quarterly progress reports
    For those students who benefit from extra assistance in their classroom setting, we also provide behaviorally-trained shadow aides and consult with teachers. Currently, our Direct Therapy Programs and services are available to families in the San Francisco and San Diego area.

    Gateway Learning Group
    2525 Camino Del Rio South Suite 335
    San Diego, CA 92108

  • Back to School Special Pricing at MicroCurrent 4 Kids!!!

    10% Discount for New Clients -- Available to the first 10 clients to mention this ad!!!

    Two Locations to Serve you!!! In Kearny Mesa and Encinitas!! Call for all the info!!!!

    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!)

    858 367-9108

  • 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!

  • FREE Consultation: Back to School Changes
  • If you're interested in speaking with a therapist individually about back to school changes and challenges, you can register for a free 45 minute consultation with one of ABS's licensed clinicians (Dr. Nicole Young, PsyD, PSY25364; Christine Kukui Sutcliffe, MA, LMFT #93364).

    RSVP: Call (909)689-4157 and speak with Anna

    Alternative Behavior Strategies is conveniently located right off the freeway in Rancho Bernardo

    11650 Iberia Place Ste. #130
    San Diego, CA 92128

  • 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

  • Join a Social Skills Group in Rancho Bernardo!!
  • A great way for your children to practice their verbal/social communication skills in a fun and safe environment! We are now enrolling! Call (909) 689-4157 x 732!

    Alternative Behavior Strategies, San Diego
    11650 Iberia Pl, Suite 130
    San Diego, California, CA 92128

  • Join Us for a Luau Celebration in Carlsbad!!!
  • Connect with Families and Professionals within the San Diego Special Needs Community.

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

  • 3rd Annual CAPTAIN Conference
  • Learn about the research and practical guidelines for using evidence-based practices to promote independence.

    Keynote Speaker: Jillian Paramore, Disability Advocate

    Breakout Sessions include:

    • Prompting and Reinforcement
    • Peer Mediated Intervention
    • Self-Management
    • Video Modeling
    • Social Skills for the Workplace
    • Teaching Communication and Self Advocacy
    • And More....
    8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    Point Loma Nazarene University - Liberty Conference Center
    2600 Laning Road
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Cost is $20 per person and you can find all the info here!!!

  • 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!!!

  • Community Voices Series at P.A.T.
  • Parents Advocating Together would like to invite you to attend our "Community Voices Series" on August 28th, 2017, beginning at 6pm at the Crimson Center with Erin Minelli, Esq. A Special Education Attorney from the Law Offices of Schwartz & Storey.

    Erin had so much fun speaking and getting to know our PAT parents at her last presentation that she volunteered to join us monthly if her schedule allows.

    Our vision with this series is to provide parents and informal place to meet, where our community can shine and support each other on our journey to get the supports and services that our children need to be successful in life.

    Our meeting will be held at 9606 Tierra Grande Street Suite 107, San Diego, CA 92126.

    Please RSVP to Dayon Higgins at, or leave a message at 858-213-8620.

  • LET'S GET PREPARED: An Emergency Preparedness Training for Self-Advocates
  • To register please contact Debbie Marshall, 619-688-4236 or

  • Fall 2017 Therapeutic Recreation Services Calendar
  • Click here for all the info!!! Registration begins August 19th at 10:00 a.m. online or in our office.

  • Special Education Decoder System
  • This program takes the tests administered by the school and develops very easily understood visuals of the data. The decoder provides an overall view of a student's test scores on a color coded bell chart. It shows where a child is performing and where their test scores indicate where they should be. With that kind of data, there are never any arguments about what services a child needs so they can meet their full potential.

    Take just a few moments to quickly learn more about this program by going to this link. There you will find more information and a coupon code to purchase the product with a 10% discount.

  • 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

  • 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!!!

  • Weight on Me

  • Our goal is to make durable weighted blankets with safe materials affordable for everyone.
    Contact Jill 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.