Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 29, 2017

In This Issue

Rutgers researchers discover cutting-edge method of diagnosing autism

For people with autism, unforeseen events come as no surprise

10 Ways to Build Independence from Preschool to High School

Studying pregnant women with autism may offer clues to the condition

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Helping Young People with Autism Reach Their Potential

Family Fun at Kid Ventures!

"Lights! Camera! Autism!"

Birdies and Barrels benefitting Include Autism

FREE! IEP Evaluation Day in Rancho Bernardo

The NFAR Community Projects application period is now OPEN!

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

NFAR Teacher's Grants for Educators of Students with Autism

Uses of Play with Learning Disabilities and Developmental Delay

Monster Story Time II

Crimson by the Sea has Space to Rent!

San Elijo AYSO VIP Soccer Fall Season! Registration now Open!

SPECIAL FOR YOU: NFAR's Charity Golf Oct 9th!


  • Rutgers researchers discover cutting-edge method of diagnosing autism
  • Psychologists observed children playing with, using and responding to toys and objects to determine autism. Rutgers researchers say in a society where girls have been socialized to be quieter than boys, autism has been harder to observe in girls. It's the result of using a male ruler to measure females.

    When asked if the industry has missed the mark on proper diagnosis, Associate Professor and Neuroscientist at Rutgers University Elizabeth Torres replied, "Yes, absolutely. Why is there a ratio of five boys to a girl? That's statistically impossible at the population at large. That was our initial curiosity, drive this."

    That curiosity led Rutgers Neuroscientist Elizabeth Torres and her team of post-doctoral researchers to the databases of the Autism Brain Imaging Data Exchange. The exchange has raw information of brain scans or functional MRI's used for research, not diagnosis. They looked at the scans of nearly 2,200 people who had been diagnosed with autism or Asperger's syndrome. Scans can detect involuntary head motion that the naked eye would miss. They show up on a graph as red lines. Read on...

  • For people with autism, unforeseen events come as no surprise
  • People with autism are less surprised by unexpected occurrences than are typical adults, according to a new study1. That may be because they see the world as highly changeable, and expect the unexpected.

    The researchers measured reaction times to unexpected cues that came up during a simple picture-naming task. Typical adults pause in response to such surprises. But people with autism pause less, indicating that they don't register the odd cues.

    "The findings suggest individuals with autism learn about and estimate environmental change quite differently" than others do, says Rebecca Lawson, postdoctoral fellow in Geraint Rees' lab at University College London, who did the work. (Rees was not available for comment.) Read on...

  • 10 Ways to Build Independence from Preschool to High School
  • On how you can help your child with autism increase their independence at home, at school, and in the community no matter their age. By introducing these skills early and building block by block, you can help your loved one with autism gain the tools that will allow them to be more independent throughout their lives.

    Early Childhood and Preschool Age

    1. Strengthen Communication
    Some individuals with autism may have communication challenges and difficulty learning to use spoken language. If your child struggles with spoken language, a critical step for increasing independence is strengthening their ability to communicate by building skills and providing tools to help express preferences, desires, and feelings. Consider introducing Alternative/Augmentative Communication (AAC) and visual supports. Common types of AAC include picture exchange communication systems (PECS), speech output devices (such as DynaVox, iPad, etc.) and sign language.

    For more information on AAC, technology and communication visit Autism Speaks Technology Central and click here to find out how to get an AAC Technology assessment for your child. Read on...

  • Studying pregnant women with autism may offer clues to the condition
  • One day during a lab meeting last year, we were discussing the dearth of research involving pregnant women with autism.

    This seemed strange since this group of women represents a valuable scientific opportunity: Not only are these women likely to pass on genes that may play a role in autism, but like all pregnant women, they expose their babies to environmental factors in the womb that could contribute to autism.

    What proportion of these women, we wondered, would end up having a child with autism? 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.

  • 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

  • Family Fun at Kid Ventures!
  • NFAR is hosting a family play session at Kid Ventures in 4-S Ranch on Friday, Sept. 22 from 5-7pm.

    Families of children with autism and their siblings (ages 2-8) are invited to join us for a fun filled early evening of structured activities, food and creative play. Kid Ventures' creative indoor play facility is designed to help nurture your child's imagination in a healthy & fun environment.

    Registration is FREE, but pre-registration is REQUIRED. To register, please click here!!!

  • "Lights! Camera! Autism!"
  • Saturday, September 23, 2017
    5:00 PM
    Irwin M Jacobs Qualcomm Hall
    5775 Morehouse Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121
    Cost: $15 per person


    The Autism Society San Diego is proud to present the first ever, "Lights! Camera! Autism!" art and film event. This is a celebration of the talents of many autistic and developmentally delayed young adults in our San Diego community who are learning valuable skills in the art, music and film industry with an eye on future employment.

    Click here for all the info about this event and to purchase tickets!!!

  • Birdies and Barrels benefitting Include Autism
  • The Birdies and Barrels Golf Tournament & Beer Garden event is only 2 months away!

    Sat, October 21, 2017
    10:00 AM - 9:00 PM PDT
    Rancho Bernardo Inn
    17550 Bernardo Oaks Drive
    San Diego, CA 92128

    The Birdies and Barrels Golf Tournament and Beer Garden will be taking place on Saturday, October 21st, 2017, at the Rancho Bernardo Inn Golf Course and is looking to be bigger and better than ever! Some highlights of this awesome fundraising event are:

    • Scramble-format golf tournament
    • Beer Garden with tons of different craft brews!
    • Live music
    • Game lawn
    • Luau dinner
    • Helicopter ball drop raffle
    • & more!
    All proceeds from the Birdies and Barrels Golf Tournament and Beer Garden go toward supporting Include Autism's programs.

    Click here for all the info about this event and to purchase your tickets!!!

  • 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

  • The NFAR Community Projects application period is now OPEN!
  • Each year, funds raised by the Race for Autism help to support autism programs and new initiatives in our community. Together, we have supported over 85 major initiatives, increasing the learning, social, training and employment opportunities for those with autism in San Diego.

    Applications are due by September 30, 2017

    Click here for all the info!!!!

  • 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

  • NFAR Teacher's Grants for Educators of Students with Autism
  • Autism affects one in every 68 children in the United States, and a growing number of students each year the classrooms across San Diego County. Autism often affects the way the individual receives and processes information. A person with autism may also have sensory issues that interfere with learning.

    To help, NFAR awards funding to educators to support the specialized academic needs of their students with autism. These grants give educators a vehicle for piloting new teaching tools, as well as funding of technology and programs that address key areas of concern for students with autism, such as social skills training, reading comprehension, developing effective communication skills for verbal and non-verbal students, as well as reducing sensory and behavioral issues that interfere with learning. We are accepting applications through September 30, 2017.

    To learn more, please click here!!!

  • Uses of Play with Learning Disabilities and Developmental Delay
  • Dr. Esther Hess will be presenting an all day workshop on Saturday October 28, 2017 at the UCSD extension campus in La Jolla, CA. She will be teaching Uses in Play for Learning Disabilities and Developmental Delay. The course will feature the play therapy model DIR/Floor Time: A Developmental/Relational Intervention for Children and Adolescents with ASD and Sensory Processing Disorder. For more information and to register for the course, please contact Dr. Hess at

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Monster Story Time II
  • What: Monster Story Time II
    About the TERI Players: The TERI Players is a theatre troupe made up of actors and musicians with special needs and talented staff from TERI.

    Show Synopsis: The troupe of "misunderstood monsters" returns for another exciting Halloween adventure! When newly-elected mayor Frankenstein is cursed by a witch, the townspeople rally to break the spell. What magical concoction will they try? Eye of newt or tongue of bat? Whatever the recipe, it's sure to be a mixture of music, laughter, and zombie-good fun for the entire family

    When: Friday, October 13 @ 7pm
    Where: Star Theatre in Oceanside
    How to buy Tickets:
    Cost: VIP $100 (includes reception prior to event)
    General Admission $20
    Child $10
    General Admission Premier $30
    Child Premier $20

  • Crimson by the Sea has Space to Rent!
  • A large space is available for rent at the Crimson by the Sea clinic. Great space for an OT, PT, tutor, ABA, etc! Please contact Jamie Segal for all the info!!!

    Crimson by the Sea for Speech & Language
    2210 Encinitas Blvd. Suite I
    Encinitas, California 92024

  • San Elijo AYSO VIP Soccer Fall Season! Registration now Open!
  • Registration now open! San Elijo AYSO VIP Soccer Fall Season is September 10 through October 29. The VIP league is a program which is designed for the specific needs of individuals whose physical or mental disabilities make it difficult for them to successfully participate on mainstream soccer teams. Each player will have Buddy to assist them while they learn soccer, meet new friends, and have fun!

    There will be 8 games, Sundays from 1-2pm at the San Elijo Softball Fields. Cost is $85 and registration is open at at

    Please contact with any questions. We hope to see you there!

  • SPECIAL FOR YOU: NFAR's Charity Golf Oct 9th!
  • NFAR is hosting a Charity Golf Tournament for Autism on Monday, Oct 9, 2017 at the The Crossings in Carlsbad.

    Compliments of our local breweries, we have some great brews, and really fun new contests and prizes planned. The Crossings, has scenic views of the Pacific Ocean, an award winning golf course, and great food - so please join us! Your participation directly helps individuals with autism in San Diego!

    Golfers sign up now! Special foursome pricing is $525 through September 9th. Registration includes lunch and dinner and lots of fun contests.

    REGISTER Today

  • 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

  • Fall 2017 Therapeutic Recreation Services Calendar

  • Click here for all the info!!! Registration online or in our office.

  • 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.