Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 02, 2017

In This Issue

Looking Into the Future for a Child With Autism

Music therapy for autism shows minimal social benefit

Altered mitochondria associated with increased autism risk

Feeling anxious? Your gut bacteria might be to blame

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

Helping Young People with Autism Reach Their Potential


CARD Fall Festival in Carlsbad!!!

Autism Speaks: San Diego Walk for Autism

PACT Fall 2017 and 2018 workshop flyer

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

Golden Steps: Exceptional Care for Your Children

Fall Family Camp

Parenting the Love and Logic Way

Using Movement to Teach

NFAR: Technical Training Programs

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

Xcite Steps is offering Diagnostic Assessments!



  • Looking Into the Future for a Child With Autism
  • As my son's limitations became clearer, I found it harder every year to write a vision statement for his I.E.P. Then he showed us how.

    How do you write about the happy life you hope for your child to have when you have a hard time picturing it yourself?

    For 18 years, I've dreaded the yearly ritual of writing a "vision statement" for an Individualized Education Plan, or I.E.P., for our son, Ethan. He has autism and, as any parent of a child with significant special needs knows, the yearly team meeting to develop the I.E.P. can be emotional and fraught. For us it has felt, at times, like an annual adjustment of expectations downward. In theory, the vision statement is a lovely idea - an opportunity for parents to articulate the optimistic future they envision for their child five years down the road. In reality, as Ethan grew up and his limitations - cognitive and behavioral - became clearer, I found it harder every year to write the short paragraph. We came to see he couldn't live independently, get married, work in a job without support - but if those are the givens, what does a hopeful future look like? Read on...

  • Music therapy for autism shows minimal social benefit

  • Music therapy does not alleviate social difficulties in children with autism, suggests a large international study1.

    Engaging with music is thought to help children become more flexible, responsive and attentive, leading to better social and communication skills. But participants with autism who received improvisational music therapy scored no better on a standard diagnostic test for the condition than did children with autism who did not get the therapy. The results were published 8 August in JAMA.

    Still, researchers should not give up on investigating music's potential to ease autism features, says lead investigator Christian Gold, professor of music therapy at the University of Bergen in Norway. The study may have missed improvements in a subset of the participants, he says. Read on...

  • Altered mitochondria associated with increased autism risk

  • Mitochondria, the tiny structures inside our cells that generate energy, may play a key role in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). A provocative new study by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP)'s pioneering mitochondrial medicine team suggests that variations in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) originating during ancient human migrations may play an important role in predisposition to ASDs.

    "Our findings show that differences in mitochondrial function are important in ASD," said study leader Douglas C. Wallace, PhD, director of the Center for Mitochondrial and Epigenomic Medicine at CHOP. "Our team demonstrates that a person's vulnerability to ASD varies according to their ancient mitochondrial lineage." Read on...

  • Feeling anxious? Your gut bacteria might be to blame

  • All of us experience anxiety at one point or another; whether down to a job interview or a first date, that nervous feeling in the gut often takes hold. Interestingly, a new study suggests that when it comes to anxiety, the gut could play a key role.

    Researchers found that the absence of gut bacteria in mice altered the expression of microRNAs (miRNAs) in regions of the brain that play a role in anxiety and depression.

    Study co-author Dr. Gerard Clarke, of the APC Microbiome Institute at University College Cork in the Republic of Ireland, and colleagues recently reported their findings in the journal Microbiome.

    This is not the first study to suggest a link between gut bacteria and anxiety. A study reported by Medical News Today in 2015, for example, found that stress in early life may alter gut bacteria in a way that may increase the risk of anxiety in later life. 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

  • SPECIAL PRICING 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

  • CARD Fall Festival in Carlsbad!!!
  • RSVP: Connor Bratton:
    This event is open to the public! Family and friends welcome!

    CARD Carlsbad
    5140 Avenida Encinas
    Carlsbad, CA 92008

  • Autism Speaks: San Diego Walk for Autism
  • The San Diego Walk is just a couple of weeks away and we're saving a spot for you. Click here to register today. Once you sign up, forward this email to your friends and family and invite them to join you. All are welcome at the Autism Speaks Walk. The more who FUNdraise, the greater our impact. Together, powered by love, we will enhance the lives of people with autism today, and create a spectrum of solutions for tomorrow.

    Event Details
    San Diego Walk
    Date: 09/30/2017
    Liberty Station at Point Loma

    Start a Team: Register as a Team Captain, then forward this email to your friends and family and invite them to join your team and fundraise.

    Join a Team: Choose this option to join a team that has already been created by a Team Captain.

    Register as an Individual: Save your place now. You can always join a team later. If you would like to join a team but can't find one to join, email us and we'll find a friendly team for you.

    Thank you for being an important part of the Autism Speaks community. We can't wait to see you on 9/30/17.

  • PACT Fall 2017 and 2018 workshop flyer
  • PACT offers two great workshops designed to enhance communication and improve social skills for teens and adults with Asperger's/Autism.

    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

    If you have any questions about our programs, registration, scholarships or volunteering, or if you would like to visit a program, please contact Kathryn Campion, PACT's Executive Director, at or 760-815-8512.

  • 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!) THIS IS NOT ELECTRIC SHOCK THERAPY!!!

    858 367-9108

  • Golden Steps: Exceptional Care for Your Children
  • golden steps

    At Golden Steps Pediatric Therapy our mission is to bring out your child's best!

    We specialize in helping children challenged by autism, Aspergers, sensory processing disorders, regulatory disorders, food aversions, dyspraxia, learning and neurological disorders.

    We embrace the DIRĀ®/Floortime Model, which challenges the child to improve their capacity to relate, communicate and learn. Therapy is Child's Play! We use child directed play to empower parents and caregivers to further the child's social and emotional growth.

    Offering Comprehensive Occupational Therapy Assessments, Consultations and direct intervention for Autism and Aspergers Syndrome, Home and School Programs, DIRĀ®/Floortime, Interactive Metronome, The Alert and Zones Programs for Self-regulation, Yoga for kids, Social Groups, Camps and more.

    Golden Steps Pediatric Therapy
    4065 Oceanside Blvd., Suite J
    Oceanside 92056

  • Fall Family Camp
  • September 29 - October 1
    YMCA Camp Marston - A Mountain Retreat in Julian, CA

    Join us for our second annual Fall Family Camp on Friday, September 29th through Sunday, October 1st! The YMCA of San Diego County Overnight Camps and Autism Society San Diego have teamed up to provide families who are part of the autism community with a fun weekend in the mountains of Julian. Family time is important and there's no better place to make friends and be yourself than YMCA Camp Marston! All meals and activities are included, and we can accommodate special diets with advanced notice. Accommodations are in newly remodeled winterized cabins with indoor plumbing! Each family gets their own indoor bedroom with sleeping accommodations for up to 6. Open to families and children of all ages - come join us for a weekend of relaxing fun!

    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

    For scholarship information, please contact YMCA Camp Marston directly at 760-765-0642 and ask to speak with Otilia Cervantes.

  • Parenting the Love and Logic Way
  • A Six Session Series!!!
    First of six sessions begins on Monday, September 25, 2017 - 10 am - 12 noon
    North County Regional Education Center
    255 Pico Avenue, San Marcos, CA 92069

    Back by popular demand! Designed to give you practical skills that can be used immediately.

    Read more

    Click here to register online

  • Using Movement to Teach
  • social thinking

    Our August Newsletter

    • Stand UP with Social Thinking: 12 Strategies Teaching Physical Movement as Part of Face-to-Face Communication
    • Our leaders, our heroes
    • Our Social Thinking sister clinic in San Jose, California is hiring an SLP
    • New conference lineup
    Click here to read their latest newsletter!!!

  • NFAR: Technical Training Programs
  • NFAR is offering technical training programs specifically designed to advance technical skills for young adults with autism.

    These programs combine instructor-lead, hands-on training with real life applications, helping to build confidence, expertise and experiences that can lead to careers within the ever-growing and important field of software testing, computer programming and other technical professions.

    The NFAR Technical Training model integrates employee skills development into a technical skills curriculum all within a learning space designed to mimic a high tech office environment.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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!

  • Xcite Steps is offering Diagnostic Assessments!
  • Xcite Steps offers comprehensive diagnostic developmental evaluations for children and adults. Our diagnostic developmental assessments are conducted by a team of experienced clinicians, including Licensed Clinical Psychologists and Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists, who specialize in working with children and adults who are affected by developmental, intellectual, and emotional disabilities. Our expansive psychological evaluations are carefully individualized to the needs of our clients.

    Xcite Steps
    3978 Sorrento Valley Blvd, Ste 100
    San Diego, California, CA 92121
    (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

  • 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.