Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 09, 2017

In This Issue

San Diego's Eric Courchesne: Reaching for the rings in autism research

Adolescents with autism need access to better sex education

Contagious yawning more closely associated with perceptual sensitivity than empathy

Schizophrenia 'voices' quietened by magnetic stimulation

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

NFAR Mom's Group - Sep 20, 2017

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!!!

RDI Information Night at TAG in Mira Mesa

Autism Speaks: San Diego Walk for Autism

Care For Us

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

Family Fun at KID VENTURES!

NFAR GRANT PROGRAMS - Application Period Now Open!

N. Jennifer Oke, PhD., Specializing in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Children with ASDs

Love and Autism Conference in San Diego!

NFAR Men's Group - Sep 14, 2017


Support & Information for Adults: SSI and IHSS Eligibility, Medi-Cal

Coffee Talk



  • San Diego's Eric Courchesne: Reaching for the rings in autism research

  • Eric Courchesne's career in autism research began with an elevator pitch.

    It was around 1980, and Courchesne had just started his first faculty job in the neuroscience department at the University of California, San Diego. In the elevator at Rady Children's Hospital one day, he met a clinical psychologist. They exchanged what-do-you-do pleasantries, and Courchesne explained that he was studying the brain's electrical responses to novelty - sights and sounds that a person has not experienced before.

    "She said, 'Well you should study autism, because autistic children don't seem to be interested in novelty; they seem to be interested in repeating the same stimuli again and again,'" recalls Courchesne, who is now professor of neuroscience at the university and co-director of its Autism Center of Excellence. Read on...

  • Adolescents with autism need access to better sex education

  • Intimacy is part of being human. There are well-documented benefits to positive relationships, from emotional security to good mental health1. Those who want relationships and can't develop them face low self-esteem, depression, loneliness and isolation from the wider society2.

    For adolescents, learning how to navigate sex and sexuality can be a minefield. How do you figure out the nuances of sexuality without experience? How do you approach a potential partner? And once you do, how do you communicate with him or her?

    This path is especially fraught for adolescents with autism. For example, people with autism tend to report higher levels of sexual abuse and sexual exploitation than their neurotypical peers3. And yet there is a gap between what these young people need and what schools provide. According to a 2012 study, adolescents with autism know less about sex than do their peers and have less access to sex education4. Read on...

  • Contagious yawning more closely associated with perceptual sensitivity than empathy
  • Contagious yawning is a universal phenomenon, but why it happens remains a mystery.

    A new study out of Tohoku University suggests that contrary to common belief that the yawning contagion is associated with empathy, it is in fact, more likely that perceptual sensitivity is to blame.

    In the study, healthy volunteers were shown photos and videos of people yawning. The intention was to induce contagious yawning. The participants were observed through hidden cameras, which recorded their reactions, and an eye-tracking machine, which registered their gazing patterns. Read on...

  • Schizophrenia 'voices' quietened by magnetic stimulation

  • A new study confirms the brain region involved in generating the"voices" that occur in schizophrenia. Using transcranial magnetic stimulation, researchers were able to reduce the severity of this disturbing symptom.

    Schizophrenia is a highly disruptive psychiatric condition affecting an estimated 1.1 percent of adults in the United States each year.

    Characterized by behavioral, cognitive, and mood disturbances, schizophrenia is difficult to treat. One reason for this is that every individual has differing symptoms and responds to treatments differently.

    One of the most disturbing symptoms for people with schizophrenia and those around them are hallucinations. These can be visual or tactile hallucinations, but most frequently, they are auditory - often in the form of voices. Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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 ?

    I am a single mom of 8 years old boy with autism who is looking for part time job to help me to get through my graduate program for Clinical Counseling. I worked as ABA behavior therapist for about a year, have extensive experience as a care provider for children with special needs, trained in RDI as well. In addition, I worked as art instructor for 12 years teaching children, typical and with special needs. I am wondering if anyone may need part-time help with their children. I have my son 50 % of the time and My availability is every Monday, Tuesday and every other Friday, Saturday and Sunday at any time. I live in Carmel Valley/Del Mar and planning to stay here.
    My phone number is 858/342-3118
    Thank you so much,
    Yulia Serebryakova

    Looking for 1-2 roommates to share cute 2 bedroom 1 bath house in Encinitas with my sister, who is autistic and non-verbal, and her caretaker. My sister will be starting Supported Living in 6 months or more, so roommates(s) could move in now or later. Please email or call me for more information - Daria at 619-294-6577 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.

  • NFAR Mom's Group - Sep 20, 2017
  • Wednesday, September 20, 2017
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Giovanni's Italian Restaurant
    9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad, Soda.
    Dinner is provided

    Please join us! These meetings are for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet the 3rd Thursday of the month for dinner and guest speakers. It's an opportunity to share resources, experiences and enjoy being with other moms of individuals with autism.

    September Topic: Service Dogs

    Discussion will include:

    - Who is a good candidate for a service dog?

    - How are service dogs different from other dogs?

    - What is the process for getting a Service Dog for my child?

    - What if you have other animals or dogs in the home?

    - Is there any type of insurance or financing available?

    - How do we align training with the needs of my child?

    As well as any other questions you might have.

    Guest Speakers: Laura Sylvester, Executive Director and Founder, Good Dog! Autism Companions

    Laura is the Mother of a 16 year-old boy with autism and, along with her family, the owner of an autism companion dog named Orbit. Along with day-to-day operations of Good Dog! Laura teaches autism service dog courses at Bergin University of Canine Studies and lectures to parents and communities about the laws and benefits pertaining to autism service dog companionship. A UCLA graduate in Design she loves using her design talents to share the magical stories of connection between dog and child with the Good Dog! community.

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

  • Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!!!
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    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

  • RDI Information Night at TAG in Mira Mesa
  • RDI is a developmental and cognitive based family focused intervention dedicated to treating the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders. Prior to beginning, families are extensively assessed and provided with specific tools and objectives to remediate (treat until they are no longer deficits) the core deficits of autism spectrum disorders. Click here for all the info!!!

    To RSVP call 858-680-2027 or email

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth Inc.
    9466 Black Mountain Road
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126

  • 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.

  • Care For Us
  • Care For Us is dedicated to changing the lives of special needs families for the better. We are a 501(c)3 exempt non-profit organization providing free individual, marriage and family therapy, support groups and social engagement activities for families with unique parenting needs. No matter what your journey is, we have resources and teammates that can help you with yours. This journey is best walked with others. We serve the San Diego area and are located in Eastlake Chula Vista. Follow us on facebook at Care For Us and see our website at

  • 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

  • Family Fun at KID VENTURES!
  • 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.

  • NFAR GRANT PROGRAMS - Application Period Now Open!
  • Since 2005, NFAR has worked with educators and other local agencies and nonprofits to enhance educational, treatment, enrichment, and employment opportunities for those with autism across our community.

    Our Teachers Grants and Community Projects application period is now open.
    All applications are due on September 30.

    Funding for these programs is made possible by the annual Race for Autism.
    To date, NFAR has invested over $1.5 million in the development and enhancement of local autism programs and services.

  • N. Jennifer Oke, PhD., Specializing in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Children with ASDs
  • Dr. Oke has been in private practice in the San Diego area for over 16 years specializing in the area of autism, Asperger's, and Pervasive Developmental. She is dedicated to providing a warm, supportive environment for children and families while collaborating with parents on treatment goals.

    N. Jennifer Oke, Ph.D.
    5677 Oberlin Drive, Suite 214
    San Diego, CA 92121
    (858) 452-9596

  • 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. Click here to see the list of speakers!!!

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

  • NFAR Men's Group - Sep 14, 2017
  • The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Giovanni's Italian Restaurant
    9353 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad, Soda.
    Dinner is provided

    September Topic: City of San Diego Therapeutic Recreational Services

    Did you know that San Diego Parks & Rec offers a whole host of fun activities and programs for those with disabilities of all ages? Many of these are offered at your local Parks & Rec. and at affordable prices! Learn more about:

    • Therapeutic Recreational Services
    • Inclusion Aids
    • Camps and Speciality Programs
    • Annual dances and special events
    • New Programs
    Click here for all the info and to RSVP!!!

  • BRAIN DEVELOPMENT IMAGING LABS - Recruiting Participants
  • If you are interested in participating in any of these studies, please call 619-594- 0176 or email

  • Support & Information for Adults: SSI and IHSS Eligibility, Medi-Cal
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    Tuesday, September 12, 2017
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
    United Way Building
    4699 Murphy Canyon Rd, San Diego, CA


    Nichole Mendoza, Esq., Lead Attorney for SSI, Legal Aid Society of San Diego

    Carol Neidenberg, Consumer Center for Health Education and Advocacy's Mental Health Program Manager, A Project of the Legal Aid Society of San Diego

    They will discuss the eligibility criteria for Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance for adults. This will include a breakdown of the five-step sequential evaluation SSA conducts at every stage of the eligibility process. The discussion will focus on proving Listing 12.10 for Autism Spectrum Disorders, the evidence needed to establish such a claim, and strategies to implement when dealing with SSA.

    They will also discuss the eligibility process for obtaining In-home Supportive Services (IHSS) in the context of an ASD case, and answer any questions the group may have.

    The Consumer Center, the health care team for Legal Aid, helps clients and family members obtain health coverage or help those navigate the eligibility process should individuals lose coverage. Information about public benefit programs including Medi-Cal, IHSS, Cal MediConnect, etc. will be discussed.

    The Consumer Center is the county-designated Patients' Rights Advocate and can describe some of the various mental health programs, as well as, the county's mental health grievance process.

    There will be an opportunity to network after the meeting. Light refreshments will be served. Please join us! Click here for all the info!!!

  • Coffee Talk
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    Wednesday, September 20, 2017
    9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
    Panera Bread
    2521 Palomar Airport Road, Carlsbad, CA

    Sit....Chat....Relax. This is an opportunity to meet up with others facing similar life challenges in a comfortable, relaxing environment.

    This Meetup is hosted by:

    Lynn Kirsch, M.A., CCC-SLP - Owner/Clinical Director of Kirsch Therapy, a pediatric speech, occupational and physical therapy clinic that provides services to children with autism and other speech and developmental disorders. She is the parent of two children and currently serves on the board of directors for the Autism Society San Diego.

    Michelle Wolfson, LMFT - Parent of three adults (one with Down syndrome and one with autism.) She maintains a professional counseling and special ed advocacy practice in Carlsbad for families of children or adults with special needs. She is on the Board of Directors for the Autism Society San Diego and is the current co-Chair of the NCCSE Community Advisory Committee.

    Hope to see you there! Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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.