Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. October 12, 2017

In This Issue

Facing Autism as a United Couple

In Autism, Speech and Communication Are Not the Same thing

'Tone' of phrase may differ in autism, but meaning is clear

9 things people with autism want bullies to know

Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

NFAR Mom's Group - Oct 18, 2017 - Kearny Mesa

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!!!


No Wait for RDI at Family Guidance!!!

NFAR North County Mom's Group - Oct 19, 2017 - Carmel Valley

The Independent Educational Evaluation: Leveling the Playing Field

October 14th! - YOU are invited!!! Calling Teens & Adults with Special Needs!

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

Job & Resource Fair for People with DisABILITIES!

Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together

UCSD Autism Center of Excellence- SPARK

TERI Newsletter-It's Fall!

SAVE THE DATE! Social Thinking Conference - March 12 - 15, 2018


thomas nelson

  • Facing Autism as a United Couple
  • Marriage Under Stress
    Becoming a parent for the first time changes our identity forever. There is a balancing act between caring for the needs of children and putting time and effort into the maintenance and growth of ourselves and our relationships. Frequently we must redefine our values and relationships with others. This transition in the development of family life is challenged even further by disability or chronic illness.

    There is a strain on any marriage whenever a baby is sick. And we always have a sick baby; according to Josh Greenfeld, the father of a child with autism, in A Child Called Noah (1970).

    The kind of chronic stress that raising a child with special needs entails can affect relationships at their weakest points. This is just as true for families who have volunteered; by adopting children with special needs or providing a foster home. According to the U.S. Census Bureau (2000), 47% of first marriages fail and 57% of all marriages end in divorce. Although the findings are inconsistent, there is general consensus among experts that while the divorce rates are comparable, there appears to be more reported marital distress among families of children with special needs (Seligman and Darling, Ordinary Families, Special Children, 1997). Read on...

  • In Autism, Speech and Communication Are Not the Same thing
  • People with autism spectrum disorders may be entirely non-verbal, they may have limited useful speech, or they may be very talkative indeed. No matter what their verbal abilities, though, almost everyone on the autism spectrum has a hard time using speech in social interactions. That's because they are coping with a double challenge: their own difficulties in expressing ideas appropriately, and others' difficulties in understanding and accepting them.

    Why would a person who can use spoken language run into problems with social communication?

    Social language is not the same thing as correct language. It includes body language (use of eye contact, hand gestures, body stance, etc.), pragmatic language (socially meaningful use of language), idioms, slang, and an ability to modulate tone, volume, and prosody (ups and downs of the voice). It also requires the speaker to correctly decide which type of speech is appropriate in a particular situation (polite at school, loud with friends, etc). All of these skills presuppose an understanding of complex social expectations, coupled with an ability to self-modulate based on that understanding. Read on...

  • 'Tone' of phrase may differ in autism, but meaning is clear

  • It's not always what we say, but how we say it: Even a 'hello' can take on dramatically different meanings, depending on its delivery. Spoken quickly and with a pitch that rises and falls, it suggests happy excitement; said slowly and with a falling pitch, it can impart disappointment.

    The patterns of emphasis and intonation people use when they speak give their sentences and phrases a musical quality called 'prosody.' Prosody conveys the emotions behind the words as much as the words themselves do.

    Men who have autism often speak with unusual prosody when making emotional statements, but this does not seem to disrupt clarity: Their listeners have no trouble decoding the emotions they are trying to communicate, according to a study published in August in Autism Research. Read on...

  • 9 things people with autism want bullies to know
  • Unfortunately, children with autism are especially vulnerable to bullying. A 2012 study by the Interactive Autism Network found that a total of 63% of 1,167 children with ASD, ages 6 to 15, had been bullied at some point in their lives. With that, we asked several of our bloggers who have autism to share what they would want to tell bullies and reflect on their own personal experiences with bullying to educate our community.

    Here is what they had to say... Read on...

  • Parents and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    I am looking for an instructional aide to help my 6-year-old ADHD daughter in a private, Catholic school setting Monday-Friday 8am-12noon in Coronado. I would prefer someone with ABA knowledge. My daughter is a bright, spirited kid who needs lots of help staying on task and guidance and instruction on non-preferred actives (handwriting.) She is currently medicated but it is only taking us so far. She has behavioral issues we are working out. She needs someone who is strong and seasoned who will provide guidance and direction across all areas of the school setting; she is bossing around her current aide! Please contact me for info, or text 858-405-7264. Thank you for reading!

    My family is a dual income family and we need additional help caring for our 15 y/o daughter who is high functioning Asperger. Specifically, we would like to find someone who can be at the house after school while we commute back from our jobs. It would be 3-5 days a week in the afternoons from 3-6pm. A certified professional behavioral coach would be preferred, but not mandatory.

    Our schedules are moderately flexible and we work with the candidate to create a schedule that works for the both of us.
    Thanks! please contact Dustin at

    My son is 5 and he will be on Kindergarten the next school year. He is currently in TK, and he is doing fine. He has an IEP, and he he is on general education with some support fron school staff. We would like to apply by choice to the following schools:

    Holmes Elementary, Curie PTA Elementary, Spreckels Elementary

    Do you have any experience with any of these schools in relation with the support and awareness for kids on the spectrum. Are these good options ? I will really appreciate your help and comments. Please write to

    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 - Oct 18, 2017 - Kearny Mesa
  • Wednesday, October 18, 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.

    October Topic: Neuropsychological Evaluations and Autism Discussion will include:

    --What are neuropsychological assessments?

    --What do they measure?

    --When is a good time to do an assessment? How often?

    --How does it help?

    --What should you look for when you need an assessment?

    Guest Speaker: Robert Gray, PhD, ABPP-CN-PSY20705 / Director of Pediatric Neuropsychology Services, Advanced Neurobehavioral Health of Southern California

    Dr Gray is the clinical director of pediatric neuropsychology services and training director of the postdoctoral residency program in pediatric neuropsychology at Advanced Neurobehavioral Health of Southern California. Dr. Gray also provides neuropsychological evaluation and consultation services to the Rady Children's Hospital departments of Rehabilitation Medicine and Neurology. He serves on the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County.

    Dr. Robert Gray received his Ph.D. in school psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. He went on to specialize in pediatric neuropsychology and Dr. Gray has held positions as Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, and staff pediatric neuropsychologist at the Kennedy Krieger Institute.

    Dr. Gray has been awarded diplomate/board certification status in clinical neuropsychology and pediatric sub specialization status through the American Board of Clinical Neuropsychology (ABCN) and American Board of Professional Psychology (ABPP)

    To RSVP

  • Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!!!
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    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.

    Services Provided:

    • DIR/Floortime Therapy
    • Developmental Therapy
    • Behavioral Supports
    • Parent Training and Support
    • Developmental Assessment
    • Social Skills Support
    Real Connections Accepts Many Insurances!!!

    Real Connections Child Development Institute
    415 North Highway 101 Suite C
    Solana Beach, CA 92075
    (858) 354-2006

  • Halloween Fun AT KID VENTURES
  • NFAR is hosting a family play session at Kid Ventures in 4-S Ranch on Friday, October 27th from 5 -6:30 PM. Join us for some Halloween-themed fun!

    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, snacks and creative play.

    Registration is $5 per child. For more information, contact NFAR orTO REGISTER.

  • No Wait for RDI at Family Guidance!!!
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
    Our primary approach for treatment of autism spectrum is a developmental program called Relationship Development Intervention (RDI). RDI is a unique treatment approach that empowers parents to guide their child to succeed in our dynamic world. Children who learn to actively engage with the support of their parents in safe but challenging learning opportunities develop a strong motivation to explore and expand their world, as well as develope competence and trust in themselves and their guides. Click here for all the info!!!

    The Family Guidance and Therapy Center of Southern California
    3575 Kenyon St, Ste 102
    San Diego, California, CA 92110
    10731 Treena St., Ste 105
    San Diego, CA 92131
    (619) 600-0683

  • NFAR North County Mom's Group - Oct 19, 2017 - Carmel Valley
  • Thursday, October 19, 2017
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant
    3510 Valley Centre Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92130

    Dinner: Mexican Food (GF available)
    Dinner is provided

    Join us for the NFAR Mom's Group! It's an evening 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.

    October Topic: Strategies to Increase Your Child's Communication and Engagement

    Discussion will include:

    --Recognizing what motivates your child so that you may successfully increase positive interactions and teach basic skills

    --Integrating teaching into daily activities while keeping it fun for everyone

    --Parent-friendly, evidence-based strategies to improve basic communication skills

    --Techniques to expand your child's play, leisure, and social skills

    Guest Speaker: Carol J. McPheters, MS, BCBA, Ph.D. Candidate at Caldwell University, Founder of Alta Families, Inc.

    Carol has been working with children with autism and related disorders since 2001. She received her early training at UCLA working under Dr. Ivar Lovaas, a pioneer in the treatment of autism using behavioral strategies. Carol completed her master's degree in applied behavior analysis (ABA) at California State University, Los Angeles and has been a Board Certified Behavior Analyst® since 2009. Carol is currently completing the dissertation requirements for a doctorate degree in ABA at Caldwell University.

    Over the course of her career, Carol has been responsible for designing ABA programs for children that maximize skill acquisition and minimize problem behavior in home, school, and community settings. She has supervised, mentored, and provided consultation to other behavior analysts and worked closely with parents to ensure optimal success. Carol founded Alta Families, Inc. in order to share her expertise directly with parents. Parents can implement many of the strategies used by behavior analysts, and Alta Families, Inc. assists parents by choosing the proper strategies for each family and teaching parents how to use them. To learn more about Alta Families, Inc. and the services we offer, please visit our website at or visit our Facebook page @altafamilies

    To RSVP

  • The Independent Educational Evaluation: Leveling the Playing Field
  • thomas nelson

    One of the least utilized tools by parents is the independent educational evaluation ("IEE"). This article will explain how the IEE will help "level the playing field" between you and the school district, so that your child can obtain the services they need.

    A good evaluation is critical to educational planning. A good evaluation will help explain the nature of the problem(s) your child may be experiencing, help identify your child's strengths and weaknesses, provide invaluable information about your child's current needs, and offer guidance in choosing the services necessary to meet those needs. In short, a good special education evaluation is a critical tool in the Individualized Education Program ("IEP") process. Click here for all the info!

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

  • October 14th! - YOU are invited!!! Calling Teens & Adults with Special Needs!
  • 602-502-2743

  • 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

  • Job & Resource Fair for People with DisABILITIES!
  • Tuesday, October 24, 2017 | 10AM to 2PM Balboa Park Club Inn 2144 Pan American Rd W, San Diego, CA 92101

  • Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together
  • aefct

    AEFCT provides high quality services that are structured, comprehensive, and individualized. Our mission is to provide intervention to children with autism, putting the needs of each child first so that they are met fairly and appropriately. We use developmentally sound strategies supported by empirical evidence, combined with a team approach that involves family participation. Autism affects the entire family unit, and we recognize that parent education and participation are essential to achieve success.

    Our Services:

    • Assessment
    • Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)
    • Supervision / Consultation
    • Parent/Caregiver Training
    • Funding Sources
    Developmental Approach:
    AEFCT is dedicated to providing developmentally appropriate services that utilize teaching strategies supported by empirical evidence.

    Team Approach:
    Direct family participation is a central component of the AEFCT program. Parent participation both during direct instruction and after behavior consultants leave is imperative to each child's success because autism affects the entire family unit. The most important teachers in a child's life are their parents. As such, parent education and participation are essential in order to attain and maintain success.

    Multicultural Approach:
    Sensitivity to the diverse population that exists in San Diego is addressed through the individualization of curriculum, parent and staff training, and education.

    4669 Murphy Canyon Rd., Suite 212
    San Diego, CA 92123

  • UCSD Autism Center of Excellence- SPARK
  • UCSD Autism Center of Excellence is working with the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative (SFARI) as part of an exciting research partnership called SPARK, and we would like to invite you and your family to take part. SPARK is an online, national genetics research partnership that seeks to improve the lives of people with autism. Through DNA analyses of saliva samples, the ultimate goal of SPARK is to gain a better understanding of causes and best treatments for autism. To get started, sign up and a saliva collection kit will be mailed to your home. A gift card totaling up to $50 will be sent to you once saliva samples from both parents and individual with ASD are received. We already have 1,991 participants registered on the website, help us reach our goal of 3,000 today!!!

    To register for SPARK: go to

    For additional information contact Hannah Kaplan at the UCSD ACE: or 858- 534- 6906

  • TERI Newsletter-It's Fall!
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info about their activities and upcoming events!!!

  • SAVE THE DATE! Social Thinking Conference - March 12 - 15, 2018
  • social thinking

    In San Diego, discover strategies to help children through young adults develop their social competencies. Learn how to differentiate your teaching based on a child's performance on the Group Collaboration, Play and Problem Solving Scale. Explore over 20 unique Social Thinking concepts and vocabulary, and use The Zones of Regulation to develop self-awareness and self-regulation.

    Early Bird Registration!!! 20% OFF!!! Click here for all the info!!!

  • ASD Mornings at theNAT

  • Please visit for more information.

  • Autism Accessibility Morning at the Fleet!

  • The third Saturday of every month, Fleet invites the Autism Spectrum Community to enjoy our museum through this special opportunity. Adults and families with children with autism can enjoy the Fleet's exhibit galleries in a quieter setting, an hour before regular open hours to the general public and with access to a special cool-off space. Visitors are welcome to stay and enjoy the museum all day. Admission includes a special IMAX film screening at 10 a.m. with the house lights on and a lower soundtrack volume.

    Upcoming dates:
    • October 21, 2017
    • November 18, 2017
    • December 16, 2018
    • January 20, 2018
    • February 17, 2018
    • March 17, 2018
    For more information, visit

  • Fall 2017 Therapeutic Recreation Services Calendar

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

  • Recreation Resources from SDRC
  • 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!!

  • Yvette M. Soto Accounting & Income Tax

  • I have a Bachelors degree in Accounting from the University of San Diego and have over 20 years of experience working in the field of accounting. I am also a Notary Public. I offer professional bookkeeping services at an affordable price, including payroll and tax preparation for individuals and small to medium sized businesses. I can also navigate the tax ramifications of receiving public benefits and credits for special needs because I, myself have twins with Autism.

    Yvette M. Soto
    (619) 977-6586
    3633 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 205
    San Diego, CA 92108

  • Service Specialists

  • Service Specialists
    Exclusively BMW Automobiles

    1330 India Street - Downtown, Between "A" & Ash
    San Diego, CA 92101
    Check out our great reviews on Yelp!

  • Lisa Lundhagen, Independent Mary Kay Consultant

  • I truly believe that serving customers is one of the great factors that sets us apart from every other company.

    Lisa Lundhagen
    Independent Mary Kay Consultant
    760-480-2766 DISCOVER WHAT YOU LOVE!!!

  • MitoSpectra for Mitochondrial Dysfunction

  • What is Mitochondrial Dysfunction?
    Within each cell are "power sources" called mitochondria. In patients with autism and related disorders, these mitochondria may not function properly. This causes a decrease in cell performance and has been linked to hyperactivity, abnormal fatigue, muscle weakness, and regression of social and language skills.

    A Link to Autism
    During the last two decades, scientists have made a connection between autism spectrum disorders (ASD) and mitochondrial dysfunction. In 2009, researchers from Johns Hopkins University produced guidelines for the treatment of ASD patients with mitochondrial failure. They recommended a vitamin cocktail to restore the function of mitochondria, and improve brain chemistry.
    Click here to view An Educational Webinar about Autism and Mitochondrial Function by Dr. Suzanne Goh

  • Care For Us: Providing Therapy, Support, Play and Social Groups

  • 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

  • Sarah Nissen, Holistic Food & Health Consultant

  • I'm Sarah and I live in San Diego, CA with my 2e son (gifted and ASD), my 2 dogs and my husband.

    I research and find outside-the-box alternative health and diet solutions for myself and other families. I've done this ever since I can remember.

    I facilitate holistic changes that create thriving kids naturally. Specializing in gluten-free real food diets, and advice on outside-the-box therapies and educations.

    Check out my website and my FB page for all the info!!!

  • Children with Autism and Their Mothers are Needed for Student Reseach

  • Ariane Myers-Turnbull, MA
    Clinical Psychology Doctoral Student
    California School of Professional Psychology

    If interested please contact or call 858-414-1076!

  • BRAIN DEVELOPMENT IMAGING LABS - Recruiting Participants

  • If you are interested in participating in any of these studies, please call 619-594- 0176 or email

  • 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.