Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. January 11, 2019

In This Issue

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Clues into early development of autism spectrum disorder

Health advocates say schizophrenia should be reclassified as a brain disease

Bullying alters brain structure, raises risk of mental health problems

Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good Business

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Be a HERO for 2019 at the San Diego Race for Autism!

NFAR Coding Classes Tailored to Individuals with Autism

MSNC Free Webinar Series: What Will My Child do After Highschool?

NFAR Mom's Group - Wed. Jan 16

Yvette M. Soto Accounting & Income Tax

Autism Speaks & San Diego Seals Game, January 12th!!!

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety

Miracle League Baseball Registration

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

January Newsletter - Free Webinar - And More Info!!!

Night to Shine at North Coast Church in Vista

Little Big Steps is Accepting New Clients!!!

D'Vine Path

Parent's Connect Meeting


Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

ValeriesList is a FREE resource newsletter and Facebook Page for San Diego County and has been for over 18 years. No fees or membership are required to receive this info. An informed public makes better decisions for its' persons with Special Needs. Please share with friends, family, fellow professionals and clients!!! Click here to check out my FB page! Thank YOU!

thomas nelson

Your Child's Education Comes First!

Your child is entitled to a "free and appropriate public education" or FAPE, whereby the school addresses all of your child's unique needs. A school district must provide your child with an appropriate education regardless of budget cuts, what's convenient, or what's available. Too often the school district offers a "one size fits all" program that fits within their needs, but not within the unique needs of your child. Ensuring that your child's education comes first means having the right team on your side. An effective team works cooperatively and collaboratively with the school district, using their knowledge, expertise and experience to foster quick and yet effective resolutions.

As a practicing attorney for over 25 years, Thomas S. Nelson takes great pride in helping special needs children through affordable advocacy and legal services.

  • Clues into early development of autism spectrum disorder
  • Neurons from people with autism exhibit different patterns of growth and develop at a faster rate

    Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a relatively common developmental disorder of communication and behavior that affects about 1 in 59 children in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite its prevalence, it is still unclear what causes the disease and what are the best ways to treat it.

    Researchers at the Salk Institute compared stem cells created from individuals with ASD against stem cells created from those without ASD to uncover, for the first time, measurable differences in the patterns and speed of development in the ASD-derived cells.

    The findings, published January 7, 2019, in the journal Nature Neuroscience, could lead to diagnostic methods to detect ASD at an early stage, when preventive interventions could potentially take place. Read on...

  • Health advocates say schizophrenia should be reclassified as a brain disease
  • Mental health advocates are lobbying Congress to help them get schizophrenia classified as a brain disease like Parkinson's or Alzheimers, instead of as a mental illness, a move that could reduce stigma and lead to more dollars for a cure.

    Federal health officials, scientists and doctors say conditions that cause psychosis, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, are poorly understood and, in the public mind, often associated with violent behavior. Patients are more likely to be homeless, incarcerated, commit suicide and die younger than those with any other neurological diseases. Read on...

  • Bullying alters brain structure, raises risk of mental health problems
  • New research is suggesting that there may be physical structural differences in the brains of adolescents who are regularly bullied.

    According to the National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice Statistics, between one and three students in the United States report being bullied at school.

    In recent years, cyberbullying has become a widespread problem.

    Cyberbullying is any bullying performed via cell phones, social media, or the Internet in general.

    Such devices allow bullies to continue their harassment anonymously and at any time of the day. Read on...

  • Hiring People With Disabilities Is Good Business
  • Microsoft, Bank of America and CVS are just a few big companies that profit from their proactive employment practices.

    For years, companies have maintained low expectations about hiring people with disabilities. Most of these companies believed that employees with disabilities could not perform well in the workplace and that actively hiring them would drag company performance and profits down.

    Thankfully, over time, many employers have come to understand that these perceptions are untrue. And new research strongly suggests that the opposite - that hiring people with disabilities is good for business. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • I'm looking for a part time communication partner (CP) for my teenage son who uses supportive typing to communicate. CP must have English as a first language. Must have a working knowledge of high school academic curriculum. Must be familiar with software such as Word and PowerPoint. Must be eligible to work in the United States. Must have current LiveScan. Experience with Facilitated Communication preferred.
    Please email me at if interested or want more details.

    Hi Everyone,
    I have 10 years old nonverbal Autistic son. I will be Home schooling him but I am having hard time with Curriculum. I am looking for something ABA based, to teach him daily life skills etc. He is/ was not able to learn anything Academic.we live in La Mesa CA Thanks.

    I'm trying to find out if anyone knows a music or art professional who has experience with individuals with autism and can provide one-on-one sessions?

    Thanks for your help! Horacio

    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.

  • Be a HERO for 2019 at the San Diego Race for Autism!
  • On Saturday, April 6, 2019, we are celebrating the 15th annual San Diego Race for Autism Superhero 5K in Balboa Park.

    This family friendly event attracts thousands of local SUPERHEROES, big and small, to Balboa Park each year and directly supports programs that help individuals with autism and their families in San Diego. To date, the Race has funded over 900 community programs and classrooms.

    Sign Up Today and be a HERO for those with autism, Race for Autism 2019!

  • NFAR Coding Classes Tailored to Individuals with Autism
  • In February, NFAR is introducing classes for teens and young adults (ages 16+), interested in computer coding. Curriculum pace and hands on exercises will be tailored to individuals with autism.

    Thanks to funding by an Autism Speaks grant as part of their NXT GEN Coders Program, powered by GameStop, we are able to offer this class at affordable prices to participants!

    This course will provide instruction on introductory programming in C#, in a game development engine called Unity, one of the tools used by the game development industry.

    Classes will be held on Wednesdays and Saturdays, for 2.5 - 3 hours per session for a total of 70+ hours. To learn more/register. Have questions: contact NFAR at 858-679-8800.

  • MSNC Free Webinar Series: What Will My Child do After Highschool?
  • The webinar will air on January 22nd at 12:00 noon and will repeat on January 24th at 7:00pm.

    Learn about tech-training programs, college options and support. Also learn about group homes and supported living.

    Speaker is Josh D. Feder, MD, Child and Family Psychiatry

    For all the info and to register please go to:

  • NFAR Mom's Group - Wed. Jan 16
  • January 16, 2019
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    **NEW LOCATION**Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad.
    Dinner is provided

    These meetings are for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet the 3rd Wednesday 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.

    January Topic: Radical Inclusion: What I Learned About Risk, Humility and Kindness from My Son with Autism

    Individuals with disabilities deserve to live productive, engaged lives. Are we willing to help them accomplish this goal?

    As a mother of an adult with autism, our guest speaker Andrea Moriarty leveraged her son's passion, talent, and personality to help him create an out-of-the-box vocation: a podcast. After more than eighty interviews, she recognized three vital attitudes that people with disabilities teach us-risk taking, humility, and kindness. And when we integrate these people into society, we all thrive.

    Come learn more about Radical Inclusion, which is a call to step out of our comfort zones, care about others, extend grace, and enhance our own lives and communities.

    Guest Speaker: Andrea Moriarty, Mom, Author, and Cofounder of Banding Together

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

  • Yvette M. Soto Accounting & Income Tax
  • I offer professional accounting services that are customized to your specific needs, including full service computerized bookkeeping, payroll and tax preparation for individuals and small to medium sized businesses.

    Services Provided:

    • Bookkeeping Services
    • Business Consulting
    • Payroll Preparation
    • Income Tax Return Preparation
    • Notary Public Services
    Customer service is my number one priority. I like to work closely with my clients to make sure they understand how their business is doing.

    As a small business owner it is important that you spend your time on running your business and not on bookkeeping. Let me give you the peace of mind you deserve by utilizing my 20+ years of diversified experience in accounting and in business.

    I graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Accounting from the University of San Diego and have more than 20 years of experience in accounting. Before opening up my business I worked as a Staff Accountant for several local CPA firms. I was also was an Accountant/Office Manager for an owner operator of 20+ McDonald's franchises, a Controller of a manufacturing company, an Accounting Manager for a home builder and was in charge of running a local bookkeeping and income tax firm. I am also a Notary Public and speak Spanish.

    I can navigate the tax ramifications of receiving public benefits and credits for special needs because I have twins with Autism. This allows me to provide a very personal level of service because I understand the needs of these families. I enjoy volunteering for local Autism charities and mentor families of newly diagnosed children.

    Call to setup an appointment for a free initial consultation so that I can evaluate your bookkeeping needs and provide you with a quote.

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

  • Autism Speaks & San Diego Seals Game, January 12th!!!
  • Saturday, January 12th at 7 PM
    Pechanga Arena San Diego
    3500 Sports Arena Blvd, San Diego, California 92110

    Join the San Diego Seals on January 12th for their home opener. Autism Speaks San Diego has discounted tickets available in select sections and the Seals will donate a portion to our local market! Help us increase understanding and support individuals and their families with ASD and join us to root on our newest professional team in San Diego.

    Tickets can be purchased at discounted rate of either $15 or $23. Proceeds from every ticket (from the link)will be donated to Autism Speaks.

    Purchase your Tickets here!!!

  • FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety
  • Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids is San Diego's premiere pediatric microcurrent therapy program for children, teens and adults with special needs. Our program is the BEST therapy for Autism & 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.

    Some of the neuro-developmental issues we commonly see include:

    • Autism/Asperger's
    • ADD/ADHD
    • Sensory Processing Disorder
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • Developmental Delay
    • Epilepsy
    • And many more!
    Call 858-367-9108 for your free consultation!!!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123

  • Miracle League Baseball Registration
  • Spring 2019 Registration for The Miracle League of San Diego is open and end January 27! Please call 858-964-2222 for all the info and help with registration.

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • Please join us for Dinner at Little Italy Bar and Grill (Approx. $15 per person) In Scripps Ranch
    Monday, January 18, 2019 @ 7:00 PM
    Located at 10006 Scripps Ranch Blvd

    Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene' Raphael no later than Jan. 18th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • January Newsletter - Free Webinar - And More Info!!!
  • Click here for all the info about the FREE webinar and all the other great info!!!

  • Night to Shine at North Coast Church in Vista
  • Please contact them by January 12th!!!

  • Little Big Steps is Accepting New Clients!!!
  • We are very excited to announce the opening of Little Big Steps - a new site-based, community readiness ABA program for children ages 2.5 to 6 years who are experiencing challenges in behavioral, social, and language development. Our young participants attend onsite in a structured setting where they receive 1:1 ABA instruction as well as small group interaction with peers.

    Our staff of highly trained ABA therapists utilizes the principles of ABA to develop and promote skills to generalize into school and community settings. Our site-based setting offers the structure necessary to target the pivotal and pre-requisite skills needed for success in school-based settings, while our group settings offer access to peers in order to address social and play skills.

    Little Big Steps is a program CTA program. Sessions take place at the Rancho Bernardo/Poway location weekday mornings. Please contact Lauren Enriquez, BCBA at (858) 603-6628 or for more information.

  • D'Vine Path
  • A dynamic program for adults with autism, developmental delays and/or learning disabilities providing vocational and life skills development in viticulture, agriculture & arts.

    Ready Set Plant - What's growing...
    Application for our Viticulture and Hospitality program beginning Feb. 5 is HERE. Application deadline is Jan. 25, 2019.

    D'Vine Path
    1374 S. Mission Road, Suite #415
    Fallbrook, CA 92028

  • Parent's Connect Meeting
  • Parent's Connect Group
    Cost: FREE
    When: Monday, January 14 from 12 pm-1 pm
    Where: Liberty Station
    2820 Roosevelt Rd. # 104

    Parent's Connect is a monthly group that meets to share ideas and gain helpful insights from our Director Nanci Engle or other invited speakers. This month the topic of our meeting will be Primitive Reflexes and How They Impact Learning and Attention. These meetings are a truly wonderful way for parents in our community to get to know each other and learn more about learning! Please join us at our next Parent's Connect Meeting for a "Lunch and Learn" session on Monday January 14 from 12 pm-1 pm. Please feel free to bring a friend!

  • 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.

    For more information, visit

  • City of San Diego Park & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services Program

  • The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services program provides sports, recreation, leisure and outreach services to people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

    Services include therapeutic recreation programs and adaptive sports opportunities. These address the special needs of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty accessing and participating in recreation opportunities offered to the general public.

    Under the direction of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, activities and services are designed to maintain or improve the physical, cognitive and social functioning of those who have limitations. The target population is children and adults, ages 3 and up, with any type of disability.

    For additional questions about Therapeutic Recreation Services, please call 619-525-8247.

    Click here to view their 2018-2019 newsletter and calendar of events!!!

  • "Autism Through the Lifespan" Monthly Parent Support and Information Meetings

  • October 2018 - May 2019
    PLNU Graduate Education
    4007 Camino Del Rio South - Fourth Floor
    San Diego, CA 92108

    Please join other parents, caregivers and professionals at the following monthly informational and support group meetings in Mission Valley. These meetings will discuss the various aspects of autism through the lifespan. Each meeting will feature an expert speaker and an ASA parent mentor. This is a time for you to meet other parents, ask questions and network.
    The meetings are free and open to all.

    Please RSVP for Spanish Translation support
    For further information, please contact:
    Lisa Larsson - (619) 725-8080 ext. 7946 email:
    Maryann Collins - email:
    Grace Fantaroni, Ed.D. - (619) 563-2839 email:

  • Participate in Research!!! Can a Safe 'Fever' Help Autism Syptoms? Spanish Speakers Welcome!!!
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    Can a Safe 'Fever' Help AUTISM Symptoms?

    Una 'Fiebre' Para Disminuir los Sintomas de AUTISMO? 

    Pilot Study Enrollment

    This pilot study will enroll 12 families with ASD children ages 2-17 years old in a controlled study, in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. We are testing a dry heat therapy from an FDA-cleared medical device with simulates the effect of a low-grade fever by non-invasively infusing heat into the circulatory system. The Fielding Graduate University IRB approved study is entitiled: "The Fever Effect: Do kids with autism do better when they use a device to warm their blood? Effects of six-week AVACEN Treatment Method on Autism Spectrum Disorder".

    If you are interested in participating in this pilot study please contact Frances Poteet at and provide your phone number, email address, zip code and best time to reach you so that we can contact you. If you are not selected as part of this pilot study, you may be offered an opportunity to participate in a larger study of the device at a later date.

    Participants who complete the entire study will receive a $200 Amazon gift card. Enrolling now! Limited openings available!

    We can offer services in English and Spanish (all the way from the Orientation throughout the course of the study.)

  • Participate in Research: Caregiver/Family Member Survey
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    My name is Richie Sapp. My twin brother, Mikey, has been attending the TERI day program for several years now. I am a third-year medical student (MS3) at Stanford School of Medicine where I am currently taking a research year to focus my efforts in medical education, specifically to improve patient care for individuals with disabilities. I am creating an elective course for medical students/PA students for Winter Quarter 2018/19 and I could use your help.

    Please consider completing this first survey and if your son/daughter would like to complete the second survey on their own, I would welcome that too.

    1) This survey is for parents/caregivers of individuals with disabilities. Caregiver/Family Member Survey, which will help me with what content to put together for the course. Please feel free to share the survey with anyone who might be interested in sharing their experiences. Here is the link:

    2) Additionally, if you know anyone with a disability who would like to speak about their own experiences, there is a separate survey for individuals with disabilities. The link is below:

    Thank you so much for all your support!

    Please email me if you have any questions.

    Thank you,
    Richie Sapp

  • Brain Imaging Studies for all Ages with or without Autism

  • The Brain Development Imaging Labs at San Diego State University are looking for individuals with diagnosed or suspected autism to participate in a brain imaging study. Participants would receive around $150 plus free cognitive testing and an MRI scan. Child participants would receive a free assessment summary and image of their brain as a bonus! We are looking to recruit from all ages, but we especially need adults, ages 40-65 years, to participate. If you know someone who might be a good fit for our study, please share this information with them. Thank you.

    At SDSU!!! To find out more, please call 619-594-0176 or email BDIL@SDSU.EDU.


    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.