Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. February 01, 2019

In This Issue

Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

For Many With Disabilities, 'Let It Go' Is An Anthem Of Acceptance

Why genetic tests matter for autistic people

Please Stop Saying My Kids Will Never Make It In The Real World

Stool transplants from 'super donors' could be a cure-all

Too many children with autism are let down by schools and end up in prison

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Race for Autism Superhero 5K and 1 Mile Family Walk

RB Breakfast Club

Yvette M. Soto Accounting & Income Tax

North County Autism Support Group

Music Therapy Job Opening!!

Adaptive/Autistic Surf Camp

Briana Healing Space

DIR/Floortime Conference in the Pasadena Area!

NFAR Autism Charity Ride

Chores are Life Skills!

Central San Diego Family Pool and Pizza Party

ATPF LEGO Therapy Workshop


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.

  • For Many With Disabilities, 'Let It Go' Is An Anthem Of Acceptance
  • Disney's Frozen remains one of the greatest box-office successes in history. But in terms of impact and influence, it is perhaps most loved and best remembered for one of its breakout songs.

    No matter which version you know best - the Oscar-winning film version sung by Idina Menzel, the pop version by Demi Lovato or the one currently performed on Broadway by Caissie Levy, star of Frozen's stage adaptation - "Let It Go" announces itself as an anthem right away.

    Since its arrival in 2013, many groups have found significance in the song on a personal level. Stories abound of gay, lesbian and transgender people, people in prison, people with eating disorders and chemical addictions and plenty of others on the margins, all identifying with the tale of a queen in hiding, who learns to shed her shame and accepts the things that make her different. Read on...

  • Why genetic tests matter for autistic people

  • Genetic tests for people with autism are far from routine and don't always yield results, but the information they offer can change lives.

    Almost as soon as James was born in April 2003, it was clear that he was not well. When he failed a newborn screening test and was struggling to breathe, he was sent straight from the delivery room to the neonatal intensive care unit. Doctors there suspected he had a genetic condition, but genetic testing, such as it was 15 years ago, yielded no answers. So nine days later, James' mother, Angela, took him home. (We are withholding James and Angela's last names to protect their privacy.)

    As an infant, James struggled to eat and never slept for more than 20 minutes at a time, but Angela attributed these things to his being a newborn and to the stress of their cross-country move. He didn't sit unassisted at 1 year or crawl until he was 18 months old, but doctors and friends reassured her he was fine. When James was 14 months old, a physical therapist acquaintance took one look at the child and told Angela he clearly had some sort of developmental delay. But even the specialists she then took her son to see dismissed his loud squeals, hand-flapping and tendency to ignore others as consequences of his poor hearing. He was finally diagnosed with autism at age 4. Read on...

  • Please Stop Saying My Kids Will Never Make It In The Real World
  • I have been getting the comments more and more lately.

    How is your son ever going to make it in the real world if you homeschool him through high school?

    Your kid needs to learn to behave in a restaurant, in church, his class, in the waiting room. He needs to get ready for the real world.

    In the real world, children like yours never make it. The become a drain on society and I'm tired of paying for poor parenting like yours.

    I delete them as fast as they come - not only for my own sanity, but for any other mom, struggling and coming to my site, Facebook page or Instagram feed for a little encouragement and support. (Ain't no one got time for that around here. We are too busy trying to remember our child's last medicine dose and when what paperwork we need to send the insurance company tomorrow.)

    I think it's happening more often because my children are older. Or, perhaps it's because I am more comfortable sharing the parenting choices I've made, eight years into this blogging business.

    I delete the comments, but the sentiment stays with me all the time. Read on...

  • Stool transplants from 'super donors' could be a cure-all
  • New research suggests that stools from so-called "super donors" have such rich microbial diversity that using them for fecal transplants could cure conditions ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.

    Recently, a growing number of studies have discovered diseases that are connected with changes in the gut's microbiota.

    Cancer, obesity, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder are only some of the conditions that researchers have linked with an imbalance in the bacterial composition of our gut.

    This imbalance bears the name "dysbiosis," and observational studies have noted a link between microbial dysbiosis and allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, and cardiovascular disease.

    More recently, Medical News Today reported on research that found connections between gut bacteria and age-related diseases, such as Alzheimer's or age-induced paralysis. Read on...

  • Too many children with autism are let down by schools and end up in prison
  • For many young people, school can be a difficult place. And for some, it can be just about impossible. Negative experiences in school can have harmful long-term effects on pupils with autism spectrum conditions.

    Official figures show that children, are increasingly being suspended or expelled from school because of "behavioural problems" - many of which include children on the autism spectrum. Some regions in the UK have experienced a 100% increase in these types of exclusions since 2011.

    So despite policy rhetoric on "inclusive education" - where children ought to be educated in mainstream schools - recent figures show school exclusions are increasing: from 6,685 pupils to 7,720 between 2015-2016 and 2016-2017. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    Good evening I have a 5 year old girl with autism is functional, I am looking for a private school for her I know that public schools have programs for children with autism but I can not put my girl in public school because I live in Tijuana so I have to pay for your education, I will appreciate if you know of any private school in the area of Chula Vista that accepts children with autism I appreciate your kind attention.

    Seeking Someone for IHSS Provider
    Looking for someone to become an IHSS Provider for my 11 year old son with autism. Will need to be able to work between 6 and 16 hours per week. Wednesday is a must starting at 2:30 pm. You will also watch my daughter at times and during those times, I will supplement your rate.

    Schedule is not firm at this point, but Wednesday's are an absolute necessity. Ideally:

    Monday 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
    Tuesday 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm
    Wednesday 2:30 pm to 9 pm
    Friday TBD can discuss
    Saturday TBD can discuss
    Sunday TBD can discuss

    Must be patient and assist my son with redirection, organization, personal hygiene, washing/changing bedding, etc. Constant supervision is required.

    Must be punctual and able to meet the school bus.

    Must be willing to help with transportation to appointments or activities.

    Would like a high school or college student that is close to the Rancho Bernardo area.

    Must like children and pets
    Must be self driven
    Must be punctual
    Must have reliable vehicle
    Must have good, clean driving record
    Must be willing to take and pass a background check
    Must be willing to take 3 hour IHSS Provider training


    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.

  • Race for Autism Superhero 5K and 1 Mile Family Walk
  • Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 7 AM - 11 AM
    Balboa Park
    1549 El Prado, San Diego, California 92101

    Register today at! Prices go up on Feb. 1st! TODAY!!!!

    On Saturday, April 6, 2019 we are celebrating the 15th Anniversary of the Race for Autism in Balboa Park, and it's going to be "Super!"

    This family friendly event gathers together more than 5,000 families, educators, and autism professionals from across Southern California to help raise awareness and funding for one of our country's largest concerns- autism. Once considered rare, autism affects as many as 1 in 59 children in the US, and more than 20,000 families right here in our community.

    100% of the Race funds stay right here in San Diego and helps to provide funding for early identification and education efforts, technical training in software testing for young adults, parent programs, instructional workshops and has funded more than 900 community programs and classrooms, benefiting thousands of local children and families. To learn more about NFAR, click on about NFAR or go to

    Please join us in making a difference on April 6th. Because everyone can be a SUPERHERO!

  • RB Breakfast Club
  • Thursday, February 7, 2019 at 10 AM - 12 PM
    Panera Bread
    12156 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, California 92128
    Hosted by Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) San Diego Chapter

    It's February and love is in the air. TACA San Diego Mentors moms Kate and Shannon are here to share their love and years of autism parenting wisdom with you over coffee, tea or what ever else your heart desires.

  • 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

  • North County Autism Support Group
  • Monday, February 4, 2019 at 5:30 PM - 7 PM
    2702 Via Cardel, Carlsbad, CA 92010-1378


    This group is open to all parents, professionals, and members of the community interested in improving the lives of those affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders. The group's demographic includes all ages, home & out of home placements, and all "levels of functioning." There's a wealth of information to be shared by our more "seasoned" families, and it is a welcoming place for those new to the Autism diagnosis.

    This meeting will run the 1st Monday of every month from 5:30-7:00pm. We look forward to seeing you there!

  • Music Therapy Job Opening!!
  • For more info email

  • Adaptive/Autistic Surf Camp
  • Hosted by Stella Maris Surf Association
    Saturday, May 4, 2019 at 10 AM - 3 PM
    2500 S Coast Hwy 101, Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007-2111

    Save the Date, for Stella Maris Surf Association, Autistic Surf Camp Event. To register please visit:

  • Briana Healing Space
  • One of the strongest components of the therapeutic process, is receiving validation and genuine understanding. This results in a vulnerable and open relationship between the client and the clinician. I rely on your intuitive understanding and guide you to reaching your empowered self.

    Together, we will connect to your mind, body, and heart space through an examination of how your emotions impact your thoughts and decisions. I will help you develop awareness of your internal thoughts, foster insight into your body's responses and teach you to listen through somatic awareness.

    Services for Autism Spectrum Disorder

    Life Skill Development and Maintenance:
    -evaluation of current life skills and desired level of functioning
    -development of foundational skills in order to implement for interpersonal relationships and vocational skills
    -includes monitoring of progression of interpersonal skills required for behavioral interventions
    -includes Behavioral maintenance for individuals on the Autism Spectrum
    -includes Functional impairments and assistance with obtaining adaptive technology
    -includes intensive individual work with: behavioral modification, emotional regulation, impulse control
    -includes intensive individual work with: daily schedule planning and routine (ie: day routine, groceries, budgeting)

    Case Management services:
    -includes guidance on filing and completing applications for services and resources; including short term and disability resources.
    -includes obtaining county funding resources, such as bus passes and housing assistance services
    -includes assistance for persons living with Congenital and acquired disabilities: including functional impairments
    -Services tailored for individuals requiring home visits

    Located in Carlsbad, CA.
    Briana Lefman M.S., CRC, LPCC

  • DIR/Floortime Conference in the Pasadena Area!
  • The Power of PLAY

    Building Dynamic Relationships: Promoting Capacities for a Meaningful Life and Unlocking Potential for Individuals with Autism and other Social and Mental Health Challenges Across the Lifespan

  • NFAR Autism Charity Ride
  • Hosted by CYCLEBAR (Carmel Valley) and National Foundation for Autism Research
    Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 12 PM - 1 PM
    12720 Carmel Country Rd, 110, San Diego, California 92130

    Join us for a spin class in support of NFAR as they provide local autism and outreach programs, parent support and educational initiatives to benefit children with autism and their families. RIDE THE RHYTHM led by engaging, high-energy CycleStar instructors in a 45-minute ride fueled by incredible music playlists in our state-of-the-art CycleTheatre. Complimentary shoes and other amenities will be offered!

    Donation tiers: $25, $50 and $100.

    Sign up now:

  • Chores are Life Skills!
  • If one of your goals for 2019 is to increase your child's independence, teaching them life skills is a great way to do that!

    How do you teach a child to do basic life skills tasks?
    Repetition. Repetition. Repetition. Every task has steps to it, and just like any ABA or Discrete Trial drill, you just need to break down the task into tiny bits and teach each bit separate and then together.

    Get more tips on how to teach life skills at the following links:

    Developing Life Skills - How to Teach a Skill:

    Developing Life Skills - Chores:

    Teens with ASD - Life Skills:

  • Central San Diego Family Pool and Pizza Party
  • Friday, February 8, 2019 at 6 PM - 8 PM
    Aqua Pros Swim School
    4635 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, California 92117

    Bring the entire family to enjoy a swim in an indoor, heated pool with free pizza and drinks. Lifeguards are provided. For safety purposes, no flotation devices or "floaties" are permitted. A special thank you to Aqua Pros for making this event possible. RSVPs are greatly appreciated!

    ** Admission is free but a $5 donation per family is appreciated to help cover the cost of the food and venue.

    ** For the safety of your children, we ask that you do not enter the pool area until 6:00 pm.

    For more information, please visit our website at

  • ATPF LEGO Therapy Workshop
  • Saturday, February 9, 2019 at 10 AM - 11 AM
    Autism Tree Project Foundation
    2845 Nimitz Blvd, San Diego, California 92106

    All ATPF families and kiddos are welcome to come out to our LEGO Workshop on Saturday, February 9th from 10 AM to 11AM. We will build LEGOs and practice social communication skills! RSVP today - contact or call 619-222-4465!

  • ASD Mornings at the NAT
  • The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) is pleased to offer a program for the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community: a once-a-month ASD Morning in which the Museum opens early for adults and children on the autism spectrum and their families, friends, and caregivers. This innovative program encourages individuals to explore, play, and discover the treasures The Nat has to offer in an environment that is comfortable for them.

    ASD Mornings take place the second Sunday of every month. The Museum will open at 9 AM*, one hour earlier than its standard 10 AM opening time, providing a quiet and less-crowded environment for visitors to explore the Museum's galleries at their own pace. In addition, on ASD Mornings the Museum will offer a "quiet room" from 9 AM to noon if visitors need a quiet space to decompress or desensitize. General admission rates apply during ASD Mornings.

  • 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 SPARK at UCSD

  • UC San Diego's Autism Center of Excellence is seeking individuals diagnosed with ASD and their biological family members to participate in SPARK, the largest national genetics research project in US history! The SPARK study aims to gain a better understanding of the causes and potential treatments of autism by building a cohort of 50,000 diagnosed individuals to facilitate research on an unprecedented scale. There is NO cost to participate in the study and it can even be completed without leaving the house!

    What we do
    SPARK researchers extract genetic data through a saliva sample and analyze information collected from thousands of people with autism and their biological parents. UCSD and over 20 of the nation's leading medical schools are part of this effort.

    How to join*
    1. Sign up online at -- registration typically takes about 20 minutes. Using this link connects you to our site, which enables us to better follow up with you if you encounter any issues or have specific questions.
    2. Complete a few questionnaires online.
    3. Provide a saliva sample. A saliva collection kit will be sent directly to your home after registration. When you are done, simply mail it back in the prepaid mailer.

    Benefits of joining
    1. Individuals with autism will receive gift cards valued at up to a total of $50 for participation.
    2. SPARK hosts monthly webinars, featuring psychologists, researchers, or speakers from the autism community, that provide useful information for families and individuals with autism.
    3. If a genetic finding is discovered related to the cause of autism, results will be shared back with families.
    4. The information you provide may help others with ASD for generations to come!

    *Our site also offers the option for home appointments where a member of our SPARK team can come to your home and assist you in the registration process, collect the saliva samples, and mail them in for you! This is typically the preferred method for families as everything gets completed at once. Please note that we ask that both biological parents and individual diagnosed with ASD be present for these appointments. We can accommodate a variety of dates and times outside normal business hours on the weekdays or weekends -- whichever is most convenient for you and your family! Alternatively, we can also schedule in-clinic appointments at our office if that is preferred.

    You can visit our SPARK FAQ page for additional details. Please contact us via email at or via phone at 858-534-6906 if you would like to set up an appointment or if you have any questions!

  • 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
  • business_finance_research.jpg

    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.