Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. February 14, 2020

In This Issue

Smart jumpsuit may help test motor skills in infants with autism

ABC Renews 'The Good Doctor' for a Fourth Season

San Diego Musician Reveals Diagnosis And Shares Video About Autism

Autism Transition: Returning To Craft And The Land

Dark tunnels to bright paths: Navigating adulthood with autism

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Groups for children, teens and young adults enrolling now!

Open your free IEP resource today!

Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation by Autism Mom Yvette Soto

Early Diagnosis Through Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing: The Process, Present Outcomes and Hope for the Future for Families

Webinar: Breaking down the "One Size Fits All" myth!

The Profectum Immersion Experience: DIR® Model Assessment & Intervention

Registration is open for the Spring Season of VIP Soccer!

The Beginners Guide to Special Needs Planning

IEP San Diego

ATPF 16 Candles Gala Celebration

The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, LLC (CARD)

Sensory Friendly Performance: Once Upon a Mattress

New Books on the Self-Determination Program



On Saturday, March 28, 2020 we are celebrating the 16th 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 nearly 900 community programs and classrooms, benefiting thousands of local children and families.

Please join us in making a difference on March 28th. Because everyone can be a SUPERHERO!

thomas nelson

  • Smart jumpsuit may help test motor skills in infants with autism
  • A new jumpsuit is fitted with sensors that can track and classify an infant's posture and movements1. The device could be used to screen infants for movement issues stemming from conditions such as autism.

    Although the presence of movement problems is not required for an autism diagnosis, up to 80 percent of autistic people experience them. Research studies and parent reports suggest that these motor difficulties appear early in life.

    Clinicians typically examine infants for only a few minutes during a routine doctor's visit and may not spot motor problems. And infants may make more natural movements in their home environments. Read on...

  • ABC Renews 'The Good Doctor' for a Fourth Season
  • On Monday, ABC announced it renewed its popular medical TV series "The Good Doctor" for a fourth season.

    "The Good Doctor" follows Dr. Shaun Murphy (Freddie Highmore) as he joins the esteemed surgical unit at St. Bonaventure Hospital. Murphy, who is on the spectrum, is now well established with his colleagues and, like any good medical drama, finds himself navigating romantic relationships while balancing his professional life. According to a press release, "The Good Doctor" is ABC's most-watched show this season.

    "'The Good Doctor' has been a cornerstone on Monday nights and is one of those special heartfelt series that fearlessly tackles inclusivity," Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, said in a press release. "David Shore's thoughtful storytelling, combined with an incredible cast led by Freddie Highmore's nuanced performance as Dr. Shaun Murphy, are what have made this series a breakout hit over the past three seasons, and I'm excited to see where they take us next." Read on...

  • San Diego Musician Reveals Diagnosis And Shares Video About Autism
  • Those of us on the Autism Spectrum want to make friends as much, or more, than other people, but it can be challenging because we are coming from a different place. Thank you for those who try to meet us there.

    This video and song are about learning to love ourselves as we are even as continue to develop what we can to make our lives richer. It is about my journey with Autism and the journey of my bass player, Mr. Paul Tillery, and his family and features "Thank You For Being My Friend" about being Autistic and learning to make friends. Read on...

  • Autism Transition: Returning To Craft And The Land
  • "Falling off the cliff" is the term often used by worried parents and family members when young adults with autism and other developmental differences turn 18. For most of these youth, the wide range of educational and behavioral services provided by their local school districts ends abruptly.

    The numbers of these youth are growing rapidly: just among youth with a diagnosis of autism, 750,000-1,000,000 are projected to turn 18 over the next decade. In response, a new industry of transition programs is emerging-hundreds of transition programs nationwide aimed at integrating these youth into employment and the broader society. While most of these programs are based on current ideas of college inclusion and technical education, a few are drawing on older intellectual traditions regarding transition, emphasizing the land, practical arts and craft. Read on...

  • Dark tunnels to bright paths: Navigating adulthood with autism
  • As Jonathan Masters set out on his job search, he likened the experience to a narrow path with little light.

    "It was like, for a simpler term, it felt like a tunnel, a never ending tunnel," Jonathan said.

    It's an apt analogy for a challenging new frontier for those like John who have autism, which affects one in 59 children, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

    "There are a lot of things available for school-aged children until they're 21," said Luci Schaeffer, with Unending Promise. "There's lots of resources out there."

    But what about when those kids grow up? That's where Luci and her husband found themselves as their son, Adam, who has autism, approached adulthood. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • Do you receive SSI? Don't miss out on food benefits!
    Beginning June 2019, many Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will become eligible for CalFresh Food Benefits.

    There is NO CHANGE or reduction to SSI/SSP amounts. For more information Click, Call or Come in to your county office to apply and find out more.

    Click to apply online
    Call 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD)
    Come in/find an office at

    San Diego Futures - I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of this organization because it can be a helpful resource to families in need of computers and other technology who may not have the resources they need to secure technology for their homes. If anyone needs a laptop or desktop and cannot afford one, please consider reaching out to this group. Desktops and laptops are available at VERY low prices for eligible families.

    I'm looking for a online high school for my son to complete his senior year. We're currently enrolled in an online Charter school which does a gods job of providing services and accommodations but the curriculum is too hard.
    Does anyone know of an online program that works with kids on the spectrum?
    Than you, Heidi

    I'm seeking diagnostic assessment such as: ADOS, CARS, GARS for my 18yr son. I understood most insurance don't cover so I'm willing to pay cash like everything else. Please email referrals: Thank you for your time! Rebecca

    To East County parents: Our daughter (who is in the middle of the spectrum but is about 4th grade academically) is going to start high school in September and we are looking at high schools in Grossmont Union High School District. Any schools you recommend or would avoid? We are also open to suggestions for non public high schools. Please e-mail Jen at Thank you!

    My 23 year-old son's psychologist is retiring and I am having trouble finding a new psychologist who has experience working with young adults with special needs/disabilities. My son is on the spectrum and has recently suffered anxiety and depression due to some difficult health issues. He also suffers from feelings of isolation and loneliness. I would love any recommendations for someone in the San Diego area and it would really be a plus to find a provider who also contracted with Medicare. You can contact me at:
    Thank you

    A quick question about parents dealing with removing wisdom teeth for their kids on the spectrum. Is it really necessary to remove wisdom teeth? I know the dentists will said it is so. But if they are not bothering my son, why bother?
    If parents have children or young adults, that have gone through the procedure, can we get some feedback?
    Thanks Bart, Laura and Jack Schley

    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.

  • Groups for children, teens and young adults enrolling now!
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    Wondering if your child might benefit from joining a group? Give us a call at 858-558-9552 to schedule a free consultation.

    Social Communication Specialists
    5703 Oberlin Dr., Ste 207
    San Diego, CA 92121
    (858) 558-9552

  • Open your free IEP resource today!
  • Click here to read the latest newsletter for all the updates and info about upcoming free events!!!

  • Bookkeeping and Tax Preparation by Autism Mom Yvette Soto
  • 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.

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

  • Early Diagnosis Through Rapid Whole Genome Sequencing: The Process, Present Outcomes and Hope for the Future for Families
  • Do you have (or support) a child who is repeatedly sick, but undiagnosed? Does your child have a less commonly known genetic anomaly?

    Come to this parent-friendly education session with the Rady Genomics Team who will share their results from genetically testing sick infants, toddlers and parents. The team will explain how understanding the results has lead to more accurate diagnoses, improved medical treatments and therapies, and other findings that affect the future health of children.

    We recommend this workshop for parents, social workers, doctors and therapists who serve this population.

    Thursday, February 20
    6:00-7:30 pm
    San Diego Regional Center, Room #101
    4355 Ruffin Rd., San Diego CA 92123
    Click here to sign up for your free tickets!!!

  • Webinar: Breaking down the "One Size Fits All" myth!
  • Featuring the expertise of Thomas Nelson Esq., special education attorney

    Join us by registering at

    The webinar will be held on Saturday, February 22nd at 10:00 AM and will repeat Tuesday, February 25th at 12:00 noon and Thursday, February 27th at 7:00 pm.

  • The Profectum Immersion Experience: DIR® Model Assessment & Intervention
  • A 2-Day, In-person Intensive Training, Learning and Networking Event for Clinicians, Educators, Paraprofessionals and Parents/Caregivers

    We invite you to join us March 14-15, 2020 at the Villa Esperanza School in Pasadena, California for The Profectum DIR® Model Immersion Experience, an intensive, in-person training opportunity for clinicians, educators, paraprofessionals and parents desiring to advance their DIR® Model Assessment and Intervention abilities through video case-based discussions. Guided by the stellar Profectum Faculty, this "Immersion" experience will allow you to delve into the DIR® Model by working together in small groups supported by fellow professionals or parents. You will hone your skills of observation and problem solving through multidisciplinary lenses about children with developmental challenges. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Registration is open for the Spring Season of VIP Soccer!
  • For questions, please contact:
    Margaret Fetters VIP Coordinator


  • The Beginners Guide to Special Needs Planning
  • Wednesday February 12, 2010
    6:30-8:00 p.m.
    16759 Rancho Bernardo Center Dr.
    San Diego, CA.

    RSVP to Raylene Dickinson at 858-213-8005 or

  • IEP San Diego
  • There are many special education advocates that you can choose. What makes IEP San Diego unique is Karla Maldonado, IEP San Diego's founder and only Special Education Advocate.

    Karla has first-hand experience in dealing with the Special Education process as she is the parent of children who require Special Education services. Because of their struggles and having been trained in Special Education Advocacy she decided to help other parents and caregivers through the complex world of understanding and obtaining appropriate special education services for their children.

    She has experience in advocating during IEP and 504 Plan meetings; reviewing special education assessments, identifying areas of need, consulting with parents, school district staff and professionals regarding students' special needs; the organization and maintenance of Special Education files; and the preparation for cases that may need to move to Due Process.

    She is fluent in both spoken and written Spanish and English. Karla understands the day to day struggles of caring for a child who has a handicapping condition while trying to obtain the right services from school districts and community providers for that child. And the impact that an inappropriate school program has on the child and his or her family and how it can hurt the student and waste their time.

    Karla Maldonado
    Special Education Advocate
    (858) 300-1880

  • ATPF 16 Candles Gala Celebration
  • Saturday, April 18, 2020 at 6 PM - 11 PM
    The Wyland Center
    Del Mar Fairgrounds
    2260 Jimmy Durante Blvd, Del Mar, California 92014

    $1,850 TABLE AMBASSADOR (seats 10)

    Our Ignite Every Child Movement believes that every child is entitled to the best possible start in their development. IGNITE EVERY CHILD is about creating access to all children, regardless of income, language or family status. Early intervention services for children are vital to their health and development and reduce costs by minimizing the need for special education and related services in later years.

  • The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, LLC (CARD)
  • The Center for Autism and Related Disorders, LLC (CARD) is the world's largest provider of top-quality, evidence-based autism treatment, effectively treating individuals of all ages who are diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Our patients in Escondido receive care from locals who were raised and are residents in the Escondido area. Call us for more information at (442) 999-9008, or visit our website at
    215 S. Hickory Street, Suite. 126
    Escondido, CA 92025

  • Sensory Friendly Performance: Once Upon a Mattress
  • Click here for info about this performance!!!

    Click here to purchase your tickets!!!

  • New Books on the Self-Determination Program
  • Disability Voices United has two must-read books for any self-advocate, parent, or professional interested in the Self-Determination Program.

    "Profiles in Self-Determination: Inspiration for a Full Life" ($15) introduces the reader to 10 children and adults who imagine their lives under the Self-Determination Program. It tells the stories of participants in the pilot project, and how self-determination changed their lives. This is a great resource for people who aren't sure what the Self-Determination Program is, or how participating in the SDP might look for them or their family members.

    "Think Outside the Box: Information and Resources on California's New Self-Determination Program" ($25) is a manual on the SDP with the latest information, including a flow chart and check list. If you want plain-language explanations of the SDP, lessons learned from the pilot program, and information from DDS all in one place, this is the book to buy.

    To purchase "Profiles in Self-Determination" or "Think Outside the Box," please visit our Online Bookstore.

  • 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

  • Everyone Deserves a Loving Home

  • Contact Lynn Scott for more information 619-954-7847 or

  • Autism Through the Lifespan

  • Please RSVP for Spanish Translation support

    For further information, please contact:
    Carolyn Carterette, M.A. (619) 725-8080 email:
    Grace Fantaroni, Ed.D. (619) 563-2839 email

  • Therapeutic Recreation Services - Winter Calendar 2019

  • Here is the TRS Newsletter for Winter of 2019.

    First day of registration is Saturday, November 16th at 10:00 a.m.

    You may register online or at our office at the War Memorial Building (3325 Zoo Drive, San Diego, CA 92101). If you plan on paying at the office, please remember we no longer take cash as a payment.

    If you have any questions, please contact the office at (619) 525-8247.

  • Webinar: Learn About RDI with Kiki Haddad!

  • For questions please email or call 858-689-2027

  • Webinar: Learn About RDI with Brooke Wagner

  • For questions please email or call 858-689-2027

  • Toddler MRI Study at SDSU

  • Our Center's research arm, the Brain Development Imaging Labs, is conducting a fascinating study looking at how young children's brains change as they get older. We are looking for kids (15 months to 5 years old) who are on the spectrum or who are suspected to have autism. Participants get a free assessment (plus assessment summary), free MRI scan, $150, AND a free picture of their brain! For more info or to sign up, please call us at 619-594-2500 or email us at Thank you!

  • 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!

  • Older Adults with Autism (40-75 yrs old) Needed for Study

  • We are looking for older adults with autism (40-75 yrs old) to be in our brain imaging study! Anyone with a diagnosis or suspects that she or he has autism is invited to reach out to us. Participants receive a free assessment, free MRI brain scan, and around $150! If you know anyone who might be interested in this, please have them email or call us at 619-594-0176. Thank you!

  • Participate in a Study at Research on Autism and Development Laboratory at UCSD
  • SDSU Center for Autism Brain Study Needs Volunteers!

  • The SDSU Center for Autism is conducting a behavioral and brain imaging study with youth (7-21 years old) on the spectrum. We are trying to understand how the brain changes as children become young adults. Participants get a free assessment, a free MRI scan, about $150, and a free picture of their brain! If you are interested, call us at 619-594-0176, or email us at Thank you!


    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.