Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. March 24, 2018

In This Issue

Medical Schools Adding Focus On Developmental Disabilities

Attention deficit disorder, autism share cognitive problems

Do Children With Autism Reach Developmental Milestones on Time?

'Founder effect' may have fueled fragile X cluster in Colombian town

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

All Abilities Day!!!

Join Include Autism for The Gatsby Gala!

Free Workshop: Hour of Code for Students with Autism

It's Tax Time!

Exploring Invisible Disabilities: ADHD & Autism

The IEP Guy

San Diego Center for Children Spring Break Sports Camp

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Friendship Walk San Diego, April 29th!!! -- Discount for ValsList!

FREE Review of Your Child's IEP!!!


2018 ABA Social Skills Groups

Lil' Athletes Soccer at San Diego Center for Children

Dude Where's My Bro? Movie Premier / Best Bros: Friday Sessions CD Release

Participate in Research: Attention Differences in Boys with ASD and their Family Member



  • Medical Schools Adding Focus On Developmental Disabilities
  • An innovative new program is aiming to ensure that the next generation of doctors is far more prepared to treat the needs of those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    A half-dozen medical schools across the country are already part of the effort dubbed the National Curriculum Initiative in Developmental Medicine. Led by Dr. Priya Chandan at the University of Louisville, the group will ultimately expand to include 12 schools that will each design and implement their own curriculum covering communication and clinical skills.

    "Having more providers trained in developmental medicine and taking care of this population across the lifespan will result in better access to care and also better quality of care," Chandan said. Read on...

  • Attention deficit disorder, autism share cognitive problems
  • Children with autism have many of the cognitive difficulties seen in children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests1.

    In particular, these children struggle with executive function - a set of mental skills that underlie planning, self-control, short-term memory and decision-making.

    The findings suggest that cognitive problems are an inherent part of autism and occur independently of other features of ADHD. They may reflect the genetic overlap between the two conditions. Read on...

  • Do Children With Autism Reach Developmental Milestones on Time?
  • Kids with Autism May Miss Important Developmental Milestones

    A developmental milestone is a sign of typical child development. Children reach dozens of developmental milestones between birth and adulthood. Early milestones include social smiles, rolling over, and sitting up. Later milestones involve the acquisition of language, social, physical, and emotional skills, and intellectual abilities.

    Children with autism tend not to reach all of their developmental milestones at the appropriate times. Read on...

  • 'Founder effect' may have fueled fragile X cluster in Colombian town
  • A semirural Colombian town called Ricaurte, about 150 miles southwest of Bogotá, may be home to the largest recorded genetic cluster of people with mutations linked to fragile X syndrome, according to a new study1.

    About 1 in every 19 men and 1 in every 46 women in Ricaurte have fragile X syndrome. Men there have 323 times the odds of having the condition compared with the general population, and women 192 times.

    The cluster may be the result of a 'founder effect' from settlers who established the town in the late 1700s, the researchers say. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • Hello! I am a mom of an 12 yr old in an out of state residential placement. I am trying to find moms in a similar situation for support and questions. Please contact me at

    Our pediatrician/family doctor is an ok doctor and is pretty good with my son with ASD. However, he did not understand the impact of ASD on our family well enough to adequately complete the health form for IHSS. Can anyone recommend a Sharp pediatrician for my son with autism (or another one who takes Health Net HMO insurance)? Please email me at with your recommendation. I would greatly appreciate it.

    Hello! I am a graduate student studying speech-language pathology and am planning to one day work with adults who are on the autism spectrum. I am currently seeking a summer practicum placement with the adult population that would last for 6 weeks and consist of 10 hours per week. If you are or know of someone who is a certified speech-language pathologist and would be open to supervising me, please contact me at Many thanks!
    Kathleen Winger

    Looking for someone to mentor and support my high functioning adult on the spectrum. Need someone at least over 25 and available weekends and possibly open to overnight stays. We are in east county, La Mesa area.

    Looking for a primary care physician for my 18 year-old severely autistic son -- non verbal with intense self-injuries behaviors and aggression. Prefer internal medicine specialty. Must have patience and compassion; must understand that autistic individuals manifest illnesses and pain with "behaviors"; must respect the parental point of view and expertise in developing treatment plan. Anthem Blue Cross PPO. Please send suggestions to: Thank you.

    Seeking Roommate for Autistic Older Adult
    I am seeking a roommate for my sister, who is almost 60, severely autistic and non-verbal. My sister is not aggressive toward others - she is affectionate and enjoys the company of other people, and is intelligent - but she is not verbally communicative and is very low-functioning.

    Roommate would need to also be a Regional Center client, non-aggressive and be in or entering the Supported Living program.
    Please contact Daria at Thank you!

    Hello! I am looking to get any information, experiences and guidance regarding SSI applications. My daughter is 17 1/2 and we never applied before. George

    We are wondering what parents experiences has been with some organizations for young adults.
    Our son is a client of the Department of Rehabilitation. We need to select a program for job training. We hope to get some feedback about The Arc, Goodwill and Toward Maximum Independence.
    Thanks Laura S.

    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.

  • All Abilities Day!!!
  • What: All Abilities Day!
    Who: Ages 6 and up
    Where: North University Community Branch Library
    When: Sunday, April 8th 2018 from 1-2 pm

    Enroll online at or call 619.577.4009

  • Join Include Autism for The Gatsby Gala!
  • An exclusive night out benefiting Include Autism, being held at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa on Saturday, May 19th, 6:00 pm - 10:00 pm.

    To get involved please call 858.603.7344 or email
    We are currently seeking sponsorships, partners, and in-kind donations!

    We warmly invite you to join us at Include Autism's annual fundraising gala. This year's event is the Gatsby Gala, and this lively and meaningful benefit honors and brings together community members from San Diego and beyond in support of autism inclusion.

    This amazing event will feature the following:

    Delectable hors d'ouerves and fare
    Hosted bar, tray passed champagne, and hosted table wine
    Live entertainment, DJs, and dancing
    Extensive live and silent auctions
    Presentation featuring our very own kiddos
    Exclusive gifts and giveaways
    Photo booth and event photography
    Special guests
    & much more!

    Please note: This is a 21 and up cocktail style event.

    Click here for all the info and to purchase tickets!!!

    Include Autism is a not-for-profit, 501(c)3 organization (Tax ID: 20-0948809) dedicated to providing services that instill community-wide autism inclusion. Our focal program, Community Coaching (CC) program provides natural, hands-on opportunities for our program participants to develop adaptive, functional skills needed to become included in their community. Include Autism also has Autism Inclusion Training for businesses and community organizations, Volunteer, Peer Pal and Inclusion Baseball League programs.

    Include Autism now has two sites, our Central location in Hillcrest and our North site in RB/Poway.

  • Free Workshop: Hour of Code for Students with Autism
  • Hosted by Autism Speaks San Diego and Autism Speaks Southern California

    Saturday, April 7 at 9 AM - 10 AM
    Microsoft Store Fashion Valley Mall
    7007 Friars Rd, San Diego, California 92108

    In celebration of Autism Awareness Month, join us for this FREE, 60-minute workshop where participants with Autism will be able togo behind the scenes to learn how to code, program, and play in your own game world. You'll use fun, interactive coding to learn how creativity and problem solving come together to make something all your own. No experience with coding is required.

    Click here to Register for FREE!!!

    Autism Speaks San Diego will be onsite for additional information on World Autism Month and local resources. All workshops will be set in a sensory friendly environment.

    Questions? Contact

  • It's Tax Time!
  • Need help navigating the tax ramifications of receiving public benefits such as IHSS? Have questions about which expenses are deductible (special diets, therapies, etc...)?

    As a mother of twins diagnosed with Autism, I am able to provide a personal level of service due to first-hand experience.

    Individual & Business tax returns welcome.

    Serving the special needs community since 2008

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

  • Exploring Invisible Disabilities: ADHD & Autism
  • Sat, April 7, 2018
    12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
    Office of Shay Realtors
    10550 Craftsman Way, Ste. 184
    San Diego, CA 92127

    This is the perfect class for families new to an Autism diagnosis.

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

  • The IEP Guy
  • Developing an appropriate IEP should not feel like trying to unravel a Rubik's cube.

    The IEP Guy is an experienced non-attorney special education advocate working side by side with families to obtain appropriate placement, services, and outcomes for students.

    The IEP is the heart and soul of special education. Think of it as the heliocentric model of our solar system. Just as the planets orbit around the sun, so do placement, services, and outcomes revolve around the IEP.

    Therefore, it is imperative that parents develop an appropriate IEP for their child given the major impact it has on the student's academic and functional performance.

    Say goodbye to hourly rates! All services are provided on a flat fee basis. No surprises!

    • IEP Services
    • Discipline
    • Academic Disputes
    • Parent Coaching
    Leo Marchena
    The IEP Guy
    4275 Executive Square, Suite 200
    La Jolla, CA 92037

  • San Diego Center for Children Spring Break Sports Camp
  • Contact 858-634-8300 or

  • Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment
  • Experience a unique and effective approach to autism therapy.

    Our aim is to bring to families everywhere the most effective therapies for the treatment of autism. Our integrated care model is based on the scientific research and clinical practice of our founder, Dr. Suzanne Goh. We seek to set a new global standard for autism care by achieving superior developmental outcomes for the children and families we serve.

    At Cortica, we believe the world needs a higher standard of care for all those living with autism, or a potential diagnosis of autism. Families like yours deserve effective, collaborative, caring therapies that are accessible and reasonably priced, no matter who you are or where you live.

    The Cortica Care Model

    • Neurophysiology
    • Family and Home
    • Biochemistry
    • Cognition and Behavior
    • Sensorimotor
    • Communication
    Therapists with specialized expertise collaborate to understand and treat the whole child.

    Your customized program will focus on what your child's developing brain needs most to gain new abilities.

    The Cortica Care Model is based on a proven methodology that gives you confidence you're doing the right thing.

    Together, we clarify the complex, celebrate extraordinary efforts, and witness moments of brilliance as our children grow new skills and abilities. Many of our services are covered by medical insurance plans. Contact us for all the info!!!

    Cortica Care
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • Friendship Walk San Diego, April 29th!!! -- Discount for ValsList!
  • Walk With Your Heart!!!

    Sunday, April 29th
    Liberty Station, NTC Park, Preble Field
    2455 Cushing Rd., San Diego, CA 92106

    Join us for the 5k Friendship Walk San Diego to raise funds and community involvement for children and adults with special needs. The Friendship Circle provides inclusion programming, fun community outings and friendship for children, teens and adults with disabilities throughout San Diego County. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

    For our upcoming Friendship Walk on April, 29th we want to offer ValsList members a promo code to sign up and get 25% off entry fees ($20 pp becomes $15 per person) with code VALSLIST valid now through March 30th!!

  • FREE Review of Your Child's IEP!!!
  • RSVP Required: 858-945-6621 or

  • Families of teens with autism and developmental disabilities are often overwhelmed by the complexities of transitioning out of the school system into the fragmented and confusing system of adult care. This checklist is intended to provide an overview of many of the elements to consider during this transition period and beyond. Click here to view the checklist!!

  • 2018 ABA Social Skills Groups
  • For more information, please contact Ally Wilson

  • Lil' Athletes Soccer at San Diego Center for Children
  • Contact 858-634-8300 or

  • Dude Where's My Bro? Movie Premier / Best Bros: Friday Sessions CD Release
  • SUNDAY, March 25, 2018
    7:30 PM
    New Village Arts Theater
    2787 State Street

    Reid Moriarty's latest CD "Best Bros: Friday Session" is a duet project with singer songwriter Paul Eddy. These two "Best Bros" will perform a few of the new originals like "Carlsbad," "Mexican Coke," and the soundtrack they wrote for the film, "Dude, Where's My Bro?"

    A capstone project of their acting class, "Dude, Where's My Bro?" was written and acted by members of the BRAM acting troupe, then directed and produced by Inclusion Films students all under the tutelage of Samantha Ginn. Actors and film crew are all talented young men with autism who will take questions on a panel discussion after the screening.

    BRAM Members:
    Brendan Kerr
    Ethan Marr
    Reid Moriarty
    Myles Mulvey
    Alex Nichols

    Cameo performances by Dylan Parker, May Marr, and Samantha Ginn

  • Participate in Research: Attention Differences in Boys with ASD and their Family Member
  • Boys with ASD between the ages of 8 and 16 and both of their biological parents are invited to participate in a study examining attention skills and genetics.

    Boys who are typical developing and their biological parents are also invited to serve as a control group.

    This research is taking place at the Neuroscience Center of Alliant International University under the supervision of Alan Lincoln, Ph.D., MSCP, BCBA-D and Shamayne Brown, M.A. You must be able to travel to the lab to participate.

    Study Requirements
    -Both biological parents and the son must participate.
    -Each parent will complete questionnaires about him or herself.
    -This should take about 30 minutes.
    -Each parent will complete a brief standard cognitive measure. This should take about 30 minutes.
    -Each parent will complete a computer task. This should take about 30 minutes.
    -One parent will complete questionnaires about your son. This should take about 25 minutes.
    -Your will complete the brief standard intelligence measure. This should take your child about 30 minutes.
    -Your son will compete the computer task. This should take about 30 minutes.

    Upon completion of participation, your son will receive $20 and each parent will receive a $10 gift card. You may also receive, upon request, results of your performance and/or your child's performance.

    Refer another family to the study and be entered in a drawing for a $200 Visa gift card.

    Some individuals may be excluded from participation in the study on-site. If your child is excluded, he will receive a $5.00 cash gift for his participation in the preliminary assessment. If a parent is excluded, he or she will be given a $5 gift card for participation in the preliminary assessment.

    If you are interested in participating, please call 858-635-4068 or by email: or Thank you in advance for your time and assistance!

    Approved by Alliant IRB (#1604025150R001)

  • ASD Mornings at theNAT
  • 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

  • San Diego Sibshop

  • October 2017 - August 2018

    WANTED: Siblings who have a brother/sister with special needs

    AGES: 7 - 12 years old
    Older siblings are welcome to attend as "Junior Leaders"

    WHAT: A fun-filled opportunity geared to the specific needs of siblings with brothers/sisters with special needs. Join us for games, crafts, hikes, cooking, and art. Meet other sibs - lunch provided

    TIME: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

    March 25: Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center
    May 20: Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor Center
    August 19: Santee Lakes, 9310 Fanita Pkwy, Santee, CA 92071**

    DONATION: $5.00 - $10.00 per meeting per family for craft materials, supplies and lunch for the kids

    REGISTRATION: Pre-registration requested by email (if possible) the Thursday before the event.

    CONTACT: Email for a Sibshop registration form and / or additional information.

    Sibshop Leaders:
    Jody BonDurant-Strong, Administrator
    Ndoto BonDurant-Strong - adult sibling & CSUSM student
    Gina Clifton, ECSE Medically-Fragile Teacher, Special Education
    Pat Moulton, Retired

    Directions for Mission Trails Regional Park Visitor's Center (MTRP):
    1 Father Juniper Serra Trail (92119). Interstate 8 to 15 North / East on Friars Road.
    Stay to left - turns into Mission Gorge Road / Turn left on 1 Father Juniper Serra.

  • Join UCSD Autism Center of Excellence on either SATURDAY OR SUNDAY, APRIL 7-8 for our first SPARKforAutism live-registration event!

  • Join UCSD Autism Center of Excellence on either SATURDAY OR SUNDAY, APRIL 7-8 for our first SPARKforAutism live-registration event! There will be free parking, drinks, child care, games, and giveaways. Come out, join the fun, and enroll in the largest, genetics study of autism with over 9,000 families already participating nationwide! Staff will help guide families through the online registration process and assist with saliva collection. Child care will be provided while parents complete registration. Families who complete the study will receive up to a $50 Amazon e-gift card. Help us understand the genetic causes of ASD and develop better, more effective treatments so that each child can reach their full potential!

    Time: 9 AM- 5 PM
    Where: UCSD Autism Center of Excellence- 8110 La Jolla Shores Drive, Suite 201/202, La Jolla, CA 92037

    To reserve a registration spot, please RSVP by March 29th by calling 858-534-6906 or emailing Hannah Kaplan at
    RSVP is required for attendance and gift card giveaways. BOTH biological parents and the individual/child with ASD are encouraged to attend this event as this is a genetics study. Families must be able to consent and complete registration in English. We can't wait to see you there!

  • Spring 2018 Therapeutic Recreation Services Calendar

  • Click here for our new Spring 2018 calendar. Please note the following important dates:

    >>First day of registration for Spring activities
    Saturday, February 17 at 10:00 a.m.

    >>First day of registration for Summer Camps
    Saturday, March 3rd at 10:00 a.m.

    You may sign up online at or at our office 3325 Zoo Drive, 92101.

  • Vanderbilt Kennedy Center: Residential and Respite Care Services Survey

  • The survey will take less than 30 minutes to complete. The survey is anonymous and voluntary and the responses are confidential. The responses will be helpful in determining issues and supports related to residential and respite care services. We will raffle ten $25 gift cards at the close of the survey for participants who complete the survey.

    Click here to take the survey and help with research to improve lives!!!

  • Parents Who have a Child with Autism Wanted for an Online Survey

    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.