Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. March 31, 2020

In This Issue

Upgraded Google Glass Helps Autistic Kids "See" Emotions

Autistic burnout, explained

Trump Administration Says Disability No Reason To Deny COVID-19 Care

Patients with Autism and COVID-19 Present Unique Challenges for Healthcare Providers, Especially in the Emergency Room

Opportunities for growth: Transitions for youth with autism spectrum disorder

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

NEW ISSUE! Flourishing Families 2020

The Disabled Person's Guide to Stimulus Checks

Groups for children, teens and young adults enrolling now!

ATPF Typers Meet-Up on ZOOM

Your Child's Education Comes First

Transition Therapy

Participate in a New Survey about Autistic Burnout

Volunteers Needed for Study!!!

Making the most of online therapy

Hope Comprehensive Center for Development

Club Xcite Virtual Academic, Therapy and IEP Related Services

Autism Resources Research

Register Early for Friendship Walk 2020!



San Diego Race for Autism Superhero Interactive Virtual Race

Be a SUPERHERO for Autism! Join us in celebrating 16 years of making a difference and changing the futures for thousands with autism in San Diego at the RACE FOR AUTISM SUPERHERO INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL 5K. Grab your cape and run or walk your own course in heroic style on Saturday, March 28, 2020, 7am to 12pm.

Help NFAR continue to change lives and sign up today. 100% of Race donations support San Diego autism programs, services, and hundreds of local classrooms.

DUE TO CORONAVIRUS CONCERNS, the 5K run and 1-mile Walk will now be hosted online at the morning of March 28. The virtual event will feature a VIRTUAL RESOURCE FAIR, photo and video sharing (we still want to see all your great costumes!), prizes, an online race competition, and more surprises. All registrants will receive their Race bib, commemorative medal, t-shirt, and capes for kids through the mail.


thomas nelson

  • Upgraded Google Glass Helps Autistic Kids "See" Emotions
  • A wearable for kids on the autism spectrum provides behavioral therapy via augmented reality

    Imagine this scene: It's nearly dinnertime, and little Jimmy is in the kitchen. His mom is rushing to get dinner on the table, and she puts all the silverware in a pile on the counter. Jimmy, who's on the autism spectrum, wants the silverware to be more orderly, and while his mom is at the stove he carefully begins to put each fork, knife, and spoon back in its slot in the silverware drawer. Suddenly Jimmy hears shouting. His mom is loud; her face looks different. He continues what he's doing.

    Now imagine that Jimmy is wearing a special kind of Google Glass, the augmented-reality headset that Google introduced in 2013. When he looks up at his mom, the head-up display lights up with a green box, which alerts Jimmy that he's "found a face." As he focuses on her face, an emoji pops up, which tells Jimmy, "You found an angry face." He thinks about why his mom might be annoyed. Maybe he should stop what he's doing with the silverware and ask her. Read on...

  • Autistic burnout, explained
  • 'Autistic burnout' is the intense physical, mental or emotional exhaustion, often accompanied by a loss of skills, that some adults with autism experience. Many autistic people say it results mainly from the cumulative effect of having to navigate a world that is designed for neurotypical people.

    Burnout may especially affect autistic adults who have strong cognitive and language abilities and are working or going to school with neurotypical people.

    Here we describe the emerging picture of this phenomenon, how autistic adults might be able to recover from burnout and how to prevent it from occurring. Read on...

  • Trump Administration Says Disability No Reason To Deny COVID-19 Care
  • The Trump administration is warning states and health care providers not to discriminate against people with disabilities as coronavirus spreads.

    In a bulletin issued Saturday, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office for Civil Rights said that the Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and other laws prohibiting discrimination in federally-funded health programs remain in effect.

    "As such, persons with disabilities should not be denied medical care on the basis of stereotypes, assessments of quality of life, or judgments about a person's relative 'worth' based on the presence or absence of disabilities," reads the bulletin. "Decisions by covered entities concerning whether an individual is a candidate for treatment should be based on an individualized assessment of the patient based on the best available objective medical evidence." Read on...

  • Patients with Autism and COVID-19 Present Unique Challenges for Healthcare Providers, Especially in the Emergency Room
  • The recent Coronavirus Pandemic has increased stress created uncertain times for all of us but let's not forget the 1:59 children who are diagnosed with autism and other cognitive disorders every year. Families of children with autism learn early how to anticipate and manage a crisis. But when the crisis involves emergency medical services or a trip to a hospital emergency room, it often takes a well-informed treatment team and caregivers to keep the situation under control. The sights, sounds, smells, and accelerated pace of hospital emergency services can overwhelm the senses of an individual with autism. The following suggestions are prepared for emergency treatment teams, hospital clinicians, and the families of individuals with autism. Read on...

  • Opportunities for growth: Transitions for youth with autism spectrum disorder
  • Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a lifelong condition that affects a person's social and communication skills. People with ASD can have repetitive behaviors, a narrow range of interests, a strong preference for sameness, and sensory processing differences. The number of children diagnosed with ASD has increased dramatically over the past several decades. Because of this, growing numbers of youth with ASD are now making the developmental transition from adolescence to adulthood. This transition is marked by changes in many areas of life, including new healthcare providers, educational or occupational settings, and living arrangements.

    What makes the transition to adulthood particularly challenging for youth with ASD?
    There are several features of ASD that add challenges to the transitions of adulthood, including a strong preference for sameness and a difficulty tolerating change. Communication difficulties can also complicate expressing distress or asking for help. Young adults with ASD may also find it difficult to participate in more complex social relationships. Finally, many people with ASD are very detail-focused but have difficulty taking into consideration the larger context, which can affect planning and organizing. 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.

    Can I ask your perspective on the Medi-Cal dentist scene in San Diego? Have you heard of any particular M-Cal dentists who are good with adults on the spectrum? Our son has always had his dental work done while he's "asleep" through anesthesia. He simply doesn't have the ability to cooperate--other than getting into the chair and getting through the anesthesia process. That's a challenge in itself but it's manageable. Thank you for your recommendations. Our son lives near SDSU so anything central would be great but we're willing to drive for great service. Thank you! -- Julie

    Hi Valerie, I am a teacher at Linda Vista Elementary and I built a Miller Method Elevated Square years ago to use with my students. I am no longer able to use it with my class because we no longer have a teacher to student ration that would support the program. I would like to give it to someone and feel like your newsletter may be a good way to offer it. The person who picks it up would need a truck. Georgeanne Gedney 619-244-2527

    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.

  • NEW ISSUE! Flourishing Families 2020
  • We're excited to share with you our newly released 2020 issue which is the most comprehensive listing to date, with 1,200 special needs resources in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

    Use the guide to find service providers, research institutes, specialized doctors, resource providers, camps, therapists, advocates, associations and so much more.

    Flourishing Families is available as a print magazine, a digital issue and on so you can access via your mobile phone.

  • The Disabled Person's Guide to Stimulus Checks
  • Check out all the info:

  • 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

  • ATPF Typers Meet-Up on ZOOM
  • Thank you ATPF Mom & Parent Mentor Shelly Lana and her son Otto for sharing the benefits of virtual meet-ups! Join us this WED, APRIL 1ST at 10 AM for an ATPF Typers Meet-Up hosted by Shelly & Otto via Zoom. This is a great opportunity to connect and socialize. All AAC typers are welcome!

    RSVP today: email or call/text 909-815-8520 with your name, your kid's name, and your email and phone number.

  • Your Child's Education Comes First
  • thomas nelson

    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.

    An Affordable Approach
    Because of the "Attorney Fee Recovery" provision of the law, we often work with clients on limited incomes. Before concluding that you are unable to afford an attorney, call us for a free evaluation. Knowing your child's rights allows you the ability to direct the next step! Call for a free consultation: 858-945-6621

    About Thomas S. Nelson
    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. Through his advocacy and legal representation, Mr. Nelson helps children get the services they need. With a collaborative approach, Thomas brings years of experience to the table to ensure that all of your child's needs are met so they can reach their fullest potential.

    The Special Education Advocacy & Law Offices of Thomas S. Nelson
    16466 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite 106
    San Diego, California 92128

  • Transition Therapy

  • Participate in a New Survey about Autistic Burnout
  • The Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (AASPIRE) is testing a new survey about autistic burnout.

    You may be able to participate in the survey if you:
    * Live in the United States;
    * Can answer an online survey in English, with or without support;
    * Are age 18 or older;
    * Have a diagnosis on the autism spectrum (ASD, autism, Asperger's, or PDD-NOS).

    It will take about an hour to complete the survey.

    If you take part, you will be given an Amazon gift card worth $5.

    To learn more, please contact
    Dora Raymaker
    (503) 725-9634
    PSU IRB#184807

  • Volunteers Needed for Study!!!
  • My name is Thanh Nguyen and I am an occupational therapy student at San Jose State University. My group is conducting a cross-cultural (U.S. vs Taiwan) study, examining the differences in occupational participation of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at home, school and in the community. We are inviting participants who are parents or legal guardians of children with ASD, 9-12 years of age, in the United States to answer an anonymous online survey that takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. I would greatly appreciate if you can share this attached flyer in your newsletter so that anyone who is interested in participating in the study can help us fill out the survey.

    Here is the link to the survey:
    Potential participants can also access the survey by scanning the QR code on the flyer.

  • Making the most of online therapy
  • We live in a new era, going online as much as possible for health care. My puppy and I shot this video during the 2020 National Foundation for Autism Research (virtual) Race for Autism to introduce you to the use of video for therapy and medical care. Enjoy!

    Joshua D. Feder, M.D.
    415 North Highway 101, Suite E
    Solana Beach, CA 92075

  • Hope Comprehensive Center for Development

  • Club Xcite Virtual Academic, Therapy and IEP Related Services
  • - Virtual Independent Study / Distant learning Tutoring and Coaching

    - Virtual Homeschool Support Teaching

    - Virtual Behavior Intervention and Design and Planning

    - Virtual Counseling and Social Work Services

    - Virtual Psychological Services

    - Virtual Academic Assessments

    - Virtual Therapy Services

    - Virtual Social Emotional Assessments

    - Virtual Private Therapy for Children & Adolescents

    - Virtual Group Programs:
    Virtual Independent Learning Skills groups
    Virtual Therapeutic & Psychoeducational Groups for Students

    Contact Club Xcite at 858 779 9674 or visit for more information

  • Autism Resources Research
  • For more info please contact Elizabeth Sanchez Arvizu, M.A. at or (619) 356-1438.

    Survey here:

  • Register Early for Friendship Walk 2020!
  • Sunday, May 17th, 2020 @ 9:00AM
    NTC Park in Liberty Station

    The Friendship Walk is an annual family walk that raises crucial funds and community awareness for the Friendship Circle of San Diego and individuals with special needs. Join us in promoting an inclusive community that welcomes and nurtures all individuals regardless of their abilities.

    9:00AM - Registration & Friendship Fair
    Enjoy family friendly games, activities, entertainment, jumpies, family resources and more!

    10:00AM - Friendship Walk
    Enjoy a leisurely walk around NTC Park in Liberty Station along the water and fields in support of Friendship Circle and all of our amazing families and volunteers.

    11:00AM - IsraelFest
    Join IsraelFest after the Walk with expedited registration and separate entrance for all FC walkers, come say "Hi!" at our Friendship Circle booth inside!

    Be the Captain of your team of friends, family, classmates, coworkers, or just walk as an individual! Contact us for more information on how to get started and for any fundraising tips. Volunteers are needed for day-of as well! Go to

    Want to know more about what programs you will be funding with your registration? Visit

  • 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

  • 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
  • SJSU Research Study Participants Needed

  • My research team and I are writing to let you know of an exciting opportunity for your online community to participate in a research study. The research study is looking at friendship quality, social participation, and social networks in young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We would like to understand the causes and impacts of social deficits in order to contribute to the development of social skills training programs for use with adolescents and young adults. This is our capstone project to partially fulfil our Master's degree, and the Principal Investigator (PI) of the study is Dr. Megan Chang at San Jose State University.

    We are recruiting individuals diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 18-35 who have adequate conversational skills. If you believe that your community may be interested in participating in this study or if you would like additional information, please contact myself at By volunteering, participants may benefit through reflection and may develop increased self-awareness.

  • 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.