Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 02, 2019

In This Issue

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Former Michigan State Center Anthony Ianni Shares His Story Of Overcoming Autism, Bullying

Parents' focus on autism awareness is for him, but benefits others

From Chaos to Peace - Using Mindfulness in Special Education

Autistic children's sleep problems may stem from sensory issues

Opting Out of Vaccines Should Opt You Out of American Society

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

NFAR's Race for Autism! Saturday April 6th in Balboa Park

Shine Ministery - Free Baseball Tickets!

Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego - Flourishing Families

Free Seminar: IEP's and 504 Plans

Social Communication Specialists

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

I Can Bike Coming this May!

East County Autism Support Group

17th Annual Splash for Cash

Autism Awareness Bar Crawl

Keep the Promise Rally, April 5th

Save the Date: Involved Exceptional Parents' Day Conference

SAVE THE DATE! 9th Annual Resource Night for Adults with Autism

Having Academic Challenges? In-Home Tutoring + Coaching Special! $100 OFF


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!

  • Former Michigan State Center Anthony Ianni Shares His Story Of Overcoming Autism, Bullying
  • Anthony Ianni faced many challenges growing up.

    By the time he was 11 years of age he was six feet tall and wore a size-13 shoe. Consider that he was also autistic and, well, he was a big and easy target for schoolmates, neighborhood kids and whoever else thought it would be fun to harass and razz somebody that was "different."

    "All the time," Ianni said of the frequency in having to deal with his tormentors. "I was bullied from my kindergarten days until I was a freshman in high school. A lot of it was because of my autism, because I would say and do things differently than everybody else. I was bullied in middle school because I was the biggest kid around." Read on...

  • Parents' focus on autism awareness is for him, but benefits others
  • It doesn't take much to make Jimmy Nyhan happy.

    Watching fishing shows on television. Taping logos and pictures to plastic toy boats. Going for a bike ride. A snack run to McDonald's with a friend. Ripping paper.

    "I find the busier you keep him, the less havoc you have," his mother, Sherry Nyhan, said.

    The 24-year-old Lambertville man has severe autism. He is nonverbal and requires constant attention and assistance with basic needs. But he is happy 95 percent of the time, Mrs. Nyhan said, so long as those caring for him understand that Jimmy lives in his own world. Read on...

  • From Chaos to Peace - Using Mindfulness in Special Education
  • Close your eyes and imagine walking into a classroom and seeing what can only be explained as pure chaos.

    You can see students arguing with paraprofessionals, a student laying on the floor and kicking his feet while he yells, a student sitting in the corner with his hood on (no doubt trying to cancel out the yelling he's hearing) while staring at an iPad, and another student screaming and climbing up on the sink while her teacher blocks her because she wants the bubbles and won't take no for an answer.

    You see the defeated look on the teacher and support staffs face, as well and the anxiety and exhaustion. Fun, huh? Now walk into that same classroom months later and you see an entirely different scene. You see students sitting at their desks either diligently typing on a Chrome book or writing in their daily journals the mornings writing assignment. You see paraprofessionals standing near, but not next to the child they are aiding, gently giving support when needed. Read on...

  • Autistic children's sleep problems may stem from sensory issues

  • Heightened sensory perception in toddlers with autism predicts sleep problems at around age 7, according to a new study1.

    The findings suggest that sensory sensitivities interfere with sleep in children with autism. They also hint that adjusting for these sensitivities - by minimizing background light or noise at bedtime, for example - could ease the children's sleep difficulties.

    "If you're hearing noises or are really bothered by light or touch, it might make it harder for you to fall asleep," says lead investigator Micah Mazurek, associate professor of human services at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. Read on...

  • Opting Out of Vaccines Should Opt You Out of American Society
  • People who are able to take vaccines but refuse to do so are the moral equivalent of drunk drivers

    The ongoing measles outbreaks across the United States and Europe prove definitively that our personal choices affect everybody around us. Although you have a right to your own body, your choice to willfully be sick ends where another's right to be healthy begins. For that reason, people who "opt out" of vaccines should be opted out of American society.

    This is America, the Land of the Free. That freedom, however, doesn't mean "I can do whatever I want, whenever I want." When we choose to live in a society, there are certain obligations-both moral and legal-to which we are bound. You cannot inflict harm or infringe on the rights and liberties of those around you.

    Those obligations extend even to your constitutional rights. Although we have a First Amendment, you are not allowed to play music as loudly as you want in your apartment. Your neighbors have a legal right to peace and quiet. Even though we have a Second Amendment, you are not allowed to shoot a gun for sport in the middle of a city or town. Stray bullets are not only scary, they're hazardous, and often inadvertently kill people. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • Professional Office Available for Sublet

    Ideal opportunity for advocate, attorney, or professional. Large private office available with peek ocean views in Carlsbad. Includes wifi, use of conference room, lobby, and children's play area. $500 per month. Preferably someone who cares about and helps people with disabilities.

    Please contact Cara at

    Direct Support Professionals 1:1 (Little Italy)
    Hello! A young man and his family are looking for dependable, flexible, energetic, positive, and supportive individuals to work with him in the Little Italy area. This young man is a successful intuitive artist who sees emotion as color, and writes descriptions of what he sees. The young man has autism and communicates using assistive technology. He has a team of people that support him 24 hours per day. He has a rich full life with a thriving career, exercise, friends and participates in art gallery shows and art festivals. This is a rare opportunity to work with a gifted young man who struggles with sensory-motor challenges, and needs help with most aspects of daily living - but the gifts of working with this young man outweigh the challenges for the right individual. Training of support person will be provided on how best to support him in his daily life and in his method of communication (using letter board and iPad).

    We are hiring for two different positions:

    1. Community Support Facilitator - This person would fill in the hours of support mostly during the afternoon/evening hours, and support the young man during daily activities: painting at his art studio (in the East Village), food shopping, chores, social activites.

    2. Live-in Aide - As the live-in aide, this person would be assisting this individual during the overnight hours, 5 nights per week. Overnight support includes: implementing all safety features (i.e. locks, alarms, etc.), assisting with restroom (if needed), communicating with team members, and any other overnight support that may be needed. Position is Sunday through Thursday 11:00p.m.-8:00a.m. Live-in Aide would have own bedroom and bathroom, and pay a share of utilities and a small stipend for rent.

    Candidates for these positions would be individuals that are interested in a job that is diverse, intimate and always changing. The person we support relies heavily on his team for opportunities, safety, and a communication partner. Prior practical experience with autism, ABA ,OT, is helpful. The support staff hired will be paid $15.90 an hour, and will be working for the agency Lifeworks, who believe in Person-Centered Supports for people. To learn more about the agency, visit

    Serious inquiries only. If interested, please send a copy of your resume to

    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.

  • NFAR's Race for Autism! Saturday April 6th in Balboa Park
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    Saturday, April 6, 2019 at 7 AM - 11 AM
    Balboa Park
    1549 El Prado, San Diego, California 92101

    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 here:

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

  • Shine Ministery - Free Baseball Tickets!
  • It is that time again for FREE baseball tickets for individuals of all ages who have a disability and their families!

    This year we have 3 more games than we did last year so there are plenty of games to enjoy and you can request 8 tickets per game.

    Please let me know which game you want to attend and I will email you the tickets.

    Here is our line up this year:
    Reds, Friday April 19th 7:10 PM
    Dodgers, Friday May 3rd 7:10 PM
    Mets, Wednesday 8th 12:40 PM
    Pirates, Friday May 17th 7:10 PM
    Marlin, Friday May 31 7:10 PM
    Nationals, Friday June 7th 7;10 PM
    Cardinals, Friday June 28th 7:10 PM
    Braves, Friday July 12th 7:10 PM
    Giants, Friday July 26th 7:10 PM
    Rockies, Friday August 9th 7:10 PM
    Red Sox, Friday August 23rd 7:10 PM
    Dodgers, Wednesday August 28th 6:10PM
    Rockies, Friday September 6th 7:10 PM
    Rockies, Sunday September 8th 1:10 PM
    Cubs, Monday September 9th 7:10 PM
    Diamondbacks, Friday September 20 7:10 PM

    Please let me know if you have any questions and/or which tickets you would like to have!
    Skyline Church-Shine Special Needs Ministry

  • Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego - Flourishing Families
  • Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego's mission is to help parents and advocates in the special needs community overcome challenges of the family's journey by bringing together people, information and resources.

    The Idea:
    Local people from the special needs community came to our for-profit company, San Diego Family, and asked for help. There were many resources available in the community but they were not accumulated or accessible in a single resource. The community wanted and needed one collective place to access resources in our community. We wanted to help the special needs community, so we accepted this challenge and created the annual publication Flourishing Families. For the community's convenience, we've also posted these resources at Advocates use Flourishing Families to inform parents of all the resources available in the community and to point them in the right direction for help.

    Click here to read the 2019 edition of Flourishing Familes!!

  • Free Seminar: IEP's and 504 Plans
  • Tuesday, April 9th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm
    Park Village Elementary School
    7930 Park Village Rd.
    San Diego, CA 92129

    Speaker: Thomas S. Nelson, Esq.

    This is a free event, but RSVP is required. Please email or call 858-945-6621.

  • Social Communication Specialists
  • At Social Communication Specialists, we help socially quirky kids, teens and young adults connect.

    We understand the social challenges kids face today. In order to have healthy friendships, kids need to understand not just the "how", but the "why" of social interactions.

    Services We Offer:

    • Executive Functioning
    • Social Thinking
    • Group openings available for all ages We have groups for grades K-12. We also teach executive functioning! Contact Janet at
    At SCS, we follow the Social Thinking® approach pioneered by Michelle Garcia Winner.

    At the heart of this approach is the understanding that we think about people when we are around them. Then we modify our behaviors based on what we think they may be thinking about us!

    Through fun and innovative lessons and activities, we teach our kiddos social thinking concepts that increase their awareness and improve their abilities to interact with others at school, at home, and in the community.

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

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • "My Time For Dinner" was created to give Parents a special time for themselves to enjoy an evening out to dinner.

    Please join us for Dinner at Little Italy Bar and Grill (Approx. $15 per person) In Scripps Ranch
    Monday, April 15, 2019
    7:00 PM

    Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene' Raphael no later than Apr. 12th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • I Can Bike Coming this May!
  • Call 760 315 1311 (new phone number) or email

    View our video:

    Sponsorships, item donations, and discounted items for our families are welcome, and all donors will be listed on this year's T-shirts!

  • East County Autism Support Group
  • Monday, April 8, 2019 at 6:30 PM - 8 PM
    Excelsior Academy
    7200 Parkway Drive, La Mesa, California 91942

    Support, information, resources and referral for families of persons on the autism spectrum. Join us to learn the experiences of others and share your own.

  • 17th Annual Splash for Cash
  • Sunday, April 14, 2019 at 8 AM - 2 PM
    Aqua Pros Swim School
    4635 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, California 92117

    Join us for the 17th Annual Splash for Cash on Sunday, April 14th from 8 AM - 2 PM. Swimming begins at 9 AM. This annual FUNdraiser is our biggest pool party of the year! Have a good time in the pool, or just hang out and enjoy the fun - swimming is completely optional! Either way, we guarantee a good time!

    Help us as we raise money for our Pool PALS program . All proceeds fund swimming lesson scholarships, Surf Camp, and our monthly family events like our Family Pizza and Pool Party, and our Family Gymnastics Night.

    Sign up to fundraise as a team OR as an individual fundraiser. All participants receive an event giveaway. Sign up here:

  • Autism Awareness Bar Crawl
  • The Hunt
    In honor of National Autism Awareness Month, our community partner Gaslamp District Media is hosting its annual Autism Awareness Bar Crawl.
    The Hunt is a bar crawl scavenger hunt!

    Sign up your team of 5 or 10, or just yourself, and on Sunday, April 7th you'll make your way through the Gaslamp, enjoying brews & bites from some of Downtown San Diego's favorite venues.

    Here's where it'll be:

    • Hunt 1 - Meze Greek Fusion 12pm; get there at 11:30am for Brunch!
    • Hunt 2 - Float at Hard Rock Hotel 1pm
    • Hunt 3 - Monkey King 2pm
    • Hunt 4 - Henry's Pub 3pm
    • Hunt 5 & After Party - El Chingon
    20% off promo code: connext19
    *Registration fee includes a free drink at each location Click here to get your tickets!!! Proceeds from this event goes to Community ConNext.

  • Keep the Promise Rally, April 5th
  • San Diego Rally to Save Lanterman Act Services & Fund the Direct Support Workforce for Californians with I/DD. Just show up!!

  • Save the Date: Involved Exceptional Parents' Day Conference
  • "Creating Pathways to a Self-Determined Life"
    Saturday, May 4, 2019
    Crowne Plaza Hotel, Mission Valley (New Location)
    2270 Hotel Circle North San Diego, CA 92108

    "Creating Pathways to a Self-Determined Life of Purpose"

    Self-determination is a combination of skills, knowledge and values that support an individual to engage in setting person-centered goals, making choices and controlling their future. It is about taking charge of your life and believing you can control your own destiny. Self-determination is about self-discovery, enlightenment and human dignity.

    Keynote presenter, Judy Mark, will share her insight, perspective and personal journey as an advocate for the self-determination movement and a mother of a young man with autism. She will discuss California's new Self-Determination Program, supported decision-making, and self-advocacy. Judy is President of Disability Voices United and helped lead the successful effort to enact California's Self-Determination Law. Stay tuned.

    Registration information forthcoming. Visit

  • SAVE THE DATE! 9th Annual Resource Night for Adults with Autism
  • April is Autism Awareness Month and that calls for our biggest night of the year for resources. Join us at our Open House/Community Resource Night for Adults with ASD:

    Tuesday, April 9, 2019
    6pm until 8pm
    United Way Building
    4699 Murphy Canyon Road
    San Diego, CA 92123

    You will meet representatives from the following agencies that serve adults with ASD in San Diego:

    --San Diego Continuing Education
    --Department of Rehabilitation
    --Intricate Mind Institute
    --The Arc of San Diego
    --San Diego Regional Center
    --Jorgensen Law
    --SDSU Center for Autism
    --Community Interface Services
    --Goodwill Industries of San Diego County
    --TLC Supported Living Services
    --Conscious Business Law
    --Options for All
    --Club Xcite

    Hosted by

  • Having Academic Challenges? In-Home Tutoring + Coaching Special! $100 OFF
  • Is your child starting to feel overwhelmed with schoolwork or getting bad grades? Students often start to fall behind in school in early Spring but parents don't find out until it's too late.

    Club Xcite supports students with academic challenges to ensure their mild challenges don't turn into major problems. Through our in-home tutoring and executive functioning coaching program, we can help you make sure your student has the strategies they need to finish the school year strong!

    APRIL $100 OFF first package! 858 779 9674

  • 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" 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:

  • Therapeutic Recreation Services Spring 2019 Calendar
  • Click here to view our new Spring 2019 calendar!!!

    Important dates to remember:
    Saturday, February 16, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
    Registration begins for Spring activities

    Saturday, March 2nd, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
    Registration begins for Summer Camps

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

  • Learn About RDI in San Diego!
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    9466 Black Mountain Road
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • Learn About RDI in Carlsbad!
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    5411 Avenida Encinas
    Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    Phone: (760) 448-5837

  • 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!

  • 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.