Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 03, 2020

In This Issue

Social Security recipients will automatically receive stimulus pay

Autistic Healthcare Worker On The Frontline Of COVID-19 Pandemic Shares 5 Tips To Ease Anxiety And Fear

How people with autism forge friendships

Outfitting a Home for a Child on the Autism Spectrum

Students Deprived Of Crucial Special Ed Services Due To Closures

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

We believe that everyone should be able to be lifelong learners to develop their skills and interests!

Learn From Home: Critical Rolls for Critical Competence

MicroCurrent 4 Kids is Now a Nonprofit!!

ATPF Typers Meet-Up on ZOOM

Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together

FREE! - Strategies to Improve Your Child's Sleep

Participate in a New Survey about Autistic Burnout

Volunteers Needed for Study!!!

Making the most of online therapy

ABA to the Rescue!!!

A 6-hour Course for Professionals Live Online: DIR in Schools

Autism Resources Research

TERI Newsletter, March 2020



thomas nelson

  • Social Security recipients will automatically receive stimulus pay
  • The Treasury Department, clearing up confusion, has announced Social Security recipients will not have to file a tax return in order to receive the economic stimulus payments the government is preparing to send out amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    It was unclear in guidance posted earlier this week whether Social Security recipients who don't normally file taxes would have to in order to receive the money. But the Treasury Department said Wednesday that those beneficiaries will automatically receive the money. The IRS will use the information that the Social Security Administration has on file. Read on...

  • Autistic Healthcare Worker On The Frontline Of COVID-19 Pandemic Shares 5 Tips To Ease Anxiety And Fear
  • The month of March was the twelve-year anniversary of my working full time as a psychiatric care specialist (PCS) at a hospital in Metro Detroit. As a PCS I work directly with twenty-one to thirty-two patients. Even with social distancing, I am never less than four feet from a staff or patient at any moment. Working with acute and sometimes aggressive patients is stressful enough but with COVID-19 the fear and anxiety is almost unbearable.

    Coronavirus is spreading faster in Detroit than nearly anywhere in the U.S. It is exceeded only by New York and its surrounding counties and New Orleans. The hospital I work is located in the epicenter of Michigan's infection outbreak. On the local news a doctor warned healthcare workers, "The questions is not, if you will get COVID-19 but when and how severe. Be prepared and stay safe by practicing handwashing."

    Autism causes me to have a compromised immune system and digestive issues. These health issues intensify the fear I experience serving on the front line. I've come up with five survival tips to lessen my anxiety and fear. Read on...

  • How people with autism forge friendships
  • Most autistic people want to and can make friends, though their relationships often have a distinctive air.

    It is lunchtime on a Sunday in January. At a long table inside a delicatessen in midtown Manhattan, a group of young people sit together over sandwiches and salads. Most of them have their phones out. One boy wears headphones around his neck. But there is less conversation than you might expect from a typical group of friends: One of the boys seems to talk only to himself, and a girl looks anxious and occasionally flaps her hands. The young people in this group are all on the spectrum. They met through a program organized by the nonprofit Actionplay, in which young people with autism or other disabilities work together to write and stage a musical. Each Sunday, the members refine characters and the script, block scenes and compose songs - and then some of them head across the street to have lunch together. "You meet other people just like you," says Lexi Spindel, 15. Read on...

  • Outfitting a Home for a Child on the Autism Spectrum
  • Many of us have a special spot at home that helps us hit the reset button. It might be a favorite chair, a quiet nook, or simply under the covers, in bed. But for children on the autism spectrum or who have sensory processing issues, finding this kind of sanctuary can be challenging, because ordinary items in the home, like a bright lamp or a textured rug, can trigger a negative reaction.

    Some public or commercial spaces, like schools, airports and sport stadiums, now offer sensory rooms that carry a wide variety of therapy equipment. Setting one up at home, though, need not be as elaborate or expensive.

    "It's all about providing a safe and enjoyable space that a child can navigate independently," said Paige Siper, the chief psychologist at the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She recommends having an occupational therapist do an assessment to determine the child's sensory preferences and needs before designing a space. Read on...

  • Students Deprived Of Crucial Special Ed Services Due To Closures
  • Nine-year-old Trevor de la Torre was home with a migraine when his parents got word that his school was closing in response to the coronavirus emergency - and his critically needed hands-on therapies would effectively stop, too.

    His one-on-one reading specialist, gone. His speech therapy, gone. His occupational therapist who is teaching him how to write letters, gone. His one-on-one classroom aide is no longer by his side to help him understand assignments and break down lessons into more manageable parts.

    Trevor was born with a rare brain malformation called hemimegalencephaly - half his brain was removed when he was 6 months old to stop life-threatening seizures. He has only half of his vision and his mobility, as well as visual, auditory, speech and developmental delays, his mother, Kelly de la Torre, said. 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.

  • We believe that everyone should be able to be lifelong learners to develop their skills and interests!
  • BEACONS, Inc. is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation founded in 2018 to provide vocational, recreational, and social activities as well as services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Beacons, Inc. offers postsecondary workforce workshops that are progress monitored, structured, low ratio and accessible to those in need of smaller settings, more individualized pacing, and assistive technology. We create pathways and outcomes that improve social connections, community engagement and access to employment.

    Beacons North County
    6150 Yarrow Drive, Suite E
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    Club Beacons:
    Pathfinder Workshops:
    Tailored Day:

  • Learn From Home: Critical Rolls for Critical Competence
  • Learn from your home!

    Sign in anytime between now and April 20th for this TACA National Conference presentation.

    Sign In -

  • MicroCurrent 4 Kids is Now a Nonprofit!!
  • Microcurrent 4 Kids is now recognized by the IRS as a non-profit (501(c)(3)) corporation! This means that our innovative therapy program for Autism and other neuro-developmental conditions is now accessible to everyone -- regardless of their financial situation!

    Previously our full 3-month program cost upwards of $3,000. Understandably, this was unaffordable for many families. Our mission has always been to make a meaningful impact in the lives of kids and families affected by Autism, and so we made the decision to change our structure so that money is not a barrier for families in need to participate in our program.

    Safer than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!

    FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!!!

    MicroCurrent 4 Kids is San Diego's premiere microcurrent therapy program for children, teens and adults with special needs. Our program is the BEST therapy for Autism and ADHD/ADD, as you will see by the rapid improvement in your child's skills and abilities, because of how well it promotes developmental growth and couples with ALL other therapies.

    MicroCurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Rd. Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123

  • 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 15th at 12:30 PM 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.

  • Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together
  • AEFCT provides high quality services that are structured, comprehensive, and individualized. Our mission is to provide intervention to children with autism, putting the needs of each child first so that they are met fairly and appropriately. We use developmentally sound strategies supported by empirical evidence, combined with a team approach that involves family participation. Autism affects the entire family unit, and we recognize that parent education and participation are essential to achieve success.

    4669 Murphy Canyon Rd.
    Suite 212, San Diego, CA 92123

  • FREE! - Strategies to Improve Your Child's Sleep
  • Mon, April 6, 2020 6:30 PM - 8:00 PM - online

    Does your child have trouble falling or staying asleep? Does your child protest going to bed? Is your child tired all day?

    This seminar will cover:
    --Overview of Common Sleep Problems
    --Assessing/Identifying Sleep Problems
    --Strategies for Better Sleep
    --Individual Sleep Strategy Plans

    This will be a livestreamed event. Please follow us on Facebook at @sdsuatism to view this online workshop.

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

  • 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!

    Click here for view the video!!!!

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

  • ABA to the Rescue!!!
  • Our ABA to the Rescue workshop series continues today with "The Magic of Using Visuals!" at 9:30am and 1:30pm PT. We hope you'll join us! Our schedule for next week has changed and we are now offering a 5:30pm PT workshop on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Check our Events page for up-to-date listings and click the link to "Register on Zoom" next to any workshop you'd like to attend:

  • A 6-hour Course for Professionals Live Online: DIR in Schools
  • A 6-hour Course for Professionals Live Online

    DIR 320: DIR in Schools is a live online course focused on creative ways to implement Floortime in the school setting. This course will be led by two of our DIRFloortime Experts from the Rebecca School in New York City. Now more than ever, the principles of DIR will be useful to teachers and school personnel to help children be able to learn. Learning can only happen if we support a child's functional emotional developmental capacities. The current stressors of COVID-19 are going to challenge this core foundation in a very unique way. The course will take place on Tuesdays from April 14 - 28.

    Click here for more information and to register.

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

    Survey here:

  • TERI Newsletter, March 2020
  • Click here to read their latest edition!!!

  • 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.