Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 10, 2018

In This Issue

Ask Me First: What Self-Assessments Can Tell Us about Autism

'You Would Always Have My Back': Brothers With Autism Navigate Life Together

Willing and able: Disabled workers prove their value in tight labor market

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

6 Session Course Coaching Young Adults with Autism

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

My Special Needs Connection April Newsletter

The NEW 2018 Flourishing Families is Out!!

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and the Effects are Permanent!!!

Online Floortime Course for Parents

Friendship Walk San Diego, April 29th!!!

Jeremiah's Ranch April Newsletter

Learn About RDI in Carlsbad!

Sensory-Friendly Play & Learn for Autism in Escondido

A Night Out for Autism - Dinner Detective Show

Resource and Activity Fair at MCRD 04/28/2018

Learn About RDI in San Diego!

2018 General & Special Education Conferece-San Diego, CA



  • Ask Me First: What Self-Assessments Can Tell Us about Autism
  • Self-report questionnaires gain popularity in Autism spectrum research and clinical practice

    Just moments earlier, the teenager had been laughing so hard he was in tears. He had spent the day doing improv and other drama-based activities-part of a six-week summer camp in Boston designed to help children with autism build social skills. But when his mother showed up and asked about his day, the boy clammed up.

    "Do you mean you just sat in a corner and stared at the wall all day?" psychologist Matthew Lerner asked him. It was the summer of 2006 and Lerner had launched the program with a colleague two years earlier. He had witnessed the boy's giggle fit and hoped to prompt more of a response. "Yes," the boy replied. Read on...

  • 'You Would Always Have My Back': Brothers With Autism Navigate Life Together
  • Brothers Russell, 28, and Remmick Wadsworth, 27, have autism. As kids, they had trouble with social interactions, so they often relied on each other for support during tough situations. Now, as the siblings navigate the working world, they're still looking out for each other.

    Remmick remembers his first job, working with his older brother in a coffee shop. "You would always have my back, talking to customers for me, handle them for me while I make their drinks," he tells Russell during a StoryCorps conversation. Read on...

  • Willing and able: Disabled workers prove their value in tight labor market
  • Julie Propp landed her first-ever job about 18 months ago - at age 55.

    A part-time retail helper at a Kwik Trip convenience store in Marshalltown, Iowa, Propp cleans and ensures coffee cups and other items are well-stocked. She previously loaded boxes in workshops run by agencies that help disabled people but never had a traditional job because of a developmental disability.

    She prefers her current gig. "It's more money down there and more hours," says Propp, who earns $10.90 an hour and will soon get a bump to $11.25. "Some customers are so nice." Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

    I am trying to find a social group for my 17 year old daughter.She has a mild learning disability and although she does not actually have a diagnosis of autism I definitely think she is on the spectrum with certain behaviors(obsession with time,picky eating, watching shows over and over) My greatest concern is her lack of social skills or awareness and I would love to get her together with some similar teenage boys and girls for fun, friendship ,outings. We live in zip code 92129. Thank you if anyone can help point us in the right direction. Kim

    Our family is looking to find an occasional (possibly weeknight event,etc./day date/date night) babysitter for our 3.5 year old son with moderate ASD (and nut allergies). He is very verbal but with pragmatic language delays, has some transition sensitivities causing some protesting, but overall he is a fun loving little guy who just likes to be on a schedule. We want someone we can rely on with great references and EXPERIENCE with children on the spectrum (which we haven't been too lucky through We live in the Carmel Valley/Torrey Highlands area and we also have a 1 year old Bernese Mountain Dog. If you have had an amazing sitter or are a sitter with ASD experience, please email me, Brittany,

    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.

  • 6 Session Course Coaching Young Adults with Autism
  • Interview and Beyond: Skills to Get and Keep a Job

    This 6-session course, facilitated by occupational and speech therapists, will coach young adults with autism how to navigate the unspoken rules of the workplace. As participants work through simulations, virtual reality practice, and group projects, they will develop awareness of common employer expectations and develop skills to navigate them confidently. Skills targeted include: successful interviewing, workplace social skills, organization and time management, self-advocacy and ability to accept workplace feedback. Participants must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or verification from a teacher that they have a 6th grade or higher reading level. Tuition includes a year subscription to two web-based job training programs, SIMmersion and Jobtips.

    TO REGISTER, CALL (858)673-5437 OR GO TO

  • Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!
  • Real Connections Child Development Institute
    Supporting and partnering with families of children on the autism spectrum through understanding, engagement and relationships.

    Developmental Play Therapy - 1:1 developmental therapy in your child's natural environment. Evidenced- based, emotional, cognitive and neurobiological therapy that assists your child in developing meaningful relationships.

    Parent Coaching & Support - Real-time training and education in your child's individual profile. Learn new ways to engage and connect, while focusing on communicative and cognitive/ social emotional development. Maximize your child's developmental growth through both daily interactions and parent-child intervention sessions.

    A "Whole Child" Program

    • Flexible Thinking
    • Problem Solving
    • Scripting
    • Perserveration
    • Meltdowns
    • Executive Function Skills
    • Regulation
    • Sensory Integration
    • Spatial Processing
    • Individualized Program
    Real Connections San Diego
    415 North Highway 101, Suite C
    Solana Beach, CA 92075
    619-840-0015 or 858-768-0313

  • My Special Needs Connection April Newsletter
  • In this month's newsletter we feature our resource of the month, the new and improved Parents' Corner, and upcoming events in your community!

  • The NEW 2018 Flourishing Families is Out!!
  • The new edition of Flourishing Families, San Diego and Imperial County's resource guide for families with special needs, is now available! Find helpful articles, resources for specific diagnoses and disabilities, as well as special needs camps, educational programs, support groups and more.

    Access the digital edition on the Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego website at

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • In Scripps Ranch!
    Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene Raphael no later than April 13th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and the Effects are Permanent!!!
  • Call 858-367-9108 to schedule your free consulation.

    Microcurrent 4 Kids is San Diego's premiere pediatric microcurrent therapy program for children with special needs. Our program is the clinically proven, BEST therapy for Autism & ADHD, 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.

    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123

  • Online Floortime Course for Parents
  • Building Floortime Families:
    An Introduction to DIR® and DIRFloortime® for Parents and Caregivers (Live Online)

    April 18 to May 23, 2018
    7:00 - 8:30AM Pacific Time
    These sessions are all Live Online!
    Only $99 USD

    This is an introductory course that helps parents learn what Floortime is and how they can use it in a very practical manner. Both the theory and application of the approach will be discussed.

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

  • Friendship Walk San Diego, April 29th!!!
  • 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, San Diego 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!!!

  • Jeremiah's Ranch April Newsletter
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all of the info about their upcoming activities and events!!!

  • Learn About RDI in Carlsbad!
  • April 17, 2018
    6 - 7:30pm
    Carlsbad Office
    5411 Avenida Encinas, Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    To RSVP email

  • Sensory-Friendly Play & Learn for Autism in Escondido
  • April 29, 2018
    8:30 to 10:30am
    Totally Thomas' Toy Depot
    200 E Via Rancho Pkwy
    Escondido, California 92025
    Hosted by Autism Speaks, San Diego


    Totally Thomas' Toy Depot and Autism Speaks is proud to host the first Sensory-Friendly Play & Learn on April 29th.

    This free event will be offered before official store hours and includes activity stations for the kids and a learning educational environment for parents including local resources from Autism Speaks.

    Register here for this free private event!!!!

    There will be a limited number of goodie bags for those who register in advance.

    Questions? Contact:

  • A Night Out for Autism - Dinner Detective Show
  • Thursday, April 19 at 5 PM - 8 PM
    Courtyard by Marriott San Diego Downtown
    530 Broadway St, San Diego, California 92101

    $50 Donation Per Person (21+ adults only) Includes a pre-show networking hour, a delectable 3 course dinner & a hysterical and interactive dinner detective show. All proceeds will be donated to Autism Speaks! You don't want to miss this event.

    Thursday, April 19th, 2018
    5:00 PM - 6:00 PM Networking & Registration
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM Dinner & Show

    RSVP by Thursday, April 12th.
    Space is limited so book today: Kasey Wilson 619.446.3048

    Local Autism Speaks contact: Larissa Kerstetter

  • Resource and Activity Fair at MCRD 04/28/2018
  • RSVP to 858-577-4668 or email

  • Learn About RDI in San Diego!
  • April 11, 2018
    6 to 7:30pm
    9466 Black Mountain Rd., Ste 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Click here to RSVP!

  • 2018 General & Special Education Conferece-San Diego, CA
  • May 2, 3 & 4, 2018
    Town and Country Hotel, Mission Valley

    Early Registration Fee: One Day-$235 Two Days- $399 Three Days-$499 Registration fees after April 23, 2018: One Day-$265; Two Days-$440; Three Days-$525

    Click here to view the brochure for all the info!!

    Click here to register!!

  • 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.

    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.

  • 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
  • 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)


    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.