Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 12, 2019

In This Issue

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Autism brings qualities which help at home and at work, study shows

Autism symptoms reduced nearly 50 percent two years after fecal transplant

Prepare Now: Teenagers With Autism Are Becoming Adults

Why "This Too Shall Pass" Is Not Helpful For A Special Needs Mom

Brush Up on Autism History with this Website

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's Program

AUTISM MOM'S GROUP - "Why Didn't You Tell Me???" All The Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me about Raising a Child With Autism (That I Had to Learn the Hard Way)

Flourishing Families is celebrating its 10th anniversary!

Mainly Mozart's Mozart & the Mind

Social Communication Specialists

FREE Webinar: Transition Planning: A Bridge to Adulthood

Artists for Autism Fundraiser!

Two April Happenings at Club Beacons

Jeremiah's Ranch April Newsletter: Ceramics April 20

Let's Dance! Join us for TAG's Spring Dance Party!

9th Annual ONEHOPE, April 20th

12 Week In-Home Pilot Speech-Language Program

Job Opening at Motiva

Seals Tickets Supporting Therapeutic Recreation Services


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  • Autism brings qualities which help at home and at work, study shows
  • Autism enhances characteristics such as loyalty and focus which help those with the condition at work and in their relationships with others, experts have found.

    A study examining the lives of autistic adults shows the traits which come with having the condition can be useful, but also a burden.

    Those who took part in the research said they are able to hyperfocus, show attention to detail, had good memory, and were creative. They also said having autism made them more honest, loyal, and increased their empathy for animals and other autistic people. Read on...

  • Autism symptoms reduced nearly 50 percent two years after fecal transplant
  • According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about one in every 59 children in the U.S. is diagnosed with autism, up from one in every 150 in 2000. They report that "about half a million people on the autism spectrum will become adults over the next decade, a swelling tide for which the country is unprepared."

    The apparent rise in autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its stubborn resistance to treatment has spurred a legion of researchers to enter the field and explore the disability in innovative ways.

    Currently, effective treatments for ASD include behavioral therapy, speech and social therapy, psychiatric medications, and dietary and nutritional approaches. However, no medical treatments have been approved to treat core symptoms of ASD such as social communication difficulties and repetitive behaviors.

    One promising avenue of autism research involves the gut microbiome, which is the collection of microbes that lives in our intestines and helps us in many ways including digestion of our food, training our immune system and preventing overgrowth of harmful bacteria. Recent research suggests our gut microbiomes also affect brain communication and neurological health. Worldwide, interest is growing in the idea that changes in normal gut microbiota may be responsible for triggering a vast range of diseases. Read on...

  • Prepare Now: Teenagers With Autism Are Becoming Adults
  • According to statistics, an estimated 500,000 teenagers diagnosed with autism will become adults over the next 10 years. As the rate of diagnosis continues to climb (1 in 125 in 2004, 1 in 59 US births in 2018), preparations must be made, not only by families but by our communities as well.

    Currently, nearly half of all 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job, and 90 percent of adults with autism are unemployed or underemployed. These numbers are not improving, and as more children and teenagers with autism enter adulthood, a new vision must be considered.

    There is a push by those in the autism community and those in the business community to try and change these numbers, and it means education and supports. Businesses must be educated as to how to employ an individual with autism and must understand that autism is not the same for each individual who holds the diagnosis. Read on...

  • Why "This Too Shall Pass" Is Not Helpful For A Special Needs Mom
  • It has been a few years now, since my son received his chronic illness diagnosis.

    I remember all the research the doctor referenced. The higher risk of lymphoma, the decreased life expectancy, the recommendation for a wheel chair. It is all seared into my brain, plain as day.

    It has been a few years now, since we started treatments. Physical therapy, anti-malarial drugs, a reduced school schedule. It has all been very, very helpful. He has responded well, and has been an incredible example of courage and faith to me. (Seriously, this kid has chops.)

    The treatments are working. We are so deeply grateful.

    And in our check-up at the hospital last week, almost all the news was positive.

    Almost. Read on...

  • Brush Up on Autism History with this Website
  • The Autism History Project highlights the people, ideas, and topics that were instrumental in shaping autism during the 20th century in the United States

    The internet is full of research and debate, but historian Ellen Herman found little in the way of context about autism. She decided to help fill that gap with a project tracing the modern history of autism from its early recognition to today.

    She hopes the website fills a void in the conversation about autism.

    "In the last 20 years, there's been a flood of information, narratives, and media attention to autism, but there's been very little about its history," says Herman, who also serves as the University of Oregon's vice provost for academic affairs and faculty co-director for the Wayne Morse Center for Law and Politics. 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

    Seeking nanny with autism experience
    Position Type: Nanny in Poway

    Work Schedule: Part-time position, Monday-Friday from 12:15 to 5:15 (Desired start ASAP)
    Click here for all the info!!!

    I am looking for information on where to find Occupational therapy for an adult with disability's. Or a therapist interested in working privately at our east county home. Please respond at Thank you

    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.

  • Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's Program
  • Are you ready to work but not finding that opportunity? Then NFAR's vocational technical training program might be the right choice for you!

    NFAR Tech is a comprehensive hands-on training program that helps build technical and employment skills to prepare young adults with autism for entry level jobs in today's workplace as software testers and other vocations.

    NFAR Tech will be starting another class late summer.

    Learn more by visiting our website or contacting NFAR at 858-679-8800.

  • AUTISM MOM'S GROUP - "Why Didn't You Tell Me???" All The Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me about Raising a Child With Autism (That I Had to Learn the Hard Way)
  • April 17, 2019
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    **NEW LOCATION**Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123
    Dinner: Pizza, Salad. Dinner is provided for free.

    These meetings are for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet the 3rd Wednesday of the month for dinner and guest speakers. It's an opportunity to share resources, experiences and enjoy being with other moms of individuals with autism.

    April Topic: "Why Didn't You Tell Me???" All The Things I Wish Someone Would Have Told Me about Raising a Child With Autism (That I Had to Learn the Hard Way)

    Join us during World Autism Acceptance Month for NFARs Mom's Group as Chelsea Asaro, the parent of a 21 year-old with autism, shares her experiences, and lessons she's learned. Questions welcome!

    Guest Speaker: Chelsea Asaro, Autism Mom, NFAR Outreach Speacialist, and Autism Crusader

    Chelsea Asaro is the mother of a son with high functioning autism (21) as well as two daughters (17 and 19). Chelsea and her family are lifelong residents of Scripps Ranch. Chelsea is also NFAR's Outreach Specialists who works predominantly with NFAR's technical training program to create employment solutions for people with autism.

    Join us as Chelsea shares her perspective as seen through the lens of an autism mom on a wide variety of issues including educational placements (her son went to public, private, nonpublic, homeschool, and charter schools); coexisting diagnoses and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, and trauma; marriage and self-care; balancing autism and all the other things; and life after high school for children with autism.

  • Flourishing Families is celebrating its 10th anniversary!
  • We're excited to share with you our newly released 2019 issue which is the most comprehensive listing to date, with over 1,050 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 NOW as a print magazine, a digital issue and on so you can access via your mobile phone.

  • Mainly Mozart's Mozart & the Mind
  • Mainly Mozart's Mozart & the Mind has been approved as a vendor for San Diego Regional Center clients! Use Vendor Number PY1606 to request regional center funding for this event! Find more details and registration information here:

  • 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 ThinkingĀ® 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

  • FREE Webinar: Transition Planning: A Bridge to Adulthood
  • This webinar will provide information on the following:

    • How and when to prepare for the Individual Transition Plan (ITP) as part of the IEP
    • What to expect from an ITP
    • What services are available through the Regional Center and Department of Rehabilitation after Secondary Education
    Featuring Claudia Wenger, M.S. in Special Education from the University of Southern California. Claudia holds State of California teaching credentials in Education and Special Education, and is currently working toward becoming a Behavior Analyst. She has developed and managed Adult Services programs vendored through California Regional Centers and Department of Rehabilitation.

    Join us by registering at

    The webinar will air on April 23rd at 12:00 noon and will repeat on April 25th at 7:00 pm.

  • Artists for Autism Fundraiser!
  • We warmly invite you to attend our fundraising event:
    CTA and Community ConNext's Artists for Autism fundraising event will be a night of art and music dedicated to supporting individuals with autism during National Autism Awareness Month. The mission of this event is to shed light on the importance of art in the lives of individuals with autism and raise funds to keep our teens and emerging young adults actively participating in their community.

    Location: Gelato Vero Caffe | 3753 India St, San Diego
    Date: Saturday, April 27 from 6 - 9 PM
    Tickets: $15 Online | $20 At the door

    Artists for Autism will feature a silent auction with art and handmade items made by local artists and creatives, as well as live performances by local musicians.


    All tickets include access to the pizza and donut bar, and one raffle entry!

  • Two April Happenings at Club Beacons
  • Beacons North County
    Beacons, Inc. is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit empowering adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
    6150 Yarrow Drive, Suite E
    Carlsbad, CA 92011

    Click here for all the info about Club Beacons and to register for these events!!!

  • Jeremiah's Ranch April Newsletter: Ceramics April 20
  • Click here for all the info about the ceramics class and to read the rest of their April newsletter!!!

  • Let's Dance! Join us for TAG's Spring Dance Party!
  • Join us for this fun event for all ages and abilities! No prior dance experience required, but must be ready to have some fun with the TAG community! Please call us if you have any questions: 858-689-2027.

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    9466 Black Mountain Road
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126

  • 9th Annual ONEHOPE, April 20th
  • Be sure to mark your calendar for the 9th Annual ONEHOPE Autism Care Today for Military Families 5k/10k and Family Festival on Saturday, April 20, 2019, to be held at Tecolote Shores Park in San Diego.

    Formerly known as ACT Today! Autism Care and Treatment, this race has truly become a favorite event among runners, military families, the autism community and families with school-aged children; and we hope you will join the approximately 1,000 + participants for another fun-filled event.

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

  • 12 Week In-Home Pilot Speech-Language Program
  • For all the info please contact

  • Job Opening at Motiva

  • Seals Tickets Supporting Therapeutic Recreation Services
  • Support Therapeutic Recreation Services by purchasing tickets to see the San Diego Seals take on the Bandits Saturday, April 27th, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. Click here for tickets!!!

  • 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.