Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 16, 2019

In This Issue

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Focus On Persons Who Have A Greater Need For Supports (GNS): Autism Spectrum (AS)

How families are driving the study of autism genes

Former Seahawks star Curt Warner and wife share story of family's love, and resilience raising autistic sons

Dell Hiring Program Aims To Create Opportunity For Adults With ASD

Critical Reasons to Offer Support to Autism Siblings

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth


Cara Lucier & Associates

Mainly Mozart's Mozart & the Mind

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)

Children's Theatre Workshop at PACT, Starting April 20th!

Artists for Autism Fundraiser!

You're Invited to Register for TAG's RDI Parenting Course!

Introduction to RDI®

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

Whispering Winds Special Needs Family Camp

12 Week In-Home Pilot Speech-Language Program

Job Opening at Motiva

FREE! - Toilet Training for Toddlers with Autism


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  • Focus On Persons Who Have A Greater Need For Supports (GNS): Autism Spectrum (AS)
  • Jacquelyn Marquette PhD talks about creating broad creative supports for autistic people

    For World Autism Month 2019, I want to shine a light on persons on the Autism Spectrum (AS) who rely upon a greater need for supports. Many of these individuals have strengths and talents, yet they are often ignored and turned away from resources such as supported employment services. Professionals often view their needs to be too great for the workplace or college going. Why are we not surprised with the low quality of life outcomes of this group and their families. Current AS outcomes are quite disturbing when the disability research indicators on well-being include: personal determination to pursue interests, vocational opportunities, and community connections for community membership.

    Trent Altman, my son who has autism, has a great need for supports, yet has been a professional artist now for 19 years. His art is in galleries and has won international awards, i.e., the United Nations 2012 stamp to raise awareness globally for autism. He has also had numerous opportunities to exhibit and sell his art through The Art Of Autism with Debra Muziker and Strokes of Genius with Dr. Rosa Martinez. Read on...

  • How families are driving the study of autism genes

  • Parents of children with rare autism-linked mutations are banding together for support and to join forces with scientists, accelerating the pace of research.

    It looks at first glance like any other Friday at Legoland Discovery Center in Grapevine, Texas: About half a dozen children line up for the colorful rides or pose with life-sized Lego figures. They bear a striking resemblance to one another - with mops of curly hair, wide-set eyes and broad, thin-lipped smiles. Some have flown here from as far away as Australia, and their parents embrace warmly as they spot one another.

    When the group heads to lunch at the nearby Rainforest Cafe, Jasey Miller, 12, balks at the entrance: The restaurant is festooned with faux vines and loud, gesticulating robot animals. Noticing her hesitation, 15-year-old Abby Ames takes her by the arm and ushers her in.

    Only, this is no family reunion - Jasey and Abby have met only once before, two years ago. But the connections between them go deeper than those that bond many blood relatives. Jasey, Abby's sister Bridget, 10, and one child in each of the 19 families here carry a mutation in a gene called PACS1. Read on...

  • Former Seahawks star Curt Warner and wife share story of family's love, and resilience raising autistic sons
  • A foundation of faith, love and hope is what carried Curt Warner through the most difficult times of his life. Hand in hand with his wife, Ana, Curt said that raising four children, two of which are autistic, has been scary and humbling. The couple, co-authors of the book "The Warner Boys" with former Spokesman-Review columnist Dave Boling, said their story isn't a guide to autistic children or a how-to parenting guide; it's their love story, and the story of their love for their children. "We love them, regardless," Curt said. "Even when they burn the house down, we love them. We may not be happy about what they're doing at the time; we forgive them and move on." Read on...

  • Dell Hiring Program Aims To Create Opportunity For Adults With ASD

  • After a successful pilot in Massachusetts, Dell Technologies is expanding its autism hiring program to Central Texas.

    The Round Rock-based tech giant, which launched the program last April, offers two weeks of training ahead of a 12-week summer internship for adults with autism spectrum disorder. In some cases, those internships turn into a full-time job, according to Lou Candiello, Dell's military and disability recruiting program lead.

    Last year, twelve adults went through the training at Dell's Hopkinton, Mass. campus. Following the training, two summer interns were hired as full-time employees, and the company is in the process of hiring a third candidate. Read on...

  • Critical Reasons to Offer Support to Autism Siblings
  • When you are little, it's hard to understand why your sister seems to get upset all the time, why she is impossible to calm down, why she hits and throws things for no reason, why she doesn't have to finish her dinner (or even sit at the table), why she won't play with you, why mom and dad always seem to be paying attention to her.

    As you get older, you might start to notice that other kids look at her funny; that the jumping and flapping around that you've always just seen as normal is now embarrassing. You hate leaving parties early because she can't handle it, and you've stopped inviting friends over because it's just too difficult to explain why your older sister keeps that same Disney movie running over and over on a loop. Maybe you've learned the word for this by now - autism. YOURS is the family that people talk about when they say they know someone with autism. 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.

  • RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth believes that every individual is unique and has the potential for significant growth. We assume and foster competence while honoring family values and priorities. Our holistic approach is built upon trusting, supportive relationships and collaboration between disciplines and families.

    We specializing in the development and implementation of individualized comprehensive programs utilizing Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration, Sensory Processing, Applied Behavior Analysis, Art Therapy, and Life Balance Yoga Therapy.

    Offering support in the San Diego, Carlsbad, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

    In addition to supporting our clients directly, we offer guidance to parents, grandparents, therapists, teachers, siblings, school staff, babysitters etc.

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    (858) 689-2027

  • Mingle
  • Wednesday, April 24, 2019 at 6 PM - 9 PM
    Rockin' Baja Lobster - Old Town
    3890 Twiggs St, San Diego, California 92110

    Join us for Mingle, where we bring parents, families, and professionals in the special needs community together for an evening to mingle, socialize, and make new connections while sharing our collective experiences and resources. At Mingle we have facilitated introductions, highlight community organizations, and feature a non-profit (Autism Tree Project Foundation) and other resources (Crimson Treatment & Research Center's iCan Bike, Collaborative OT Solutions, April Villafana Advocacy and Segal Speech & Language Therapy!).

  • Cara Lucier & Associates
  • At Cara Lucier & Associates we believe in the ability of every person to reach their potential. We believe that education is the key to opportunity. We advocate for the rights of individuals and their families:

    • IEP team meetings
    • Mediation
    • Due Process Hearings and Appeals
    • 504 Meetings and Appeals
    • Regional Center Meetings and Appeals
    • IHSS Appeals
    • Civil Rights Litigation
    For a free 60-minute initial consultation, please contact us at (760)505-2498.

    Law Offices of Cara Lucier
    Civil Rights and Education Law
    701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite #300
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    Phone: (760) 717-3451

  • 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:

  • 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.

  • Children's Theatre Workshop at PACT, Starting April 20th!
  • PACT offers Improvisational Theatre and Performing Arts workshops throughout the year, including summer. Workshops are "inclusive", consisting of peers with and without disabilities. Most participants are in their mid-teens, but the program is also open to adults. We are always looking for good volunteers to serve as peer mentors as well!

    For all the info check out their website For questions please contact them at 760-815-8512 or email

  • 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!

  • You're Invited to Register for TAG's RDI Parenting Course!
  • Whether your child has a diagnosis or not, our RDI Parenting Course will equip you with ways to help your child thrive on a daily basis! We want to work with your schedule, so call and message us what days or times on the flyer work best for you. We look forward to your response! Cost: $500

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    9466 Black Mountain Rd., Ste. 100
    San Diego, CA 92126

  • Introduction to RDI®
  • May 14 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm $25
    Parenting from a Position of Intuition & Heart: Why RDI® Works

    In this introductory session, caregivers will learn about RDI®, a humanistic, relational and family-focused intervention. You will leave with practical tips and new ways of thinking.

    Speaker: Meghan Murphy, MA and Samantha Alexander, MA
    Location: EF Internation Language Campus, San Diego, CA
    Click here for all the info and to purchase your ticket!!!

  • 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

  • Whispering Winds Special Needs Family Camp
  • Nestled in the Cuyamaca Mountains, about an hour drive from San Diego, Whispering Winds Catholic Camp & Conference Center provides a Christ-centered environment for youth, individuals, couples, families and groups. 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

  • FREE! - Toilet Training for Toddlers with Autism
  • Monday, April 29, 2019 at 5:30 PM - 7 PM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court, San Diego, California 92120

    The SDSU Center for Autism is pleased to host the second in a three part series of talks in collaboration with Lauren Cox, BCBA. Toileting is one of the most necessary skills for a young child to have in order to be successful outside of the home environment. Many schools require that your little one be toilet trained before she or he is able to enroll in school. Becoming toilet trained is a common struggle for children on the autism spectrum due to language and motor impairments. We will go step by step to prepare you and your little learner to be successful in toilet training. We will cover some common programs to begin with your child, and how we can support the family during toilet training. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • 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.