Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 17, 2018

In This Issue

When Your Child Is Too Anxious To Learn

20 Incredible Colleges for Students With Special Needs

6 Ways Autism Presents Itself in Females

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

An Evening of Drumming...

Social Communication Specialists: Executive Functioning Skills

TAG Talks with Dennis Spiegelman - In Carlsbad

No Wait for RDI!!!

8th Annual ONEHOPE ACT Today for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk and Family Festival

Include Autism's Gatsby Gala

Free Sport Clinic with Peers Event!

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Autism Coffee Talk Day with TACA - April 19th

Cara Lucier & Associates

It's a bird...It's a plane...It's a Gala!

Private JCPenney Autism Friendly Shopping Event

Compass Academy Open House and Information Session

NFAR's 2018 Summer Camp Guide is HERE!

2018 General & Special Education Conference-San Diego, CA



  • When Your Child Is Too Anxious To Learn
  • I have many memories of elementary and middle school.

    Good ones like singing in the choir, participating in history day, and my sweet third grade teacher calling me "love bug."

    Like most of us, I also have some bad ones. Being teased about my clothes, being publicly embarrassed by a teacher, and being bullied on the playground are among them.

    All the memories, good and bad, are mixed with a visceral reminder of how anxious I was as a young girl. Read on...

  • 20 Incredible Colleges for Students With Special Needs
  • While it might make things more challenging, a disability shouldn't stand in the way of getting a college degree. These days, it's easier than ever for special needs students to find the help they need, as more and more institutions work to understand their disabilities. Doing so allows them to provide better programs that can make the transition into college life much smoother. Students with a wide range of special needs, from learning disabilities to hearing impairment, can find schools with amazing programs that offer support, tutoring and special courses designed to make everything less stressful for enrollees and parents alike.

    Here, we've listed some of the colleges that currently offer comprehensive or specialized programs for students who may have special needs. They range from schools focusing solely on special needs students to those incorporating specific classes and support programs into everyday coursework. This isn't a comprehensive list, and many more schools out there offer assistance to special needs students as well. We've just highlighted some we think stand out. Read on...

  • 6 Ways Autism Presents Itself in Females
  • It's common knowledge that diagnosis rates for autism are lower in females than in males - but there are still plenty of females on the spectrum, and likely more than we think. The reason they slip through the cracks may be because they present symptoms differently than males, relying on a variety of methods to "mask" their symptoms.

    The often-mentioned statistic that four times as many males have ASD as females is a harmful one, as it allows girls with the disorder to be overlooked. The origin of this disparity in diagnosis rates stems from two separate papers written in the 1940s by the first two scientists to study autism: Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. 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,

    I'm wondering if you know where I could refer a 16-year-old who is low income but does have insurance to be tested for ASD/Asperger's? They live in Encinitas.

    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.

  • An Evening of Drumming...
  • "You are never too young or too old to enjoy this wonderful, relaxing, energizing and unique way to express yourself in the moment, release stress, and enjoy intimately with others," Clark Edmond, HeartBeats Drumming

    Saturday, April 21, 2018
    5:00 - 8:00 PM
    CAE Headquarters
    911 E. Elder, Fallbrook

    Please RSVP to Debra Muzikar

  • Social Communication Specialists: Executive Functioning Skills
  • 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.

    Among the Services We Offer:

    Executive Functioning
    Even the brightest students can struggle to keep track of assignments, plan out and manage their time and prioritize and initiate tasks needed to meet their goals.

    Executive functioning skills help us with everything from getting dressed and out the door on time to managing distractions so we can complete the task at hand. While these skills develop naturally for most of us, some children need direct teaching and therapeutic treatment to help develop these skills and put them into practice.

    At SCS, we don't just set up a color coded folder system that your child will never use, We use advanced techniques to directly teach executive functioning skills. The concepts and strategies we teach kids helps them become more independent so you can stop constantly reminding them of what they need to do.

    We teach students to develop a "memory for the future" that allows them to create and implement plans to achieve their goal. We help kids develop self talk so they can monitor how their plan is working and make any necessary changes in their behavior.

    At SCS our techniques are modeled after the work of Sarah Ward, M.S., CCC-SLP and Kristen Jacobsen, M.S., CCC-SLP. Sarah and Kristen are nationally renowned for developing cutting edge, research based therapeutic interventions for those with executive functioning challenges. After working with us, kids develop the language and skills for understanding, analyzing and applying efficient strategies that help them to become more successful, independent learners.

    If you're nodding your head because you know what I'm talking about, give us a call at 858-558-9552 or email to find out if our services might benefit your child.

    Social Communication Specialists
    5703 Oberlin Dr, Ste 207
    San Diego, CA 92121

    Social communication groups enrolling now! For more information about our program and registration information, please call us at 858-558-9552 or email us at

  • TAG Talks with Dennis Spiegelman - In Carlsbad
  • RSVP by calling 858-689-2027!!!

  • No Wait for RDI!!!
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®) Our primary approach for treatment of autism spectrum is a developmental program called Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®). RDI® is a unique treatment approach that empowers parents to guide their child to succeed in our dynamic world. Children who learn to actively engage with the support of their parents in safe but challenging learning opportunities develop a strong motivation to explore and expand their world, as well as develop competence and trust in themselves and their guides. Click here for all the info!!!

    Two Offices to Serve You
    3555 Kenyon Street, Suite 101
    San Diego, CA 92110
    10731 Treena Street, #105
    San Diego, CA 92131
    619-600-0683 ext. 1

  • 8th Annual ONEHOPE ACT Today for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk and Family Festival
    10k - 5k - 1 Mile Benefiting military families impacted by autism

    Join us on Saturday, April 21, 2018 for our 8th Annual ONEHOPE ACT Today for Military Families 5k/10k Run/Walk and Family Festival. Since the inaugural event in 2011, this event has raised nearly $700,000 to benefit military families impacted by autism. Our event is a unique opportunity for the San Diego community to come together with our military service members in support of a worthy cause...building autism awareness and helping make a real difference in the life of a military child.

    Saturday, April 21, 2018

    Register today at

  • Include Autism's Gatsby Gala
  • Special Pricing During Autism Awareness Month!
    Get your tickets for as low as $68!

    Saturday, May 19th, 2018
    6:00 pm - 10:00 pm
    This year, we will be having our 11th Annual Gala, The Gatsby Gala, at the Hilton San Diego Resort and Spa on Mission Bay.

    Click here for all the info and to purchase your tickets!

    Click here for info about Include Autism and all of its' programs!

  • Free Sport Clinic with Peers Event!
  • Our event is free! To sign up visit

  • Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment
  • Experience a unique and effective approach to autism therapy.

    Our aim is to bring to families everywhere the most effective therapies for the treatment of autism. Our integrated care model is based on the scientific research and clinical practice of our founder, Dr. Suzanne Goh. We seek to set a new global standard for autism care by achieving superior developmental outcomes for the children and families we serve.

    At Cortica, we believe the world needs a higher standard of care for all those living with autism, or a potential diagnosis of autism. Families like yours deserve effective, collaborative, caring therapies that are accessible and reasonably priced, no matter who you are or where you live.

    The Cortica Care Model

    • Neurophysiology
    • Family and Home
    • Biochemistry
    • Cognition and Behavior
    • Sensorimotor
    • Communication
    Therapists with specialized expertise collaborate to understand and treat the whole child.

    Your customized program will focus on what your child's developing brain needs most to gain new abilities.

    The Cortica Care Model is based on a proven methodology that gives you confidence you're doing the right thing.

    Together, we clarify the complex, celebrate extraordinary efforts, and witness moments of brilliance as our children grow new skills and abilities. Many of our services are covered by medical insurance plans. Contact us for all the info!!!

    Cortica Care
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • Autism Coffee Talk Day with TACA - April 19th
  • Join TACA San Diego in beautiful Carlsbad, CA during #AutismAwarenessMonth for #AutismCoffeeTalkDay. This is one of 3 locations in San Diego County where you can join us at for this National Event.
    Hosted By TACA San Diego Co-Coordinator Vanessa Surprise and TACA Parent Mentor Malinda Cook

    Join TACA San Diego in Centrally Located Mission Valley, CA during #AutismAwarenessMonth for #AutismCoffeeTalkDay. This is one of 3 locations in San Diego County where you can join us at for this National Event.
    Hosted By TACA San Diego Co-Coordinator Nancy Kirkman

    Join TACA San Diego in Friendly Rancho Bernardo, CA during #AutismAwarenessMonth for #AutismCoffeeTalkDay. This is one of 3 locations in San Diego County where you can join us at for this National Event.
    Hosted By TACA San Diego Parent Mentors Kate Whelan and Shannon DeBlock

  • 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

  • It's a bird...It's a plane...It's a Gala!
  • Join us on June 9th from 5:30-11pm at the US Grant Hotel for what is sure to be an evening of epic adventure. You'll enjoy a cocktail reception, three course dinner with wine service, silent and live auction, live entertainment and more.

    Click here to purchase tickets or become an event sponsor.

    Home of Guiding Hands

  • Private JCPenney Autism Friendly Shopping Event
  • Sunday, April 22nd at 9 AM - 11 AM
    290 E Via Rancho Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92025-8005

    JCPenney at Westfield North County in Escondido has teamed up with Autism Speaks San Diego to bring you a private autism friendly shopping experience. This event will launch the first of a series of events for our community. This private event is free but registration for a gift bag will be required, limited gift bags available. Must be present to pick it up.

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

  • Compass Academy Open House and Information Session
  • banyon tree

    Need Help Navigating
    Your Child's Education?
    Tuesday, April 17, 7 - 8 PM
    Wednesday, April 18, 9 - 10 AM
    Thursday, April 19, 12 - 1 PM

    If your child does not fit the traditional school environment and you are looking for a better option, please attend our Open House and Information Meeting.

    Learn about the newly designed programs we have developed to meet the individual needs of each student in grades 1-8.
    Enrollment fees are waived for attending one of these sessions!

    RSVP Here - Please indicate which date you will attend

  • NFAR's 2018 Summer Camp Guide is HERE!
  • Looking for summer activities that will keep your child with autism engaged and learning new skills, all while still having fun?

    San Diego is home to many summer camps, sports activities, art classes and other programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In an effort to make this process easier for parents, NFAR's lists many of the camp options available in our community.

    Check out the Camp Guide here!!!

  • 2018 General & Special Education Conference-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.