Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 23, 2019

In This Issue

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Autism runs in families with history of brain conditions

New autism prevalence stats spotlight challenge of early diagnosis

Tarik El-Abour: The First Professional Baseball Player Diagnosed With Autism

Increase community support for families of children, young adults with autism

Behavioral disorders in kids with autism linked to reduced brain connectivity

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth

FREE! - Toilet Training for Toddlers with Autism

Cara Lucier & Associates

The Beginners Guide to Special Needs Planning - In Carlsbad

IEP DAY Conference

Call to visual artists with autism.

Summer Sports Spectacular

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

Introduction to RDI®

THRIVE! For Moms of Special Needs Families

Whispering Winds Special Needs Family Camp

12th Annual Global Providers' Conference | June 21 - 23, 2019

Club Beacons - Friday April 26th in Carlsbad

Happenings at D'Vine Path!


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  • Autism runs in families with history of brain conditions

  • Children in families with a history of brain conditions are at increased odds of being autistic, a large study in Sweden suggests1. The more closely related the family members with these conditions, the greater the child's chances of having autism.

    Other studies have reported similar trends: A child's odds of having autism increase if she has a sibling with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or intellectual disability, or a parent with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder or anxiety.

    The new study looked at family history of these conditions, as well as epilepsy and more than a dozen others, and included grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Read on...

  • New autism prevalence stats spotlight challenge of early diagnosis

  • The prevalence of autism in 4-year-old children in the United States has increased - from about 1 in 75 children in 2010 to 1 in 59 in 2014 - to match a previously reported rise in 8-year-old children, according to data released last week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    But children are still being evaluated for autism or other developmental conditions later than is ideal, the data suggest.

    The trend highlights how difficult it is to diagnose autism in young children, experts say; early diagnosis is important so that children can be treated early. Read on...

  • Tarik El-Abour: The First Professional Baseball Player Diagnosed With Autism
  • "The repetitiveness of baseball and the repetitiveness of autism go hand in hand." Reggie Sanders, Kansas City Royals

    Nadia Khalil who was the parent of a two-year-old daughter, Sarene, knew her younger child Tarik's milestones were delayed. Tarik unlike his sister didn't have eye contact or respond to her voice. He experienced tics from Tourette syndrome and he lined up his toy cars and trains in perfect rows. He didn't interact with other children and he hated loud noises. He was a great observer; watching others rather than wanting to socialize with them.

    "We had a birthday party for Sarene with Barney and friends. Tarik loved the characters in the Barney Show yet when he saw the purple dinosaur he ran in terror from our home. I started immediately to search for answers and try to learn how his mind processed information. Read on...

  • Increase community support for families of children, young adults with autism
  • April is Autism Awareness Month. As a parent of a 28-year-old female adult with autism, it is unfortunate that there is only one month a year where we focus our light and attention on autism awareness.

    Local families live daily with the stress and challenges that an autism diagnosis can bring. It affects every area of our family dynamics, our spousal relationships, our employment, our health, our finances, and our stress and anxiety levels are often through the roof.

    This often stems from the enormous responsibility as parents - we know that the world can be unkind in the treatment of those who are viewed as different and diverse. Over the last 14 years as founder and Executive Director of The Autism Council of Rochester, I have seen an increase in the needs of our families, and also lack of availability of unique services and supports, and lack of designated funding. I have also seen an experienced an unwillingness of those in the community to work together to bring about real and sustainable change for the future of our children, and young adults living with autism. Read on...

  • Behavioral disorders in kids with autism linked to reduced brain connectivity
  • More than a quarter of children with autism spectrum disorder are also diagnosed with disruptive behavior disorders. For the first time, Yale researchers have identified a possible biological cause: a key mechanism that regulates emotion functions differently in the brains of the children who exhibit disruptive behavior.

    "Disruptive behaviors such as aggression, irritability, and noncompliance are common in children with autism, and are among the main reasons for psychiatric treatment and even hospitalization," said Denis Sukhodolsky, senior author and associate professor in the Yale Child Study Center. "Yet, little is known about the biological underpinnings of behavioral problems in children with autism."

    The first of its kind, the Yale study used fMRI scans conducted during an emotion perception task to compare the brain activity of autistic children who do and do not exhibit disruptive behavior. While in the scanner, the children were asked to view pictures of human faces that displayed calm or fearful expressions. 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

    Hello, my family and I are relocating to SD county from the Napa area and were looking in Valley Center, Fallbrook area, as we have horses and would like to keep them with us, however, we are hearing those districts may not be the best choice for special needs kids and that we may be better off looking in Poway, Vista, San Marcos districts. My 8 year-old son is high-functioning ASD, very asperger-y lol (bright, funny, exceedingly social), also is medically fragile with lots of sensory needs and other developmental delays. I am in the market for new everything: feeding, occupational, social skills therapy, pediatrician, hair salon (for him), but I am most concerned about schooling options. He has been in gen ed with a 1:1 since Kindergarten, very bright, funny, active kid but seriously lacking pragmatic skills, very low threshold for frustration and as the educational demands increase so do his behaviors (nothing extreme, screaming, crying, putting head down on arm and crying-HATES SCHOOL), becomes extremely overstimulated in the gen ed environment which manifests in extreme tiredness (he only has one lung so that is part of it-when he gets overwhelmed it's like every ounce of energy is sucked out of him). IEP is next week, we will be pushing for a program at his current school, the model of which is for kids with ASD who function at or close to grade level, smaller class size (max 8), embedded behavioral services, 2:1 structured learning centers. He gets hospitalized a lot, misses a lot of school, you get the picture. Anyway, any recommendations would be super helpful. I'm also a special ed teacher, I know his rights and I have no issue engaging in a frank and candid exchange with teachers, admin or service providers. Please email me with your thoughts/advice. Thanks.

    Hi, My name is Caryn Cole and I'm a Marriage, Child and Family Therapist, LMFT and an Autism Spectrum Consultant. I'm also a parent of a son with Autism. I am doing some of my own research on how to best support families with school age children on the Autism Spectrum on a deeper level. Will you please take a moment to fill out this brief survey? It will only take 3 -5 minutes. It will be very helpful to me and as a bonus to anyone of you who are open, I will be more than happy to provide a phone consultation plan like I do my clients that I work with based on how you filled out the survey.
    Link to Autism Survey:

    I am looking for occupational therapy, physical therapy or a personal trainer for my son. He is 12 and seems to have outgrown most o/t gyms. Looking for someplace with a gym big enough for big kids. I would also like to find a personal trainer with experience working with kids with special needs.
    Please send any ideas to me at

    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

  • 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!!!

  • 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

  • The Beginners Guide to Special Needs Planning - In Carlsbad
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    5411 Avenida Encinas
    Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008

  • IEP DAY Conference
  • If you go to one conference this year -it should be IEP DAY.

    There is an amazing line-up of speakers/workshops. Lunch is included in the $60 fee. You can attend FREE if you Contact Regional Center or your district now!

    *The Involved Exceptional Parents' Day Conference, for parents of children with special needs and the professionals who work with them, will be held on Saturday, May 4, 2019, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

    There is also a wonderful SPANISH track this year :)
    REGISTER NOW or call your SDRC service coordinator or district for funding.

    You can also Check with any community/disability-related organizations with whom you are affiliated.

    SELPA's/SCHOOL DISTRICTS: Contact the Special Education Resource Coordinator at your child's school.
    East County SELPA-Heather DiFede, 619-590-3920
    North County Coastal Consortium (NCCSE)- Lisa Houghtelin, 760-761-5120
    North Inland SELPA- Kris Knudsen or Angela McNeece, 760-788-4671

    Call your district directly.
    Poway Unified- Theresa Kurtz, 858-521-2822
    South County SELPA- Liliana Armenta, 619-470-5225
    Head Start- Julia Childs Andrews, 858-244-8129
    East County
    Alpine Union- Mary Ann Alvarez, 619-445-3236 x806
    Cajon Valley- Jeanine, 619-588-3265
    Dehesa- Heather Griffths, 619-444-2161
    Grossmont Union High- Rose Tagnesi, 619-644-8105
    Jamul/Dulzura- Kara Trudgeon, 619-669-7955
    La Mesa/Spring Valley- Deann Ragsdale, 619-668-5700 x6202
    Lakeside- Christine Sinatra, 619-390-2620
    Lemon Grove- Sergio Campos, 619-825-5623
    Mountain Empire- Bill Dennett , 619-473-8869 x350
    Santee- Mimi McGinty , 619-258-2365


  • Call to visual artists with autism.
  • To apply, send a Letter of Interest and resume to Joy Boe at Please include your specific visual arts genre and a description of communication skills in your letter of interest.

  • Summer Sports Spectacular
  • Miracle 139 is the special needs ministry from the Rock Church. We are hosting a sports themed event on May 18th, 2019.

    It will be a great time of encouragement and community for families who have children with special needs.

    Here is the link for those who wish to volunteer.

    Email Adriana Houser, Miracle 139 Outreach at

  • 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!!!

  • THRIVE! For Moms of Special Needs Families
  • For moms of special needs and for all women interested and/or affected in some way with special needs. Or, as we call it, exceptional people. For questions, please contact Eugenia at 858-342-6848 or email

  • 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!!!

  • 12th Annual Global Providers' Conference | June 21 - 23, 2019
  • Early Bird 10% OFF - Discount Expires in 45 days June 05, 2019

    South SF Conference Center
    255 S. Airport Blvd.
    South San Francisco, CA 94080

    The Global Providers' Conference is our most exciting event every year! This summer in South San Francisco, join hundreds of practitioners from around the world to share ideas, network, and discover new strategies for teaching social competencies. This year's theme: Treatment Journeys for Different Ages and Issues.

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

  • Club Beacons - Friday April 26th in Carlsbad
  • 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!

  • Happenings at D'Vine Path!
  • A dynamic program for adults with autism, developmental delays and/or learning disabilities, providing vocational and life skills development in viticulture, agriculture & arts in the Fallbrook/Bonsall area. Click here to read their latest newsletter.

  • 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.