Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. April 26, 2019

In This Issue

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Children who outgrow autism label end up with other diagnoses

A Physician Speaks: What Physicians Can Learn From The Neurodiversity Movement

Quantitative tests of motor skills could improve autism care

Effort Underway To Expand Access To Respite Care

Girls and boys on autism spectrum tell stories differently, could explain 'missed diagnosis' in girls

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth

iCan Bike Still has Openings!

Cara Lucier & Associates

Summer Programs Club Xcite

IEP DAY Conference

A Parent's Guide to Autism

Summer Sports Spectacular

Beacons Spring Marketplace

Summer Programs at Beacons

THRIVE! For Moms of Special Needs Families

The Beginners Guide to Special Needs Planning - In Carlsbad

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

ENGAGE & CONNECT at Kid Ventures

Best Buddies Friendship Walk


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  • Children who outgrow autism label end up with other diagnoses

  • Nearly all children who lose their autism diagnosis have other conditions, such as anxiety and language and behavioral disorders, a new study suggests1. Many also require support at school.

    About 9 percent of children diagnosed with autism later don't meet criteria for the condition. Parent reports and some medical records have suggested that these children often still have other issues, such as language problems and attention difficulties.

    The new study looked at children diagnosed with autism at the Montefiore Medical Center in New York City around age 2 who no longer met criteria for the condition roughly four years later. The same team of clinicians evaluated the children at both time points. They found that the children whose traits improve enough for them to lose the autism label still qualify for other diagnoses. Read on...

  • A Physician Speaks: What Physicians Can Learn From The Neurodiversity Movement
  • our daily communication with patients and families, how often do we, as physicians, inadvertently promote negative stereotypes, diminish our patients' self-worth, or portray them as broken individuals or burdens to others?

    When, at age 3, my son received a medical diagnosis of autism, my husband and I received a list of intensive treatments we needed to initiate as quickly as possible and a pep talk saying if we did these things there was a good chance we could "fix him." As a mother, I was terrified. Images of Rain Man filled my mind, quickly followed by painful memories of security officers trying to restrain my beloved 350-pound adult autistic patient during a violent meltdown. As a physician and researcher, I did what I was best trained to do - I quickly took charge of the situation, scheduled consultations with every type of therapist in the city, and immersed myself in the autism literature. But I soon realized that expert opinions clashed greatly, there were no easy answers, and the evidence in support of the various therapies was extremely limited.

    Interestingly, nowhere in my early foray as an "autism mom" (or in the years I had spent as a primary care physician) did anyone actually suggest learning from individuals on the autism spectrum. It was only by coincidence that I met a local autistic self-advocate who was active in the neurodiversity movement. Who could have guessed she would change not only the way I looked at my autistic child, but also the way I practice medicine and focus my research? Now, the two of us co-direct the Academic Autistic Spectrum Partnership in Research and Education (, a NIH-funded, community-academic partnership that uses a community-based participatory research (CBPR) approach to conduct research to improve the lives of individuals on the autism spectrum [1]. She and many other autistic self-advocates regularly challenge my thinking, teaching me important lessons about how to be a better mother, physician, and researcher. Read on...

  • Quantitative tests of motor skills could improve autism care

  • Every week, I see children with autism in my behavioral neurology clinic, and I am struck by the huge variety of motor difficulties they have. Poor coordination or clumsy walking, among other issues, often appear early in life, persist for a lifetime and may even herald the core traits of autism.

    Trained as a neurologist, I quickly learned that the usual diagnostic approach - an in-depth neurological exam paired with brain imaging - often does not work for individuals with autism. The motor problems seen in autism are complex and diffuse. Clinical brain imaging does not always reveal them. Terms such as spasticity, ataxia and dysmetria commonly used in neurological examinations often do not apply. Instead, I found myself using broad descriptive phrases, such as 'uncoordinated,' 'clumsy' and 'odd postures.' From these clinical observations, I was driven to understand more about these motor difficulties. Read on...

  • Effort Underway To Expand Access To Respite Care
  • Lawmakers are looking to dramatically increase federal funding to support respite care for families of those with disabilities and other special needs.

    A bipartisan bill introduced this month known as the Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019, or H.R.2035, would tag $200 million over the next five years to boost respite care services across the country.

    The legislation is an effort to reauthorize an existing law that's been on the books since 2006 while adding significant investment. Under the measure, $20 million would be authorized for fiscal year 2020 and then funding would increase by $10 million per year, ultimately reaching $60 million in fiscal year 2024. Read on...

  • Girls and boys on autism spectrum tell stories differently, could explain 'missed diagnosis' in girls
  • Findings highlight the need for sex-sensitive screening and diagnostic tools, researchers say

    Boys are four times more likely than girls to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), yet a growing body of research shows that the condition is more common in girls than previously thought, strongly suggesting that new methods are required to diagnose the disorder at younger ages.

    A new study from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) examined differences in the way girls and boys on the autism spectrum used certain types of words during storytelling. This study found that autistic girls used significantly more "cognitive process" words such as "think" and "know" than autistic boys, despite comparable autism symptom severity. The results were recently published in the journal Molecular Autism.

    The authors suggest that identifying differences like these opens the door to making sure girls with ASD receive the diagnosis and support they need to achieve the best possible quality of life. 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

  • iCan Bike Still has Openings!
  • iCan Bike - We understand that the vast majority of people with disabilities never have the experience of independently riding a conventional two-wheel bicycle during their lifetime. Research shows that over 80% of people with Autism and 90% of people with Down syndrome never experience this thrill. Defying these odds is why we exist!

    Call 760 315 1311 or email
    View our video:

    Sponsorships, item donations, and discounted items for our families are welcome, and all donors will be listed on this year's T-shirts!

  • 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

  • Summer Programs Club Xcite
  • Transitioning into summer can bring on a lot of challenges, especially when it comes to staying on top of students developing skills and managing summer learning loss.

    At ClubXcite, our students THRIVE during the summer months. Our programs target skill building, while still ensuring that summer is how it should be- FUN! If you haven't yet, sign up for one or all of our amazing programs and start your summer plans TODAY!

    Mindful Adventures Summer Camp
    Designed to support children who have mild to moderate challenges in social settings due to social, behavioral or emotional struggles.

    Brain Power Summer Camp
    Master executive functioning skills & strategies necessary for lifelong success in the 21st Century through fun games & activities to support in school learning in Math, English & other subjects!

    1-1 Summer Brain Academy
    Teaches students how to leverage their executive functioning skills so they can supercharge their brain with new strategies & improve their performance for the upcoming school year.

    1-1 Summer Tutoring & Coaching
    Avoid summer learning loss! We empower our students to develop their own unique academic strategies to prepare for the upcoming school year.

    Education Related Mental Health Therapy
    Clinical therapy for students of all ages who are struggling with school related social, emotional or behavioral issues.

    Enrichment Summer Camps
    We offer a variety of unique and innovative after school and summer enrichment and skill-building programs. STEM, Arts, Sports and more!

  • 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


  • A Parent's Guide to Autism
  • Tue, May 7, 2019
    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    Sanford Autism Consulting Office
    4823 Alfred Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92120

    Are you concerned about your child?
    --Do they struggle with language, behavior or social skills?
    --Prefer playing alone?
    --Struggle to start or maintain friendships?
    --Have meltdowns when routines change?

    If you can answer yes to one or more of these questions, you must attend this FREE community workshop!

    For all the info and to register, please click here!

  • 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

  • Beacons Spring Marketplace
  • Come to Beacons Spring Marketplace on Saturday May 4th! Local businesses, crafts, and gifts made by our young adults with disabilities! Percentage of profits benefit Beacons.

  • Summer Programs at Beacons
  • Beacons (north county program for young adults with special needs) is launching our Summer Program! Visit our website for details and we will have registration open soon!

  • 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

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

  • 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!!!

  • ENGAGE & CONNECT at Kid Ventures
  • Engage & Connect is a program for the whole family of children with autism, ages 2 - 8 years of age.

    Activities include circle time, motor activities, and fun activities meant to increase communication and social skills, in a fun filled, creative environment.

    Sessions will be held on Thursdays from 5:15 PM - 6:25 PM on the following dates:
    May 9
    May 16
    May 23
    May 30

    To find out more, or to sign up on our interest list for our Spring session (May), please contact us at, and give us your name, and the name and age for each child.

    It's a way to engage and connect for the whole family!

  • Best Buddies Friendship Walk
  • May 18, 2019 - Tecolote Shores on Mission Bay
    When we say walk, we really mean laugh, dance, play and connect. It's a celebration!

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

  • 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.