Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. May 01, 2018

In This Issue

UC San Diego to use controversial marijuana compound to treat severe autism

I Have Autism: A Mother's Story

The CDC just announced 1 in 59 children are autistic. Here's why that's not evidence of an epidemic.

Treating Special Ed Tutoring or School as a Medical Expense

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

North County Autism Support Group, May 7th

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

Autism Men's Group - New Location!!!

Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!!!

Xcite Steps is Now in Temecula!!!

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

Summer RPM Classes for Nonspeaking Individuals

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

Not Your Typical Parenting Workshop

RB TACA Coffee Club

Encinitas Learning Center hosts Workshop on Sleep and Brain Health Improvement

Dance for Teens & Adults with Special Needs Saturday May 5

Adults with Asperger-Like Thinking Therapy Group

Easterseals Southern CA is Hiring!!!



  • UC San Diego to use controversial marijuana compound to treat severe autism
  • UC San Diego will try to alleviate severe autism in children by giving them a non-psychoactive chemical found in marijuana, a project funded by the biggest private donation ever made in the U.S. for such research.

    The $4.7 million study involves the controversial compound cannabidiol, or CBD, which is widely marketed nationwide as something of a miracle drug, capable of treating everything from cancer to post-traumatic stress disorder.

    Regulators believe CBD does show therapeutic promise. But they also say the miracle drug claims are wrong or based on anecdotes rather than scientific evidence. Last fall, the FDA warned four companies to stop saying things like, "CBD makes cancer cells commit 'suicide'." Read on...

  • I Have Autism: A Mother's Story
  • When I tell friends I was recently diagnosed with autism, some of them scoff and call it nonsense. They say I function fine, that I smile, laugh and socialize. I'm a mother who is active in the lives of my three sons; I have published two novels, and have spoken publicly at conferences and schools across the country. In sum, I don't fit the preconception.

    I can understand where they're coming from. Many, when they think about autism, picture an awkward teenage boy who has trouble making eye contact and is obsessed with gaming.

    But, as the old saying goes: If you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism.

    When I was little, I felt like I watched the world from inside a glass box. It never occurred to me to try to connect with what was happening outside it. I didn't really think of myself as having any sort of role to play. I was just a set of eyes and ears. Read on...

  • The CDC just announced 1 in 59 children are autistic. Here's why that's not evidence of an epidemic.
  • Especially within minority groups, parents and doctors are getting better at identifying the condition.

    The Centers for Disease Control this week released the latest autism prevalence numbers, which suggest that approximately 1 in 59 children are autistic.

    This represents an increase from CDC's previous estimate, released in 2014, of 1 in 68. And it's a truly remarkable increase over the 2007 estimate, which reported that 1 in 150 children - the periodic study focuses on eight-year-olds - were autistic.

    As the release date for the new CDC numbers approached, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones blasted policymakers for "denying and refusing to tackle our nation's staggering autism epidemic." But such views were not hard to find echoed on social media, even from figures within the autism world: Read on...

  • Treating Special Ed Tutoring or School as a Medical Expense
  • Did you know that you can include in medical expenses for purposes of deductions, fees you pay on a doctor's recommendation for a child's tutoring by a teacher who is specially trained and qualified to work with children who have learning disabilities caused by mental or physical impairments, including nervous system disorders? You can also include in medical expenses the cost (tuition, meals and lodging) of attending a school that furnishes special education to help a child to overcome learning disabilities as long as overcoming the learning disability is the principal reason for attending the school.

    Hoping this might be able to help some of you! (look at p. 13 - discuss with your accountant if you want to know if this can help you!)

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    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.

    We are moving to San Diego this June. We have a 10 year old son with high functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder. He is very intelligent and strong academically but struggles with stimming, restricted interests, anxiety, and finding close friends. Can you refer us to a good psychologist? We are moving to Pacific Highlands Ranch in Carmel Valley, and would prefer someone close if possible. Thanks!!

    We are looking for an effective swim instructor for my son with autism. He hasn't progressed much with the current swim school he goes to. Does anyone know of someone who teaches private swim lessons to kids with autism at their own pool? If so, please contact me at . Thank you! Anita

    I am the parent of a 12 year old 7th grader who struggles severely with autism-like behaviors and a host of disabilities. I am unable to find a way to have her diagnosed. My two special needs children are adopted. I am a single stay at home mom and I do not have the resources for a private evaluation. We have a 12 year history of services with Rady Children's Hospital including one year in residential treatment. I'm interested to find any new information about what a parent is to do when both the medical and school communities neglects such severe needs. 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.

  • North County Autism Support Group, May 7th
  • IHSS Everything You Need To Know!

    April VillafaƱa will provide a compressive overview of In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) including the application process, eligibility, age appropriate guidelines, hourly task guidelines, protective supervision, personal services & paramedical services.

    Monday, May 7 at 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM
    Kirsch Therapy
    1949 Avenida del Oro, Ste 118, Oceanside, California 92056

    To RSVP click going on this FB event page!!

  • Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!
  • Real Connections Child Development Institute
    Supporting and partnering with families of children on the autism spectrum through understanding, engagement and relationships.

    Developmental Play Therapy - 1:1 developmental therapy in your child's natural environment. Evidenced- based, emotional, cognitive and neurobiological therapy that assists your child in developing meaningful relationships.

    Parent Coaching & Support - Real-time training and education in your child's individual profile. Learn new ways to engage and connect, while focusing on communicative and cognitive/ social emotional development. Maximize your child's developmental growth through both daily interactions and parent-child intervention sessions.

    A "Whole Child" Program

    • Flexible Thinking
    • Problem Solving
    • Scripting
    • Perserveration
    • Meltdowns
    • Executive Function Skills
    • Regulation
    • Sensory Integration
    • Spatial Processing
    • Individualized Program
    Real Connections San Diego
    415 North Highway 101, Suite C
    Solana Beach, CA 92075
    619-840-0015 or 858-768-0313

  • Autism Men's Group - New Location!!!
  • Thursday, May 10, 2018

    The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Filippi's Pizza Grotto -- NEW LOCATION!!!
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad.
    Dinner is provided

    May Topic: Raising a Child on the Spectrum - sharing insights and resources

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!!!
  • Microcurrent 4 Kids is San Diego's premiere pediatric microcurrent therapy program for children with special needs. Our program is the BEST therapy for Autism & ADHD, as you will see by the rapid improvement in your child's skills and abilities, because of how well it promotes developmental growth and couples with ALL other therapies. Proudly serving all of San Diego and conveniently located in Kearny Mesa, just off the 163 freeway and Balboa Avenue.

    If you are looking for autism treatment like cranial sacral, PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field), transcranial magnetic stim, FSM (frequency specific microcurrent), hyperbaric oxygenation, MRT (magnetic resonance therapy), chelation, or other alternative treatment options -give us a call to learn about how Microcurrent 4 Kids may be the better choice for you and your family!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123
    858 367-9108

  • Xcite Steps is Now in Temecula!!!
  • Xcite Steps specializes in the treatment of Autism and related developmental disorders, providing compassionate commitment and care to each and every individual and family we serve. We adhere to this mission by operating within the theoretical practices and evidence-based principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA).

    We do not believe in a "one size fits all" model. We recognize that every client can be individually reached through a variety of different treatment approaches to create a unique and tailored program. Our staff is highly trained to identify and create natural learning opportunities, and transform everyday social outings into enriched therapeutic experiences. The versatility of our programs allows clients to enjoy a comfortable, contoured, and natural therapy experience.

    --Individualized and generalized curriculum Learning across naturalistic environments & stimuli Highly trained and energized staff

    --Attentive and collaborative supervision

    If you would like to learn more about our programs please contact Pamela Garrity, Director of Client Relations, at 858-428-0222 or We look forward to hearing from you!

  • 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.

    For more info or to become a sponsor please call (619)938-2854 or email

    All proceeds from this event benefit Home of Guiding Hands who is one of the largest providers of supports and services in San Diego County, serving more than 2,500 infants, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities. At HGH, we believe that individuals thrive where they can direct their own lives in a setting that offers a more fulfilling lifestyle, provides individualized attention, increased opportunities for self-sufficiency, and encourages greater community integration and access.

    Home of Guiding Hands
    1908 Friendship Dr.
    El Cajon, CA 92020

  • Summer RPM Classes for Nonspeaking Individuals
  • More for info please email

  • 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

  • Not Your Typical Parenting Workshop
  • I hope to answer all queries big and small, from behavioral strategies to potty training issues, toddler meltdowns to teenage angst and anxiety,and from ADHD to ASD.

    We can chat and work together, in a relaxed environment to work out strategies that can be successful for you and your loved ones.

    Click here for all the info and to purchase your $15 ticket!!!

  • RB TACA Coffee Club
  • Tuesday, May 8 at 10 AM - 12 PM
    Mason Coffee Works
    16451 Bernardo Center Drive
    San Diego, California 92128

    TACA Mentors Kate Whelan and Shannon DeBlock are excited to host Coffee Talks monthly here in Rancho Bernardo at a convenient location just off I15. They are here to support you through your autism journey. Just bring yourself. Click here for all the info!

  • Encinitas Learning Center hosts Workshop on Sleep and Brain Health Improvement
  • We are hosting some workshops and the first two are May 1 and 15 and the subject is Sleep and Brain Health with Dr. Tony Hall, DC CCSP

    Dr. Hall is a Sports Chiropractor who is also very interested in Concussion Care and working with children and adults who have sleep deprivation and what that looks like.

    The workshop will be held at 543 Encinitas Blvd. Suite 100, Encinitas, CA 92024 from 7:00 - 7:45 p.m. and we would love RSVP to (760) 634-6886.

  • Dance for Teens & Adults with Special Needs Saturday May 5
  • RSVP to Caroline at 602-502-2743!

  • Adults with Asperger-Like Thinking Therapy Group
  • Connect with other adults in a supportive environment to grow your skills in building relationships, social knowledge and educational/vocational transitions. Mondays, May 14-July 9, 6-7:30 pm at the Family Wellness Center in El Cajon. Having a diagnosis is not a requirement. Groups are led by pre-licensed marriage and family therapy trainees and interns. Register by May 7.

  • Easterseals Southern CA is Hiring!!!
  • For more info please contact Barbara Hatch at 714. 672-0640 or email

  • 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.