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Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. May 01, 2020

In This Issue

Potential autism biomarker found in babies

Cognitive tests may help characterize intellectual disability

'Autistic voices should be heard.' Autistic adults join research teams to shift focus of studies

Mel Baggs, Blogger on Autism and Disability, Dies at 39

'Zoom fatigue' is taxing the brain. Here's why that happens.

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

We believe that everyone should be able to be lifelong learners to develop their skills and interests!

Support & Information for Adults: SD Regional Center Paid Internship Program

Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together

More Fabulous Free Stuff and Big Sale!

Online Activities at Villa De Vida Inc.

CalFresh food benefits can now be used to purchase groceries online at select retailers!

ABA to the Rescue!

Home Learning Resources for Kids with Special Needs

NEW ISSUE! Flourishing Families 2020


 


THIS MONTH'S SPONSORS






  • Potential autism biomarker found in babies
  • Cerebrospinal fluid levels of a hormone called vasopressin were lower in babies who went on to develop autism than in those who did not, a study found.

    A biological marker in infants that appears to predict an autism diagnosis has been identified in a small study led by researchers at the School of Medicine.

    The study of 33 individuals showed that the biomarker, a hormone called vasopressin, was present at lower levels during infancy in the cerebrospinal fluid of babies who were later diagnosed with autism than in those who were not. CSF surrounds the brain and spinal cord.

    The results were published April 27 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Read on...

  • Cognitive tests may help characterize intellectual disability
  • Standardized tests can reliably measure memory, language ability, executive function and other cognitive traits in people with intellectual disability linked to autism1.

    A package of seven tests from the U.S. National Institutes of Health, known as the NIH Toolbox-Cognitive Battery, is designed to assess cognitive skills in people aged 3 to 85 years in the general population. A new analysis indicates the tests are also valid for people with intellectual disability, including those with Down syndrome or fragile X syndrome.

    More than 65 percent of people with intellectual disability do not have a definitive diagnosis - in part because clinicians have not had reliable tools to measure these individuals' cognitive ability2. Without any baseline characterizations, it is also difficult to gauge the effects of treatments. Read on...

  • 'Autistic voices should be heard.' Autistic adults join research teams to shift focus of studies
  • Professional burnout is all too familiar: Go at something too hard for too long, and the motivational tank empties. But burnout for an autistic person isn't always about overwork, Dora Raymaker, an autistic systems scientist at Portland State University (PSU), found in a study of autistic workers. Instead, the need to mask autistic behaviors through a workday with nonautistic people can cause chronic exhaustion, reduced ability to tolerate stimuli like light or sound, and loss of skills, the study showed through interviews and a survey of social media comments.

    The work, which Raymaker's team published last month, highlights a new trend in autism research. Raymaker and colleagues are part of a small but growing number of research teams with autistic members. These groups are shifting the focus in autism research from cause and cure to practical steps, including ones that help autistic people in settings such as the workplace. And they're publishing some of their findings in a new journal, Autism in Adulthood, which is dedicated to including the perspectives of autistic people in what it publishes. Read on...

  • Mel Baggs, Blogger on Autism and Disability, Dies at 39
  • Candid blog posts and a widely viewed short film sought to expand the very definition of what it means to be human.

    Mel Baggs, whose forthright writings and films about being a nonverbal person with autism made an impact in the fields of neurodiversity and disability rights, died on April 11 in Burlington, Vt., at age 39.

    Anna Baggs, Mx. Baggs's mother, said the cause was believed to be respiratory failure, though numerous health problems may also have played a part.

    Mx. Baggs, a vigorous blogger, used the term "genderless" as a self-description. "I like that it just means lack of gender, and has no spoken or unspoken secondary meaning," read a 2018 entry on the blog "Cussin' and Discussin': Mel being human in a world that says I'm not." Many friends and admirers posting about Mx. Baggs's death on social media used gender-neutral pronouns, while others used the traditional feminine ones. Read on...

  • 'Zoom fatigue' is taxing the brain. Here's why that happens.
  • Video calls seemed an elegant solution to remote work, but they wear on the psyche in complicated ways.

    JODI EICHLER-LEVINE FINISHED teaching a class over Zoom on April 15, and she immediately fell asleep in the guest bedroom doubling as her office. The religion studies professor at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania says that while teaching is always exhausting, she has never "conked out" like that before.

    Until recently, Eichler-Levine was leading live classes full of people whose emotions she could easily gauge, even as they navigated difficult topics-such as slavery and the Holocaust-that demand a high level of conversational nuance and empathy. Now, like countless people around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust her life into a virtual space. In addition to teaching remotely, she's been attending a weekly department happy hour, an arts-and-crafts night with friends, and a Passover seder-all over the videoconferencing app Zoom. The experience is taking a toll. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • Do you receive SSI? Don't miss out on food benefits!
    Beginning June 2019, many Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will become eligible for CalFresh Food Benefits.

    There is NO CHANGE or reduction to SSI/SSP amounts. For more information Click, Call or Come in to your county office to apply and find out more.

    Click GetCalFresh.org to apply online
    Call 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD)
    Come in/find an office at CalFreshFood.org


    San Diego Futures - I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of this organization because it can be a helpful resource to families in need of computers and other technology who may not have the resources they need to secure technology for their homes. If anyone needs a laptop or desktop and cannot afford one, please consider reaching out to this group. Desktops and laptops are available at VERY low prices for eligible families. https://sdfutures.org/for-individuals/



    If you have a question or request for this newsletter group, please send your email request to ValeriesList@aol.com. People who can help you will email you directly with their responses.

  • We believe that everyone should be able to be lifelong learners to develop their skills and interests!
  • BEACONS, Inc. is a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit public benefit corporation founded in 2018 to provide vocational, recreational, and social activities as well as services to adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Beacons, Inc. offers postsecondary workforce workshops that are progress monitored, structured, low ratio and accessible to those in need of smaller settings, more individualized pacing, and assistive technology. We create pathways and outcomes that improve social connections, community engagement and access to employment.

    Beacons North County
    6150 Yarrow Drive, Suite E
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    General: BeaconsNorthCounty@gmail.com
    Club Beacons: Club@BeaconsNorthCounty.com
    Pathfinder Workshops: Pathfinder@BeaconsNorthCounty.com
    Tailored Day: TailoredDay@BeaconsNorthCounty.com
    760-448-6230
    https://www.beaconsnorthcounty.com

  • Support & Information for Adults: SD Regional Center Paid Internship Program
  • Tuesday, May 12, 2020
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM


    THIS IS A VIRTUAL MEETING USING THE ZOOM PLATFORM.
    Autism Society San Diego is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: SD Regional Center Paid Internship Program

    Join Zoom Meeting Click here!!!

  • Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together
  • AEFCT provides high quality services that are structured, comprehensive, and individualized. Our mission is to provide intervention to children with autism, putting the needs of each child first so that they are met fairly and appropriately. We use developmentally sound strategies supported by empirical evidence, combined with a team approach that involves family participation. Autism affects the entire family unit, and we recognize that parent education and participation are essential to achieve success.

    AEFCT
    4669 Murphy Canyon Rd.
    Suite 212, San Diego, CA 92123
    858.569.0056
    http://aefct.com

  • More Fabulous Free Stuff and Big Sale!
  • At Social Thinking, we are always thinking about new ideas to support you with teaching strategies to share with your students, clients, and children to help them learn all about navigating this complex social world of ours. That's why we have developed our Free Stuff portal and have our biggest sale of the year, 30% off all of our products, livestream-recorded conferences, and eLearning-happening right now. https://www.socialthinking.com/free-stuff

  • Online Activities at Villa De Vida Inc.
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info!!!

  • CalFresh food benefits can now be used to purchase groceries online at select retailers!
  • Click GetCalFresh.org

  • ABA to the Rescue!
  • View our upcoming offerings by visiting our Events page. To register for each workshop, click the link to Register on Zoom.
    www.gatewaylg.com/event

  • Home Learning Resources for Kids with Special Needs
  • Families are facing unprecedented challenges in the wake of shelter-in-place guidelines. As teachers rally to support caregivers for in-home learning, parents also face the task of setting up homes and schedules to manage students' educational needs. This can be much more complicated when a child has an Individual Education Program (IEP) or 504 Plan. School districts are still in the process of learning how these services will be delivered in the home setting, so students may not currently be receiving related services: speech, OT, PT and psychological supports.

    The Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego is here to help. Below are resources organized by need. Click here for all the info!!!

  • NEW ISSUE! Flourishing Families 2020
  • We're excited to share with you our newly released 2020 issue which is the most comprehensive listing to date, with 1,200 special needs resources in San Diego and Imperial Counties.

    Use the guide to find service providers, research institutes, specialized doctors, resource providers, camps, therapists, advocates, associations and so much more.

    Flourishing Families is available as a print magazine, a digital issue and on SNRFSD.org so you can access via your mobile phone.
    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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.

    www.sdnhm.org
    877.946.7797

  • 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 www.fleetscience.org/events/autism-accessibility-mornings.

  • Everyone Deserves a Loving Home

  • Contact Lynn Scott for more information 619-954-7847 or lynn@guidinghands.org. www.guidinghands.org

  • Webinar: Learn About RDI with Kiki Haddad!

  • For questions please email emily@tagforgrowth.com or call 858-689-2027
    www.tagforgrowth.com

  • Webinar: Learn About RDI with Brooke Wagner

  • For questions please email emily@tagforgrowth.com or call 858-689-2027
    www.tagforgrowth.com

  • Toddler MRI Study at SDSU

  • Our Center's research arm, the Brain Development Imaging Labs, is conducting a fascinating study looking at how young children's brains change as they get older. We are looking for kids (15 months to 5 years old) who are on the spectrum or who are suspected to have autism. Participants get a free assessment (plus assessment summary), free MRI scan, $150, AND a free picture of their brain! For more info or to sign up, please call us at 619-594-2500 or email us at ToddlerMRIstudy@sdsu.edu. Thank you! http://autism.sdsu.edu

  • 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 www.sparkforautism.org/ucsd.sarrc -- 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 mshir@ucsd.edu or via phone at 858-534-6906 if you would like to set up an appointment or if you have any questions!

  • Older Adults with Autism (40-75 yrs old) Needed for Study

  • We are looking for older adults with autism (40-75 yrs old) to be in our brain imaging study! Anyone with a diagnosis or suspects that she or he has autism is invited to reach out to us. Participants receive a free assessment, free MRI brain scan, and around $150! If you know anyone who might be interested in this, please have them email ASDaging@mail.sdsu.edu or call us at 619-594-0176. Thank you! http://autism.sdsu.edu

  • Participate in a Study at Research on Autism and Development Laboratory at UCSD
  • SJSU Research Study Participants Needed

  • My research team and I are writing to let you know of an exciting opportunity for your online community to participate in a research study. The research study is looking at friendship quality, social participation, and social networks in young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We would like to understand the causes and impacts of social deficits in order to contribute to the development of social skills training programs for use with adolescents and young adults. This is our capstone project to partially fulfil our Master's degree, and the Principal Investigator (PI) of the study is Dr. Megan Chang at San Jose State University.

    We are recruiting individuals diagnosed with ASD between the ages of 18-35 who have adequate conversational skills. If you believe that your community may be interested in participating in this study or if you would like additional information, please contact myself at jessica.patterson@sjsu.edu. By volunteering, participants may benefit through reflection and may develop increased self-awareness.

  • SDSU Center for Autism Brain Study Needs Volunteers!

  • The SDSU Center for Autism is conducting a behavioral and brain imaging study with youth (7-21 years old) on the spectrum. We are trying to understand how the brain changes as children become young adults. Participants get a free assessment, a free MRI scan, about $150, and a free picture of their brain! If you are interested, call us at 619-594-0176, or email us at bdil@sdsu.edu. Thank you! http://autism.sdsu.edu

  • Volunteers Needed for Study!!!

  • My name is Thanh Nguyen and I am an occupational therapy student at San Jose State University. My group is conducting a cross-cultural (U.S. vs Taiwan) study, examining the differences in occupational participation of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) at home, school and in the community. We are inviting participants who are parents or legal guardians of children with ASD, 9-12 years of age, in the United States to answer an anonymous online survey that takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. I would greatly appreciate if you can share this attached flyer in your newsletter so that anyone who is interested in participating in the study can help us fill out the survey.

    Here is the link to the survey:
    https://sjsu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_1LBak1TToSe1RTn
    Potential participants can also access the survey by scanning the QR code on the flyer.

  • Autism Resources Research

  • For more info please contact Elizabeth Sanchez Arvizu, M.A. at esanchez_arvizu@alliant.edu or (619) 356-1438.

    Survey here: https://alliant.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_0rHNKaZGhNhCXAx

  • Autism Research Survey
  • business_finance_research.jpg
    Autism Research Survey - http://autismresearchstudy.com This research survey is conducted through Point Loma Nazarene University. Please share with both autistic adults over 18 years old and parents of children with autism, autistic parents with autistic children, verbal and nonverbal. #Autistic, Autism parents, Autism dad, Autism mom. The survey will take 10-20 minutes & your participation will affect the lives of children in many countries.

    The research is to understand the trajectories in the lives of individuals who have been diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (formerly known as Pervasive Developmental Disorder). The purpose of this study is to determine the current status of those individuals in order to better inform current treatment practices and create recommendations for the treatments and therapies that will be used for the next generation of kids with autism.

    Please fill out our Autism Research survey and PLEASE SHARE with anyone who you know/think may be able to participate and contribute. Please make sure to make a recommendation at the end.

    *** Apologies to those who object to the term "person with autism" as opposed to an autistic person. All questions had to be approved by the IRB and as such had to follow medical guidelines.

    To participate click link http://autismresearchstudy.com

     
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    Disclaimer

    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.
    Owner/Editor ValeriesList.com

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