Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. May 15, 2020

In This Issue

First US study of autism in adults estimates 2.2% have autism spectrum disorder

UC Davis team and collaborators targeting autism

Children with autism face higher risk of eating disorders

"I wouldn't wish my brain on anybody"

Sleep difficulties linked to altered brain development in infants who later diagnosed with autism

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

IEP Advocacy Services

View Prerecorded Webinar About Self-Determination

Groups for children, teens and young adults enrolling now!

Webinar Series: Child Regulation - Getting Calm and Staying Calm

Schwartz and Storey, Special Education Attorneys

Finding Our Way

Four Future Horizons Webinars

Online Activities at Villa De Vida Inc

Webinar: May 15th - Distance Learning & The COVID-19 Crises

Special Education During a Pandemic Webinar

When Anxiety is Not Anxiety



  • First US study of autism in adults estimates 2.2% have autism spectrum disorder
  • The first US study of autism in adults estimates that 2.2% of Americans adults have an autism spectrum condition.

    That adds up to 5.4 million people age 18 and older, or about 1 in 45 people, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday.

    "This is the first CDC study to provide estimates of the number of U.S. adults with autism and fills a gap in data on adults living with autism spectrum disorder in the United States because there is no existing surveillance system to collect this information," the CDC's National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities said in a statement. Read on...

  • UC Davis team and collaborators targeting autism
  • A 16-member team of international researchers is targeting autism spectrum disorder to see if a drug discovered in the Bruce Hammock lab at UC Davis can support efforts to control or block the neurodevelopmental disorder.

    ASD, which impacts the nervous system, affects 1 percent of the U.S. population or 62.2 million globally. An estimated 64 percent and 91 percent of the population are at risk genetically.

    The researchers' latest paper, "Maternal Glyphosate Exposure Causes Autism-Like Behaviors in Offspring through Increased Expression of Soluble Epoxide Hydrolase," appears in the current edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Glyphosate is a broad-spectrum systemic herbicide and crop desiccant used to kill broadleaf weeds and grasses that compete with agricultural crops. Read on...

  • Children with autism face higher risk of eating disorders
  • Previous research has found that autism and eating disorders can occur together, as 20-30% of adults with eating disorders have autism, and 3-10% of children and young people with eating disorders.

    However, it has not been clear whether autistic traits result from eating disorders or precede them. This new longitudinal study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, finds that autistic traits in childhood come before behaviours characteristic of eating disorders, and so could be a risk factor for developing eating disorders.

    Lead author Dr Francesca Solmi (UCL Psychiatry) said: "We have found that young children with autistic traits at age seven are more likely than their peers to end up developing eating disorder symptoms in adolescence. Read on...

  • "I wouldn't wish my brain on anybody"
  • #AuthenticAwareness includes knowing the struggles inside the mind of an autism self-advocate

    As a motivational speaker, author and poet, I travel for work quite frequently. Oftentimes, to get from the airport to my hotel, I will take an Uber or Lyft. Inevitably, the drivers ask what I am in town for, and when I tell them what I do, they subsequently ask me what I speak about.

    I hesitantly say autism and mental health, not because I am embarrassed or ashamed, but because I know what the driver's response will be: "Oh wow, I would have never guessed YOU have autism! You must be doing very well!" I give a half-smile on the outside, while frustration fills my inside.

    Individuals with autism are at a significantly increased rate of having a mental health diagnosis. I have 8 invisible disabilities, and usually, aside from massive public meltdowns that have taken a toll on my well-being, only those closest to me see my struggles. Read on...

  • Sleep difficulties linked to altered brain development in infants who later diagnosed with autism
  • Infants spend most of their first year of life asleep. Those hours are prime time for brain development, when neural connections form and sensory memories are encoded.

    But when sleep is disrupted, as occurs more often among children with autism, brain development may be affected, too. New research led by the University of Washington finds that sleep problems in a baby's first 12 months may not only precede an autism diagnosis, but also may be associated with altered growth trajectory in a key part of the brain, the hippocampus. 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 to apply online
    Call 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD)
    Come in/find an office at

    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.

    Even though the doctor SSI sent us to for eligibility exam commented at the end of the exam that my 10 year old grandson would qualify based on the exam and his diagnosis of autism, my daughter received letter of denial. I think we may be beyond the 60 days to appeal. Looking for help to get thru the appeal process.
    Mary Ann Walker

    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.

  • IEP Advocacy Services
  • We offer caring and comprehensive support to help you understand your child's Individual Education Program (IEP) and become an active member of the team. As your San Diego IEP consultant, my services include:

    • In-depth audit/analysis of your child's current or proposed IEP, 504 Plan, and student records
    • Facilitating collaboration between family, school, and community providers
    • Guiding parents through the special education process/laws and helping parents understand their rights
    • Advocating beside parents at IEP, 504, or Student Support Team (SST) meetings (as appropriate)
    • Preparing parents to become an informed and empowered advocate for their child
    Discovery Meeting: 1-Hour $79
    Includes review of your top 1-2 concerns regarding your child's IEP, related recommendations and resources, detailed summary report.

    IEP Coaching and Comprehensive IEP Analysis
    May include: complete IEP documentation review, in-depth audit/analysis report, crafting of emails to IEP Team, parent coaching to prepare for your IEP meeting, and/or travel and attendance at one IEP meeting. Price determined based on your unique case.


    Sanford Autism Consulting

  • View Prerecorded Webinar About Self-Determination
  • Now More than Ever: Having Choice and Control over Your Services through Self-Determination and Participant Direction
    Click here to view the webinar!!!

  • Groups for children, teens and young adults enrolling now!
  • null

    Wondering if your child might benefit from joining a group? Give us a call at 858-558-9552 to schedule a free consultation.

    Tele Health now in use during COVID-19!!!

    Social Communication Specialists
    5703 Oberlin Dr., Ste 207
    San Diego, CA 92121
    (858) 558-9552

  • Webinar Series: Child Regulation - Getting Calm and Staying Calm
  • 1. What is self-regulation?
    2. Co-regulation and predictability
    3. Great tips for helping kids get calm and stay calm

    Cara Fairfax is an LCSW who specializes in perinatal, postpartum, and early childhood mental health. She is an early intervention specialist who works with children with special needs and at risk children, and works with families who have babies in the NICU. Click here to view!!!

  • Schwartz and Storey, Special Education Attorneys
  • Special Education Legal Advocacy and Representation

    As special education attorneys we're here to help answer questions and find solutions to the difficult issues facing children with special needs. From legal advocacy to representation in court, the Law Offices of Schwartz & Storey works to secure the best possible outcome in the shortest amount of time. Please feel free to reach out if you're looking for information or would like to stop by and discuss a particular concern.

    • IEP & 504 Meetings
    • Manifestation Determinations
    • Record Requests & Review
    • Organization & Planning
    • Compliance Complaints
    • Due Process Hearings
    • Regional Center Fair Hearings
    • Appeals
    • More Services
    The legal services of a special education attorney vary widely but primarily focus on issues concerning "education and equality." Education applies to special and general education, early intervention, vocational, and higher education. Concerns range from access to education, activities, and services, validity of assessments and testing, to the nature of the program itself. Equality generally refers to civil rights protections. If you have a concern that is not represented here please feel free to reach out for information or an opinion.

    Law Offices of Schwartz & Storey
    2247 San Diego Ave. Suite #237
    San Diego, CA 92110

  • Finding Our Way
  • Tele Therapy, Home Programs and an Emotional Regulation Workshop for your child starts soon. Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info!!!

  • Four Future Horizons Webinars
  • May Webinars - Cost: $25 per

    » Cara Koscinski - Executive Function 101

    » Dr. Jim Ball - Strategies for Transitioning Students with Autism Back to School/Work

    » Wendela Whitcomb Marsh - Setting the Stage for Success at Every Age

    » Anita Lesko - Becoming an Autism Success Story

  • Online Activities at Villa De Vida Inc
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter!!!

  • Webinar: May 15th - Distance Learning & The COVID-19 Crises
  • Coming on May 15th!!!

  • Special Education During a Pandemic Webinar
  • FREE WEBINAR - Special Education in a Pandemic Quarantine May 19, 2020 - 7 pm EST/4pm PST

    Parents have so many questions about their child's special education rights and needs in this time of quarantine.

    Well, GET READY to join Dr. Roseann Capanna-Hodge and attorneys - Pete Wright, Piper Paul, Wayne Steedman, and Jack Robinson who are here to LEAD US TOGETHER through what the laws are and how to best support your child RIGHT NOW.

    Pete Wright and these amazing attorneys will answer:
    >>What is the federal law during the COVID-19 quarantine?
    >>What is compensatory education?
    >>How can parents advocate right now?
    >>The importance of data points: The how and why of evaluations and collecting data.

    Register soon for this FREE Webinar because it will fill up!

  • When Anxiety is Not Anxiety
  • Join us for a FREE TACA Webinar with Dr. Pejman Katiraei about When Anxiety IS NOT Anxiety.
    When: Tuesday, May 19th
    Time: 10:00 am PST

    More About the Webinar:
    Sensory Processing Disorders distort a child's ability to experience life comfortably. Occupational therapists have done an incredible job balancing the vestibular, proprioceptive and other neurosensory pathways to allow children with SPD to flourish. Unfortunately, what they have not realized is that the majority of these children have subtle metabolic disorders limiting their tone and energy. This same metabolic deficiency can disable the very gabaergic neurons needed to control neural excitation and dampen excessive sensory input. This presentation not only covers the noted concepts, but it also presents the hypothesis that a large percentage of sensory processing disorders are due to metabolic disorders in infancy, causing the infant to lack the gross motor strength and truncal tone needed to execute the fundamental tasks needed for neural integration: rolling, crawling, creeping,walking, jumping, etc.

    More about Dr. Katiraei:
    Dr. Pejman Katiraei is a board certified pediatrician who is also boarded and fellowship trained in integrative and holistic medicine.He completed his undergraduate at UCLA and then obtained his osteopathic medical degree at Western University of Health Sciences. He completed his pediatric residency at Loma Linda University, where he stayed on Pediatric Chief Resident, and then as teaching faculty for over 4 years while he founded the Loma Linda University Wholistic Medicine Clinic. Dr. Katiraei also completed two fellowships in integrative medicine, one with the University of Arizona. Dr. Katiraei's second fellowship was in Endobiogeny, a European systems biology medical model which emphasizes the use of botanicals in management of the neuroendocrine system. Dr. Katiraei is one of a few physicians in the country with mastery of osteopathy, functional medicine,functional endocrinology, medical herbalism and more. Dr. Katiraei is now in private practice in Santa Monica, where he focuses on helping children with severe behavioral challenges.

  • 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 Michelle Cozad for more information at 619-938-2887 or

  • Webinar: Learn About RDI with Kiki Haddad!

  • For questions please email or call 858-689-2027

  • Webinar: Learn About RDI with Brooke Wagner

  • For questions please email or call 858-689-2027

  • 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 Thank you!

  • 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 or call us at 619-594-0176. Thank you!

  • 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 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 Thank you!

  • 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:
    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 or (619) 356-1438.

    Survey here:

  • Autism Research Survey
  • Autism Research Survey - 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


    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.