Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. May 19, 2018

In This Issue

FDA Grants Fast Track Designation for Yamo Pharmaceutical's L1-79 in Autism Spectrum Disorder

University of St. Thomas student with autism to graduate with 2 degrees

How inflammation and gut bacteria influence autism

Brain science to benefit from unexpected windfall in research funds

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Autism Journey Power Panel

Summer Programs Enrolling Now!

Central San Diego Breakfast Club

Cara Lucier & Associates

Encinitas Dance/ Karaoke Party for special needs teens/adults

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

"My Time for Dinner" A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

No Wait for RDI!!!

DIRFloortime® Courses: Introductory and Professional Certificate Courses

Conference: Love and Autism

Mainly Mozart Festival Genius Weekend Events

IEP FREE Evaluation Day in Rancho Bernardo!

Adaptive Yoga in Carmel Valley

Community Transition Academy now accepting students for the 2018-19 school year



  • FDA Grants Fast Track Designation for Yamo Pharmaceutical's L1-79 in Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Yamo Pharmaceuticals, LLC, a clinical stage pharmaceutical company developing a novel therapy for autism spectrum disorder (ASD), announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Fast Track Designation for its investigational drug L1-79, a tyrosine hydroxylase inhibitor intended to mitigate the socialization and communication symptoms in individuals with ASD. L1-79 has shown the potential to address an unmet medical need for the treatment of the core symptoms of ASD. FDA Fast Track Designation is intended to facilitate the development and expedite the review of drugs intended to treat serious conditions and that demonstrate the potential to address unmet medical needs.

    "This is an important and exciting step toward developing a much-needed treatment for the cores symptoms of ASD. We are encouraged by the results from our first studies with L1-79 and the grant of Fast Track Designation by the FDA," said J. Thomas Megerian, MD, PhD, Yamo Pharmaceutical's chief medical officer and senior vice president of clinical development. "We look forward to working closely with the FDA and our advisors as we advance L1-79 through additional clinical studies." Read on...

  • University of St. Thomas student with autism to graduate with 2 degrees
  • A University of St. Thomas graduate is making history when he walks across the stage this weekend.

    Johnathon Vermaelen is the first student with autism to graduate from the university with a double major.

    Vermaelen was diagnosed with autism as a child, but worked through the challenges of the disorder to earn his degree in criminology and political science. Read on...

  • How inflammation and gut bacteria influence autism
  • A new study investigates the relationship between autism, the immune system, gastrointestinal issues, and gut bacteria. The story is a complex one with many questions still remaining unanswered, but this latest project adds insight.

    Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) affect 1 in 68 children in the United States.

    Characterized by difficulties with socializing, and often accompanied by repetitive behaviors, this neurodevelopmental disorder harbors many mysteries.

    Despite its prevalence and a glut of research, the causes behind ASD are still not fully understood. Read on...

  • Brain science to benefit from unexpected windfall in research funds
  • Autism researchers are no longer fretting over a shrinking pool of funds for the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH). Instead, they are awaiting news of which projects will benefit from a $3 billion surprise surplus.

    So far, about $565 million has been allocated to two big projects related to autism.

    In March 2017, President Trump's administration sought to slash the NIH budget by $5.8 billion. But the measure approved this March includes an 8.8 percent boost over the agency's 2017 budget - the largest increase in nearly a decade. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

    My 12 year old daughter suffers from Dyscalculia. I am searching for other parents who have dealt with obtaining academic supports from the school districts. Most specifically what is placed in an IEP in the area of: goals, accommodations and supports. My experience has been the refusal to acknowledge the condition or to provide the research based teaching needed. Thank you.

    High functioning autistic adult male looking for a roommate in the North County Inland area. The individual does not need to be on the autism spectrum and if they are should be fairly high functioning, be able to do basic care for themselves, and have no behavioral issues. Open to both male and female roommates. Please contact

    I'm looking for someone who knows about phonics and reading programs to help my autistic 11-year-old son learn how to read.
    Please contact me at

    Anyone interested in a social group for teen boys and girls in 92129 area?
    My 17 year old daughter is probably on the spectrum and her main difficulty is social skills and making friends. Please e mail if interested in getting some of these teens together for fun,outings and lasting friendships. Thanks Kim

    "Hello, our son, a 5th grader, is on the autism spectrum and has ADHD. He is very smart. His problems are mainly behavioral. He has had a hard time following directions and doing schoolwork and has been suspended several times. He has been in gen ed, but lately has spent his mornings in special ed due to some episodes. Today the school announced they want to send him to another middle school than the one he was supposed to go to with a BASE program, where he would be 100% of the time in that program instead of gen ed. Has anyone experienced the BASE program? We are very worried as we have very little time to make a decision on this, and it came as quite a shock to us. We don't understand why they won't let him just try the home middle school and see how it goes there. We already had the transition meeting with them. Should I consult with an advocate or would you know of somewhere I can get honest advice/opinion? Thank you!"
    Sandrine Sweeney
    (760) 539-7639

    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.

  • Autism Journey Power Panel
  • Tuesday, May 22 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    17010 Pomerado Road, San Diego, California 92128

    Get ready to be wowed by our local experts! We will be featuring Steve Tullius DC, Lisa Loegering MD and Norma Flood, MS, RD. The event will contain 30 minute presentations be each professional followed by a moderated panel discussion. The featured topics are excellent for any family of a child with autism: chiropractic care, biomedical treatments and nutrition.

    Click here for all the info and to get tickets!

  • Summer Programs Enrolling Now!
  • Lots of fun options - Lego groups, Executive Functioning bootcamp, "Me to We" preschool/kinder groups and Team Builders groups.

    Click here for program and registration information or email us at

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

  • Central San Diego Breakfast Club
  • Thursday, May 24 at 10 AM - 12 PM
    Denny's (10430 Friars Road, San Diego)
    10430 Friars Road, San Diego, California 92120

    San Diego Autism parents we invite you to join TACA San Diego Coordinator Nancy Kirkman and become a part of our Breakfast Club. Nancy will be here to support you and guide you through your autism journey while you enjoy a nice meal with friends who get it.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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

  • Encinitas Dance/ Karaoke Party for special needs teens/adults
  • Saturday, May 19th at 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
    Performing Arts Workshop
    1465 Encinitas Blvd, A102, Encinitas, California 92024

    Happy May! Come boogie, sing, hang with old and new friends. Time for out monthly fun! As always , chaperones requested for individuals who might have behavioral or physical challenges. So excited to be with you all again! Please share this post!

  • Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment
  • Experience a unique and effective approach to autism therapy.

    Our aim is to bring to families everywhere the most effective therapies for the treatment of autism. Our integrated care model is based on the scientific research and clinical practice of our founder, Dr. Suzanne Goh. We seek to set a new global standard for autism care by achieving superior developmental outcomes for the children and families we serve.

    At Cortica, we believe the world needs a higher standard of care for all those living with autism, or a potential diagnosis of autism. Families like yours deserve effective, collaborative, caring therapies that are accessible and reasonably priced, no matter who you are or where you live.

    Together, we clarify the complex, celebrate extraordinary efforts, and witness moments of brilliance as our children grow new skills and abilities. Many of our services are covered by medical insurance plans. Contact us for all the info!!!

    Cortica Care
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • "My Time for Dinner" A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene Raphael no later than May 18th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • No Wait for RDI!!!
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®)
    Our primary approach for treatment of autism spectrum is a developmental program called Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®). RDI® is a unique treatment approach that empowers parents to guide their child to succeed in our dynamic world. Children who learn to actively engage with the support of their parents in safe but challenging learning opportunities develop a strong motivation to explore and expand their world, as well as develop competence and trust in themselves and their guides. Click here for all the info!!!

    Two Offices to Serve You
    3555 Kenyon Street, Suite 101
    San Diego, CA 92110
    10731 Treena Street, #105
    San Diego, CA 92131
    619-600-0683 ext. 1

  • DIRFloortime® Courses: Introductory and Professional Certificate Courses
  • DIR 101: An Introduction to DIR® and DIRFloortime® Live online sessions starting as soon a May 14th.

    DIRFloortime Basic, Proficient, and Advanced Professional Certificate Courses

    Live online courses begin as early as next week.
    Don't miss out! Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Conference: Love and Autism
  • October 13th-14th, 2018
    Liberty Station Conference Center
    2600 Laning Rd.
    San Diego, CA, 92106

    We will be holding our annual conference at the Liberty Station Conference Center located just 2 miles from the airport, 3 miles from downtown, in the expanding community of Liberty Station. There are numerous restaurants just a short walk away or take a stroll through NTC Park.

    Registration to the 2018 Conference will be Opening Soon! Please Check Back for More Details.

    Click here to see the list of speakers for this years conference!!!

  • Mainly Mozart Festival Genius Weekend Events
    Only $10 for entire family!

    PURCHASE TICKETS FOR ANY/ALL Mainly Mozart Events here

  • IEP FREE Evaluation Day in Rancho Bernardo!
  • RSVP Required: 858-945-6621 or

    The Special Education Advocacy & Law Firm of Thomas S. Nelson
    16466 Bernardo Center Drive, Suite 106
    San Diego, California 92128
    Tel: (858) 945-6621

  • Adaptive Yoga in Carmel Valley
  • Come try this FREE CLASS designed for adult students with cognitive limitations at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center. This class is being sponsored by the council for Carmel Valley Recreation Council.

    Participants needing assistance please call Therapeutic Services at 619-525-8247.

    THURSDAY 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm June 28 - August 23 Room 1 (No class week of July 5th)

    Carmel Valley Recreation Center
    3777 Townsgate Drive
    San Diego, CA 92130

    For more information, Call Janice at 858-735-6166 or email her at

  • Community Transition Academy now accepting students for the 2018-19 school year
  • Community Transition Academy (CTA) of Include Autism, our Transition NPS is accepting a limited amount of students, 11th grade through transition age, with moderate to severe disabilities. CTA is a community-based program located in the heart of the centrally located Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego.

    The school day at CTA will balance classroom learning, with hands-on community experiences led by highly skilled staff trained in ABA techniques and supports. Our academic focus is enhanced with vocational, life-science, social skill, and inclusive post-school community opportunities that tie into the classroom lesson plans. Enrollment is very limited to keep the class size very small affording our staff the opportunity to personalize each student's educational transitionprogram. The CTA Team upholds the philosophy that every student at CTA is entitled to the support necessary to maximize his/her potential as an active adult in the greater community with the least possible restrictions and most possible chosen opportunities. With roots in the community, our students flourish!

    We wish to invite you to call us at (858) 360-0282 for more information or to schedule a site visit. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

  • 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

  • Summer Camps 2018

  • Looking for summer activities that will keep your child with autism engaged and learning new skills, all while still having fun?

    San Diego is home to many summer camps, sports activities, art classes and other programs for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. In an effort to make this process easier for parents, NFAR's guide lists many of the camp options available in our community.

    Click here to view the list!!!

  • Therapeutic Recreation Services Summer 2018 Calendar

  • Click here to view the calendar!!!
    Registration for Summer activities happening now!!!


    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.