Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. May 19, 2020

In This Issue

Oceanside Teen 'Dot' Artist Sues Target Over Kids Clothing Designs

Student on autism spectrum navigates pandemic, gets hired to work at Publix

Feds Offer Guidance On Voc Rehab Services Amid Coronavirus

Environmental factors unlikely to account for rise in autism prevalence

Vaccine opponents are gaining in Facebook 'battle for hearts and minds,' new map shows

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

IEP Advocacy Services

View Prerecorded Webinar About Self-Determination

Groups for children, teens and young adults enrolling now!

Growing Development Through Relationships

Schwartz and Storey, Special Education Attorneys

Webinar: Special Education Update: School Closures and COVID-19

Does the New Normal Have You Feeling Anything But? The Mental Health effects of COVID-19.

How are you coping? How is stress affecting you and your children? Is your current plan sustainable long term?

Special Education During a Pandemic Webinar - TONIGHT!!!

When Anxiety is Not Anxiety - TODAY!!!



  • Oceanside Teen 'Dot' Artist Sues Target Over Kids Clothing Designs
  • The mother of an Oceanside teenage artist with autism filed suit Monday in federal court, alleging Target Corp. ripped off the boy's "sketch-style dot art" in designs for clothing and other kids merchandise sold under the Cat & Jack brand.

    Kristen N. Cooley, in her capacity as guardian of the estate of Nolan Ocean Cooley, brought the lawsuit in Los Angeles federal court, alleging copyright infringement of 15 of her son's works, each entitled "Circle Happiness."

    A message seeking comment from a representative of Target Corp. was not immediately answered. Read on...

  • Student on autism spectrum navigates pandemic, gets hired to work at Publix
  • The disruption to anyone's routine can wreak havoc and cause problems. But, for teens and young adults with an autism spectrum disorder, it can be especially jarring.

    As we start to rebound from this pandemic, the future and how we cope with the crisis is different for everyone. At ABC Action News, we are dedicated to highlighting resources for everyone impacted by this unprecedented event in our lives.

    "The way I look toward it is the end of it," Noah Durrance said. "When we are finally free of it. I look at the light at the end of the tunnel." Read on...

  • Feds Offer Guidance On Voc Rehab Services Amid Coronavirus
  • Vocational rehabilitation agencies can continue to serve individuals with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic, though some adjustments may be needed, federal officials say.

    In a question-and-answer document released this week, the U.S. Department of Education's Rehabilitation Services Administration is offering up details on how agencies can tweak their procedures given the need for social distancing to slow the spread of coronavirus. Read on...

  • Environmental factors unlikely to account for rise in autism prevalence
  • The relative contributions of genetic and environmental factors to autism and traits of the condition have held steady over multiple decades, according to a large twin study 1.

    Among tens of thousands of Swedish twins born over the span of 26 years, genetic factors have consistently had a larger impact on the occurrence of autism and autism traits than environmental factors have. The study suggests that genetics account for about 93 percent of the chance that a person has autism, and 61 to 73 percent of the odds she shows autism traits.

    The figures fall in line with previous work that shows genetics exert an outsized influence on autism odds. The findings also indicate that environmental factors are unlikely to explain the rise in autism prevalence. Otherwise, their contribution to autism among the twins would have also risen over time. Read on...

  • Vaccine opponents are gaining in Facebook 'battle for hearts and minds,' new map shows
  • A first-of-its-kind analysis of more than 1300 Facebook pages with nearly 100 million followers has produced a network map that's alarming public health professionals. Antivaccine pages have fewer followers than pro-vaccine pages but are more numerous, faster growing, and increasingly more connected to undecided pages, the study finds. If the current trends continue, the researchers predict, antivaccine views will dominate online discussion in 10 years-a time when a future vaccine against COVID-19 may be critical to public health.

    "The reds are winning," says anthropologist Heidi Larson, who directs the Vaccine Confidence Project at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, referring to the color of antivaccine Facebook pages on the new paper's map. "They are covering a lot more ground with fewer of them." 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!
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    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

  • Growing Development Through Relationships
  • Growing Development Through Relationships: An Introduction to the DIR-FCD Model
    June 2nd and June 4th, 2020
    Cost: $60

    Created By: Monica Osgood, Executive Director, Lynn Abelson, MA, CCC-SLP, OTR/L, Marilee Burgeson, MA CCC-SLP, Griff Doyle, PhD, Psych., Caroline Ferguson-Walsh, MS-LP(C), CCC-SLP and the Profectum Presentation Task Force

    An inspiring introduction to the basic foundations of the Developmental, Individual Differences, Relationship-Based (DIRĀ®) Model. Development grows within a structure of foundational capacities that support relating, communicating, functioning and thinking. Within this presentation, you will learn that each child brings unique sensory processing strengths and differences that foster growth and development at different rates. Affect-rich, attuned relationships with caregivers are central to this model and support the child's development through emotionally meaningful experiences. The powerful connections between the caregiver and child that are strengthened through the use of this model unlocks the potential for the Foundational Capacities for Development (FCDs). Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • 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

  • Webinar: Special Education Update: School Closures and COVID-19
  • Join us this coming Wednesday evening, at 7pm, where Matthew Storey, Esq., from Schwartz & Storey will provide an update on special education and school closures in light of COVID-19. Register here!!!

  • Does the New Normal Have You Feeling Anything But? The Mental Health effects of COVID-19.
  • NFAR PARENT'S MEETING (Zoom Virtual Meeting)
    May. 20, 2020 from 6:30-8:00pm

    ABOUT THE SPEAKER: Dr. Lincoln, Ph.D., MSCP, BCBA-D is a professor of clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology as well as the Co-Director of the Neuroscience Institute of Alliant International University Research Foundation. He has worked as a clinician and service provider for ASD children and adults for more than 38 years and has collaborated with several research groups and local universities providing assistance with diagnosis, assessment, behavioral intervention, and psychotherapy with individuals with autism of all ages.


    • Please RSVP by no later than 3pm on May 20th using this link to Eventbrite (please select the May 20th date) for ZOOM session access. >>> <<<</li>
    • On May 20th, we will send those that have RSVP'd an email with a link to join the meeting on ZOOM. (Email sent by 10am for early RSVPs and another at 4pm.)
    Any questions? Please feel free to call us at 858-679-8800

  • How are you coping? How is stress affecting you and your children? Is your current plan sustainable long term?
  • More than ever, special needs families are stressed. Managing every day expectation in addition to the generalized uncertainty related to COVID-19 is pushing many parents close to breaking point. When parents are stressed, everyone in the family is stressed.

    How are you coping? How is stress affecting you and your children? Is your current plan sustainable long term?

    Some of the recurring issues I address with families include:

    • How to decrease stress
    • How to sleep better
    • How to find some personal time
    • How to prioritize when everything is important
    • How to address sensory needs
    • How to minimize meltdowns
    • How to use everyday interactions to teach your child about social-emotional skills, self regulation, and problem solving
    Although slowing down may seem counterintuitive, it can lead to increased growth for the child and parents. The guilt of taking any personal time and never doing enough for your child can be crippling and affect everyone in the family. I bring compassion, patience, and the ability to truly listen without judging.

    I know how to create a space where my clients feel safe to reflect and consider new options, even when emotions run high. My role is to guide you and support you in creating positive changes for your entire family. I root for my clients - children and parents alike. I get excited when I see my clients overcoming challenges and creating more meaningful lives for themselves. If you feel that you could use extra support and guidance, I'd love to partner with your family.

    I am passionate about my work and about making a difference. If you feel that my approach would be a good fit, I would love to work with your family.

    Contact me for more info at (619) 347-9810 or

    Christian Vinceneux
    Consultant - Life Coach

  • Special Education During a Pandemic Webinar - TONIGHT!!!
  • 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 - TODAY!!!
  • 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.