Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. May 22, 2018

In This Issue

Motor difficulties forecast language troubles in autism

Autism screen misses children with noticeable delays

Wearable device accurately scans brains in moving people

Schools Still Winning Most Special Ed Disputes, Even After Endrew F.

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Autism Journey Power Panel - TONIGHT!!!

Summer Programs Enrolling Now!

Central San Diego Breakfast Club

Cara Lucier & Associates

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

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Family Beach Day at Moonlight Beach

No Wait for RDI!!!

DIRFloortime® Courses: Introductory and Professional Certificate Courses

Product: Vibes for Autism and Sensory Disorders

Social Thinking May Newsletter

5 Local Spots for Outdoor Learning




  • Motor difficulties forecast language troubles in autism
  • Children with autism who speak few words and have trouble manipulating objects tend to remain minimally verbal as they reach adulthood. Researchers presented the unpublished results today at the 2018 International Society for Autism Research annual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    About half of children with autism are slow to learn and understand speech, and roughly one in three adults is minimally verbal.

    The new findings may help clinicians predict which language-delayed children with autism will continue to have those problems later in life. Read on...

  • Autism screen misses children with noticeable delays
  • A widely used test for autism misses some children with delays in motor, social and communication skills - suggesting that improvements to this test and others may help clinicians pick up on these signs. The findings appear today in Pediatrics1.

    The test, called the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) has been shown to miss nearly 70 percent of children with autism at 18 months.

    "Some of the screeners that are currently on the market were designed many years ago, when we didn't have as much understanding of what early autism looks like," says lead investigator Katarzyna Chawarska, professor of pediatrics at the Yale Child Study Center. Read on...

  • Wearable device accurately scans brains in moving people
  • A new neuroimaging device that is worn like a helmet enables researchers to map the functional activity of a person's brain as she naturally moves her head1.

    The helmet may help scientists to gather good imaging data from people who have trouble staying still, such as young children or those with developmental conditions.

    The device uses magnetoencephalography (MEG), which measures the magnetic fields created when neurons fire. MEG offers advantages over other imaging techniques because it provides high-quality data on both the timing and location of neural activity, rather than just one or the other. Read on...

  • Schools Still Winning Most Special Ed Disputes, Even After Endrew F.
  • School districts continued to win most disputes over individualized education programs in the year since a U.S. Supreme Court decision affirmed a more ambitious standard for setting goals for students with disabilities, according to a new analysis.

    Perry Zirkel, professor emeritus of education and law at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, analyzed 49 appeals of hearing officer decisions, which were predominantly in favor of school districts, to see if Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District had changed legal outcomes. 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 - TONIGHT!!!
  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • Family Beach Day at Moonlight Beach
  • Saturday, June 2 at 10 AM - 12 PM
    Moonlight Beach
    Encinitas, California

    Join us for first Family Beach Day of 2018 on Saturday, June 2nd! We will host one beach Day a month during June, July, and August. We will meet at beautiful Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, which has great facilities including full bathrooms, a large playground, and food and drinks for sale! Join for a day of family fun in a supportive, nonjudgmental atmosphere.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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!!!

  • Product: Vibes for Autism and Sensory Disorders
  • Vibes can be life changing

    Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs are an extremely helpful tool for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other sensory disorders. Sensitivity to sound can make everyday activities difficult, painful, uncomfortable, and impossible. The standard option for defending against loud noises have been foam earplugs and over-ear earmuffs, but these solutions are unsightly, uncomfortable, and inhibit the ability to hear clearly and interact socially.

    Vibes Hi-Fidelity Earplugs lower volume to more comfortable levels, while still allowing you to hear your environment with clarity. With Vibes, individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other sensory disorders, can comfortably experience environments that would otherwise be painfully loud, while still being able to hear clearly and engage in conversation. Additionally, Vibes' clear-as-glass design makes them virtually invisible, thus avoiding the stigma that is associated with wearing bright, visible hearing protection in public. Click here for all the info!

  • Social Thinking May Newsletter
  • Click here to read their May Newsletter for all the info about:

    • The Other Side of the Friendship Pyramid: Dealing with Dislike
    • Exploring emotions and so much more
    • Clinical training-apply for Fall 2018 or Spring 2019
    • Prepare adolescents to launch into the real world
    • Learning to manage emotions
    • ...and more!

  • 5 Local Spots for Outdoor Learning
  • Studies show that kids with special needs spend less time outdoors than typical children. Barriers like inaccessibility and the need for additional supervision might keep them from enjoying the incredible benefits of the natural world. Outdoor spaces provide a feast for the senses-billowing breezes, crunchy leaves and fresh scents-that can be especially beneficial for children with special needs. These rich sensory experiences can ease attention difficulties and improve children's moods. For this reason, nature is the perfect space to encourage educational activities.

    "The majority of children with special needs respond well to outdoor learning," says Krysti DeZonia, Ed.D, director of education and research and co-founder of TERI Inc. TERI (an acronym for Training Education Research Innovation) is a nonprofit organization that serves people with autism, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities and their families. DeZonia says it's important to match outdoor learning activities to children's interests and ability levels, avoiding environments that make them uncomfortable. Over time, caregivers can introduce new experiences to expand tolerance. Click here for all the info!!!

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    We are at our best when we use the character strengths that come naturally to us. Becoming more aware of your son's/daughter's character strengths and encouraging their use can help you see them and connect with them in a deeper way. You can do this by answering the 4 questions at

    You can also help your son/daughter build on their character strengths, and what you learn can be included in any goal-setting/planning process that considers all their strengths and the potential contributions they can make using them.

    The information gained from your responses will help develop new understandings of character strengths use by people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and how parents can encourage that use.

  • 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.