Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. May 24, 2019

In This Issue

Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

Former Seahawk Legend Curt Warner And His Wife Ana Share Their Story Of Autism And Hope

Saving the Teeth of Patients With Special Needs

Difficulties with reading and narration in children with autism

Lawsuit challenges use of restraint, seclusion in California special education school

Inflammation may wield sex-specific effects on developing brain

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

Your Special Needs Wellness and Travel Newsletter

RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth

HGH's 45th Annual Gala - Disco Inferno - Tickets Now on Sale!

Cara Lucier & Associates

Friendship Walk SD - Walk for Lori!

How to Manage Difficult Behaviors in Autism

Happenings at D'Vine Path!

Community Transition Academy is now enrolling for the 2019-20 school year!

Internet Safety Workshop

Navigating Conservatorships

Auction for Autism and Wine Pairing Experience

Live Stream of the MIND Institute Neurodiversity Summit


Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

ValeriesList is a FREE resource newsletter and Facebook Page for San Diego County and has been for over 18 years. No fees, donation or membership are required to receive this info. An informed public makes better decisions for its' persons with Special Needs. Please share with friends, family, fellow professionals and clients!!! Click here to check out my FB page! Thank YOU!


Friendship Circle of San Diego is a non-profit 501c3 organization dedicated to providing friendship and support to individuals with special needs and their families by providing recreational, social and educational programming. In addition to helping those in need, the Friendship Circle San Diego enriches its vast network of volunteers by enabling them to reap the rewards of selfless giving.

Our Mission
Friendship Circle creates friendship in the lives of individuals with special needs and those facing isolation while providing an opportunity to become a contributing member of the community. Through our programming, Friendship Circle aims to promote an inclusive community that values all individuals regardless of the challenges they face.

Our Values
Friendship Circle is founded upon the idea that within each person is a soul; and that soul is equal and worthy of boundless love. With this inspiration, the lives of the families we serve are enhanced while the volunteers reap the rewards of selfless giving.

thomas nelson

Call for a FREE IEP Evaluation 858-945-6621!!!

Your child's education comes first.
Your child is entitled to a "free and appropriate public education" or FAPE, whereby the school addresses all of your child's unique needs. A school district must provide your child with an appropriate education regardless of budget cuts, what's convenient, or what's available. Too often the school district offers a "one size fits all" program that fits within their needs, but not within the unique needs of your child. Ensuring that your child's education comes first means having the right team on your side. An effective team works cooperatively and collaboratively with the school district, using their knowledge, expertise and experience to foster quick and yet effective resolutions.

Because of the "Attorney Fee Recovery" provision of the law, we often work with clients on limited incomes. Before concluding that you are unable to afford an attorney, call us for a free evaluation. Knowing your child's rights allows you the ability to direct the next step!

  • Former Seahawk Legend Curt Warner And His Wife Ana Share Their Story Of Autism And Hope
  • Curt Warner is a two-time All-American at Penn State, a 2009 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, and a former All-Pro running back for the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams. Ana Warner has dedicated her life to the care of her family and the study of autism spectrum disorder. Curt and Ana Warner are the authors of the just released bestseller, 'The Warner Boys: Our Family's Story of Autism & Hope'.

    1. What were some of the early signs your sons were on the autism spectrum? At what age were your twin sons diagnosed with autism?

    Curt and Ana: "Some of the early signs we noticed in our twin sons, Austin and Christian, were their extreme hyperactivity. Climbing on everything in the house and also eating carpet and nonfood items. The twins were speech delayed and had difficulty sleeping. Instead of gaining new words, they began constructing a confusing vocabulary of their own. When they were two years old, the twins would cry continually. Compared to our older son, Jonathan, who as a child, was calm and happy. Christian was sick all the time with ear infections or sinus infections."

    Ana: "For almost three years, we worked our way through the lengthy lists of pediatricians, giving one doctor after another the full account of the twin's behaviors. One doctor handed Austin a tongue depressor to occupy his interest while he asked me a few questions. By the time the doctor charted his notes and looked back at Austin, he had chewed the stick down to nothing. "See, that's what I'm talking about, I told the doctor." Read on...

  • Saving the Teeth of Patients With Special Needs
  • A new dental center is built to welcome patients with special needs and those in wheelchairs, who often run into obstacles elsewhere.

    Cheryl Closs, a mother of four from West Islip, N.Y., wanted to save her daughter Bella's two front teeth. They were badly decayed, and one dentist wanted to just pull them out. But Ms. Closs was having none of it.

    Bella, who is 15 and in 8th grade, has special needs and uses a wheelchair.

    "They are quick to pull a child's teeth that is special needs," Ms. Closs said. So she began a search for a root-canal specialist. She would take Bella out of school for the day and her husband would drive them to whichever borough for a dental appointment. But they took Bella to at least eight dentists and root-canal specialists, all of whom declined to treat her. Some "didn't even look at her teeth," Ms. Closs said. "This has happened so many times." Read on...

  • Difficulties with reading and narration in children with autism
  • Children with autism may be good at reading a text one word at a time, but simultaneously have problems in understanding and retelling the content of what they read. Research now shows the importance, for these children, of extensive language assessment and follow-up over time.

    "It's usually a deviant language development that parents worry about first," says Emilia Carlsson, Ph.D. at Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, and a licensed and registered speech and language pathologist at the Gillberg Neuropsychiatry Centre in Gothenburg.

    For her thesis, she studied language ability in children with autism. She started with a large group, identified through screening at child health centers, who had already been diagnosed by two and a half years of age. Of these, 85 children were followed up by speech and language pathologists at age seven or eight. In parallel, a control group of more than 100 children without autism were recruited at preschool and compulsory school. Read on...

  • Lawsuit challenges use of restraint, seclusion in California special education school
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    Class-action suit says state didn't do enough to keep children safe

    Four special education students and their parents or guardians filed a lawsuit last week against the state of California claiming they were emotionally and physically harmed when they were illegally put in restraint holds and secluded during behavioral interventions at their Concord school.

    The four students attended Floyd I. Marchus School, operated by the Contra Costa County Office of Education. The public school offers special education services and integrated counseling to 85 children with emotional and behavioral disabilities. Students are referred to the school from districts in Contra Costa County and neighboring counties.

    The class-action suit, alleging battery, negligence and civil rights violations, also names the California Department of Education, the Contra Costa County Office of Education and members of the staff at Marchus School as defendants. The suit also names State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond, in his official capacity as state schools chief, although the incidents occurred before he took office in January. Read on...

  • Inflammation may wield sex-specific effects on developing brain
  • Exposure to inflammation in the womb affects the brain and behavior of males and females differently, two new studies suggest.

    Both studies are in rodents. In one, male fetal mice are more vulnerable than females when exposed to their mother's immune response to an infection. In the other study, male fetal rats exposed to their mother's response to an allergen act like typical females - and exposed female rats act like typical males.

    If the results hold up in people, they might help to explain why autism presents differently in boys and girls.

    In utero exposure to immune responses is thought to predispose children to certain conditions, such as schizophrenia and autism. Researchers have used mock infections to identify changes in rodent and monkey brains that may underlie this risk, but most studies look only at males. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • Colmena Academy is looking for a part time Paralegal or Legal Secretary to join their team! Interested? Email

    Do you receive SSI? Don't miss out on food benefits!
    Beginning June 1, 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

    This is a salaried full-time live-in support position providing care for an adult with autism. You will live in the client's home in Rancho Bernardo and be responsible for giving medications, grocery shopping, food preparation, laundry, light cleaning, logging daily data, assisting client with showering and toileting, exercising with client and having fun!

    Hours of responsibility are normally from Sunday evening to Friday afternoon and working one weekend per month. There is flexibility with working afternoon hours and weekends. Client is usually at a program between 8:00 am and 2:00 pm Monday through Friday, so this can be free time once chores are done. If there is a holiday or if the client is home sick, you would be responsible for staying home with the client.

    This position is the care team leader and has the overall responsibility for this client's day-to-day life. You can enjoy living in a lovely home, rent-free and earn a good salary while helping a fantastic young man become more independent and enjoy his life.
    Please contact Linda at 858-774-4687

    Great investment opportunity for the right person/company!
    I own and run Social Fusion Center, in the Miramar area of San Diego and am in search of either a person or company who would be interested in taking over my business as I will be moving to the east coast this summer, with my husband who recently received new orders from the USMC. I have been in business for almost 4 years now, the company is profitable and there is a continued need in the community for the services I offer so I do not want to leave these families without the support they need. Although I am a BCBA, the programs could be run by someone else and supervised by a BCBA or this could also be an opportunity for an OT or SLP as well.
    If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please email me for more details and we can talk specifics!

    This is the perfect opportunity for anyone in the autism field looking for additional experience!
    I am hiring 1-2 therapists to fill in for me this summer while I am out on maternity leave, but there is potential for ongoing hours throughout the school year. The position would begin July 1st but training/shadowing opportunities would take place in June.
    You must be available afternoon hours Monday-Thursday as well as Saturdays. There are 15 hours available per week for 1 person or this can be split between 2 if needed. Compensation will be DOE. An advance degree is not required but experience in the field is. If you are in school for your BCBA or BCaBA, supervision hours can be provided.
    To apply, please email your resume and availability!

    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.

  • FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!
  • Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids is San Diego's premiere pediatric microcurrent therapy program for children, teens and adults with special needs. Our program is the BEST therapy for Autism & ADHD, as you will see by the rapid improvement in your child's skills and abilities, because of how well it promotes developmental growth and couples with ALL other therapies.

    Some of the neuro-developmental issues we commonly see include:

    • Autism/Asperger's
    • Anxiety
    • Sensory Processing Disorder
    • Depression
    • ADD/ADHD
    • Tourette's Syndrome
    • Developmental Delay
    • Epilepsy
    • And many more!
    Our program uses the most advanced microcurrent device on the market today, the Electro-Equiscope. It is equipped with 4 computers that scan the body for low-conductivity and adjust the output accordingly, making it the fastest, most effective microcurrent device available.

    Call 858-367-9108 for your free consultation!!!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123

  • Your Special Needs Wellness and Travel Newsletter
  • A Travel and Wellness Newsletter for Individuals with Special Needs. Click here to read their latest newsletter!!!

  • RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth believes that every individual is unique and has the potential for significant growth. We assume and foster competence while honoring family values and priorities. Our holistic approach is built upon trusting, supportive relationships and collaboration between disciplines and families.

    We specializing in the development and implementation of individualized comprehensive programs utilizing Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration, Sensory Processing, Applied Behavior Analysis, Art Therapy, and Life Balance Yoga Therapy.

    Offering support in the San Diego, Carlsbad, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

    In addition to supporting our clients directly, we offer guidance to parents, grandparents, therapists, teachers, siblings, school staff, babysitters etc.

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    (858) 689-2027

  • HGH's 45th Annual Gala - Disco Inferno - Tickets Now on Sale!
  • Groove with Us... at the HGH Gala
    "Disco Inferno"
    Saturday, June 8, 2019
    The US Grant Hotel

    Dance with us on this special occasion as we raise funds for more than 3,200 men, women and children with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Come show off your disco flair while enjoying a 3-course dinner with wine service, cocktail reception, unique silent & live auction experiences, and live entertainment! You won't want to miss out on this groovy night!
    Buy Tickets Today!

    Home of Guiding Hands in El Cajon, California, has been providing quality services to people with developmental disabilities for more than 50 years in the San Diego Community.

  • 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

  • Friendship Walk SD - Walk for Lori!
  • SUNDAY, JUNE 2ND, 2019 @ 8AM
    The Friendship Walk is an annual family walk that raises crucial funds and community awareness for Friendship Circle and individuals with special needs. Join us in promoting an inclusive community that welcomes and nurtures all individuals regardless of their abilities.

    Walk in memory of one of our biggest supporters, Lori Gilbert Kaye, OBM.

    8AM - Registration & Friendship Fair
    Enjoy family friendly games, activities, entertainment provided by Circus Mafia, bounce house and inflatable obstacle course, family resources, and more!

    9AM - Friendship Walk
    Enjoy a leisurely walk around NTC Park in Liberty Station along the water and fields in support of Friendship Circle and all of our amazing families and volunteers.

    11AM - IsraelFest
    Join IsraelFest after the Walk with expedited registration and separate entrance for all FC walkers, come say "Hi!" at our Friendship Circle booth inside!
    ***Walk Participant that have registered for IsraelFest will receive a special entrance to beat the lines!***

    Be the Captain of your team of friends, family, classmates, coworkers, or just walk as an individual! Contact us for more information on how to get started and for any fundraising tips. Volunteers are needed for day-of as well! Go to

    Want to know more about what programs you will be funding with your registration? Visit

  • How to Manage Difficult Behaviors in Autism
  • Tue, May 28, 2019
    6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: FREE

    The SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders is hosting a talk on learning effective strategies to deescalate behaviors in kids with autism. Our guest, Daniel Lowery from the Psychiatric Centers of San Diego, will help parents identify common triggers that lead to behavioral escalation and what to do to prevent them. We will explore the energy cycle of behavioral escalation, how to identify each phase and how to respond appropriately with each phase. We will cover the most effective communication strategies for interacting with kids to prevent behavioral escalation and reduce escalation once a child has already in an excited state. There will be a Q&A at the end to help tackle tricky situations.
    Click here for all the info and to register!

  • Happenings at D'Vine Path!
  • A dynamic program for adults with autism, developmental delays and/or learning disabilities, providing vocational and life skills development in agriculture, hospitality & the arts in the Fallbrook/Bonsall area. Click here to read their latest newsletter!

  • Community Transition Academy is now enrolling for the 2019-20 school year!
  • Community Transition Academy (CTA) is a non-public transition school (NPS) for emerging young adults, 9th grade through transition-age (22yrs.), who have academic, language, social, and/or behavioral challenges most commonly associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. CTA is now enrolling students for this next 2019-2 school year.

    CTA offers a complete transition curriculum taught both in the classroom and in the community infused with the evidence-based principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). Blending together an academic and community-based program with an Individualized Educational Program-centric approach, CTA places an emphasis on communication, social and behavioral growth, and academic skills. CTA delivers functional learning in natural environments, in a variety of settings relevant to each student's IEP and community transition goals.

    For more information: or call us at (858) 360-0282 or email:

  • Internet Safety Workshop
  • Join us for a presentation featuring speaker Jon Moffat. Mr Moffat is an expert and owner Cyber Education Consulting, designed to bridge the digital knowledge gap of parents, caregivers, and professionals and provide up to date solutions for digital reputation protection. Risks associated with internet usage can be more profound for those with autism who may be more vulnerable and socially naive.

    Learn about real world tools to protect from:
    --Exposure to Inappropriate Material
    --Fixation on Games and Social Networking Sites

    Tickets only $10 and includes lunch
    For information and tickets, click here

  • Navigating Conservatorships
  • Tuesday, May 28, 2019 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    17010 Pomerado Rd, San Diego, CA 92128

    Speaker-Elizabeth McCoy Attorney at Law

    As our teens approach adulthood conservatorship needs to be considered. What does it mean? What is the process? Join attorney Elizabeth McCoy as she guides you through the process and planning for your child making it less complicated and scary.

  • Auction for Autism and Wine Pairing Experience
  • Autism Resource and Treatment Center Fundraiser
    Auction for Autism at Bernardo Winery
    Reserve your ticket NOW. Prices increase $50 after May 24th!

    Join us for an evening of wine and hors d'oeuvres, local craft beer, live and silent auctions, entertainment and exciting raffles! Click here to register or sponsor this event.

    Autism Resource and Treatment Center is a new nonprofit in San Diego County that aims to build an autism resource and treatment center for newborns to adults in San Diego with the support of our community and tax-deductible donations. This is only the beginning! Once this model is proven in San Diego, we can replicate the center anywhere. Thank you for your support! Click here for for all the info!!!

  • Live Stream of the MIND Institute Neurodiversity Summit
  • Fri, May 31, 2019
    9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: FREE

    The SDSU Center for Autism will be livestreaming "Neurodiversity Summit" at the MIND Institute of UC Davis. We are hosting this so members and allies of the autism community can listen to some very exciting talks and panel discussions, without having to travel up to Northern California. This event is free to all! Come for one or more talks depending on your schedule.

    The Neurodiversity Summit will examine themes related to neurodiversity with panel discussions involving researchers, community members and autism advocates and talks from the following speakers: Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • 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 Lynn Scott for more information 619-954-7847 or

  • Therapeutic Recreation Services Summer 2019 Calendar
  • Click here to view our new Summer 2019 calendar!!!

    The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services program provides sports, recreation, leisure and outreach services to people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

    Services include therapeutic recreation programs and adaptive sports opportunities. These address the special needs of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty accessing and participating in recreation opportunities offered to the general public.

    Under the direction of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, activities and services are designed to maintain or improve the physical, cognitive and social functioning of those who have limitations. The target population is children and adults, ages 3 and up, with any type of disability.

    For additional questions about Therapeutic Recreation Services, please call 619-525-8247.

    You may sign up online at or at our office 3325 Zoo Drive, 92101.

  • Learn About RDI in San Diego!
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    9466 Black Mountain Road
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • Learn About RDI in Carlsbad!
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    5411 Avenida Encinas
    Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    Phone: (760) 448-5837

  • 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 -- 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 or via phone at 858-534-6906 if you would like to set up an appointment or if you have any questions!

  • Brain Imaging Studies for all Ages with or without Autism

  • The Brain Development Imaging Labs at San Diego State University are looking for individuals with diagnosed or suspected autism to participate in a brain imaging study. Participants would receive around $150 plus free cognitive testing and an MRI scan. Child participants would receive a free assessment summary and image of their brain as a bonus! We are looking to recruit from all ages, but we especially need adults, ages 40-65 years, to participate. If you know someone who might be a good fit for our study, please share this information with them. Thank you.

    At SDSU!!! To find out more, please call 619-594-0176 or email BDIL@SDSU.EDU.


    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.