Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 02, 2018

In This Issue

Monkey study bolsters case for brain hormone's role in autism

Early-life seizures prematurely wake up brain networks tied to autism

Children with autism have muted fear response

Special interests hinder self-control in children with autism

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Sensory Friendly Concert, June 9th!

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

Early Start Denver Model Program Insurance Funded ABA Treatment

Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) Performing Arts Workshops

Improving Travel Outcomes for Children with ASD

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

East County Autism Support Group

Songbirds Music Social Group for Young Children

SCS Summer Social Learning Programs

An Interactive Night of Vision Therapy

Understanding Autism: FREE Parent Class

Central San Diego Family Pool and Pizza Party

Trumpet Behavioral Health



  • Monkey study bolsters case for brain hormone's role in autism
  • Male monkeys that avoid touching, grooming or playing with others have low brain levels of the hormone vasopressin, according to a new study. Low levels of vasopressin in the brain also characterize boys with autism, the study found1.

    Vasopressin and the related hormone oxytocin control a variety of social behaviors. Both hormones have been touted as potential treatments for autism.

    The findings hint that vasopressin levels are a useful marker for autism. They also support the idea that boosting these levels improves social functioning. The study appeared 2 May in Science Translational Medicine. Read on...

  • Early-life seizures prematurely wake up brain networks tied to autism
  • Early-life seizures prematurely switch on key synapses in the brain that may contribute to further neurodevelopmental delay in children with autism and other intellectual disabilities, suggests a new study from researchers at Penn Medicine published online in Cell Reports. Importantly, the study shows that an existing targeted therapy may keep those synapses "silent" after seizures to allow the brain to develop normally during a critical time in a person's life. "Silent" synapses become active with experience, and removal of the reservoir of these synapses due to seizures results in a decreased capacity to engage these synapses in later learning.

    Seizures from epilepsy early on in life have been linked to autism and other disorders -- up to 40 percent of children with autism have epilepsy, for instance. However, mechanisms behind that relationship have been less understood. What is known is that early development of the brain involves a series of "critical periods" where synapses tied to learning and language skills are gradually activated. Seizures can lead to learning and cognition issues, past research has shown, but how they affect the critical periods of development remained unknown until now. Read on...

  • Children with autism have muted fear response
  • Toddlers with autism show less fear when confronted with something scary than do typical children or those with developmental delay. This lack of fear may explain why toddlers with autism often run into traffic or deep bodies of water. Researchers presented the unpublished results today at the 2018 International Society for Autism Research annual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    "I think this really has tremendous implications for the safety issues we see in toddlers," says lead researcher Katarzyna Chawarska, director of the Yale Toddler Developmental Disabilities Clinic. "Toddlers with autism are in constant danger because they don't understand threats." Read on...

  • Special interests hinder self-control in children with autism
  • Children with autism show much less restraint when confronted with one of their interests, compared with their typical peers. And this lack of self-control may interfere with their ability to perform cognitive or everyday tasks.

    Researchers presented the unpublished results today at the 2018 International Society for Autism Research annual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    The team used a 'go/no-go' task to assess the children's ability to control their impulses. The standard task involves quickly pressing a certain set of images on a screen - and refraining from touching a different set when they pop up. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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!

    Hi! I was wondering if anyone here knows a BI or BCBA who lives or is willing to provide in home therapy in Tijuana? Currently we drive everyday to the ACES clinic in Chula Vista, but ideally I would like a BI coming to our house. If you know of anyone please share my email: TIA!

    We are the parents of a 10 year-old boy with autism. He really loves music and we want to use this interest to help him develop a hobby/skill (playing an instrument) that could add some joy to his life. We're looking for a recommendation on a drum, piano,and/ or guitar instructor who works with kids with special needs and/or has experience with working with individuals with autism. It's our hope to find someone upbeat and fun so lessons feel more like spending time with a fun, new friend rather than a 'therapy' session (he already has enough of those). We're open to individual and group lessons. Any recommendations are appreciated! Thank you!

    My autistic daughter (20) started to show OCD symptoms and behaviors at 17. It has gotten more intense and disruptive over time. The psychiatrist has prescribed a couple of different medications for her but none of them worked. Does anyone have recommendations for effective treatment?

    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.

  • Sensory Friendly Concert, June 9th!
  • Don't miss this fun sensory friendly concert for all ages which includes the chance to meet Julia from Sesame Street!

    Only $10 for entire family! $5 for Individuals

    PURCHASE TICKETS FOR ANY/ALL Mainly Mozart Events here


  • Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!
  • Real Connections Child Development Institute
    Supporting and partnering with families of children on the autism spectrum through understanding, engagement and relationships.

    Developmental Play Therapy - 1:1 developmental therapy in your child's natural environment. Evidenced- based, emotional, cognitive and neurobiological therapy that assists your child in developing meaningful relationships.

    Parent Coaching & Support - Real-time training and education in your child's individual profile. Learn new ways to engage and connect, while focusing on communicative and cognitive/ social emotional development. Maximize your child's developmental growth through both daily interactions and parent-child intervention sessions.

    A "Whole Child" Program

    • Flexible Thinking
    • Problem Solving
    • Scripting
    • Perserveration
    • Meltdowns
    • Executive Function Skills
    • Regulation
    • Sensory Integration
    • Spatial Processing
    • Individualized Program
    Real Connections San Diego
    415 North Highway 101, Suite C
    Solana Beach, CA 92075
    619-840-0015 or 858-768-0313

  • Early Start Denver Model Program Insurance Funded ABA Treatment
  • In-Home Service Provided for San Diego County!! Click here for all the info!!! For more info please contact us at 858-888-9062 or

  • Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) Performing Arts Workshops
  • In the words of Trevor's mother, Kalli:

    "Many children effected by Autism Spectrum Disorder have difficulty with language and socialization. This makes joining or participating in group social activities very difficult, especially for teens when hormones can often increase insecurities and peer pressure.

    This has been true for our 18 year old son, Trevor. Although he is somewhat able to navigate 1:1 interactions a bit more comfortably, most social or community based offerings and school settings involve larger group dynamics. This has seriously limited his social experiences throughout his school years to the point of never really having the joy of a meaningful friendship. 

    We have tried various different music therapies and dance options but forcing him to do so always took the joy out of the experience for all involved. PACT seemed to offer the right formula with a non-threatening setting, and no performance pressure so that he was at least willing to go to the class. We kept our expectations low at first, only requiring him to go and observe but not participate. Then we supported his success by offering him 1:1 peer support with a go-to person to help mentor him. Having someone he could count on consistently, like Rachael, made all the difference. Now, for the first time ever, he is engaged and fully participating in a fun group activity outside our home with his peers."

    Contact Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) for more information about our ongoing performing arts/social skills workshops for teens and young adults with autism., 760-815-8512, Scholarships are available. Volunteers are welcome. Next 8-week cycle of workshops: July 7 to August 25 on Saturday afternoons in Encinitas. PACT is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established in 2008.

  • Improving Travel Outcomes for Children with ASD
  • This workshop will provide helpful tips on traveling with a child with Autism by knowing how to prepare for transportation, accommodations, activities, and packing. You are invited to come learn about a variety of strategies and supports that can make travel plans more seamless.

    The seminar will cover:

    • Preparing for the trip
    • Preparing your child
    • Tips to make travel easier
    • Question and Answer
    • Personal Planning
    Jeness Keddy, M.S.
    Gateway Learning Group

    Wednesday, June 27, 2018 from 5:30-6:30 pm
    Gateway Learning Group
    2525 Camino del Rio S., Suite 335
    San Diego, CA 92108

    This event and parking are FREE! Apologies, no childcare. RSVP: Email to reserve your seat. Space is limited.

  • 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

  • East County Autism Support Group
  • Monday, June 11 at 6:30 PM - 8 PM
    Office of Dr. Rienzi Haytasingh
    5550 Baltimore Drive, Suite 150, La Mesa, CA

    Support, information, resources and referral for families of persons on the autism spectrum. Join us to learn the experiences of others and share your own. Light refreshments. Click here!

  • Songbirds Music Social Group for Young Children
  • Limited Space Remaining--Sign Up Today!

    Designed by board certified music therapists, this program for young children enhances communication and social skills with peers. Using fun songs and cooperative instrument play, we will make new friends and develop social skills (e.g. turn-taking, waiting and eye contact). The group will practice keeping calm with movement to music through interactive music games including the parachute, scarves, bubbles and more.

    When: 4 Saturdays, June 9th through 30th
    Location: 7840 Mission Center Court Suite 205, San Diego 92108
    Cost: $90 for all 4 dates or drop in for $30 per session (based on availability)

    When: 4 Saturdays, July 7th through 28th
    Location: 7840 Mission Center Court Suite 205, San Diego 92108
    Cost: $90 for all 4 dates or drop in for $30 per session (based on availability)

    Contact us today to hold your child's space as classes are limited to the first 6 families!
    phone: 619-299-1411

  • SCS Summer Social Learning Programs
  • 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

  • An Interactive Night of Vision Therapy
  • RSVP: call 760-434-3314 (ext.104) or email

  • Understanding Autism: FREE Parent Class
  • Tuesday, June 12th, 6:00-7:00PM
    La Mesa Community Library
    A perfect class for parents new to Autism or those suspecting an Autism diagnosis for their child.

  • Central San Diego Family Pool and Pizza Party
  • Hosted by Autism Society San Diego
    Friday, June 8 at 6 PM - 8 PM
    Aqua Pros Swim School
    4635 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, California 92117

    Bring the entire family to enjoy a swim in an indoor, heated pool with free pizza and drinks. Lifeguards are provided. For safety purposes, no flotation devices or "floaties" are permitted. A special thank you to Aqua Pros for making this event possible. RSVPs are greatly appreciated!

    ** Admission is free but a $5 donation per family is appreciated to help cover the cost of the food and venue.

    ** For the safety of your children, we ask that you do not enter the pool area until 6:00 pm.

    For more information, please visit our website at

  • Trumpet Behavioral Health
  • Reach out to Trumpet Behavioral Health for ABA Services in San Diego, California

    Obtaining unparalleled ABA therapy services through Trumpet Behavioral Health has never been easier. When you contact us, you are engaging with a team of professionals steeped in the world of autism care. Our Board Certified Behavior Analysts®, led by a team of PhDs, remain some of the industry's leading authors in research and advancement, bringing this world of knowledge into each home, school and center in which they work.

    Our staff exists to meet the ongoing needs of our individual clients beginning the moment they call, from overseeing insurance coverage to matching children with the best clinical care in their area. At Trumpet Behavioral Health, our mission is to provide exceptional, evidence-based care that is client-first every step of the way.

    Trumpet Behavioral Health
    9920 Pacific Heights Blvd, Suite #150
    San Diego, CA 92121
    (855) 824-5669

  • 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.

    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.