Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 05, 2018

In This Issue

Autism brains show widespread alterations in structure

Santa Barbara Zoo now a certified autism center

Autistic Boy Only Likes One Table at One Restaurant, So Staff Makes Him a Special Sign

How our ancestors with autistic traits led a revolution in Ice Age art

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Sensory Friendly Concert, June 9th!

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

Would you like to be part of a research study on a new method to teach students with Autism how to learn academics and type independently?

Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) Performing Arts Workshops

Jeremiah's Ranch June Newsletter

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

Sports 4 Exceptional Athletes: News & Events - June 2018

Songbirds Music Social Group for Young Children

SCS Summer Social Learning Programs

An Interactive Night of Vision Therapy

Understanding Autism: FREE Parent Class

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech

Trumpet Behavioral Health

A Support Group for Sibs Ages 8 to 13!



  • Autism brains show widespread alterations in structure
  • The brains of people with autism show a variety of structural differences from those of controls, according to a large imaging study1. The differences appear throughout the brain, not just in regions linked to the condition.

    The findings suggest that many more regions are involved in autism than previously thought.

    "It could be that abnormalities are more prominent in the social brain, but not purely and only in the social brain," says lead researcher Jan Buitelaar, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at Radboud University in Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Read on...

  • Santa Barbara Zoo now a certified autism center
  • The Santa Barbara Zoo has become the first zoo on the West Coast to be awarded a certification for its autism accommodations.

    In a statement, the Santa Barbara Zoo says it received its Certified Autism Center designation from the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards, which indicates that the zoo makes extra effort to ensure a good experience for guests who are on the autism spectrum or have sensory needs. Read on...

  • Autistic Boy Only Likes One Table at One Restaurant, So Staff Makes Him a Special Sign
  • 6-year-old Bo has autism, which makes it difficult for his family to be able to eat out. There is ONE place, however, where Bo will consent to eating a meal away from home, and that is at table number five at Tequila's Mexican Restaurant in Simpsonville, South Carolina.

    When Bo's parents discovered the place and found that Bo liked it (because he could see the whole room from his corner booth and because he could eat tortilla chips and salsa as soon as he sat down), they decided to make a weekly habit of bringing Bo and his 4-year-old sister, Gracie, to dine at that very same table every Friday evening. Read on...

  • How our ancestors with autistic traits led a revolution in Ice Age art
  • The ability to focus on detail, a common trait among people with autism, allowed realism to flourish in Ice Age art

    Around 30,000 years ago realistic art suddenly flourished in Europe. Extremely accurate depictions of bears, bison, horses and lions decorate the walls of Ice Age archaeological sites such as Chauvet Cave in southern France.

    Why our ice age ancestors created exceptionally realistic art rather than the very simple or stylised art of earlier modern humans has long perplexed researchers.

    Many have argued that psychotropic drugs were behind the detailed illustrations. The popular idea that drugs might make people better at art led to a number of ethically-dubious studies in the 60s where participants were given art materials and LSD. 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

  • Would you like to be part of a research study on a new method to teach students with Autism how to learn academics and type independently?
  • Research participants needed!
    Would you like to be part of a research study on a new method to teach students with Autism how to learn academics and type independently?

    Point Loma Nazarene University in conjunction with Alternative Teaching Strategy Center are conducting a research study on a new method to teach students with autism on how to learn academics and type independently.

    The goal of this study is to examine methods that could possibly be used to improve your child's ability to communicate, type and progress academically. This activity is based on the student learning using an iPad and previous studies have indicated that most students make remarkable progress. The results of this study could help teachers at schools around the world provide these resources to other students in the future.

    Your child will be asked to participate in the use of an iPad using the apps with one on one instruction leading the prompting and levels of support. The student is expected to last the entire eight week session, 2 hours a day, 5 days a week. The main benefit is to increase communication, vocabulary and typing skills.

    The study will be held over the summer starting on June 25, 2018 and ending on August 17, 2018.

    For more information and to enroll your child in the study please go to

    There are only a limited number of Places available.

  • 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.

  • Jeremiah's Ranch June Newsletter
  • Click here to read the news and all about of their upcoming events!!!

  • 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

  • Sports 4 Exceptional Athletes: News & Events - June 2018
  • s4ea

    Click here to read their June Newsletters for all the info about their upcoming sports events for children and teens with special needs!!!

  • 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.

  • Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech
  • Are you looking for that next step after college or high school? Interested in the high tech industry? Then NFAR's technical training program might be a good career move for you!

    NFAR Tech will be starting a new class in August.

    NFAR Tech is a comprehensive hands-on training programs that teaches technical and employment skills needed for today's workplace. It prepares young adults for entry level jobs as a software tester.

    If you are interested in learning more, visit our website, and/ or contact us at 858-679-8800 if you have any questions.

  • 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

  • A Support Group for Sibs Ages 8 to 13!
  • SAN DIEGO THERAPY GROUP 3760 Convoy St. Suite 118 San Diego, CA 92111

    To register contact: Nicole Guzman, PsyD at 619-800-0821 or email at

  • 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.