Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 05, 2020

In This Issue

Autism traits in childhood linked to eating disorders in adolescence

Mindfulness improves decision-making, attention in children with autism

People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities More Likely to Die from COVID-19, Study Suggests

Autism researchers just threw you under the bus

An Aspie Pespective: My Challenges In College And Graduating During Covid-19

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Villa de Vida Arts and Crafts

Villa de Vida Yoga! Starting Today!!!

Friendship Walk SD is going Virtual!

My Special Needs Connection: Transitioning to Adulthood

Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together

Have fun and flourish with 25% off our Provider's Conference and more free resources

Villa de Vida Zoom Movie Night - June 7th

Webinar: Accessing ABA Services During COVID-19

Virtual East County Autism Support Group on Zoom!

TERI Today, Monthly Newsletter

ATPF Typers Zoom Meet-Up

NFAR PARENT'S GROUP - Zoom Virtual Meeting

Fun with OT at Home!



  • Autism traits in childhood linked to eating disorders in adolescence
  • Children with social difficulties are more likely than those without to develop disordered eating by age 14, according to a new study1. The researchers analyzed data from a longitudinal study to understand the relationship between autism and eating disorders over time.

    At least 20 percent of adults and 3 percent of children with eating disorders also have autism. But much of what researchers know about link between the two conditions has come from studies of people seeking treatment for eating disorders, which makes it difficult to understand whether one condition sets the stage for the other or something else explains the overlap. Read on...

  • Mindfulness improves decision-making, attention in children with autism
  • School-based mindfulness programs can improve decision-making skills and teach children with autism to focus attention and react less impulsively through breathing exercises that will allow them to reduce anxiety, according to Rutgers researchers.

    The study, published in the journal Research in Developmental Disabilities, is the first to examine the effectiveness of a school-based mindfulness program that emphasizes self-awareness and controlled breathing in children on the autism spectrum.

    Mindfulness practice trains people to focus their attention on awareness of the present moment. In neurotypical children, it has been shown to improve decision-making skills and to be effective in reducing anxiety, a common condition in the one in 68 children nationwide diagnosed with autism. Read on...

  • People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities More Likely to Die from COVID-19, Study Suggests
  • People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) are more likely to die from COVID-19 than those without, according to a study.

    The authors of the paper published in the journal Disability and Health Journal believe that the between 2.6 to four million people in the U.S. who have an intellectual or developmental disability, such as cerebral palsy or Down's syndrome, may be vulnerable because they are more likely to have underlying conditions such as high blood pressure, heart and respiratory diseases, and diabetes.

    These conditions are thought to increase the risk of developing complications from COVID-19, the disease that has killed more than 360,437 people in 5.8 million cases since late last year, according to Johns Hopkins University. Over 2.4 million people are known to have recovered. Read on...

  • Autism researchers just threw you under the bus
  • A major new review, with a stamp of approval from Autism Speaks, denies any increase in autism. The autism community should be aghast at the incompetence.

    In spite of overwhelming evidence of skyrocketing autism rates, a coterie of autism researchers just announced in a key and influential publication that there has been no actual increase in autism.

    Nature is the crème de la crème of scientific journals. It is also an umbrella, publishing many other journals, including one called Nature Reviews Disease Primers (NRDP). These primers are highly respected in the scientific and medical fields and are often cited as gold-standard authority regarding a variety of diseases and disorders.

    In January of this year, lead author Cathy Lord, PhD, and co-authors published the NRDP Primer on autism spectrum disorder (1). This Primer will be cited as reliable authority for years to come on many issues related to autism. It has a lot of outstanding content and I would actually recommend 90% of it.

    But then, there's the crackpot part denying that autism rates have increased. Read on...

  • An Aspie Pespective: My Challenges In College And Graduating During Covid-19
  • As a Freshman, I began attending college at the University of California, Santa Cruz. I requested single room accommodations in the first week of classes and received them in the third week. During those initial weeks living with two roommates was not a struggle: both were very respectful and I was too. When I received my single room, I found myself self isolating. I didn't want to go out and meet other people because I felt as if I had unfinished personal work to do.

    I went into college without knowing what resumes and cover letters were, so I was disappointed in myself when I was unable to land a job on campus. One day I was unable to cope with the stress of my academics and personal life, and I ended up saying something which lead to me being removed from student housing. I will not specifically state what the context was, but the result was my housing was relocated to a hotel outside of UC Santa Cruz for the rest of the semester. 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.

  • Villa de Vida Arts and Crafts
  • Join us every Wednesday, until Jun 24 at 1pm for a Arts and Craft Demo with CAMMIE CASEY! After each session Post your art piece to show off your work! Can't wait to see everyone's final piece. Each week will be a different topic.


    We started our social club in April 2019 and have been meeting twice monthly since. We are providing classes through the City of Poway, that will start in the Fall again, specifically for adult with special needs. We want you to join our groups, classes and now free on-line activities. Click here to view our calendar for the month of June!!!

    To stay up to date on all of the upcoming activities, please sign up for our newsletter here!!!

  • Villa de Vida Yoga! Starting Today!!!
  • 5 Dates · Jun 2 - Jun 30
    Meet our new instructor Janice! She will be hosting a Yoga class Online through Zoom!

    If interested sign up now!


    We started our social club in April 2019 and have been meeting twice monthly since. We are providing classes through the City of Poway, that will start in the Fall again, specifically for adult with special needs. We want you to join our groups, classes and now free on-line activities. Click here to view our calendar for the month of June!!!

    To stay up to date on all of the upcoming activities, please sign up for our newsletter here!!!

  • Friendship Walk SD is going Virtual!
  • Sunday, June 28, 2020 @ 10:00AM
    The Friendship Walk is an annual family walk that raises crucial funds and community awareness for the Friendship Circle of San Diego and individuals with special needs. Join us in promoting an inclusive community that welcomes and nurtures all individuals regardless of their abilities.

    10:00AM - Special Zoom Presentation
    The broadcast will showcase a special presentation for our virtual walkers from around the world.

    The Course - You Pick the Course!
    Whether that's walking 1.8 miles in your neighborhood, on a treadmill or around the house, or going for a swim, riding a bike or other physical activities following social distancing guidelines

    We encourage you to share images and videos as you complete your 1.8 mile journey via social media by tagging @FriendshipCircleSD.

    Registration Fee: $25
    All registrants will receive a 2020 Walking 4 Friendship t-shirt and face mask!

    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. Go to

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

    Click here to Register!!!

    Become a Community Partner! It's FREE!

    Partnerships with local nonprofits & charitable organizations gives us great pride. Community Partners can be organizations, groups, or individuals who want to work together! Your logo & link will be posted here! You will also have access to the community share table to place information & fliers.

    If you are interested in becoming a Community Partner, please contact

  • My Special Needs Connection: Transitioning to Adulthood
  • Click here to view the presentation!!!

  • Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together
  • AEFCT provides high quality services that are structured, comprehensive, and individualized. Our mission is to provide intervention to children with autism, putting the needs of each child first so that they are met fairly and appropriately. We use developmentally sound strategies supported by empirical evidence, combined with a team approach that involves family participation. Autism affects the entire family unit, and we recognize that parent education and participation are essential to achieve success.

    4669 Murphy Canyon Rd., Suite 212
    San Diego, CA 92123

  • Have fun and flourish with 25% off our Provider's Conference and more free resources
  • Let's make the most of our time together with our children, students, or clients during these strange times. Whether you're a parent working one on one with your child at home, or a provider working with a room full of young adults, our Free Stuff Portal can help you access video lessons, book read alouds, and newest thinking from us at Social Thinking.

    Fun and engaging video lessons and bonus thinksheets have been added this week to help teach a wide range of topics-such as social-emotional learning, self-regulation, executive functioning, and more. Click here for all the info!!!

  • Villa de Vida Zoom Movie Night - June 7th
  • RSVP to our email vdvsocialclub@villadevida to receive the Zoom link.

  • Webinar: Accessing ABA Services During COVID-19
  • Check out all of Gateway's Webinars here:

  • Virtual East County Autism Support Group on Zoom!
  • Monday, June 8, 2020
    6:30 PM to 8:00 PM

    Join us for an online version of our East County Support Group on Zoom for support and information, and to connect with your community!

    Join Zoom Meeting:

  • TERI Today, Monthly Newsletter
  • Click here to read TERI, Inc.'s latest newsletter for all the info and updates!!!

  • ATPF Typers Zoom Meet-Up
  • Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
    RSVP here:

    Meet on Zoom with different AAC Typer friends across the country, share your favorite books, funny quotes or memes, and enjoy the feeling of community through alternative communication! Led by ATPF Mom Shelly Lana and her son Otto. All kids/teens who use Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) Devices are welcome! All participants who RSVP will receive a reminder email/text with all details on how to join the Zoom meeting.

    Questions? Contact Shelly Lana at 858-361-0098

  • NFAR PARENT'S GROUP - Zoom Virtual Meeting
    Zoom Virtual Meeting
    Wednesday, June 10, 2020
    6:30 - 8:00 pm

    June 10th TOPIC:
    Our guest speaker, Chantal Sicile-Kira will be discussing "What is really important in the long run to preparing your son or daughter for a life of their own." Also, insights and discussion about community safety, things we need to be doing to help and more."

    Guest Speaker: Chantal Sicile Kira, Professional Speaker, Author, and Autism Mom
    Chantal Sicile-Kira is the award-winning author of six books, a professional speaker, an advocate and leader in the field of autism, with over 25 years of experience. Chantal has served on various non-profit and advisory boards. Chantal's first practical experience with autism was teaching functional living skills to severely developmentally disabled adolescents in preparation for their de-institutionalization, then as a case manager at Orange County Regional Center. Little did she realize at the time how these work experiences would help her years later when Jeremy was born.

    Chantal's books include: Autism Spectrum Disorder (revised edition, Penguin 2014); A Full Life with Autism (Macmillan 2012); What is Autism? (Turner 2012);Autism Life Skills (Penguin 2008); Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum (Penguin 2006)​ as well as the workbook A Beginner's Guide to Self-Employment (2019).

    Click here for all the info and how to sign up for this Zoom Meeting!!!

  • Fun with OT at Home!
  • Would you like to know more about Occupational Therapy activities you can do with your kids at home?
    Sign in anytime now through June 15th.

  • 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 Liane Wilson, Vice President of Community Services, for more information at 619-938-2889 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.