Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 08, 2018

In This Issue

How colleges can prepare for students with autism

Use of certain social strategies linked to anxiety in autism

How is ADHD rated?

Living In Fear Of The Next Bad Thing: Mothering A Child With Special Needs

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

A Support Group for Sibs Ages 8 to 13!

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/Social Skills Workshops

NFAR Men's Group - Jun 14

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

My Special Needs Connection June Newsletter

Songbirds Music Social Group for Young Children

Jeremiah's Ranch June Newsletter

Join Us for NFAR's Charity Golf Tournament!

Understanding Autism: FREE Parent Class

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech

Sports 4 Exceptional Athletes: News & Events - June 2018



  • How colleges can prepare for students with autism
  • Increasing numbers of young adults with autism are pursuing a college education. Many campuses are not ready for them.

    Kieran Barrett-Snyder was a star student at his high school on Long Island in New York. He had a gift for mathematics and science, and was accepted into all seven of the colleges he applied to. He decided on New York University (NYU), both because it has a strong engineering program and because it is close to his home.

    During Barrett-Snyder's first semester in 2014, he did well in all his classes, except for labs that required written reports - a task that felt overwhelming to him. He became so anxious about his workload that at one point he started to feel his heart pounding hard in his chest. "It hurt to lay down," he recalls. Read on...

  • Use of certain social strategies linked to anxiety in autism
  • Children with autism often have trouble understanding others' thoughts, and some may compensate for this by creating scripts and using other learned strategies to navigate social situations. But that compensation comes at a cost: The children who engage in it become unusually anxious, a new study suggests1.

    These children also are more likely than those who don't compensate to have high scores on tests of verbal intelligence and a set of mental skills called executive functions.

    Compensation can prove useful to people who lack a strong theory of mind, the ability to understand the desires and intentions of others. Read on...

  • How is ADHD rated?
  • The ADHD rating scale uses questions about a person's behavior to evaluate their likelihood of having attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Rating scales are a crucial part of the diagnostic process and are particularly necessary when it comes to diagnosing a child.

    When responding to the rating scale questions, most people will only be able to base their observations on how the individual behaves in one setting (for instance at home or school). These people are probably not aware of specific behaviors that the person displays in other settings. To get a complete picture of an individual, it is essential that a variety of people, including relatives and teachers, complete the rating scale forms.

    Doctors use the information collected from the rating scale forms to help them make a diagnosis and recommendations for treatment. Doctors may also recommend using multiple rating scales. Read on...

  • Living In Fear Of The Next Bad Thing: Mothering A Child With Special Needs
  • Last night, just as the sun was setting, my son had an idea.

    "Let's build a fire outside and just relax."

    His enthusiasm was contagious. Although this is typically something I would not do until my husband was home (he is officially in charge of all things outdoorsy and fire-y), the sight of now both of my sons, jumping up and down with excitement, made me brave.

    It was dark already (one advantage of the time change). We worked quickly and the fire soon flickered light across our patio. It began to warm the crisp night.

    It was beautiful.

    It was a moment in their childhood, in my motherhood, that made me want to freeze time. And, it pains me to admit, I almost missed it completely. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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/Social Skills Workshops
  • In Tom's mother, Suzanne's own words:

    "Our son, Tom absolutely loves PACT's performance art class. He has completely reversed his previous aversion to music and now enjoys listening to it, even singing and humming around the house. We are so grateful to PACT for this opportunity. It's unlocked a potential we didn't know he had. Tom looks forward to this class all week. When he is at home he is virtually always still, usually reading. At the class he is constantly moving, with great enthusiasm. It's so important for him to find enjoyment in exercise, and to be this physically active. He also greatly enjoys being with the other teens, as he is home schooled and really needed some friends."

    Photo: Tom (center) joins Jacob and Jovyn in a PACT improv activity.

    For more information and to register for PACT's summer 8-week workshop cycles (starts July 7) please contact Kathryn Campion, 760-815-8512,

  • NFAR Men's Group - Jun 14
  • Thursday, June 14, 2018

    The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    **NEW** Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad.
    Dinner is provided

    June Topic: Communication and Autism
    Speaker: Guest Speaker: Karyn Lewis Searcy, M.A., CCC-SLP - Director, TERI Crimson Center for Speech & Language Pathology

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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

  • My Special Needs Connection June Newsletter
  • In this month's newsletter we feature our resource of the month, the new and improved Parents' Corner, and upcoming events in your community!

  • 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

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

  • Join Us for NFAR's Charity Golf Tournament!
  • Special Pricing Now through August 8th!

    NFAR's Charity Golf for Autism will be held at the Morgan Run Golf & Resort in Rancho Santa Fe on Monday, Oct 8, 2018. Check-in will begin at 10:30 am with a 12:00 pm shotgun start.

    Join us on this scenic and memorable course for brews, and lots of ways to test your golf skills and win! Plus, your participation directly helps individuals with autism in San Diego.

    Golfers - don't miss out! Special foursome pricing is $495 through August 8th. Registration includes a box lunch, dinner and lots of fun contests.

    REGISTER Today

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • 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.