Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 15, 2018

In This Issue

Numerous health problems burden young adults with autism

Student with autism who rarely speaks gives inspirational graduation speech

To get an autism diagnosis, girls need worse social skills than boys

Can these hormones provide the key to autism, schizophrenia?

Inflammation in mother tied to child's brain function, behavior

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

FREE!!! Sensory Friendly Performance of Mr. Popper's Penguins

Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) Awarded California Arts Council "Arts Education: Extension" Grant

NFAR Mom's Group in Carmel Valley

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

Encinitas Dance/Karaoke Party for special needs teens/adults

Lego Groups at Social Communication Specialists!!

Support Music Therapy for Special Needs

"My Time For Dinner" - A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Facebook Live Webinar: FREE

Now Enrolling: July-August North County Social Clubs!

Now Enrolling: July-August Central San Diego Social Clubs!

Join Us for NFAR's Charity Golf Tournament!

Postnatal ASD Risk Factors Study



  • Numerous health problems burden young adults with autism
  • Young people with autism have more psychiatric and medical conditions than do their typical peers or those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), a new study suggests1.

    The early onset of these problems suggests they do not stem solely from a lifetime of poor healthcare, says lead researcher Lisa Croen, director of the Autism Research Program at Kaiser Permanente, a managed healthcare provider based in California. Read on...

  • Student with autism who rarely speaks gives inspirational graduation speech
  • Sef Scott knew he was about to do something unexpected when he addressed the senior class of Plano Senior High at a graduation ceremony on June 9 in Frisco, Texas.

    Normally, he doesn't choose to speak, he told a crowd gathered in a sports arena that seats thousands. That's because he is a student with learning differences: autism and a social communication disorder, he said.

    But he came prepared to do something unexpected.

    He spoke for about six minutes, giving an inspirational, uplifting message: Defy expectations, live the life you want to live and surprise the world with kindness. Read on...

  • To get an autism diagnosis, girls need worse social skills than boys
  • Girls with an autism diagnosis have more severe impairments in social communication than boys with the diagnosis, according to a large population-based study1.

    The reverse is true for boys and girls in the general population, the researchers found.

    About four boys are diagnosed with autism for every girl. But that ratio may partly reflect bias in the diagnostic process: The tools used to screen and diagnose the condition are based primarily on data from boys.

    The new work suggests that girls are likely to receive an autism diagnosis only if they have significant social impairments - supporting the idea that diagnostic tools miss some girls with the condition. Read on...

  • Can these hormones provide the key to autism, schizophrenia?
  • People with neuropsychiatric disorders - such as schizophrenia and autism - often display, among other symptoms, impaired social behavior. To address this, researchers looked into the impact of two hormones on social attitudes.

    In a new study, investigators at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia turned to rhesus macaques to investigate the effects of two hormones - oxytocin and vasopressin - on social behavior.

    These primates are known for their aggressive, competitive behavior in groups that are highly hierarchized - which typically split members between dominant and submissive individuals.

    But rhesus macaques were also chosen for another reason; according to the researchers involved in the recent study, these primates - like humans - live in large social groups, form long-term connections, and present some similar social behaviors. Read on...

  • Inflammation in mother tied to child's brain function, behavior
  • Brain networks in babies reflect the degree of inflammation their mothers experienced during pregnancy, according to a new study1. A mother's immune response also tracks with her child's cognitive abilities at age 2.

    The findings support the hypothesis that in-utero exposure to inflammation shapes brain development and boosts the risk of conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.

    The new work provides an empirical look at the influence of the maternal immune system on children, says lead investigator Damien Fair, associate professor of behavioral neuroscience and psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University. Most previous work on this link is limited to animal studies and observational reports. 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?

    I am looking to connect with a parent of a young adult with autism and behavior issues. I have twin 20 year old girls with a mod/severe intellectual disability and autism. Both girls have behavior issues. One daughter's behaviors are worse than the other daughter's. The daughter with the more severe behavior difficulties has self injurious behaviors (bangs her head on the carpet, hits herself in the face and picks her fingers and they bleed) and aggressive behaviors ( pulls mother and sisters hair, throws objects and tears books.) In addition, she has broken two large screen T V's, lamps and numerous pictures. She also screams. Except for picking her fingers, she only exhibits these behaviors at home. She does not exhibit these behaviors at school or in the Saturday TERI respite program. I would like to connect with another parent with a child with similar behaviors to exchange ideas on what has helped reduce these behaviors. My e-mail is Thank-you

    Hi I'm in Carlsbad, I have a 14 yr old daughter who needs blood drawn for critical tests but has a major phobia re: needles. Her wonderful/understanding special Needs physician retired. Took her to 3 Dr.'s (including children's hospital SD) who pretty much told her to "suck it up" and were very punishing/not understanding. I need physician and/or lab that understands. Last time we took her to get blood drawn was five years ago it took 4 nurses to hold her down and one was kicked in the head. She was little then, now she's over 5'9". Please help! Thank you!

    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.

  • 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

  • FREE!!! Sensory Friendly Performance of Mr. Popper's Penguins
  • FREE!!! San Diego Junior Theatre will be having a free sensory friendly performance of "Mr. Popper's Penguins" at 11am on Sat, July 7th. The performance will be held at the Casa del Prado Theatre in Balboa Park.

    RSVP isrequired. Call (619) 239-8355 to reserve your spot!

  • Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) Awarded California Arts Council "Arts Education: Extension" Grant
  • State funds support 'Performing Arts for Autism' arts education programming.

    Encinitas, CA - The California Arts Council announced its plans to award $8,500 to Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) as part of its Arts Education: Extension program. As a segment of the California Arts Council Arts Education grant opportunities, Extension grants support arts education programs for PreK-12 students that operate after school and during the summer, on school sites, in artistic venues, and in community settings. The intention of the program is to offer young people sequential, hands-on training in artistic disciplines, including dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.

    'Performing Arts for Autism' empowers people with autism through theatre, dance, and group singing workshops that teach social/communication skills. PACT also provides meaningful employment and vocational training to teens and young adults with autism. As a part its teacher trainee program PACT is providing free workshops to local children of all abilities.

    "We are thrilled to be chosen for this grant. As a small non-profit, this grant make a great difference in our ability to use the performing arts to empower people with autism to reach their personal and professional goals", says Kathryn Campion, PACT co-founder.

    PACT is one of 169 grantees chosen for the Arts Education: Extension program. The award was featured as part of a larger announcement from the California Arts Council.

    "The Arts Education Extension program capitalizes on the potential to create arts learning opportunities for California's young people whenever and wherever possible," said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. "Projects like 'Performing Arts for Autism' allow for the positive impacts of arts engagement to continue undeterred."

    To view a complete listing of all Arts Education Extension grantees, visit

    Since 2008 Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) has been serving the autism community in San Diego County through workshops and performances, and by providing a supportive community. PACT also promotes volunteerism through its peer mentorship program, and trains people with autism as actors and teachers.

    The mission of the California Arts Council, a state agency, is to advance California through the arts and creativity. The Council is committed to building public will and resources for the arts; fostering accessible arts initiatives that reflect contributions from all of California's diverse populations; serving as a thought leader and champion for the arts; and providing effective and relevant programs and services.

    Members of the California Arts Council include: Chair Nashormeh Lindo, Vice Chair Larry Baza, Phoebe Beasley, Christopher Coppola, Juan Devis, Kathleen Gallegos, Jaime Galli, Donn K. Harris, Louise McGuinness, Steven Oliver, and Rosalind Wyman. Learn more at

    Contact Kathryn Campion at PACT for more information and to register for upcoming workshops. 760-815-8512,,

  • NFAR Mom's Group in Carmel Valley
  • Wednesday, June 20, 2018
    6:30 - 8:30 pm
    Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant
    3510 Valley Centre Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92130

    Dinner: Mexican Food (GF available)
    Dinner is provided

    Join us for the NFAR Mom's Group! It's an evening for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet for dinner and guest speakers. It's an opportunity to share resources, experiences and enjoy being with other moms of individuals with autism.

    June Topic: Communication and Autism

    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

  • Encinitas Dance/Karaoke Party for special needs teens/adults
  • Saturday at 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM
    June 16, 2018
    Performing Arts Workshop
    1465 Encinitas Blvd, A102, Encinitas, California 92024

    Summer is here! Please join us for our monthly dance / karaoke fun. Dance song requests welcome below in the comments. Have a karaoke song in mind when you arrive. As always I kindly request that if participants have any potential for challenging behaviors or physical challenges that they are accompanied by a responsible chaperone/caregiver. Please bring a HEALTHY snack if you wish to share one. I Look forward to seeing you all!

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Lego Groups at Social Communication Specialists!!
  • Does your child love Lego? We have limited openings in our fun Lego groups where kids learn social communication skills while cooperatively building Lego sets! Go to for more information.

    Social Communication Specialists
    5703 Oberlin Dr, Ste 207
    San Diego, CA 92121
    (858) 558-9552

  • Support Music Therapy for Special Needs
  • June 24th Youth Helping Youth Concert

    Join our Jam Session rock stars from Banding Together for two upcoming Youth Helping Youth coffeehouse concerts. Sit back, sip a cup of coffee and nosh on tasty treats while enjoying music by our favorite local musicians.

    Your purchase of raffle tickets will music therapy programs for individuals with special needs an who knows you might even be the lucky winner of one of several raffle prizes! You could even be entered into a drawing to win 2 JetBlue airline tickets valued at $900!

    Sunday, June 24th 2-4pm
    Location: Brew Coffee Spot, 6101 Lake Murray Blvd., La Mesa, 91942
    Featuring: Chula Vista and El Cajon Jam Session Rock Stars and other acts TBA
    No RSVP needed! Just show up and enjoy!

  • "My Time For Dinner" - A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • Little Italy Bar and Grill (Approx. $15 per person)
    In Scripps Ranch
    Monday, June 18, 2018
    7:00 PM

    Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene Raphael no later than June 15th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • Facebook Live Webinar: FREE
  • Wednesday, June 20th, 4:30-5:00PM
    Adventures in Autism
    Special Guests: Crystal Sanford and Ethan Hirschberg

    Are you a parent of a child with Autism? New to an Autism diagnosis? Do you have unanswered questions? Join us live as we discuss some of your biggest Autism questions.

    This will be an interactive and lively discussion of Autism signs, strengths, challenges and strategies that work. Feel free to view and comment live or via the replay.

    Our guests are experts who live the Autism experience every day. Crystal Sanford is a Speech Pathologist, Autism consultant and Autism parent. Ethan Hirschberg is a popular blogger, entrepreneur and successful teen with Autism.

    Let's chat and learn together through this amazing show!

  • Now Enrolling: July-August North County Social Clubs!
  • Sign up: or call 858-428-0222
    SIGN UP DEADLINE IS JUNE 22, 2018!!!!

  • Now Enrolling: July-August Central San Diego Social Clubs!
  • Now Enrolling: July-August Central San Diego Social Clubs!
    Sign up: or call 858-428-0222
    SIGN UP DEADLINE IS JUNE 22, 2018!!!!

  • 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

  • Postnatal ASD Risk Factors Study
  • business_finance_research.jpg

    Acetaminophen, antibiotics, ear infection, breastfeeding, vitamin D drops, and autism: an epidemiological study

    Click here to review study!

  • 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.