Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 19, 2020

In This Issue

Unique Metabolic Signatures Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Detect More than 50% of individuals with ASD in Children's Autism Metabolome Project (CAMP)

Could You Be an Autistic Woman?

Altered learning may drive social inattention in autistic children

The reality of severe autism during shelter-in-place

Fifty-four scientists have lost their jobs as a result of NIH probe into foreign ties

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Transition Therapy

Villa de Vida Social Club Walk

Autism Experts Empowering Families and Children Together

Social Skills-Based Summer Camp 2020 for Youth with ASD and Their Siblings

2020 Summer Online Groups

FREE! Behavior Boot Camp for Dads

Autism Research - Diet and Nutrition Interventions with Dr. Jim Adams

NFAR Online Parents Meeting

Programs That Offer Faith-Based Support

Beacons Summer and Fall Workshop Information

Certified Special Needs Quality Life Coach

YouTube: Distance Learning and Advocacy

Friendship Walk SD is going Virtual!

June Resources for Special Families



  • Unique Metabolic Signatures Associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Detect More than 50% of individuals with ASD in Children's Autism Metabolome Project (CAMP)
  • In a paper published online this week in Autism Research, scientists at NeuroPointDX, a division of Stemina Biomarker Discovery, Inc., in collaboration with researchers at the UC Davis MIND Institute and academic and clinical institutions across the country, report new findings from the Children's Autism Metabolome Project or CAMP.

    Analysis of blood samples from CAMP, the largest study yet undertaken of the metabolism of children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), has now reproducibly identified unique metabolic signatures (called metabotypes) in over 50% of the children with autism in the study. This is an important step towards the goal of developing a panel of metabolomics tests that could form the basis for a biological screen of risk for ASD. Analysis of other potential blood-based biomarkers using CAMP study samples is ongoing. Validation of additional metabotypes of ASD is expected to result in the ability to detect a still higher percentage of children at risk of ASD using this approach. Read on...

  • Could You Be an Autistic Woman?
  • Mothers of autistic kids: can we talk?

    Many of you have wondered aloud about your spouse. You say things like this:

    >>My husband can't multi-task, has awkward social skills, and retreats to the computer or other special interest at every opportunity.
    >>He doesn't know to help when there is lots to do (10 people are coming for dinner in an hour, the house is an awful mess and he is waxing the desk in the basement office).
    >>He is too tough on the kids, or
    >>He is way too lenient with the kids.

    What you've been wondering is, "Could my sweetheart be autistic?"

    Well, here's something to really get you thinking - would it surprise you to know that your spouse may harbor the same suspicion about you? Read on...

  • Altered learning may drive social inattention in autistic children
  • Children with autism have trouble learning that faces convey information, but they excel at learning that some objects do, according to a new study1. The finding may explain why autistic people tend to miss social cues.

    People with autism often prefer to look at objects rather than social stimuli, such as faces2. The new work is the first to suggest a reason why: Children with the condition may have problems figuring out which social stimuli in their environment are worth paying attention to and which they can ignore. Read on...

  • The reality of severe autism during shelter-in-place
  • "How come you can go to the gym but my kid can't receive his essential therapies that are written in and signed on an Individual Education Plan?"

    This is the reality of #severeautism in shelter-in-place. Months of being isolated. This is a small piece of it.

    An aggressively pulled out broken freezer (I've tried locks in the past) covered in coffee grounds. Why? Anger & frustration from a confused and frustrated #asd kid.

    I see on my private Facebook group of severe autism parents that we are all in hell. Holes in walls. Electronics thrown across a room. Bite marks. It's like trying to get through a 'full moon' kinda day every day.

    We have have been very stringent since the beginning with self-isolation; we have a family member with a compromised immune system. As I begin to watch restrictions lift all around me, I get more and more angry and resentful. I'm the first to admit it's hard to watch everyone go out to eat, vacation, finally get their hair done after complaining for so long. Read on...

  • Fifty-four scientists have lost their jobs as a result of NIH probe into foreign ties
  • Some 54 scientists have resigned or been fired as a result of an ongoing investigation by the National Institutes of Health into the failure of NIH grantees to disclose financial ties to foreign governments. In 93% of those cases, the hidden funding came from a Chinese institution.

    The new numbers come from Michael Lauer, NIH's head of extramural research. Lauer had previously provided some information on the scope of NIH's investigation, which had targeted 189 scientists at 87 institutions. But his presentation today to a senior advisory panel offered by far the most detailed breakout of an effort NIH launched in August 2018 that has roiled the U.S. biomedical community, and resulted in criminal charges against some prominent researchers, including Charles Lieber, chair of Harvard University's department of chemistry and chemical biology.

    "It's not what we had hoped, and it's not a fun task," NIH Director Francis Collins said in characterizing the ongoing investigation. He called the data "sobering." 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.

  • Transition Therapy
  • We Now Offer Telepractice Services!

    We Help People Who Have Social Challenges Navigate Life Through Engagement, Education, and Real World Experience.

    Our Social Learning sessions provide dynamic learning experiences and awareness building for young adults transitioning into self-sustainable and independent lifestyles.

    Transition Therapy
    P.O. Box 210606
    Chula Vista, CA 91921
    (619) 354-8806

  • Villa de Vida Social Club Walk
  • Saturday at 5:30 PM - 7 PM
    Old Poway Train Park
    14134 Midland Rd, Poway, CA 92064, Poway, California 92064

    For adults with special needs! Social Club Members! Join us for a social walk and RSVP by June 18th, only 12 spots available!

  • 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

  • Social Skills-Based Summer Camp 2020 for Youth with ASD and Their Siblings
  • For Children Ages 6-12
    Our social skills based camps led by our team of adult experts will support your child in learning skills appropiate to their age in a fun and supportive enviorment that blends sports, recreation games and play!

    (858) 634-8300

  • 2020 Summer Online Groups
  • Our social learning groups are interactive, educational and fun! All summer groups will meet via Zoom. The last 15 minutes of every group are for parent talk time. This is when we teach you the concepts and strategies worked on during the group.

    Not sure which program is best for your child? Reach out to us at 858-558-9552 or email Janet Dudley at

    Click here to view the entire flyer for all the info!!!!

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

  • FREE! Behavior Boot Camp for Dads
  • Sat, June 27, 2020
    10:00 AM - 11:00 AM
    Online Event

    The SDSU Center for Autism is committed to providing informational and skill-building workshops for our community. We are pleased to host our partner Gateway Learning Group for this great talk.

    Calling all dads! Would you like to learn how to participate in your child's treatments in a meaningful way? Please join us for Behavior Bootcamp - learn how to use behavioral strategies at home to bond with your child, support their goals and above all else, have fun! Click here for all the info and to RSVP!!!

  • Autism Research - Diet and Nutrition Interventions with Dr. Jim Adams
  • Dr. Jim Adams has a daughter with autism and it led him to do work on biological causes and treatments, as well as research emphasis on autism.

    Sign in and obtain the code to watch this presentation here!!!

  • NFAR Online Parents Meeting
  • All parents are welcome to attend!

    NFAR PARENT'S GROUP - Zoom Virtual Meeting Wednesday, June 24, 2020 from 6:30pm - 8:00pm

    GUEST SPEAKERS: Jenna Sleichter M.A., BCBA and Sophia Felix, BS Child Development

    TOPIC: Innovative ways to independence: using Fitbits, activity schedules, and more to increase conversation, participation, and social skills

    * Please RSVP by no later than 4pm on June 24 using this link to Eventbrite (please select the June 24th date) for ZOOM session access. >>> <<<

    * On June 24th, we will send those that have RSVP'd an email with a link to join the meeting on ZOOM. (Email sent by 10am for early RSVPs and another by 5pm.)

    Any questions? Please feel free to call us at 858-679-8800

  • Programs That Offer Faith-Based Support
  • When Amanda Coleman responded to a friend's invitation to visit a faith-based program for families with special needs, she didn't know what to expect. Coleman, who doesn't consider herself religious, recognized the importance of finding support as she and her family waded through medical information, daily challenges, and discouraging discourse about her son's diagnosis. So, she decided to give it a try-and was pleasantly surprised.

    Coleman and her son received a warm welcome into a broad-based faith community that offers a variety of programs for families.

    "The medical stuff is so muddled and uncomfortable," Coleman says. "For parents finding themselves in that spot, the inclusivity and support are very appealing. Anyone can participate - whether you believe [in God] or don't. If you're having a tough time finding a niche, the faith community in San Diego offers many options." Click here for all the info!!!

  • Beacons Summer and Fall Workshop Information
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info about current and upcoming programs for adults with disabilities!!!

  • Certified Special Needs Quality Life Coach
  • Please feel free to contact me at; 831-295-0482; my website:

  • YouTube: Distance Learning and Advocacy
  • Yoshi Bauer, special education advocate, discusses how distance learning has been implemented, how you can improve services and accommodations during distance learning, and how to prepare for the fall IEP. Click here to view the presentation!!

  • 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: $20
    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!!!

  • June Resources for Special Families
  • Online IEP Parent Bootcamp
    Part 1: Beginners, 6/27/20, 10-12:00PM
    Part 2, Advanced, 7/11/20, 10-12:00PM
    Click here for all the info on the bootcamps and more!!!

  • 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.