Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 22, 2018

In This Issue

Success of blood test for autism affirmed

Traits of other conditions may spur autism

Going Through College with High Functioning Autism

Special-ed teacher's $1M gift making scholarships possible

Nation Spending More On Community Living

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

No Wait for RDI!!!

Conference: Love & Autism - Early Bird Pricing Ends August 15th!

Beyond Bullying - A Theatre Event Designed to Prevent Bullying

Interview and Beyond: Skills to Get and Keep a Job

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Social Skills Summer Camp

Now Enrolling: July-August Teen Social Clubs! SIGN UP DEADLINE IS TODAY!!!

Now Enrolling: July-August South County Social Clubs! SIGN UP DEADLINE IS TODAY!

ATPF Bridge to the Beach Family Beach Day

TAG TALK Carlsbad-How Naturalistic ABA Can Help Your Child Grow!

Community Resource & Legislative Forum: "A HOME OF MY OWN"

Social Skills Groups & Ed Therapy

Pizza with my Pops!

Disaster Preparedness Workshop for Families with Disabilities- 06/26/2018



  • Success of blood test for autism affirmed
  • First physiological test for autism proves high accuracy in second trial

    One year after researchers published their work on a physiological test for autism, a follow-up study confirms its exceptional success in assessing whether a child is on the autism spectrum. A physiological test that supports a clinician's diagnostic process has the potential to lower the age at which children are diagnosed, leading to earlier treatment. Results of the study, which uses an algorithm to predict if a child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) based on metabolites in a blood sample, published online today, appear in the June edition of Bioengineering & Translational Medicine.

    "We looked at groups of children with ASD independent from our previous study and had similar success. We are able to predict with 88 percent accuracy whether children have autism," said Juergen Hahn, lead author, systems biologist, professor, head of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Department of Biomedical Engineering, and member of the Rensselaer Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS). "This is extremely promising." Read on...

  • Traits of other conditions may spur autism
  • Most school-age children with autism have at least one other psychiatric condition, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety or depression. Similarly, traits of autism and of other conditions that do not qualify for a diagnosis often co-occur in the general population. What explains these overlaps?

    One possibility is that the co-occurring traits arise from sets of gene variants common to both conditions. Our work suggests, however, that the truth is more complicated.

    In this view, there are separate sets of gene variants for autism and conditions that accompany it. When both are present in an individual, traits of the other condition may intensify the risk for autism in early childhood. In this way, genes for traits of accompanying conditions may contribute to autism in some individuals. Read on...

  • Going Through College with High Functioning Autism
  • How can a student with autism thrive in a typical college setting?

    Maureen Johnson, Ph.D., is a Health Education Instructor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. She's also an adult with an autism spectrum diagnosis. Having recently gone through the college system, Maureen has first person knowledge of how to smooth the path to graduation. Her suggestions are a great start for teens with autism (and their parents) as they think about applying for, managing, and thriving in college.

    1. Obtain certification of your ASD from your medical professional. In order to obtain accommodations on a college campus (such as disability support services), you will probably be required to have documentation of your ASD from a physician, neurologist, or psychiatrist. Read on...

  • Special-ed teacher's $1M gift making scholarships possible
  • A special education teacher in New Jersey promised that when she died, she would bequeth money to the school where she taught for many years.

    It turned out to be a small fortune.

    Genevieve Via Cava, who taught in the Dumont School District and died in 2011, donated $1 million to the school -- and starting next school year her gift will help a special-education student seeking higher education become eligible to receive a $25,000 scholarship, reported Friday. Read on...

  • Nation Spending More On Community Living
  • Government spending on home and community-based services has risen dramatically, with a new report finding that growth doubled year-over-year as funding for institutions declined.

    Some $167 billion in federal and state Medicaid funds went toward long-term services and supports across the country during the 2016 fiscal year, up from $159 billion the year prior.

    Of that, 57 percent was devoted to community-based services, according to a new report produced for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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!

    I'm looking for an ophthalmologist who has experience with young adults with autism.

    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.

  • No Wait for RDI!!!
  • Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®)
    Our primary approach for treatment of autism spectrum is a developmental program called Relationship Development Intervention (RDI®). RDI® is a unique treatment approach that empowers parents to guide their child to succeed in our dynamic world. Children who learn to actively engage with the support of their parents in safe but challenging learning opportunities develop a strong motivation to explore and expand their world, as well as develop competence and trust in themselves and their guides. Click here for all the info!!!

    The Family Guidance and Therapy Center
    Two Offices to Serve You
    3555 Kenyon Street, Suite 101
    San Diego, CA 92110
    10731 Treena Street, #105
    San Diego, CA 92131
    619-600-0683 ext. 1

  • Conference: Love & Autism - Early Bird Pricing Ends August 15th!
  • October 13-14th, 2018
    9:00AM - 4:30PM
    Liberty Station Conference Center, San Diego, CA

    We value neurodivergent leaders and reject the pathology paradigm because the development of healthy autistic identities matters. Allowing love to lead us, we create powerful change in the world. Don't settle for the status quo, trust your heart. This is Love & Autism

    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Beyond Bullying - A Theatre Event Designed to Prevent Bullying
  • Contact Kathryn Campion at PACT for more information and to register for upcoming workshops. 760-815-8512,,

  • Interview and Beyond: Skills to Get and Keep a Job
  • This 6-session course, facilitated by occupational and speech therapists, will coach young adults with autism how to navigate the unspoken rules of the workplace. As participants work through simulations, virtual reality practice, and group projects, they will develop awareness of common employer expectations and develop skills to navigate them confidently. Skills targeted include: successful interviewing, workplace social skills, organization and time management, self-advocacy and ability to accept workplace feedback. Participants must be at least 16 years old and have a high school diploma or verification from a teacher that they have a 6th grade or higher reading level.

    Next event:
    Tuesdays and Thursdays, July 10th - 26th from 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

    Click here for the registration form.

  • Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment
  • Experience a unique and effective approach to autism therapy.

    Our aim is to bring to families everywhere the most effective therapies for the treatment of autism. Our integrated care model is based on the scientific research and clinical practice of our founder, Dr. Suzanne Goh. We seek to set a new global standard for autism care by achieving superior developmental outcomes for the children and families we serve.

    At Cortica, we believe the world needs a higher standard of care for all those living with autism, or a potential diagnosis of autism. Families like yours deserve effective, collaborative, caring therapies that are accessible and reasonably priced, no matter who you are or where you live.

    The Cortica Care Model

    • Neurophysiology
    • Family and Home
    • Biochemistry
    • Cognition and Behavior
    • Sensorimotor
    • Communication
    Therapists with specialized expertise collaborate to understand and treat the whole child.

    Your customized program will focus on what your child's developing brain needs most to gain new abilities.

    The Cortica Care Model is based on a proven methodology that gives you confidence you're doing the right thing.

    Together, we clarify the complex, celebrate extraordinary efforts, and witness moments of brilliance as our children grow new skills and abilities. Many of our services are covered by medical insurance plans. Contact us for all the info!!!

    Cortica Care
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • Social Skills Summer Camp
  • For children with autism and related disorders who want to build social relationships

    Fred Finch CARES
    10174 Old Grove Road, Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92131

    To register, please call 858-444-8823

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

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

  • ATPF Bridge to the Beach Family Beach Day
  • Saturday, June 30 at 8 AM - 11 AM
    1008 Santa Clara Pl, San Diego, CA 92109-7227

    ATPF & San Diego Junior Lifeguards have partnered to host our 4th Annual Bridge to the Beach Program! Join us for a fun and family-friendly Beach Day where kids can surf, boogie board, kayak, paddleboard & more! RSVP via this link:

    Want to VOLUNTEER? Sign up here:

  • TAG TALK Carlsbad-How Naturalistic ABA Can Help Your Child Grow!
  • Tuesday, July 10 at 6 PM - 7:30 PM
    Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    5411 Avenida Encinas suite 110, Carlsbad, California 92126

    Join us for a TAG TALK on Tuesday July 10 from 6-7:30pm and learn about How Naturalistic ABA Can Help Your Child Grow!

  • Community Resource & Legislative Forum: "A HOME OF MY OWN"
  • Fri, June 29, 2018
    9:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    Scottish Rite Valley of San Diego
    1895 Camino del Rio S
    San Diego, CA 92108

    The Community Resource and Legislative Forum is designed to educate our community about needs, challenges, opportunities and services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.

    This years event will focus on:
    >>Challenges finding low Incom housing
    >>Future strategic plans for Housing
    >>Community Resources (On-Site)

    This years speakers to include: Senator Toni Atkins, District 39 / Carlos Flores, Executive Director SDRC / Debbie Ruane, Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Strategy Officer for San Diego Housing Commission, Nancy Bargmann, Executive Director, DDS, Michael Wilkening, Secretary, California Health and Human Services Agency

    Breakfast will be provided from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Social Skills Groups & Ed Therapy
  • Center for Educational Therapy
    2667 Camino Del Rio South Suite 202
    San Diego, CA 92108
    (760) 845-3602

    Social Skills Groups & Ed Therapy

    Center for Educational Therapy caters to children, adolescents and young adults with Learning Disabilities and school based Social Skills Deficits. The Center provides a full treatment plan for those struggling with ADHD, ASD, ODD and other social emotional challenges. The Center works closely with private and public schools offering parents IEP advocacy.

    Treatment Plan Track A include Parenting sessions for children's and adolescents diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or Asperger's Syndrome

    Treatment Plan Track B includes Social Skills Groups held once a week for one hour on Saturdays.

    Treatment Plan Track C includes One on One Educational Therapy from 1-3 times per week.

  • Pizza with my Pops!
  • Pizza with my Pops! - Saturday June 23rd!
    To RSVP or for more information call: 619.524.0916 or email

  • Disaster Preparedness Workshop for Families with Disabilities- 06/26/2018
  • To RSVP or for more information call: 619.524.0916 or email

  • 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!!!


    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.