Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. June 29, 2018

In This Issue

Tips for an Autism-Friendly Fourth of July

ABLE Programs In Jeopardy, Disability Advocates Warn

FDA Approves Marijuana-Based Drug To Treat Severe Epilepsy

Genetic testing, counseling crucial in people with developmental delay

How to game the search for autism treatments

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

Now Enrolling: Xcite Steps Teen Summer Camp!

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

The Beginners Guild to Special Needs Planning in Escondido

Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!!!

Autism Tree Project Foundation Bridge to the Beach Week Long Camp

Adaptive Yoga in Carmel Valley

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

Stars and Stripes Dance Party in Fallbrook, TONIGHT!

Central San Diego Family Pool and Pizza Party

Save the Date: Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2018

Come Golf With Us and help Change Lives!



  • Tips for an Autism-Friendly Fourth of July
  • n this post, Autism Speaks former Assistant Director for Dissemination Science Lauren Elder offered some advice about an autism-friendly Fourth of July. See her advice below and find holiday travel tips here.

    "Our family loves the Fourth of July. But the noise and hubbub can produce sensory overload for our son who has autism. Advice?"

    Your question is a great one. July 4th is a wonderful holiday to celebrate, but it's also a noisy and busy one. This can present challenges for those on the spectrum.

    For starters, I suggest thinking about what size of celebration is right for your family and child. It could be sparklers after a family backyard barbeque. Or maybe it's going to town for full-out fireworks. Read on...

  • ABLE Programs In Jeopardy, Disability Advocates Warn
  • Without a big change, advocates are warning that a recently-established vehicle to help people with disabilities save money without risking their government benefits could be unsustainable.

    ABLE programs across the country desperately need an infusion of more account holders, according to a letter sent to congressional leadership this month from over 150 disability advocacy groups.

    Established under a 2014 federal law, ABLE accounts allow people with disabilities to save up to $100,000 without risking eligibility for Social Security and other government benefits. Medicaid can be retained no matter how much money is in the accounts. Read on...

  • FDA Approves Marijuana-Based Drug To Treat Severe Epilepsy
  • The Food and Drug Administration is approving a marijuana-based medication to treat two rare seizure conditions associated with developmental issues.

    The government agency gave the green light this week to an oral solution called Epidiolex to treat Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in those ages 2 and up.

    The drug contains cannabidiol, or CBD, a substance derived from marijuana, but causes no intoxication, euphoria or "high," the FDA said. This is the first time the agency has approved a medication with an active ingredient that comes from marijuana. Read on...

  • Genetic testing, counseling crucial in people with developmental delay
  • Brock was admitted to the hospital when he was 3 weeks old due to failure to thrive. In addition to poor weight gain and significant feeding difficulties, his reflexes had declined. Brock's pediatrician recommended hospitalization to expedite the testing process, as it was clear he required multidisciplinary expertise. (We are not including his last name, to protect his privacy.)

    A clinical geneticist was on rotation during Brock's hospital stay and identified a large deletion spanning FOXP1. The gene is implicated in a neurodevelopmental condition called FOXP1 syndrome.

    The first report of a deletion affecting FOXP1 appeared in 20091. We now know that deletions large and small, as well as smaller mutations affecting FOXP1, can all lead to various degrees of global developmental delay. Children with FOXP1 disruptions often present with intellectual disability, autism traits, anxiety, compulsive behaviors and attention deficits2. Other medical conditions, such as congenital heart and urogenital defects, can also manifest. Read on...

  • How to game the search for autism treatments
  • An expanding arcade of video games takes aim at easing autism traits, from poor visual attention to problems with motor skills. But how useful - and fun - are these games, really?

    The Research on Autism and Development (RAD) Laboratory is located in a Tetris-like maze of brown wooden buildings, not far from the main campus of the University of California, San Diego. The lab itself is a nondescript warren of small beige rooms. But everything else about it is extraordinary.

    The first clue is a T-shirt one of the lab's young interns wears on this sunny day in April, featuring the RAD Lab's motto: "We play mind games." One of the newer recruits, 20-year-old Naseem Baramki-Azar, sports a "Super Mario Bros." shirt. A half-dozen other lab members huddle around computer screens displaying none of the usual fare of charts or spreadsheets: Instead, they're hard at work making cartoon moles pop out of molehills, or fat spaceships careen toward the top of a computer screen. 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.

    My son is 13 and has a horrible time getting his hair cut. I do my best at home, but it's a struggle. I'm hoping to find someone with experience in cutting hair for autistic teens. Thank you. Laurena

    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,,

  • Now Enrolling: Xcite Steps Teen Summer Camp!
  • To sign up, email!

  • 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

  • The Beginners Guild to Special Needs Planning in Escondido
  • RSVP : or call 760-334-3199

  • Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!!!
  • FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids is San Diego's premiere pediatric microcurrent therapy program for children, teens and adults with special needs. Our program is the BEST therapy for Autism & ADHD, as you will see by the rapid improvement in your child's skills and abilities, because of how well it promotes developmental growth and couples with ALL other therapies.

    If you are looking for autism treatment like cranial sacral, PEMF (pulsed electromagnetic field), transcranial magnetic stim, FSM (frequency specific microcurrent), hyperbaric oxygenation, MRT (magnetic resonance therapy), chelation, or other alternative treatment options -give us a call to learn about how Microcurrent 4 Kids may be the better choice for you and your family!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123
    (858) 367-9108

  • Autism Tree Project Foundation Bridge to the Beach Week Long Camp
  • July 16 - July 20
    Jul 16 at 8:30 AM to Jul 20 at 11:30 AM
    1008 Santa Clara Pl, San Diego, CA 92109

    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! To RSVP click on this link:

  • Adaptive Yoga in Carmel Valley
  • Come try this FREE CLASS designed for adult students with cognitive limitations at the Carmel Valley Recreation Center. This class is being sponsored by the council for Carmel Valley Recreation Council.

    Participants needing assistance please call Therapeutic Services at 619-525-8247.

    THURSDAY 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm June 28 - August 23 Room 1 (No class week of July 5th)

    Carmel Valley Recreation Center
    3777 Townsgate Drive
    San Diego, CA 92130
    For more information, Call Janice at 858-735-6166 or email her at

  • FREE Sensory Friendly Performace 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 is required. Call (619) 239-8355 to reserve your spot!

  • Stars and Stripes Dance Party in Fallbrook, TONIGHT!
  • No RSVP necessary!!
    North Coast Church in Fallbrook
    1375 S Mission Rd.
    Fallbrook, CA 92028

  • Central San Diego Family Pool and Pizza Party
  • Friday, July 13 at 6 PM - 8 PM
    Aqua Pros Swim School
    4635 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, California 92117

    Bring the entire family to enjoy a swim in an indoor, heated pool with free pizza and drinks. Lifeguards are provided. For safety purposes, no flotation devices or "floaties" are permitted. A special thank you to Aqua Pros for making this event possible. RSVPs are greatly appreciated!

    ** Admission is free but a $5 donation per family is appreciated to help cover the cost of the food and venue.

    ** For the safety of your children, we ask that you do not enter the pool area until 6:00 pm.

    Click here for all the info!!

  • Save the Date: Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2018
  • Sunday, October 21 at 9 AM - 1 PM
    Liberty Station NTC Park
    2455 Cushing Rd., San Diego, California 92106

    Register FREE for the San Diego Walk at

    Event includes local service provider resources, sponsor booths, Kids Zone, live entertainment and a beautiful 5k walk along NTC park waterfront. More details will be announced as the date approaches.

    Gates opens at 9:00am
    Walk start time 10:30am
    #AutismSpeaks Walk Powered By Love

    Register as an individual walker or start a team!
    Teams will get to compete in friendly team competions and challenges leading up to the event. Teams who raise $2500 or more are eligible for Team Village.

    Individuals can qualify for a variety of gifts based on achieving fundraising milestones. Raise $150 earn the official 2018 Autism Speaks Walk shirt, exclusively designed by Tommy Hilfiger

    Event is FREE to register but fundraising is encouraged! Our walks are the major fundraising vehicle for Autism Speaks. Funds raised are critical to continue providing support to thousands of individuals locally, nationally and around the world.

  • Come Golf With Us and help Change Lives!

    Join us at Morgan Run's beautiful golf club and resort for a fun filled day of golf, contests, great prizes, and more! Registration includes a box lunch and buffet dinner. Best of all - your support helps those with autism in San Diego!

    To learn more about sponsorship opportunities, please contact Maggie Katz at 858-679-8800.

    MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2018
    10:30 AM: Check-In
    12 NOON: Shotgun Start

    FOURSOME: $495
    DINNER: $50
    Includes: Golf Cart, Lunch, Dinner, Beer, Games & Prizes!

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


  • 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.