Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 02, 2019

In This Issue

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Autistic Adults as Parents

Women Get Prison For Roles In $13M Behavior Therapy Fraud

'Radically Inclusive' project gives career training to young artists with autism

Art Installation At SDSU Center For Autism

4 Ways to Improve Your Company's Disability-Inclusion Practices

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Neurodiverse Cast Takes the Stage in Project Fairytale!

The Old Globe- Tale of Despereaux SENSORY-FRIENDLY

Children's Summer Theatre Workshops

Introducing NFAR Works!

Independent Educational Evaluations: Legal Rights & Hurdles for Kids with Autism

Autism Jump Party at Get Air Vista!


Command and Control Cognitive Training

Community Transition Academy is now enrolling for the 2019-20 school year!

Older Adults with Autism (40-75 yrs old) Needed for Study

Autism-Friendly Sensory Playtime with La Mesa Library

Growing Vines and Students at D'Vine Path!

Autism Friendly Family Events at Oceanside Public Library


Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

ValeriesList is a FREE resource newsletter and Facebook Page for San Diego County and has been for over 18 years. No fees, donation or membership are required to receive this info. An informed public makes better decisions for its' persons with Special Needs. Please share with friends, family, fellow professionals and clients!!! Click here to check out my FB page! Thank YOU!

  • Autistic Adults as Parents
  • Can an adult with autism be a successful parent? The answer is absolutely yes, under the right circumstances. While a person with moderate or severe autism is unlikely to have the skills to parent a child, many people with higher functioning autism are ready, willing, and able to take on the challenges of raising kids. Many aspects of parenting are tougher for moms and dads on the spectrum. The reverse, however, is also true: there are some ways in which parenting is easier if you're autistic (especially if you have children on the autism spectrum).

    High Functioning Autism and Parenthood
    In 1994, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) was changed to include a new form of autism. Called Asperger syndrome, it included people who would never before have been considered to be autistic. The addition of Asperger syndrome to the DSM changed the way people thought about autism.

    People with this high functioning form of autism were smart, capable, and often successful. While they may have had significant problems with sensory issues and social communication, they were able (at least some of the time) to mask, overcome, or avoid these challenges. Many people with Asperger syndrome got married or found partners, and quite a few had children. Read on...

  • Women Get Prison For Roles In $13M Behavior Therapy Fraud
  • Two South Carolina women were ordered to federal prison this week for their roles in a federal health care fraud in a long-running illegal scheme where a company falsely billed government health insurance programs for some $13 million for supposed care for children with autism.

    Magistrate Judge Paige Gossett gave Angela Keith, 53, one year in prison, and Ann David Eldridge, 58, six months in prison. Both live in Sumter.

    Had they not pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor charges of making false statements to federal health programs Medicaid and Tricare, the government could have tried them on felony fraud charges. If they had been convicted, each stood to receive a minimum sentence of about four years in prison. Read on...

  • 'Radically Inclusive' project gives career training to young artists with autism
  • Traveling art exhibit features work by professional artists and emerging artists with special needs

    As the mother of a child with autism, Andrea Moriarty has two words for fellow parents trying to help their children transition into the working world as adults: "Lean in."

    That's what she and her husband, Jim, did a decade ago when their teenage son, Reid, expressed a passion for performing music and using a microphone. With his parents' help, Reid, now 25, will soon release his fourth music CD and has published more than 80 celebrity interview podcasts under the title "Talk Time with Reid Moriarty."

    Learning how to channel her son's interests and strengths into a fulfilling life and marketable career is the subject of two instructional books Moriarty has published in the past three years. It's also the idea behind the Solana Beach resident's latest project, the Radical Inclusion Traveling Art Show. Read on...

  • Art Installation At SDSU Center For Autism
  • Thank you Art of Autism Board member Greg Jones for installing a great Art of Autism exhibit at San Diego State University's Center for Autism. The SDSU Center for Autism is an interdisciplinary group of researchers and clinical scientists focusing on improving lives of children, adolescents, and adults with autism spectrum disorders and related conditions. The Center has an extensive research program with a strong lifespan approach. This exhibit was hung in May and June of 2019 and will be on display until the end of 2019.

    Participating artists are Jeremy Sicile-Kira, Joel Anderson, Austin John-Jones, Alex Nichols, and Kevin Hosseini. Click here to view the art!

  • 4 Ways to Improve Your Company's Disability-Inclusion Practices
  • Earlier this year, the Wall Street Journal told the story of Nathan Mort, an employee of Gordon Food Service who tracks warranty claims and has a high-functioning form of autism. The article noted that the number of people with disabilities entering the workforce is rising - good news for the economy, for people with disabilities, and for employers.

    Despite articles on the advantages that people with disabilities can offer employers, too many companies hold themselves back when it comes to hiring people with disabilities. They see hiring (some) persons with disabilities as being "the right thing to do" but do not see it as part of a talent strategy that will benefit the company and outweigh what they see as the potential expenses and risk. In fact, a recent study by the National Organization on Disability indicates that only 13% of companies in the U.S. have reached the Department of Labor's target of having 7% disability representation in their workforce.

    That mindset puts companies at a disadvantage when it comes to acquiring and leveraging the talent they need in today's tight job market. 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

    Great investment opportunity for the right person/company!
    I own and run Social Fusion Center, in the Miramar area of San Diego and am in search of either a person or company who would be interested in taking over my business as I will be moving to the east coast this summer, with my husband who recently received new orders from the USMC. I have been in business for almost 4 years now, the company is profitable and there is a continued need in the community for the services I offer so I do not want to leave these families without the support they need. Although I am a BCBA, the programs could be run by someone else and supervised by a BCBA or this could also be an opportunity for an OT or SLP as well.
    If this sounds like something you might be interested in, please email me for more details and we can talk specifics!

    This is the perfect opportunity for anyone in the autism field looking for additional experience!
    I am hiring 1-2 therapists to fill in for me this summer while I am out on maternity leave, but there is potential for ongoing hours throughout the school year. The position would begin July 1st but training/shadowing opportunities would take place in June.
    You must be available afternoon hours Monday-Thursday as well as Saturdays. There are 15 hours available per week for 1 person or this can be split between 2 if needed. Compensation will be DOE. An advance degree is not required but experience in the field is. If you are in school for your BCBA or BCaBA, supervision hours can be provided.
    To apply, please email your resume and availability!

    Do you type to communicate? Do you use AAC, RPM, FC, supportive typing? Are you looking to meet up with like minded individuals who use a keyboard to tell jokes and give speeches?

    We are forming a social group in the San Diego area of typers and their communication partners, just for fun, imagine that. No copays and our only goal is having a good time.

    If you are interested please email me
    See you soon,
    Otto Lana

    We are an Encinitas family in search of Regional Center independent contractor LVN's. Up to 24 hours/week. Please contact

    Does anyone have a recommendation for a doctor as my son is turning 18 and aging out soon with having a pediatrician? It would be wonderful if the doctor had experience with adults with special needs. We do have dual insurance so have to chose a doctor who takes both TRICARE and Medi- cal. Rady's children was great as had both with an excellent doctor. We live in North County area but would be willing to travel if needed within San Diego County. Any recommendations would be most welcomed.
    You can contact me at

    I have a TBI (brain injury) and am in urgent need of:
    1) an*Imperial County* IEP advocate specializing in multidisabilty sensory needs with native/primary language being ASL. District is refusing to provide proficient ASL staff for ESY - non-compliance with child's IFSP.

    2) *Imperial County* a fluent or proficient ASL tutor to help 2 y/o child reach minimum language markers. He will be enrolled in infant/toddler class in the fall.
    Any assistance or interested individuals are asked to email or text me ASAP.
    Thank you.
    Maria or 619-517-9358

    Key to Behavior is also always looking for excellent candidates to join our team. If you are committed to helping children and families reach their goals and making lasting change in the lives of children with disabilities, Key to Behavior is the place for you. Send us a message to set up an interview:

    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.

  • Neurodiverse Cast Takes the Stage in Project Fairytale!
  • Summer Production At New Village Arts Is Fully Inclusive

    What happens when talented director Samantha Ginn and San Diego-favorite actor Paul Eddy team up with a phenomenal group of neurodiverse performers, visionary designers, and whimsical puppets PROJECT FAIRYTALE!

    New Village Arts Theater and Kids Act are excited to announce their upcoming performance of "The Great Smelly, Slobbery, Small-Tooth Dog" on July 6 and 7 with a fully-integrated, inclusive cast.

    Project Fairytale! is a summer theater workshop where young adults with special needs, like autism and Down syndrome, pursue acting with professional teaching artists and typical peers. This is the third summer they have wowed audiences with talent, heart, and poignant performances.

    This year's production is based on "Beauty and the Beast" and adapted by Aleta Barthell from the wonderful story of "The Great Smelly, Slobbery Small-Tooth Dog" by Margaret Read MacDonald.

    Combining fantastical puppetry akin to the Lion King and humor reminiscent of the Carol Burnett Show, it delivers a message about the power of words and how acts of kindness can change our fate.

    This year's performances will be held at 7 p.m. on Saturday, July 6 and 2 p.m. on July 7 at The Schulman Theater at the Dove Library in Carlsbad. Tickets can be purchased at the door, $5 for adults and $1 for children.

    Andrea Moriarty

    New Village Arts Theatre

  • The Old Globe- Tale of Despereaux SENSORY-FRIENDLY
  • As a friend of ValeriesList, you are invited to a special performance of the musical event of the summer, The Tale of Despereaux!

    Come early to enjoy AXIS - a free event on the plaza before the show.

    Space is limited - get your tickets now!
    For tickets to our sensory-friendly performance, please call the Ticket Office at (619) 234-5623 and say FRIENDLY
    CLICK HERE to save $10 off adult and children's tickets!

    The acclaimed PigPen Theatre Co. charmed and astonished Old Globe audiences with The Old Man and The Old Moon. Now they return to San Diego, bringing their one-of-a-kind theatrical and musical inventiveness to Kate DiCamillo's beloved, Newbery Medal-winning modern fable. Despereaux is a courageous mouse who dreams of becoming a knight. He sets off on a noble quest that will take him down into dungeons and up to the heights of a castle tower to rescue a beautiful human princess-but the dark-hearted rat Roscuro has other ideas. The Boston Herald proclaims, "PigPen Theatre Co. is already a phenomenon," while The New Yorker says, "It's like watching child geniuses at play!" Full of gorgeous music, stunning stage effects, witty performances, and a message of optimism and community, The Tale of Despereaux is an inspiring and beguiling story for all ages.

    July 20th Schedule of Events
    10 - 11am - PigPen Theatre Co. will perform an acoustic set of family-friendly songs!
    11 - 12am - Sensory-friendly activities hosted by Actor and Teacher, Samantha Ginn.
    12pm - The Tale of Despereaux

  • Children's Summer Theatre Workshops
  • For elementary school age children of all abilities!!! Located in the Encinitas area!! Starts July 13th!!!

    For registration and more please contact 760-815-8512 or email

  • Introducing NFAR Works!
  • NFAR Works is a comprehensive vocational training program for young adults with autism (ages 18-29). The Program has been designed to offer participants an opportunity to develop skill sets needed for entry level positions in a typical corporation, including office environments and light manufacturing.

    The program is 45-weeks long (11 months) for 20 hours/week, 5 days per week for 4 hours each day. Participants will rotate through the different job classes, to help them identify job areas where they have aligned interests and skills sets and where they should focus their in-depth training and job search.

    NFAR Works is vendored through the San Diego Regional Center. To learn more about the program, please visit or call us at (858) 679-8800.

  • Independent Educational Evaluations: Legal Rights & Hurdles for Kids with Autism
  • Sat, July 13, 2019
    10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: FREE!

    The SDSU Center for Autism will be hosting a series of talks looking to help the autism community, their families, and allies navigate the complex legal system. We know it can be a daunting task so we are partnering with legal experts to help answer your questions. This first talk will cover independent educational evaluations (IEEs). Topics covered in this workshop are:

    --What the different types of IEE's there are
    --When is it best to request IEE's
    --What are the school district's obligations regarding IEE's
    --How to effectively use IEE's.

    The Law Office of Meagan Nunez is committed to helping parents understand their rights and obtaining special education services. Their comprehensive special education practice includes zealous representation and compassionate guidance in all aspects of special education law, including: The right to a meaningful education, Special education in charter schools and nonpublic institutions, Special education hearings and dispute resolution.

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

  • Autism Jump Party at Get Air Vista!
  • Saturday, July 6th at 8 AM - 10 AM
    Get Air Vista
    2755 Dos Aarons Way, Vista, California 92081

    Join us on Saturday, July 6th, for a two hour jump especially for our families at Get Air Vista! This event will take place from 8 AM - 10 AM, before opening to the general public! Cost is only $7.99 per special needs jumper and siblings + $3.00 socks as needed. We will allow 1 adult caretaker to jump for free, per special needs jumper. They would just need to purchase the jump socks for $3.00. Come have a relaxing fun morning in a supportive and accepting atmosphere.

    Waivers can be completed online beforehand to make checking in quick and easy - start here:

  • (858) 205-9809

  • Command and Control Cognitive Training
  • (858) 205-9809

  • Community Transition Academy is now enrolling for the 2019-20 school year!
  • Community Transition Academy (CTA) is a non-public transition school (NPS) for emerging young adults, 9th grade through transition-age (22yrs.), who have academic, language, social, and/or behavioral challenges most commonly associated with Autism Spectrum Disorder. CTA is now enrolling students for this next 2019-20 school year.

    CTA offers a complete transition curriculum taught both in the classroom and in the community infused with the evidence-based principles of Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA). CTA delivers supported functional learning opportunities in a variety of natural settings relevant to each student's IEP and community transition goals. By blending together a classroom-based academic and community-based teaching with an Individualized Educational Program-centric approach, students are afforded supported "real-life" opportunities for skill-growth in communication, academics, pro-social, vocational, transition, and community-appropriate behavioral development. At CTA, we believe that our emerging young adults have both the capacity and desire to continue learning and growing throughout their school and post-school lives as we support them in maximizing their independence and participating in their own life-decision making.

    For more information or to set up a site, please visit: or call us at (858) 360-0282 or email:

  • 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!

  • Autism-Friendly Sensory Playtime with La Mesa Library
  • Sunday, July 7, 2019
    11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
    Every 1st Sunday of the month
    La Mesa Branch Library
    8074 Allison Ave ยท La Mesa, CA

    The La Mesa Library is proud to present an Autism-Friendly playtime event every first Sunday of the month. The library staff provide a friendly, judgement-free experience in their lovely space with a variety of sensory and educational activities. All families are welcome to enjoy and explore the library an hour before it opens to the public every month - we hope you can join us!

    *Please note this is a family event best suited for children ages 3-10. Individuals without children will not be granted entry until the library opens for its public hours. We appreciate your understanding!

  • Growing Vines and Students at D'Vine Path!
  • Click here for info about D'Vine Path and the programs that they offer!!!

  • Autism Friendly Family Events at Oceanside Public Library
  • Oceanside Public Library is excited to have recently received the Autism Welcome Here grant, which will help the Library offer family programming and a lending library collection to support families with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Attached is the flyer with more information about our summer events. We would greatly appreciate it if you could help us in spreading the word and letting the families you serve know about these free services.

    Thank you,
    Marie Town
    Principal Librarian, Youth Services
    Oceanside Public Library
    (760) 435-5597

    Click here to view their flyer for all the info about their upcoming events!!!!

  • 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 Lynn Scott for more information 619-954-7847 or

  • Therapeutic Recreation Services Summer 2019 Calendar
  • Click here to view our new Summer 2019 calendar!!!

    The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services program provides sports, recreation, leisure and outreach services to people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

    Services include therapeutic recreation programs and adaptive sports opportunities. These address the special needs of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty accessing and participating in recreation opportunities offered to the general public.

    Under the direction of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, activities and services are designed to maintain or improve the physical, cognitive and social functioning of those who have limitations. The target population is children and adults, ages 3 and up, with any type of disability.

    For additional questions about Therapeutic Recreation Services, please call 619-525-8247.

    You may sign up online at or at our office 3325 Zoo Drive, 92101.

  • Learn About RDI in San Diego!
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    9466 Black Mountain Road
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • Learn About RDI in Carlsbad!
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    5411 Avenida Encinas
    Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    Phone: (760) 448-5837

  • 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!

  • Participate in SPARK at UCSD

  • UC San Diego's Autism Center of Excellence is seeking individuals diagnosed with ASD and their biological family members to participate in SPARK, the largest national genetics research project in US history! The SPARK study aims to gain a better understanding of the causes and potential treatments of autism by building a cohort of 50,000 diagnosed individuals to facilitate research on an unprecedented scale. There is NO cost to participate in the study and it can even be completed without leaving the house!

    What we do
    SPARK researchers extract genetic data through a saliva sample and analyze information collected from thousands of people with autism and their biological parents. UCSD and over 20 of the nation's leading medical schools are part of this effort.

    How to join*
    1. Sign up online at -- registration typically takes about 20 minutes. Using this link connects you to our site, which enables us to better follow up with you if you encounter any issues or have specific questions.
    2. Complete a few questionnaires online.
    3. Provide a saliva sample. A saliva collection kit will be sent directly to your home after registration. When you are done, simply mail it back in the prepaid mailer.

    Benefits of joining
    1. Individuals with autism will receive gift cards valued at up to a total of $50 for participation.
    2. SPARK hosts monthly webinars, featuring psychologists, researchers, or speakers from the autism community, that provide useful information for families and individuals with autism.
    3. If a genetic finding is discovered related to the cause of autism, results will be shared back with families.
    4. The information you provide may help others with ASD for generations to come!

    *Our site also offers the option for home appointments where a member of our SPARK team can come to your home and assist you in the registration process, collect the saliva samples, and mail them in for you! This is typically the preferred method for families as everything gets completed at once. Please note that we ask that both biological parents and individual diagnosed with ASD be present for these appointments. We can accommodate a variety of dates and times outside normal business hours on the weekdays or weekends -- whichever is most convenient for you and your family! Alternatively, we can also schedule in-clinic appointments at our office if that is preferred.

    You can visit our SPARK FAQ page for additional details. Please contact us via email at or via phone at 858-534-6906 if you would like to set up an appointment or if you have any questions!

  • 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!


    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.