Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 06, 2018

In This Issue

Important new work on autism could change interventions

10 Percent of Walgreens' Workforce Is Now Employees with Disabilities

New parent surveys expand autism screening to infants, minorities

Pupillary reflex in infancy may yield clues to autism

Serotonin enhances learning, not just mood

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

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

Live Theatre: Secret Superheroes in Carlsbad

North County Summer Park Playdates

AIT for YOU, a division of T, Silverman, Training and Consultation, will conduct a 10-day Berard AIT session in the San Diego area

The Beginners Guild to Special Needs Planning in Escondido

Family Beach Day at Moonlight Beach

Autism Tree Project Foundation Bridge to the Beach Week Long Camp

Start Your Training this Summer!

Jeremiah's Ranch July Newsletter

NFAR Men's Group - Jul 12

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! - Special Pricing Now through August 8th!


  • Important new work on autism could change interventions
  • Autistic people want to socialize, they may just show it differently

    A new paper is pushing back hard on the notion that people with autism are not interested in socializing.

    The paper, "Being vs. Appearing Socially Uninterested: Challenging Assumptions about Social Motivation in Autism," questions the widespread assumption that the primary reason for autistic people's unusual behaviors is that they are not socially motivated. Rather, the authors suggest, their social signals are misunderstood-an insight the authors believe could open the door to more effective interventions.

    "We hope this research will lead to more respectful treatment of people with autism, as well as development of more effective methods of supporting them," said Nameera Akhtar, a professor of psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who coauthored the paper with lead author, Vikram Jaswal, an associate professor of psychology at the University of Virginia. Read on...

  • 10 Percent of Walgreens' Workforce Is Now Employees with Disabilities
  • In spite of the fact that people with autism and other disabilities are perfectly capable of doing fantastic work, this often-overlooked population has historically struggled to find jobs. In fact, an estimated 80 percent of people with disabilities face unemployment.

    But thanks to several companies, the tides are slowly beginning to turn. Business leaders are recognizing just how capable the disabled community is, and they are actively striving to add these individuals to their workforce.

    Pharmaceutical giant Walgreens is one of these companies. Its decision is not only changing lives, but it's also hugely beneficial to the company and is setting a great example for other businesses to follow. Read on...

  • New parent surveys expand autism screening to infants, minorities
  • Two new parent questionnaires could help clinicians identify autism in infants and members of racial or ethnic minority groups1,2.

    Autism often goes undiagnosed until children are 4 years or older. One of the questionnaires, called the Autism Parent Screen for Infants, can help clinicians spot signs of autism in babies as young as 6 months.

    The questionnaire is based on the Autism Observation Scale for Infants, but that scale can only be administered by experts. In the new 26-item questionnaire, parents note whether their child has problems making eye contact, responding to names, imitating others or speaking words, or shows other features of autism. Read on...

  • Pupillary reflex in infancy may yield clues to autism
  • The pupils of babies later diagnosed with autism shrink more in response to light than those of their typical peers, according to a new study1.

    The findings may help researchers identify biological pathways involved in autism.

    "The fact that we find differences in the pupillary light reflex will narrow down the search for more specific mechanisms," says lead investigator Terje Falck-Ytter, associate professor of psychology at Uppsala University in Sweden. Read on...

  • Serotonin enhances learning, not just mood
  • The neurotransmitter serotonin is linked to the control of mood, though it also helps to regulate various other functions, such as sleep and sexual desire. New research has uncovered another role played by serotonin: boosting learning speed.

    Though variations in serotonin levels are linked to mood disorders such as depression, we still do not know that much about all the roles played by this neurotransmitter.

    Some previous study papers have linked it with memory and neuroplasticity, or the brain's ability to continuously adapt throughout a person's life so as to preserve health and cognitive function. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!!!

  • Live Theatre: Secret Superheroes in Carlsbad
  • This show has a neurodiverse cast and is appropriate for everybody!

    Saturday, July 7 at 7pm
    Sunday, July 8 at 2pm
    Tickets are $5 for Adults and $1 for kids at the door. For more info contact or 760-433-3245

  • North County Summer Park Playdates
  • 4 Dates ยท Jul 13 - Aug 17
    Sunset Park, 909 Puesta Del Sol, San Marcos, CA 92078

    Join our Summer Park Playdates! Fridays: July 13th & 27th and August 3rd & 17th from 9:00-11:00am at Sunset Park in San Marcos. Our group meets next to the FREE Splash Pad & playground. We recommend bringing a blanket, sunscreen & towel to dry off from the Splash Pad. Picnic tables are limited. All are welcome, we hope you can join us, please RSVP by selecting "going" on this Facebook event page.

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

  • AIT for YOU, a division of T, Silverman, Training and Consultation, will conduct a 10-day Berard AIT session in the San Diego area
  • BERARD Auditory Integration Training (AIT) is a non-invasive, sensory based treatment which enhances aspects of hearing perception, as well as auditory integration and processing. Individuals over the age of 3 can participate in the training program. Teenagers and adults benefit also. Individuals with ASD, ADD, LD, PDD, CAPD, and hypersensitivity have benefited from this innovative therapeutic program. AIT for YOU has treated over 3, 500 individuals in CA, NV, NJ, PA, WI, IL, IA, MD and DE. Results from BERARD AIT practitioners around the world document that when the Berard protocol is used, in conjunction with BERARD equipment, statistically significant positive results are achieved.

    Dates: November 16 through November 23 , 2018 (10 consecutive days, only one day is a school day) Location: Greater San Diego area (location determined by location of the families participating)

    >>7 participants registered - $1650 per participant
    >>6 participants registered - $1850 per participant
    >>5 participants registered- $2250 per participant
    >>Fee reduction for second participant in the same family
    >>Fee reduction for repeating participant

    Early registration received by September 1, 2018 save $150 or by October 1, save $100

    For more info and to reserve your spot please contact Terrie Silverman at 414-405-7820 or

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

  • Family Beach Day at Moonlight Beach
  • Saturday, July 14 at 10 AM - 12 PM
    Moonlight Beach
    Encinitas, California

    Join us for the July Family Beach Day on Saturday, July 14th! We will host one beach Day a month during June, July, and August. We will meet at beautiful Moonlight Beach in Encinitas, which has great facilities including full bathrooms, a large playground, and food and drinks for sale! Join for a day of family fun in a supportive, nonjudgmental atmosphere.

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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:

  • Start Your Training this Summer!
  • Professional DIR-FCD Model Certificate Level 1 in Emotional, Social and Cognitive Development (CL1)

    Courses Starting in July!

    For more information click on the link below or contact

    Certificate Level 1 Course with Jehan Shehata-Aboubakr, BA, CCC
    Begins JULY 26 @ 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST

    Certificate Level 1 Course with Georgina Ahrens, OT
    Begins JULY 26 @ 8:00 PM - 10:00 PM EST


  • Jeremiah's Ranch July Newsletter
  • Click here to read their July issue for all the upcoming activities and news!!!

  • NFAR Men's Group - Jul 12
  • The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    Thursday, July 12, 2018
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    **As of April** Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad.
    Dinner is provided

    July Topic: Understanding your Child's Legal Rights under IDEA

    Guest Speaker: Margaret A. Dalton, Esq. Associate Dean and Professor of Law, University of San Diego School of Law

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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! - Special Pricing Now through August 8th!

    Special Pricing Now through August 8th!

    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.