Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 13, 2018

In This Issue

Autism mutation alters balance of gut bacteria in mice

10 Things NOT to Say to an Autistic Person

Inclusive education is a plus for children of all abilities

Three Candidates This Year Are Embracing the Disability Community-But Others Are Still Catching Up

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

Special Discount on the Sensory-Friendly Performance of The Lorax!

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

NFAR Mom's Group - Tuesday, July 17

No Wait for RDI!!!

Come Golf With Us and help Change Lives! - Special Pricing Now through August 8th!

Ask an Advocate!

Join Us For The All About Art Exhibit! - July 19th

Jeremiah's Support Group in Fallbrook: Nutrition Can Be Fun!

TACA San Diego Pool Party-A Family Event, July 21st!

Help Belt - Safety Alert Seat Belt Cover

"My Time For Dinner" A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Private JCPenney Autism Friendly Shopping Event, July 22nd

Craft Workshop for Adults this Saturday in Fallbrook


  • Autism mutation alters balance of gut bacteria in mice
  • Mice with a mutation in a top autism gene called SHANK3 have altered levels of certain gut bacteria, a new study shows1. Feeding the mice Lactobacillus reuteri, a microbe found in yogurt and probiotics, eases some of their troubles.

    Preliminary evidence suggests people with autism also have an altered gut microbiome - the collection of bacteria in their gut. A small study published last year hinted that using bacterial transplants in children with autism can ease their digestive woes and even their social problems.

    The new findings offer fresh evidence to support this idea. They also reveal a connection between autism genes and gut flora. Read on...

  • 10 Things NOT to Say to an Autistic Person
  • Autistic people often face comments or questions that range from clueless to offensive. Although the folks who say such things may not intend to be insulting, their words can prevent meaningful conversation, and even be hurtful. Here's a list of ten things not to say to someone with autism, along with suggestions for other things to say.

    The truth is that autistic people have the same breadth of interests and talents as the broader population. Nobody likes to be pigeonholed.

    What to say instead: "What are your favorite subjects?" Read on...

  • Inclusive education is a plus for children of all abilities
  • Research at the UW shows that children with and without disabilities do better in inclusive classrooms. The fear that some kids will be slowed down by kids with disabilities is just not true.

    Starting in a little over a week, the Special Olympics USA games arrive in Seattle. We will be celebrating the accomplishments of more than 4,000 people with intellectual disabilities as they demonstrate their skills in gymnastics, swimming, track and field, and a variety of other events.

    Although these athletes will be in the limelight July 1-6, many will return home to lives of segregation, exclusion and lack of opportunity. That can change, and we as educators, employers and citizens can be the agents of that change. Read on...

  • Three Candidates This Year Are Embracing the Disability Community-But Others Are Still Catching Up
  • For far too long, the disability community has been overlooked as a voting bloc deserving of attention by candidates. Cynthia Nixon, Sara Bitter, and state Sen. Barbara L'Italien are all demonstrating how critical it is to change that.

    In 2016, 62.7 million eligible voters-more than 25 percent of the total electorate-had a disability or had a household member with one. Nevertheless, candidates have historically overlooked that sizable voting power.

    Some candidates, however, are starting to take notice-with potentially beneficial policy effects for people with disabilities.

    One such candidate is Cynthia Nixon, a Democratic New York gubernatorial candidate, who was endorsed earlier this month by Disability Action for America, the first and only national political action committee dedicated to disability rights. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

  • Special Discount on the Sensory-Friendly Performance of The Lorax!
  • As a friend of ValeriesList, you are eligible for discount tickets to a special Sensory-Friendly Performance of Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, Saturday, July 28, 2018 at 12:00 noon

    Direct from London's West End comes the critically acclaimed and Olivier Award-nominated musical event of the summer. Silky soft Truffula trees provide the perfect ingredient for a nifty new garment. But when demand skyrockets, who will speak for all the trees in the Truffula forest? Enter the Lorax. Dr. Seuss's The Lorax has been enchanting adults and children alike for generations, and this summer his irresistible, big-hearted, mustachioed hero will be brought to inventive life in what critics call a "mad, uproarious delight" (The Independent). Audiences of all ages will be thrilled by the brilliant, eye-popping colors, infectious music, and beloved story that the Financial Times called "joyous and all-too-timely."

    Space is limited, get your tickets now!
    For discount tickets to our sensory-friendly performance starting at just $20-$50, please call the Ticket Office at (619) 234-5623 and use code word "Friendly"

    (Ticket Office hours are Tuesday - Sunday from noon-7pm)

    or order online anytime by following this link:

    More about The Old Globe's Sensory-Friendly Performances
    Following in the footsteps of successful sensory-friendly performances of The Grinch and Into the Woods in seasons past, Dr. Seuss's The Lorax will be performed for children and adults on the autism spectrum and their families, as well as for other families with special needs that may appreciate the welcoming and supportive environment this performance provides.

    What is a Sensory-Friendly Performance?
    In order to make the experience safer and more enjoyable for theatregoers with autism and other sensitivity issues, slight adjustments are made to the production including:

    >>Fewer loud noises and flashing lights that may be challenging for some audience members;
    >>A quiet area in the lobby of the theatre for children who need to leave their seat during the show;
    >>On-site volunteer specialists will be on hand to assist families as they arrive at the Old Globe Theatre and throughout the performance.

  • 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
    Integrated Therapists with specialized expertise collaborate to understand and treat the whole child.

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

    Proven 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
    16800 Aston, Suite 175
    Irvine, CA 92606

  • NFAR Mom's Group - Tuesday, July 17
  • Tuesday, July 17, 2018

    Please note that we are meeting on Tuesday, July 17 the day before Opening Day at the Del Mar Races

    6:30 - 8:30 pm
    Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant
    3510 Valley Centre Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92130

    Dinner: Mexican Food (GF available)
    Dinner is provided

    July Topic: My Life With Autism: The Realities
    Please join us for this special NFAR Mom's Group as Ethan shares his experiences of growing up with autism.

    Guest Speaker: Ethan Hirschberg, Professional Blogger and Motivational Speaker

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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

  • 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!!!


  • Ask an Advocate!

  • In July's newsletter we feature "Ask an Advocate", our new Parent Corner topic! Click here for all the info!!!

  • Join Us For The All About Art Exhibit! - July 19th
  • Thursday, July 19th from 5:30 pm - 7:30 pm
    The Home of Guiding Hands Verbeck Resource Center at 1908 Friendship Drive, El Cajon, CA 92020

    Come meet the talented artists from Home of Guiding Hands and see their inspiring works of art. You'll have the opportunity to purchase original art and special note cards using the artist's creations. Light reception hosted by HGH.

    For more information please contact Lynn Scott at

    We hope to see you there!

  • Jeremiah's Support Group in Fallbrook: Nutrition Can Be Fun!
  • This meeting is for both parents and those with developmental disabilities. There will be mentors provided.

  • TACA San Diego Pool Party-A Family Event, July 21st!
  • Saturday, July 21 at 3 PM - 5 PM
    Ned Baumer Miramar College Aquatic Complex
    10440 Black Mtn Rd San Diego CA 92126

    Calling all Mermaids and Merdudes! Come swim with us at our First Annual TACA San Diego Pool Party. This is an Autism Family Friendly Event!

    Must enter through the front entrance. Pool is located directly behind the baseball fields.

    Pool Rules: NO floatation devices, water wigs, snorkels or masks. Children who are not toilet trained must wear appropriate swim diaper.

    This is a Free Event but requires an RSVP. Once full we will waitlist families who are interested in attending. Thanks for your RSVP:
    See you there!

  • Help Belt - Safety Alert Seat Belt Cover
  • Help Belts speak for your loved one when no one else can. Inspired by her own son's needs, Mom Susan Byczko makes Help Belts using super-soft fabric and smooth snaps. This design was made exclusively for NAA. An inside pocket contains a medical information sheet to be filled out with your child's emergency medical and contact information. Only $8!!! Click here for all the info and to purchase!!!

  • "My Time For Dinner" A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • Please join us for Dinner at Little Italy Bar and Grill In Scripps Ranch
    (Approx. $15 per person)
    Monday, July 16, 2018
    7:00 PM

    Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene Raphael no later than July 13th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • Private JCPenney Autism Friendly Shopping Event, July 22nd
  • Hosted by Autism Speaks San Diego and Autism Speaks Southern California

    Sunday, July 22 at 9 AM - 11 AM
    290 E Via Rancho Pkwy, Escondido, CA 92025

    JCPenney at Westfield North County in Escondido has teamed up with Autism Speaks San Diego to bring you a private autism friendly shopping experience. This private event is free and open to the public.

    This event will take place before official store hours and will provide a safe and sensory friendly shopping experience. Event will have light refreshments, exclusive discounts and many more surprises. Autism Speaks will have an informational table with local resources and news. Keep checking back every day. We will be announcing more details and specials! Click here for all the info!!!

  • Craft Workshop for Adults this Saturday in Fallbrook
  • Saturday, July 12, Jeremiah's Ranch College of Adaptive Education will be hosting another Craft Workshop at CAE headquarters, 911 E Elder (behind the church). Please RSVP to Please note that students will leave their creations behind for resale later in the year. This is for those 18 and over. This is a free event!

  • 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.