Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 16, 2019

In This Issue

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Most States Failing To Meet Requirements Under IDEA

Biden Calling ACA A 'Breakthrough' For Mental Health Parity Only Highlights Gaps

What it's like to be autistic at an autism research conference

Could processed foods explain why autism is on the rise?

New psychosis treatment targets genetic mutation instead of symptoms

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth


PACT Summer/Fall Teen Theatre

Sports for Exceptional Athletes Golf Classic

TERI News!!!

FREE Webinar: All About Auditory Processing Disorders (APD

Book: The Journey Through Autism

Summer Sounds THIS WEDNESDAY and Next Wednesday in North County!

Toilet Training for Toddlers with Autism

Costume & Dance Party in Poway!

Summer Camp Jam

The Beginners' Guild to Special Needs Planning in Chula Vista


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  • Most States Failing To Meet Requirements Under IDEA
  • (California didn't make the grade.)
    Fewer than half of states are meeting their obligations to properly serve students with disabilities, the U.S. Department of Education says.

    In an annual review of performance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, federal officials found that just 21 states deserved the designation of "meets requirements" for the 2017-2018 school year.

    The remaining states were classified as "needs assistance." Read on...

  • Biden Calling ACA A 'Breakthrough' For Mental Health Parity Only Highlights Gaps
  • In a sit-down interview with CNN, 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden touted the Obama administration's passage of the Affordable Care Act, asserting that this law evened out the playing field when it came to insurance coverage of mental and physical health.

    "We made parity between mental health and physical health," Biden told CNN's Chris Cuomo. "It was a fundamental breakthrough in how we thought about how things should work."

    This gets at a health care issue that - as a federal appeals court weighs Obamacare's constitutionality - is now particularly relevant. Did the ACA create equal coverage of mental and physical health?

    We decided to investigate. We contacted the Biden campaign and never heard back. Read on...

  • What it's like to be autistic at an autism research conference
  • The International Society for Autism Research conference, or INSAR, is the largest autism research conference in the world. Each year, it attracts thousands of researchers from dozens of different disciplines - neuroscience, genetics, immunology, pediatrics - to share their work with one another. It regularly draws some of the biggest names in the field.

    But historically, the INSAR conference hasn't exactly rolled out the red carpet for the people its research is intended to benefit. I've attended multiple INSAR meetings, both because I'm a journalist interested in reporting on the latest research and because I'm an autistic person interested in learning ways to improve my daily life. The experience of being surrounded by thousands of researchers - many of whom had never met anyone like me except as a study participant, and some of whom had never met anyone like me at all - was at times surreal. Being autistic at INSAR is like attending an exquisite, days-long feast in which you are the main course. Read on...

  • Could processed foods explain why autism is on the rise?
  • For the first time, scientists have found a molecular connection between a common food preservative, neuronal disruption, and autism spectrum disorder. The findings suggest that there may be a link between the consumption of processed foods during pregnancy and the rise of autism.

    The prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is on the rise.

    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in 2000, 1 in 150 children had ASD, but by 2012, that number had risen to 1 in 68.

    As of 2018, 1 in 59 children have ASD.

    Although researchers do not yet know exactly what causes ASD, they think that a combination of genes, environmental influences, and issues with the maternal immune system in the early stages of pregnancy may contribute to its development.

    Recently, some studies have pointed to the gut microbiome as a potential key player in the development of ASD. Read on...

  • New psychosis treatment targets genetic mutation instead of symptoms
  • A novel treatment that targets the biological effects of a specific genetic mutation could help alleviate the symptoms of psychosis, a new study finds.

    Deborah L. Levy, Ph.D. - from the McLean Hospital in Belmont, MA - led the new study, the findings of which now appear in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

    It revealed that people who had additional copies of a certain gene, instead of the regular two, benefited from the treatment.

    The mutation, called a copy number variant (CNV), affects the glycine decarboxylase gene.

    One hypothesis is that the doubling of this gene might reduce glycine, an amino acid and neurotransmitter in the central nervous system. Researchers believe that a reduction of glycine is a factor in schizophrenia. 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

    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, that meets monthly in Point Loma, 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

    Key to Behavior is 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.

  • RDI and MORE at 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

  • UCSD ACE - SPARK Event
  • The UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) is hosting a series of live-registration events at the Balboa Park Carousel to sign up families who have a child diagnosed with ASD for SPARK. SPARK is committed to transforming our understanding of autism and helping improve the lives of individuals affected by autism and their families. Nearly 18,000 families nationwide are already participating in SPARK! There is no cost to participate. Simply complete a 20-30 minute registration process, provide some saliva, and enjoy the event!

    Visit to learn more about and sign up for the event. Please feel free to contact us with any questions! Email: | Phone: (858) 534-6906.

  • PACT Summer/Fall Teen Theatre
  • Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) is a dynamic non-profit organization that offers improvisational theatre and performing arts workshops that teach life and social skills.

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

  • Sports for Exceptional Athletes Golf Classic
  • Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at Riverwalk Golf Club
    1150 Fashion Valley Road, San Diego, CA 92108
    11am to 6:30pm

    The S4EA Golf Classic brings together golf enthusiasts, business elite, and community leaders, all teaming up to support SPORTS for Exceptional Athletes in their mission to create enhanced opportunities for people with and without disabilities to interact and form lasting bonds of friendship through shared sports and recreational activities in their community.

    • BANQUET & AWARDS CEREMONY: Enjoy the "San Diegan Buffet" which includes Merlot Mushroom Tri-Tip Steak, Sun Dried Tomato Marinated Chicken and several delicious sides and dessert.
    • HELICOPTER BALL DROP CONTEST: Happening live after golf. Donate for your chance to win $1000 CASH! You do not need to be present to win, so we hope friends and family from all over the world will consider participating.
    Click here for all the info about the golf classic and to purchase your tickets!!!

    Click here for info about Sports for Exceptional Athletes!!!

  • TERI News!!!
  • Summer's here! It's time for you to take a short break, relax in an easy chair, have a cool drink, and click here to enjoy the July TERI TAKE Newsletter.

  • FREE Webinar: All About Auditory Processing Disorders (APD
  • This webinar will cover the following points:
    >>What is APD?
    >>How to differentiate between APD and ADD
    >>Different types of APD Getting Help; goals of multi-disciplinary approach to management and treatment

    Featuring Lynda Detweiler-Newcomb, MCD who is a speech-language pathologist in Encinitas, CA. She holds an MA in Communication Disorders (With Honors) from California State University Northridge, with over 46 years of experience.

    Join us by registering at

    The webinar will air on July 23rd at 12:00 noon and will repeat on July 25th at 7:00 pm.

  • Book: The Journey Through Autism
  • The Journey Through Autism, a blog written by Ethan Hirschberg, has become a worldwide phenomenon. Diagnosed with High Functioning Autism at age two, Ethan started his blog to share his experiences, insights, and advice to individuals on the spectrum, parents, caregivers, educators, and providers. This book is a collection of the top twenty best blog posts on The Journey Through Autism. Some of them will make you laugh, some of them will make you smile, some of them will make you cry. All of them will give you the opportunity to perceive life in a different way, from a different set of eyes. All of them will teach you how to make a better world. Click here for all the info about the book and to order it!!!

  • Summer Sounds THIS WEDNESDAY and Next Wednesday in North County!
  • A Music Group for Teens & Young Adults with Special Needs

    Looking for something fun to do on a summer night? Join one of our summer sounds groups, designed by board-certified music therapists to develop leadership and social skills! Drumming, singing, songwriting and playing various instruments are just some of the fun things we have planned. Invite your friends!

    Central County
    This Wednesday 7/17 from 6:30-8pm
    MTCCA Mission Valley Office
    7840 Mission Center Ct, Ste 205
    San Diego, California 92108

    North County
    Next Thursday 7/25 from 6:30-8pm
    MTCCA Encinitas Office
    171 Saxony Road, Suite 210
    Encinitas, CA 92024

    Register Now!

    Scholarships are available! Email or call 619-299-1411 for more info.

  • Toilet Training for Toddlers with Autism
  • Sat, July 20, 2019
    11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: FREE

    The SDSU Center for Autism is pleased to host the second in a three part series of talks in collaboration with Lauren Cox, BCBA. Toileting is one of the most necessary skills for a young child to have in order to be successful outside of the home environment. Many schools require that your little one be toilet trained before she or he is able to enroll in school. Becoming toilet trained is a common struggle for children on the autism spectrum due to language and motor impairments. We will go step by step to prepare you and your little learner to be successful in toilet training. We will cover some common programs to begin with your child, and how we can support the family during toilet training. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Costume & Dance Party in Poway!
  • Sunday, July 28, 2019 at 4 PM - 6 PM
    Kaminski's Sport Lounge and BBQ
    12735 Poway Rd, Poway, California 92064
    Cost: $5

    We are having our Costume Dance party this month - please dress up and bring $5 for all you can drink soda and a snack. Our social events are for adults with developmental disabilities, ages 18+ up. Those interested can RSVP to me at Can't wait to see you there!

  • Summer Camp Jam
  • Spots still available!

    In collaboration with MTCCA, our annual four day Summer Camp Jam is the highlight of the year! Camp Jam is August 6-9th at Chris Presbyterian Church in Carlsbad. This camp is designed for ages 3-12. Campers are grouped based on age and paired with a one on one camp counselor.

    More Info or Register Now

  • The Beginners' Guild to Special Needs Planning in Chula Vista
  • RSVP to Rebekah Gomez at 619-829-6114 or

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.