Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 17, 2018

In This Issue

Dean tells disabled students behave or we might have to call the police on you. Attendance impacted.

Mutations in chromosome 22 bring big risks, but only for some

Unique brain 'fingerprints' may narrow search for autism subtypes

Social problems common in autism raise risk of suicidal behavior

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

TONIGHT!!! - NFAR Mom's Group - Tuesday, July 17

No Wait for RDI!!!

Speech and Language Summer Camps!

Ask an Advocate!

Introductory Parent-Child Sign and Speak

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

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

Encinitas Dance/Karaoke Party for Special needs teens/adults

Family Gym Night in Carlsbad

Webinar: CBD for Treating Autism-Related Seizures & EEG Abnormalities

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's October Program


  • Dean tells disabled students behave or we might have to call the police on you. Attendance impacted.
  • MiraCosta Community College - Over the last ten days, in the middle of the summer term, interim Dean Kate Alder conducted numerous surprise visits to classes filled with students with intellectual/developmental disabilities (ID/DD) to advise them that if they misbehave in their class, and fail to listen to their teacher or to her (if applicable), she may need to call the police to remove them from campus. For many students, and families, the threat of having police called on the student has created fear among the students and their caregivers about further participation in the classes for this highly diverse student population. Adding to the confusion is the fact that many students in the classes are "conserved" because of the impact of their disability on their decision-making abilities and ability to understand certain information, which means that for all intensive purposes their parents still make their decisions for them, much like the practice with minors. However, instead of sending emails to families or the students to set forth a gentle reminder of MiraCosta's policies, Alder appeared in person to make sure the message to the students was clear: behave or we might have to call the the police on you.

    Faculty and students have taken great strides to ensure that MiraCosta's campuses are a safe haven for students by creating and implementing programs and policies to protect students under DACA, and establishment of the "Safe Place" practices to ensure accepting, supportive learning environments for students in the LGBTQIA community. But, despite intolerance for discriminatory and fear inducing practices for most of its students, students with intellectual/developmental disabilities (some of whom also fall within the DACA and LGBTQIA communities), continue to encounter barriers and beliefs that have a discriminatory and now fear-inducing impact. Most students with ID/DD live at the poverty level and have tried over the last year to convince MiraCosta administrators how important accessing postsecondary education is for their community because studies show that postsecondary education can improve their employability and earnings by approximately 50%. Advocates have also urged MiraCosta to guide its practices and decisions by California's 2013 Employment First Act, which makes employment of those with ID/DD one of California's highest priorities. Read on...

    If you would to express your thoughts about how our adults with disabilities is being treated by MiraCosta Community College, or offer your help in doing a better job of meeting their needs in a positive manner, please contact their Board of Trustees at:,,,,,,

  • Mutations in chromosome 22 bring big risks, but only for some
  • About 10 percent of people with a large mutation in chromosome 22 are diagnosed with autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or intellectual disability by adulthood.

    That's the upshot of the first attempt to characterize the prevalence, and effects, of these mutations. The findings were published this month in Lancet Psychiatry1.

    Duplication of 22q11.2, a segment of chromosome 22, is more than twice as prevalent as a deletion, but carries a similar overall risk of psychiatric conditions.

    "Historically, it was considered that the deletion was much more severe than the duplication," says lead investigator Thomas Werge, head of the Institute of Biological Psychiatry in Roskilde, Denmark. "But what our study indicates is that the 22q11 duplication is not benign." Read on...

  • Unique brain 'fingerprints' may narrow search for autism subtypes
  • For almost a decade, the National Institutes of Health has been supporting research into the 'human connectome'- the collection of information pathways in the brain that coordinate sensation, emotion, action and thought.

    The goal is to better understand how the 100 billion cells of the brain work together to perform the brain's many functions. These complex interconnections shed light on the moment-to-moment activity of a typical brain, as well as how this activity can go awry in conditions such as autism.

    One way scientists study these networks is by mapping brain activity. They put people in functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) machines and ask them to stare for several minutes at an X projected on a screen1. In this way, they can determine which far-flung brain regions are talking to each other, and which are not, when the mind is at rest. Read on...

  • Social problems common in autism raise risk of suicidal behavior
  • Teenagers who have trouble with social communication are twice as likely as their peers to harm themselves with suicidal intentions, according to new research1.

    The work is among the first to explore the relationship between autism traits and suicidal behavior.

    The findings also suggest that social-communication problems precipitate depression, which can ultimately lead to suicidal thoughts or behaviors.

    "It's well known that depression is associated with suicidality," says Dheeraj Rai, lead investigator and senior lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Bristol in the United Kingdom. "The surprise for me was it explains only so much of the association, so there are definitely other potential mediators out there." For example, factors such as bullying and poor emotional control can also contribute to the high risk of suicidal behavior in teens with social problems. 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

    I wanted to put the word out about Sari Kuperstein, a really fantastic ABA therapist / behavior specialist. She is extremely energetic, loving but firm, patient, has tons of great ideas. She used to work for a school district and has many years of experience.

    She is not presently a vendor for the regional center. We have been employing her several days per week for my severely autistic adult sister, who is now in a day program, so Sari has most days available. Her fees are quite reasonable.

    She can be reached at (754) 215-2219 (texting is best) or

    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

  • TONIGHT!!! - 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

  • Speech and Language Summer Camps!
  • Camps will be held at:
    TERI Crimson Center for Speech and Language
    9606 Tierra Grande St #107
    San Diego, CA 92126

    For all the info, please contact Karyn Searcy at 858-695-9415 or email her at

  • Ask an Advocate!

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

  • Introductory Parent-Child Sign and Speak
  • Sessions will be held at:
    TERI Crimson Center for Speech and Language
    9606 Tierra Grande St #107
    San Diego, CA 92126

    For all the info, please contact Karyn Searcy at 858-695-9415 or email her at

  • 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!

  • Encinitas Dance/Karaoke Party for Special needs teens/adults
  • Hope you can join us for our monthly fun! Please comment below for dance song requests. $5-$10 donation to cover rent...I kindly request that chaperones/parents stay if there is a possibility of behavioral challenges, safety or physical concerns. If you'd like to bring a snack to share, please being something HEALTHY! Click here for all the info!!!

  • Family Gym Night in Carlsbad
  • Hosted by Autism Society San Diego
    Saturday, July 21st at 4 PM - 6 PM
    Magdalena Ecke YMCA Gymnastics Center
    6100-B Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92011

    Join other families impacted by Autism at a Family Fun Gymnastics Night in North County. The Magdalena Ecke YMCA will provide the gymnasium equipment. Together, we will provide the fun! Bring the entire family for an enjoyable, relaxing night of family recreation.

    *Please remember that there is NO childcare provided at this event. For safety reasons, attendees are expected to be with their children at all times. The YMCA staff will be enforcing this rule.

    Pizza will be provided for participants - we encourage participants to bring a side dish or dessert to share.

    $5 minimum donation per family. Thank you!
    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Webinar: CBD for Treating Autism-Related Seizures & EEG Abnormalities
  • Wednesday, July 25 at 10 AM - 11 AM
    Online Webinar
    FREE Tickets

    Mark your calendars - because you don't want to miss this upcoming FREE Webinar with Dr. Ronald Aung-Din! We are thrilled about this amazing opportunity to learn about CBD (Cannabidiol) as an Option for Treating Autism-Related Seizures and EEG Abnormalities. Click here for all the info!!!

  • Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's October Program
  • Are you ready to work but not finding that opportunity? Are you sitting at home despite a college degree? Then NFAR's vocational technical training program might be the right choice for you!

    NFAR Tech will be starting a new class in October.

    NFAR Tech is a comprehensive hands-on training programs that teaches technical and employment skills. It prepares young adults with autism for entry level jobs in today's workplace as software testers and other vocations.

    If you are interested in learning more, visit our website, and/ or contact us at 858-679-8800 if you have any questions.

  • 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.