Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 20, 2018

In This Issue

Record-breaking grant may fuel autism drug development

The effects of anxiety on the body

Health of mom's gut a key contributor to autism risk, study suggests

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

Sensory Friendly Movies for our Military Families

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Encinitas Dance/Karaoke Party for Special needs teens/adults

No Wait for RDI!!!

Speech and Language Summer Camps!

FB Live: Adventures in Autism 2

Introductory Parent-Child Sign and Speak

Rosh Hashanah Picnic

Community Transition Academy now accepting students for the 2018-19 school year

Family Gym Night in Carlsbad

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

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's October Program


  • Record-breaking grant may fuel autism drug development
  • A huge new international research collaboration may jump-start the race to develop therapies for autism. With more than 113 million euros (about $132 million) in funding, it is the biggest project to date in autism research.

    Launched in June, the Autism Innovative Medicine Studies-2-Trials, or AIMS-2-Trials, brings together 48 partners from 14 nations, including academic institutions, pharmaceutical giants and charities. One of its aims is to establish a clinical-trial network of more than 15 centers across the European Union.

    Because autism may take vastly different forms, the ultimate goal is to tailor therapies to an individual's biological profile, says Declan Murphy, professor of psychiatry and brain maturation at King's College London and the academic lead on the project. Read on...

  • The effects of anxiety on the body
  • Anxiety can impact physical and mental health. There are short- and long-term effects on both the mind and body.

    While many people know about the effects of anxiety on mental health, fewer people are aware of the physical side effects, which can include digestive issues and an increased risk of infection. Anxiety can also change the function of the cardiovascular, urinary, and respiratory systems.

    In this article, we discuss the most common physical symptoms and side effects of anxiety. Read on...

  • Health of mom's gut a key contributor to autism risk, study suggests
  • Could reducing risk of autism involve changing expectant mothers' diets?

    A mother's microbiome -- the collection of microorganisms that naturally live inside us -- during pregnancy plays a critical role in determining the risk developing autism-spectrum disorders, new research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine suggests. The work raises the tantalizing possibility that preventing forms of autism could involve modifying an expectant mom's diet or taking custom probiotics.

    Further, the UVA scientists were able to use their discovery to prevent the development of autism-like neurodevelopmental disorders in lab mice. They found they could halt the development of such disorders by blocking a particular inflammatory molecule produced by the immune system. Targeting this molecule, interleukin-17a, offers another potential avenue for preventing autism in people, the researchers say. They caution, however, that this approach would be much more complex because of the risk of side effects. 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

    We have several families (North County Inland) in our parent support group who are looking for day programs, or other providers, for young adults on the spectrum with challenging behaviors. The adults are around age 22 and have been classified as ASD with IDD as a secondary condition. We hope to find providers who are willing to take them out into the community fairly regularly and have ABA or similar background experience--or at least have the needed attitude and people skills! All suggestions considered! --- Thank you!

    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

  • Sensory Friendly Movies for our Military Families
  • For more info please contact Camille Favor, MPH at

  • 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

  • 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!!!

  • 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

  • FB Live: Adventures in Autism 2
  • Hosted by Sanford Autism Consulting
    Thursday, July 26 at 11:30 AM - 12 PM

    Are you a fellow parent of a child with Autism? Do you have unanswered questions? Not sure what to expect as your child gets older? Join us live as we discuss some of your biggest questions.

    This will be an interactive and lively discussion about the strengths and challenges for individuals and families impacted by Autism. Feel free to view and comment live or via the replay. Come with questions, leave empowered!

    Our guests are experts who live the Autism experience every day. Crystal Sanford is a Speech Pathologist, Autism consultant and mom to an amazing 7-year old with Autism. Kanika McDougall is a successful business woman and mom to two thriving teens with Autism. Kanika also has experience navigating the parenting journey as a single parent and has many tips to share.

    Let's chat and learn together through this amazing show! 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

  • Rosh Hashanah Picnic
  • Hosted by Friendship Circle of San Diego
    Sunday, August 26 at 4 PM - 6 PM
    Torrey Hills Park
    4260 Calle Mejillones, San Diego, California 92130

    You're invited!
    Join FC at our annual welcome back Rosh Hashanah Picnic! Enjoy all you can eat BBQ and meet new friends! Entertainment provided. $5 per person or $18 per family (4+) online. Price doubles at the door.

    All ages and backgrounds welcome!

  • Community Transition Academy now accepting students for the 2018-19 school year
  • Community Transition Academy (CTA) of Include Autism, our Transition NPS is accepting a limited amount of students, 11th grade through transition age, with moderate to severe disabilities. CTA is a community-based program located in the heart of the centrally located Hillcrest neighborhood of San Diego.

    The school day at CTA will balance classroom learning, with hands-on community experiences led by highly skilled staff trained in ABA techniques and supports. Our academic focus is enhanced with vocational, life-science, social skill, and inclusive post-school community opportunities that tie into the classroom lesson plans. Enrollment is very limited to keep the class size very small affording our staff the opportunity to personalize each student's educational transition program. The CTA Team upholds the philosophy that every student at CTA is entitled to the support necessary to maximize his/her potential as an active adult in the greater community with the least possible restrictions and most possible chosen opportunities. With roots in the community, our students flourish!

    We wish to invite you to call us at (858) 360-0282 for more information or to schedule a site visit. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

  • 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.