Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 27, 2018

In This Issue

MiraCosta faces heat for its treatment of adults with disabilities

Schools Are Criminalizing Children with Autism, and the Reason Is Concerning

Studies unveil hidden ties between epilepsy gene and autism

GW Study Will Examine Molecular Mechanisms of Male Bias in Autism

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

No Wait for RDI!!!

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

Compass Academy Open House and Information Session

Back to School (A Free Webinar)

YOU'RE INVITED: NFAR's Charity Golf - Sign Up Now and Save!

Few spots remain for AWARE 2018

Gear Up for the New School Year - Preparation is Key!

Jungle Poppins' Album Release Party w/ Corey Leal & Ryan Hiller

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

All Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair

Autism Family Morning at Aquarium of the Pacific

Summer Camp Jam Early Bird Registration Ends Monday

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's October Program


  • MiraCosta faces heat for its treatment of adults with disabilities
  • MiraCosta College finds itself in hot water for what some are calling insensitive and discriminatory treatment of students in the Adults with Disabilities Program.

    Krista Warren, a part-time associate faculty member at MiraCosta College since 1992, said her students in the Basic Academic Skills class at the Oceanside campus range in age from 18 to 63 and have Down syndrome, autism and various forms of intellectual and developmental delays. The class is part of the community college's noncredit program.

    The incident that has ratcheted up concern occurred on July 9, when Dean Kate Alder announced during Warren's class that the aides who accompany some of the students would no longer be approved as volunteers.

    Alder also described the Student Code of Conduct and calmly explained, according to sources, that the campus police could be called in the event that students causing harm to themselves or others warranted it. Alder then told the aides that they had to immediately leave the classroom.

    The aides work for social agencies funded by the California Department of Developmental Services and are responsible for their clients, many of whom are not capable of getting around campus or managing a schedule on their own. As such, the aides asked their students to leave with them. Read on...

  • Schools Are Criminalizing Children with Autism, and the Reason Is Concerning
  • In April of 2017, a 10-year-old Floridan boy with autism was arrested at his school. His mother captured the horrifying incident in a video, in which viewers can hear him beg school resource officers not to touch him and also shout out, "I don't know what's going on, Mama! I don't understand."

    He was being arrested because he supposedly committed a third-degree felony several months prior by kicking a paraprofessional at the school, which he allegedly did because he felt "unsafe." After they took him away in the police car, he was detained in a juvenile facility until the next day.

    Disturbing, needless to say. Yet infuriatingly, situations similar to this one-albeit ones that are less dramatic-are not uncommon occurrences in the United States today. Far too often, children with special needs are treated like criminals when they act out at school and are subjected to harsh and unnecessary punishments. Research indicates that more than 70,000 students with disabilities were restrained or secluded in 2013 - 2014, and about 25 percent of students who are placed under arrest at school have a disability. This is especially prevalent among students of color. Read on...

  • Studies unveil hidden ties between epilepsy gene and autism
  • When Abigail was 19 months old, she took a ferry with her mother Gillian across the English Channel during a move from Germany to England. On board, she played with a Belgian toddler whose mother, a doctor, took notice of Abigail's tight muscles and lack of language. (Gillian asked that we omit their last names to protect their privacy.)

    "What syndrome does she have?" the doctor asked Gillian. Gillian didn't know.

    In the coming years, Abigail would receive diagnoses of autism and intellectual disability; she also has recurrent seizures. But it took 20 years to get an answer to the Belgian doctor's question.

    In 2013, Abigail's doctor, Meena Balasubramanian, enrolled Abigail in Deciphering Developmental Disorders (DDD), a study in which researchers sequence an individual's genes to find the cause of undiagnosed genetic conditions. In Abigail, they found a de novo, or spontaneous, mutation in a known epilepsy gene called HNRNPU. Gillian learned of the result just last year. Read on...

  • GW Study Will Examine Molecular Mechanisms of Male Bias in Autism
  • Chiara Manzini, PhD, received a grant to study the role of the CC2D1A gene in making males more susceptible to autism than females

    Neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorder and intellectual disability are more prevalent in males than females. However, the underlying molecular mechanisms of why this difference occurs remain a mystery.

    With more than $2 million from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health, researchers at the George Washington University (GW) will study the CC2D1A gene and its role in the development of autism in males versus females. Chiara Manzini, PhD (link is external), assistant professor of pharmacology and physiology at the GW School of Medicine and Health Sciences and the GW Institute for Neuroscience, is leading the study into finding what makes male more susceptible to autism and intellectual disability. 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!

    Looking for a female caregiver for my adult daughter with high functioning autism. 14.5 hours per week. $10.72/hr (county min. Wage). Payment is through the county IHSS program. Light housekeeping, laundry, assist with food shopping, meal prep and medication refills/adherence. Must have reliable transportation, good DMV record, proof of insurance and background check. No drinking or other substance abuse. SDSU area.
    Thank you so much!
    Debra Berl

    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.

  • FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!
  • Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!!!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids is San Diego's premiere pediatric microcurrent therapy program for children, teens and adults with special needs. Our program is the BEST therapy for Autism & ADHD, as you will see by the rapid improvement in your child's skills and abilities, because of how well it promotes developmental growth and couples with ALL other therapies.

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123
    (858) 367-9108

  • 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

  • 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!!!

  • Compass Academy Open House and Information Session
  • banyon tree

    Need Help Navigating
    Your Child's Education?
    Thursday, July 26, 6 - 8 PM
    Saturday, July 28, 11 AM - 1 PM

    If your child does not fit a traditional school environment and you are looking for a better option, please join us for our

    Back to School Open House and Information Meeting!
    at 2820 Roosevelt Rd. Suite 104
    San Diego, CA 92106

    Learn about the specially designed programs we have developed to meet the individual needs of each student, grades 2-8, who attends Compass Academy.

    Enrollment fees are waived for attending one of these sessions! RSVP here for this event!!!

  • Back to School (A Free Webinar)
  • Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • YOU'RE INVITED: NFAR's Charity Golf - Sign Up Now and Save!
  • Calling All Golfers!

    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 golf cart, fun contests, box lunch, dinner, fun prizes and more.

    Why We Golf
    NFAR's Charity Golf Tournament is to help raise funds for autism programs, including our Technical Training Vocational Program for young adults. Unemployment for those with autism is 85% - higher than for any other disability. NFAR is working to change this with a comprehensive program that provides technical and soft skills instruction, certification, and work internship.

    Showcase your Company by becoming a Sponsor! For more information on Sponsorship opportunities, contact Maggie Katz at 858-679-8800.


    • MONDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2018
    • 10:30 AM: Check-In
    • 12 NOON: Shotgun Start
    • SINGLE PLAYERS: $150
    • FOURSOME: $495
    • Includes: Range Balls, Golf Cart, Lunch, Dinner, Beer, Games, Fun Prizes and more!

    Click here to register!!!

  • Few spots remain for AWARE 2018

    This is a program to offer fun, summer activities for young adults, ages 18 and older, on the autism spectrum. Some individuals, as they enter adulthood, still need the assistance and support of others to be able to participate in many community activities. The purpose of AWARE is to provide autistic adults a day camp experience that will allow them to socialize with their peers and enjoy various community- based activities. Many individuals have participated in Camp I CAN when they were younger. This is an opportunity for similar, fun experiences for adults.

    There will be a maximum of 12 participants enrolled. Staffing will be one camp leader for every 2 participants. The staff for this program are individuals who have prior experience working with persons with autism.

    The participant must be safe and able to navigate in various community settings at a 1 staff: 2 participant ratio***.

    ***There are a limited number of spots for participants requiring one-on-one support. We will do our best to accommodate individuals needing this level of support.

    Ecke YMCA Gymnastics Center
    6100 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92011

    August 20-24, 2018

    The cost is $200 for Autism Society San Diego members. This camp is funded in a large part by the Autism Society San Diego, Magdalena Ecke Family YMCA & other donors.

    Activities will include daily field trips to local venues, the beach, riding the Coaster and others. There will be bus transportation to and from activities with the start and end of each day at the Ecke Y Gymnastics Center location.

    To request registration forms, please use this link.

  • Gear Up for the New School Year - Preparation is Key!
  • Thursday, August 2 at 7 PM - 9 PM
    Hera Hub Mission Valley
    8885 Rio San Diego Drive #237, San Diego, California 92108

    The new school year is just around the corner! Join us for information on how to be organized, prepared & become your child's best advocate during the IEP process! This event is free, however, seats are limited to the first 75 parents or guardians who register on Eventbrite:

  • Jungle Poppins' Album Release Party w/ Corey Leal & Ryan Hiller
  • Tuesday, July 31 at 8 PM - 11 PM
    Belly Up
    143 S Cedros Ave Ste T, Solana Beach, California 92075


    Ages: 21+

    Jungle Poppins: Jungle Poppins is an animated troupe performing your favorite movie soundtracks and quirky originals. Anything but average, they prove music upstages autism as they move your head, heart, hands and feet.

    Corey Leal Duo: Catching the spirit of pioneering roots artists like the Byrds, Gram Parsons and the Band, Southern California revivalists Wish and the Well released their award-winning debut, Darling, Darling, in January, 2017. Guitarist and principal songwriter Corey Leal, draws deeply from a wide spectrum of influences, ranging from Son House to Sam Cooke to Hank Williams, synthesizing these timeless styles into a sound that pays homage to the past while bringing it squarely into the here and now. Corey will be joined by his fellow band mate and Wish and the Well's lead guitar player, Steven Crowle on mandolin. The duo create a back home feel with kin like harmonies while convening the sparse, elegant song structures of Americana.

  • 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!

  • All Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair
  • Hosted by Special Needs Resource Foundation of San Diego
    Tuesday, August 7 at 10 AM - 1 PM
    North Clairemont Recreation Center
    4421 Bannock Ave, San Diego, California 92117

    Free Event!
    Join us for an All Inclusive Day of Play & Resource Fair on Aug. 7th from 10am-1pm at the North Clairemont Recreation Center 4421 Bannock Ave. 92117.

    Celebrate the last days of summer with friends and gather informative resources for your children.

    Kids will enjoy a variety of activity stations like the Flying Super Hero Photo Booth and the Wheelchair Awareness Course, play games, win prizes and more. Parents can stop by the resource booths to gather information and ask questions from local program and service providers. Click here for all the info!!!

  • Autism Family Morning at Aquarium of the Pacific
  • Saturday, August 18, 2018 | 7:00 AM-9:00 AM
    Aquarium of the Pacific
    100 Aquarium Way, Long Beach, CA 90802

    Join us for a special morning exclusively for families with children or adults with autism.

    The entire Aquarium, except Lorikeet Forest, will open at 7:00 a.m. This will be a morning when guests can enjoy the tranquility of our exhibits and meet 11,000 animals from the world's largest ocean. Admission is just $7 per person. Members and children under 3 are free. Autism Family Morning guests may continue to enjoy the Aquarium after we open to the public at 9:00 a.m.

    Tickets are $7 per person and you can purchase them here!!!

  • Summer Camp Jam Early Bird Registration Ends Monday
  • In collaboration with Banding Together, our annual four day Summer Camp Jam is the highlight of the year. This camp is designed for ages 3-12. Campers are grouped based on age and paired with a one on one camp counselor. Campers experience summer themed music making, crafts and make new friends. Facilitated by board certified music therapist campers work on social skills: turn-taking, waiting, eye contact, cooperative instrument playing with others. Joining the arts and music campers enjoy a new summer themed craft each day. In addition, they practice emotion regulation with movement to music: parachute, scarves, bubbles and other fun games. At the end of each day there is a performance from a local San Diego guest musician. You don't want to miss this fun and interactive camp! Watch our Camp Jam video.

    Dates: August 7-10th
    Time: 9am-12pm
    Location: Christ Presbyterian Church - 7807 Centella St, Carlsbad, CA 92009

    Cost: early bird registration $325 through 7/30, after 7/30 cost is $375

    Scholarship funds are available through our nonprofit partner, Banding Together. Contact 619-299-1411 or for details.

    Click here for online registration.

  • 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.