Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. July 31, 2018

In This Issue

Students Should Change the University: Disability and Difference in the Classroom

Attitude is Key

The healthcare system is failing autistic adults

Conditions that accompany autism, explained

For children with autism, tablet app may deliver life skills

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

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

Volunteers Needed for Love & Autism Conference!!!

Beacons North County -- Please take survey!!!

SDRC - Community Resource Development Funds Survey

Back to School (A Free Webinar)

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

Few spots remain for AWARE 2018

Trumpet Behavioral Health Now Serving the San Diego Metro Area

Special Education Law and Advocacy Series (SELAS)

Summer Camp Jam

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's October Program


  • Students Should Change the University: Disability and Difference in the Classroom
  • When one of my students with autism made national news, I was interviewed about the way I teach disabled students. For the first question, the journalist asked, "Do you try to treat students with disabilities like everyone else?" It sounded like a loaded question with the only obvious answer being an emphatic "Yes!"

    Indeed, if I had answered that question just a few years earlier, before I had studied disability, I would have said that disability accommodations should change the least things possible about a class, that we should try to get disabled students to learn as "normally" as possible. Treating all students the same, I had assumed, was the way to be fair and equal. Universities, too, default to this business-as-usual approach, making it difficult for faculty and students to change the system. Read on...

  • Attitude is Key
  • "Tell him every day that you love him, and that you know he is smart."

    This is what Jeremy, my then 21-year-old son, responded to a mother asking for his advice. She wrote to Jeremy, telling him she had a non-verbal 12-year-old, and she was worried about what he was thinking and how he was feeling. She wanted to know what she could do for him until he was able to communicate his thoughts.

    Reading Jeremy's response brought back memories. Every night for many years, while tucking Jeremy into bed, I would tell him those two important facts. I never realized the positive impact repeating those words to him every night would have on his self-esteem. I just told him how I felt, just as I would tell his sister, Rebecca. Read on...

  • The healthcare system is failing autistic adults
  • Adults on the spectrum frequently have a range of other conditions - but they rarely get the help they need.

    Rebekah Hunter lay in the hospital bed, terrified. A nurse had taken Hunter's underwear earlier in the emergency room and warned that an alarm would sound if they got out of bed. (Hunter, who presents as female, identifies as non-binary and uses the pronouns 'they' and 'them.') If Hunter had to use the bathroom or wanted to walk around the room, they needed to ask the nurse's permission.

    Hunter, then 28, was already on edge. They had tried to overdose on ibuprofen and acetaminophen and were being held in the hospital under observation. Anyone would find the experience distressing, but Hunter's distress was magnified by the fact that they are autistic.

    Like many people on the spectrum, Hunter suffers from bouts of depression and chronic gastrointestinal problems. At the time, Hunter was also in an abusive relationship. (Some research suggests that abusive relationships are common among people on the spectrum.) Read on...

  • Conditions that accompany autism, explained
  • More than half of people on the spectrum have four or more other conditions1. The types of co-occurring conditions and how they manifest varies from one autistic person to the next.

    These conditions can exacerbate features of autism or affect the timing of an autism diagnosis, so understanding how they interact with autism is important.

    Here is what researchers know about the conditions that often accompany autism. Read on...

  • For children with autism, tablet app may deliver life skills
  • After a child receives an autism diagnosis, parents and caregivers often scramble to help her build the skills she will need to be independent.

    Starting behavioral treatments early offers the best chance of a good outcome1,2. But many children with autism cannot get the ideal regimen of 20 to 40 hours of therapy each week for at least two years. The therapy is expensive and there are often long waiting lists for a suitable therapist.

    Several years ago, one couple was facing a long waiting list for treatment for their child, who has autism. Both parents happen to be computer scientists with expertise in machine learning. So they teamed up with others, including behavior analysts, speech therapists and clinical psychologists, to find an automated solution to the problem. The result: an iPad application called TOBY (Therapy Outcomes by You) Playpad3. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

  • 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!!!

  • Volunteers Needed for Love & Autism Conference!!!
  • If you would like to volunteer your time and services please contact or call 619-600-0683 x1.

  • Beacons North County -- Please take survey!!!
  • We are proud to announce Beacons, Inc., a new North County-based nonprofit created to provide postsecondary options for adults with disabilities! Our founders and Board know first-hand what transitioning from high school/ATP to adult life means and thought it was time to create something to provide lifelong learning opportunities in a supported environment! And now, we are ready to share news about a pilot program forming for mild/moderate young adults (ages 18 - 26), in North County San Diego!

    To launch, we need your help!
    Please take our exploratory survey to help us gauge your interest and postsecondary needs!

    For more information about our upcoming Pilot Program, please visit:

    Questions? Please email us at:

  • SDRC - Community Resource Development Funds Survey
  • sdrc

    Please complete this survey to assist SDRC in the identification of needed resources

    The Department of Developmental Services has established policies and procedures for the development of annual Community Placement Plan (CPP) and Community Resource Development Plan (CRDP) funding proposals by regional centers.

    Your input is important to the development of this plan to be completed by the San Diego Regional Center (SDRC). SDRC is seeking your input to identify services and supports that can be proposed to the Department of Developmental Services and potentially developed through Community Resource Development Funds.

    Click here to take the survey!!!

  • 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.

  • Trumpet Behavioral Health Now Serving the San Diego Metro Area
  • Lauren Cox M.Ed. BCBA, Clinician, San Diego
    Trumpet Behavioral Health
    Mobile: (408) 499-0700 | |

  • Special Education Law and Advocacy Series (SELAS)
  • Saturday, September 8, 2018 - Saturday, November 17, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
    Warren Hall, Room 2a, University of San Diego Campus
    $125 per session / $600 series

    Building on past and current efforts to educate the community on special education law, the University of San Diego School of Law has developed a new Special Education Law and Advocacy Series (SELAS). This new program builds on the previous Special Education Advocacy Certificate program, with new curriculum meant not only to educate but also offer practical, hands-on experience in special education law and advocacy. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Summer Camp Jam
  • 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: $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.