Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 02, 2019

In This Issue

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Navigating Mental Health - How to get help for your child

The deep emotional ties between depression and autism

A Planned Supportive Housing Community for Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Going on a Date as a Man With Autism

The New Dating APP Helping People on the Autistic Spectrum Find Love

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Beyond the Backpack - Executive Function Program - August 2019

2019 International DIRFloortime Conference

"Back to School" Free Webinar

NFAR's Engage & Connect Program at Kid Ventures!

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

Parent Support Groups in La Mesa

Early Childhood Development & Signs of Autism

2019 Special Education Law and Advocacy Series (SELAS)

Participate in a Research Study on Music Therapy and Social Communication

August Newsletter - San Diego

Summertime at D'Vine Path!

Back to School Transition for Kids With Autism

Foundation Day at the Races

ABC Hopes Rowing Fundraiser in Vista


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thomas nelson

  • Navigating Mental Health - How to get help for your child
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) characterizes mental disorders as serious changes in the way children typically learn, behave or handle emotions. The CDC says the most common mental health diagnoses in children include ADHD, behavior problems, Anxiety and Depression. One in six children between the ages of 2 and 8 have a diagnosed mental, behavioral or developmental disorder. Among young children, the CDC shows that boys are more likely than girls to be diagnosed with a mental or behavioral disorder.

    Michelle Gummerus had to find support immediately due to the severity of her son's mental health issues. He was diagnosed with Schizophrenia at age 10. She says knowing who to call and how to get help is critical. "The most important thing is finding a doctor who will diagnose and put [your child] on the right medication, and actually be there for you," Gummerus says. She also emphasizes the importance of keeping on top of medication because needs can change as children grow older.

    If you have a child who has difficulty communicating, parent Emily Dolton suggests starting with your pediatrician. Be proactive. "Trust your instincts. If you suspect there's something wrong, there are different avenues [where] you can go," Dolton says. She wants people to understand that mental health is the same as physical health, so a child's primary doctor can recommend a specialist. Read on...

  • The deep emotional ties between depression and autism
  • Autistic people are four times as likely to experience depression over the course of their lives as their neurotypical peers. Yet researchers know little about why, or how best to help.

    In June, Nicholas Lyons graduated from a private special-education high school in Maryland. Like many of his classmates, he is unsure what he is going to do next. His mother, Kelly Lyons, is worried, too - but more about his health than his plans: At 18, Nicholas has already endured several bouts of depression, one of which drove him to contemplate suicide.

    Nicholas was diagnosed with autism at age 9. By 12, the socially awkward, bright boy was in therapy for depression, too. "He was made fun of because he was different. He was smart enough to know that," his mother says. "It posed a real problem."

    At 13, Nicholas' mood plummeted further. He disengaged from everyday activities, such as talking with his family at dinner and playing video games, and he began sleeping a lot - common signs of depression. His mother increased his therapy sessions from once to twice a week. Meanwhile, his social problems only grew worse. "The autism caused me to take insults a lot. The insults were harsh," Nicholas says. "Sometimes the kids made me angry. Sometimes it really annoyed me. The insults made me sad sometimes." Read on...

  • A Planned Supportive Housing Community for Adults with Developmental Disabilities
  • Housing update - Mission Independence has opened escrow on a San Clemente Property! The goal is to have 24-hour care from a house parent, offer dining consistent with family dining experiences, private bathrooms and bedrooms, and ample space for independence. This project will take 2-3 years to complete. Organization is seeking Founding parents.

    Contact: Ayeshah Toorani Morin at
    Click here for all the info!

  • Going on a Date as a Man With Autism
  • Relationships and autism. Not an easy thing to combine to work. Not something everyone with autism wants to do. But for the people who do, it could be the toughest topic to deal with in the autism world.

    How does it feel when you go on a date having autism? It can feel like a million bucks. But I'm sure you're nervous when on a date; I was. From what I've seen, everyone with autism is on their own timeline in life. I went on my first date in high school, but didn't have a relationship until I was in college. I was in a couple relationships after. I was always nervous about asking girls out. I always feared rejection. I always thought online dating was my only hope to meet someone. But when I joined Toastmasters to learn public speaking, and learned how to cook, dance, and got my own apartment, I learned I'm more than capable of landing a girlfriend. Read on...

  • The New Dating APP Helping People on the Autistic Spectrum Find Love
  • A new dating app is aimed at the 70 million people who identify as being on the autistic spectrum.

    Launched on Tuesday, Hiki (pronounced "hee-KEY") takes its name from the Hawaiian word for "able" and is the brainchild of 28-year-old developer Jamil Karriem.

    Karriem's cousin lives with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and told him he was lonely and afraid he wouldn't be able to find a romantic partner. Karriem, whose girlfriend had just left him, empathized.

    "[But] it wasn't until a few weeks later that it dawned on me that while we both felt scared of the unknown-and we both yearned for meaningful connection-I had a myriad of platforms (both digital and physical) at my disposal where I could put myself out there," Karriem wrote on Medium. "Moreso, I had the privilege of being able to go to loud bars with flashing lights any night of the week. He didn't." 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:

    The R.O.A.D program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Oceanside are seeking experienced leaders to work as a positive adult role model, coach and mentor with small groups of 4 R.O.A.D.S members. Candidates should have a genuine interest in the growth, development and provision of safe nurturing environments for each member.

    This position is a San Diego Regional Center (SDRC) funded position, which follows the established SDRC calendar year; additionally, this position is based on job performance. Must have reliable transportation to and from site. For more info about these job openings click here:

    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.

  • Beyond the Backpack - Executive Function Program - August 2019
  • At Social Communication Specialists, we don't just set up a color coded folder system that your child will never use, We use advanced techniques to directly teach executive functioning skills. The concepts and strategies we teach kids helps them become more independent so you can stop constantly reminding them of what they need to do.

    Please go to for more information.

  • 2019 International DIRFloortime Conference
  • Effectively Promoting Human Development with Compassion and Respect

    October 4 & 5, 2019
    San Francisco, California

    ICDL DIRFloortime conference is in San Francisco this year! Early bird registration ends August 31!

  • "Back to School" Free Webinar
  • Featuring the expertise of Yoshi Bauer and Benjamin Nelson, special education advocates!

    Join us by registering at

    The webinar will be held on Tuesday August 27th at 12:00 noon and will repeat Thursday August 29th at 7:00 pm.

  • NFAR's Engage & Connect Program at Kid Ventures!
  • Engage & Connect is a program for the whole family of children with autism, ages 2-8.

    Activities include circle time, motor skills, and fun activities meant to increase engagement in a fun filled, creative environment.

    To sign up for our next session, please contact us at (858) 679-8800 or email, and give us your name, and the name and age for each child.

    It's a way to engage and connect for the whole family!

  • 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.

    Some of the neuro-developmental issues we commonly see include:

    • Autism Spectrum Disorders
    • Anxiety
    • Sensory Processing Disorder
    • Depression
    • ADD/ADHD
    • And many more!
    Our program uses the most advanced microcurrent device on the market today, the Electro-Equiscope. Call 858-367-9108 for your free consultation!!!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123

  • Parent Support Groups in La Mesa
  • For more info and to sign up please call 858-634-8300 or email

  • Early Childhood Development & Signs of Autism
  • Wed, August 14, 2019
    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    Fletcher Hills Library
    576 Garfield Avenue
    El Cajon, CA 92020
    Cost: Free

    The SDSU Center for Autism will hold a informational talk at the Fletcher Hills Library. We will cover early childhood development milestones for children under five years old. We will also look at the early signs of autism and what parents can do if they notice these signs. Finally we will discuss exciting brain imaging research that our Center is doing to find biomarkers that could help diagnose autism a lot sooner.

    Click here for all the info and to register!

  • 2019 Special Education Law and Advocacy Series (SELAS)
  • Sat, Sep 7, 2019, 10:00 AM -
    Sat, Nov 23, 2019, 5:00 PM

    University of San Diego School of Law
    Warren Hall Room 2A
    5998 Alcala Park
    San Diego, California 92110

    With a goal of providing important and useful information on special education law and practice, the University of San Diego School of Law will offer its Special Education Law and Advocacy Series (SELAS) again this fall. This specialized program not only educates participants about the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), but also offers practical, hands-on experience in special education advocacy. Past participants have included parents of children with disabilities, professionals working in related fields, school district staff, related services providers (such as speech and language pathologists), attorneys and others.

    Appropriate for attorneys, paralegals, special education and other professionals, as well as parents, the series includes six law and practical training seminars, which may be taken individually or as a complete program. Each Saturday seminar is broken up into a morning and afternoon session with a one-hour lunch break.
    Click here for all the info about the different sessions and to register!

  • Participate in a Research Study on Music Therapy and Social Communication
  • Study Purpose
    Develop social and communication skills through music therapy experiences including songs, instrument playing, and singing.

    Inclusion criteria are as follows:
    Children ages 3.5-5
    Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Never before received music therapy

    Study Details
    Participate in a research study & complete social and communication assessments before and after the study. Selection for the music therapy treatment group will be random. Half of the families will not receive music therapy.

    Families who are randomly selected to participate in the music therapy group, a parent or caregiver will be required to attend a 1-hour parent training and ten 45-minute music therapy sessions.

    When: Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:15 beginning September 11th.

    Where: Neighborhood House Association, Tubman Chavez Community Center, 415 Euclid Ave, 92114

    This project is generously funded by NFAR in partnership with the Autism Tree Project Foundation.

    If you are interested in this study, please fill out the interest form. The last day to do this is August 18th!!!

  • August Newsletter - San Diego
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info about upcoming events!!!

  • Summertime at D'Vine Path!
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info!!!

  • Back to School Transition for Kids With Autism
  • Mon, August 19, 2019
    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court, #250
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: FREE

    The SDSU Center for Autism is hosting a talk in collaboration with Comprehensive Autism Center. Our guests, Brooke Tompkins, BCBA and Randi Margarian, BCBA, will provide support with transitioning from the summertime routine to a daily school schedule. It will discuss proactive strategies to set up your child and family for a smooth transition. Topics to include adjusting morning and night time routines, establishing a daily schedule, communicating with a new teacher, and much more! Comprehensive Autism Center will provide materials to help jump start your back to school transition.

    If you need free childcare provided by our staff during the workshop, please contact Vinton at, so we can plan ahead.
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Foundation Day at the Races
  • Wednesday August 28th 2019 at 12:00 pm
    Del Mar Turf Club, 2260 Jimmy Durante Boulevard, Del Mar, CA
    Cost: $75

    The Foundation for Developmental Disabilities is proud to present the Foundation Day at the Races - an afternoon of food, drink and horse racing at one of San Diego's quintessential summer activities. Gates open at 12:00 p.m. and post time is 2:00 p.m.

    Join us at the Equus Skyroom/Il Palio Restaurant located on the 6th level in the Turf Club where the maƮtre d' will escort you to the tables assigned to the Foundation.

    A no host buffet luncheon, cocktail service, and wagering windows will be available for your enjoyment.

    Click here for all the info and to purchase your tickets!

  • ABC Hopes Rowing Fundraiser in Vista
  • ABC Hopes, Inc. is a nonprofit organization established in 2013. We are dedicated to empowering individuals with intellectual disabilities. ABC Hopes (dis) ABILITIES Fitness has created an atmosphere that allows our participants the opportunity to exercise their bodies, their minds and their social skills in a unique environment specifically designed with their own needs in mind.

  • 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

  • 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.