Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 06, 2019

In This Issue

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Navigating the Teen Years with Autism

Pop-up restaurant both honors, supports adults with special needs

Autism Housing: Today a Mirage, Tomorrow a Reality?

How autism-friendly architecture can change autistic children's lives

For autistic children, emotional problems may hinder social success

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Beyond the Backpack - Executive Function Program - August 2019

Check Out Club Beacons in August!!

"Back to School" Free Webinar

3rd Annual Lights! Camera! Autism!

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

Parent Support Groups in La Mesa

Early Childhood Development & Signs of Autism

Harvest Ball

IEP Parent Bootcamp Series

August Newsletter - San Diego

Summertime at D'Vine Path!

Early Start Denver Model at Ascent Psychological Services

Foundation Day at the Races

Join us for some summer fun at our TAG Beach Party!


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ValeriesList is a FREE resource newsletter and Facebook Page for San Diego County and has been for over 19 years, with a weekly reach of 50,000! No fees, donation or membership are required to receive this info. An informed public makes better decisions for its' persons with Special Needs. Please share with friends, family, fellow professionals and clients!!! Click here to check out my FB page! Thank YOU!


thomas nelson

  • Navigating the Teen Years with Autism
  • Growing up can be difficult. Puberty, dating, junior high, and all of the social pressures that arise are daunting for teens trying to figure it out. For a teen with autism, these challenges are amplified. Confusion and sometimes fear can arise from the changes happening both to their bodies and in their environment.

    As an autism parent, it is essential to be prepared for your child's transition into their teenage years. Your child should feel supported as they navigate one of the most difficult periods of their lives. Read on...

  • Pop-up restaurant both honors, supports adults with special needs
  • Dan's Place, offering dinners once a month at Chabad of Poway, is named for synagogue member who died last year

    By 4:55 p.m. Sunday, everything at Dan's Place was ready for the diners lined up outside to walk through the doors at 5. The tables were set with black tablecloths, napkins and handmade centerpieces, the salads were laid out, the marinated chicken was hot off the grill, and the eager wait staff was standing at attention inside.

    But at Dan's Place, a monthly pop-up eatery at Chabad of Poway synagogue, those being served aren't the diners , but the kitchen helpers, waiters and clean-up crew. Dan's Place is a vocational training program for adults with special needs. Under the supervision of adult volunteers, the workers at Dan's Place chop vegetables, slice bread, pour and mix ingredients, set the tables, arrange the centerpieces, wait on customers and clean up. Read on...

  • Autism Housing: Today a Mirage, Tomorrow a Reality?
  • A report on the meeting of the Autism Housing Workgroup of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee

    You are dying of thirst in the Sahara, dragging your parched body through the dune, and then you see it glimmering ahead: a lake atop the burning sand! But as adrenaline pushes you forward to salvation, you see the truth. It was all a mirage.

    Such was my impression of autism housing after participating in the Autism Housing Workgroup of the Interagency Autism Coordinating Committee (IACC), which met for a day of presentations on July 23 near Washington, DC.

    Now, don't get me wrong. It is great news that the IACC is spending time and effort to look into the autism housing crisis. Major kudos to Alison Singer, Samantha Crane, and other IACC members for pushing this urgent topic to the fore, and I was certainly pleased to serve on the group in my capacity as a scattered-site autism housing provider.

    But the major take-away from the day was unmistakeable: we are facing an autism housing crisis of epic proportions, and while many promising models have been developed, the options fall dramatically short of what is needed, particularly for autistic adults with challenging behaviors. Read on...

  • How autism-friendly architecture can change autistic children's lives
  • Imagine wearing a hearing aid on its highest setting and being unable to make any adjustment. You can hear the speech of the person next to you-but, at the same volume, you hear birdsong through an open window, the air conditioning whirring above and the traffic droning outside. The difference in the layers of sound cannot be filtered and a cacophony results. Combine this with some of your senses being crossed or scrambled, rather like a poor telephone connection, and you start to appreciate how some people on the autistic spectrum encounter the world. It is small wonder that productive teaching of an autistic child presents a challenge.

    Within our living spaces, all of us are bombarded with an array of stimulating sensory inputs-sound, smell, touch, taste, movement-and a never-ending deluge of visual information. Many people manage to filter and cope, but people with autism encounter the world differently. Sensory difficulties can cause hyper-sensitivity (sense too much) or hypo-sensitivity (sense too little), or combinations of both. The environment becomes a confusing place when attempting to process "too much information". Unexpected changes cause anxieties, which are challenging to manage, and the level of stimuli can tip the balance, to cause sensory overload, sometimes misinterpreted as a tantrum. Read on...

  • For autistic children, emotional problems may hinder social success
  • Children with autism have problems with social communication. Some researchers suggest that these problems are related to low social motivation - that is, they tend not to prioritize social information or to take pleasure in social interactions1. As a result, this model suggests, they have trouble developing the skills necessary for engaging socially with their peers.

    Our work suggests a significant other set of factors: In our experience, many children with autism are socially motivated and genuinely want to develop relationships. However, other factors can get in the way of turning that social motivation into social success.

    Among the most prominent of these factors is a key autism trait: emotional and behavioral dysregulation. As autistic children get older, the vast majority have clinically significant anxiety, depression and other emotional problems. 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.

  • Check Out Club Beacons in August!!
  • RSVP

  • "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.

  • 3rd Annual Lights! Camera! Autism!
  • Click here for all the info and to purchase tickets!!!

  • 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!

  • Harvest Ball
  • For persons with disabilities! You can go to and register for the Harvest Ball, or you can come into our office in room 6 at the War Memorial building (3325 Zoo Drive, San Diego 92101).

  • IEP Parent Bootcamp Series
  • August 17
    IEP Bootcamp Series, Part 1 : Advocate like a Pro!
    Sat, August 17, 2019
    9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    Sanford Autism Consulting Office
    4823 Alfred Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: $75
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

    August 31
    IEP Bootcamp Series, Part 2 : Parents Empowered
    Sat, August 31, 2019
    9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    Sanford Autism Consulting Office
    4823 Alfred Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92120
    Cost: $75
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • 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!!!

  • Early Start Denver Model at Ascent Psychological Services
  • Ascent Psychological Services
    11665 Avena Place, Ste.204
    San Diego, CA 92128
    In-Home Services Available
    Insurance and Regional Center Funding Accepted

  • 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!

  • Join us for some summer fun at our TAG Beach Party!
  • Join us at Powerhouse Park at Del Mar Beach for a TAG Beach Party, Thursday August 8th from 3:30 pm - 5 pm! All are welcome!

  • 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.