Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 09, 2019

In This Issue

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Disability Empowerment Can Change Traditional Definitions Of Work And Employment

One therapy bests others at motivating kids with autism to speak, study finds

Their children have autism. They want the state to alert motorists

Autistic women twice as likely as autistic men to attempt suicide

We need precise measurements of sensory traits related to autism

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 - Back to School 10% Discount!

5th Annual CAPTAIN Conference

Beacons, Inc. is Now a SDRC Vendor!!!

Harvest Ball

IEP Parent Bootcamp Series

Casting Call: Warner Bros. Feature Film The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time

Early Start Denver Model at Ascent Psychological Services


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thomas nelson

  • Disability Empowerment Can Change Traditional Definitions Of Work And Employment
  • Disability empowerment ... can bend the moral arc of a neurotypical universe into one which supports the idea that initiative and hard work is valuable in and of itself, in whichever way it chooses to manifest.

    A little prefatory material is perhaps in order before I engage in a bit of rant. I'm a well-educated individual who also happens to be on the autism spectrum, my specific diagnosis being Asperger's Syndrome. I received my Master's Degree in American History last May from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro with my field of specialization being the American Civil War/Reconstruction period. I am currently pursuing a second Master's in Library & Information Sciences there as well.

    For the past six months I also have been working approximately three days a week at Chez Genese, a newish popular French restaurant in my city one of whose specific goals is to employ people with developmental disabilities to the tune of fifty percent of its workforce.

    I spent many hours training for my job as a server and it has richly taught me many things: how to more appropriately and kindly navigate a social universe which is never an easy thing for me to do, to disambiguate between text and sub-texts in conversations with customers (are they truly happy with breakfast or lunch entrees? Do I need to provide them with more detailed synopses of menu items? Are the fact that they are not smiling a sign of some sort of dissatisfaction with their quiche Lorraine?) and to further refine my understanding of social cues which Aspies famously have difficulty with. I am always punctual, work hard and enthusiastically and am proud to tell everyone that I am successful in my job, happy in my accomplishments and regularly receive accolades from both my bosses, fellow employees and customers not to mention a steady supply of tips!

    My challenges nevertheless are constant. Read on...

  • One therapy bests others at motivating kids with autism to speak, study finds
  • Pivotal response treatment involving parents works better than other existing therapies at motivating children with autism and significant speech delays to talk, according to the results of a large study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

    Because children with autism are less socially motivated than typically developing children, parents' instincts about how to engage them often don't succeed, said Grace Gengoux, Ph.D., clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. PRT gives parents a way to breach this barrier.

    "We were teaching parents how to set up situations where their child would be motivated to communicate," Gengoux said. "The results of our study are exciting because we found that children in the PRT group improved not just in their communication skills, but also in their broader social abilities." Read on...

  • Their children have autism. They want the state to alert motorists
  • Maria Tennant of Lancaster believes she has all the reason she needs to want a sign on her street advising motorists that a child with autism lives there.

    That reason is her 2-year-old son, who was diagnosed in January

    "Unfortunately children on the spectrum are fearless and will run into the street without cognizance of what or whom is around them," she said. "A few days ago I experienced this and my heart dropped."

    But when she asked to have the sign installed, her request was refused by her village government. The reason is that federal and state laws provide for signs alerting drivers to children who are blind and hearing-impaired, but neither statute includes "autism" text signs, said Assemblywoman Monica Wallace, who was contacted by several concerned parents after their requests for the signs were denied by municipal officials. Where signs exist, as they do in several Western New York neighborhoods, they were posted despite the law. Read on...

  • Autistic women twice as likely as autistic men to attempt suicide
  • People on the spectrum, and girls and women in particular, are at high risk of suicide, according to the largest study yet to analyze suicidal behaviors in autistic people1.

    The study is the first one large enough to analyze suicide data for autistic people by sex, intelligence and the presence of other conditions.

    Even in the general population, women tend to attempt suicide more often than men - but this sex difference is more pronounced among those with autism, the study found.

    Autistic women who also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may be at particularly high risk: One in five attempts suicide, compared with about 1 in 11 men with both conditions. Among autistic people with intellectual disability, 1 in 13 women attempts suicide, compared with 1 in 20 men. Read on...

  • We need precise measurements of sensory traits related to autism
  • Many people with autism have atypical responses to sensory stimuli: Some appear to be hypersensitive, such that a clothing tag is unbearably scratchy; others may be so tolerant that touching a hot stove top yields a burn but no pain.

    The prevalence of sensory issues among autistic people, as detailed through caregiver reports and questionnaires, may be as high as 70 percent1. Because of this, sensory traits are included in the diagnostic criteria for autism in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

    Most of the work on sensory sensitivity in autism has relied on questionnaires and caregiver reports. Although these tools can assess the effects of sensory problems on real-world activities, they lack specificity: A person's response to a stimulus depends not only on how she perceives it but also on how her brain processes it and on a host of behavioral and other factors. For instance, a child may appear insensitive to a stimulus because he is distracted by something, not because he perceives it differently from another child. 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

    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 - Back to School 10% Discount!
  • 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 10% discount and a free consultation!!!

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

  • 5th Annual CAPTAIN Conference
  • Join us for the 5th Annual CAPTAIN Conference, presented by the California Autism Professional Training and Information Network, Point Loma Nazarene University, and Autism Society San Diego. This informative conference will help keep you up to date on all the latest strategies for supporting learners on the autism spectrum. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Beacons, Inc. is Now a SDRC Vendor!!!
  • Exciting Beacons, Inc. news! We just received news that we have been approved officially as a SDRC vendor. Our vendor number is #PY1700. For those wishing to attend our fall vocational training workshops, please visit our fall pathfinder page to learn more!

  • 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!!!

  • Casting Call: Warner Bros. Feature Film The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time
  • Seeking a neurodivergent actor to play lead role
    The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is a Warner Bros. Feature film expected to film in 2020. Veteran Casting Director Heidi Levitt (known for projects such as Natural Born Killers and The Artist) is leading the casting search. It is being re-set in North America. We are only casting the lead role of Christopher at this moment. Looking for a teen between the ages of 15-17 on the autism spectrum to play the lead role of Christopher. Non-professionals are encouraged to submit. Email a photo and short bio to for consideration. The Deadline to submit is Tuesday, August 13th.

    Click here 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

  • 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.