Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 11, 2018

In This Issue

Fresh Thinking on Autism

Ten Best Things About Raising a Kid With Autism Today

Faulty use of data threatens early intervention for autism

Antianxiety drugs - often more deadly than opioids - are fueling the next drug crisis in US

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

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

NFAR Community Projects 2019

Self Determination Presentation in Fallbrook, 8/17

NEW: Engage & Connect Program 4 Week Series

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

Sing and Speak 4 Kids - Participate in Survey

Behavior in the Educational Setting

Now Enrolling: Sept-Oct Central San Diego Social Clubs!

Craft Workshop in Fallbrook

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

E&CO's Film & Media Program

Brain Imagining Studies for all Ages with or without Autism

Home of Guiding Hands is looking for caring, empathetic people to be part of our growing team.

Southern California Law Office



  • Fresh Thinking on Autism
  • The documentary film "Deej" challenges us all to live inclusion.

    Deej, a Peabody Award-winning and Emmy-nominated feature-length documentary, offers fresh perspectives on autism, inclusion, disability, and neurological diversity. A collaboration between Director Rob Rooy and Writer/Producer David James Savarese, the film has aired on PBS and at festivals across the country, where it has garnered numerous awards.

    Savarese-also known as DJ or Deej-is the primary subject of the film. While the film is about his experience and education as the first non-speaking graduate of Oberlin College, DJ expresses ambivalence about this role. His mission is a collective one, to "free my people"-in other words, to create a world of full inclusion for autistic people. In his words, "Inclusion should not be a lottery."

    Savarese is acutely aware that he won the inclusion lottery. Abandoned by his birth mother at age 3, he was adopted by loving parents committed to his thriving. Many non-speaking autistic children, dismissed as unintelligent or simply too difficult to live with, are institutionalized-or simply don't have access to the care and education that makes a life like Savarese's possible. Deej offers a concrete portrait of one young man's experience with inclusion-and, importantly, makes it clear that we are a long way from Savarese's dream of full inclusion: "I have a lot of work to do. Neurotypical people have work to do too. Hope lives on, messy, imperfect." Read on...

  • Ten Best Things About Raising a Kid With Autism Today
  • As a mom of a terrific 20-year-old son on the high functioning end of the autism spectrum, it has recently occurred to me that as a young mom of a newly-diagnosed kid, I would have appreciated reading about all the great things that were ahead of me as my son worked his way through puberty and young adulthood all in his own unique way.

    Yes, there will be challenges, yes there will be dark days (and nights) and lots of advocating and LOTS of therapy. Having said all of that­­­­­­­, this is what you have to look forward to:

    1. Your child has a unique way of seeing the world, as you know. There is much he/she can teach you. Go where your child is and see if from his/her point of view. It's not wrong, it's just the way your child sees it. And it's interesting. Read on...

  • Faulty use of data threatens early intervention for autism
  • Early-intervention programs can make a huge difference in children's lives - particularly in the lives of those with autism or related conditions. We worry, though, that current procedures for assessing the performance of these programs could lead to cuts in financial support for the programs. Those assessment procedures need to change.

    All U.S. states and territories provide services to infants and toddlers up to 3 years old who either have or are at risk of developmental delays. (The programs operate under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.)

    The evaluations of the performance of early-intervention programs are based on reports that states submit each year to the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs. The office then determines whether the states need to take corrective actions. It might withhold funds from states whose programs are persistently rated as performing poorly, or it might require that the program modify its services1. Read on...

  • Antianxiety drugs - often more deadly than opioids - are fueling the next drug crisis in US
  • It is little wonder that stress levels today are higher than ever across the United States. Overloaded work schedules, juggling family and a career and making ends meet financially can all lead to anxiety and can affect nearly everyone from time to time.

    Yet the kind of anxiety that strikes without notice for no apparent reason - such as panic attacks and social phobias - can be debilitating. And no one is immune. Not even celebrities like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez, who have openly admitted their ongoing struggles with anxiety; Oprah Winfrey, who suffered a panic attack in 2013; and John Mayer, who suffered from severe panic attacks growing up and would often deal with his anxiety by isolating himself in his room to play guitar. In an interview with Katie Couric, musician Chance The Rapper said he used to be addicted to Xanax. 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!!!

  • NFAR Community Projects 2019
  • Autism affects one in every 59 children in the United States, and a growing number of families and their loved ones across San Diego County.

    To help, NFAR hosts the Race for Autism each year to raise funds to help support initiatives that are making a difference and creating unique opportunities for those with autism. Funding will be distributed based on the following criteria; Impact; Reach; Immediacy; and Relevance.


    • Applications are due by September 30, 2018
    • Awards will be announced on February 1, 2019
    • Awards range between $2,500 and $10,000
    • Proposed project should be a 3 - 12 month effort and start in 2019. (Certain types of projects may extend up to 18 months.)
    Guidelines and Restrictions are on the website. To apply or learn more.

  • Self Determination Presentation in Fallbrook, 8/17
  • For more info visit

  • NEW: Engage & Connect Program 4 Week Series
  • Families of young children with autism, ages 2 - 8 (and their siblings) are invited to join us for a 4-week program series called "Engage & Connect".

    Participants will sign up for a once-a-week program for four consecutive weeks. New, fun play activities will be facilitated by special education professionals and therapists designed to encourage engagement, communication and enjoyment.

    The first series will be held at the Kid Ventures indoor recreational play center in 4S Ranch on Thursday evenings in October from 5 - 6:30 pm.

    Register or learn more

  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth believes that every individual is unique and has the potential for significant growth. We assume and foster competence while honoring family values and priorities. Our holistic approach is built upon trusting, supportive relationships and collaboration between disciplines and families.

    We specializing in the development and implementation of individualized comprehensive programs utilizing Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration, Sensory Processing, Applied Behavior Analysis, Art Therapy, and Life Balance Yoga Therapy.

    Offering support in the San Diego, Carlsbad, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

    In addition to supporting our clients directly, we offer guidance to parents, grandparents, therapists, teachers, siblings, school staff, babysitters etc.

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    (858) 689-2027

  • Sing and Speak 4 Kids - Participate in Survey
  • We're preparing a NIH research grant proposal for the online program SING AND SPEAK 4 KIDS that helps children with autism and speech delays. We're offering a free trial of the program to clinicians, teachers and parents experienced in this area and willing to share their knowledge in a 3 minute online survey:

    NIH has requested info regarding current interventions, products and services that are being used for childhood speech-language delays or disorders.

    For your contribution, the beta version of SING AND SPEAK 4 KIDS will be available to you for free, including 6 songs with 36 target vocabulary words. You can find more about it at

    Thanks so much for your support!

  • Behavior in the Educational Setting
  • Together Gateway Learning Group and attorney Jazmine Gelfand will be hosting a free workshop for parents, focusing on addressing behavior within the classroom. We hope to see you there on August 22, 2018! Jazmine will be hosting a free workshop for parents, focusing on addressing behavior within the classroom. We hope to see you there on August 22, 2018 at the Carlsbad's Dove Library, 1775 Dove Lane, Carlsbad, CA 92011.

  • Now Enrolling: Sept-Oct Central San Diego Social Clubs!
  • Sign up deadline is 8/24!
    Please contact 858-428-0222 or email

  • Craft Workshop in Fallbrook
  • Please RSVP by August 15th to Karen Douglas at

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • "My Time For Dinner" And Little Italy Bar and Grill Invite you to A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

    In Scripps Ranch
    Monday, August 20, 2018
    7:00 PM

    Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene' Raphael no later than Aug. 17th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • E&CO's Film & Media Program
  • E&CO's Film & Media Program, a vocational program in partnership with Inclusion Films that assists individuals with developmental disabilities with learning the art of film production, multimedia development and supporting creative skills necessary in film and media industries. This program provides hands-on opportunities for program participants to develop the skills necessary to one day find employment in these industries! Click here for all the info on this program.

    All Services Provided by E&CO:

    • Film & Media
    • Employment Services
    • Independent Living
    • Tailored Day Services (TDS)
    • Aging Needs
    • Autism Services
    • C.P.I.C
    • Education
    • Microenterprise
    5050 Murphy Canyon Road
    Suite 220
    San Diego, CA 92123
    T (858) 565-9870

  • Brain Imagining Studies for all Ages with or without Autism
  • At SDSU!!! To find out more, please call 619-594-0176 or email BDIL@SDSU.EDU.

  • Home of Guiding Hands is looking for caring, empathetic people to be part of our growing team.
  • We are one of the largest providers of support services in San Diego County for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Please consider referring any qualified candidates who would enjoy a rewarding career with an organization that inspires, advocates, and empowers more than 3,200 infants, children, and adults.

    Our mission is "to improve the lives of those we serve," and we stand by it every day.

    We are currently hiring for the positions below. Click each title to read the full description.

    - Residential Service Technician

    - Residential Behavior Technician

    - Residential Facilitator

    - House Manager

    Please contact Gina Stabile, Recruitment Coordinator, for additional information: or (619) 938-2886.

    Visit Us On The Web at

  • Southern California Law Office
  • At Southern California Law Office our legal services are focused on meeting the individual needs of every child. Our legal representation is designed to assist families in acquiring the educational services and classroom accommodations that will allow students to reach their academic potential.

    Southern California Law Office was founded on both the personal experiences and professional expertise of our attorneys. Our foremost concern is to secure the educational benefits, afforded by law, to each child with academic, social, and behavioral challenges related to their specific disability and their educational environment. It is our goal to achieve this success in a manner that preserves the child and the parent's relationships with their teachers, service providers and school district.

    Southern California Law Office
    6540 Lusk Blvd., Suite C159
    San Diego, CA 92121
    T - (858) 215-4231

  • 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

  • Accepting Applications for NFAR's Teachers Grants Program

  • Autism affects one in every 59 children in the United States and a growing number of students each year in classrooms across San Diego County.

    To help, NFAR established a program in 2005 that awards funding to educators to support the specialized academic needs of their students with autism.

    The 2018/2019 NFAR Teachers' Applications are due September 30th.

    Sample grant applications, Guidelines and Restrictions are on the website.

    Apply or learn more!

  • 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 program 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.

  • Best Buddies Friendship Walk, November 3rd

    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.