Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 23, 2018

In This Issue

FDA permits marketing of transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder

Resurgence of deadly measles blamed on low MMR vaccination rates

Drug approval could boost research on marijuana treatment for autism

First biomarker evidence of DDT-autism link

New study explains why genetic mutations cause disease in some people but not in others

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Cara Lucier & Associates

*NEW* Engage & Connect Program - 4 Week Series

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!


Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Sensory Sunday Family Time Featuring Craig Newton

Accessibility Mornings at the New Children's Museum

Summer Sports Spectacular at Skyline Church

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Driving

Camp Growth at BEE!

San Diego Therapeutic Recreation Services Newsletter for Fall 2018

SAM'S POSSE Exceptional Rodeo

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk October 2018

Autism Speaks San Diego North County Walk November 2018



  • FDA permits marketing of transcranial magnetic stimulation for treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder
  • Today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration permitted marketing of the Brainsway Deep Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation System for treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).

    "Transcranial magnetic stimulation has shown its potential to help patients suffering from depression and headaches," said Carlos Peña, Ph.D., M.S., director of the Division of Neurological and Physical Medicine Devices in the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "With today's marketing authorization, patients with OCD who have not responded to traditional treatments now have another option."

    OCD is a common, chronic and long-lasting disorder in which a person has uncontrollable, reoccurring thoughts and behaviors that a person feels the urge to repeat over and over. OCD is typically treated with medication, psychotherapy or a combination of the two. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 1 percent of U.S. adults had OCD in the past year. Although most patients with OCD respond to treatment, some patients continue to experience symptoms. Read on...

  • Resurgence of deadly measles blamed on low MMR vaccination rates
  • More than 41,000 cases of measles reported in the EU in six months to June - almost double the number over the whole of 2017

    A huge surge in measles cases across Europe has been reported by the World Health Organisation, which says low MMR vaccination rates are to blame.

    More than 41,000 cases of measles have been reported in the European region between January and June. Last year there were nearly 24,000 for the whole 12 months, which was the highest count in any year of the last decade.

    "We are seeing a dramatic increase in infections and extended outbreaks," said Dr Zsuzsanna Jakab, WHO regional director for Europe. "We call on all countries to immediately implement broad, context-appropriate measures to stop further spread of this disease." Read on...

  • Drug approval could boost research on marijuana treatment for autism
  • The United States has approved, for the first time, a compound derived from marijuana to treat certain types of epilepsy. The ruling may spell good news for autism research.

    The approval of Epidiolex, the new drug, will require a change in the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency's classification of marijuana compounds as Schedule 1 drugs - meaning they have no medical use and strong potential for abuse - to something more benign. That decision is expected by 23 September.

    The change would ease the path for researchers investigating whether marijuana can alleviate autism traits. Read on...

  • First biomarker evidence of DDT-autism link
  • A study of more than 1 million pregnancies in Finland reports that elevated levels of a metabolite of the banned insecticide DDT in the blood of pregnant women are linked to increased risk for autism in the offspring. An international research team led by investigators at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Department of Psychiatry published these results in the American Journal of Psychiatry. The study, conducted in collaboration with investigators at the University of Turku and the National Institute of Health and Welfare in Finland, is the first to connect an insecticide with risk for autism using maternal biomarkers of exposure.

    Researchers identified 778 cases of childhood autism among offspring born from 1987 to 2005 to women enrolled in the Finnish Maternity Cohort, representing 98 percent of pregnant women in Finland. They matched these mother-child pairs with control offspring of mothers and offspring without autism. Maternal blood taken during early pregnancy was analyzed for DDE, a metabolite of DDT, and PCBs, another class of environmental pollutants. Read on...

  • New study explains why genetic mutations cause disease in some people but not in others
  • Researchers at the New York Genome Center (NYGC) and Columbia University have uncovered a molecular mechanism behind one of biology's long-standing mysteries: why individuals carrying identical gene mutations for a disease end up having varying severity or symptoms of the disease. In this widely acknowledged but not well understood phenomenon, called variable penetrance, the severity of the effect of disease-causing variants differs among individuals who carry them.

    Reporting in the August 20 issue of Nature Genetics, the researchers provide evidence for modified penetrance, in which genetic variants that regulate gene activity modify the disease risk caused by protein-coding gene variants. The study links modified penetrance to specific diseases at the genome-wide level, which has exciting implications for future prediction of the severity of serious diseases such as cancer and autism spectrum disorder. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    My son has Marge Blanc as a speech therapist guiding his gestalt language development. We are looking for an undergrad SLP or OT major preferably. But experience is not needed. Anyone with desire to learn from the best and play with my son would be great. Again, No experience needed, flexible hours with loads of fun. Marge would train you directly. Must be okay to act like a kid. Must be okay with going to swim, Go hiking. Playing out movie roles. My son is sweet, kind and super smart, no behaviors. We are working on social skills and reciprocal language! Please contact me for an interview. Thank you!

    Seeking Educational Aid for First Grader at Private Catholic School
    Hours: 8:30-11:30, Monday thru Friday
    Location: Sacred Heart Parish School in Coronado
    Pay: $14 an hour

    We are seeking an educational aid for a spirited, loving first grader with ADHD to assist in maintaining attention and focus while completing school assignments. The ideal person would be very firm but kind. The child is currently medicated but still struggles with attention and focus to stay on task. Child also struggles with handwriting so assistance and help with that also required.The person would need to have good people skills and respect the classroom environment, working well with first grade teacher and her assistant with minimal guidance. Aid may be asked to assist with test-taking. The ideal candidate would be available August 22 start date (there is flexibility on this) Experience with spirited kids with ADHD or children with attention/focus and sensory integration issues would be very helpful! (There is some flexibility with hours.)

    Please text Christine at 858-405-7264 to set up a time to speak or email
    Thanks for your consideration!

    Hi we are a new family who is in the military and are moving to San Diego I wanted help with guidance on school system and ABA, speech and OT services. We will be living near Murphy Canyon.

    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.

  • Cara Lucier & Associates
  • At Cara Lucier & Associates we believe in the ability of every person to reach their potential. We believe that education is the key to opportunity. We advocate for the rights of individuals and their families:

    • IEP team meetings
    • Mediation
    • Due Process Hearings and Appeals
    • 504 Meetings and Appeals
    • Regional Center Meetings and Appeals
    • IHSS Appeals
    • Civil Rights Litigation
    For a free 60-minute initial consultation, please contact us at (760)505-2498.

    Law Offices of Cara Lucier
    Civil Rights and Education Law
    701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite #300
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    Phone: (760) 717-3451

  • *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 sign up for a once-a-week program for 4 consecutive weeks. Limited spots available.

    Program has been modified, with structured activities and social play to be facilitated by special education professionals and therapists.

    The first 4 week series will be held at the Kid Ventures indoor recreational play center in 4S Ranch on Thursdays in October from 5:00 - 6:30 pm. The dates are Oct 4, 11, 18 and 25.

    To register, or learn more - please contact NFAR at 858-679-8800. The program is free of charge but a credit card must be given to reserve your spot.

    Kid Ventures, 4S Ranch location
    10760 Thornmint Rd, San Diego, CA 92127

  • 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.

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123
    858 367-9108

  • school_supplies_desk.jpg

    Advocacy Excellence provides Advocacy Support for parents and their child/children. As a previous Education Specialist I know California Education Code, IDEA and the Americans Disability Act quite well.

    I work closely with the IEP Teams and ensure every Team I work with know I am there for the benefit of the student, and to make sure, "Their child has full access to their Education," and their child has "Full access to the General Education Core Curriculum."

    I offer a FREE one hour consultation, and my prices are affordable for all families in need.

    I look forward to speaking with any and all families in need of an Advocate who can explain all Special Education Policy and Procedure, as well as Special Education Law.

    My contact information is:
    Richard Spindler, MS

  • Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment
  • Experience a unique and effective approach to autism therapy.

    Our aim is to bring to families everywhere the most effective therapies for the treatment of autism. Our integrated care model is based on the scientific research and clinical practice of our founder, Dr. Suzanne Goh. We seek to set a new global standard for autism care by achieving superior developmental outcomes for the children and families we serve.

    At Cortica, we believe the world needs a higher standard of care for all those living with autism, or a potential diagnosis of autism. Families like yours deserve effective, collaborative, caring therapies that are accessible and reasonably priced, no matter who you are or where you live.

    The Cortica Care Model

    • Neurophysiology
    • Family and Home
    • Biochemistry
    • Cognition and Behavior
    • Sensorimotor
    • Communication
    Together, we clarify the complex, celebrate extraordinary efforts, and witness moments of brilliance as our children grow new skills and abilities. Many of our services are covered by medical insurance plans. Contact us for all the info!!!

    Cortica Care
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121
    16800 Aston, Suite 175
    Irvine, CA 92606

  • Sensory Sunday Family Time Featuring Craig Newton
  • Hosted by Autism Society San Diego and Mission Valley Library
    Sunday, September 16 at 11 AM - 12 PM
    Mission Valley Library
    2123 Fenton Pkwy, San Diego, California 92108

    In collaboration with the Autism Society of San Diego, Mission Valley Library welcomes families with children on the spectrum to a sensory-friendly program featuring musician Craig Newton. Recommended for children ages 3-9, Craig's show will feature a wide variety of instruments and songs that entertain and educate. Kids will also have a chance to use rhythm instruments, sing, clap, and dance. After the program, families can explore the library, check out items, or enjoy the sunny patio. Regular Sunday hours for the general public start at 12:30. No registration is required.

  • Accessibility Mornings at the New Children's Museum
  • Hosted by The New Children's Museum
    Saturday, August 25th at 8 AM - 9:30 AM
    The New Children's Museum
    200 W Island Ave, San Diego, California 92101

    Our next Accessibility Mornings Program is Saturday, August 25th from 8:00am to 9:30am. With a variety of high-sensory activities and designated sensory-break zones, our Accessibility Mornings give special needs families the opportunity to explore the Museum with comfort and safety before the Museum opens to the general public.

    Admission: $8 child; free for adults/caregivers
    Parking: $5 during program
    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Summer Sports Spectacular at Skyline Church
  • A FREE event designed especially for children and youth with special needs and their families, featuring: -over 9 different sports stations with accommodations for all levels

    -variety of sports themed crafts and activities

    -face painting, balloon art, snacks and MORE!

    September 15, 2018 10:00 am- 1:00 pm
    Skyline Church
    11330 Campo Road, La Mesa, CA 91941
    Pre-register at:

  • Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Driving
  • Total Program Costs is $650.00
    For more info and to reserve your spot, please call (858) 205-9809 or email

  • Camp Growth at BEE!
  • For all the info contact

  • San Diego Therapeutic Recreation Services Newsletter for Fall 2018
  • The City of San Diego Park & Recreation Therapeutic Recreation Services program provides sports, recreation, leisure and outreach services to people with physical, mental and emotional disabilities.

    Services include therapeutic recreation programs and adaptive sports opportunities. These address the special needs of individuals with disabilities who have difficulty accessing and participating in recreation opportunities offered to the general public.

    Fall Calendar

    Under the direction of Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialists, activities and services are designed to maintain or improve the physical, cognitive and social functioning of those who have limitations. The target population is children and adults, ages 3 and up, with any type of disability.

    For additional questions about Therapeutic Recreation Services, please call 619-525-8247.

  • SAM'S POSSE Exceptional Rodeo
  • Hosted by Sam's Posse and Poway Rodeo
    Saturday, September 29 at 10:30 AM - 12 PM
    14336 Tierra Bonita Rd, Poway, CA 92064-3028

    SAM'S POSSE has partnered with the wonderful folks from the Poway Rodeo to produce our first ever Exceptional Rodeo!!! This FREE event is open to kids with intellectual and physical disabilities from ages 5-18 and will take place at the Poway Rodeo arena on Saturday September 29th at 10:30am. Each participant will have a buddy to help them navigate through the events, which will include...Stick Pony Barrel Racing and Pole Bending...Not So Rough Stock Riding (manual bucking barrel)...and Roping.

    Also present will be Rodeo clown and Emcee JJ Harrison, Rodeo Queens, Princesses and professional Rodeo Cowboys and Cowgirls to assist and interact with the kids. Admission for spectators is FREE.

    Registration for participants will open on our website on July 1st. It is on a first come, first served basis and is limited to 50 participants. Visit for more information and to register.

  • Autism Speaks San Diego Walk October 2018
  • Sunday, October 21 at 8 AM - 1 PM
    Liberty Station NTC Park
    2455 Cushing Rd., San Diego, California 92106

    Register FREE for the San Diego Walk 10/21/18

    Event includes local service provider resources, sponsor booths, Kids Zone, live entertainment and a beautiful 5k walk along NTC park waterfront. More details will be announced as the date approaches.

    Gates opens at 8:00am (early registration)
    General registration at 9:00am
    Opening Ceremonies 10:00am
    Walk start time 10:30am
    Event activities are open until 1pm.
    #AutismSpeaks Walk Powered By Love

  • Autism Speaks San Diego North County Walk November 2018
  • Sunday, November 11 at 8 AM - 1 PM
    Mance Buchanon Park
    Oceanside, California

    Register FREE for the NEW North County Walk 11/11/18

    Event includes local service provider resources, sponsor booths, Kids Zone, live entertainment and a beautiful 5k walk around the park. More details will be announced as the day approaches.

    Gates opens at 8:00am (early registration)
    General registration at 9:00am
    Opening Ceremonies 10:00am
    Walk start time 10:30am
    Event activities are open until 1pm.
    #AutismSpeaks Walk Powered By Love

  • 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

  • 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
  • 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.

  • The National TACA Autism Conference

  • October 19-21, 2018
    Hilton Orange County Hotel
    Costa Mesa, CA

    Join hundreds of parents and professionals to learn the latest in research, treatment, and therapy options for individuals with autism. The National TACA Autism Conference will feature 3 days with 3 tracks of presentations to cover all aspects and levels of the autism journey. Topics will include special diets, therapies, beginner and advanced biomedical treatments, IEP, inspiration, and much more. Whether your child is recently diagnosed or you have years of experience, you will walk away from the conference with a plan for the next steps for your autism journey.

    For more information, to check out the schedule, and to register, click here:

  • 4th Annual Captain Conference on Supporting Inclusion
  • Saturday, October 27 at 8:30 AM - 3 PM
    Liberty Station Conference Center
    2600 Laning Rd, San Diego, California 92106
    $15 registration in advance - $30 at the door

    Learn about the research and practical guidelines for using evidence-based practices to promote inclusion throughout the lifespan.

    Breakout sessions will include:
    • Visual Supports for community settings
    • Social Skills Overview
    • Reinforcement and ABI: Easy Modifications
    • SUCCESS program
    • Peer Mediated Supports and Interventions
    • And more...
    Register at

  • Please keep SB 399 alive and sign this bill! Californians with autism deserve insurance funding for whichever evidence-based treatment method their doctors prescribe for THEM.

    Families seeking help for autism are regularly denied insurance coverage for physician-prescribed, treatment. The myth that ABA (Applied Behavioral Analysis) is the only scientific approach is simply not true. Families deserve to receive ANY of the evidence-based treatments their doctors believe would be helpful. A "one size fits all" method doesn't work for every patient... SB 399 ensures that families will have choices!

    Click here to view the petition and sign!!!

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) "Fever Effect" Pilot Study Enrollment Announced

  • Click here to view the flyer. For more info and to enroll please contact

    'This study is really interesting. So many times I have heard of kids who have great days just as they are coming down with a cold. Other times kids get cranky. This device can safely raise body temperature and maybe help some people. But it has to be looked at carefully, which is why we are doing this controlled pilot study. Please let us know if you want to try it!'

    Joshua D Feder, MD
    Child and Family Psychiatry

  • Brain Imaging Studies for all Ages with or without Autism

  • At SDSU!!! To find out more, please call 619-594-0176 or email BDIL@SDSU.EDU.


    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.