Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. August 25, 2018

In This Issue

Visualizing Life With Autism

First signs of autism appear in infancy

CDC Expands Autism Monitoring Efforts

Who Should Pick Up The Tab For Postsecondary Programs?

Video Games: The Good And The Bad for Aspies

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Cara Lucier & Associates

Autistic Adult Social Support Group

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

Family Fun at theNAT!

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Your Special Needs Wellness and Travel Newsletter

*NEW* Engage & Connect Program - 4 Week Series

Summer Sports Spectacular at Skyline Church

Cognitive Behavioral Intervention for Driving


San Diego Therapeutic Recreation Services Newsletter for Fall 2018

Want to Learn More About AAC??



  • Visualizing Life With Autism
  • Growing up in Hell's Kitchen, Erin Lefevre realized that her younger brother Liam was "a little bit different from everyone else."

    He was constantly in and out of doctors' offices as an infant. At 3 years old, he was told he was on the autism spectrum.

    Ms. Lefevre had a hard time articulating her brother's condition when she was a child. But today she is perfectly comfortable raising the issue. So much so that she has been sharing intimate moments from Liam's everyday life through her documentary project "Liam's World." Read on...

  • First signs of autism appear in infancy
  • Babies who show lower levels of brain activity in response to social stimuli such as peek-a-boo are more likely to be diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), according to research involving UCL.

    Academics from Birkbeck, University of London, University of Cambridge, King's College London and UCL used neuroimaging technology (functional near infrared spectroscopy-fNIRS) to measure the brain activity of infants aged four to six months, contrasting infants who have increased familial likelihood of developing ASD with those without a family link to ASD.

    They studied how the infants' brain activity changed in response to 'social' videos, such as people playing peek-a-boo or incy-wincy spider and the sounds of yawning or laughter, with 'non-social' images of objects such as cars. They also measured the babies' brain activity in response to human vocalisations (coughing, yawning, crying and laughing) compared to non-human sounds such as bells and running water. Read on...

  • CDC Expands Autism Monitoring Efforts
  • For the first time, the government's autism surveillance network will begin factoring the experiences of teenagers with the developmental disorder.

    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently seeking out research centers to participate in the next round of regular autism tracking efforts through its Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring Network.

    Traditionally, the CDC has selected researchers at sites across the country to comb through health and educational records for 8-year-olds in their areas to assess how many qualify for an autism diagnosis. This data is then used to estimate autism prevalence, which was pegged at 1 in 59 children in the latest count released this spring. Read on...

  • Who Should Pick Up The Tab For Postsecondary Programs?
  • Disability advocates are calling on federal education officials to clear up what they say is misleading information that's keeping students with intellectual disabilities from being able to attend postsecondary programs.

    In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos this month, 71 advocacy groups and other stakeholders from across the country said guidance is needed to clarify that funding available under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and through vocational rehabilitation can be used to pay for transition programs offered on college campuses.

    "This guidance is critically important to support the goals of postsecondary education, employment and independent living for these students," the letter states. Read on...

  • Video Games: The Good And The Bad for Aspies
  • Once upon a time, there was a guy who didn't like to go outside. That guy was me. Being outside scared me, not in the literal sense of the phrase, but I did feel uneasy when I wasn't in my house. I had a good time once in a while, but there were times when I said "That's it, enough for me," and went back, took a bath and sat down on the computer.

    While I don't consider myself a gamer, I certainly enjoy playing video games, and if they're in the tower defense category, I can easily spend one or two hours on it, maybe more. I've never thought seriously about the subject, never gave it that much attention, but I've been feeling better these days, I've been resting more, feeling better in the mornings, and have more appetite.

    The reason? I'm playing video games a little more often. 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

  • Autistic Adult Social Support Group
  • Hosted by Autism Society San Diego
    Saturday, September 8 at 6 PM - 8 PM
    Autism Society San Diego
    4699 Murphy Canyon Rd, San Diego, California 92123

    Join us for our Autistic Adult Social Support Group! We will meet at our office at the United Way Building in San Diego. We will have a separate space for caregivers and support people to meet as well.

    This group is a place for autistic adults to come together for support and understanding. Make new friends, share questions and concerns, and get support from your peers, in a non judgmental and accepting atmosphere. This group is a open to all adults with autism as well as any support people that you require to participate successfully. We look forward to seeing you!

  • 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

  • Family Fun at theNAT!
  • Join us at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) on Sunday, Oct.14th for a morning of discovery & fun!

    TheNAT is planning some special activities for our families, including a sensory-friendly 2D film that morning!

    SPECIAL: TheNat is offering our participants FREE admission for ASD Morning until 9:45am. Doors open at 9am. (After 9:45am are regular admission prices at $19/adult and $12/child).

    We hope that you can make it! Please RSVP here:

  • 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

  • Your Special Needs Wellness and Travel Newsletter
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info!!!

  • *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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Want to Learn More About AAC??
  • Click here to apply for this program!

  • 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.

  • 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.