Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 03, 2019

In This Issue

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Motor difficulties forecast language troubles in autism

UVa researching differences in autism diagnosis in boys, girls

There's no evidence caesarean sections cause autism or ADHD

Meet N.J.'s newest downtown. It's designed for kids and adults with special needs.

Best Ways to Help Kids Build Social and Verbal Skills

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety - Back to School 10% Discount!

Adult Information and Support Meeting: Justice Works with ARC of San Diego

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2019

Hope For Your Struggling Communicator

Mingle - September 18th!

Lights! Camera! Autism! - September 21st!

An Autism Parent's Guide to Back to School | August Newsletter

5th Annual CAPTAIN Conference

Announcing Statewide Conference on the Self-Determination Program - November 15-16!!!

Opportunity Night at ARTC on September 4th

Home of Guiding Hands 2nd Annual North Park Pub Crawl

New 2020 Trip Schedule

Bowling Meetup for Adults with Autism

Adaptive Dance with ATPF at Tap Fever Studios


Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

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!

  • Motor difficulties forecast language troubles in autism
  • Children with autism who speak few words and have trouble manipulating objects tend to remain minimally verbal as they reach adulthood. Researchers presented the unpublished results today at the 2018 International Society for Autism Research annual meeting in Rotterdam, the Netherlands.

    About half of children with autism are slow to learn and understand speech, and roughly one in three adults is minimally verbal.

    The new findings may help clinicians predict which language-delayed children with autism will continue to have those problems later in life. Read on...

  • UVa researching differences in autism diagnosis in boys, girls
  • A University of Virginia research team is tackling one of the most consistent and puzzling findings about autism spectrum disorder: Why are four times more boys diagnosed as having autism than girls?

    "Is it that girls with autism express it differently and are therefore missed by diagnosis, or are there protective factors in their development that help them avoid developing autism?" said Kevin Pelphrey, a member of UVa's Brain Institute with joint appointments in the School of Medicine and the Curry School of Education & Human Development.

    Pelphrey, a neuroscientist, is in the midst of an ambitious project to meld data from brain scans of people with autism; gene sequencing; and long-term studies of boys and girls with autism as they move from childhood to adulthood. Read on...

  • There's no evidence caesarean sections cause autism or ADHD
  • A new study that combines data from over 20 million births has found that a cesarean section delivery is associated with autism spectrum disorder (autism) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

    However, the study does not indicate that cesarean section deliveries cause autism or ADHD. The truth is much more difficult to decipher, and provides an excellent case study for the old adage that correlation doesn't equal causation. Read on...

  • Meet N.J.'s newest downtown. It's designed for kids and adults with special needs.
  • Go to the bank, stop by the grocery store, have a seat in the movie theater or swing by the pet store to visit the hamsters.

    It's a typical day downtown, but this town can't be found on the streets of any New Jersey city. It's all in LifeTown, an indoor downtown replica created to teach children and young adults with special needs how to navigate the everyday world.

    The multimillion-dollar project will be launching on Sept. 9 with a grand opening ceremony for the public, at the LifeTown building in Livingston.

    The Life Village is the downtown replica that's at the center of LifeTown's 53,000-square-foot building. It provides a safe and controlled environment for children and young adults to work on life skills in a more realistic setting.

    "What we want to do is create a space where it's easy for those with special needs and the wider outside community to interact and learn from each other," said Rabbi Zalman Grossbaum, executive director of Friendship Circle. Read on...

  • Best Ways to Help Kids Build Social and Verbal Skills
  • Children with autism spectrum disorder can sometimes find communication and social interaction difficult, and parents can feel shut out. But caregivers can make a big difference in opening the door to communication-and part of it might boil down to meat and potatoes. Why are we bringing dinner into the discussion? Keep reading!

    Changing the way parents talk to their children at mealtime, bath time, and during other daily routines can lay the groundwork for the social and verbal skills children with autism need. Making small changes to basic conversations that families already have at home can help children with autism get that extra push they need to build new social and communication skills.

    These three simple steps can lay the foundation for a healthy and vibrant life. 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

    San Diego Futures - I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of this organization because it can be a helpful resource to families in need of computers and other technology who may not have the resources they need to secure technology for their homes. If anyone needs a laptop or desktop and cannot afford one, please consider reaching out to this group. Desktops and laptops are available at VERY low prices for eligible families.

    Great Opportunity for College Student Interested in Autism
    Caregiver Wanted

    Looking for a female caregiver for my 23 year old adult daughter with high functioning autism. 13 hours per $17/hour. Assist with prompting to encourage laundry, good hygiene, nutrition, assist with food shopping, meal prep and medication refills/adherence. Also needs support at times with managing schoolwork and planning. Must have reliable transportation, good DMV record, proof of insurance and be willing to complete a background check. References also required. Most important is a positive, supportive attitude with good boundaries! She resides in Carlsbad and hours would mostly occur on weekdays after 4:00 PM and weekends. Contact Debra Berl at or 619 672-8893 to apply.

    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.

  • FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety - Back to School 10% Discount!
  • Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent! Back-To-School 10% Discount!!!

    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

  • Adult Information and Support Meeting: Justice Works with ARC of San Diego
  • Tuesday, September 10, 2019
    6:00 PM to 8:00 PM
    United Way Building
    4699 Murphy Canyon Rd ยท San Diego, CA 92123

    Are you one of many in our community who are concerned about what could happen when an adult family member with autism has an encounter with first responders, law enforcement or our justice system?

    The Autism Society San Diego is collaborating with the ARC of San Diego to bring a new, pilot program to San Diego called Justice Works.

    Jennifer Bates Navarra serves as the Vice President of Marketing & Development and Craig Gow is Director of Behavioral Services for The Arc of San Diego. They are the Co-leaders for the Justice Works pilot in San Diego.

    We welcome all community members who are interested in issues facing autistic adults to attend our meeting. For more info about the program:

  • Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2019

  • Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 9 AM - 1 PM
    Liberty Station NTC Park
    2455 Cushing Rd., San Diego, California 92106

    SAVE THE DATE and REGISTER Today! Walk site is open for individual and team registrations for the 2019 Autism Speaks' San Diego Walk on 10/5/2019

    Event includes local service provider resources, sponsor booths, Kids Zone, live entertainment and a beautiful 5k walk along NTC park waterfront.

    General registration at 9:00am
    Opening Ceremonies 10:00am
    Walk start time 10:30am
    Event activities are open until 1pm.

    Register as an individual walker or start a team!
    Teams will get to compete in friendly team competions and challenges leading up to the event. Teams who raise $2500 or more are eligible for Team Village. Individuals can qualify for a variety of gifts based on achieving fundraising milestones. Raise $150 earn the official 2019 Autism Speaks Walk shirt, exclusively designed by Tommy Hilfiger!

    Event is FREE to register but fundraising is encouraged! Our walks are the major fundraising vehicle for Autism Speaks. Funds raised are critical to continue providing support to thousands of individuals locally, nationally and around the world.

  • Hope For Your Struggling Communicator
  • Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    RBCPC 17010 Pomerado Rd, San Diego, CA 92128

    Do you have a loved one with Autism who is a struggling communicator. There is hope. You may be curious, what is Spelling to Communicate? S2C teaches individuals with motor challenges the purposeful motor skills necessary to point to letters to spell as an alternative means of communication (AAC). The goal is to achieve synchrony between the brain and body. Skilled and rigorously trained communication partners teach purposeful motor skills using a hierarchy of verbal and gestural prompts. As motor skills improve through consistent practice, students progress from pointing to letters on letterboards to spell to typing on a keyboard. Accordingly, communication moves from concrete to abstract as motor skills progress. At this TACA presentation Dawnmarie will review all the fundamentals and more of S2C. Join us!

    Dawnmarie Gaivin is a San Diego based S2C Practitioner who comes to us with a background in nursing, DIR/Floortime and parenting two spectacular teenage boys, Evan & Trey. Evan (16) is a nonspeaking autistic who spells to communicate and his younger brother Trey (14) is a minimally-speaking autistic who is currently learning S2C. Click here for all the info!!!

  • Mingle - September 18th!
  • Wednesday, September 18, 2019
    6 PM - 9 PM
    Rockin' Baja Lobster - Old Town
    3890 Twiggs St, San Diego, California 92110

    Join us for Mingle, where we bring parents, families, and professionals in the special needs community together for an evening to mingle, socialize, and make new connections while sharing our collective experiences and resources. At Mingle we have facilitated introductions, highlight community organizations, and feature a non-profit (Excelsior Academy) and other resources (FITS OT, Therapy Changes, RiteCare, and Rogers Behavioral Health). Click here for all the info!!!

  • Lights! Camera! Autism! - September 21st!
  • FOR INFORMATION AND TICKET PURCHASE, CLICK HERE -- $20 in advance--$35 at the door

    Join us for an evening of celebration as we showcase the artistic talent of local autistic individuals! Your ticket includes a hosted wine, beer and appetizer reception during our art exhibition featuring 19 artists. A classical musical performance by pianist Michael Dendel will also accompany the art reception. Then join us for screenings of films produced and starring autistic individuals, including: the short film Ascent by Canyon Crest Academy students; short clips and post-production vignettes by Exceptional Minds of Los Angeles; and our feature film for the event, Autism Goes to College!

    This special evening is designed for persons over 14 years of age.

  • An Autism Parent's Guide to Back to School | August Newsletter
  • Click here to read their August Newsletter!!!

  • 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!!!

  • Announcing Statewide Conference on the Self-Determination Program - November 15-16!!!
  • Click here for all the info and to register. Cost is $195, but is vendored by SDRC and the conference is in Culver City, CA!

  • Opportunity Night at ARTC on September 4th

    Are you a professional who is passionate about Autism? If so, and you'd like to learn about opportunities in our collaborative care environment in Rancho Bernardo or you'd like to network with others in the autism community, join us for an informative meeting at Autism Resource & Treatment Center. Pizza and drinks will be provided and you'll get to tour our center that will open in October. ARTC provides resources and treatments to all ages on the autism spectrum. Click here or all the info and to RSVP!!!

  • Home of Guiding Hands 2nd Annual North Park Pub Crawl
  • It's Time to Crawl!
    Home of Guiding Hands 2nd Annual North Park Pub Crawl
    September 14th, 2019
    $50 per person

    Includes: 1 Free Drink at each location, appetizers at select locations, Pub Crawl t-shirt, pint glass and more!!!


    • 1-2 Mike Hess Brewing
    • 2-3:30 True North Tavern
    • 3:30-5 North Park Beer Co.
    Register here:

  • New 2020 Trip Schedule
  • Click here to view their latest newsletter for all the info about upcoming events and trips for adults with special needs!!!

  • Bowling Meetup for Adults with Autism
  • Friday, September 6th at 3 PM - 5 PM
    Kearny Mesa Bowl
    7585 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, California 92111

    We invite adults on the autism spectrum who are 18 and older to join us for a bowling meetup on the first Friday of the month at 3:00 PM at Kearny Mesa Bowl! Cost is $9 per bowler. Adults who require assistance must bring a responsible helper of their own. Please RSVP so we can get an accurate head count. We hope you can join us!

    If you have any questions or need more info, please contact Megan Christian at

  • Adaptive Dance with ATPF at Tap Fever Studios
  • Saturday. September 7th at 3 PM - 4 PM
    Tap Fever Studios
    2146 Garnet Avenue, San Diego, California 92109

    Join us at Tap Fever on Saturday, September 7th, to have some fun and express ourselves through dance!

    There are only 10 spots available, so sign up today to reserve a spot for your dancer!

    Details: Only available for children ages 5-15. No outside shoes are allowed on the dance floor. Dancers will be asked to either dance barefoot or with socks. Please, no food or drinks inside the studio (Water is okay!).

    To sign up please click here to fill out the form!!!

    If you have any questions feel free to contact or call us at the office at 619-222-4465.

  • 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

  • San Diego Park and Rec Program for the Disabled Fall Calendar

  • Click here for the Fall 2019 program calendar. Registration is open now!

    Registration can be done online at or at our office at the War Memorial Building (3325 Zoo Drive, San Diego, Ca 92101)

  • 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.