Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 04, 2018

In This Issue

Depression strikes nearly one in five young adults with autism: study

Study quantifies prevalence of autism in India

Navigating the Road to Adulthood: One Family's Story

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2018

Be Proactive NOT Reactive

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

Welcome to our SDSC TOPSoccer Program!

Apply for NFAR's Teachers Grants Program - Due September 30th!

Make Sure Your Child's Supplemental Aides, Services Accommodations and Modifications Are In Place On the First Day of School

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

North Park Pub Crawl Benefiting Home of Guiding Hands

Social Stories for Many Museums in Balboa Park!

Outshine Speech Therapy!

ATPF Musical Playgroup

Fall Family Camp

Include Autism's Casino Night September 13th!!!

Jeremiah's Ranch September Newsletter


  • Depression strikes nearly one in five young adults with autism: study
  • Depression affects almost 20 percent of young adults with autism, new research shows, a rate that's more than triple that seen in the general population.

    And young adults with autism who were relatively high-functioning -meaning they did not have intellectual disabilities-were actually at higher risk of depression than people with more severe forms of autism, British researchers found.

    In the study, this higher-functioning subgroup was more than four times as likely to suffer from depression, compared to people without autism.

    People with autism without intellectual disabilities "may be particularly prone to depression because of greater awareness of their difficulties," the researchers theorized. Read on...

  • Study quantifies prevalence of autism in India

  • About 1 in 100 children in India under age 10 has autism, and nearly 1 in 8 has at least one neurodevelopmental condition. The estimates are based on the first rigorous study of its kind in the country.

    The estimate for neurodevelopmental conditions is about 10 times higher than the 1.3 percent reported in India's 2011 census.

    "That [was] a gross underestimation," says Narendra Arora, executive director of the INCLEN Trust International, who led the new study1. "This [new estimate] requires public health action." Read on...

  • Navigating the Road to Adulthood: One Family's Story
  • Ruth Dunigan is proud. Her son, David, is excelling at a full-time job and managing his money well enough to buy his first vehicle, a silver Jeep Liberty.

    Those may seem like average things for a 25-year-old, but David is not average.

    David is among a tidal wave of people with autism who have made the transition from school to adulthood recently.1,2 His generation has had to navigate school and disability systems that have been scrambling to keep up with them. Their births in the 1990s marked the beginning of skyrocketing autism rates. From the year David was born, to the year he graduated high school, the number of American children receiving special education for autism grew by more than 25-fold. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

    Congregation Beth Am, in Carmel Valley, is looking for an inclusion specialist to oversee it's program on Sunday mornings, Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon's. They are also looking for candidates to hire to shadow students with special needs. If interested please contact Rabbi Earne at Congregation Beth Am Or phone the JLC (Jewish Learning Center), 858-481-2869.

    I'm looking for music classes for my 10 year old Autistic Son. I would like to go to the studio if it's close to where I live which is in Rancho Bernardo Area or Carmel Mountain Area.
    Thank you

    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.

  • Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 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:

    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
    Autism Speaks Walk Powered By Love

    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 varity of gifts based on achieving fundraising milestones. Raise $150 earn the official 2018 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.

  • Be Proactive NOT Reactive
  • Does this sound familiar?

    The school year starts off pretty well. But a few weeks in and your child starts experiencing the same social difficulties as last year.

    Your child says he has friends but isn't invited to any get-togethers. Maybe he's entering middle school and old friends seem to have disappeared. He's spending more and more time playing video games and beginning to refuse to participate in activities. You aren't getting calls for playdates. Maybe your daughter is experiencing bullying.

    It's painful to see your kid struggle and know that something isn't working but not know what to do differently. You aren't sure what to tell your kid and truth is they probably wouldn't listen to you even if you knew what to say.

    We can help.

    At SCS we create customized groups that teach kids and teens how to be socially competent. We help them learn to develop new perspectives and increase their ability to consider the perspectives of others. We don't teach rote social skills, but rather the concepts, skills and mindset that allows kids to apply what they've learned at school, home and beyond. Kids learn to be more socially competent in a fun, supportive and energetic learning environment.

    The start of a new school year is the perfect time to schedule a free consultation. Customized groups are being formed now that will allow your child to start developing the skills needed for success today. Don't wait for things to get more difficult mid-semester.

    Groups start the week of September 10th. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, please contact Janet Dudley at or call 858-558-9552.

    Social Communication Specialists
    5703 Oberlin Dr, Ste 207
    San Diego, CA 92121

  • Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!
  • Real Connections Child Development Institute
    Supporting and partnering with families of children on the autism spectrum through understanding, engagement and relationships.

    Developmental Play Therapy - 1:1 developmental therapy in your child's natural environment. Evidenced- based, emotional, cognitive and neurobiological therapy that assists your child in developing meaningful relationships.

    Parent Coaching & Support - Real-time training and education in your child's individual profile. Learn new ways to engage and connect, while focusing on communicative and cognitive/ social emotional development. Maximize your child's developmental growth through both daily interactions and parent-child intervention sessions.

    A "Whole Child" Program

    • Flexible Thinking
    • Problem Solving
    • Scripting
    • Perserveration
    • Meltdowns
    • Executive Function Skills
    • Regulation
    • Sensory Integration
    • Spatial Processing
    • Individualized Program
    Real Connections San Diego
    415 North Highway 101, Suite C
    Solana Beach, CA 92075
    619-840-0015 or 858-768-0313

  • Welcome to our SDSC TOPSoccer Program!
  • Fall 2018 Dates
    Sundays, September 9 - November 18

    Rancho Bernardo High School Stadium
    13010 Paseo Lucido
    San Diego, CA 92128
    Cost: $20

    We welcome all challenged athletes and their families who love playing soccer to enjoy our spring and fall sessions. In addition, we provide opportunities for our TOPSoccer athletes to participate in soccer festivals and tournaments year-round, including one of SDSC and San Diego's biggest tournaments, the Pegasus Cup.

    Click here for all the info and to register or ask questions!!!

  • Apply for NFAR's Teachers Grants Program - Due September 30th!
  • 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. These awards give educators a vehicle for funding technology, social skills training, developing effective communication skills for verbal and non-verbal students, as well as reducing sensory and behavioral issues that interfere with learning.

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

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

    Apply or learn more!

  • Make Sure Your Child's Supplemental Aides, Services Accommodations and Modifications Are In Place On the First Day of School
  • school_supplies_desk.jpg

    As a previous Special Educator and Graduate Professor in the field of Special Education, emphasizing in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I am noticing a trend in our Public Schools. Public Schools are slowly phasing out Special Day Classes (SDC), whether they are Non Severely Handicapped (NSH) or Severely Handicapped (SH).

    This new trend, as all changes do, has pros and cons. Full Inclusion to the General Education Classroom can be a great opportunity for your Special Needs Child to socialize with their A-Typical, age and grade appropriate peers, and allow your child Full Access to the General Education Curriculum as well as Full Access to their Education.

    However, Special Needs students are now in a classroom with 30+ students and the teachers, as dedicated as they may be, are not educated in the field of Special Education. With this situation I can't help but wonder, how will Parents be guaranteed their Child's IEP will be implemented in the General Education Classroom? The IEP runs the student's program, not the other way around. Since an IEP is a Federally Legal Document the Goals, and in some cases Short-Term Objectives, Modifications and Accommodations should be in place in the General Ed. Environment.

    Your child's Case Manager is responsible to ensure everything written above is in place. I now work as an Educational Parent Advocate. I have observed on several occasions, the IEP, Supplemental Aides, Modifications and Accommodations are in fact, not in place. In addition the Goals and Short-Term Objectives are not running the student's Program, the Teacher's lesson plan is. The student(s) I am representing as an Educational Parent Advocate often are quietly sitting at their desks, not wanting to call attention to themselves, and are not participating in academics or interacting with their A-Typical Peers.

    To be clear, this is most times not the fault of the General Education Teacher. I find the root of the problem to be overwhelmed Case Managers with many students on their case loads, lack of time to meet with each teacher to review all of the Special Needs Student's IEPs, and most of all, Lack Of Communication. To ensure a successful school experience for Special Needs Students, communication between the Program Specialist, Case Manager, General Education Teachers and Parents is key. This way Case Managers can offer support to the General Education Teachers and Program Specialists can advise and support Case Managers and General Education Teachers. Finally, parents, perhaps the most important members of the IEP Team, need to be included in the communication process. This type of communication between parents and school can be implemented through a Teacher's web-site and/or e-mail, a daily Communication Log or by phone. In my experience as a Special Educator, Administrator and Parent Advocate when these steps are taken, Special Needs students and their Parents will find school to be a safe and welcoming environment.

    Of course, it will take time to make trusting, open, honest relationships with all of the players involved. However, with dedication, determination, and desire all of what is necessary to make sure your child is set up for success in school, can and will happen. If you have any questions, concerns or have a need for an Educational Parent Advocate, please feel free to send an e-mail to: or call me at 619-341-3595. As an Advocate I focus completely on the success of your child and make sure the IEP Team is following all Policies and Procedures as well as Special Education Law. I am happy to give a FREE one hour consultation to all perspective clients. I look forward to answering any questions you may have.

    Richard Spindler, M/S
    Educational Parent Advocate
    Graduate Professor

  • 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

  • North Park Pub Crawl Benefiting Home of Guiding Hands
  • Hosted by Home of Guiding Hands

    Crawl with us - Saturday, September 15th from 1:00 - 5:00 pm in North Park. Start at North Park Beer Co with food and drinks, next try your chance at trivia at Mike Hess Brewing, crawl around the corner to Waypoint Public and finish the afternoon with darts and pool at True North.

    Tickets: $50 per person
    - Price includes 1 FREE drink at each location
    - Appetizers at select locations
    - Pub Crawl t-shirt
    - Pub Crawl pint glass
    - Ticket to enter the raffle drawing Locations

    Your participation supports more than 3,200 infants, children and adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities.

    Contact Jessica Brandon, Special Events Manager, at or 619-938-2854 for more information

  • Social Stories for Many Museums in Balboa Park!
  • Social stories (in English and Spanish) for 7 museums in Balboa Park (The Nat, The Fleet, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Man, San Diego History Center, and Japanese Friendship Garden) are available online. These were created by young adults with autsim as part of the SPECTRUM Social Stories Project here at The Nat.

  • Outshine Speech Therapy!
  • Services are provided to clients: in-home, after school programs, Preschool, and other settings as needed by parent request and client needs. We can collaborate or overlap with other service provider and ABA providers to assist in generalization of gained skills.

    Bilingual Farsi and English speech therapy is available in Carlsbad and Encinitas.

    Please call us for free consultations. (760) 410-8487

    Please request from your service coordinators for our services.

  • ATPF Musical Playgroup
  • You and your family are invited to join us! We will learn valuable interaction, communication, and social skills through group music making in a fun and friendly environment. The ATPF playgroups are facilitated by board-certified music therapists from the music Therapy Center of California.

    Ready to make some music? Register today! Call 619-222-4465 or Email

  • Fall Family Camp
  • Hosted by Autism Society San Diego
    Oct 5 - Oct 8, 2018
    YMCA Camp Marston
    4761 Pine Hills Rd, Julian, California 92036

    Join us for our Fall Family Camp on Friday,October 5th through Sunday, October 7th! The YMCA of San Diego County Overnight Camps and Autism Society San Diego have teamed up to provide families who are part of the autism community with a fun weekend in the mountains of Julian. Family time is important and there's no better place to make friends and be yourself than YMCA Camp Marston! All meals and activities are included, and we can accommodate special diets with advanced notice. Accommodations are in newly remodeled winterized cabins with indoor plumbing! Each family gets their own indoor bedroom with sleeping accommodations for up to 6. Open to families and children of all ages - come join us for a weekend of relaxing fun!

    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Include Autism's Casino Night September 13th!!!
  • Join us for an exclusive night out in Downtown San Diego for a Casino Night benefiting Include Autism. This exciting event will be held at Meze Greek Fusion on Thursday, September 13th at 8PM, bringing together leaders in the hospitality and nightlife industries as well as community members from all over San Diego as they raise money for Include Autism and its programs. The evening will consist of casino games, the world's only Magician and Certified Sommelier Ben Silver, drinks, food, raffle prizes, and more! It's an event you won't want to miss!


  • Jeremiah's Ranch September Newsletter
  • Click here for all the info about their upcoming events and news!!

  • ASD Mornings at theNAT
  • Social stories (in English and Spanish) for 7 museums in Balboa Park (The Nat, The Fleet, Museum of Photographic Arts, San Diego Museum of Art, Museum of Man, San Diego History Center, and Japanese Friendship Garden) are available online. These were created by young adults with autsim as part of the SPECTRUM Social Stories Project here at The Nat.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.