Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 06, 2019

In This Issue

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DNA deletion boosts odds of autism, especially in girls

Nike Embracing Universal Design

How much behavioral therapy does an autistic child need?

Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Erasure of Severe Autism

Perception Matters: The Interesting Impact of Autism on Marriage

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

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

CONNECTIONS Monday Classes

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2019

NFAR Men's Group - September

Mingle - September 18th!

TAG Temecula Info Session Online Webinar Every Month

Game Night at Club Beacons, Sept. 14th!

5th Annual CAPTAIN Conference

D'Vine Path's 1st annual Soiree is going to be something VERY special!

Presentation for Special Needs Parents!

Home of Guiding Hands 2nd Annual North Park Pub Crawl

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

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

We are also seeking nominations for San Diego Champion of the Year!


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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!

  • DNA deletion boosts odds of autism, especially in girls
  • The loss of 21 genes on chromosome 3 substantially raises the risk of autism, a new study suggests1.

    The so-called 3q29 deletion increases schizophrenia risk by as much as 40-fold, but also appears to increase the risk of autism by 16-fold in males and 34-fold in females.

    The deletion is associated with some social problems - but not reduced social motivation - as well as repetitive behaviors and restricted interests even among people who do not have autism. The research is based on data from 93 people with the variant, the largest such group studied so far. Read on...

  • Nike Embracing Universal Design
  • With a new shoe built from the ground up to be accessible for people with disabilities, Nike is working with a major professional athlete to prove that inclusive styles are meant for everyone.

    The athletic-wear giant said it's rolling out the latest incarnation in its FlyEase lineup - which features easy entry and exit and other accessibility features - this fall. The shoe, called the Nike Air Zoom UNVRS, utilizes a new system to ensure that a broad base of people can independently take it on and off. Read on...

  • How much behavioral therapy does an autistic child need?
  • In 1987, psychologist Ole Ivar Lovaas reported that the optimal 'dose' for an autism therapy he had developed was 40 hours a week. The intensive therapy, a type of applied behavior analysis (ABA), led to "normal" functioning for 9 of 19 children with autism in his study, he said1. Just 10 hours of the therapy produced small benefits. Small controlled trials of Lovaas' therapy, however, did not fully replicate his findings on dose2,3.

    The form of ABA Lovaas tested has become the most widely used autism therapy - despite controversy about its approach and findings - and 40 hours became a treatment goal for many families. ABA agencies typically market services at that intensity. And this year, that goal was formalized by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board, which recommended 30 to 40 hours of treatment per week for autistic children who need help in several areas, such as cognition, communication or social functioning. (They recommend fewer hours for children with fewer needs.)

    Receiving 40 hours of weekly therapy is essentially a full-time job for a 3-year-old. Read on...

  • Out of Sight, Out of Mind: The Erasure of Severe Autism
  • Three recent studies have demonstrated that research has been increasingly marginalizing individuals with severe forms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    In an article published last month in JAMA Psychiatry, Rodgaard and colleagues examined the scientific literature from 53 years, 1966 through 2019, to determine if and how the differences between ASD subjects and control (normal) subjects changed over time. The authors also examined how these changes correspond to changing definitions of ASD and the associated increases of those diagnosed with ASD.

    They found that the differences between those with and without ASD has decreased over time, in other words from what was once a homogenous group to a heterogenous one. This is worrisome, they said, because the growing heterogeneity may create challenges for research. They said: Read on...

  • Perception Matters: The Interesting Impact of Autism on Marriage
  • While a great deal of research can be found on how autism symptoms affect a child diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and interventions to manage these symptoms, there is far less research addressing how autism symptoms affect the marital relationship.

    What limited research there is on the topic primarily reports negative outcomes for married couples with an ASD child such as increased stress levels, lower marital satisfaction, and increased risk of divorce compared to married couples without an ASD child.

    While a number of factors can contribute to increased stress levels, lower marital satisfaction and increased risk of divorce in any marital relationship, this research study specifically explores whether the severity of an ASD child's symptoms in any way affects a parent's level of marital satisfaction with consideration of gender differences between the mother and the father. 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.

    I have a very experienced and amazing therapist that wants to start a social group with at least 3 autistic children. We would want the kids between the ages of 10-12 years old, have language, minimal behaviors but struggle with social interactions at school. This will be a fun group that will go to places and do age-appropriate activities. The cost will be $40 for 2-hours per person and the plan so far is to do it once a week, but I need to have at least two other kiddos to make it happen.

    Please contact me via email at if you are interested

    One of my son's caregivers (who I highly recommend) is looking for additional part-time hours, ideally 3-4 days per week, and is available now. She has a bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Child Development and loves working with kids of all abilities. Her career path includes working in Special Education classrooms as an assistant teacher. She is experienced in working with individuals with Autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and speech impairments.

    She owns a vehicle, has a clean driving record, and is both CPR and First Aid certified. Additional positive attributes include:

    Fluency in Spanish
    A patient, kind demeanor
    Ability to adapt easily and highly organized

    The days and times she is available are:
    Monday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Tuesday 6:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Thursday 6:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Her rate is $20/hr. Please call or text her at (507) 217-0583 for more information.
    Tracey Franks

    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

  • CONNECTIONS Monday Classes
  • Our next set of classes for CONNECTIONS, which is designed for teens on the Autism Spectrum, begins on Monday, September 23rd, from 4:30-6:00 pm.

    We still have several spaces left for this amazing, fun class. Please pass the word to anyone who might be interested.

    For more information, check out:

    This Fall we will be adding another CONNECTIONS class for kids, ages 9-12. Please contact us if you have interest in this program at:

  • 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.

  • NFAR Men's Group - September
  • Thursday, September 12, 2019
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123
    Dinner: Pizza, Salad.
    Dinner is provided

    The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    September Topic: Helping Others Understand What it is Like to Have Autism

    Cheyenne is determined to share her firsthand experiences and opinions in an effort to give insight into daily challenges and common experiences people with autism may experience. She speaks about her strengths and challenges, as well as strategies that have helped her overcome obstacles in her life.

    For parents of recently diagnosed or young children with autism, Cheyenne's message is full of hope. For family members, and caregivers, Cheyenne's insights will change the way you think of your relationships with people with autism. Cheyenne strongly promotes a culture of neurodiversity and invites us to see the world from her own uniquely amazing perspective.

    Guest Speaker: Cheyenne Cyr

    Cheyenne Cyr is a 20 year old college student, from Vista California. She currently attends Vista Adult Transition Center, takes journalism courses at Palomar Community College, works part time, and enjoys a wide variety of hobbies and interests. As a young adult on the autism spectrum, Cheyenne is dedicated to helping people understand more about this condition and being an autism advocate.

  • 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!!!

  • TAG Temecula Info Session Online Webinar Every Month
  • For all the info and to RSVP please contact Emily Fattouh Program Coordinator at or call 858-689-2027.

  • Game Night at Club Beacons, Sept. 14th!
  • For all the info and to RSVP please go to

  • 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!!!

  • D'Vine Path's 1st annual Soiree is going to be something VERY special!
  • For all the info and to purchase your tickets, please click here!!!

  • Presentation for Special Needs Parents!
  • FREE workshop September 18, 2019!!

    So excited for this brand new presentation for special needs parents!

    Eventbrite link

  • 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:

  • 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:

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs
  • "My Time for Dinner" was created to give parents a special time for themselves to enjoy an evening out to dinner.

    Please join us for dinner at
    Sammy's Woodfired Pizza in Scripps Ranch
    Monday, September 16 at 7:00 PM
    Located at 10785 Scripps Poway Parkway

    Please RSVP no later than Friday, Septrmber 13th with your host Sara Gil at or for any questions please call (858)722-6539

  • We are also seeking nominations for San Diego Champion of the Year!
  • For more info, please contact Debbie Adelman at 619.436.8291.

  • 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.