Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 08, 2018

In This Issue

Anxiety, the Amygdala, and Autism

Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable

New biomarker panel could accelerate autism diagnoses

Researchers find disrupted functional connectivity in cerebellum of adults with HF-ASD

California lawmakers pass limits on restraint and seclusion in schools

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2018

San Diego Walk Kickoff Party, September 15th

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

Supported Decision Making Southern California

NFAR Mom's Group - Wednesday, September 12th

NFAR Men's Group - Thursday, September 13th

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

Positive Action Community Theatre Upcoming Workshops

Free Webinar: Learn how to get the MOST for your child through the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)

Parents Helping Parents 2018-2019 in East County

Advanced Neurological Therapies For Autism

Special Needs Creative Fall Workshop

Save the date for the Best Buddies Walk kick Off Party at Rockin Baja Lobster on 9/23 from 3-5PM!

Sports 4 Exceptional Athletes 2018 Volleyball League Play


  • Anxiety, the Amygdala, and Autism
  • One of the more common and distressing co-occurring mental health issues in people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is anxiety. Anxiety disorders are present in at least 50% of people with ASD, and some estimates go as high as 80%.1-4 The relationship between anxiety and autism is complex, and it is often difficult to disentangle symptoms of anxiety from symptoms of autism. Think about social problems in autism. Are they due to social anxiety, lack of interest, lack of competence in social interaction, or all of those factors?

    Anxiety has been a hot topic in autism research because while there are no medical treatments for the core symptoms of autism, there are many behavioral and pharmacological treatments for anxiety. Treating the anxiety related to autism can greatly improve quality of life. Read on...

  • Finding Comfort in the Uncomfortable
  • Growing up with autism, my mom was a big part of my life. She wasn't the bionic woman, but she was instrumental in identifying my boundaries and also pushing me out of my comfort zone. This can be a difficult part of raising a child who has autism, realizing the fine line between pushing them and traumatizing them. Parents have a unique relationship with their children, and this is no difference between a parent and a child with autism.

    Figuring out when they are most comfortable is just as important as figuring out when they are extremely uncomfortable. Consequently, parents must know when the time is right to challenge or push their children out of the safety of their comfort zones, and also when it is not appropriate to do so. Encouraging children with autism to engage in uncomfortable situations by gently pushing them out of their comfort zones, as much as they can handle, is key to preparing them for the future. Read on...

  • New biomarker panel could accelerate autism diagnoses
  • Investigators at the UC Davis MIND Institute and NeuroPointDX, a division of Stemina Biomarker Discovery, have identified a group of blood metabolites that could help detect some children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Part of the Children's Autism Metabolome Project (CAMP), the largest metabolomic ASD study ever attempted, these findings are a key step toward developing an ASD biomarker test. The research was published September 6 in the journal Biological Psychiatry.

    "With this panel of alterations in amino acid metabolism, we can detect about 17 percent of kids with ASD," said David G. Amaral, founding director of research at the MIND Institute and senior author on the paper. "This is the first of hopefully many panels that will identify other subsets of kids with autism."

    No biomarker tests for ASD currently exist. Children are diagnosed based on their altered behaviors, which may not become evident until children are 2-4 years old. Families often must wait over a year or more for an appointment with a specialist, delaying diagnosis even further. Read on...

  • Researchers find disrupted functional connectivity in cerebellum of adults with HF-ASD
  • A new study using an unbiased, whole-brain data-driven approach to assess the resting-state functional connectome in young adults with high-functioning autism spectrum disorder (HF-ASD) found two clusters of abnormal connectivity in the cerebellum. This finding, which supports a crucial role for the cerebellum in ASD and highlights the cerebellum as a potential therapeutic and diagnostic target, is reported in an article in Brain Connectivity.

    Sheeba Arnold Anteraper, Ph.D., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, together with a team of researchers from Mass General Hospital, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain, Weston High School, Weston, MA, and Harvard Medical School, Boston coauthored the article entitled "Disrupted Cerebrocerebellar Intrinsic Functional Connectivity in Young Adults with High-Functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder: A Data-Driven, Whole-Brain, High-Temporal Resolution Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging Study." Read on...

  • California lawmakers pass limits on restraint and seclusion in schools
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    California school staff would be barred from physically restraining K-12 students or isolating them in "seclusion rooms" unless the student's behavior creates an imminent physical threat under a bill approved by the Legislature this week.

    The bill, which now goes to Gov. Jerry Brown, also reinstates a requirement that school districts report data on the use of restraints and seclusion to the California Department of Education. And it prohibits certain restraint techniques that are considered dangerous.

    If Brown signs the bill, school staff could no longer use physical restraints, medication or seclusion as punishment or retaliation, or for convenience. Those tactics could only be used to stop "behavior that poses a clear and present danger of serious physical harm to the pupil or others." 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.

    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

    I am a mother of a 12 year old boy, diagnosed with moderate autism, almost nonverbal. I am having to work more hours, as result he will be under care of different care takers. I am searching for a GPS/Tracker where I could hear his surroundings and if needed talking to him to calming him down. He is not able to use a cell phone so this will not be an option. I will appreciate ideas. 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.

  • San Diego Walk Kickoff Party, September 15th
  • Hosted by Autism Speaks San Diego
    Saturday, September 15 at 9 AM - 11 AM
    The New Children's Museum
    200 W Island Ave, San Diego, California 92101

    Join us for the San Diego Walk KickOff Party! Event will be hosted at the park next to The New Children's Museum. Enjoy a morning of inspiration, light refreshments and fun as we get ready for the San Diego Walk. KickOff party is open to interested and registered walkers, teams and companies. KickOff party is free, Open House style starting at 9am through 11am. Find out more about Autism Speaks, the walk and pick up local ASD resources and information.

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

  • 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

  • Supported Decision Making Southern California
  • To Conserve or Not to Conserve... This may be an easy choice for some and a hard decision for others so here's some info on an upcoming workshop on the option of "Supported Decision Making."

    The Arc of San Diego is hosting the workshop from 9:30 am - 5:30 pm, at the Arc Sulpizio Family Center, 3030 Market St., San Diego, 92102.

    To reserve your spot, click here!!!

  • NFAR Mom's Group - Wednesday, September 12th
    Wednesday, September 12, 2018 (please note this is the 2nd Wednesday in Sep.)
    6:30 - 8:30 pm
    Tio Leo's Mexican Restaurant
    3510 Valley Centre Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92130

    Dinner: Mexican Food (GF available)
    Dinner is provided

    Join us for the NFAR Mom's Group! It's an evening for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet for dinner and guest speakers. It's an opportunity to share resources, experiences and enjoy being with other moms of individuals with autism.

    September Topic: Video Modeling

    Video modeling is an evidence based mode of teaching that uses video recording and display to provide a visual model of a targeted behavior or skill. 'An individual watches a video of a targeted behavior and then replicates it. During this presentation you will have an opportunity to learn; Overview of Video Modeling & Research, Video Modeling and Examples, Task Analysis of Target Skill, Creating the Video, Gathering Data (baseline & progress monitoring), and Putting it all together.

    Guest Speaker: Kim Brown BCBA, District Autism Specialist Encinitas Union School District

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • NFAR Men's Group - Thursday, September 13th
    Thursday, Sep 13, 2018
    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: From Surviving to Thriving - Strategies to Reduce Stress, Beat Burnout and Create an Environment Where Everyone Thrives"

    We will discuss the importance of having a stress-management strategy, particularly for parents of children on the spectrum. We'll also look at the purpose of stress, some of it's benefits (yes, there are some!), as well as discuss tools that can be used in reducing stress and restoring calm.

    Guest Speaker: Nicole Diaz

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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

  • Positive Action Community Theatre Upcoming Workshops
  • Positive Action Community Theatre (PACT) is a dynamic non-profit organization that offers improvisational theatre and performing arts workshops that teach life and social skills to teens and adults with autism and other special needs. Those most served by our programs are teens and young adults with high functioning autism (HFA)/Asperger's.

    Program Location
    Dance North County
    535 Encinitas Blvd.
    Suite #100
    Encinitas, CA 92024

    For all the info, click here! For questions, please contact 760-815-8152 or email

  • Free Webinar: Learn how to get the MOST for your child through the Least Restrictive Environment (LRE)
  • Featuring Thomas Nelson, special education attorney

    The webinar will air on September 18th at 12:00 noon and will repeat on September 20th at 7:00 pm.

    Join us by registering at

  • Parents Helping Parents 2018-2019 in East County
  • The events are open to all special education families, not just those in those two districts.

    Mimi McGinty
    Director of Special Education
    Santee School District
    Phone: 619-258-2365

  • Advanced Neurological Therapies For Autism
  • Hosted by Talk About Curing Autism (TACA) San Diego Chapter
    Tuesday, September 25 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM
    San Diego, California 92127

    We will learn about a unique and effective approach to autism therapy.

    Get detailed information on Cortica's aim to bring to families everywhere the most effective therapies for the treatment of autism. They will discuss their integrated care model that is based on the scientific research and clinical practice of their founder, Dr. Suzanne Goh. Find out how they seek to set a new global standard for autism care by achieving superior developmental outcomes for the children and families they serve.

    Be inspired by how Cortica believes the world needs a higher standard of care for all those living with autism, or a potential diagnosis of autism. They believe families like ours deserve effective, collaborative, caring therapies that are accessible and reasonably priced, no matter who you are or where we live. Click here for all the info and to RSVP!!!

  • Special Needs Creative Fall Workshop
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    Please register in advance by calling 602-502-2743 or email
    Click here for all the info!!!

  • Save the date for the Best Buddies Walk kick Off Party at Rockin Baja Lobster on 9/23 from 3-5PM!
  • Join Ambassadors, Advisory Board Members, School Friendship Chapters, Supporters, Volunteers, and the Friendship Walk Committee to learn more about what we do and how to get more involved!

    Complimentary appetizers and raffles. No cost, and all are welcome!

    Please contact Debbie Adelman at 619.436.8291 for more information.

  • Sports 4 Exceptional Athletes 2018 Volleyball League Play
  • Tuesday, September 11 at 5:45 PM
    Hoover High School
    4474 El Cajon Blvd, San Diego, California 92115

    S4EA's 2018 City Volleyball League Play starts on 9/11 at Hoover High School (4474 El Cajon Blvd., San Diego, CA 92115) from 5:45-8:00 pm.

    The Tournament will be held on 11/17 from 9-5 pm at the Balboa Activity Center (2145 Park Blvd., San Diego, CA 92101).

    To register an athlete, sign up as a volunteer or get more information, please call the S4EA Office at (858) 565-7432 or visit

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.