Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 10, 2019

In This Issue

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The Power Of A Mother's Love For Her Disabled Child: Animated Short "Ian" Is Changing Perceptions About Disabilities

Unique Program Teaches People With Disabilities To Be Care Providers

Thanks to GM's wife Traci Schneider, Seahawks open sensory room for autism at home games

CA Lawmakers Send Contested Vaccine Bill To Governor. But Will He Sign It?

Autism, through the eyes of a computer

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

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

NFAR Family Activity at theNAT, Sunday, Oct. 13th

Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2019

FREE!! Workshop on Non-Public Schools & Options!

Mingle - September 18th!

Gymnastics Club with Friendship Circle!

Game Night at Club Beacons, Sept. 14th!

Jason Mraz Audition for Malashock Dance

TAG Temecula Info Session Online Webinar Every Month

Presentation for Special Needs Parents!

CONNECTIONS Monday Classes

September Webinar: How to Protect Your Child from School Discipline

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs

Pre-order Your Rosh Hashanah Honey Cakes


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!

  • The Power Of A Mother's Love For Her Disabled Child: Animated Short "Ian" Is Changing Perceptions About Disabilities
  • When Sheila Graschinsky saw how children treated her disabled son she became inspired to change perceptions about those with disabilities. Her son, Ian, can only talk with the help of a machine and was teased daily when he visited his rehabilitation center by children from a nearby school.

    Sheila went to the school to confront the bullying and discovered the school had no tools to teach the children that bullying is wrong. Sheila wrote a book simply titled "Ian" published by Penguin about her son. Handing out books at schools didn't have the widespread effect she wanted so she helped produce a short animated film titled "Ian," that seeks to raise awareness about bullying suffered by children with motor and neurological disabilities. Read on...

  • Unique Program Teaches People With Disabilities To Be Care Providers
  • Carmela Mack wants to help people with disabilities because she knows what it feels like to be excluded.

    The 18-year-old with a hearing impairment is a student of the Direct Service Professional (DSP) Academy in Washington, D.C., where she plans to earn a certification to work in the field as an aide to people with disabilities.

    "There are not enough people trying to advocate for people with disabilities," Mack said. "I'm going to love this job because I've been through this and I know what it feels like to not be supported. I can connect with them because that was me." Read on...

  • Thanks to GM's wife Traci Schneider, Seahawks open sensory room for autism at home games
  • Traci Schneider does far more at Seahawks games than watch her husband's team play.

    She knows many other parents do, too.

    That's why the wife of the Seahawks' general manager has created a sensory room inside CenturyLink Field for use by fans with autism, sensory challenges, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and similar conditions during games and all stadium events.

    "We want parents just to be able to be with their kids and just be quiet," Schneider said Thursday.

    "I'm excited, really excited, to launch this." Read on...

  • CA Lawmakers Send Contested Vaccine Bill To Governor. But Will He Sign It?
  • California lawmakers dropped this year's most controversial public health bill into Gov. Gavin Newsom's lap on Wednesday, but it's not clear whether he will sign the measure, which would tighten the rules for exempting children from routine vaccinations.

    The state Senate voted 28-11 to approve SB-276 by state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento), prompting protesters who were watching from the gallery to chant, "You are not representing California for all!" All Senate Republicans voted against the measure and all Democrats voted in favor, except for one who didn't vote.

    Newsom, a Democrat, said in June he would sign the bill after it had been amended at his request. But on Tuesday, a tweet from his office announced that he wants more changes. Read on...

  • Autism, through the eyes of a computer
  • Autism traits are recorded predominantly by clinicians with their own subjective biases. Can technology do it better?

    It's a bright, warm Friday afternoon in June at Spring Harbor Academy, a private school in Westbrook, Maine. A faint aroma of cilantro and lime hangs in the air, traces of the guacamole the students made - and promptly devoured - half an hour ago in a cooking class. Sunlight streams in through a window, and three students now sit at separate tables, peacefully absorbed in their tablet computers. Accompanying each adolescent boy in this classroom is a teaching assistant wearing thick arm pads and a helmet with a face shield.

    The academy's students are also residents of Spring Harbor Hospital, a facility with a dedicated unit for autistic children. However relaxed they appear now, they are prone to kicking, biting, scratching, pushing and hitting.

    The boys take turns wearing a special device: a wristband with sensors that track their heart rate, sweat and movement. This device may help doctors predict the boys' outbursts before they begin, the subject of an ongoing study at the hospital. 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

  • NFAR Family Activity at theNAT, Sunday, Oct. 13th
  • You're invited! Join us at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) on Sunday, Oct. 13th for a morning of discovery and fun! theNAT has some special activities planned for our families - including a sensory-friendly 2D film.

    Enjoy the museum exhibits, & activities with other autism families in a welcoming and comfortable environment.

    theNAT is generously offering NFAR families FREE admission before 9:45AM but please register so that we can plan accordingly. (Regular admission is $12 per child, $19 per adult.) REGISTER HERE>>>

  • 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.

  • FREE!! Workshop on Non-Public Schools & Options!
  • Join us Tues., October 1st for a workshop on Non-Public Schools & Options!
    This will be an opportunity for families as well as educators to gain an overview of the non-public special education schools in the San Diego area.

    Each school will provide a brief presentation and have a resource table with additional information.

    Location: Thurgood Marshall Middle School (Scripps Ranch) Booths will be available between 6:00-6:30pm, and after the presentations at 7:45pm.

    The workshop is free, but please register here:

  • 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!!!

  • Gymnastics Club with Friendship Circle!
  • Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 10:30 AM - 12 PM
    Flip Force San Diego
    9282 Miramar Rd, San Diego, California 92126

    Our bounciest monthly program! Join FC for a fun, active class with college students, teens, and youth! Active classes help boost strength, coordination, self-confidence and more.

    Early Bird rate of $20 annual free - $36 at the door.

    You're Invited!
    Friendship Circle hosts events for the whole family almost every month! Join us for community outings and celebrations to meet new people, catch up with old friends and enjoy a welcoming experience everyone will love. Most events are FREE unless otherwise noted. Scholarships and family discounts are always available for those in need. Contact with any questions. Click here to register:

    Prior to registering for any Friendship Circle event, if you are not a member of Friendship Circle, please fill out the new family or new volunteer form:

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

  • Jason Mraz Audition for Malashock Dance
  • Malashock Dance is hosting an open audition for standardly AND differently-abled students to perform in 2 original dances with Jason Mraz in February of 2020.

    Audition details:
    Sunday, October 6 from 2:30-4: 30 pm
    Location: Malashock Dance, 2650 Truxtun Rd, Room 200 (Located in Liberty Station), San Diego, CA, 92106
    Audition Requirements: Please wear athletic gear and running/athletic shoes. The audition may also be barefoot depending on the choreography.

    I have attached the FB event and our Webpage below. We are asking all students to please RSVP for the audition.



  • 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.

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

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

    Eventbrite link

  • 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:

  • September Webinar: How to Protect Your Child from School Discipline
  • Join us by registering at

    The webinar will be held on Tuesday September 24th at 12:00 noon and will repeat Thursday September 26th at 7:00 pm.

  • 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

  • Pre-order Your Rosh Hashanah Honey Cakes
  • Dan's Place is accepting pre-orders for Rosh Hashanah Honey Cakes baked with love by our Friendship Circle Friends & Volunteers! Order yours today. Contact (858) 487-4879 or today! Shabbat Shalom!

    Dan's Place, The Friendship Restaurant:

  • 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.