Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 11, 2018

In This Issue

The Educational Tyranny of the Neurotypicals

'Atypical' shines a brighter spotlight on autism

Family genetics vital for understanding autism progression

Autism's sex bias may originate in brain's immune cells

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!

Advanced Neurological Therapies For Autism

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's October Program

FREE Music Therapy - Jam Session Program

Therapeutic Approach to Growth

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

A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs In Scripps Ranch

CONNECTIONS: An Improv Program Designed for Teens and Adults on the Spectrum

ATPF LEGO Therapy Workshop

ALL AGES Sensory Friendly Night at Playwerx!

Supported Decision Making Southern California


  • The Educational Tyranny of the Neurotypicals
  • STRUCTURED LEARNING DIDN'T serve me particularly well. I was kicked out of kindergarten for running away too many times, and I have the dubious distinction of having dropped out of two undergraduate programs and a doctoral business and administration program. I haven't been tested, but have come to think of myself as "neuroatypical" in some way.

    "Neurotypical" is a term used by the autism community to describe what society refers to as "normal." According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in 59 children, and one in 34 boys, are on the autism spectrum-in other words, neuroatypical. That's 3 percent of the male population. If you add ADHD-attention deficit hyperactivity disorder-and dyslexia, roughly one out of four people are not "neurotypicals." Read on...

  • 'Atypical' shines a brighter spotlight on autism
  • Autism has been in the TV spotlight of late, with fictional series ("The Good Doctor" on ABC, "Atypical" on Netflix) and reality shows ("Born This Way" on A&E) shining a light on the developmental disorder that manifests itself in social interactions.

    "Atypical," which launches its second season on Friday, is taking its fictional premise regarding autism one step further: by hiring over a dozen actors who are on the spectrum to appear on the series. Read on...

  • Family genetics vital for understanding autism progression
  • Whether an individual develops a neurodevelopmental disorder like autism or ADHD and the severity of that disorder depends on genetic changes beyond a single supposedly disease-causing mutation. A new study led by researchers at Penn State reveals that the total amount of rare mutations-deletions, duplications, or other changes to the DNA sequence-in a person's genome can explain why individuals with a disease-associated mutation can have vastly different symptoms. A paper describing the study appeared today in the journal Genetics in Medicine.

    "Genetic sequencing tools can reveal a large number of mutations in a person's genome, but diagnosis typically focuses on identifying one primary mutation as the cause of a disorder," said Santhosh Girirajan, associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology and of anthropology at Penn State and senior author of the paper. "However, this strategy does not explain why many individuals with the same primary mutation have very different features or symptoms. For example, when a parent and child have the same primary mutation but only the child develops the disorder. Our work reveals that the primary mutation likely sensitizes a person to a disorder, but the amount of other mutations elsewhere in the genome is what actually determines the cognitive ability and developmental features in that person." Read on...

  • Autism's sex bias may originate in brain's immune cells

  • Two of the most reliable risk factors for autism are being male and being exposed to inflammation in the womb. At first glance, these may seem to be unrelated factors, but increasing evidence hints at a connection between them that involves microglia, immune cells in the brain.

    Microglia spring to action in response to inflammation, ridding the brain of pathogens and cellular debris. They also sculpt brain circuits by trimming the connections between cells.

    But microglia apparently function differently in male rodents than in females. They are more active in males and respond more vigorously to inflammation, new studies suggest - and this may make male fetal brains more susceptible to damage from inflammation. 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

  • 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!!!

  • 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.

  • FREE Music Therapy - Jam Session Program
  • camp jam photo

    For Teens and Young Adults with Special Needs
    Has your teen or young adult with special needs ever wanted to be in a rock band? Here is their chance. Unlocking their potential and spotlighting their abilities, this youth group learns the dynamics of building friendships, social skills and self-expression through fresh and creative avenues. Drawing on peers and professionals from the music community, this group experiences music recording, instrument exploration, improvisational songwriting, drumming and other projects based on the interests and needs of the group.

    Check out this video that gives an overview of the program!!

    Central San Diego (Point Loma)
    Dates: October 3, 17, 24, November 7, 28, December 5
    Time: 7:00-8:00pm

    North County (Carlsbad)
    Dates: September 19, 26, October 31, November 14, December 12, 19
    Time: 7:00-8:00pm

    East County (El Cajon)
    Dates: Starting September 20, additional dates TBA
    Time: 7:00-8:00pm

    South County (Chula Vista)
    Dates: dates TBA
    Time: 7:00-8:00pm

    Click here for registration

  • 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

  • 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.

  • A Social Event for Parents of Children with Special Needs In Scripps Ranch
  • Please R.S.V.P. with your host Bene Raphael no later than Sept. 14th at or for any questions please call (760) 845-4551

  • CONNECTIONS: An Improv Program Designed for Teens and Adults on the Spectrum
  • Brain Development Imaging Lab at San Diego State University, is collaborating with the Improv program, Connections, and in addition to doing research I am working with the Connections program to help add more classes to the program. We have planned to start two classes starting Oct 02 and 03 one of which will be for Young Adults(19-25yr) and the second will continue being for teens (13-18yr) the age ranges are flexible and we try to accommodate anyone that is interested in getting involved!

  • ATPF LEGO Therapy Workshop
  • Hosted by Autism Tree Project Foundation
    Saturday, September 15th at 10 AM - 11 AM
    Autism Tree Project Foundation
    2845 Nimitz Blvd, San Diego, California 92106

    All ATPF families and kiddos are welcome to come out to our LEGO Workshop on Saturday, September 15th from 10 AM to 11AM. We will build LEGOs and practice social communication skills with Dr. Oke!

    To RSVP contact or call 619-222-4465.

  • ALL AGES Sensory Friendly Night at Playwerx!
  • Hosted by Autism Society San Diego
    Thursday, September 13th at 5 PM - 7 PM
    6060 Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, California 92011

    Join us for an ALL AGES WELCOME Sensory Friendly Family Night at PlayWerx with Autism Society San Diego! PlayWerx will be closed to the general public for this special night for autism families. This event is open to families and participants of ALL ages. Play in the climbing structure, enjoy meeting other families, and enjoy an evening of judgement free relaxing family fun. $8 per participant covers entrance to the event. Food is available for purchase separately. We hope you can join us!

  • 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!!!

  • 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.

  • 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.