Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 22, 2018

In This Issue

Companies want to Work with People who have Autism

'The Reason I Jump' Autism Movie in Production at Paul Allen's Vulcan

Autism in adults often accompanied by depression

Research adds heft to link between autism and obesity

A Life in Full Bloom: Parker's Story

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

2018 Home of Guiding Hands 36th Annual Golf Classic

Back To School Rancho Bernardo Coffee Talk

2018 Love & Autism Conference

Community Project Applications Due Sept 30th

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Project ImPACT for Toddlers (Improving Parents as Communication Teachers)

Cara Lucier & Associates

Come see us at La Jolla Art and Wine Festival

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

San Diego Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Sensory Santa Experience!


  • Companies want to Work with People who have Autism
  • Starting a new job can be thrilling - but it can also be nerve-racking. For Anthony Moffa, who was hired as an associate software engineer at JPMorgan Chase in December 2016, this was especially true. It was his first job where his employer would know he was on the autism spectrum from the start.

    Moffa - who joined JPMorgan Chase as part of the company's Autism at Work program - wasn't sure how this information would color his work environment. But from day one, he was met with overwhelming support from his teammates and managers. "Staying true to myself has boosted my identity, confidence and self-esteem," says Moffa.

    And it's not just his confidence that was given a boost. Since JPMorgan Chase launched the Autism at Work program back in July 2015, it has grown to 85 people in 20+ roles across six countries. The program, which is dedicated to hiring employees with autism and facilitating their professional growth, was designed to overcome barriers to employment for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These barriers can include things like traditional interview processes and communication styles. Read on...

  • 'The Reason I Jump' Autism Movie in Production at Paul Allen's Vulcan
  • Paul G. Allen's Vulcan Productions is producing Naoki Higashida's bestseller "The Reason I Jump" as a documentary about autism, Variety has learned exclusively.

    The book was written in 2005 by Higashida, who was 13 at the time, and published in Japan in 2007. The English translation was published in 2013. Higashida wrote the book to help communicate his own needs and thoughts to his family, and shine a light for other autistic individuals around the world. Most of the memoir is told through 58 questions Higashida and other people dealing with autism are commonly asked.

    The film is presented by Vulcan Productions, the British Film Institute, the Idea Room, MetFilm Production, and Runaway Fridge. The producers include Stevie Lee, Jeremy Dear, and Al Morrow. Allen is an executive producer along with Carole Tomko, Jannat Gargi, and Rocky Collins. Read on...

  • Autism in adults often accompanied by depression

  • Depression is more than three times as common among adults with autism as it is in the general population, according to new work1. And those with average or above intelligence are more likely to be depressed than those with low intellectual ability.

    The study found that about 20 percent of autistic people have a diagnosis of depression, compared with 6 percent of the general population.

    The findings are based on data from a large Swedish cohort, but they are likely to apply more broadly. A large 2015 study in the United States likewise reported that 26 percent of people with autism have a depression diagnosis, compared with 10 percent in the general population2. A smaller study that same year estimated that 43 percent of autistic people have depression3. Read on...

  • Research adds heft to link between autism and obesity

  • Nearly half of American children with autism aged 10 to 17 are overweight or obese, compared with less than one-third of their typically developing peers, according to a new study1. And those with the most severe autism features appear to be at the greatest risk of being obese.

    The study, based on data from nearly 26,000 children, is among the largest of its type. A 2010 analysis looked at weight in 85,000 children, including 483 with autism, in the United States2.

    The findings confirm a pattern reported by other studies, says lead investigator Seán Healy, assistant professor of behavioral health and nutrition at the University of Delaware in Newark. Of the 21 studies on this topic published since 2012, 16 indicated that children on the spectrum are at an increased risk of obesity. Read on...

  • A Life in Full Bloom: Parker's Story
  • When Desirae and Spencer Lee visited Alexa's Playful Learning Academy for Young Children (PLAYC), it was love at first sight. While searching for a school that would nurture and embrace their then 3-year-old son, Parker, who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a specialist at the UC San Diego Autism Center of Excellence directed them toward Alexa's PLAYC.

    It just so happened that the school, which provides a unique, supportive and inclusive learning environment for both children on the autism spectrum and typically developing children, was about to host a tour for prospective families. After meeting the staff and hearing more about what Alexa's PLAYC offers, the Lees were confident they had found a home. "He's going to really get a chance to blossom and let his personality come through," Desirae recalls thinking. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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.

  • 2018 Home of Guiding Hands 36th Annual Golf Classic
  • Join Us For The 36th Annual HGH Pro-Am Golf Classic
    Friday, October 26 at 10 AM - 7 PM
    Maderas Golf Club
    17750 Old Coach Road, Poway, California 92064

    The 36th Annual Home of Guiding Hands Pro Am Golf Classic will be held on October 26th at Maderas Golf Course. Foursomes will be paired with a San Diego PGA member for an afternoon of golf, games and more. Individual tickets start at $250. Entry includes, continental breakfast, boxed lunch, full day of golf, on course games and tasting from local craft brewers.
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

    HGH is one of the largest providers of supports and services in San Diego County, serving more than 3,200 infants, adolescents, and adults with developmental disabilities. At HGH, we believe that individuals thrive where they can direct their own lives in a setting that offers a more fulfilling lifestyle, provides individualized attention, increased opportunities for self-sufficiency, and encourages greater community integration and access.

  • Back To School Rancho Bernardo Coffee Talk
  • Thursday, September 27, 2018 at 10 AM - 12 PM
    Mason Coffee Works
    16451 Bernardo Center Drive, San Diego, California 92128

    Back To School for Autism families most often equals IEP and education questions. Well, you are in luck! Join seasoned local Autism Moms and Mentors Kate and Shannon for help with that and all things Autism. Leave feeling supported and empowered.
    Hosted by TACA San Diego Mentors Kate Whelan and Shannon DeBlock.
    *All new attendees will receive a Free Journey Guide.
    Click here for all the info!!!

  • 2018 Love & Autism Conference
  • October 13-14th, 2018
    9:00AM - 4:30PM
    Liberty Station Conference Center, San Diego, CA

    When we started this conference 5 years ago, it was a small, local conference with the belief that everyone deserves the highest quality relationship possible. There was, and still is, a devastating and pervasive myth that autistic people are not interested in creating meaningful relationships, nor capable of love. We know every human being needs love and human connection.

    Today, Love & Autism is so much more than our original vision. Our mission grew along the way. We are creating a world where autistic people are valued and worthy.

    • 100% autistic representation on main stage
    • 15 main stage presenters, 4 main stage performers & 15+ breakout sessions
    • 4 unique conference tracks including conference track for young autistic self-advocates 12+
    • Accommodations designed to create safe autistic space throughout the entire conference experience
    • Music, art, special events, and more!
    We value neurodivergent leaders and reject the pathology paradigm because the development of healthy autistic identities matters. Allowing love to lead us, we create powerful change in the world. Don't settle for the status quo, trust your heart. This is Love & Autism

    Click here for all the info and to register!!

  • Community Project Applications Due Sept 30th
  • Each year, funds raised by the Race for Autism help support autism programs and new initiatives that increase the learning, social, training, and employment opportunities for those with autism in San Diego.

    Applications are due Sept 30th and awards are announced no later than Feb 1st.

    Apply or learn more!

  • Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment
  • Experience a unique and effective approach to autism therapy.

    Our aim is to bring to families everywhere the most effective therapies for the treatment of autism. Our integrated care model is based on the scientific research and clinical practice of our founder, Dr. Suzanne Goh. We seek to set a new global standard for autism care by achieving superior developmental outcomes for the children and families we serve.

    At Cortica, we believe the world needs a higher standard of care for all those living with autism, or a potential diagnosis of autism. Families like yours deserve effective, collaborative, caring therapies that are accessible and reasonably priced, no matter who you are or where you live.

    The Cortica Care Model

    • Neurophysiology
    • Family and Home
    • Biochemistry
    • Cognition and Behavior
    • Sensorimotor
    • Communication
    Together, we clarify the complex, celebrate extraordinary efforts, and witness moments of brilliance as our children grow new skills and abilities. Many of our services are covered by medical insurance plans. Contact us for all the info!!!

    Cortica Care
    7090 Miratech Drive
    San Diego, CA 92121
    16800 Aston, Suite 175
    Irvine, CA 92606

  • Project ImPACT for Toddlers (Improving Parents as Communication Teachers)
  • Project ImPACT for Toddlers (Improving Parents as Communication Teachers) is a Naturalistic Developmental Behavioral Intervention (NDBI) designed to coach caregivers of 12-36 month-olds to support their child's development. This approach combines behavioral and developmental strategies to increase social communication and play skills during daily activities.

    Training clinical providers such as speech-language and behavioral therapists to become certified Project ImPACT for Toddlers (PI for Toddlers) providers is a large part of the process for helping disseminate this highly respected and effective intervention to families of children considered at risk for autism or other communication and developmental delays. Collaboration with parents is key to generalization of social-communication skills across a variety of social situations, and ultimately empowers parents. It builds their confidence, as they recognize their interaction can affect their child's communication. TERI Crimson's clinical director, Karyn Lewis Searcy, M.A. CCC-SLP, has been instrumental in the development of PI for Toddlers, having been an active researcher in this project through the BRIDGE Collaborative for more than 10 years. We are offering trainings for interested providers, which includes online modules, in-person training/practice with children, and the option to enroll in the certification process.

    In Fall 2018 we are looking for parents and babies 12-36 months old to include in our trainings. All families participating in our one-hour, weekly training sessions will receive a Target gift card. For more information contact: Karyn Searcy at 858-695-9415 or through email at

    To view details about the program, please go to

  • Cara Lucier & Associates
  • At Cara Lucier & Associates we believe in the ability of every person to reach their potential. We believe that education is the key to opportunity. We advocate for the rights of individuals and their families:

    • IEP team meetings
    • Mediation
    • Due Process Hearings and Appeals
    • 504 Meetings and Appeals
    • Regional Center Meetings and Appeals
    • IHSS Appeals
    • Civil Rights Litigation
    For a free 60-minute initial consultation, please contact us at (760)505-2498.

    Law Offices of Cara Lucier
    Civil Rights and Education Law
    701 Palomar Airport Road, Suite #300
    Carlsbad, CA 92011
    Phone: (760) 717-3451

  • Come see us at La Jolla Art and Wine Festival
  • October 6 & 7, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Admission is free.
    Jeremy's Vision - Booth # 229
    LOCATED ON GIRARD AVE Between Kline St and Silverado North

    Special: If you come to the booth and mention ValeriesList you'll get a 10% discount!

    Jeremy has some new art to show you - large and small Invite your friends and come by and say hello!

    Click here for all the info!!!

  • FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!
  • Safer Than Prescription Medication for Anxiety and ADHD/ADD and the Effects are Permanent!

    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/Asperger's
    • Sensory Processing Disorder
    • Anxiety
    • Depression
    • ADD/ADHD
    • Tourette's Syndrome
    • Developmental Delay
    • Epilepsy
    • And many more!
    Call 858-367-9108 for your free consultation!!!

    Microcurrent 4 Kids
    4540 Kearny Villa Road, Ste. 211
    San Diego, CA 92123

  • San Diego Best Buddies Friendship Walk
  • Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 8 AM - 12 PM
    Crown Point on Mission Bay, San Diego 92019

    The Best Buddies Friendship Walk is the number one walk in the country raising awareness and funds to support individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). The walk plays a key role in funding Best Buddies programs dedicated to one-to-one friendships, leadership development, and integrated job opportunities for individuals with IDD. Each walk provides an opportunity to see the Best Buddies mission in action at a local level. Click here for all the info!!!

  • Sensory Santa Experience!
  • This unique one-on-one Private Santa Experience is designed for your child to have a more quiet and casual time with Santa. We know all too well that the crowds, noise level, and long lines at the mall is far too overwhelming for those with special needs. PortrArt Creations will be creating a more intimate setting so your child can have a rare opportunity with Santa and we will capture every moment.

    There will be more information at a later date on this incredible experience so please sign up if you are interested in knowing more about this Sensory Santa Experience. For questions, please call 858-231-4619.

  • 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.

  • 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.