Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 25, 2018

In This Issue

'Gut feeling' may be a hardwired 'sixth sense'

Latest research hints at predicting autism risk for pregnant mothers

Parody of Everyday Life with Autism

Long-term study shows language's role in easing autism features

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

NFAR Family Activity at theNAT!

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

IEP Coffee Talk: Your Top Questions

Cara Lucier & Associates

Come see us at La Jolla Art and Wine Festival!

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

San Diego Best Buddies Friendship Walk

Before you Share: Internet Safety

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's October Program

Early Intervention Services


  • 'Gut feeling' may be a hardwired 'sixth sense'
  • A new study, published in the journal Science, has found that the process through which the gut communicates with the brain is much quicker than previously believed, relying on synapses more than it does on hormones.

    Over the past 2 decades, the gut-brain axis has been thoroughly documented.

    This started with a study in the early 1990s that showed that oral antibiotics can successfully treat a brain disorder called hepatic encephalopathy.

    Fast forward to 2013, when research revealed that the bacteria in our guts influence anxiety and depression.

    Even more recently, a review that was published only last month made it clear that gut bacteria can influence mood and emotions, highlighting their connection with a range of psychiatric disorders. Read on...

  • Latest research hints at predicting autism risk for pregnant mothers
  • Researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute-led by Juergen Hahn, professor and head of biomedical engineering-are continuing to make remarkable progress with their research focused on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). A recent paper authored by Hahn and Jill James from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in the journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders discusses their work on predicting with approximately 90 percent accuracy whether a pregnant mother has a 1.7 percent or a tenfold increased risk of having a child diagnosed with ASD.

    Currently there is no test for pregnant mothers that can predict the probability of having a child that will be diagnosed with ASD. Recent estimates indicate that if a mother has previously had a child with ASD, the risk of having a second child with ASD is approximately 18.7 percent, whereas the risk of ASD in the general population is approximately 1.7 percent. Read on...

  • Parody of Everyday Life with Autism
  • Obsession and repetition are run-of-the-mill when you are raising a child on the spectrum, so is finding the hilarity through the days which prove to be most stressful. Laugher really is my best medicine. Our son Ryder was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) when he was three years old. He currently obsesses over a tiny red BB which he calls, "Red Ball," and his food of choice is definitely fries or pizza. During one particularly stressful day, I was able to find the humor in our predicament as the evening came to a close because it reminded me so much of the popular book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff.

    If you give Ryder a large fry on the way to pick up dinner,

    He is going to want a bottle of water to go with it.

    When you hand him the bottle of water,

    He spills a little on his shirt as he takes a drink and he becomes very upset.

    So you give him the closest napkin available to wipe his shirt,

    And as you are handing him the napkin, you realize what a grave mistake you have made. Read on...

  • Long-term study shows language's role in easing autism features

  • Social difficulties appear to wane as toddlers with autism mature into young adults, perhaps due in large part to improvements in language ability. Researchers presented the unpublished results yesterday at the 2017 International Meeting for Autism Research in San Francisco, California.

    However, the findings do not mean that these individuals no longer have autism, the researchers caution.

    "There's a lot of desire to talk about improvement or decreased severity, but I worry a little that that may be a little misleading," says Vanessa Hus Bal, assistant professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Francisco, who presented the findings. "These individuals continue to have autism diagnoses." 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!!

  • NFAR Family Activity at theNAT!
  • Join us at the San Diego Natural History Museum (theNAT) on Sunday, Oct. 14th for a morning of discovery and fun!

    theNAT has some special activities planned for our families - including a sensory-friendly 2D film.

    theNat offers our participants FREE admission for ASD Mornings until 9:45 AM.

    Sign Up

  • 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

  • IEP Coffee Talk: Your Top Questions
  • Mon, October 15, 2018
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    Brew Coffee Spot
    6101 Lake Murray Blvd.
    La Mesa, CA 91942
    Cost: $5

    Join us for our October IEP Coffee Talk, our first meeting of the school year. This month we are meeting at a great local coffee shop in La Mesa. We will have a group Q & A session, so please spread the word to local parents who have children with any type of special need. Bring your child's IEP and your top IEP questions...leave empowered!

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

    Hosted by Crystal Y. Sanford, M.Ed., M.A. CCC-SLP, owner and lead clinician at Sanford Autism Consulting (SAC). I offer 20 years of experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist and special needs ally. I am also a fellow Autism parent and can relate to the blessings and challenges of parenting children with special needs.

  • 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 6th & 7th, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Admission is free.

    Jeremy's Vision will be at Booth # 229, which will be 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!!!

  • Before you Share: Internet Safety
  • For more info and to RSVP please email or call 619-524-0916

  • 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.

    Learn more by visiting our website or contacting us at 858-679-8800.

  • Early Intervention Services
  • Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 10 AM - 11 AM
    MCCS MCRD San Diego - EFMP
    3602 Hochmuth Ave, Bldg 6 East, San Diego, California 92140

    Early Intervention Services
    Join use to learn about the types of services for children from birth to age 3 with a developmental delay or disability and the criteria for getting them.

    For more information or to RSVP, call 619.524.0916 or email
    Click here for all the info!!

  • 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.