Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. September 28, 2018

In This Issue

Autism Toys for Children: Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Best Gift for Your Child With Autism

School Sexual Misconduct in San Diego County

Autism prognosis: Parental genes 'incredibly useful'

Some conditions tend to accompany autism in pairs

We Just Got Even More Evidence That Autism And Schizophrenia Share Genetic Roots

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

2018 Home of Guiding Hands 36th Annual Golf Classic

Therapeutic Approach to Growth (TAG), Inc. is Hiring!!!

2018 Love & Autism Conference

NFAR Family Activity at theNAT!

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

IEP Coffee Talk: Your Top Questions

Cara Lucier & Associates

Transition Planning

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

Cal ABLE Update!

Before you Share: Internet Safety

Accepting Applications for NFAR Tech's October Program

Early Intervention Services


  • Autism Toys for Children: Ultimate Guide for Choosing the Best Gift for Your Child With Autism
  • What are the best autism toys for children? Children are so different from one another and so are their needs. Does your child like physical activity? An indoor ball pit or trampoline might help your child with autism expend some energy. What about sensory issues? Many kids benefit from soothing toys such as stress balls and fidgets. Visually-oriented children are often drawn to motion lamps and liquid timers. LEGO blocks and educational puzzles are popular with autistic children.

    Tips on choosing and buying the perfect toys for autistic children
    When choosing the best autism toys for the child in your life, it is important to take into consideration not only preferences and interests, but also what is most appropriate for the child's age, ability level, and developmental stage. Physical activity play toys are wonderful choices for children who have lots of energy or who struggle to find a constructive way to harness energy. Educational toys for autism can support children in meeting their academic goals as well as helping to support their curriculum and therapeutic goals. Read on...

  • School Sexual Misconduct in San Diego County
  • Cases of sexual misconduct by teachers and other public school employees are documented all over San Diego County, from Vista and Carlsbad in the north to Chula Vista in the south. Records obtained as part of a broad Voice of San Diego investigation show some teachers were quietly reprimanded for years as complaints piled up. Other times, school districts moved teachers from school to school after finding they violated sexual harassment policies with students. Rather than terminate teachers, some school districts negotiated departure deals and paid them to leave, at times agreeing to keep substantiated misconduct secret from future employers. Read on...

  • Autism prognosis: Parental genes 'incredibly useful'
  • While one main risk gene may make an individual susceptible to autism or another neurodevelopmental disorder, it is the whole collection of associated changes in their DNA that decides whether they develop it and how severe it becomes.

    This was the conclusion that researchers arrived at after analyzing developmental, cognitive, and genome sequencing data of hundreds of people with known risk genes together with that of their parents and siblings.

    They suggest that their findings explain why two people carrying the same risk gene, also known as the "primary mutation," can have very different symptoms of the associated neurodevelopmental disorder.

    "For example," says senior study author Santhosh Girirajan, an associate professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, "when a parent and child have the same primary mutation but only the child develops the disorder." Read on...

  • Some conditions tend to accompany autism in pairs

  • Children with autism are more likely to have both sleep problems and constipation than would be expected based on the prevalence of each of those conditions. Young autistic children are also unexpectedly likely to have both sleep and eating troubles.

    The findings come from a large study of autistic children aged 17 months to 17 years who visited a network of autism clinics in the United States between 2010 and 20161. The researchers analyzed how often any of 12 conditions that commonly affect people with autism occur together in these individuals.

    Understanding the relationships between conditions that frequently accompany autism could hint at their shared genetic origins, says co-lead investigator Ann Neumeyer, medical director at the Lurie Center for Autism at MassGeneral Hospital for Children in Boston. It could also inform treatments. Read on...

  • We Just Got Even More Evidence That Autism And Schizophrenia Share Genetic Roots
  • Genetic changes that contribute to the development of autism in young children also appear to be responsible for schizophrenia, according to a number of studies conducted over the years.

    While the body of evidence is convincing, it's still based largely on western populations. A new study from Japan backs up the hypothesis that the two disorders share genetic underpinnings in people from around the globe, revealing more details on the biochemistry behind them.

    "The strength of our study is the systematic head-to-head comparison of pathogenic CNVs and biological pathways between autism spectrum disorder and schizophrenia," says senior author Norio Ozaki from Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine. 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.

  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth (TAG), Inc. is Hiring!!!
  • Job Description
    Come join an amazing and collaborative team at Therapeutic Approach to Growth (TAG), Inc. where you will grow professionally while supporting our amazing clients (toddler to young adults).

    We currently have a need in the Miramar location for a part-time behavior technician (10-20 hours). This time includes some data collection and ongoing supervision. Our ideal candidate(s) is:

    • RBT Certified a plus but not required
    • Experienced working with children, teens, or young adults with autism
    • Experienced using a naturalistic approach (E.g, art, cooking, play) to work on goals
    • Patient and calm in their approach
    • Able to work (at least) one day during the weekend (Typically 2-3 hours)
    • Open and willing to learn about RDI and autism
    • Currently enrolled in college or has some college courses completed
    About our practice: Therapeutic Approach to Growth believes that when given the appropriate support all individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders have tremendous potential to become active participants in their community, have genuine relationships, and at times live independently. To learn more about our program visit:

    Please contact us at if you are interested in applying for this position. Thank you!
    Job Type: Part-time

  • 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

  • Transition Planning
  • Transition planning officially begins between the ages of 14 and 16 for most students with an IEP. However, the process is lifelong. This section of NTACT's website provides resources and tools to guide the process of transition planning - encompassing assessment and skill development to plan for success beyond school.

    Transition Planning Process
    LAST UPDATED: 08/03/2018

    Resources to guide Transition Planning from elementary into post-secondary. Includes guidance documents and frameworks. 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

  • Cal ABLE Update!
  • Status Update

    August 7, 2018

    It is my pleasure to announce that the California Achieving Better Life Experiences (CalABLE) Act Board voted to approve TIAA Tuition Financing, Inc. (TFI) as its program manager at its August Board Meeting. This approval represents a significant step forward for the CalABLE program. The program manager is responsible for critical functions including managing the program's investment options, as well as keeping records for CalABLE enrollees.

    TFI is a national leader in providing program management services for college savings plans, and currently serves as the manager for California's ScholarShare 529 program. TFI currently has more than $46 billion in total assets under management. Additionally, TFI will partner with Intuition ABLE Solutions (IAS), the nation's leading provider of record keeping services for ABLE programs. IAS currently oversees more than $15 billion in assets under management in both college savings (529) and ABLE (529A). TFI received the highest score of responses to CalABLE's open procurement request for proposals (RFP) in which responders were scored in five categories: Firm background, organization and compliance; Investment structure and experience; Administration, recordkeeping, banking and customer service; Education and outreach; and Costs. Read on....

  • 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.