Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. October 02, 2018

In This Issue

New developments in EEG brain scans could help spot mental disorders early

Should Concern for Your Child with Autism Limit a Rewarding Life?

Drug agency ruling on marijuana may do little to ease autism research

Autism prevalence program expands to include teenagers

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Developmental DIR Autism Therapy in Your Home!

The Drummer and the Keeper - Feature Film at the San Diego International Film Festival

2018 Love & Autism Conference

Make Sure Your Child's Supplemental Aides, Services Accommodations and Modifications Are In Place On the First Day of School

NFAR Family Activity at theNAT Sunday, Oct. 14th!

NFAR Men's Group - Thu. Oct 11

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

Transition Planning

Jeremiah's Ranch October Newsletter

Cal ABLE Update!

Autistic Adult Social Group

Post-Secondary Transition Special Needs Planning

SAVE THE DATE!!! 15th Anniversary Race for Autism!


  • New developments in EEG brain scans could help spot mental disorders early
  • Patients suffering from mental and neurological disorders, including autism, ADHD and dementia, could benefit from new developments in brain scanning technology, according to a new study published in The Neurodiagnostic Journal.

    Recent advances in electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which may one day be used to measure brain function throughout a patient's lifespan, could encourage earlier diagnoses of common mental and neurological disorders.

    Easy-to-use, lower-cost EEG sensors are now widely available, thanks in part to research led by the computer games and consumer wearables industries. This new generation of portable EEG devices makes functional brain measurement possible during primary care check-ups for the first time. Read on...

  • Should Concern for Your Child with Autism Limit a Rewarding Life?
  • My Experience After Several Public Meltdowns

    As a parent, your number one job is to protect your child. As a parent of a child with autism, sometimes you feel the need to protect them from the entire world. But what should you do when that parental instinct starts to inhibit your child's personal growth and development?

    There are still many days when I want to curl up into a ball on my mother's lap and forget about the world. Days when I want to hide in my closet, pretending, wishing, that I was still a child with no responsibilities. Even as I write this, my eyes start to tear up. A need, a want, a desire so strong to run away from my obligations and into the safety of my mother's arms.

    I increasingly feel as though I'm backed into a corner (a spot that is usually a safe place for me), but in this corner, there is a subtle yet deafening voice issuing a profound ultimatum:

    "Be safe and stagnate, or take risks and flourish." Read on...

  • Drug agency ruling on marijuana may do little to ease autism research

  • In a long-awaited decision released Thursday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) made it legal for doctors to prescribe an epilepsy drug called Epidiolex that is derived from marijuana.

    Epidiolex contains a compound present in marijuana called cannabidiol. The ruling extends to any drug containing cannabidiol that meets certain criteria: It cannot contain more than 0.1 percent tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, and must be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). So far, only Epidiolex meets those terms.

    The DEA still classifies all other compounds derived from marijuana as 'Schedule 1'- that is, as having a high potential for abuse and no medical use. Read on...

  • Autism prevalence program expands to include teenagers

  • The network of researchers keeping tabs on autism prevalence in U.S. children plans to follow up with some of those children in adolescence, using new funds available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    The CDC-funded Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network has tracked the prevalence of autism among 8-year-old children in the United States since 2000. Every two years, researchers in 11 states comb through children's medical and school records that list any autism traits. Researchers at six of those sites also review records for 4-year-olds.

    The CDC announced in August that it has set aside $20.4 million for its next funding round to support up to 10 sites that would collect data from 4- and 8-year-olds. Researchers may apply to continue their work at the existing sites or propose new ones. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    I have a freshman son who will be having a transition plan IEP soon to discuss high school, and post high plan vocational/education objectives.

    I am looking for parents that can give an overview of what this process entails with do's and don'ts, or whoulda, shoulda, coulda's. What do we need to know to as parents to guide our teens yet still advocate and work with the school for the best outcomes and objectives. I know a few other parents with freshman and we are all at different high schools looking for support and guidance in this education process. Any help and resources are appreciated. Thank you so much!

    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.

  • 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

  • The Drummer and the Keeper - Feature Film at the San Diego International Film Festival

    Gabriel is the drummer of an up and coming rock band in Dublin, who when not playing, can barely keep a handle on his drinking and depression. Following his latest incident, his sister forces him into a therapy where he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a teen diagnosed with Asperger's. What follows is a winning and completely unpredictable story of finding your family.

    Friday October 12, 2018 | 4:00pm

    Saturday October 13, 2018 | 7:30pm

    Click here for all the info about the entire festival and to purchase tickets!!!

  • 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!!

  • Make Sure Your Child's Supplemental Aides, Services Accommodations and Modifications Are In Place On the First Day of School
  • school_supplies_desk.jpg

    As a previous Special Educator and Graduate Professor in the field of Special Education, emphasizing in Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), I am noticing a trend in our Public Schools. Public Schools are slowly phasing out Special Day Classes (SDC), whether they are Non Severely Handicapped (NSH) or Severely Handicapped (SH).

    This new trend, as all changes do, has pros and cons. Full Inclusion to the General Education Classroom can be a great opportunity for your Special Needs Child to socialize with their A-Typical, age and grade appropriate peers, and allow your child Full Access to the General Education Curriculum as well as Full Access to their Education.

    However, Special Needs students are now in a classroom with 30+ students and the teachers, as dedicated as they may be, are not educated in the field of Special Education. With this situation I can't help but wonder, how will Parents be guaranteed their Child's IEP will be implemented in the General Education Classroom? The IEP runs the student's program, not the other way around. Since an IEP is a Federally Legal Document the Goals, and in some cases Short-Term Objectives, Modifications and Accommodations should be in place in the General Ed. Environment.

    Your child's Case Manager is responsible to ensure everything written above is in place. I now work as an Educational Parent Advocate. I have observed on several occasions, the IEP, Supplemental Aides, Modifications and Accommodations are in fact, not in place. In addition the Goals and Short-Term Objectives are not running the student's Program, the Teacher's lesson plan is. The student(s) I am representing as an Educational Parent Advocate often are quietly sitting at their desks, not wanting to call attention to themselves, and are not participating in academics or interacting with their A-Typical Peers.

    To be clear, this is most times not the fault of the General Education Teacher. I find the root of the problem to be overwhelmed Case Managers with many students on their case loads, lack of time to meet with each teacher to review all of the Special Needs Student's IEPs, and most of all, Lack Of Communication. To ensure a successful school experience for Special Needs Students, communication between the Program Specialist, Case Manager, General Education Teachers and Parents is key. This way Case Managers can offer support to the General Education Teachers and Program Specialists can advise and support Case Managers and General Education Teachers. Finally, parents, perhaps the most important members of the IEP Team, need to be included in the communication process. This type of communication between parents and school can be implemented through a Teacher's web-site and/or e-mail, a daily Communication Log or by phone. In my experience as a Special Educator, Administrator and Parent Advocate when these steps are taken, Special Needs students and their Parents will find school to be a safe and welcoming environment.

    Of course, it will take time to make trusting, open, honest relationships with all of the players involved. However, with dedication, determination, and desire all of what is necessary to make sure your child is set up for success in school, can and will happen. If you have any questions, concerns or have a need for an Educational Parent Advocate, please feel free to send an e-mail to: or call me at 619-341-3595. As an Advocate I focus completely on the success of your child and make sure the IEP Team is following all Policies and Procedures as well as Special Education Law. I am happy to give a FREE one hour consultation to all perspective clients. I look forward to answering any questions you may have.

    Richard Spindler, M/S
    Educational Parent Advocate
    Graduate Professor

  • NFAR Family Activity at theNAT Sunday, Oct. 14th!
  • 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

  • NFAR Men's Group - Thu. Oct 11
  • Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123

    Dinner: Pizza, Salad.
    Dinner is provided

    The Men's Group is for dads, step dads, and granddads helping to raise a child with autism. We offer dinner, guest speakers and a chance to network with other men in a relaxed setting.

    October Topic: The IEP - Tips and Practical Suggestions

    Guest Speaker: Allan Roth, M.S.Ed., Alliance Resources and Associates, Inc.

    Click here for all the info about this presentation!!!

  • 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

  • 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!!!

  • Jeremiah's Ranch October Newsletter
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the upcoming events and other news!!!

  • 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....

  • Autistic Adult Social Group
  • Hosted by Autism Society San Diego
    Saturday, October 6th, 6 PM - 8 PM
    Autism Society San Diego
    4699 Murphy Canyon Rd, San Diego, California 92123

    Join us for our Autistic Adult Social Group! We will meet at our office at the United Way Building in San Diego. We will have a separate space for caregivers and support people to meet as well.

    This group is a place for autistic adults to come together for support and understanding. Make new friends, share questions and concerns, and get support from your peers, in a non judgmental and accepting atmosphere. This group is a open to all adults with autism as well as any support people that you require to participate successfully. We look forward to seeing you!

    Autism Society San Diego County

  • Post-Secondary Transition Special Needs Planning
  • For more info or to RSVP please call Camille Favor at 619-524-0916 or email

  • SAVE THE DATE!!! 15th Anniversary Race for Autism!
  • Saturday, April 6, 2019 at Balboa Park!!!

    Join us at the Race for Autism as we come together to celebrate 15 years of making a difference for those with autism in San Diego. It's going to be SUPER!

    Please note: This year's Race is the first weekend in April during Autism Awareness Month!

    PLUS: Don't miss out on our Family Friendly Pricing available through December 31st.

    Or, take advantage of our Justice League pricing package for the 15th anniversary!

    Justice League Special - $25 flat rate for 15 persons! (good thru 12/31/18)

    Learn more or contact NFAR at 858-679-8800

  • 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.