Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. October 04, 2019

In This Issue

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Full-body interaction videogames enhance social skills in children with autism disorders

Positive screen for autism often does not spur further evaluation

UC Irvine's middle school for students with ADHD, autism finds success

Brain scans could help predict whether antidepressants will work

How a Minecraft world has built a safe online playground for autistic kids

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

THIS SATURDAY!!! - Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2019

TACA San Diego Family Fun Night

Microcurrent: FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety

Dan's Place, The Friendship Restaurant

Social Skills Groups at Ascent Psychological Services

Friendship Circle - Adult Circle Sukkot & Family Sukkot

NFAR Men's Group October Meeting

AITP San Diego's 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament Benefitting NFAR!

NFAR Mom's Group - October

2nd Annual Aces for Autism Charity Golf Tournament

FREE!!! Writing Right IEP Goals

FREE!!! Focus Group for Parents of Individuals with Autism

2 Full Time Job Openings at TERI, Inc!


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  • Full-body interaction videogames enhance social skills in children with autism disorders
  • Narcís Parés, a member of the Cognitive Media Technologies research group of the Department of Information and Communication Technologies (DTIC) at UPF, is working on a research line known as "full-body interaction." At his laboratory, he designs different applications based on interaction in order to study the mediation of experiences. In conjunction with Hospital Sant Joan de Déu, he created Pico's Adventure, a videogame based on full-body interaction that encourages social communication among participants.

    The videogame seeks to facilitate the social interaction of children with autism by means of a series of fun, collaborative experiences. As Parés explains, "the first experimental studies proved effective as a complement to conventional therapies." "Since then, Pico's Adventure has become an important benchmark in the search for ICT-based tools to promote social interaction conduct in children with ASD." Read on...

  • Positive screen for autism often does not spur further evaluation
  • More than two-thirds of toddlers flagged for autism at doctor visits do not get assessed for the condition by specialists, according to a study of more than 13,000 children1.

    Most children are screened for autism at 18 and 24 months, as the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends. It's after this step that the system fails autistic children, the study suggests.

    "Pediatricians are doing a great job screening kids," says study investigator Sonia Monteiro, assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. But "what happens after screening matters." Read on...

  • UC Irvine's middle school for students with ADHD, autism finds success
  • Most of the students at a special school in Irvine have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism or anxiety issues.

    The school's curriculum is based on mounds of research from the National Institutes of Health and the University of California. Administrators say the children are learning life lessons that will help them just as much as reading, writing and arithmetic will.

    Students at UC Irvine's Child Development Center learn more than history and science.

    "What the program aims to do is teach those social skills or those communication skills that we don't necessarily put any emphasis on in traditional schooling," said Sabrina Schuck, Ph.D., the facility's executive director. Read on...

  • Brain scans could help predict whether antidepressants will work
  • Scientists have long been trying to find out why some people do not respond to antidepressants. Now, new research suggests that it may be possible to predict how well a person with depression will respond to medication by analyzing scans of their brains. The research includes an example of how artificial intelligence (AI) can help the analysis.

    The new research comes in the form of two recent studies, one that features in the American Journal of Psychiatry and the other in Nature Human Behaviour.

    The studies reveal the most recent findings from a clinical trial in the United States called Establishing Moderators and Biosignatures of Antidepressant Response in Clinical Care (EMBARC).

    EMBARC aims to set up objective tests derived from patient biology to help select treatments for mood disorders and reduce the trial and error of prescribing medications. Read on...

  • How a Minecraft world has built a safe online playground for autistic kids
  • For autistic children, online social interactions can be just as fraught as those in the offline world. The community at Autcraft, which is built around a customised version of the popular game Minecraft, has set out to create a safe virtual playground.

    In the process, they may be demonstrating the kind of filtered, structured environment in which more and more socialisation will occur as online and offline worlds collide.

    In my research, I have worked with members of the Autcraft community to better understand how they are keeping autistic children safe while they play. I found they use a combination of modifying the software of Minecraft itself (called "modding") and social structure or rules. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • Do you receive SSI? Don't miss out on food benefits!
    Beginning June 2019, many Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients will become eligible for CalFresh Food Benefits.

    There is NO CHANGE or reduction to SSI/SSP amounts. For more information Click, Call or Come in to your county office to apply and find out more.

    Click to apply online
    Call 1-877-847-3663 (FOOD)
    Come in/find an office at

    Do you type to communicate? Do you use AAC, RPM, FC, supportive typing? Are you looking to meet up with like minded individuals who use a keyboard to tell jokes and give speeches?

    We are forming a social group, that meets monthly in Point Loma, of typers and their communication partners, just for fun, imagine that. No copays and our only goal is having a good time.

    If you are interested please email me
    See you soon,
    Otto Lana

    San Diego Futures - I wanted to make sure everyone was aware of this organization because it can be a helpful resource to families in need of computers and other technology who may not have the resources they need to secure technology for their homes. If anyone needs a laptop or desktop and cannot afford one, please consider reaching out to this group. Desktops and laptops are available at VERY low prices for eligible families.

    I have a very experienced and amazing therapist that wants to start a social group with at least 3 autistic children. We would want the kids between the ages of 10-12 years old, have language, minimal behaviors but struggle with social interactions at school. This will be a fun group that will go to places and do age-appropriate activities. The cost will be $40 for 2-hours per person and the plan so far is to do it once a week, but I need to have at least two other kiddos to make it happen.

    Please contact me via email at if you are interested

    One of my son's caregivers (who I highly recommend) is looking for additional part-time hours, ideally 3-4 days per week, and is available now. She has a bachelor's degree in Therapeutic Recreation and a minor in Child Development and loves working with kids of all abilities. Her career path includes working in Special Education classrooms as an assistant teacher. She is experienced in working with individuals with Autism, developmental delays, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, and speech impairments.

    She owns a vehicle, has a clean driving record, and is both CPR and First Aid certified. Additional positive attributes include:

    Fluency in Spanish
    A patient, kind demeanor
    Ability to adapt easily and highly organized

    The days and times she is available are:
    Monday 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Tuesday 6:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Wednesday 6:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
    Thursday 6:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Her rate is $20/hr. Please call or text her at (507) 217-0583 for more information.
    Tracey Franks

    Hi - My daughter just had her SSI benefits cut and I would like to discuss this with someone versed in the subject as soon as possible. Thanks!

    I am looking for a psycho-therapist for a young woman on the spectrum, diagnosed with aspergers. The woman is 21 years old and has behavioral problems including tantrums, meltdowns and yelling which make it challenging for her family to live with her, so we are seeking help. If anyone has any info about excellent therapists who work with such individuals I would be grateful for any leads or referrals. Amy Gerstler

    I'm looking for someone or someplace that has a physical fitness program for special needs. I have an autistic 22 year old son.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated
    Thank you Georgie

    I'm looking for a life coach/mentor for my 29 yr. old daughter recently diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. This is a private pay position, insurance is not involved, salary is negotiable.

    The coach/mentor MUST be female with extensive experience working with young adults with AS. In addition, she would Ideally be somewhat close in age, have a reliable car and be available to work in the afternoons and or evenings, days & hours are flexible as my daughter does not work.

    The following are some of the areas she needs help with:
    1) Setting Goals, building confidence
    2) Shopping & Preparing healthy meals
    3) Fitness/Exercise
    4) Organization, prioritizing
    5) Keeping house clean, organized, scheduling misc. maintenance, personal appointments....
    6) Socialization, making connections/friends, getting out & living life...

    Please reply to Corey at 949-422-1198 or

    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.

  • THIS SATURDAY!!! - Autism Speaks San Diego Walk 2019
  • Saturday, October 5, 2019 at 9 AM - 1 PM
    Liberty Station NTC Park
    2455 Cushing Rd., San Diego, California 92106

    SAVE THE DATE and REGISTER Today! Walk site is open for individual and team registrations for the 2019 Autism Speaks' San Diego Walk on 10/5/2019

    Event includes local service provider resources, sponsor booths, Kids Zone, live entertainment and a beautiful 5k walk along NTC park waterfront.

    General registration at 9:00am
    Opening Ceremonies 10:00am
    Walk start time 10:30am
    Event activities are open until 1pm.

    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 variety of gifts based on achieving fundraising milestones. Raise $150 earn the official 2019 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.

  • TACA San Diego Family Fun Night
  • Thursday, October 24, 2019 at 6 PM - 8 PM
    Boomers San Diego
    6999 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, San Diego, California 92111

    For TACA members and their families - join TACA San Diego for Family Fun Night at Boomers! We have the space reserved especially for our families to relax and enjoy the evening. Boomers has mini golf, go carts and an arcade. Let's have some family fun!!!

    You must RSVP and give a valid e-mail address and total number of people attending. Space is very limited! First come first serve - RSVP to save your spot. Please note there is no late entry (after 6:30 PM).

    Click here to register for this event!!!

  • Microcurrent: 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 Spectrum Disorders
    • Anxiety
    • Sensory Processing Disorder
    • Depression
    • ADD/ADHD
    • And many more!
    Our program uses the most advanced microcurrent device on the market today, the Electro-Equiscope. Call 858-367-9108 for a free consultation!!!

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

  • Dan's Place, The Friendship Restaurant
  • Reservations are now open for Dan's Place October Pop Up - Persian!
    Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 5 PM - 7 PM
    Dan's Place Kosher Restaurant
    16934 Chabad Way, Poway, California 92064

    Dan's Place was created to give the adult and young adult community with special needs the chance to learn vocational skills in the hospitality industry. Each participant commits to learning a position within the restaurant such as chef, server, host and more! Volunteers assist alongside each participant as they practice from setup to cleanup and everything in between. (858)-487-4879

  • Social Skills Groups at Ascent Psychological Services
  • An 8 week program that takes an innovative approach to create natural, exciting social opportunities through discovery and exploration in interaction with peers.

    Ascent Psychological Services
    11665 Avena Place, Suite 204
    San Diego, CA 92128
    (858) 200-8480

    Please call to join our waitlist for group availability at our south location and upcoming group for Ages 3-7!

  • Friendship Circle - Adult Circle Sukkot & Family Sukkot
  • Adult Sukkot
    Thursday, October 17, 2019 at 5 PM - 7 PM
    Location Given Upon RSVP

    Adult Circle members and their families are invited to celebrate Sukkot with dinner, music, games! Free with RSVP! Address given upon RSVP.

    Prior to registering for any Friendship Circle event, if you are not a member of Friendship Circle, please fill out the new family or new volunteer form:

    Family Sukkot
    Sunday, October 20, 2019 at 10:30 AM - 12 PM
    Friendship Circle of San Diego
    16934 Chabad Way, Poway, California 92064

    Come join your Friendship Circle Family and Friends on Sunday, October 20th at the Chabad of Poway to celebrate Sukkot!

    For any question about these events or more please contact Tanya at (858)-487-4879 or

  • NFAR Men's Group October Meeting
  • Thursday, Oct 10, 2019
    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: "Understanding how to navigate and advocate for IEP goals."

    Learn about IEP goals and how they relate to present levels and areas of need. Goals are how we track a student's progress from year to year and should be measurable and meet all areas of need. We'll look at some of the common concerns and discuss ways to advocate for solutions. Goals also relate directly to the services you are seeking for your child. We'll discuss this relationship and how to know when more, or a different type, of a service is appropriate.

    Guest Speaker: Seth Schwartz, Esq., Special Education & Equality Attorney, Law Offices of Schwartz & Storey

    Seth Schwartz is a managing partner at the Law Office of Schwartz & Storey. The firm focuses on helping children with special needs and their families navigate special education and related areas. Mr. Schwartz received his Juris Doctorate, magna cum laude, from Thomas Jefferson School of Law and undergraduate Bachelors of Arts in History from California State University of Northridge. Both of his degrees focused on social interaction and are a driving force behind my desire to find a meaningful way to contribute in the legal field.

    Practicing special education law was a very personal decision for Mr. Schwartz, whose sister has autism and he experienced the direct impact of the disability on her education and the family. Mr. Schwartz noted that "growing up I watched my parents struggle when making the choices that affected my sister's emotional, social, and academic growth. When I think about my job as an attorney and legal advocate I always keep that perspective in the forefront."

    The Schwartz & Storey philosophy is "do right law." Do right law means placing a focus on issues that have a positive, transformative, effect on the lives of others. As attorneys, we get to help people. Sometimes it is preventative, reviewing concerns and planning ahead. Other times I provide information, advise on a course of action, and, or, speak for those having trouble being heard. By helping find clarity and, or, closure, our clients can focus on the future.

  • AITP San Diego's 4th Annual Charity Golf Tournament Benefitting NFAR!
  • Fri, October 11, 2019
    11:00 AM - 7:30 PM
    Omni La Costa Resort & Spa
    2100 Costa Del Mar Rd.
    Carlsbad, CA 92009

    The Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) is hosting their 4th annual Celebrity Golf Tournament and NFAR is honored to have been chosen as a beneficiary!

    They have a fantastic day planned! Enjoy 18 holes of golf in the best ball scramble format on their Champions/Legends Golf Course. Bring your boss, co-workers & friends for a great day of golf at one of San Diego's premier semi-private courses!

    For all the info and to register:

  • NFAR Mom's Group - October
  • October 16, 2019
    6:30 pm - 8:30 pm
    Filippi's Pizza Grotto
    5353 Kearny Villa Rd
    San Diego, CA 92123
    Dinner: Pizza, Salad.
    Dinner is provided

    These meetings are for Moms to come together in a fun and relaxed setting. The group will meet the 3rd Wednesday of the month for dinner and guest speakers. It's an opportunity to share resources, experiences and enjoy being with other moms of individuals with autism.

    October Topic: "Effective Communication - Changing Your Trajectory One Keystroke at a Time"

    How finding the right "type" of communication can change your world.

    Guest Speaker: Otto Lana

    Otto Lana is now fifteen years old. He lost his ability to speak at age two and was diagnosed with Autism at two and a half. By age six intellectual disability was added to the list. At seven he was no longer on a diploma bound academic track and landed in a life skills program. No one wanted to teach him the alphabet or numbers. No one wanted to discuss world events beyond the weather and the days of the week in circle time. History was confined to a "first this / then that" choice board and a visual schedule of daily events. This was his life because an IEP team in 2011 decided he did not have the capacity to learn. They decided he had no receptive language therefore anything other than a laminated card with a drawing, an icon representing an action or item, was beyond his reach, beyond his intellectual capacity. The list of diagnoses continued to grow and by the time he was twelve included Anxiety, Apraxia, and Seizure Disorder. But this list no longer defines his future, it simply assigns codes for medical billing purposes. In 2014 Otto met Darlene Hanson SLP and his life changed. He, for the first time, had access to a mode of effective communication. Darlene taught Otto how to type. Now Otto is a freshman in high school. He can tell you the rest on October 16th!

  • 2nd Annual Aces for Autism Charity Golf Tournament
  • Saturday, October 26, 2019 at 1 PM - 10 PM
    St. Mark Golf Club
    1750 San Pablo Dr, San Marcos, California 92078

    ATPF is so grateful for our community partner, EVOL!

    Join us for Aces for Autism: a golf tournament,celebration dinner and silent auction hosted by to benefit kids with autism. All proceeds will be donated to Autism Tree!

    1PM - Golf Tournament begins
    6-10 PM - Dinner, Auction and Awards begin

    To purchase tickets or learn more:

  • FREE!!! Writing Right IEP Goals
  • Wed, October 9, 2019
    6:00 PM - 7:30 PM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court, #250
    San Diego, CA 92120

    In this presentation by a special education attorney and advocate with autism, parents/caretakers of students with disabilities will be informed of differences between IEPs and 504s, receive tips about navigating IEP meetings, and learn what goes into writing measurable annual goals.

    Workshop Learning Objectives:1) Understand differences between an IEP and a 504 Plan.2) Understand what an IEP is.3) Learn about the school district's Child Find Obligation.4) Learn what goes into writing good IEP goals.5) Learn some tips about preparing for an IEP meeting. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • FREE!!! Focus Group for Parents of Individuals with Autism
  • Thu, October 10, 2019
    10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court, #250
    San Diego, CA 92120

    The SDSU Center for Autism is committed to being the community centric autism center in San Diego. We are asking for parents of individuals with autism to participate in a focus group that will look at how the SDSU Center for Autism can better serve the community's needs.

    Specifically, we want to understand what types of seminars, workshops, and social activities would best serve to improve your family's skills and quality of life. Once we understand what interests you have, we will be able to modify and create seminars, workshops, and social activities that are more in line with the community's needs. You have a better understanding of what is needed for the autism community to thrive than we do. That is why we are talking with you.

    Participants are asked to RSVP in order to participate. This focus group will be limited to 10 participants. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • 2 Full Time Job Openings at TERI, Inc!
  • The Equestrian Vocational Instructor works at our San Marcos Therapeutic Equestrian site with a small group of adult students who have an interest in working with horses and in obtaining the skills necessary to work in an equestrian environment. Job includes overseeing their job duties and helping them to learn professional skills that will help them gain employment. This individual works closely with the Therapeutic Equestrian team.

    Shift: Full-time, Monday - Friday, 8:00am - 3:00pm
    Salary: $12.00 - $13.00/hour+ eligible increases every 6 months + Benefits

    Skills/ Requirements:1 year related experience preferred, and experience working with horses, HS/GED, acceptable driving history & criminal background check, and ability to obtain a Class B Driver's License is required, and must receive a negative marijuana/drug screen.

    · Health, Dental, Vision
    · Complementary on-site fitness center with group fitness classes including yoga, spinning and Pilates
    · Comprehensive wellness program and participation incentives
    · Healthy lunches prepared on-site daily
    · Safety Incentive Rewards
    · Educational Assistance/Scholarships
    · Student Loan Repayment Program
    · Long-Term & Short-Term Disability Insurance
    · Life Insurance

    Please visit our website to apply online:


    For the Art Instructor position, we are looking for a teaching artist to provide adaptive art experiences for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. This job involves working with a variety of skill levels to teach basic skills, support individual and collaborative art projects, collaborate with talented art staff, and provide direct support to individuals in classes.

    Shift: Full-time, Monday - Friday, 8:30am - 3:30pm
    Salary: $15.00 - $16.00/hour + eligible increases every 6 months + Benefits.

    Skills/ Requirements: Bachelor's in art/art education preferred,1 yr. related work experience demonstrating success at providing and leading art activities for children and/or adults and writing lesson plans, and criminal history background check. Minimum 2 years acceptable driving history & ability to obtain Class B Driver's License required.

    Benefits: · Health, Dental, Vision
    · Complementary on-site fitness center with group fitness classes including yoga, spinning and pilates
    · Comprehensive wellness program and participation incentives
    · Healthy lunches prepared on-site daily
    · Safety Incentive Rewards
    · Educational Assistance/Scholarships
    · Student Loan Repayment Program
    · Long-Term & Short-Term Disability Insurance
    · Life Insurance

    Please visit our website to apply:

  • ASD Mornings at the NAT
  • The San Diego Natural History Museum (The Nat) is pleased to offer a program for the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) community: a once-a-month ASD Morning in which the Museum opens early for adults and children on the autism spectrum and their families, friends, and caregivers. This innovative program encourages individuals to explore, play, and discover the treasures The Nat has to offer in an environment that is comfortable for them.

    ASD Mornings take place the second Sunday of every month. The Museum will open at 9 AM*, one hour earlier than its standard 10 AM opening time, providing a quiet and less-crowded environment for visitors to explore the Museum's galleries at their own pace. In addition, on ASD Mornings the Museum will offer a "quiet room" from 9 AM to noon if visitors need a quiet space to decompress or desensitize. General admission rates apply during ASD Mornings.

  • 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

  • Everyone Deserves a Loving Home

  • Contact Lynn Scott for more information 619-954-7847 or

  • San Diego Park and Rec Program for the Disabled Fall Calendar

  • Click here for the Fall 2019 program calendar. Registration is open now!

    Registration can be done online at or at our office at the War Memorial Building (3325 Zoo Drive, San Diego, Ca 92101)

  • Learn About RDI in San Diego!
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    9466 Black Mountain Road
    Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • Learn About RDI in Carlsbad!
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    5411 Avenida Encinas
    Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    Phone: (760) 448-5837

  • TAG Temecula Info Session Online Webinar Every Month

  • For all the info and to RSVP please contact Emily Fattouh Program Coordinator at or call 858-689-2027.

  • Toddler MRI Study at SDSU

  • Our Center's research arm, the Brain Development Imaging Labs, is conducting a fascinating study looking at how young children's brains change as they get older. We are looking for kids (15 months to 5 years old) who are on the spectrum or who are suspected to have autism. Participants get a free assessment (plus assessment summary), free MRI scan, $150, AND a free picture of their brain! For more info or to sign up, please call us at 619-594-2500 or email us at Thank you!

  • Participate in SPARK at UCSD

  • UC San Diego's Autism Center of Excellence is seeking individuals diagnosed with ASD and their biological family members to participate in SPARK, the largest national genetics research project in US history! The SPARK study aims to gain a better understanding of the causes and potential treatments of autism by building a cohort of 50,000 diagnosed individuals to facilitate research on an unprecedented scale. There is NO cost to participate in the study and it can even be completed without leaving the house!

    What we do
    SPARK researchers extract genetic data through a saliva sample and analyze information collected from thousands of people with autism and their biological parents. UCSD and over 20 of the nation's leading medical schools are part of this effort.

    How to join*
    1. Sign up online at -- registration typically takes about 20 minutes. Using this link connects you to our site, which enables us to better follow up with you if you encounter any issues or have specific questions.
    2. Complete a few questionnaires online.
    3. Provide a saliva sample. A saliva collection kit will be sent directly to your home after registration. When you are done, simply mail it back in the prepaid mailer.

    Benefits of joining
    1. Individuals with autism will receive gift cards valued at up to a total of $50 for participation.
    2. SPARK hosts monthly webinars, featuring psychologists, researchers, or speakers from the autism community, that provide useful information for families and individuals with autism.
    3. If a genetic finding is discovered related to the cause of autism, results will be shared back with families.
    4. The information you provide may help others with ASD for generations to come!

    *Our site also offers the option for home appointments where a member of our SPARK team can come to your home and assist you in the registration process, collect the saliva samples, and mail them in for you! This is typically the preferred method for families as everything gets completed at once. Please note that we ask that both biological parents and individual diagnosed with ASD be present for these appointments. We can accommodate a variety of dates and times outside normal business hours on the weekdays or weekends -- whichever is most convenient for you and your family! Alternatively, we can also schedule in-clinic appointments at our office if that is preferred.

    You can visit our SPARK FAQ page for additional details. Please contact us via email at or via phone at 858-534-6906 if you would like to set up an appointment or if you have any questions!

  • Older Adults with Autism (40-75 yrs old) Needed for Study

  • We are looking for older adults with autism (40-75 yrs old) to be in our brain imaging study! Anyone with a diagnosis or suspects that she or he has autism is invited to reach out to us. Participants receive a free assessment, free MRI brain scan, and around $150! If you know anyone who might be interested in this, please have them email or call us at 619-594-0176. Thank you!

  • SDSU Center for Autism Brain Study Needs Volunteers!

  • The SDSU Center for Autism is conducting a behavioral and brain imaging study with youth (7-21 years old) on the spectrum. We are trying to understand how the brain changes as children become young adults. Participants get a free assessment, a free MRI scan, about $150, and a free picture of their brain! If you are interested, call us at 619-594-0176, or email us at Thank you!


    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.