Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. October 18, 2019

In This Issue

Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

New app measures repetitive behaviors in people with autism and intellectual disability

Amazing Ways Surfing Changes the Lives of Children With Autism

My Daughter and I Were Diagnosed With Autism on the Same Day

Single molecule tracks with mutation's path to autism, cancer

Getting at the heart of autism

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

Educational Workshop on Strategies for High School and Adult Transition Students

Halloween SPORTS Camp

RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth

TAG Miramar Halloween Party

Groups for children, teens and young adults enrolling now!

Early Start Denver Model at Ascent Psychological Services

In-Touch Day Program

Free Webinar: Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) Learn how it can help your child!

Ride Above Disability Therapeutic Riding Center

FREE!!! - Special Needs Parent Training

Beers & Cheers for Autism

Parents Night Out! - Benefiting Beacons, Inc. Programs!

The Vida View - Fall 2019


Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

ValeriesList is a FREE resource newsletter and Facebook Page for San Diego County and has been for over 19 years, with a weekly reach of 50,000! No fees, donation or membership are required to receive this info. An informed public makes better decisions for its' persons with Special Needs. Please share with friends, family, fellow professionals and clients!!! Click here to check out my FB page! Thank YOU!

  • New app measures repetitive behaviors in people with autism and intellectual disability
  • COREAT (an acronym for the Spanish version of Autism Repetitive behavior Test) is the first reliable evidence-based application to measure the severity of repetitive behavior in autism and intellectual disability.

    It enables reporting on the level of severity of repetitive behavior in people with ASD and people with intellectual disabilities according to DSM-5 criteria. The application is the result of research carried out by Professor Martínez-González, developed by the company CubeCut Software and contributed by Professor José Antonio Piqueras, in the area of Personality, Assessment and Psychological Treatment at the Miguel Hernández University in Elche.

    The test is an instrument that has shown excellent psychometric properties in international studies and in the Spanish population for the differential diagnosis of autistic space disorder (ASD). COREAT provides the level of severity of symptoms: stereotyped, self-harming, compulsive, similarity, ritualistic and restrictive. The information provided after the test is useful both for health professionals and for family members who can visualize the severity of the symptoms in simple graphs. Read on...

  • Amazing Ways Surfing Changes the Lives of Children With Autism
  • Attend any surf event for children with autism, and there's more than what meets the eye. While it may look like a day where children and young adults are simply surfing, there's actually a powerful form of therapy taking place, something I discovered firsthand.

    Surf events for children with autism and other special needs are a growing trend-there are dozens of organizations on both of America's coasts that push children into waves, and unlike other therapies, there's no copy required with surfing.

    My volunteer experiences at one organization's surf events, Surfers for Autism, had me asking one prevailing question-how is surfing therapeutic? I decided to find out. Read on...

  • My Daughter and I Were Diagnosed With Autism on the Same Day
  • Autistic moms can face judgment while struggling with their own diagnosis and advocating for their children.

    "You convinced yourself that you and our daughter have autism," my husband yelled. "You did all this research and told the doctor what he needed to hear to diagnose you!"

    "No, it wasn't like that," I said. "You know about all the testing we went through."

    "I can't believe you brought her into this," he said. "You're like those mothers who make up medical problems about their kids. Why can't you just let her be a kid?"

    "She's still the same girl she was before she got diagnosed," I said, tears dripping down my face. "And I'm still the same woman you married, too." Read on...

  • Single molecule tracks with mutation's path to autism, cancer
  • Mutations in PTEN, a top autism gene, can lead to autism, cancer - or perhaps both. Levels of a single molecule may predict which of the two outcomes is more likely, according to a new study1.

    The molecule, fumarate, is produced in cells as mitochondria extract energy from food. Fumarate levels are lower in people with autism than in those with cancer, the study suggests.

    The findings offer the promise of a predictor "at the individual level for who gets cancer and who gets autism," says lead investigator Charis Eng, chair and director of the Cleveland Clinic's Genomic Medicine Institute in Ohio. Read on...

  • Getting at the heart of autism
  • Cardiac activity could reveal autism's physiology and confirm a hunch many clinicians share: that people with autism experience great stress.

    A loud, unexpected gurgle from your stomach, an uncontrollable urge to yawn, a galloping heartbeat before a big presentation. These disparate bodily activities - digestion, sleep, stress - all come under the purview of your autonomic nervous system, a network of nerves and fibers that extends to almost every organ in your body.

    Like the autopilot in an airplane, this system constantly makes subtle adjustments to your physiology in response to your surroundings. If you confront danger, the 'sympathetic' arm of the system revs up your circulation to prepare you to fight or take flight. By contrast, when you need to rest or digest, the 'parasympathetic' branch kicks in, relaxing your organs and muscles.

    The wrong response, meanwhile, can have serious consequences. If your body stays primed to face danger for too long, for example, the familiar may seem frightening. Remaining in this state can also lead to anxiety, problems with social interactions and sleep, even heart and digestive troubles. 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.

    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

    We're looking for a good psychiatrist who's ASD-friendly, not too far from the San Diego/Mission Valley/LaMesa general area. If someone knows a wonderful psychiatrist in another part of the county, we'd like to hear about that person. The patients in need are young men in their early and middle 20's. One is a first-timer; the other has moved and needs to find a doctor closer to his new home.
    Thank you very much!

    I am looking for a baby sitter for our 10 year old non verbal son who has autism. He is a very outdoorsy person who loves to swim. Bike ride, hike and go to the park.
    Please let me know if you have any resources.

    I am looking for a reliable and professional babysitter for my son who was just diagnosed with mild ASD.
    Any help will be appreciated.
    Thank you,
    Natalie von Herrath

    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.

  • Educational Workshop on Strategies for High School and Adult Transition Students
  • Join us November 6th for an Educational Workshop on Strategies for High School and Adult Transition Students.

    This November 6, 2019, NFAR Workshop: "Resource and Strategies to Support Youth During High School and Beyond" is presented by the Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism (CSESA).

    The Workshop is open to educators, families and professionals interested in learning more about the resources, tools, and interventions that can used for high-school and transition age youth to support peer-relations/social skills, reading comprehension, transition planning, and behavior.

    The Workshop is FREE, but please register here!!!!

  • Halloween SPORTS Camp
  • Oct 25 at 3 PM - Oct 27 at 4 PM
    Green Oak Ranch
    1237 Green Oak Rd.
    Vista, California

    S4EA SPORTS Camp Session #3 on October 25-27 at Green Oak Ranch (1237 Green Oak Road, Vista 92081) offers a general program of camp & sports activities as well as Halloween fun. Join in the fun trick-or-treating, visiting the Haunted House and Nature Center, going on a Hayride, playing various sports, dancing, showing your talent at the Talent Show, and participating in various other camp activities. Athletes spend 2 nights in cabins under the guidance of chaperones/camp counselors. Persons with disabilities, families, friends, volunteers, coaches & supporters are all welcome to join S4EA at camp.

    The S4EA SPORTS Camp Registration Fee is $190 per session to help pay for lodging, meals, insurance, supplies, etc. Mail Fee & S4EA Camp Registration Form as soon as possible to S4EA (9575 Aero Drive #B, SD, CA 92123).

  • RDI and MORE at Therapeutic Approach to Growth
  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth believes that every individual is unique and has the potential for significant growth. We assume and foster competence while honoring family values and priorities. Our holistic approach is built upon trusting, supportive relationships and collaboration between disciplines and families.

    We specializing in the development and implementation of individualized comprehensive programs utilizing Relationship Development Intervention (RDI), Occupational Therapy, Sensory Integration, Sensory Processing, Applied Behavior Analysis, Art Therapy, and Life Balance Yoga Therapy.

    Offering support in the San Diego, Carlsbad, Orange County, and the Inland Empire.

    In addition to supporting our clients directly, we offer guidance to parents, grandparents, therapists, teachers, siblings, school staff, babysitters etc.

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth
    (858) 689-2027

  • TAG Miramar Halloween Party
  • Join us at TAG Miramar for this spooktacular event! We look forward to seeing you all!!!

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth Inc.
    9466 Black Mountain Road, Suite 100
    San Diego, CA 92126
    Phone: (858) 689-2027

  • Groups for children, teens and young adults enrolling now!
  • null

    Wondering if your child might benefit from joining a group? Give us a call at 858-558-9552 to schedule a free consultation.

    Social Communication Specialists
    5703 Oberlin Dr., Ste 207
    San Diego, CA 92121
    (858) 558-9552

  • Early Start Denver Model at Ascent Psychological Services
  • Ascent Psychological Services
    11665 Avena Place, Ste. 204
    San Diego, CA 92128
    In-Home Services Available
    Insurance and Regional Center Funding Accepted

  • In-Touch Day Program
  • Our mission is to extend day program services to individuals who were once beyond the boundaries of our professional reach.

    Promoting Independence
    In-Touch Day Program is designed to meet the needs of adults with developmental and physical disabilities in becoming increasingly independent individuals.

    In-home Training
    We provide one-on-one in-home training to clients with severe medical conditions who are unable to attend traditional day programs outside their homes.

    Variety of Services
    Our services include a wide variety of skill areas including: communication, functional living, post-secondary education, rec./leisure, self-care, vocational, and more.

    Intouch Day Program is vendored with the San Diego Regional Center and licensed through the Community Care Licensing Division.

    For more info please call (619)359-7609 or email

  • Free Webinar: Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE) Learn how it can help your child!
  • Featuring Thomas Nelson Esq., special education attorney

    Join us by registering at

    The webinar will be held on Tuesday October 22nd at 12:00 noon and will repeat Thursday October 24th at 7:00 pm.

  • Ride Above Disability Therapeutic Riding Center
  • Ride Above Disability Therapeutic Riding Center is a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) member center located in Poway, CA that teaches recreational riding to children and adults of all ages with special needs. The idea behind Ride Above was to create a place where the entire family unit could come and feel welcome, relax and enjoy their time at the ranch. While special needs riders are our focus, we also teach siblings and parents who are interested, which gives our families an activity they can share together.

    Ride Above is a place for family and community, not just for our students but our volunteers and instructors as well. Everyone at Ride Above is committed to changing lives for the better, no matter who you are. We look at every person that is involved and see ability. With a dedicated staff, Ride Above Disability strives to make a difference in the lives of our riders as well as the community of San Diego.

    If you are interested in riding with us or volunteering please contact Allie for more info at 858-209-5662 or

  • FREE!!! - Special Needs Parent Training
  • Saturday, October 19th! 9am - 12:30
    Schwartz & Storey
    Old Town, San Diego
    2247 San Diego Ave. #237
    San Diego, CA 92110
    RSVP at Refreshments will be included.

  • Beers & Cheers for Autism
  • Join us at our 6th annual FUNdraiser to support our recreational programs, including Camp I CAN!

    Wednesday, October 23rd
    5pm to 9pm
    Mike Hess Brewing
    North Park
    3812 Grim Ave.
    San Diego, CA 92104

    Mark your calendars and purchase tickets here!!!

  • Parents Night Out! - Benefiting Beacons, Inc. Programs!
  • Please RSVP to!!!

    Beacons North County
    6150 Yarrow Drive, Suite E
    Carlsbad, CA 92011

  • The Vida View - Fall 2019
  • Click here to read their latest newsletter for all the info!!!

  • 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.