Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. October 19, 2018

In This Issue

Fragile X syndrome's link to autism, explained

Children with autism, developmental delays nearly 50 percent more likely to be overweight, obese

Halloween Help for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder

Life With ASD: Hurry Up and Slow Down Already

Is it Time for the Current Life After High School Transition Model for Teens and Young Adults with Disabilities to Finally Face the Wrecking Ball?

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

FDA Approved Therapy for Anxiety!

The Sensory Santa Photo Experience

Therapeutic Approach to Growth Offering Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)

Sensory-Friendly Trick or Treat

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Autism-Friendly Sensory Playtime! - La Mesa Library

Sunshine Ranch's Fall Festival & Fundraiser in Lakeside

4th Annual Captain Conference on Supporting Inclusion

Exceptional Vacations for Special Needs New Trip Schedule


Book: Child Medication Fact Book for Psychiatric Practice

15th Anniversary Race for Autism at Balboa Park!

NFAR Race for Autism, Justice League Special


  • Fragile X syndrome's link to autism, explained

  • Fragile X syndrome is a leading genetic cause of autism. About one in three people with the syndrome also has autism. But even those who do not have autism often share certain autistic traits, such as avoidance of eye contact and difficulties in social situations. Mutations in the gene FMR1, which cause fragile X syndrome, account for up to 5 percent of autism cases.

    For these reasons, research on fragile X can provide insights into the biology of autism and its treatment. Here is what scientists know about the mechanisms that underlie fragile X and some research angles they are pursuing. Read on...

  • Children with autism, developmental delays nearly 50 percent more likely to be overweight, obese
  • A new study by researchers at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), the University of Pennsylvania and six other centers reveals that children with developmental delays, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), are up to 50 percent more likely to be overweight or obese compared with the general population.

    The findings were published online by The Journal of Pediatrics.

    This is the first large study to demonstrate that young children with ASD or developmental delays are at an equally high risk of developing obesity. Among children with ASD, those with a higher degree of impairment and more severe symptoms were found to be at even greater risk of developing obesity by age five. Read on...

  • Halloween Help for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Costumes, Halloween parties, trick-or-treating and spooky decorations are fun for most kids, but for a child with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Halloween celebrations can be overwhelming. A child with SPD processes input from the five senses differently. What is background music to others may be loud and distracting to a kid with SPD, costumes may feel itchy, make-up may feel sticky, and masks may have a strong scent or be too restricting for kids with Sensory Processing Disorder.

    As a mom of a child with SPD, I know how challenging Halloween can be. My daughter struggles daily to find clothes that are comfortable. If we find a pair of pants she likes, I buy as many as we can find. Loud noises and new situations are often stressful for her. She wants to participate in Halloween fun, but as the day approaches the pressure is too much, the costume is uncomfortable and knocking on the doors of strangers at night is scary. I get frustrated and she ends up disappointed. This year we are taking a different approach; here are tips to help families with SPD enjoy Halloween. Read on...

  • Life With ASD: Hurry Up and Slow Down Already
  • There is a steady slowdown of cars in front of us on our way to a swim meet. My son, who was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) at an early age, starts to show his agitation. Anxiety violently announces itself in the form of rapid-fire questions.

    "Why are we stopping?"

    "How long is this going to take?"

    "Are we going to be late for warm-ups?"

    I patiently reply as I always do, knowing full well he is not looking for an answer. I say, "There could be an accident," or maybe, "Someone's car could be stuck." It doesn't really matter. The answers that I give him do not serve to explain anything; they are simply a device to calm him. If we are successful, he will be able to tell me an alternative route-not by using a smartphone or GPS but because he has memorized our entire trip. With ease, he can tell you every detail, the names of the roads, the numbers of the highways, the exit numbers, what lane to get into once you've exited off the interstate, construction sites that we will encounter, and where the restaurants and shopping centers are. Read on...

  • Is it Time for the Current Life After High School Transition Model for Teens and Young Adults with Disabilities to Finally Face the Wrecking Ball?
  • By Stephen Hinkle, Self-Advocate, Chapman Ph.D. Student

    This is the question many, including myself in the disability field, are starting to ask.

    Historically, transition programs of most school districts have been geared toward students with disabilities staying on the high school campus, not graduating with a high school diploma and instead getting a certificate of attendance. Such a certificate is practically worthless when it comes to employers or college admissions, but these certificates were and still are, offered as an easier track for those who cannot complete the requirements to obtain a diploma.

    Students with disabilities who are in transition programs for 18-22 year olds receive training in basic job skills, life skills, and very simple academic skills. Most of the time, the careers and job skills these programs focus on include occupations such as grocery baggers, thrift store workers, retail stock clerks, cashiers, greeters, fast food workers, coffee cart workers, hotel maids, and janitors. These programs were intended for an individual with a disability to obtain an entry-level job. The transition model was built on the assumption that individuals with disabilities would live at a poverty level while relying on public benefits for health care and social security and live a simple, but very controlled life. 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!

    I have a three-year old son with ASD. We toured a preschool today that's part of SD Unified that is not a good option for him. Does anyone have any recommendations for the best preschool programs for children with ASD? We are more than willing to relocate to a different school district, including Del Mar, Solana Beach, etc. All referrals are greatly appreciated! Thank you!!

    My family & I are relocating to San Diego in November for my husband's new job in Sorrento Valley. We have two boys aged 8(2nd grade) & 10(5th grade) who have high functioning autism. Academically they are on par, but have the behavioral/social issues. We are trying to figure out what the best school district would be for our boys in terms of in-school programs. We currently live in North LA county (the Santa Clarita area). They are in a SDC for high functioning autism & they have programs that go all the way through high school. Some of the places we are looking to buy in are Rancho Bernardo (Westwood), South Carlsbad, Rancho Peñasquitos, Scripps Ranch. I know that is all over the place but we'd like to stay in north county and are open to any other suggestions. Schooling for the boys is most important in our move. I would love any input. Not just for elementary schools but beyond. We are open to charter schools as well if you know of any that would suit their criteria.

    I hear so many opposing opinions as to which are the best and the worst districts. So hard to navigate and I am feeling lost:( I would really appreciate any guidance.
    Thank you in advance,

    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.

  • 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

  • The Sensory Santa Photo Experience
  • Welcome to the Sensory Santa Experience

    This unique one-on-one Private Santa Experience is designed for your child to have a more quiet and casual time with Santa. As a father of a 14 y.o. boy on the Spectrum, I know all too well that the crowds, long lines, and the awful dreaded judgmental stares at the mall are far too overwhelming for those with special needs (and for us ASD parents)! PortrArt Creations will be creating a more intimate setting so your child can have a rare opportunity with Santa and we will capture every moment.

    There will be more information at a later date on this incredible experience so please sign up below if you are interested in knowing more about the Sensory Santa Experience.

    For more info sign up here: or email

  • Therapeutic Approach to Growth Offering Relationship Development Intervention (RDI)
  • 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

  • Sensory-Friendly Trick or Treat
  • Trumpet Behavioral Health and Regus is putting on a Sensory Friendly Trick or Treat event for families the day before Halloween. Kids with Special Needs and without are invited to participate. PLEASE register here: (scroll down to find the San Diego Trick or Treat event, click the "register button", and follow the prompts to include your contact name and information).

    Date: 10/30/18
    Time: 3:30-5 pm
    Location: 9920 Pacific Heights Blvd. Ste #150, San Diego, CA 92121
    Who: ALL community member are invited that are looking to trick or treat in a safe and quieter environment

    We will have activities and refreshments in the lobby for families and children!

    Contact Lauren Cox with any questions:
    (408) 499-0700

  • 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

  • Autism-Friendly Sensory Playtime! - La Mesa Library
  • The first Sunday of the month!
    11:00-12:00 PM
    8074 Allison Avenue, La Mesa, CA 91942

    The La Mesa Library is proud to present an Autism-Friendly playtime event every first Sunday of the month. The library staff provide a friendly, judgement-free space in their lovely space with a variety of sensory and educational activities. All families are welcome to enjoy and explore the library an hour before it opens to the public every month - we hope you can join us!

    Eager to learn more? The County of San Diego put together a beautiful intro video you can find here!

    *Please note this is a family event best suited for children ages 3-10. Individuals without children will not be granted entry until the library opens for its public hours. We appreciate your understanding!

  • Sunshine Ranch's Fall Festival & Fundraiser in Lakeside
  • Hosted by Sunshine Ranch Therapeutic Riding
    Saturday, October 20th at 2 PM - 6 PM
    Heartland Ranch
    12139 Moreno Ave, Lakeside, California 92040

    Sunshine Ranch's Fall Festival & Fundraiser features a Carnival with tons of Prizes, Pumpkin Patch, Pony Rides, Petting Zoo, Silent Auction, Raffle Prizes, Face Painting, Food, & more! $8 admission includes Pumpkin Patch & Carnival!

  • 4th Annual Captain Conference on Supporting Inclusion
  • Saturday, October 27 at 8:30 AM - 3 PM
    Liberty Station Conference Center
    2600 Laning Rd, San Diego, California 92106
    $15 registration in advance - $30 at the door

    Learn about the research and practical guidelines for using evidence-based practices to promote inclusion throughout the lifespan.

    Register at

  • Exceptional Vacations for Special Needs New Trip Schedule
  • Click here to read their latest newsletters for all the info and updates!!!

  • Sitterwise
  • Sitterwise began in 1981 as a service to San Diego's hotel guests who wanted a night out during their family vacation. Fast-forward three decades, and they are a five-star local service with an expanded clientele, including many special needs families in the area. Many of their caregivers are special education majors or have extensive experience with the special needs community, and they are available on-call, throughout San Diego county. Contact or call (619) 663-4379 for more information or to make a reservation.

  • Book: Child Medication Fact Book for Psychiatric Practice
  • Hi Everyone,

    As some of you know, I am Editor in Chief of the Carlat Child Psychiatry Report, a practice newsletter that stands independently from pharmaceutical industry and other influences to give clinicians practical guidance in child and adolescent mental health. As part of that work, I have just co-authored The Child Medication Fact Book for Psychiatric Practice. It is written for clinicians and Val asked me if parents might find it useful too. Maybe so. The book talks about the practicalities of medication, with an eye toward avoiding too much medication, watching out for side effects, and, overall, keeping medication in it's proper place - medication should never be the whole story but something that supports overall treatment. You can download sample pages from the Carlat website and see what you think. I am interested in feedback!

    Dr. Feder

  • 15th Anniversary Race for Autism at Balboa Park!
  • Saturday, April 6, 2019
    Balboa Park, San Diego

    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.

    Learn more or contact NFAR at 858-679-8800

  • NFAR Race for Autism, Justice League Special
  • Special Pricing Good Thru 12/31/18

    Attention Team Captains - here's a great way to form a team for the Race for Autism! Take advantage of our Justice League pricing package for the 15th anniversary!

    Justice League Special - $25 flat rate for 15 persons! This includes timing fees and larger T-shirt sizes.

    To apply or learn more, please contact us 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 Through the Lifespan" Monthly Parent Support and Information Meetings

  • October 2018 - May 2019
    PLNU Graduate Education
    4007 Camino Del Rio South - Fourth Floor
    San Diego, CA 92108

    Please join other parents, caregivers and professionals at the following monthly informational and support group meetings in Mission Valley. These meetings will discuss the various aspects of autism through the lifespan. Each meeting will feature an expert speaker and an ASA parent mentor. This is a time for you to meet other parents, ask questions and network.
    The meetings are free and open to all. See the flyer for all the info!!!

  • Participate in Research!!! Can a Safe 'Fever' Help Autism Syptoms?

  • This pilot study will enroll 12 families with ASD children ages 6-16 years old in a controlled study, within the San Diego.

    If you are interested in participating in this pilot study please contact Frances Poteet at

    Participants who complete the entire study will receive a $20 Amazon gift card!

  • Participate in Research: Caregiver/Family Member Survey
  • business_finance_research.jpg

    My name is Richie Sapp. My twin brother, Mikey, has been attending the TERI day program for several years now. I am a third-year medical student (MS3) at Stanford School of Medicine where I am currently taking a research year to focus my efforts in medical education, specifically to improve patient care for individuals with disabilities. I am creating an elective course for medical students/PA students for Winter Quarter 2018/19 and I could use your help.

    Please consider completing this first survey and if your son/daughter would like to complete the second survey on their own, I would welcome that too.

    1) This survey is for parents/caregivers of individuals with disabilities. Caregiver/Family Member Survey, which will help me with what content to put together for the course. Please feel free to share the survey with anyone who might be interested in sharing their experiences. Here is the link:

    2) Additionally, if you know anyone with a disability who would like to speak about their own experiences, there is a separate survey for individuals with disabilities. The link is below:

    Thank you so much for all your support!

    Please email me if you have any questions.

    Thank you,
    Richie Sapp

  • 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.