Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. October 23, 2018

In This Issue

Feds crack down on stem cell clinics that touted autism treatments, blindness cures

Budgeting For A Child With Special Needs: A Real Life Look

The Best Way To Make Your Homeschool Week Not Suck

Early interventions, explained

For studies, size matters: Let us count the ways

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)

San Diego Special Needs Law Center

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Autism-Friendly Sensory Playtime! - La Mesa Library


Supported Decision Making (SDM)

Exceptional Vacations for Special Needs New Trip Schedule


Halloween Dance this Friday in Fallbrook

Book: Child Medication Fact Book for Psychiatric Practice

15th Anniversary Race for Autism at Balboa Park!

NFAR Race for Autism, Justice League Special


  • Feds crack down on stem cell clinics that touted autism treatments, blindness cures
  • For the first time, the Federal Trade Commission has cracked down on stem cell clinics for overzealous marketing claims, filing a complaint against two California clinics that promoted their treatments for everything from autism to Parkinson's despite a lack of evidence.

    As part of a proposed settlement announced Thursday, the FTC is requiring the clinics - Regenerative Medical Group and Telehealth Medical Group - and their owner, Dr. Bryn Jarald Henderson, to stop making such claims and to inform past and current patients about the settlement.

    In the complaint, the FTC accused Henderson and his clinics of implying or directly saying that their treatments could help patients with a range of diseases even though there was no indication that was the case. The agency also cited the companies for describing their treatments as comparable to or better than approved or studied treatments. Read on...

  • Budgeting For A Child With Special Needs: A Real Life Look
  • It has become clear over the course of the last six months, that we need to think a little differently about our budget.

    My son's recent additional diagnosis, means that he will likely need care, far beyond the age of 18. When I am most honest with myself, I recognize he will likely need some sort of assistance long past my own lifetime.

    The reality of his autism diagnosis combined with a chronic autoimmune disease is sinking in, and all of a sudden, long-term savings has become a very, very big deal. Read on...

  • The Best Way To Make Your Homeschool Week Not Suck
  • I was going to call this post, "The Best Way To Make Your Homeschool Week Awesome!" but I am committed to being as honest as possible when I write. Let me just be clear, our homeschool week wasn't awesome.

    I am not even sure I would call it good.

    But it didn't suck.

    This time of year tends to be very difficult for my youngest son. There is a seasonality to his illness that typically shows up right around mid-October, every year.

    I have learned that as soon as he is even remotely physically and mentally able, the structure and predictability of our usual homeschool week actually helps him feel a bit better and more secure. Read on...

  • Early interventions, explained
  • In 1987, psychologist Ole Ivar Lovaas reported that he had created a therapy that would make the behavior of some autistic children indistinguishable from that of typical children by 7 years of age1. His approach, applied behavioral analysis (ABA), involves hours of drills each day, in which children are rewarded for certain behaviors and discouraged from others.

    But Lovaas had overstated his case: Of the 19 children in his study who were treated, only 9 went on to meet typical developmental milestones.

    Still, given the dearth of treatments for autism, ABA quickly became popular and is now the most common behavioral therapy for autism - but it is not without controversy. ABA also forms the basis for most interventions delivered early in childhood. The accepted wisdom in autism research holds that early intervention offers the best promise for an autistic child's well-being. But how effective are these therapies? Read on...

  • For studies, size matters: Let us count the ways
  • In autism research, as in other fields, a small sample size can lead to false findings.

    Insufficient sample size can fail to distinguish signal from noise, confounding attempts to determine which patterns are real and which are merely an artifact.

    Most studies of treatments for people with autism include fewer than 100 participants, and some dip well below 60. Although the ideal number varies with the question under study, these numbers are too small to generalize to larger populations of autistic individuals in most cases, experts say. And the ramifications of trusting underpowered studies can be serious.

    "People have assumed there are treatment effects for interventions on the basis of trials that are too small and badly designed," says Jonathan Green, professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at the University of Manchester in the United Kingdom. "The good news is we've wised up to it." Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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,

    I am writing this ad for the amazing family of caregivers who have worked for us for the past six years, caring for my father until his death, and then my severely autistic, non-verbal sister and our mother, both, until they both recently passed away. The caretaker is a licensed CNA, super responsible, kind and personable. He is young and strong, and has experience working with the elderly, those with autism, the physically disabled, and those in a hospice type situation. He has an outstanding work ethic, and cared for our family members regularly during the night as well as the day. He is completely reliable in ordering and dispensing meds. He did extensive "diaper duty" and showering / bathing for incontinent family members with never any complaints. He has a wife who is as sweet as he is, and two young children, and they all lived in with first my father and then my mother (divorced). This would be optional, though it was a great thing, as his wife was the relief caretaker. I would be happy to talk on the phone or in person further about our experiences with this family, their compensation, or anything else. The caretaker has a car and valid driver's license, speaks good English, and is a recently naturalized US citizen. They are willing to relocate. Daria or 619-788-2042

    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

  • San Diego Special Needs Law Center
  • If you have a family member with a disability, you want to assure they have the best possible care and quality of life, both now and later when you are no longer able to be the advocate you are today. If you are a person with a disability, you want to be able to qualify for the benefits and programs you need to achieve as much independence as possible. At San Diego Special Needs Law Center, it is our mission to make sure you have all the support and tools in place to achieve these goals.

    Our Senior attorney, Phil Lindsley, is both a Certified Special Needs Law Attorney and a Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate (State Bar California, Board of Legal Specialization). He has been serving families and individuals with disabilities for over 30 years.

    San Diego Special Needs Law Center
    7880 Golfcrest Dr.
    San Diego, CA 92119
    (619) 235-4357

  • 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!

  • 4th Annual FERIA Partnership Conference 2018

    Lighting the Pathway to Success and Wellness

    Saturday, November 10, 2018
    8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    Southwestern Community College
    900 Otay Lakes Road Chula Vista, CA 91910

    Conference Focus:
    Father to Father Panel
    Health and Wellness Behavioral Strategies
    Student Leadership Strand Quality Education for ALL Children
    Home * School * Community Connection

    Conference Offerings: Workshops/Resource Fair Designed for Families: Birth - Adult Years

    Registration has been extended until October 30th!!!! Click here for all the info and to register!

  • Supported Decision Making (SDM)
  • When a young person with disabilities approaches the age of 18, the family is often told that they must seek conservatorship (guardianship) or they will no longer be able to obtain information or provide guidance and support in the areas of healthcare, education and other services. While some people with disabilities may need assistance with understanding information, researching and weighing options and making decisions, conservatorship is the most restrictive option available to support these issues. Because the restrictions of a conservatorship are rarely altered or reversed, it locks people into a long term and often permanent status of other people making binding decisions for them. Families are often unaware of potential complications of conservatorship or the alternatives available to support their loved ones. The following materials present an overview of concerns about the current conservatorship process: Click here for all the info!!!

  • 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.

  • Halloween Dance this Friday in Fallbrook
  • Wear your costume and get your dance shoes on!

  • 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.