Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. November 12, 2019

In This Issue

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Basketball program allows players with special needs to shine

Senators Join Effort To Increase SSI Asset Limits

2019 Selected Signed and Vetoed Bills Affecting Persons with Disabilities

Poway Unified Struggling to Fill Special Needs Aide Shortage

Motor problems in autistic people may be grossly underestimated

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

2nd Annual Autism Speaks North County Walk 2019 - THIS SATURDAY!!!

11th Annual ATPF USD Winter Wonderland

Parent Training: Understanding Special Education Law in Relation to the IEP!

Holiday Cheers for Autism - A Family Celebration

Race for Autism Open for Sponsors and Resource Fair Participants!!!

NFAR Men's Group November Meeting

NFAR Mom's Group - November Meeting

FREE! Movie Night and Discussion for Adults with Autism

Aging Out Premiere

Leading The Charge - Collaborating for Effective Services 2019

Autism Speaks: Sensory-Friendly Santa 2019

Villa de Vida, Inc. - Social Club Event

Autism Through the Lifespan

On Our Way to Phase III


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!

  • Basketball program allows players with special needs to shine
  • SAN MARCOS - A special needs basketball program based out of San Marcos continues to make every player feel like a star. The program is designed to teach kids the fundamental skills of basketball while making everyone involved feel like a winner.

    When San Marcos resident Rick Clark and his wife started the Shooting Stars program, it was so his autistic son, Jacob could play basketball. "He played the other sports, but he really liked basketball," Clark said. "When he was at school playing with his one-to-one aid - and we tried to do the regular basketball - but he couldn't understand the competitive concept."

    That's when Shooting Stars was started in coordination with the San Marcos Youth Basketball League. Children and adults with physical and mental challenges practice and compete in basketball games in a fun atmosphere for an entire season. "Our program is probably 75 to 80% autistic kids and there's some kids with Down syndrome and cerebral palsy. This biggest challenge for them is the social side," Clark said. "The thing that a lot of these kids are lacking as far as opportunity is the ability to play on a team and the social interaction or building a relationship with someone." Read on...

  • Senators Join Effort To Increase SSI Asset Limits
  • A push to allow people with disabilities receiving Supplemental Security Income to keep more assets and remove a penalty affecting those who marry is gaining steam.

    Members of the U.S. Senate introduced legislation last week that would significantly increase the amount of money that SSI beneficiaries can retain.

    Under current law, individuals receiving SSI generally cannot have more than $2,000 at any given time. The figure sits at $3,000 for couples. Read on...

    Note from Val: This has come up about every two years for the past 20 years or so. Nothing ever happens....

  • 2019 Selected Signed and Vetoed Bills Affecting Persons with Disabilities
  • The first year of the 2019-20 legislative session came to an end on October 13, the deadline for Governor Newsom to sign or veto bills passed by the legislature.

    In the first year of the 2019-2020 legislative session 2,576 bills were introduced (not including constitutional amendments and resolutions). Over one-half of those bills either died in the legislature or were made two-year bills which are eligible to be considered in 2020. Of those introduced bills 1,042 made it to the Governor's desk. The Governor signed 870 bills and vetoed 172 (16.5%). See, How Often do Governors Say No, California Senate Office of Research, October 2019, for a historical analysis. Read on...

  • Poway Unified Struggling to Fill Special Needs Aide Shortage
  • The Poway Unified School District is looking to fill 118 unfilled aide jobs

    On any given day at Poway Unified Schools, 20% of special needs students will not have an individual instructional aide.

    The union representing those aides, the Poway School Employees Association (PSEA), says that number is alarming.

    Right now, there are 118 unfilled aide jobs, and that's if no aides take a day off.

    "It's difficult," PSEA President Courtney Martin said. "It wears on them. They are unable to take breaks and lunches." Read on...

  • Motor problems in autistic people may be grossly underestimated
  • At least one in three autistic children has significant movement difficulties, according to a study of more than 2,000 children1. And yet only about 1 percent of autistic children have a diagnosed movement condition.

    The study, the largest of its type, suggests that movement difficulties in autistic people are being systematically overlooked.

    "That's not due to any sinister intent, it's just that we get a bit blinkered on looking for the core features of autism," says lead investigator Andrew Whitehouse, professor of autism research at the Telethon Kids Institute in Perth, Australia. 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

    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 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

    My 21-year-old autistic daughter has OCD-like behaviors such as slamming doors, stealing, obsessive eating/drinking, twitching, yelling, etc. We have tried different medications and supplements but nothing seems to work. Does anyone have any recommendations? Thanks.
    Maya Hu-Chan

    Looking for a peer support/tutor/communication partner in the classroom three days a week for a high school freshman. Must be able to be employed in the US. English must be your first language. Experience with AAC/AT a must. Salary is based on experience. For more information email

    Has anyone had experience with Microcurrent Therapy to treat Autism-related behaviors such as OCD, anxiety, sensory processing, or hyper-activity? How effective is it? What changes have you seen? I am considering it for my 21-year-old autistic daughter. I would greatly appreciate it if you could share your experiences with me. Thank you.

    Our son recently got diagnosed with Autism and we are currently trying to setup RESPITE services for him.

    We were approved for 8hrs of RESPITE per month. We selected "24HourHomeCare" as our RESPITE agency. The agency mentioned that they don't have care givers available at this point and we were asked if we knew anyone that can join 24HourHomeCare.

    Can you please help us find caregivers specialized in Autism and someone that can provide us RESPITE services.
    Thanks, Kalyani.

    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.

  • 2nd Annual Autism Speaks North County Walk 2019 - THIS SATURDAY!!!
  • Saturday, November 16, 2019 at 9 AM - 1 PM
    Mance Buchanon Park
    425 College Blvd, Oceanside, California 92057

    The second annual Autism Speaks North County Walk is back at Mance Buchanon Park on November 16th. Every dollar raised helps fund research, advocacy and support for those living with autism and their loved ones. Join us and sign up today! Find out more:

  • 11th Annual ATPF USD Winter Wonderland
  • Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 4 PM - 7 PM
    University of San Diego
    5998 Alcala Park, San Diego, California 92110

    Want to RSVP for your family? Sign up here:

    We will be hosting our Annual Cookie Exchange Contest during the event! To enter into the contest, please bring 2 dozen of your favorite holiday treats (cookies, brownies, etc) to share. Top 3 winners get a special prize from ATPF!

  • Parent Training: Understanding Special Education Law in Relation to the IEP!
  • Saturday, November 16th
    9:45 AM to 12:30 PM
    Mission Valley Library
    Community Room
    2123 Fenton Parkway
    San Diego, CA 92108

    This Parent Training is presented by Seth Schwartz, Esq., from the Law Offices of Schwartz & Storey. Structured in two parts, we'll cover the important foundational principles of special education law and its relationship to the IEP. Then, we'll discuss how you can effectively use this information to self advocate for better outcomes!

    RSVP Required!!! Please email: or call 858-430-8166

  • Holiday Cheers for Autism - A Family Celebration
  • Sunday, December 08, 2019
    11:00 AM to 3PM
    My Yard Live, 288 Rancheros Drive, San Marcos, CA 92069

    Join us at My Yard Live for our first ever Holiday Cheers for Autism. This is a family friendly event! My Yard Live features an outdoor play area, video arcade, and kids meals. Children's tickets are available and we encourage you to bring your whole family to this fun holiday event. Santa will be joining us and there will be opportunities to get a great holiday photo and some holiday gifts!

    Adult tickets include entrance to the event, plus your meal and two drink tickets. Choose from My Yard Live beer, Dark Horse wine, or our featured cocktails, the Luau and the Mule. Enjoy our fabulous silent auction, and have a fun day out while helping raise money for our recreational programs, including Camp I CAN, AWARE, and Surf Camp.

    Click here to get your tickets!!!

  • Race for Autism Open for Sponsors and Resource Fair Participants!!!
  • BIG THANKS to FOX 5 San Diego for THREE YEARS of Race for Autism Sponsorship!

    We're thrilled to have FOX 5 San Diego as a media partner at the 2020 Race for Autism!

    We're so grateful for all the support Fox 5 has given our Race and we can't wait to see Raoul Martinez and the entire team of Fox 5 Superheroes on March 28th in beautiful Balboa Park! Thank you for being HEROES for autism! If your Company would like to join us and be a HERO sponsor for those with autism and their families, please contact us directly at 858-679-8800.

    To reserve your booth at the 2020 San Diego Race for Autism Resource Fair, email us at or call us at 858-679-8800 for an application. Please note that space is limited.

  • NFAR Men's Group November Meeting
  • Thursday, Nov 14, 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.

    November Topic: "Discovering/Creating Social Opportunities at Home-What Can I do?"

    Children need exposure to social examples as well as explanations and opportunities to practice throughout the day. Discover resources and strategies you can use with your child in your daily routines, in your community and in new situations as every new situation comes with a new set of social expectations. Learn strategies that you can embed into your established routines and new activities that can help build social competence and take advantage of all those teachable moments!

    Guest Speakers: Sheri Hughes, MA, CCC-SLP, and Renee Tompkins, MS, CCC-SLP - Poway Unified School District

  • NFAR Mom's Group - November Meeting
  • November 20, 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.

    November Topic: "The Comfort Cub - Weighted Support, and the Amazing Comfort it Provides"

    Come learn more about the Comfort Cub, what it is and how it can be used to support your child. Interested Moms will be given a cub to take home!

    "Hi! I am a therapeutic teddy bear called The Comfort Cub. A mom who wanted to share a little extra love and comfort invented me to be a hug that could last forever! My special weight helps you feel better when you hold me. Someone who cares about you has given me to you. We hope that in some small way I will bring a little bit of comfort to your arms."

    Guest Speaker: Marcella Johnson, Inventor and Founder of The Comfort Cub

    The Comfort Cub was created by President and Founder Marcella Johnson. Originally, the Comfort Cub was developed to provide comfort to those in grief but is being researched by Stanford University for the comfort this special weight brings to others, including those with autism spectrum disorders.

  • FREE! Movie Night and Discussion for Adults with Autism
  • Fri, November 15, 2019
    6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    SDSU Center for Autism and Developmental Disorders
    6363 Alvarado Court, ste. 250
    San Diego, CA 92120

    Adults with autism are invited to watch a movie and discuss it with fellow attendees.

    The SDSU Center for Autism will be hosting a movie night for adults with autism on November 15th from 6-9 pm. We will be watching Neurotypical. After the showing, if attendees are interested, we will discuss the themes of the movie and go wherever the conversation takes us. We will provide popcorn and some drinks. You are welcome to bring other foods as well. Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Aging Out Premiere
  • Friday, November 22, 2019 at 6 PM - 7 PM
    Dove Library in Carlsbad
    1775 Dove Ln, Carlsbad, California 92008

    Premiere of the long-awaited film, followed by Q and A with filmmaker and special friends.

  • Leading The Charge - Collaborating for Effective Services 2019
  • 6th Annual Leading the Charge - Collaborating for Effective Services One-Day Educational Event host by DDPN with lead sponsorship by San Diego Regional Center.

    Doubletree Hazard Center
    7450 Hazard Center Drive
    San Diego, CA 92108
    Wednesday, December 4, 2019 from 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM

    This Year's Focus:
    Individuals with intellectual & developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health challenges

    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Autism Speaks: Sensory-Friendly Santa 2019
  • Can you believe that the holidays are right around the corner? Over 740 compassionate shopping destinations across the country (including 6 in San Diego County!) are hosting our autism-friendly Santa Experiences with the team at MyHolidayMoments. Find one near you and reserve your spot today! Hurry! Space is Limited!!!

    • Otay Ranch Town Center
    • Fashion Valley - Two Days
    • Chula Vista Center
    • Carlsbad Premium Outlets
    • The Shoppes at Carlsbad
    • Parkway Plaza
    Click here for all the info and to register!!!

  • Villa de Vida, Inc. - Social Club Event
  • The Movie will be a Mystery until the Tuesday before - it starts at 10:30am. Please remember to sign up at Stay for a 1/2 price lunch with your ticket stub.

  • Autism Through the Lifespan
  • Please RSVP for Spanish Translation support

    For further information, please contact:
    Carolyn Carterette, M.A. (619) 725-8080 email:
    Grace Fantaroni, Ed.D. (619) 563-2839 email

  • On Our Way to Phase III
  • We are eager and ready to see Phase II B of the Campus of Life (COL) begin construction and are on track to submit architectural drawings for Phase III by mid-December. Completion of Phase II B construction will provide the foundation on which TERI begins building a sustainable future for those we serve, their families, community, and many more around the world. This phase will allow our students, families, and the community to truly begin their Campus of Life experience.

    One of the major impacts will be the Vocational Center. This building, to be constructed beginning January 2020, will offer 57 additional one-hour classes per week for TERI's adult day students, and 465 more hours per week of rich learning opportunities for transforming our student's lives and capabilities. There will be 8,460 more square footage for programs. The Vocational Center and our organic farm will also result in greater sustainability from the below revenue-generating programs:

    • Expanded organic food production; a farm stand for selling organic food to the community
    • A retail shop with student handmade goods, gourmet products, and art
    • Food services via an outdoor patio and "grab-n-go" cafĂ©
    • A floral shop with classes and products for sale
    Phase II B is critically important in helping us achieve our goal of community integration and social connection for our students and community. Your continued support is vital to make it to the finish line; we are so close.

    Currently, we are $1.6M shy of the $8.4M needed to complete Phase II B. There isn't a better time for your dollars to make a more significant impact for all students at TERI.

    We can already envision corporations using the campus space for meetings, team builders, training sessions, and more. To see our students helping serve them food, setting up the area and recreating with their community is a positive step in changing the way the world views and helps children and adults touched by special needs. Cheryl Kilmer's ambitious project is a vision in motion, and families are counting on us to complete her vision.

    Will you help make this Phase and their dreams come true? Donate Today.

    TERI, Inc.
    251 Airport Rd
    Oceanside, CA 92058

  • 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.