Empowering Through Information and the Fostering of Connections
Love. Acceptance. Intervention. Civil Rights. November 20, 2018

In This Issue

Please Share This Newsletter and Facebook Page!!!

Autistic Adults Share What Helped (and What Didn't) Manage the Stress of the Holidays

What The Movie Deej Means To Me As A Non-Speaking Autistic Man

Does air pollution raise autism risk?

Detecting schizophrenia before symptoms arise

The Neglected End of the Autism Spectrum: People with Little Speech

Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

In Carlsbad: Therapeutic Approach to Growth (TAG) Speech Therapy

Participate in Research: Spark for Autism Day at UCSD!

15th Anniversary Race for Autism at Balboa Park, April 6, 2019!

NFAR Race for Autism, Justice League Special!

Cortica Care: Comprehensive Autism Treatment

Registration for Night to Shine at North Coast Church Opens!

The Old Globe Sensory Friendly Grinch - December 1st!

Foster Homes Needed for Adults with Special Needs!

Farmers Insurance Open Tickets only $35! - Proceeds Benefit NFAR!

Early Childhood Conversations

Good Dog Autism Companions Now Accepting Applications for Facility Dog

Engage & Connect Program -- Next session starts November 29th!

Bobcat Buddies December 2nd!!!

Leading The Charge - Collaborating for Effective Services 2018


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 18 years. No fees 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!

  • Autistic Adults Share What Helped (and What Didn't) Manage the Stress of the Holidays
  • With the holidays upon us, conversations with my friends have centered around how stressful this time of year can be for their kids and for their families. With flashy decorations, loud gatherings, disruption to routines and expectations from family members who don't 'get it,' the holidays are often distressing to kids on the spectrum.

    Many of the conversations include the questions, "How does your kid handle family gatherings?" or "What helps your child?"

    In these conversations, I believe it is always best to include the voices of experts - adults on the autism spectrum. They have "been there, done that" and have solid advice to offer, given their personal experiences. Read on...

  • What The Movie Deej Means To Me As A Non-Speaking Autistic Man
  • By Jeremy Sicile-Kira
    Truly this movie could have been written by me. Greatly as a film about advocacy, this one truly tells what it is like for my brethren who are mostly nonverbal who cannot always control their feelings or senses or physical movements. Like Deej's mom, my mom helped me get out of darkness and finally I was able to show the world my intelligence. This film correctly demonstrates how people like me can be included and heard. I greatly very much love this movie.

    Frankly the idea that Deej could go on a trip with his cousin shows that Deej, like me, has dreams just like any other guy of travelling with buddies or young relatives - not just our parents. Frankly Deej and I are lucky because we each have family that advocate for us until we are able to advocate for ourselves. Frankly Deej's film shows that we can be included. Those who do not have parents like ours, need our help to come out of the darkness. Read on...

  • Does air pollution raise autism risk?
  • Traffic-related air pollution may play a role in development of autism, new research suggests.

    A Canadian study found that exposure to a common air pollutant during pregnancy was tied to higher odds of a child being diagnosed with autism by age 5.

    That pollutant, nitric oxide, is associated with traffic pollution, the researchers noted.

    "There is no cure for autism spectrum disorder, so prevention has an important role to play," said lead researcher Lief Pagalan.

    "Avoiding air pollution is not easy because it's all around us, and we should see this as a broader public health issue," said Pagalan, of the faculty of health sciences at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver. "In the long term, it's about bringing down air pollution levels for everyone." Read on...

  • Detecting schizophrenia before symptoms arise
  • Early diagnosis is key to the effective treatment of schizophrenia. In a recent study, scientists probed neural activity in the hunt for rogue connectivity. Their findings may help clinicians catch schizophrenia before the first psychotic episode.

    Schizophrenia is a mental health disorder characterized by disrupted perceptions and thoughts. Symptoms can include delusions, hallucinations, and impaired cognitive abilities.

    In the United States, schizophrenia affects an estimated 0.25-0.64 percent of the population. Often appearing in an individual's late teens or early 20s, schizophrenia is highly disruptive, challenging to treat, and long-lasting. Read on...

  • The Neglected End of the Autism Spectrum: People with Little Speech
  • Joan Drebing waited for those first words from her twin babies. Just as infants have an inborn drive to learn to talk, parents seem programmed to take delight in hearing their voices for the first time. Although her daughter began speaking, her son, Ryan, seemed stalled at "mama." When he was 3, his family learned why: he has autism spectrum disorder (ASD).

    Despite speech-language therapy, and other interventions, Ryan's speech did not catch up to his twin's. Now age 8, he has little functional speech, like 25 to 30 percent of people with autism. "We know what his voice sounds like, but we don't know what his talking sounds like," Mrs. Drebing said, a little wistfully.

    Despite a surge in research and public interest in autism in recent decades, we still do not know why functional speech remains elusive for some people with autism. "Little is known about this group because they are rarely the focus of research," according to a 2013 article by some of the top U.S. experts in autism. Read on...

  • Family and Others Looking for Help!!!

  • 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

    Does your child or young adult have IHSS hours? I have an amazing person who is working with my 22 year old daughter and is looking to take on new clients. She's been great at teaching life skills, cooking, hygiene and can also help with things like organizing schoolwork, mentoring etc. She is also available for work private pay as well. Please spread the word if you know anyone who needs this type of service for teens/young adults 😊Contact me for details Debra Berl 619 672-8893

    My 16 year old son( with autism/intellectual disability/pica/anxiety/chronic constipation) has been having intermittent aggression since we relocated to Carlsbad 2 months ago came home from CAPS yesterday...can you recommend a person who we can hire to stay in our home for an extra layer of support in the early evening (5-8pm) during the "sundowner" time? This is the time that aggression may come from out of nowhere. I would need help getting him to his room without being assaulted, where he can be safe, getting him PRN medication, and allowing him to calm down there (without calling the PERT team or the police). Once we are certain that he is stabilized with the right dosage of medication, we will not need the same level of extra support. We can pay up to $20/hr. We are also in the process of getting IHSS for him, so in time we will have more resources available...

    Please reply directly to my email address:

    We hired an advocate this summer for our middle schooler, but feel that it is a lot of money for what we are getting. We just would like someone who would answer questions we can have once in a while, but in an immediate way because sometimes it's urgent...does anyone know of someone/somewhere we can get those kind of services? Thank you!!

    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.

  • In Carlsbad: Therapeutic Approach to Growth (TAG) Speech Therapy
  • Are you looking for speech therapy services and haven't found the right fit? Therapeutic Approach to Growth (TAG) in Carlsbad has an excellent new SLPA who we'd love for you to meet!

    Currently Jordan still has some openings in her schedule but she is filling up fast! Reach out to us to schedule with Jordan if you need speech therapy services and you are available to come in on:

    Mondays between 10:00AM and 1:00PM
    Tuesdays between 10:00AM and 2:00PM
    Thursdays between 9:00AM and 2:00PM
    Fridays before 2:00PM

    Send us an email at to inquire about our speech therapy services and get to know Jordan! We hope to hear from you soon!

    Therapeutic Approach to Growth (TAG)
    5411 Avenida Encinas
    Suite 110
    Carlsbad, CA 92008
    (760) 448-5837

  • Participate in Research: Spark for Autism Day at UCSD!

  • Visit UC San Diego's Autism Center of Excellence on Saturday, December 1st for fun and games, and join the thousands of families who have already participated in SPARK!

    WHEN: Saturday, December 1st from 9AM - 5PM
    WHERE: UCSD Autism Center of Excellence - 8110 La Jolla Shores Drive, Suite #201/202, La Jolla, CA 92037

    WHAT: UC San Diego's Autism Center of Excellence (ACE) is hosting a live-registration event to sign up families who have a child diagnosed with ASD for the largest national autism genetics research study! SPARKforAutism seeks to recruit 50,000 individuals diagnosed with ASD and their biological family members to uncover the genetic causes of ASD in order to transform our understanding of autism and help improve the lives of individuals affected by autism and their families. Over 14,000 families nationwide are already participating! Our site offers free parking, food and drinks, child care, games, and plenty more all while providing assistance in registering for and participating in the SPARK study! There is no cost to participating and families that complete the study will also be eligible for Amazon gift codes valued up to $50! Additionally, if a genetic mutation is found, families will be notified about the results and will receive the option to speak with genetic counselor at no cost. Provide a saliva sample, and we are set to go!

    RSVP is REQUIRED by November 26th! To reserve a spot or to learn more about the study, please contact us by calling (858) 534-6906 or emailing our SPARK coordinator, Mo Shir, at

    ***As this is a genetic study, we ask that BOTH biological parents, individual diagnosed with ASD and any siblings willing to participate attend the event! Families must be able to complete the registration and consent forms in English. Unable to make the event? You can still participate online at, or by making an appointment with the UCSD ACE clinic by calling the number above.

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

    Join over 7,000 San Diegans 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.

  • 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 Integration
    • 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
    21515 Hawthorne Boulevard
    Torrance, CA 90503

  • Registration for Night to Shine at North Coast Church Opens!
  • WHEN: Friday, February 8, 2019, 6-9pm
    WHERE: North Coast Church, Vista Campus, 2405 North Santa Fe Ave., Vista
    WHO: People with special needs, ages 14 years and older and their caregivers

    Sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation - celebrating people with special needs.

    North Coast Church is proud to be an official host church for the 2019 Night to Shine, sponsored by the Tim Tebow Foundation. Night to Shine is an unforgettable prom night experience, centered on God's love, for people with special needs, ages 14 and older. The event will be hosted by an estimated 700 churches around the world simultaneously on Friday, February 8, 2019.

    Every guest of Night to Shine enters this complimentary event on a red carpet complete with a warm welcome from a friendly crowd and paparazzi. Once inside, guests receive the royal treatment, including limousine rides, professional photography, hair and makeup stations, corsages and boutonnieres, shoe shines, a catered dinner, karaoke, a Respite Room for parents and caretakers, and, of course, a dance floor... all leading up to the moment when each guest is crowned a king or queen of the prom.

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

  • The Old Globe Sensory Friendly Grinch - December 1st!
  • The Old Globe Theatre
    December 1, 2018 at 10:30am

    As a friend of ValeriesList you are invited to a special performance of America's favorite holiday fable, returning for its 21st joyous year!

    Dr. Seuss's How the Grinch Stole Christmas! is a wonderful, whimsical musical based upon the classic Dr. Seuss book. Back for its 21st incredible year, the family favorite features the songs "This Time of Year," "Santa for a Day," and "Fah Who Doraze," the delightful carol from the popular animated version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas! Celebrate the holidays as The Old Globe is once again transformed into a snow-covered Whoville, right down to the last can of Who-hash.

    Space is limited-get your tickets now!

    For tickets to our sensory-friendly performance, please call the Ticket Office at (619) 234-5623 and say FRIENDLY Or CLICK HERE to save $10 off adult and children's tickets!

  • Foster Homes Needed for Adults with Special Needs!
  • Foster Homes Needed for Adults with Special Needs! If you or someone you know are interested, contact me today.

    Lynn Scott
    Adult Foster Home Program Manager
    (619) 954-7847

    Click here for more information!!!

  • Farmers Insurance Open Tickets only $35! - Proceeds Benefit NFAR!
  • Don't miss out on this amazing opportunity to purchase Farmer's Insurance Open, January 23 - 27! Last year, we sold out of tickets, so don't wait.

    Tickets for the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines can be purchased through NFAR for $35 each and mailed to you.

    ADVANTAGES: These tickets provide the same access to the Tournament as the $50 tickets! NFAR tickets are good for any one day during the tournament, January 23 - 27. And, every ticket purchased through NFAR supports autism! ($25 goes back to NFAR).

    To learn more, or to purchase tickets, please contact NFAR at (858) 679-8800.

  • Early Childhood Conversations
  • Trumpet Behavioral Health has partnered with the Marine Corp Recruiting Depot to offer a series of workshops for DoD families in November, December, and January. workshops will be presented by Lauren Cox, M.Ed. BCBA with Trumpet. Please see the flyer for RSVP information. As well, reach out to Lauren at or (408) 499-0700 with any additional questions.

    To RSVP or for more info please call: 619-524-0916 or email:

  • Good Dog Autism Companions Now Accepting Applications for Facility Dog
  • Facility Dog Program

    A Good Dog! Facility Dog is an autism service dog that lives and works with its autism service provider/handler (like a Speech Therapist, an OT, or even a School Principal). The handler is a professional who utilizes the dog to help people with autism meet their goals during either therapy sessions or school days. The service provider must work primarily with children with autism and can be an Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, Recreational Therapist, Speech Therapist, Special Education Teacher, or Autism Therapist.

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

  • Engage & Connect Program -- Next session starts November 29th!
  • Families of young children with autism, ages 2 - 8, and their siblings are invited to join us for our next session of the "Engage & Connect".

    The program is designed to bring parents, siblings, and children with ASD together, learn strategies from our professional team, and most of all - have fun!

    Play activities have been designed to encourage communication and social skills development.

    The Engage & Connect Program is held once a week for 4-weeks at Kid Ventures indoor recreational play center in 4S Ranch on Thursdays from 5:15 - 6:30 pm starting November 29th.

    To learn more or to register, please contact NFAR at 858-679-8800. Spots fill quickly-sign up for the next session today!

  • Bobcat Buddies December 2nd!!!
  • Sun, December 2, 2018
    2:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    Big Fly Athletics
    1370 West San Marcos Boulevard
    San Marcos, CA 92078

    Sage Creek High School students involved in Bobcat Buddies will be paired with a child with autism or other disabilities. For this event, they will play soccer together in a safe and fun environment. This is our first event of the year and we can't be more excited!

    Click here for all the info and to register for this FREE activity!!!

  • Leading The Charge - Collaborating for Effective Services 2018
  • Hosted by Developmental Disabilities Provider Network, San Diego

    Wednesday, December 5, 2018
    8:30 AM - 3:30 PM
    Doubletree Hazard Center
    7450 Hazard Center Drive
    San Diego, California 92108

    5th Annual Leading the Charge - Collaborating for Effective Services

    One-Day Educational Event host by DDPN with lead sponsorship by San Diego Regional Center.

    Come hear from a very dynamic and passionate keynote speaker:
    Lynne Seagle - Executive Director, Hope House, VA

    Supporting People to Lead Lives They Choose: Moving from Programs to Supports

    Click here for all the info and to purchase your tickets!!! (Possible ticket funding by SDRC)

  • 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

  • "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? Spanish Speakers Welcome!!!
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    Can a Safe 'Fever' Help AUTISM Symptoms?

    Una 'Fiebre' Para Disminuir los Sintomas de AUTISMO? 

    Pilot Study Enrollment

    This pilot study will enroll 12 families with ASD children ages 2-17 years old in a controlled study, in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas. We are testing a dry heat therapy from an FDA-cleared medical device with simulates the effect of a low-grade fever by non-invasively infusing heat into the circulatory system. The Fielding Graduate University IRB approved study is entitiled: "The Fever Effect: Do kids with autism do better when they use a device to warm their blood? Effects of six-week AVACEN Treatment Method on Autism Spectrum Disorder".

    If you are interested in participating in this pilot study please contact Frances Poteet at and provide your phone number, email address, zip code and best time to reach you so that we can contact you. If you are not selected as part of this pilot study, you may be offered an opportunity to participate in a larger study of the device at a later date.

    Participants who complete the entire study will receive a $200 Amazon gift card. Enrolling now! Limited openings available!

    We can offer services in English and Spanish (all the way from the Orientation throughout the course of the study.)

  • Participate in Research: Caregiver/Family Member Survey
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    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

  • The Brain Development Imaging Labs at San Diego State University are looking for individuals with diagnosed or suspected autism to participate in a brain imaging study. Participants would receive around $150 plus free cognitive testing and an MRI scan. Child participants would receive a free assessment summary and image of their brain as a bonus! We are looking to recruit from all ages, but we especially need adults, ages 40-65 years, to participate. If you know someone who might be a good fit for our study, please share this information with them. Thank you.

    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.