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					                                                       WHAT’S INSIDE:
                                                                              PAGE 2                     PAGE 6-7                               PAGE 10
                                                                              Presidents Message         FYI                                    Photo Flashbacks
                                                                              2007-08 Board              Support
                                                                              PAGE 4-5                                                          PAGE 11
                                                                              Community                  PAGE 8-10                              Upcoming Events
                                                                              Happenings                 Therapy Options
  San Diego County Chapter

                                                                        The Voice and Resource of the San Diego Autism Community

                                                                                                                              FALL 2007

San Diego Autism Society
6th Annual Fall Conference
October 26th and 27th , at the Dana Inn
                                                                        ACTION                          INFORMATIONAL/
The San Diego Autism Society is happy to announce our annual                                            SUPPORT MEETINGS
Fall Conference to serve the San Diego Community! The Board                                             Third Tuesday of the month
of Directors feels this conference is an important community                                            6:30 PM
event and terrific opportunity for people who work with children
affected by autism, parents, and everyone else in our community                                         4699 Murphy Canyon Road
who would normally not be able to travel to attend an autism conference, to come                        San Diego, CA 92123
and experience what a conference is about, and learn about San Diego’s extensive
autism community resources. We hope to see you there! More details page 3                               Tuesday, October 16, 2007
                                                                                                        Developing The Academic,
                                                                                                        Social And Living Skills To
Swing Away for the ASA                                                                                  Transition From High School
3rd Annual Charity Golf Tournament                                                                      To College
POSTPONED FROM AUGUST                                                                                   Speaker:
November 4, 2007 | Steele Canyon Golf Course                                                            Stephen Parker, Ph.D.

                       Please join us on Sunday, November 4th, 2007 at the presti-
                       gious Steele Canyon Golf Course in Jamul. If golf is not your                    Tuesday, November 20, 2007
                       “cup of tee”, please join us for the dinner reception! Proceeds
                       benefit SDASA camps and recreational programs for individu-                       Question And Answers
                       als with autism. The teams will tee off at 11:30 am in a 4-per-
                       son scramble format. Events will include:
                                                                                                        On Autism
• Putting contests                       • Longest Drive Competition                                    Speaker:
• Closest to the Pin Contests            • Silent Auction                                               Alan Lincoln, Ph.D.
• Great prizes and much more!
• Dinner reception for the golfers and their family and friends
                                                                                                        Tuesday, December 18, 2007
We need your support! Please help us secure donations for silent auction items, spon-
sorships for golfers, and/or be an event volunteer. All companies and individuals will                  HOLIDAY PARTY
receive recognition and all donations are tax deductible.
Autism Action is published quarterly by the San Diego County Chapter of the Autism Society of America   Mingle with friends!
mailing address: PO Box 420908, San Diego, CA 92142-0908
(858) 715-0678 email:                                                                 for speaker information, see page 3
A Member of the Combined Health Agencies and the Combined Federal Campaign—Agency Code 95580
2007-2008                                PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE
                                         John VanBrabant
                                                                                      Board of Directors membership and
Immediate Past President

                                                          G      reetings to all
                                                                 and I hope that
                                                           your 2007 summer
                                                                                      the departure of some of our most ex-
                                                                                      perienced and well thought of board
President Elect
                                                           was productive, re-        members. We are fortunate to have
TINA HUSTON                                                laxing, and/or both!       new members who joined our board
                                                           The Chapter has had        and will help broaden our community
DEEDEE SPANGLER                                            another very good          perspective and provide experience and
Secretary                                                                             a fresh infusion of ideas and energy. I
                                         summer as our trademark programs,
                                         Camp I CAN and Surf Camp, have               would like to especially thank Shelly
                                         each completed another successful            VanBrabant for her six years of leader-
ALAN LINCOLN, PH.D.                                                                   ship and tireless service to this chapter
                                         run. This year marked the 6th Annual
ANGELA DESIDERI, M.S.                    Camp I CAN and included an expan-            and our community.
                                         sion to the Palomar YMCA in our ef-          The 3rd Annual Swing Away for ASA
                                         forts to service all areas of San Diegp      Golf Tournament will be held Novem-
                                         County. A total of 175 kids (125 at          ber 4th at the Steele Canyon Golf Club.
GREGORY FLETCHER                         Toby Wells and 50 at Palomar) at-            As always we are looking for individu-
KARYN SEARCY, M.A.                       tended Camp I CAN, however we still          als, local businesses, and corporations
                                         had a wait list of 68 kids who, unfor-       to partner with us and provide sponsor-
                                         tunately, were unable to attend. Surf        ship and participatory support -- con-
MELINDA DONOVAN                                                                       tact our chairperson Brooke Wagner.
                                         Camp, was as popular as ever, and
MICHELLE LAZAR, M.A.                     our partner, Aqua Pros Swim School,          Contact information for Brooke and
MARK ALTSHULER                           did a fantastic job getting 107 camp-        on how to register as a golfer or as a
                                         ers into the water at Mission Beach.         sponsor (or both) can be found on our
                                         Thanks to Shirley Fett, Tammy An-            website,
SHELLY HIRSCHBERG, PH.D.                 derson, Shelly Hirschberg, and Shelly        As always, I hope that the transi-
SHERRY SOULE                             VanBrabant for your great work.              tion back to this new school year was
                                         June ushered in some change in our           smooth and successful.
                                                                                       John VanBrabant




                                                                                            Endorsement Policy
LARS PERNER, PH.D.                                                             The San Diego County Chapter of the Autism
                                                                               Society of America (SDASA) does not endorse
RACHEL TAPPER ZIJLSTRA, M.A.                                                   individual programs or products. References
                                                                               appearing in the Autism Action regarding pro-
TAMMY ANDERSON-LEE                                                             grams, resources, treatment, etc. should not
                                                                               be interpreted as an indication of endorsement
VICTORIA IKERD-SCHREITER                 Visit us on the web at                by SDASA. They are provided for information
              Autism Action editors:
                                           For the latest chapter
                 Kathi Ahles and          events, sign up for the
                   Karyn Searcy               SDASA e-news!
            Layout Design:Kay Freeman

2                                                San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action   Fall, 2007
  San Diego Autism Society                                                                                         In
  6th Annual Fall Conference                                                                                  Memorium
  October 26-27th | Dana Inn
                                                                                            I  n honor of the memory of Giana
                                                                                               Meyer’s dear grandfather at his pass-
                                                                                            ing, the Chapter has received donations

  T   his year’s exciting conference event is brought to you by the San
      Diego County Chapter of the Autism Society of America! The
  conference will be held at the Dana Inn on Mission Bay.
                                                                                            from Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Sulli and Mr.
                                                                                            and Mrs. Robert Maganini.

  The schedule of events will include:

  Friday, October 26th | 4:30pm                                                             INFORMATIONAL/SUPPORT
  Jerry and Mary Newport speak on living and                                                MEETING SPEAKERS
  loving with autism. Dinner reception, ques-
  tion and answer, and a showing of the movie                                               Stephen Parker, Ph.D. is director of the
  “Mozart and the Whale” will follow. “Mozart                                               Balboa City School and will present at
                                                                                            our October 16, 2007 meeting.
  and the Whale”, starring Josh Hartnett and
  Radha Mitchell is a movie based on how Jerry
                                                                                            Alan Lincoln, Ph.D. will facilitate
  and Mary met and married.                                                                 questions and answers regarding Au-
                                                                                            tism Through the Lifespan at the No-
  Saturday, October 27th | 9am-3pm                                                          vember 20, 2007 meeting. He will ad-
  Dr. Cathy Pratt, Director of the Indiana Resource Center                                  dress questions regarding the biology,
  for Autism will speak on “Targeting Challenging Behaviors                                 neuropsychology, treatment and course
  Across the Spectrum”.                                                                     of autism. Attendees are invited and
                                                                                            encouraged to e-mail questions in ad-
  Dr. David G. Amaral, Professor of Psychiatry at the Uni-                                  vance.
  versity of California, Davis will offer attendees a research
  update on current autism research from the M.I.N.D. In-                                   Dr. Lincoln’s background includes
  stitute where he has served as the research director since                                Professor, Alliant International Uni-
                                                                                            versity in San Diego; Developmental
                                                                                            Neuropsychology Laboratory. He is
                                                                                            the president and C.E.O. of the Center
  Contact Dr. Dawn Holman or Bobbie Kohrt, Conference Co-Chairs                             for Autism Research, Evaluation and
  for more information:,                                 Service, A Psychological Corporation, or the San Diego Autism Society at                                 (CARES, Inc. or 858.715.0678.
                                                                                            Place an ad in
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED                                                        the Autism Action
                                              With all of our holiday shopping needs        Business card size: $100/ per issue
All Out for Autism Fundraiser Com-            fast approaching, PLEASE take a mo-
mittee: This committee is responsible         ment to go to and sign          Double business card size: $150
for planning our chapter’s largest and        up. There are over 600 participat-
most successful annual fundraiser.            ing stores. When you make an on line          Quarter page: $200
Each April (Autism Awareness Month),          purchase at any of these stores via this
we host a big fundraising party to raise      website AND designate the San Diego
                                              Chapter of the Autism Society as the ben-     Half page: $300
money and awareness about autism.
The committee meets monthly from              eficiary, our chapter receives a donation.
                                              It DOES NOT cost you anything to sign         All ads are subject to publication
October through April. All proceeds go
                                              up! It is a win/win for all of us---you get   based on the discretion of SDASA’s
to Camp I CAN. To join our commit-
                                              your shopping done easily on line and we      editorial staff.
tee, contact us at alloutforautism@sd-
                                              receive a donation! Signing up is quick                                   and easy. THANK YOU!

  San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action   Fall, 2007
                   Walk and Resource Fair
                   Saturday, November 10, 2007
                   Brought to you by:
                   DEFEAT AUTISM NOW! (DAN!)
                                                                     What is your dream job?
                   Registration 7 am / Fair 7 am to 12 p.m.
                   Location : Exposition Park /Los Angeles           Have you thought of starting your own business? It’s
                   For more Walk Information go to                   possible! Find out more by attending
                                                                     The Talent Within:
Looking for Exhibitors for the Resource Fair
For Exhibitor Information
                                                                     Self Employment Conference
                                                                     for Adults and Transitioning Students with Develop-
                                                                     mental Disabilities.
                                                                     Free Registration--Lunch Included

                                                                     Thursday, October 25, 2007--9:30AM-4:30PM
San Diego Fly Day                                                    St. Madeleine Sophie’s Center—2119 E. Madison
                                                                     Avenue—El Cajon
Children’s Charity Flights                                           To register, call 619-442-5129 ext. 3113 or
Saturday, November 17th, 2007                              
Brown Field- San Diego Jet Center
1424 Continental Street                                                • Develop ideas for a business
                                                                       • Meet people who can help your business get
This event offers a free 30 minute flight over the city                   started
after a mandatory educational ground school (adapted                   • Meet peers who are starting their own business
to the needs of the child), concepts of flight, face                    • Get all your questions answered by attending the
painting, etc. or 818-741-6906                      conference.
for more information.

                   The San Diego Treatment Network is celebrating its 1-year anniversary.
                        Join us for an OPEN HOUSE and fun-filled evening.
                             Time: 4:00-8:00 PM on Wednesday 10.10.07
                             9606 Tierra Grande, Suites 102, 103, & 107, San Diego, CA 92126
                                              Our diverse team of specialists includes:
                                              Neurobehavioral Health
Drop in and enjoy your time by...
                                              CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGY- Dr. Sharon
* Taking a tour and learning more about       Lerner-Baron
  SDTN programs                                                                             Phone: 858.695.9444
                                              SPEECH THERAPY- Crimson Center for
* Tickling your tastebuds with wine &         Speech & Language                          Children are welcome
  appetizers                                  OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY- Develop-             (kid-friendly activities will be available,
* Meeting local artist Joel Anderson and      mental Therapy Center
                                                                                         but no supervision is provided.)
  viewing a showcase of his work (Ste 102) EDUCATIONAL THERAPY– Banyan
* Listening to the fine sounds of student      Tree Learning Center
  musicians perform throughout the evening MUSIC THERAPY– Coast Music
                                              EDUCATIONAL CONSULTING &
                                              ADVOCACY– DeeDee Spangler
                                                      San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action   Fall, 2007
San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action   Fall, 2007   5
                                        Workplace Giving
                                        Programs                        AUTISM RESEARCH IN SAN DIEGO
                                        Y ou can help the San
                                          Diego County Chap-
ter to continue to provide the much needed programs and ser-
                                                                        SoCal BRIDGE Collaborative.
                                                                        Local researchers, community providers, funding agencies
                                                                        and families have formed the SoCal BRIDGE Collaborative
vices to the local autism community by participating in the
                                                                        to identify and adapt a promising intervention practice for
following workplace giving programs:
                                                                        very young children (12-24 months) at-risk for autism and
    The United Way/CHAD Campaign. Agency code # 95580.
                                                                        related disorders. They recently submitted a grant proposal to
    The Combined Federal Campaign. Agency code # 33465.
                                                                        the National Institutes of Health to provide funding for exam-
    The California State Employees Charitable Campaign.
                                                                        ining current community practice and need, the evidence-base
     Agency code # 3201.
                                                                        for infant/toddler intervention, and to identify, adapt and test
Contributing through payroll deduction is a very easy and pain-
                                                                        an early, relationship-based, intervention for children and
less way to support your favorite charities. Please encourage
                                                                        families. Look for upcoming trainings and opportunities to
your friends and family members to contribute to the Autism
                                                                        provide input.
Society of America through the workplace campaigns where
they work. If you know of a workplace which does not partici-
pate in a charitable donation campaign, please contact the San
                                                                        Translating Pivotal Response Training into
Diego County Chapter office. It may be possible to initiate a
                                                                        Classroom Environments.
campaign in the workplace which will allow the employees to
                                                                        Drs. Aubyn Stahmer and Laura Schreibman and graduate stu-
contribute directly to the Autism Society of America.
                                                                        dent Jessica Surhreinrich, recently received funding from the
                                                                        Federal Department of Education to adapt Pivotal Response
                                                                        Training (PRT) techniques for use in the classroom. Although
    Families, Friends, and Relatives...                                 PRT is widely used in schools, it was initially developed for
                                                                        use in one-on-one settings, and it’s effectiveness has not been
    4 Great Ways to Support the San Diego                               tested in the classroom. In collaboration with public school
    County Autism Society                                               special education teachers, PRT will be modified for use in
                                                                        the classroom, and used to develop and assess a classroom
              • CARTRIDGES FOR KIDS                                     manual. If you are a teacher of children with autism ages
              Bring used cell phones, laptops, PDAs, and empty          3-8 and would like more information, or to participate in the
    laserjet/inkjet cartridges to our monthly informational meet-       project please contact Aubyn Stahmer at 858 966-7703 x3223
    ings, pool parties or other events
                  Albertsons: and go to “in
    the community”. Click “Community Partners” and sign up for          Enhancing Autism Intervention in Mental Health
    a card, entering #49000123471 for SDASA                             Services (AIM)
                  Ralphs & Food 4 Less: or Click “Community Contributions” or               Translating Autism Interventions for Mental Health Services
    “Community Participants” Register, using #80074 for both            via Knowledge Exchange. Dr. Lauren Brookman-Frazee, at
    stores.                                                             UCSD, has a recently funded career-development award from
                                                                        NIMH. The objective of her study is to develop an indepen-
              • IGIVE                                                   dent program of research translating research-based behavior-
        Get a free member-
    ship to shop at 400+ stores with up to 26% of each purchase         al interventions for children with autistim spectrum disorders
    donated directly to SDASA.                                          (ASD) for use in the public mental health service system.
                                                                        Dr. Brookman-Frazee will work with clinicians to develop a
              • ESCRIP                                                  mental health intervention for children with ASD and a clini-
    , entering #785161 for SDASA                cian training model for this approach.
              Merchants Program: register grocery, debit and/or
    credit cards. A Percentage of your purchases at over 150 mer-
    chants will be donated to SDASA.
              Vehicle Donation: contact 1 800 456 5517 and speak
    to a representative

6                                                         San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action   Fall, 2007
            ASPERGERS & HFA
              In North County...
             The 1st Monday each month
                   7:00pm-8:30 pm
                Carlsbad Senior Center                                               Monthly Parenting Support Group
            799 Pine Ave., Carlsbad, CA 92008                                          The 2nd Tuesday Evenings Each Month
                                                                                                        7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
                         Nov. 5, 2007                                                    Mutual Support and Stress Management for
  Dr. Scott Cross, Ph.D., BCBA – “Teaching Perspective Tak-                            Parents of Children with Developmental Delays
  ing (Theory of Mind). Dr. Cross will talk about methods used                            facilitated by a parent with experience . . .
  to teach understanding the perspectives of others and the
  range of strategies to teach these social survival skills. Dr.
  Cross is the Director of Clinical Services at the Lovaas Insti-
                                                                                     Each meeting will include opportunities to meet and
  tute in Los Angeles.
                                                                                  develop friendships with people facing similar challenges,
                           Dec. 3, 2007                                             share successes, and learn from each other’s struggles.
  Dr. Joshua Feder, MD – “Current Thoughts on the Psychi-
  atric Treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders”. Dr. Feder                                 Crimson Center for Speech & Language
  is a prominent local physician and psychiatrist specializing in                                9606 Tierra Grande #107
  child and adolescent psychiatry. His focus is in neurobehav-                                    San Diego, CA 92126
  ioral medicine and the treatment of developmental disorders,                                        Miramar Area
  primarily through interactive interventions (DIR – Floortime)
  and psychotropic medication treatment.                                               Please call 858 695 9415 to reserve free seating

                                                                                  La Mesa Coffee Klatch
  The 2nd Tuesday each month, 9 am
                                                                                  The 3rd Sunday of each month
  Calling all parents who would like to sit and chat with other
  parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. These
                                                                                  11:30 am
                                                                                  Cosmos Cafe
  events are hosted by Shelly Hirschberg. No need to RSVP!
                                                                                  8278 La Mesa Blvd | La Mesa, CA | 91941
           November 8, 2007 – Starbucks Coffee – 7130 Ave-
        nida Encinas #102, Carlsbad
                                                                                  Come join parents of children on the autism spectrum for
           December 13, 2007 – Panera Bread- 401 Vista Vil-
                                                                                  relaxation, laughs, and compassion.
        lage Drive, Vista
           January 10, 2008 – Pannikin Café – 510 N. Highway
        101, Encinitas

                                                                                  Spanish Support Group
  Asperger/HFA                                                                    Grupo de Apoyo en Español
  Parent Support Group
                                                                                  Nos juntamos el segundo lunes de cada mes.
  In East County
                                                                                  Pero en el mes de noviembre la junta sera el dia 5 de
  The 1st Tuesday each month                                                      6:00-8:00pm.
  6:30 pm to 8:00 pm
  Java Mama Café                                                                  Scripps Mercy Well Being Center
  8250 La Mesa Blvd (behind Wireless Toyz)                                        311 Del Mar Ave | Chula Vista, CA | 91910
  La Mesa, CA 91941
                                                                                  Un foro para información, liderazgo, recursos en la
  Please join us for our monthly meetings. The meetings will                      comunidad, abogacía, y compañerismo. Para infor-
  be held in a private room generously offered to us by Java                      mación llamar al 1.800.281.8252. Lo sentimos, no
  Mama Coffee shop. Sorry no day care is provided.                                contamoas con cuidado de niños

San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action   Fall, 2007                                                              7
                birth to five
Speech-Language Therapy                                                Neuropsychology
C    hildren birth to five years of age who are at risk or have been
     diagnosed with a developmental disability such as Autism
Spectrum Disorder need appropriately certified and/or licensed
                                                                       N    europsychology is a specialty field of clinical psychology that
                                                                            focuses on the relationship between behavior and brain func-
                                                                       tioning. As clinicians, neuropsychologists recognize that a child’s
speech-language pathologist to treat specific delays and disabili-      unique mix of genetic, developmental, and environmental factors
ties in communication, language, and speech, oral-motor and            influence his or her behavior. A neuropsychological evaluation
feeding behavior. Speech-language pathologists working with            uses a very individualized approach, by determining the needs
young children also provide diagnostic therapy to determine what       and concerns for each family. A neuropsychologist integrates in-
is causing overall breakdown in communication. SLPs focus on a         formation about a child’s developmental, medical, family, and
number of areas, including:                                            treatment histories with his or her own findings from observa-
                                                                       tions, interviews, and testing. This comprehensive integration of
         • strengthen or develop a child’s ability to coordinate       information allows a neuropsychologist to help families and their
         oral movements so they can imitate or initiate sound          healthcare providers make appropriate diagnoses, including Au-
         production and/or sound sequencing                            tism Spectrum Disorders. A neuropsychological evaluation also
         • develop a child’s ability to “decode” language into         highlights a child’s particular cognitive, emotional, and social
         meaningful units of communication (translating                strengths and weaknesses, which is crucial for making optimal
         spoken word into a meaningful concept)                        treatment recommendations for a specific child.
         • develop a child’s ability to use symbols, such as
         words or gestures, to communicate—build verbal and            The results of a neuropsychological evaluation may guide vari-
         non-verbal vocabulary                                         ous treatment programs provided by other professionals, such as
         • maximize a child’s desire to interact and relate,           speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, special
         which will stimulate basic communication skills               education teachers, or ABA specialists. The results may also be
         • help parents build fundamental communication                helpful to families making important decisions about childcare/
         skills with their children                                    school placement and the timing of kindergarten entry. Finally, a
                                                                       neuropsychological evaluation provides an important snapshot of
Parents often wonder if and how speech-language therapy can be         a child’s abilities at a given age, which may be used to monitor
done with very young children who are not yet verbal. It is im-        progress over time as well as the effectiveness of various inter-
portant to remember that speech-language pathologists are highly       ventions.
trained in all areas of communication, including comprehension
of language and processing of auditory information (words under-       Kelly L. Lange, Ph.D.
stood), expressive output (words used), articulation (how speech       Clinical Neuropsychologist
is produced), communicative intent (pragmatic and social lan-          CA License PSY 21401
guage), play skills, and adult-child interaction.

Sample activities frequently used with young children newly di-        Marriage and Family Counseling
agnosed with ASD include:

         • Augmentative communication techniques to “jump-
         start” the communication process (including modified
                                                                       W       hen a child first receives a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum
                                                                               Disorder, parents may feel disbelief, sadness, anger, frus-
                                                                       tration, shock, anxiety, devastation, and heartbreak. With 1 in
         sign, gestures, picture exchange systems)                     every150 children in the United States receiving this diagnosis,
         •Sound imitation play to maximize oral motor and              there has been an increase in the number of providers and vari-
         sound sequencing skills                                       ous therapies offered to help children on the spectrum. Parents
         • Interactive play (including music, singing, finger           begin on a journey of taking their child to numerous therapy and
         games and imaginative play)                                   medical appointments. At the same time, they strive to gather as
                                                                       much information as possible to help cope with the multitude of
A parent-child relationship is one of the most intense interactions    symptoms associated with autism. Unfortunately, due to the many
experienced, and any disruption in that process frustrates all par-    demands and pressures associated with autism in the family, many
ticipants. Speech-language therapy is an important treatment,          parents neglect to take care of their own emotional needs. While
which can benefit nearly all children at risk for autism spectrum       it is imperative to ensure that the child receive early intervention,
disorder.                                                              it is equally important for family members to receive emotional
                                                                       support, education and psychological assistance to cope with the
Karyn Lewis Searcy, M.A. CCC-slp                                       diagnosis.
Director, Crimson Center for Speech & Language
                                                                       How individual therapy for family members can help:
                                                                              •Parents and/or siblings can work through issues related

8                                                       San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action    Fall, 2007
         to coping with the diagnosis and the impact it has on                     • attention (difficulty engaging with parents or
         the family.                                                               toys)
         • Process through the stages of grief, adjust to the diag                 • following directions
         nosis, and appreciate both the challenges and the gifts                   • playing appropriately with toys and peers
         the child has to offer.                                                   • feeding (picky eaters, appropriate use of utensils)
         •Revise original dreams, hopes, and expectations for                      • dressing/self care (upset during dressing/bathing,
         your child..                                                              not helping with dressing)
         • Develop coping strategies to deal with the everyday                     • balance (falls frequently, clumsy, afraid to move
         turmoil, stress challenges, wide range of emotions, and                   around a lot, strong dislike of swings, slides,
         misunderstanding of friends and relatives.                                playgrounds)
         • Deal with depression and anxiety in a therapeutic                       • fine motor skills (not coloring, completing puzzles,
         environment.                                                              appropriate use of hands to play with toys)
         • Learn how to share the diagnosis with family and                        • strength and endurance (fatigues quickly, not
         friends.                                                                  strong enough to complete play activities)
         • Help typical siblings understand the impact of autism
         on them, and allow them to voice concerns and ask              Sensory Integration is a term commonly used during occupa-
         questions in a safe environment.                               tional therapy with children on the autism spectrum. It refers
                                                                        to the ability of the nervous systems to take in all sensory
The number of marriages negatively impacted by the diagnosis            information and organize it so children can effectively interact
of a child with autism is rising in the United States. The daily        with their environment. Difficulty with sensory processing can
stress placed on a family is enormous and marital therapy can           affect all aspects of a child’s activities. Our goal as occupational
help to minimize marital conflict that can lead to divorce.              therapists is to help children reach their maximum potential to
                                                                        interact, experience and explore their world.
How marital therapy can help:
       • Help couples communicate effectively, even if they             Kimberly Benson, MA, OTR/L
       are at different stages of dealing with the diagnosis.           Occupational Therapist
       • Help with decisions regarding treatment, learn how to          Developmental Therapy Center
       be an integral part of the decision-making process, and
       facilitate discussions regarding different opinions about
       treatment options.
                                                                        Educational Consultation
       • Increase awareness of each spouse’s feelings and
       restore healthy communication.
       • Deal with feelings of resentment when one parent
                                                                        A    n Educational Consultant works with the family, in con-
                                                                             junction with the school district, to develop the most ap-
                                                                        propriate and highest quality program for each child. They
       is the primary caretaker and person responsible                  coach families through the Individual Educational Plan (IEP)
       for therapy, and the other bears the burden of earning           process, as well as determine all forms are properly completed
       enough money to pay for it.                                      in all areas necessary. An IEP is a legal binding document. An
       • Explore ways to plan for the future.                           Educational Consultant is not only used when a family has
       • Strengthen the relationship so parents work effectively        concerns about a child’s school program or when they are in
       together with the many facets of raising a child with            dispute about the plan or placement. Even when children are
       autism.                                                          successful in their school programs, an Educational Consultant
       • Assist with educational decisions and inform parents           can help monitor the progress and the quality of the program,
       about their child’s rights.                                      and ensure the IEP is being followed.
       • Learn to work as a team to deal with the diagnosis
       and still respect individual differences of opinions and         If your child is between the ages of 0-3 years old, an Edu-
       different styles of coping.                                      cational Consultant can be provided by San Diego Regional
                                                                        Center (SDRC) to assist with the transition from SDRC edu-
Sharon Lerner-Baron, Ph.D.                                              cational services to the school district, a process that begins
Clinical and Consulting Psychology                                      by 2:9 years of age. If a child is not a SDRC consumer and
                                                                        is between the ages of 2:9 and 5, an Educational Consultant
Occupational Therapy                                                    can be hired privately to help families work with the school
                                                                        district, request school assessments, and determine if results
O     ccupational therapists are trained to assist people of all
      ages to perform the functional tasks that normally occupy
their lives. Pediatric occupational therapists address activities
                                                                        qualify a child for an IEP. Families may get an Educational
                                                                        Consultant at anytime throughout a child’s educational career
                                                                        without the approval of the school district. They are not em-
childhood, which include play, self-help skills, making friends,        ployees of a district, although some may be vendors of SDRC
being part of a family and succeeding in school. We look at the         as private contractors. They are not, however, in alliance with
“whole” child in the following areas: gross motor, fine motor, vi-       either the school district or SDRC, and work objectively to de-
sual motor, sensory motor and social-emotional skills. Pediatric        termine optimal, educational services. It is recommended that
occupational therapy is a child-led, movement and sensory rich,         an Educational Consultant complete an observation of children
play-based therapy. Sessions are goal directed and structured to        in their classroom and/or home program prior to any meetings
address the specific needs of the child.                                 with the school district in order to obtain an accurate assess-
                                                                        ment of a child’s specific learning needs.
In the birth to 5 year population, occupational therapists can help
a child who exhibits difficulty with:                                    DeeDee Spangler
          • regulation (crying too frequently, unable to calm self)     DMS Consulting                 therapy options continued next page

San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action    Fall, 2007                                                         9
Applied Behavioral Analysis                                           of the most commonly used, empirically based ABA treatment
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is the theoretical foundation       procedures include Discrete Trial Training (DTT) a structured,
for a wide array of behavioral intervention programs and strate-      teacher directed intervention program; Pivotal Response Train-
gies used in the treatment of children with developmental dis-        ing (PRT) a play-based, child-centered intervention program; and
abilities and Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD), which includes         TEACCH an intervention program that structures the natural and
Autistic Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Develop-         learning environment to help increase functional skills and maxi-
mental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS). ABA is             mize independence. ABA programs should also collaborate with
based on the principles of operant conditioning, which propose        other disciplines of treatment for children with ASD which gen-
that consequences have an affect on future behaviors. This            erally includes speech-language therapy, occupational therapy,
means that we modify, eliminate, or decrease a problem behavior       physical therapy, music therapy, vision therapy, and social skills
by changing the factors that cause it, as well as the factors that    training programs.
keep it going. We can also modify, increase and improve skill
deficits in the same way. ABA is used to determine why, how,           Additionally, ABA programs should work directly with the
when, how long, and where to increase or decrease behaviors to        parents of children who are newly diagnosed and/or require treat-
improve an individual’s functioning.                                  ment for developmental disabilities, such as ASD. The most suc-
                                                                      cessful programs are ones that actively train and involve parents
Intensive ABA programs are generally set up for children from         in the treatment program to ensure that the program is individu-
birth to five years of age, and should address modifying and           alized and well-suited to the specific needs of each child.
decreasing inappropriate behaviors while teaching specific skills.
These programs should integrate the use of a variety of behavior      Sandy Shaw, Ph.D.
modification and related interventions to provide children with        Director, AIM
ASD a well-rounded and comprehensive treatment plan. Some
                                                                      NEXT ISSUE: THERAPY OPTIONS:
                                                                      ELEMENTARY SCHOOL


                      Memories of Summer Fun! Surf Camp Camp I CAN,
                              and End of Summer Pool Party!

10                                                      San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action   Fall, 2007
and Pizza
Mark you calendars to
attend our fun and popu-
lar monthly pool parties.
They’re held the 2nd Fri-
day evening of each month at the Boys & Girls Club in
Clairemont. 4635 Clairemont Mesa Blvd. 6:00-8:00
pm. Free pizza & drinks! The whole family can swim                                 Walk Now for Autism.
in an indoor, heated pool. Lifeguards provided. Please
RSVP at least FIVE days in advance to insure sufficient                  This year’s walk will be held in Balboa Park on Satur-
food and beverages for all 619-298-1981 or info@sd-                     day, November 3rd and the walk will continue to have                                                              a Resource Fair.

                                                                        The Walk course is a 1-mile loop around Balboa Park
                                                                        and also a 5K which is 3 laps – so participants can do
                     Free ARTS Day                                      as much or little as they want.
                     for the community on
                     Saturday, October 27th                             The registration and donation information is available
                     from 10am to 4pm.                                  on the Autism Speaks site (

                   Free ARTS Day provides kids and
families with a positive, artistic experience through
which they are able to explore their talents and cre-
ativity. This fun filled is day is open free to the public
and features exciting art-centered activities includ-
ing fall arts and crafts, sing alongs, story time, face
painting and more. Food and entertainment is also
available for all to enjoy. Visit the website at artsur- or call (619) 297-ARTS (2787)
                                                                                  San Diego Buddy Walk 2007
  SAVE THE DATE!                                                        The walk will take place at the Organ Pavilion in beau-
                                                                        tiful Balboa Park! Registration begins at 9 am. Opening
  25th Annual Involved                                                  ceremonies will begin at 10 am. The walk will begin at
  Exceptional Parents Day                                               10:30 am, and post-walk activities and entertainment
  Conference                                                            Visit the DSA SD website at for
  which will be held April 12,                                          more information!
  2008 at the Handlery Hotel
  and is entitled:

  Ready, Willing and Enabled: Helping Find
  Your Child’s Place in the World

San Diego County Chapter Autism Society Newsletter   Autism Action   Fall, 2007                                             11
                                                     CA 92142-0908

     Effective 1/1/08, the SDASA will require membership in the local San Diego County Chapter of the Autism Society of
            America to realize the full value of our local programs gained exclusively through SDASA membership.

                                                                                                   (858) 715-0678

                                                                                              San Diego, CA 92142-0908
                                                                                              PO Box 420908
                                                                                              Autism Society of America
                                                                                              SAN DIEGO COUNTY CHAPTER

Permit No. 455
San Diego, CA
  US Postage
Non Profit Org.

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