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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

July 26, 2013

Autism Conference Featuring Dr. Temple Grandin

Enjoy the Summer
Suki: Book Review: Searching for Meaning
Christine: Science Says "Don't Lie to Your Kids"
This Week
Bugs, Penguins or Bats!
Guest Leaders at Autism Conference Friday, July 26
Click to view our Business Directory

(Photos General) ElkhornSlough_Bobcat2.jpgA friend writes about the height of summer; she suggests some delightful ways to slow down and enjoy the season.  Another friend challenged me to take my own advice [Go hiking!].  We spent a morning walking around one of the trails at Elkhorn Slough and saw lots of water birds, a few crabs, old dairy barns and many wildflowers.  A dozen or so turkey buzzards were hanging out together. The highlight of the day was sighting a bobcat strolling across a meadow, looking over its back as it headed for fresh water. We were IN the visitor center looking out the window when he/she gracefully strolled

Christine offers an interesting scientific twist on on lying.  Suki reviews a very interesting book which may help those of you parents in the gifted range understand yourself better. 

The autism conference in San Jose sounds very enriching.  If you love someone with autism and wish you could go but can't make it, we've included a list of presenters/authors and their books in this newsletter.

Enjoy the summer, Parmalee


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  Autism Conference Featuring Dr. Temple Grandin

Autism Conference Featuring Dr. Temple Grandin

7/26, from 7:00am to 4:30pm

Inspiring autism conference featuring Dr. Temple Grandin! In this special presentation, Dr. Grandin will discuss DSM-5's impact on individuals with autism and Asperger's.  Eustacia Cutler, mother of Dr. Grandin, and pediatrician Dr. Raun Melmed will also share their insight and expertise.

(Photos General) TempleGrandin2.jpgNEW PRESENTATION about the DSM-5's impact on the autism world and the implication of removing Asperger's. This will change diagnosis and treatment options forever!

Dr. Temple Grandin has served as inspiration and role model to hundreds of thousands of families and persons with autism. In this unique presentation, Temple eloquently and candidly describes the challenges she has faced and offers no-nonsense ideas on how others dealing with autism can meet these obstacles and improve the quality of their lives. Backed by her personal experience and evidence-based research, Temple shares her valuable insights on a wide variety of topics, and offers useful do's and don'ts. 

By attending, participants can:

  • Modify the learning environment to accommodate sensory challenges
  • Recognize and accommodate neurological differences in home or classroom setting  
  • Distinguish between voluntary behaviors and involuntary behaviors
  • Responsibly utilize alternative and/or conventional medicine
  • Assist individuals develop their talents into career path 

(Photos General) EustaciaCutler_motherofTempleGrandin.jpg"RAISING TEMPLE"
Eustacia Cutler
, the mother of Temple Grandin, will offer her view of autism through personal experience. Her daughter is now one of the most accomplished spokespersons on autsim and animal behavior world-wide. Ms. Cutler will discuss observations from her award-winning documentaires on challeneged and emotionally disquieted children. She has an impressive and varied background, including having written A Thorn in My Pocket: Temple Grandin's Mother Tells the Family Story. A talented playwright, author, and actress, Eustacia is a graduate of Harvard University and has successfully reared four children.

By attending participants can:

  • Learn To recognize early signs and symptoms of autism
  • How autism affects the family dynamic
  • How to design a custom intervention program
  • To recognize autism myths and misunderstandings

(Photos General) RMelmed-pediatrician_autism.jpg"A PEDIATRICIAN'S PERSPECTIVE"
Dr. Raun Melmed is a developmental and behavioral pediatrician and Director of the Melmed Center in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is alsoco-founder and Medical Director of the Southwest Autism Research and Resource Center, and Adjunct Senior Researcher at the Translational Genomics Institute in Phoenix. He has established physician-training programs for the early identification of infants and toddlers with autism and other developmental and behavioral concerns. He is currently investigating the genetics and phenotypes of autism, as well as the use of noveL therapeutic agents in the treatment of ADHD and autism. 

By attending, participants can:

  • Understand the goals of early intervention
  • Identify disorders that may mimic ASD
  • Recognize how ASD affects socialization
  • Utilize behavior as communication
  • Identify sensory challenges 

Location: Campbell Heritage Theatre , One W. Campbell Ave, Campbell Map
Phone: (408) 866-2700 •website


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  Enjoy the Summer

Live each season as it passes, breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit and resign yourself to the influences of each." --Henry David Thoreau

Have you been running your kids around for vacation and summer entertainment like a headless chicken? The habit of seeing ourselves as busy and important can be a hard one to break. Without multitasking, we're more likely to actually pay attention to our lives and our own needs. And as uncomfortable and foreign as that might feel at first, it's definitely a good thing that can lead to less daily stress and anxiety. Read on for ten ways to downshift and savor the last few days of summer break.

1. Eat a peach over the kitchen sink. Is there anything more quintessentially summer than a ripe, messy peach? Eat it over the sink or with a napkin and savor each juicy bite.

2. Take a nap. There's maybe nothing more relaxing in the world on hot afternoons.

3. Go media free. Kick the Friday night movie habit every now and then to head outside and watch the cinematic night sky.

4. Have a picnic. Packing up everything we need for a meal outside the home forces us to slow down and requires a certain amount of thoughtfulness (remember silverware!). Bring a Frisbee or a novel for after dessert.

5. Send postcards or notes to friends. You've been meaning to call an old friend or family member. How fun it is to get something other than a bill in the mail?

6. Save some summer for a cold and rainy day. Take the season's best produce and freeze it --- blueberries, peaches and watermelon puree.

7. Swing. Take in the yard, your family and life from a swing.

8. Watch a sunset. Or a sunrise. It's kind of amazing that this spectacular natural light show happens on a daily basis. Pull up a chair.

9. Make Sun Tea. On the hottest days, cool down with iced tea without heating up the kitchen. 

10. Daydream. Remember daydreaming? It's what happened when we didn't have Twitter and Facebook. We stared out a window and let our thoughts take us where they wanted. It led to great ideas and meandering rhapsodies. Spend some time dreaming about how you want your leisure to feel and what you want your summer days to look like.

  Suki: Book Review: Searching for Meaning

(Photos General) SukiWessling2013.jpgSearching for Meaning: Idealism, Bright Minds, Disillusionment, and Hope
by James T. Webb
Great Potential Press

Dr. Webb's work has been very important in my life. The day I picked up A Parent's Guide to Gifted Children is the day that I started to learn about my children-and myself. This was the first parenting book I'd read that admitted that children are different, that families are different, and that it's not only OK to be different-it's OK to acknowledge that you are different. And it's not only OK, but also necessary, to know who you and your children are if you are going to get on with the business of living fulfilling lives.

Dr. Webb's work with gifted children necessarily led him to the next step: what happens when gifted children grow up? In common belief, giftedness = high achievement. So a gifted child is only gifted by virtue of his or her high grades, and once school is over, somehow we all become "the same." Yes, some of us as adults are achievers, but it doesn't matter whether we were whiz kids in school or dropouts who made it big later in life-giftedness is not supposed to matter anymore.

What Dr. Webb has noticed, however, is that the brain that makes gifted children more excitable, more prone to being misdiagnosed with disorders, highly sensitive, and socially unusual does not disappear with adulthood. It's that same brain, but more developed, more in control. The girl that screamed when she went into a room with bright lights becomes the woman who wears tinted glasses and has found a way to avoid working in office buildings. The boy who kept being sent to the principal's office because he couldn't sit still when he was excited about what he was learning has become the man who paces his office and talks to himself when he's solving a difficult problem. We didn't suddenly stop having a different brain because we grew up; we simply learned to shape a world that fit our needs.

But that ability to shape the world has its limits...Read more>>>>

Suki Wessling writes about parenting, education, gifted children, and homeschooling.

  Christine: Science Says "Don't Lie to Your Kids"

I read a lot of science stuff. When I'm on the Internet I read science stuff on some favorite sites. I also get a magazine at home (Science News). Sometimes I run across multiple articles that together point to something important. Let me discuss some research that has been done that points to something important - Don't Lie to Your Kids! 

Here's what science says about it.

Back in the 1960's, a very famous experiment was performed on kids - The Marshmallow Test. Young children were set down at a table with a marshmallow in front of them. They were promised two marshmallows if they waited for 15 minutes. They were then left alone with the marshmallow. Lots of papers were written about the characteristics of the kids who waited. The experiment has been repeated many times. A couple of more recent studies has lent some interesting clarity.

This recent study looks at why some kids waited and some didn't. It turns out that kids were more likely to wait if they trusted the researcher. If the researcher had given any reason that they couldn't be trusted, the kids wouldn't wait. This makes sense.

A second study looked back at the first kids from the 1960s. What had happened to them? It turns out that if the kids had willpower when young, they kept that willpower for the rest of their lives.

If you put these two together, you see that kids who develop willpower early are more likely to be stronger later. They learn this willpower by learning trust. Certainly kids will have people that lie to them, but they need to know that there are people in their lives that they can absolutely trust.

I never lie to my little guy. He is 6, and he knows that I will always tell the truth, even if he doesn't like it. I find ways to put magic in his life. He still enjoys Christmas, but there will be no shock about Santa Claus. I found a way - I told him that Santa Claus is the Spirit of Christmas, and that anyone dressed as Santa is listening to that Spirit of generosity. He finds magic in Christmas but will never be disappointed. There are lots of things that are called magic where there is no proof one way or another. I can say "I don't know" with honesty.

Lots of parents lie to their kids in little ways. I never do. Now science shows that honesty really is the best policy.

Christine is a scientist and mom.  You can find more of her essays here.

  This Week

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Use the PARENT PLANNER to click on events and resources you are interested in and click PRINT MY PLANNER to print or email your list.


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Parents Night Out!

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Junebug's Gym

Summer in the Parks

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Oh Joy!

Summer Reading

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 Bugs, Penguins or Bats!

Bug Walks


State Park Henry Cowell
Like bugs? This is for you!
Date: Every Sa (Jul 1-Jul 31) at 10:00am
Ages: All Admission Fees: Day-use parking fee is $10
Special Instructions: 10:00am and 12:30pm

(Photos General) Animal_Bug.jpgBug Walks, Saturday, July 13 at 10:00am and 12:30pm
Join park docents on a fun walk for kids of all ages. We'll discover insects of the park while learning how to identify them and what makes them special. 


This will be two hour stroll on mostly flat terrain.  More information is available at (831) 335-7077.

Location: 101 Big Trees Park Rd, Felton Map
Phone: (831)335-7077 •website• 



March of the Penguins

San Francisco Zoo
Watch our adorable adolescent Magellanic penguins waddle through the Zoo to their new home on Penguin Island as part of the
Date: 07/27/2013 at 9:00am


Not a member? Join today!
(Special Event Images / Graphics) PenguinChicksMarch_SantaCruzParent.jpgDon't miss our most popular annual Members-only event!

 Watch our five adorable adolescent Magellanic penguins waddle through the Zoo to their new home on Penguin Island as part of the Zoo's annual March of the Penguins.

This is an exclusive Member and media event that celebrates the penguin chicks' graduation from "fish school" and reunion with their fellow penguins.

Location: 1 Zoo Way, San Francisco Map
website San Francisco

Summer Saturdays at the Museum-Beautiful Bats


Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
See live bats!
Date: 07/27/2013 from 11:00am to 2:00pm
Ages: all ages Admission Fees: Free with admission: $4 adults, $2 seniors Kids and Museum members free

(Photos General) Animal_Bat.jpgThis summer the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History's family programs feature live animals, games and crafts.


July 27th the Bat Conservancy of Coastal California brings live bats to the Museum! Come by to hear about these fascinating flying mammals and make a fun bat craft.
Drop in: 11am - 2 pm. For more information, visit

Location: Santa Cruz Museum of Natural His, 1305 East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz Map
Phone: (831) 420-6115 •website Santa Cruz

Wharf to Wharf
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  Wharf to Wharf
Wharf to Wharf
Date: 07/22/2018 at 8:30am
Details: A scenic six-mile race with 35 or more live bands and throngs of festive spectators along the route.
City: Santa Cruz to Capitola view all details >>
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The Gilroy Garlic Festival
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  The Gilroy Garlic Festival
Gilroy Garlic Festival
Date: Every day (Jul 26-Jul 28)
Ages: All
Details: "Ultimate Summer Food Fair"; three days of incredible food, beverages, arts & crafts, live entertainment and
Special Instructions: Santa Teresa Blvd & Club Dr
City: Gilroy Phone: 408-846-6886 view all details >>
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  Guest Leaders at Autism Conference Friday, July 26

Jed Baker, Ph.D., M.A.; Handling Challenging Behavior & Teaching Social Skills, Earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology (1992); M.A. (1990) from University of Albany, NY and is a Director of Social Skills Training Project in Somerset, NJ.

Dr. Temple Grandin; The Way I See It, Awarded Ph.D. in Animal Science from the University of Illinois (1989) and is currently a Professor at Colorado State University

Dr. Tony Attwood; The Complete Guide to Asperger's Syndrome, Professional Qualifications: Ph.D. from University of London, UK (1984); M.Sc. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Surrey, UK (1975); B.A. (Hons.) in Psychology from University of Hull, UK (1973) and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Griffith University, Queensland, Australia & Consulting Psychologist to Minds & Hearts Clinic in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Britt Collins; Sensory Parenting, M.S., OTR/L, Pediatric Occupational Therapist and M.Sc. in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University (2005).

Dr. James Ball; Autism and Early Intervention: Real Life Questions, Real Life Answers, Earned his B.A. in History Education from Trenton State College (1984); M.A. in Counseling and Personnel Services from Trenton State College (1989); and, Doctor of Education in Child and Youth Studies from Nova Southeastern University (1996).

Rebecca A. Moyes, Incorporating Social Skills in the Classroom, Earned her B.A. in Business from Grove City College, PA (1978 - 1982); M.Ed. in Curriculum Design and Development - Emphasis on Special Needs Children (2007); and, Coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis (2004 - 2006), Coursework in Verbal Behavior (2004 - 2006), and Autism Certificate (2006) from Penn State University.

Sheila J. Wagner; Understanding Asperger's Syndrome: Fast Facts, Earned her B.S. in Education from University of Wisconsin (1972) and M.A. in Education (Special Education)
from Georgia State University (1993).

Sean Barron, There's a Boy in Here (co-written with Judy Barron), Earned his B.S. in Early Childcare Education (1984 - 1987); and, obtained a degree in Journalism from Youngstown
State University (2000).

Jennifer McIlwee Myers, How to Teach Life Skills to Kids with Autism, obtained her B.S. in Computer Science from California State University (2000). Jennifer McIlwee Myers was diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome at age 36 following her younger brother's diagnosis of autism. Mrs. Myers research is on autism and Asperger's Syndrome.

Beth Aune, Behavior Solutions for the Inclusive Classroom (2010); and More Behavior Solutions (2011) - co-author, earned her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Loma Linda
University (1998).

Rudy Simone, Asperger's on the Job, Rudy Simone is a singer-songwriter, freelance journalist; she has published books on autism and spirituality and is a lecturer and researcher in the field of Asperger's Syndrome.

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