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In This Issue
Autistic Seniors Wanted!

If you or a person you care for is on the autism spectrum and is 50 years of age or older, we hope you'll complete a new survey on quality-of-life issues associated with senior adults on the autism spectrum. 

We believe the results from this survey may provide insight about the needs and challenges faced by individuals with autism and their support providers. We anticipate that this study will also inspire others as well as better inform the autism community, government agencies, and other welfare and health-related organizations about such quality of life issues.

Once the data from this survey are collected and analyzed, we will contact those who completed the questionnaire and send them a summary report of the findings. 

ASD in Mid and Later Life
New Book
Bringing together a wealth of professional and academic research, alongside personal insights into aging and autism, this edited sourcebook looks beyond the early years and transition into adulthood with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASDs), to focus instead on the challenges facing individuals with ASDs who are middle aged or older. Learn More.
Learn the Steps, Get Employed
Friendly Online Course for Securing Employment
Beets & Jams
AGI's Own Nutrition Column
Fruit Juice Sweetened Chia Seed Granola
Kelcey Hostetler Nutritionist
It's back to school season once again! This exciting time of year can be very busy as well as a bit overwhelming, especially when considering trying to fit in a healthy breakfast before dashing out the door. For this eBulletin, I choose a simple granola recipe that is both filling and easy to make. It's great to make in big batches so that you have breakfast throughout the week. Chia seeds are the star of this granola- they are gluten free, high in vitamins, healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and protein. Additionally, one serving contains almost half the daily-recommended amount of fiber!
One of the best things about this dish is that you can customize it for the preferences of your family. I used pistachios, sunflower seeds, and dried cherries in this version, but any nuts seeds and dried fruits will work. I also sweeten mine with fresh pressed grape juice, but store bought juice or other conventional sweeteners work just as well. This recipe is gluten free, dairy free, soy free, and vegan.  
  • 2 cups gluten free rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsalted shelled pistachios
  • ¼ cup unroasted, unsalted sunflower or pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup chia seeds
  • Pinch of salt
  • ¼ tsp. cinnamon
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • ¼ cup fruit juice of choice (you can also use honey, maple syrup or agave to sweeten)
  • ½-¾ cup dried tart cherries
  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper (this will help with cleanup).
  2. Combine dry ingredients (oats - cinnamon) in a bowl and set aside. Mix melted coconut oil with your sweetener of choice and pour over dry ingredients, stirring to coat dry ingredients completely.
  3. Pour oat mixture on your prepared baking sheet in an even layer. Place in oven and bake for 60-75 minutes or until oats are golden, stir every 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove from oven and allow to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, stir in dried cherries. Serve over yogurt, smoothies, or enjoy on its own!
  5. Store in airtight container.
While the world of special diets and food allergies can be daunting, the ARI website has a plethora of insightful information. Here are some helpful links:
AGI Offers Free Leadership Curriculum
This curriculum shows participants how to host leadership summits in their communities. A free curriculum download provides you with all the tools you need to foster citizenship, self-advocacy, and giving back to your community. You may also access a previously recorded webinar that guides you through implementing the curriculum so that youth and adults with autism can develop self-advocacy and citizenship skills, while giving back to their communities. To learn more click here.

GRASP: A Go-To Resource for Teens and Adults with Autism
The mission of GRASP, a 501(c)(3) non-profit national organization, is to improve and enrich the quality of life for teens and adults on the autism spectrum and their families through community advocacy and outreach. This includes information and referral, education, peer supports, progra  mming, and services such as conferences, presentations, and IEP/ISP assistance, all at no cost to members. With this mission in mind, GRASP's team has established structured educational workshops, social events, and groups, and is working to increase the visibility of ASD individuals within society through collaborative work with high profile regional, national, and international autism and disability organizations. For more information about their services, please visit or email them at 
The Autism Society National Call Center
The Autism Society provides a National Contact Center called Autism Source. Autism Source can help connect caregivers, providers, and individuals with information and local resources. The Autism Source Contact Center is available to take calls, letters, and emails Monday to Friday from 9 am to 9 pm.
Connect to their comprehensive service via their toll-free number, 800-3AUTISM (800-328-8476), or

Local resources can also be found at the Autism Source Website:
Individuals can also contact their local autism society affiliate chapter.
OCALI'S Autism Certification Center
The Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence Disabilities has developed four online video course modules to help participants learn about autism and support strategies. The first course, "They Many Faces of Autism," is free. The additional three courses, focusing on early childhood, school age, and transition age, are free to Ohio residents, but can be purchased for individuals who do not reside in the state of Ohio. Visit at
Autism Care and Treatment (ACT) Grants

ACT offers grants on a quarterly cycle for families and individuals with autism who may need help funding a service or item. ACT offers ongoing grant cycle periods for families and individuals with autism. See their website for more information: Click Here.
Autism Speaks: Autism Response Team

The Autism Response Team of Autism Speaks can help connect individuals with autism and their family members to local resources and help them find information. The hotline is available in English and Spanish and is available Monday-Friday from 9:00AM-1:00PM. Most recently, the response team has added specific information and referral services relevant to adults with autism. Call the Autism Response Team at 1-888-288-4762, en Español at 888-772-9050, or email them at
Jeremy's Vision
Jeremy is an artist and writer with autism. To learn more and see more paintings, go to:
Expedition Autism: Greenland Slated for April-May 2017

Expedition Autism: Greenland will bring international awareness to the talents and leadership of those with autism, as well as to the joy, confidence and health benefits autistic individuals of any age and any fitness level can experience by learning and pursuing outdoor sport. Watch a video about the team's training progress and the expedition, slated for spring 2017: Click Here

Visit the Expedition Kickstarter Campaign page: Click Here

Project Objectives:
Volunteering as a springboard organization for the expedition, Ascendigo Autism Services of Carbondale, Colorado will provide technical and administrative assistance with the objective of increasing capacity and inclusion in sports for people with autism through:

  • Awareness campaigns like the Greenland Expedition
  • Autism education, training and certification of outdoor sport instructors, coaches and physical education professionals
  • Outdoor sport programs designed specifically to empower individuals on the autism spectrum to lead rich, self-actualized, socially integrated lives

Expedition Goals
  • Raise $150,000.00 by December 20, 2016 to make the expedition a reality in spring of 2017
  • Produce video and photo documentaries of the expedition for use in publicity and sponsor campaigns and post-expedition fundraising for Ascendigo Autism Services
  • Communicate with international media outlets by way of press releases, media appearances, team blogging and expedition updates before, during and after the trek
  • Leverage expedition results to inform Ascendigo Autism Services as it launches sport adventure programs designed for building neurodiversity awareness in the workplace
  • Develop a traveling presentation based upon the expedition results to educate the public about the benefits autistic individuals of all ages can experience by having authentic access to outdoor sport and education programs

Visit the Expedition Kickstarter Campaign page: Click Here

This project is the vision of autistic athlete and Ascendigo Board of Directors member, Paul Nussbaum. Together with Ron Rash, Ascendigo Deputy Executive Director, Paul will co-lead a crossing of the icecap of Greenland in April-May of 2017, representing a 35+ day journey that traverses 400 miles of one of the planet's most remote and environmentally significant arctic spaces. To learn more about Paul's vision: Click here

Training for the expedition was launched in January 2016, when an international team of athletes and outdoor professionals convened in Yellowstone National Park for an eight-day winter trek, wearing randonee skis and pulling 175 pound sleds that contained just enough camping supplies, fuel, and food to survive. In these harsh winter conditions, where temperatures can dip as low as minus 40 degrees Fahrenheit, the team solidified their collaboration, proving that while living with autism may pose challenges, strong communication, respect for differences, and recognition of our inherent interdependence can remove obstacles that were once thought to be life-limiting and disabling.

Yellowstone Team

Celebrating Neurodiversity:
As the spring expedition draws near, the Greenland team, comprised of autistic and non-autistic members who hail from the United States, India, England and Canada, will gather again January 22-29, 2017 to complete another major trek, skiing this time from Aspen to Vail, Colorado. The eight-day journey spans nearly 100 miles of terrain, with an accumulated elevation of 17,000 feet. Due to the short daylight hours, a significant percentage of travel will be by headlamp, mimicking the dark conditions the team will encounter in Greenland. Joining them in Colorado will be basecamp manager and director of the Autistic Global Initiative and of the First Place National Autism Leadership Institute, Valerie Paradiz, PhD, an individual with autism who will provide project management and logistics support to the expedition on the ground from Reykjavik, Iceland.

Visit the Expedition Kickstarter Campaign page: Click Here

Traveling Yellowstone

The Expedition: April + May 2017
The expedition dates are slated for April 12th to May 15th, 2017. As you read this funding request, team members are undertaking rigorous training regimens designed to prepare them for 30-40 days (depending upon weather conditions) of entirely self-sufficient snow travel and camping. All told, they will traverse 400 miles at an elevation of over 10,000 feet in temperatures ranging from +50 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit. Reports, images, videos and blogs will be shared out regularly as the team travels across the vast open spaces of the icecap, facilitated by expedition member and journalist, Blake Gordon, and writer and basecamp manager, Valerie Paradiz. International and local media outlets will be contacted with press releases and the expedition's progress as it sheds light on and celebrates the talents and leadership of people with autism.

Risks and challenges to Expedition Autism: Greenland lie primarily within the domain of the natural world and the extreme climate the team will face. Crevasses are a rarity on the icecap, but occasionally they do occur, and constant vigilance by all team members is essential. Polar bears do not travel across the icecap due to a lack of food, but they may be encountered at the end of the expedition as the team reaches the coast. A more likely threat from wildlife will be from the great white bears. Bear spray being somewhat ineffective in defense against these predators of the North, the team must carry a rifle in the event of an emergency.

Climate conditions will reach extremes, and given the effects of global warming, a sudden spike in temperature could make it impossible for the team to pass over snow and ice conditions that aren't conducive to ski travel. In this event, the team would have to be evacuated. Rescue insurance will be purchased for this purpose or in the event of a significant medical emergency. Regarding medical emergencies, the team is extraordinarily self-sufficient with several members possessing EMS as well as professional search and rescue experience.

Visit the Expedition Kickstarter Campaign page: Click Here

Contact Our Editorial Team
Valerie Paradiz, PhD
Chloe Rothschild, Managing Editor
Kelcey Hostetler, Nutrition Editor
Alexander Earl, Technical Editor
AGI eBulletin
Fostering the development of adults on the autism spectrum and those who work with and for them

Chloe Rothschild
Letter from the 
Guest Editor
Dear Readers,
Welcome to the fall issue of the ARI Adults with Autism eBulletin. In this issue, we focus on individuals who are new to an autism diagnosis. Here you will read articles written by adults, such as Becca Lory who shares her journey as a woman with autism and the importance of resources being developed and available for women on the spectrum. Paul Nussbaum writes about his journey with autism and an upcoming expedition across the icecap of Greenland that he is leading to raise awareness. Finally, I have contributed a series of snapshots of people on the spectrum who discuss how knowing their diagnosis helped them in their lives. If you are newly diagnosed, or think you might be on the spectrum, it is important to remember that you are not alone in this journey. There are many others who are dealing with similar struggles. Also, remember it is okay to ask for help, as we all need help sometimes and any journey, no matter what it is, is hard to face alone. We hope that you find the information in this issue helpful to you as you continue to travel on your autism journey.

My Best,
Chloe Rothschild
Managing Editor

On Being a "Unicorn"
By Becca Lory, CAS
Becca Lory

"Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn." -Benjamin Franklin

Usually writing comes easily to me. It's one of the unexplainable gifts that comes with my autistic brain. I fully expected that I would sit down in front of the screen, access my encyclopedia-esque brain, and bang out this article in an afternoon. After all, the topic of females on the spectrum is not just something I do for work every day but it IS my every day. My every single waking moment is being a living, breathing woman on the autism spectrum.

Day one passed without a word written and I just thought, "Oh I must be tired. Maybe it was a bit of a sensory overload day yesterday," so I waited. Day two, I kind of knew what I should say but it didn't feel right. So, I left my background program running and decided to try again tomorrow. On and on for a week straight, I tried to write with no success. The blank page in front of me never filling with words. My default setting was corrupted but why? Why was I struggling to get my thoughts on paper for something that I live and breathe daily? And then it finally occurred to me. I was tired.

Tired of repeating the same things over and over again. Tired of advocating to deaf ears about the challenges women on the autism spectrum face. Tired of reminding people how many women are diagnosed late in life because their sons get diagnosed first. Tired of describing the clear difference between the male and female phenotypes we see repeatedly in the ASD community. And mostly, I was tired of being reminded how little this part of our community has changed regardless of how many mountain tops the female autism advocates scream from.

When I was first diagnosed at age thirty-six with what was then called Asperger Syndrome, I remember the relief. The sense of belonging. The very fresh eyes as I began to understand myself for the first time. I also remember a clinician who was so excited to meet me because meeting an adult female diagnosed late in life was such a treat. I remember the words that were used. "You are the unicorn of unicorns," she said. As a female diagnosed after age thirty, having nothing to do with a spouse or a son, to her, I was a mythical beast that is rarely sighted and even more rarely captured alive.

At the time, I was honored to be considered so unique. Unicorns are magical, mythical creatures known for their gentle, intelligent and, YES, empathic nature. Not to mention their ability to heal. They have made their way through time from the Ancient Greeks to modern science fiction. There is even a well-known legend that when Noah gathered two of every kind of animal, he neglected to gather the unicorns, which is why they do not exist today. I rather enjoyed thinking of myself as rare mystical creature, for a while.

Years later, the idea of being so very distinctive has lost its shine. Because the truth is, I am not a unicorn, let alone a unicorn of unicorns. In fact, there are more and more females on the autism spectrum getting diagnosed, speaking up, demanding that our voices be heard and that our needs be met each year. We live in the shadow of what was once believed to be a childhood male disorder. The idea that autistics would grow up, grow old and, not just be capable of, but desire, a successful, happy life is just now being addressed. Within the autism community, the very notion that someone would want to cure autism, a very important core piece of your personhood, is barely ever mentioned anymore. We talk about inclusion, diversity, supports, challenges, and life planning. Still, the mountain that is the female autism phenotype has barely begun to be traversed.

We have long conversations about how women on the spectrum present differently than men and why. We talk about how the evaluation and testing materials are skewed toward young males. Yet we are stuck in the 4:1 male to female ratio the CDC published years ago though it likely is not representative of the actual population as many women live their entire lives without ever receiving a formal diagnosis. We have only just begun to discuss the unique needs and supports of women on the spectrum. We become wives, mothers, scholars, and so much more but still the supports are not our supports. Most recently, the topic of the lack of research studying adult females on the autism spectrum has come to the forefront of conversation. An important topic, as without quality research the supports will not get funded. All in all, we do A LOT of talking. But what we really need and what we really want is some doing. We need supports to help girls going through puberty with sensory issues to be able to find and wear a bra should they desire. We need systems in place to support us as professionals. We need education for the women on the spectrum that choose to be wives and mothers. We need the researchers and clinicians to include us in the work they do because we want to be involved as much as they will allow us. We want the inclusion, the diversity, the testing, and the supports; to be equal to that of our brothers on the spectrum as they are our community as much as we are theirs.

This unicorn of unicorns no longer wants to be a unicorn at all. I just want to be me. To be supported, respected, challenged, and involved not as a mythical beast but as an adult woman living a happy successful life on the autism spectrum. To know that I only have to traverse a mountain if I want to, not because I have to. I want to stand side by side my fellow spectrumites, knowing that we share a neurology, that our needs are being met equally and easily, that we are included in our futures, and that our voices are being heard.

I want to hang up my horn and just breathe knowing that my time as unicorn was not wasted.

BECCA LORY, CAS was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome as an adult and has since become an active advocate for individuals on the autism spectrum. She is currently the Director of Development of GRASP (Global and Regional Asperger Syndrome Partnership) as well as sitting Chair of the GRASP Board of Directors. Ms. Lory has published multiple articles, speaks publicly about being on the autism spectrum with the goal of spreading awareness, understanding, and encouraging self-advocacy. Ms. Lory is developing and teaching improvisational workshops in order to assist adults with the practice of independent living skills.
Snapshots of the Adult Autism Community
Chloe Rothschild, Managing Editor
The autism community is made up of a wide variety of organizations, communities and individuals. In this issue we are going to focus on adults with autism. Individuals with autism experience some similarities, but they also, like all people, are unique individuals. Adults with autism from many different walks of life were asked some questions. You will see their answers to these questions below as you get to meet various adults on the spectrum. I hope that this small glimpse into our world gives you or someone you support hope, courage, and strength to persevere and grow on your journey in life.

Meet Conner Cummings. Conner is 24 years old, living in Fairfax, Virginia. He was diagnosed with autism at the age of 3. Conner realized his differences at the age of 7 when he started to speak. One of his special interests is Disney. When we asked Conner about how knowing about his autism diagnosis has helped him, here is what he said:


"Knowing my diagnosis helps me a lot. As I was younger it helped me to accept my likes and interests were my own and not what other kids my age liked. I do things differently. As I got older I was able to understand more about myself. At age 20 I totally accepted and embraced my autism.  I use my differences as tools to reach goals and help others by advocating. I am proud of who I am and know that I will continue to grow and learn and reach goals as age is just a number and we all have our own timetables to become all that each of us can be."

Lydia Wayman is 28 years old and lives in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She was diagnosed when she was 20 years old. . Her special interest is cats. Here is how Lydia's diagnosis has helped her:


"Before the diagnosis, my challenges were identified but misunderstood and misdiagnosed, so I didn't get the right kind of support. The correct diagnosis pointed me to the books and blogs of other autistic adults who had worked out solutions to problems I was still facing. Today, they are my most trusted friends. My experience also showed me how badly the autism community needs better recognition, understanding, and services, so it was in the same year I was diagnosed that I began to advocate through my writing and speaking. For me, the autism diagnosis was like an arrow on a sign post -- it didn't tell me exactly what was ahead, but it pointed me to the right supports to stay on the right path toward the life I have now. The better days took a while, but it's been worth the long walk."

Next, let's meet Campbell Teague. Campbell is 31 years old, and it was first suspected that he had autism at the age of 4. Campbell lives in Tennessee. He is interested in meteorology. When asked how knowing about his autism has helped him, here is what Campbell had to say:


"I knew I was different from other people for a few reasons. First of all when I was growing up a lot of children and my classmates were interested in cartoons. I was more interested in Meteorology, and baseball stats. Also I was extremely shy. I did not speak unless I was spoken too and I never made eye contact. I just didn't have the desire to be social. I was officially diagnosed with Autism at the age of 23 as a junior in college. At first I felt ashamed I knew it all along except now it was official. Me being a Biology major I knew what Autism was. I had to rely on my faith in Christ to get me through the shame. Now I'm no longer ashamed of my Autism."

Anita Leska, age 50, has this to say about her life with autism:


"I got diagnosed with autism at age 50, and that totally changed my life for the better. I never knew why I was so different and never fit in. I always felt like I was on the outside of life looking in. Now I'm making and keeping friends from my autism community, and I even recently married my autistic husband! My diagnosis opened the door to a happy and fulfilling life I'd never thought possible!" 
Jeremy Sicile-Kira is an artist and writer living in San Diego. He is the co-author of A Full Life with Autism (Macmillan 2012). His first curated solo art show took place in April 2016 and was covered by local and national press including, ABC News, and NBC News. His paintings can be seen on the left side. 

"Truly the most important thing is knowing that I'm both different and the same as neurotypicals. I truly think I am different in a special way greatly because I believe I can feel more intensely so many emotions and sensory input. I'm the same because I nicely want to have relationships with people and to frankly have fun." Jeremy Sicile-Kira
As you can see, receiving an autism diagnosis does not have to be the end of the world. In fact, it can be a continuation, and a beginning. It can be a time of positive transformation and a new understanding of oneself.

Chloe Rothschild is the managing editor of the ARI Adults with Autism eBulletin. She is 24 years old. She lives in Toledo, Ohio. Chloe is an advocate, presenter and writer.

Expedition Autism: Greenland
Paul Nussbaum 
Paul Nussbaum

Diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum in 1997 at the age of 40 after a long, hard struggle with employment and social disconnect issues, I began doing advocacy work for myself and for the autism community. I am now a founding board member of AASCEND, an adult advocacy organization, started in 1999, founding member of AGI (Autism Global Initiative) and board member of Ascendigo, an organization that advocates for people on the autism spectrum, as well as providing various outdoor sports related and other support programs for them.

I was diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum in 1997 at age 40 after a long hard struggle with employment and social disconnect issues and not knowing why that situation was occurring. It was crazy-making and very disheartening for me, especially when I would see my peers obtain social and employment goals that I could not obtain. I felt like a castaway, like everybody else was allowed to have a life except me. After my diagnosis, that situation changed for the better. The light bulb went on. I began to educate myself on ASD issues and applied solutions to my life's issues, which included my ASD issues as well, where they fit. I also began doing advocacy work for myself and for others in the Autism Community. Even with my limitations, after my diagnosis and with emerging ASD advocacy organizations, I was able to start finding my niche in the world.

Part of that advocacy work took place in 2006. With my extensive winter camping and wilderness outdoor experience, I spearheaded a regional autism awareness campaign titled "Conquering Heights," in which I organized and led a team of three other people on a one week, 62 mile ski expedition across the Sierra Nevada Mountains in California over Tioga Pass in Yosemite National Park which was very successful. I undertook this venture because I saw all the needs, which I very much identified with, that people with Autism Spectrum Disorder were struggling with, and I wanted to address them after attending an Autism Society of America Conference in Seattle, WA in 2004. Knowing that my venture was addressing those needs inspired me to endure the cold, harsh environment and the rigors of that expedition. I had a strong unified sense of purpose in what I was doing. Even though I was spent physically from that expedition, my spiritual self was filled to overflowing.

I am now well underway, after the origination in 2007 with several false starts, in the development of a much bigger ASD awareness and advocacy project (The "Greenland Project") than that of my Trans Sierra Expedition. After a successful practice run of eight days of winter camping and pulling sleds in Yellowstone National Park with my expedition team in January 2016, I am preparing to lead a world class expedition across the Greenland Ice Cap, a 350 to 400 mile journey on skis pulling sleds that will take about one month that is scheduled for April/May of 2017, to promote national and international awareness and advocacy to the mainstream public on a national and international level for the autism community showcasing their strengths and bringing to light the issues that they struggle with.

Paul in Yellowstone

The Greenland Project is progressing from development - initial conception, plan layout, team recruitment, fundraising, practice runs (the next one is scheduled for January 2017 and will be a 100 mile, eight day ski trek from Aspen to Vail, CO) of winter camping and pulling sleds, etc. - to the actual expedition itself and then to the aftermath of that expedition. During this whole process of project progression from start to finish, I am hoping to further my progress toward breaking out of the limitations and stigma of life on the autism spectrum imposed by the mainstream world. I hope to accomplish this leading by example, showing that it can be done. I first had the vision for the Greenland Project back in the 1990's. I envisioned carrying forth a great project that would benefit humanity in some way on a large scale. I did not know what that project would be at the time. I also just had the desire to see the wide-open space that exists on the Ice Cap and to take on the challenge of crossing it. I have always been drawn to cold, harsh environments for their challenge, beauty and for spiritual reasons.
The purpose of the Greenland Project, including the expedition across the Ice Cap and the making of a video about this project, along with its documentation is publicity awareness, to raise awareness about the issues of autism and to highlight the strengths of these people with autism on an international level. Coming out of this project, I am hoping to:

  • Create a better quality of life for people with autism.
  • Bridge the national and international gap and create more unity among ASD organizations and communities around the world.
  • Help break down social and political barriers in the mainstream world concerning ASD issues.
  • Increase public awareness on a global scale about ASD issues and strengths and to address adult's ASD issues and include children because they will grow up. Also, woman with ASD and their issues as well will fall under the umbrella of this project.
  • Give recognition to people with other disabilities as well.
  • Share my struggles and triumphs in order to inspire.

As a result of this Greenland Expedition and Project, I am hoping that new innovative ASD projects and new understanding that will benefit the autism community will come out of it and take place. Also, this project will demonstrate to the world the strengths of the autism community. In addition, greater awareness, by the public and world at large, of the issues that face the autism community will take place as well.

To learn more about the Greenland Expedition, or to help support, visit the Kickstarter page here

Autism Research Institute, 4182 Adams Ave, San Diego, CA 92116