Follow the money: $126 K for HR boss, low pay for Psychologist SARC

Follow the money
Follow the money

Follow the money.

Money matters. Pay your   staff  the going rate  and you’re   more likely to retain staff.

And if you want to  encourage turnover?  Then pay your  staff  less than the going rate.


Looks like Golden Gate Regional Center and San Andreas Regional Center   want to retain their Human Resource (HR)  Directors.

Both regional centers  (Golden Gate and San Andreas)  pay $126 K for their Human Resource  Directors.  The Human Resource top  job requires a Master’s degree.  The   job does not require a license.

The San Andreas Human Resource  Director has had the job for five years.  That HR Director is well paid.

$126 K for Human Resource Directors
$126 K for Human Resource Director  & only $72 K for Psychologist at San Andreas Regional Center


In contrast, it  looks like   San Andreas  Regional Center does not want to retain Psychologists.  And —  Golden Gate wants to retain their Psychologists.

Top pay for a Psychologist is only  $72 K at  San Andreas Regional Center.   In contrast,  top pay at Golden Gate is  $93K – a difference of  $21 K.  That’s nothing to sneeze at.

What is the going pay  rate for Psychologists?    It varies. The County of Santa Cruz pays $93 K for their Psychologists.  Kaiser Permanente in San Jose pays $133 K.


Currently, San  Andreas Regional Center has 2 jobs available for Psychologists.  One Psychologist  position  for San Andreas Regional Center has been advertised more than a year.  Perhaps there are no takers  because San Andreas pays low and does not want to retain Psychologists?

At San Andreas Regional Center, where can a Psychologist go up from Psychologist?  San Andreas Regional Center hires an  Autistic Spectrum Disorder Clinical Coordinator for   $110 K.  That position is filled  and the  person filling the job has been around many years.   $110K for the  highest paid Psychologist at San Andreas   is  within the range between  $93 K for a County  government job   and $133 K paid by the private sector (Kaiser).


Recently in 2015  the overall chain of command structure at San Andreas Regional Center  structure changed substantially.   The #3 top management job went to  someone closely associated with the current top executive Javier Zaldivar.    This person used to be  a district manager for a branch office.   This  person may  a Master’s degree.  After the top executive and the second in command (both men), currently  two women hold top management positions #3 and #4.  All those top management positions (#1, #2, #3 and #4) are highly paid  positions which do not require a license or a Ph.D.

San Andreas Regional Center  describes itself as a community oriented,  private non-profit corporation.  NOTE:  Non-profit does not mean that management is paid lowly wages. Far from it.   San  Andreas Regional Center top management are quite well paid.     And it looks like $126 K for a  Human Resource Director is the going rate.

Why does San Andreas Regional  Center  choose to pay so low for Psychologists?  Does the agency deliberately encourage turn over? Comparing the numbers of Golden Gate Regional Center with those for San Andreas Regional Center  — the answer is YES.

The current head of  the California Department of Developmental Services (DDS)  is Santi Rodgers.  For more than 15 years Santi Rodgers was the top executive for San Andreas Regional  Center.  Mr. Rodgers moved to Sacramento and was replaced by  Mr. Javier Zaldivar.

Mr. Javier Zaldivar  continues the policy of  very low pay for licensed Ph.D.  Psychologists.  The very low pay policy  was the policy of  predecessor  Santi Rodgers,  now  the top executive for  California Department of Developmental Services (DDS).

Follow the money.  There are reasons for very low pay for Psychologists hired by San Andreas  Regional Center. YES  — always follow the money.  written by Cameron Jackson


kids with autism or fragile X sleep better with over the counter medication

over the counter medication assists with sleep
over the counter medication assists with sleep

A study in the April 15 issue of the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine determined that over-the-counter

    melatonin medication

can shorten the length of time it takes for children with autistic spectrum disorder (ASD), Fragile X Syndrome (FXS), or both to fall asleep at the beginning of the night.

Results of the study indicated that children who received over-the-counter melatonin treatments experienced significant improvements in total night sleep durations, sleep latency times, and sleep-onset times. Mean sleep duration was longer on melatonin than placebo by 21 minutes, sleep-onset latency was shorter by 28 minutes and sleep-onset time was earlier by 42 minutes.

According to the senior author, Beth L. Goodlin-Jones, PhD of the M.I.N.D Institute at the University of California Davis Health System in Sacramento, Calif., treatment with over-the-counter melatonin supplements benefits children of all ages, which helps alleviate some of the additional stress that parents of special-needs children experience.

“Sleep onset problems at the beginning of the night are very troublesome for children and their families,” said Goodlin-Jones. “Sometimes children may take one to two hours to fall asleep and often they disrupt the household during this time.”

Authors report that sleep problems are reported in up to 89 percent of children with autism and 77 percent of children with FXS, the most common form of inherited mental impairment ranging from learning problems to mental retardation, and also the most commonly known cause of autism. Dyssomnia (difficulty falling asleep and frequent nighttime awakenings) are among the most commonly reported problems. Researchers hypothesize that difficulty sleeping in these children is increased due to abnormal levels of melatonin, a natural hormone secreted from the pineal gland that is believed to promote sleep at night.

The study included information from 12 children between the ages of 2 to 15.25 years. Sleep quality and quantity were measured both objectively and subjectively. Five participants met diagnostic criteria for autism, 3 for FXS, 3 for FXS and ASD, and 1 for FXS alone.

Participants were given two weeks’ supply of either melatonin or a placebo. After they completed the two week dosage they were then crossed over to the alternate treatment for an additional two weeks. All participants were assessed for autism and received DNA testing for the diagnosis of FXS.

Authors recommend that in addition to the use of over-the-counter melatonin supplements, behavior therapies and sleep hygiene practices should be used to manage sleep problems in children with autism and FXS. Notes:

More information about over-the-counter use of melatonin is available from the AASM for patients and the public at:

The Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine (JCSM) contains published papers related to the clinical practice of sleep medicine, including original manuscripts such as clinical trials, clinical reviews, clinical commentary and debate, medical economic/practice perspectives, case series and novel/interesting case reports. In addition, the JCSM publishes proceedings from conferences, workshops and symposia sponsored by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine or other organizations related to improving the practice of sleep medicine

For more information contact psychologist Dr. Cameron Jackson


Ways to teach religion to children with special needs: autism, ADHD

child prays
child  at prayer

Ways to teach religion to children with special needs:     

Use short teaching blocks of 15 minutes.

Remove distractions.

Combine pictures with words.

Check with your local elementary school and observe the methods used with children in SDC (Special Day Classes) for children.

Perhaps your congregation  has some experienced teachers or persons with experience working with children with disabilities who can help create a program that works for you.

Information that is available:   Catholic dioceses in  at least 31 states offer specialized religious education for students with autism, intellectual disability/ mental retardation  and other developmental delays.

Teachers  typically use pictograms to discuss God, the Holy Spirit, the church and to pray the Lord’s Prayer.


contact psychologist  Dr. Cameron Jackson for additional information

Monerey Bay Forum

127 Jewell Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
United States (US)
Phone: 831 688 6002
Fax: 831 688 7717