• Understanding the Link Between Autism and Communication Problems

    One area in which children on the autism spectrum often struggle is communication. The type of communication difficulties experienced by children with ASD can vary a great deal. Here is a look at some of the communication difficulties children on the autism spectrum may display.


    Hyperlexia , a fairly uncommon characteristic, is characterized by a child’s ability to read far above grade/age level but an inability to understand the meaning of the text. Likewise, children with hyperlexia have difficulty using and understanding verbal language and with social interactions. Children with hyperlexia struggle to process words that are spoken to them, but their ability to read can prove useful in helping them learn and retain information.

    Understanding Gestures

    For children with autism spectrum disorder, reading social cues from other people can sometimes be difficult. Children on the autism spectrum may not understand gestures like waving and pointing and may struggle to use gestures in their own communication. The inability to understand and use gestures when communicating with others can lead to frustration and behavioral issues.

    Maintaining Conversations

    Conversations can be difficult for children on the autism spectrum. Because conversation skills may not come naturally, it is a skill that may need be practiced and taught. Regular, consistent practice often proves successful in helping children with ASD learn to hold reciprocal conversations.

    At STAR of CA, we provide comprehensive treatment covering all areas of need, including communication skills. We also offer group and individual therapy and support for parents and siblings. Find out how our evidence-based autism treatment in Ventura can make a difference in your family by calling us today at (805) 644-7827.

  • Promoting Appropriate Replacement Behaviors using Positive Behavioral Support Principles

    Children on the autism spectrum often display certain behavioral problems, but a Positive Behavioral Support plan from STAR of CA can help. Positive Behavioral Support—or PBS— helps families reduce stress and improve quality of life by teaching the individual functionally equivalent ways to get their needs met, for instance: requesting cookies appropriately instead of throwing a tantrum to get cookies.

    PBS begins with a functional behavioral assessment to determine what function the maladaptive behavior serves. Next, a series of strategies are employed to reduce negative behaviors and replace them with positive replacement behaviors. The replacement behaviors are often taught in a contrived one-on-one setting, and then generalized to more natural settings.

    PBS is just one of the methods that STAR of CA uses to address the symptoms of ASD and help improve quality of life for children and their families. You can get more information about autism treatment in Ventura by calling us today at (805) 644-7827.

  • The Process of Diagnosing Autism

    The diagnostic process can be intimidating. If your child displays signs of Autism Spectrum Disorder, such as failing to make eye contact or not responding to his or her own name, your child’s pediatrician may recommend an assessment by a child psychologist or other ASD specialist. Since early identification and treatment are associated with more positive outcomes, parents should be persistent and seek out a qualified and thorough assessor. This is what you should expect from the diagnostic process:

    Routine Developmental Screenings

    During your child’s routine appointments with a pediatrician between birth and 36 months of age, the doctor will perform screenings to determine if your child is reaching the typical developmental milestones. If symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder show up during these screenings, your pediatrician may refer you to a specialist for additional testing. There are a host of assessments that are designed to evaluate your child’s behavior and determine the likelihood that the symptoms can be attributed to an ASD diagnosis. If the results show a high likelihood of ASD, your child may need to see a different kind of specialist or undergo additional screening.

    Star of CA is available to help families as they undergo the ASD diagnostic process in Ventura, CA. To learn more about how we can help your family, please call (805) 644-7827.