• What Is Stereotypy?

    Stereotypy, colloquially known as “self-stimulatory behavior,” is a core symptom of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and is one of the first symptoms that parents often report to their pediatrician. Stereotypy takes many different forms including turning light switches on and off, humming, repetitively tapping surfaces, and lining up objects. All children (and adults!) engage in stereotypy of some sort, but the persistent nature of stereotypy in children with ASD often inhibits learning and socialization.

    If you have concerns about the rate or intensity of your child’s stereotypy, the professionals of STAR of CA are here to help with comprehensive behavioral therapy in Ventura , as well as parent education and other forms of family support. You can find out more about autism treatment and the characteristics of autism by calling (805) 644-7827.

  • What Are Your Child’s Educational Rights?

    Parents of children on the autism spectrum frequently worry about their kids’ futures in school. Depending on the nature of their children’s ASD symptoms, parents may worry about everything from special classrooms to relationships with teachers and peers. Parents and children on the autism spectrum greatly benefit from having an individualized education program, or IEP, in place that defines educational goals and processes to support learning, to ensure that the child is accessing the curriculum, and to promote appropriate behavior. Building an open and honest dialogue with teachers and school administrators is a must. You absolutely must remember that your child with an autism spectrum disorder has certain rights to an education that cannot be denied. Educating yourself about these rights will help you be the best advocate you can be for your child’s needs.

    Free and Appropriate Education

    The Individuals with Disabilities Act, or IDEA, guarantees a public education for all children with special needs. The law establishes the requirement for a Free and Appropriate Education, or FAPE , for all children. The “appropriate” part of FAPE is the most significant portion for children with autism, because it guarantees them access to an individualized educational program that meets their specific needs.

    Least Restrictive Environment

    Your child has the right to an education in the least restrictive environment possible in which he or she can still receive the necessary support. Least restrictive environments, or LREs, give children with special needs the maximum opportunity to interact with neurotypical students and the ability to participate in the general education curriculum in a way that adapts to their needs but is as inclusionary as possible.

    Your child may have other rights, including early intervention services, special education, and extended school year services. At STAR of CA, we can be part of your child’s school success plan, and provide IEP assistance and behavioral therapy in Ventura, CA . To find out more, please call (805) 644-7827.

  • Understanding the Spectrum Nature of Autism

    All individuals diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder share many of the same core symptoms, but the severity of those symptoms can differ greatly across people. The newest version of the diagnostic manual used by psychologists now offers for the first time a mechanism to subdivide the ASD diagnosis by symptom severity.

    Many schools and behavioral therapists use an assessment called the CARS, the Child Autism Rating Scale, to differentiate between those with level 1, 2, and 3 ASD symptoms. Children in the past were sometimes diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified, or Asperger’s Syndrome, when they displayed symptoms that would now be classified as ASD. Watch this video to gain additional insight on ASD and the range of symptoms those diagnosed may display.

    STAR of CA can help you understand your child’s ASD diagnosis and the types of treatments that are available. Call our center for autism and related disorders in Ventura at (805) 644-7827 for more information.