• Why Are Children with Autism Bullied?

    Bullying is a widespread problem in schools, and children on the autism spectrum are often targeted at a higher rate than students without ASD. As a parent of a child with ASD, you may have concerns about your child being bullied in school, especially because bullying may elicit outbursts from your child that result in disciplinary action. Furthermore, your child may face added difficulties in the classroom if bullying is a problem during school hours.

    Children with ASD may to get bullied more frequently in large part due to their atypical reactions to being bullied. Bullies will pick on peers to achieve a certain negative reaction, and children with ASD often respond to bullying by having a meltdown or other outburst that becomes a playground spectacle. The bully is reinforced by the student with ASD’s response, and other students may not know how or why to intervene.

    Through the support and education of STAR of CA, you can learn how to better communicate with your child’s school to establish a better understanding of autism spectrum disorders and provide your child with the tools he needs to stand up to bullies at school. To learn more about our autism awareness services in Ventura, call (805) 644-7827 or visit our website for more details about our programs.

  • Preparing for a Family Trip to a Restaurant

    When you have children, going out to eat can be difficult. As a parent of a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, you may face even more stress at the prospect of dining out with the whole family. Restaurants can present a minefield of challenges, including an unfamiliar environment, long periods of downtime, and excess stimulation. Still, you do not have to avoid dining out, especially if your child has had success adapting to new situations through applied behavioral analysis and pivotal response therapy . Keep reading for some helpful tips on planning a family trip out.

    Choose the Right Restaurant Environment

    Chain restaurants are often reliable choices for dining out with a child with ASD, because they offer more predictable environments as well as resources like online menus that can make the ordering process easier. In any restaurant, try to be seated at a booth so that you can sit next to your child and keep him from leaving his seat and wandering away from the table.

    Practice the Dining Experience at Home

    Reinforcing positive behaviors is a successful strategy for teaching your child to successfully navigate everyday situations, but it may be difficult to achieve these appropriate behaviors during your first attempts to dine out. To practice the right behavior in a more controlled environment, you might rehearse activities like reading a menu or coloring quietly while waiting for food to be served at home. Eating out at a fast food establishment may also be helpful practice, since you will not have the stress of a more formal dining experience.

    Avoid Peak Dining Times

    No matter where you choose to eat, you should avoid peak times during which wait times will be longer and the dining atmosphere will be more hectic. Try dining out on a weeknight or going to dinner right as a restaurant opens.

    With STAR of CA, you can learn to help your child thrive in his natural environment with skills gained through proven therapies and psychological support. To learn more about our center for autism and related disorders in Ventura, give us a call at (805) 644-7827.

  • Coverage for Autism Therapy in California

    Applied Behavioral Analysis is highly effective in helping children with Autism Spectrum Disorders follow a normal path of development, and learn to function in school and at home with more positive behaviors. Unfortunately, this type of treatment has not always been readily accessible, as insurance companies have not always covered the costs of care. In this video, you will learn about how the California Appeals Court ruled that public insurance must provide funding for ABA in their coverage. With this change in state law, parents may now have access to treatment that was not previously available to children with ASD whose families did not have the financial resources to cover care costs.

    STAR of CA is dedicated to providing exceptional care and support to families coping with an autism diagnosis. With a staff of clinical managers, behavioral therapists, and other mental health professionals, we can help your child succeed in managing an autism spectrum disorder in Ventura. Call (805) 644-7827 to learn more about our services or to get to know our talented and experienced staff.

  • Factors to Consider When Setting Expectations and Boundaries

    After your child receives an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis in Ventura, you may have many questions about how to establish rules in your household that will provide your child with the necessary structure for personal, social, and academic success . For children with ASD, structure and routine are essential. Predictable daily schedules and clear cut expectations will become integral in your household, because children on the autism spectrum may have difficulty understanding unwritten or unspoken rules and boundaries. Therefore, you may need to work with specialists in behavioral health to help you create effective expectations and boundaries that will work for your child. Below you are some important factors to consider as you draw up rules for your household.

    Your Child’s Abilities and Problem Areas

    In both day to day and long-term expectations, it is important to weigh in your child’s skills, abilities, and desires. Asking your child to perform tasks with which he or she struggles, or aspiring for long-term goals that do not fit into your child’s current skillset can be detrimental. Still, you should remember that being on the autism spectrum is not an excuse for poor achievement or bad behavior. You will want to work to find a balance in your expectations that allows your child to thrive while reaching for attainable goals.

    Methods of Enforcement

    With every rule you come up with, you will want to think about how these rules will be enforced. Children with ASD respond better to boundaries and rules when they understand the consequences of breaking them. In addition, you should be prepared to maintain the same level of enforcement over a long period. Constantly changing rules or banking on immediate success can create anxiety and confusion for your child that may translate to outbursts and other inappropriate behaviors.

    Working with STAR of CA, you can expect devoted, experienced support for your whole family with services including Applied Behavioral Analysis to help your child maintain a path toward healthy development. To learn more about the resources we offer in home and community settings, call (805) 644-7827.