• Transitioning to Adulthood with ASD

    While the challenges of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may begin in childhood, they do not end there. In many ways, the difficulties expand with the onset of adulthood. Many individuals need daily care for their condition, and many parents of children with ASD find themselves worrying about the future. As this video explains, while there are resources in place to help children with the condition, resources for adults with ASD are increasingly scarce.  

    If you have a loved one who has ASD, STAR of CA can help. We provide Ventura and the surrounding areas with services geared toward the needs of individuals who have ASD and other developmental disabilities. To learn more, call (805) 644-7827.

  • Enjoying the Winter Holidays with a Child on the Spectrum

    If you have a child who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you may be wondering if he or she can still enjoy the holiday season. Fortunately, the answer is yes! Children with ASD can still enjoy all of the warmth, fun, and excitement of the holidays—as long as you know how to manage the experience for them to ensure that it is positive. Here are some tips to keep in mind.  

    Consider alternatives to shopping with your kids.  

    Children who have ASD may react negatively to the noise and tumult that comes with the territory of Christmas shopping. Instead of taking your child along on a trip that may be upsetting or unsettling, you might want to think about leaving your child with a sitter or respite worker, a family member, or even doing most of your shopping online.  

    Plan your decorations carefully.  

    While children may enjoy decorating a tree or putting up lights with you, it’s important to supervise them at all times. Keep in mind that flashing lights can be distracting or even upsetting for children with ASD. You may want to choose lights that emit a steady glow, and you might want to emphasize calming colors, such as light blue.  

    Be prepared for holiday trips.  

    For many families, the holiday season means traveling. If you are going to be taking a trip with your child, it’s important to take some precautions in order to avoid sensory overload. Bring plenty of toys and games to keep your child from getting restless, keep your child’s dietary preferences and needs in mind, and make sure you have a quiet, safe place to take your child whenever he or she needs a break.  

    At STAR of CA, our goal is to help families with children who have ASD get the effective, up-to-date therapies and resources they deserve, including evidence-based treatments, parental education, and counseling. If you have any questions about ASD or other developmental disorders, you can reach us in Ventura by calling (805) 644-7827.  

  • Comparing Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder

    In order to obtain proper treatment and therapy for a developmental disorder, it is important to first get an accurate diagnosis and understanding of the presenting concerns. Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder has many overlapping symptoms to Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), but the two conditions are different and considered distinct from each other. Here is what you need to know about the differences between these two conditions. 

    What is Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder?  

    When the American Psychiatric Association updated its definitions of ASD in 2013, they decided to define certain symptoms under the diagnosis of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder. This disorder is characterized by difficulty using communication skills, both verbal and non-verbal. These skills may include taking turns speaking during a conversation, using non-verbal signals, or using non-literal expressions such as metaphors. Individuals who have Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder may also have trouble speaking appropriately in different social contexts, such as altering their voice tone or language style when engaging with different people in different settings. Without treatment, people who have Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder may find that they face significant challenges in their personal relationships, social interactions, and academic or career settings. 

    How does Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder differ from Autism Spectrum Disorder?  

    Individuals who have ASD often have some of the same difficulties with social interactions as individuals who have Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder. Individuals who have Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder, however, do not present with the same symptoms of restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or motor movements that are common to an ASD diagnosis. As a result, before a diagnosis of Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder can be reached, it must be considered whether the individual also displays symptoms that are unique to ASD.  

    Since 2006, STAR of CA has been offering evidence-based treatments for ASD and other related developmental disorders to families across California, including services for both adults and children. If you would like to learn more about the services we provide, you can reach us today by calling (805) 644-7827.

  • Do We Know What Causes Autism?

    Despite the prevalence of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there is no universally accepted consensus on what causes the condition. But while a single cause has not been identified, there are risk factors that appear to increase the likelihood of developing ASD. Some of the major risk factors for the condition include having a family history of ASD, having parents of advanced age, experiencing birth complications such as low birth weight, and being born of a pregnancy that takes place within a year of another pregnancy. There is no known link between childhood vaccinations and ASD.  

    If you are looking for ASD resources in Ventura, it’s time to get in touch with STAR of CA. We offer family support services, children’s behavioral services, and other services targeted toward the needs of families that are dealing with the challenges that can accompany an ASD diagnosis. If you have any questions, contact us today at (805) 644-7827.