• Mastering the Terminology of ABA: A Guide for Parents

    If you are a parent of a child who has autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it’s important that you take the time to learn about applied behavior analysis (ABA). ABA is an empirically validated treatment for autism. It focuses on teaching functional skills and address challenging behaviors that may be impacting your child’s ability to learn and navigate his environment. When you read about ABA, you’re likely to encounter a lot of unfamiliar words and terminologies. Here are some of the terms you may see:  

    ABC data 

    This is a type of data collection frequently used to identify the possible function of your child’s behavior. In other words, trying to understand the reason why a behavior is taking place and what is maintaining this behavior. A stands for antecedent, or what happens before a behavior. B stands for the behavior itself. C stands for the consequence that follows.  


    This word refers to an additional condition a person is diagnosed with, in addition to a primary condition. For instance, children with ASD may frequently be diagnosed with epilepsy as well.  


    DSM stands for the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. This manual is widely used around the world to classify mental and developmental disorders.  


    This term is simply used to mean any action that is taken to change a particular behavior.  


    A mand is a volitional request, with the intent of wanting the item. For example, a child saying “ball” because he wants the ball, as opposed to saying “ball” because he sees a ball.  


    A prompt is something you provide to a child to help he or she perform a particular behavior. A prompt can come in many different forms and varying in how intrusive they are. They can range from physical prompts to a simple indirect verbal prompt.   


    This term is used to refer to switching from one activity to another or moving from one setting to another. Challenging behaviors are often observed during transitions, especially when going from a preferred activity to a less preferred activity.  


    Children with autism may often have a difficult time with an overall change in routine. Some children have very specific routines that in the event of any slight deviation, it may be a cause for an intense meltdown.  

    Since May of 2006, STAR of CA has been offering comprehensive ASD resources to children, adolescents, and parents throughout Ventura County and beyond. Are you wondering whether getting the right therapy could make a difference in your child’s life? You can learn more about the ABA therapy we provide by calling us at (805) 644-7827.  

  • FAQs and Answers About IEPs

    When your child has autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or a related condition, he or she may need an individualized education program (IEP) in order to have a productive and positive experience at school. An IEP essentially provides a guideline for your child’s education. Here’s what you need to know about IEPs.  

    What is an IEP?  

    An IEP is an individual program developed for a child or adolescent in public school if he or she needs special accommodations, services, or support to do well. The plan outlines detailed information about your child’s current educational status, his or her strengths and areas of need states what services will be provided to support your child’s learning, and goals that will be targeted and measured to determine progress.    

    What is a SMART goal?  

    You may have heard that your child’s IEP program needs to include SMART goals. SMART is an acronym that describes goals that meet five criteria: specific, measurable, attainable, results-oriented, and time-bound. In order to be useful for your child, the program that you and your team develop should have targeted goals that are clear, quantifiable, and realistic.  

    What does it mean for an IEP to be standards-based?  

    Every state has its own official academic standards that have to be met in the classroom, and since 2015, all IEPs have been required to meet those standards as well. When your IEP team is creating SMART goals for your child, they will need to be in keeping with your state’s academic standards for students at that grade level.  

    Do you have a child with ASD, a child with behavioral issues, or a child who is at risk of a developmental disorder? If you are looking for help in facing the challenges that come with these situations, look to STAR of CA. We offer a full range of ASD services to families throughout California, including Ventura County. For more information about our mental health services, call (805) 644-7827 today.  

  • What Does It Mean to Be “Therapy Ready”?

    When an ABA therapist is scheduled to come to your home, it’s important to make sure that your child is ready to receive the therapy. That means that the child should be calm and in a suitable mood for working with the therapist. If your child is tired, hungry, stressed out, or sick, then the therapy session is not likely to be as productive as it could be. The same is true if your child is already distracted by playing with his or her favorite toy. If the session doesn’t start out on the right note, then it will be very difficult for the therapist to make it as productive as it should be.   Work with your child’s supervisor for tips on getting your child ready for therapy. 

    You’ll always find the up-to-date ASD treatments and therapies your family needs at STAR of CA. We have been providing state-of-the-art resources to families in Ventura County since 2006, and we are continually working to expand and enhance our services. If you’d like to learn more, give us a call at (805) 644-7827.