• Tips for Explaining Your Child’s Autism to His or Her Siblings

    An autism diagnosis isn’t just something that happens to one child. The entire family is faced with adjusting to a new normal, which can be particularly challenging for siblings whose brother or sister is on the autism spectrum. Fortunately, there are many things parents can do to help their other children understand autism and what it means to the family as well as to encourage healthy sibling relationships. If one of your children is on the autism spectrum, this advice will help you explain the diagnosis to siblings.

    Use Age-Appropriate Explanations

    The language and approach you use to explain autism to your children depends very much on their ages. Very young children can benefit from reassurances that autism isn’t contagious and that you will be there to help. The older your children get, the more important it will become to share concrete facts about the autism spectrum and to describe the kinds of symptoms and behaviors they can expect to see. Be honest and direct, and welcome questions.

    Have an Ongoing Conversation

    Keep the lines of communication between yourself and your children open, and continue to increase their understanding of the diagnosis. Be forthright about problems that your children may face when a sibling has autism, such as dealing with questions from friends at school or seeing their sibling display maladaptive behaviors. Give your children some basic tools for coping with issues. For instance, tell them that only you will handle aggressive behavior, and that if they see it happening, they should get you rather than trying to deal with it themselves.

    Be Open to Your Children’s Concerns

    It’s natural for siblings to have concerns about their brother or sister with autism. Some of these concerns may be uncomfortable, and they may hesitate to bring them to you. Your children may worry about being embarrassed by their brother or sister, be jealous of the time you dedicate to him or her, or be concerned about their responsibilities for providing long-term care. Ensure your children that you’re open to all of their worries and that there is no question they should be afraid to ask.

    Star of CA offers extensive resources for families as they adapt to managing a child’s autistic disorder in Ventura . When your family needs help, contact us. We provide ABA therapy, mental screenings, and much more. Please call (805) 644-7827 for more information.

  • Comparing Symptoms of Autism in Babies and Toddlers

    The signs of autism are a little different for every child. In general, however, parents can be on the lookout for indications that their children have not yet reached developmental targets that are typical for their age range. If you have concerns about your child, consider writing down your observations and sharing them with your child’s pediatrician or an autism therapist.

    Signs of Autism in Infants

    The failure to meet developmental milestones can be a red flag for autism. In fact, at such an early age, it can sometimes be easier for parents to determine when something might be wrong by considering what their children don’t do, rather than what they do. By six months, most infants smile at their parents or otherwise display joy and affection. By nine months, most infants will engage in other facial expressions and will share back-and-forth sounds. If your little one hasn’t yet met these milestones, it might be time to consider scheduling a consult. Other red flags include the failure to babble or engage in back-and-forth movements like waving, reaching, and grabbing by 12 months. By about seven months, most children who are developing typically will enjoy social play, respond to their own names, and transfer objects from hand to hand.

    Signs of Autism in Toddlers

    From age one to two, toddlers who might have autism may fail to point at things, try to gain others’ attention, smile in response to a parent’s smile, make eye contact, and enjoy cuddling. They might not have said their first word yet and they may not display interest in other children. During this age range, toddlers with autism might babble or talk with an unusual tone of voice, seem overly fussy, display unusual movements, and play with toys in an atypical fashion. By the age of three, toddlers with autism might resist make-believe play and fail to play with other children. If they were speaking before, they might experience a regression of speech.

    If you suspect your child might be displaying the possible signs of autism, you can schedule an autism test in Ventura by calling (805) 644-7827. Star of CA provides evidence-based autism therapy. Our behavioral therapy providers look forward to meeting your family and explaining how we can help.

  • What Are the Distinguishing Characteristics of High Functioning Autism?

    Individuals who are on the autism spectrum all have unique differences and the degrees of severity of their challenges can vary widely. Many children with autism are high functioning. Broadly speaking, high functioning means that these individuals are more capable of caring for themselves and being productive members of society than individuals with severe symptoms of autism. However, children with high functioning autism can still benefit from working with a behavioral therapy provider. Parents who suspect that their children might be developing atypically can keep notes of their observations.

    Language Skills

    Children with high functioning autism do not generally display clinically significant delays in language acquisition and use. However, they may have problems with pragmatic language use , which refers to the use of language in a social context. For example, they might have trouble participating in conversations and they may have trouble understanding the use of abstract language such as sarcasm. They might speak with an unusual pitch, intonation, or rhythm.

    Social Skills

    Some individuals who have high functioning autism display difficulty in social interactions. Even though they may want to make friends, they might not know how to do so. As a result, others might mistakenly perceive these individuals as being aloof or detached. It’s also possible for these children to more easily socialize with others who are much older or younger than them. When interacting with others, children with high functioning autism might have trouble using or interpreting body language and facial expressions correctly.

    Behavioral Issues

    Parents may notice that their children have atypical behavioral issues or patterns. For example, they may display an obsessive interest in specific topics. These children may have unusually strong reactions to stimuli like flickering lights or loud noises. They might also engage in atypical, repetitive play.

    The team at Star of CA offers assistance to individuals with all types and degrees of autism, including high functioning autism. Call our center for autism and related disorders in Ventura at (805) 644-7827 and request a consultation. A behavioral therapy provider will be happy to answer your questions.

  • Understanding ABA

    There are many different therapies available for children with autism, but the type of therapy that has been clinically proven as effective is Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). ABA therapy stems from the science of behavior analysis. ABA therapy is an umbrella term that encompasses different approaches that can be helpful in increasing desirable behaviors and decreasing undesirable behaviors.

    You can hear more about ABA therapy when you watch this interview. This expert explains that although ABA therapy is most commonly associated with autism management, it can actually be used in virtually any setting when positive change is desired.

    For quality ABA therapy in Ventura, parents have long trusted Star of CA. If your child has been displaying possible autism symptoms, you can call us at (805) 644-7827 or you can visit us online to learn more about our methodologies .

  • Understanding Pivotal Response Treatment

    autism spectrum Ventura Pivotal Response Therapy (PRT), or Pivotal Response Treatment, is a methodology that falls under the umbrella of ABA therapy. PRT seeks to address autism symptoms and challenges in a way that is based on play and initiated by the child. In other words, the child is allowed to choose an object to work with, which can help increase the child’s motivation. The therapist then provides instructions or opportunities and positively reinforces attempts at responding. Positive reinforcement stems naturally from the action. For example, if the child tries to ask for a ball, the therapist will reward him or her by handing over the ball instead of offering praise.

    PRT is different from other types of autism therapies in that it goes beyond targeting individual behaviors. Instead, it targets specific or pivotal areas of development, such as self-management, motivation, and responses to multiple cues. In doing so, PRT can be helpful in improving communication, behavior, academic progress, and social skills.

    Children with autism near Ventura and their parents can find the help they need at Star of CA, which provides high-quality ABA therapy . Call our center for autism and related disorders at (805) 644-7827.

  • How Using Applied Behavioral Analysis Helps in School Settings

    aba therapy Ventura Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA, is the science of teaching efficiently. It is extremely effective in remediating the symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder. ABA therapy is uesd world-wide to help children with autism achieve in school settings.

    One of the hallmarks of ABA therapy techniques is the use of positive reinforcement. By rewarding desired behaviors rather than punishing inappropriate ones, ABA therapy has been used to help children with autism develop academic skills, including: reading, having conversations with teachers and peers, and recognizing other people’s perspectives.

    STAR of CA offers ABA therapy to qualifying individuals in Ventura . We also help families learn to apply these strategies at home to make everything from mealtimes to bedtime easier. If your family is dealing with an Autism Spectrum diagnosis, call us today at (805) 644-7827.

  • Recognizing the Benefits of Positive Behavior Support

    autism spectrum Ventura Positive Behavior Support is a type of behavioral therapy that can help children with Autism use appropriate behaviors across all of the environments they frequent. PBS focuses on teaching and rewarding adaptive behaviors so that children develop healthier ways to get their needs met. Successful Positive Behavior Support helps kids and parents establish positive and healthy patterns of behavior.

    No matter what challenging behavior your child exhibits, Positive Behavior Support starts with giving you a clear understanding of what your child is trying to communicate. Once you understand the function of the behavior, you will be ready to reinforce healthier ways for your child to get his or her needs met. By pre-teaching appropriate behaviors and then rewarding your child for using them, he or she will learn appropriate ways to communicate these needs.

    At Star of CA, we know Autism is challenging, and our behavioral therapy in Ventura is designed to help you establish new positive behavior patterns. Find out how we help kids with all types of autism symptoms and their families by calling (805) 644-7827.

  • Recognizing the Symptoms of Autism

    Early Autism treatment is associated with improved outcomes, so identifying early signs of Autism is essential. There are a number of Autism symptoms, and they may manifest differently different at different ages. If you recognize any of these potential Autism symptoms in your child, consider discussing them with your doctor.

    No Personal Engagement signs of autism Ventura

    Even before babies can speak, they engage with their parents. Through eye contact and physical closeness, babies build close bonds with their families. In children with Autism , engagement with others may not occur with the same frequency or may not occur at all. You may notice that your child refuses to make eye contact and doesn’t smile, even when you smile at him or her. Babies with Autism may not respond to nonverbal cues, like following your finger when you point at something, and won’t cry or babble to get your attention or in response to his or her name. Initially, some of these symptoms may even make it seem like your baby is simply very well behaved, since he or she is quiet, but as they persist, they often become more concerning.

    Difficulty Playing

    Children with Autism have a difficult time playing alone or with other children. When alone, children with Autism may not play pretend games and may struggle to understand how to play with their toys in an age-appropriate manner. When with others, children with Autism may be disinterested in interacting or otherwise joining in with games in an age-appropriate way.

    Delayed Communication

    Both verbal and nonverbal communication are delayed for children with Autism. Babies may not babble, and toddlers may begin talking later than their peers. When children with Autism do speak, they may use an unusual tone of voice or repeat the same words over and over. They may also have difficulty understanding nonverbal communication and using nonverbal cues themselves.

    If you recognize these potential symptoms of Autism in your child, see a doctor and reach out to Star of CA for help. We provide support to families with everything from child psychology to behavioral therapy in Ventura . Find out how we can help you by calling (805) 644-7827.

  • Autism and Health Insurance in California [INFOGRAPHIC]

    Being a parent is both a challenging and rewarding experience, and it can come with a unique set of challenges if you have a child with an autism spectrum disorder. Thanks to a California law that went into effect in July of 2012, insurance coverage is now mandated for behavioral health treatments for people with autism. All fully-funded insurance plans that are regulated by the state must cover treatment for those with an autism spectrum disorder. These treatments can include Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) as well as speech and occupational therapy. Take a look at this infographic from Star of CA, a center for autism treatment in Los Angeles , to learn more about the autism insurance mandate and how ABA can help people with autism. Please share with your friends and family.