• Spotlight on Our Psychological Assessment Services

    Managing ASD requires a personalized approach with dedicated solutions for each individual patient. The age, personality, cognitive function, and behavioral tendencies of an individual with ASD will influence how the Applied Behavioral Analysis strategies are applied. With STAR of CA, you can rest assured that your child is entering a care system with highly trained therapists.

    Our organization provides home- and community-based care that is tailored to the needs of individual children and their families. With our full psychological assessment service, we are able to determine the appropriate solutions for academic, social, and personal development concerns specific to your child. Our assessment services include psychodiagnostic, psychoeducational, behavioral, cognitive functioning, and developmental exams that will point to the right clinical and behavioral health services for your family.

    In addition to behavioral and psychological care for children with ASD, STAR of CA provides a wealth of resources for parents and families to create a more successful continuum of effective treatment strategies. Call (805) 644-7827 to learn more about us, or visit our website for further reading.

  • Going Blue for World Autism Awareness Day

    Over the past several years, more people have become aware of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and the challenges it can create for those who have it. As public knowledge has increased, clinical studies and research in ASD treatment have expanded as well, creating a more comprehensive understanding of this behavioral disorder. However, it is still essential to spread awareness and understanding, because public perception can have a strong impact on medical advancements, educational resources, and societal acceptance for individuals with ASD.

    Following World Autism Awareness Day , which took place on April 2, 2017, is essential to continue spreading the message of this important day. From individuals wearing the color blue to blue lights shining on the White House, the world has shown its support for ASD awareness, but the mission continues as more children become diagnosed with ASD.

    At STAR of CA , we are proud to have participated in World Autism Awareness Day, and we continue to go blue to support those in need of psychological services, behavioral therapy, and educational support in Ventura and the surrounding communities. To learn more about STAR of CA and the services we can provide to your family, visit our website or call us at (805) 644-7827.

  • Spotlight on Our Psychological Assessment Services

    Managing disorders on the autism spectrum requires a personalized approach with dedicated solutions for each individual patient. The age, personality, cognitive function, and behavioral profile of an individual with ASD will inform the creation of an individualized treatment plan . With STAR of CA, you can rest assured that your child is entering a care system that is dedicated to providing customized care from highly trained therapists in Ventura.

    Our organization provides home- and community-based care that is tailored to the needs of individual children and their families. With our full psychological assessment service, we are able to determine the appropriate solutions for academic, social, and personal development concerns specific to your child. Our assessment services include psychodiagnostic, psychoeducational, behavioral, and intelligence testing that will point to the right clinical and behavioral health services for your family.

    In addition to behavioral and psychological care for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, STAR of CA provides a wealth of resources for parents and families to create a more successful continuum of effective treatment strategies. To learn more about us, call (805) 644-7827 or visit our website for further reading.

  • Understanding and Managing Self-Injurious Behaviors

    Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may display several behaviors of concern, including inadequate communicative skills, repetitive movements, ritualistic behaviors, and restlessness or difficulty sleeping. Among one of the most frightening behaviors noted in individuals with ASD is self-injurious behavior , or SIB. Though SIB is not officially categorized as a symptom of ASD, many on the spectrum engage in SIB. This type of behavior may include actions such as biting, poking, scratching, or cutting oneself, possibly to the point of severe or life-threatening injuries. Obviously, SIB is a serious concern for parents of children with ASD, and it should not go unaddressed.

    Causes of Self-Injurious Behavior

    The antecedents for SIB can vary across individuals. The first step in designing an effective intervention plan is to conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment to identify the variables maintaining SIB. Once identified, an appropriate treatment plan can be created and implemented.

    Assessment and Management of SIB

    An individual care approach is integral for successfully managing SIB, because risk factors and behavioral patterns will vary among individuals. Applied Behavioral Analysis-based therapy is often incredibly successful at reducing instances of SIB, and also teaches functional replacement skills to take the place of SIB.

    STAR of CA can serve as a resource as your child works to overcome the challenges of autism. Our Ventura child therapists are dedicated to providing complete community mental health services for families affected by autism, so don’t hesitate to give us a call at (805) 644-7827.

  • A Parent’s Guide to ABA [INFOGRAPHIC]

    After a child is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), parents are often bombarded with information about potential ASD treatment approaches that may not only be ineffective, but may also be dangerous. In reality, the most tested, researched, and widely accepted treatment for ASD is Applied Behavioral Analysis, or ABA therapy. ABA therapy relies on knowledge of how people learn to encourage positive behavior modifications. At STAR of CA , we rely only on evidence-based ABA therapy to help children on the autism spectrum and their families cope with symptoms and manage behavior. You can learn more about ABA therapy in this Infographic from our center for ASD and related disorders in Ventura. If your child has been recently diagnosed with ASD or you are unhappy with your current treatment plan, reach out to us to find out how we can help. Please help us raise autism awareness and understanding of ABA by sharing this information.

     

  • 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.

  • 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.