STAR is pleased to announce we have a NEW ORANGE COUNTY LOCATION! We look forward to servicing the children and families of the OC
STAR California provides Psychological & ABA Services to children and families in home and community settings.
Autism symptoms vary greatly from person to person, which has led to many widespread misconceptions about the disorder. To learn more about how autism affects a person and how it may be treated, check out these informative sites.
We want to thank everyone for their hard work and dedication to STAR. We are very lucky to have each of you and even more lucky to have such an overall amazing team. We want to shine some light on some employees with our monthly STARS of the Month awards.
Therapist of the Month- Kylie Gugliemetti
PBS RockStar- Megan Spehar
Parent WOW Award- Leo Clark
Early Intervention Extraordinaire – Sheila Ray
Parent Educator Master- Mike Berlin
Supervisor of the Month- Brent Perry
Here are some tips for having a fun, and relaxing, family vacation with your child with special needs.
1.) Choose your destination wisely. There is no one perfect vacation spot for a child with special needs. But if you take their likes, dislikes and sensory difficulties into account when planning your trip, it will make the vacation more pleasant for the entire family.
2.) Let them know what to expect. Begin talking to your child about what is going to happen and what they can expect. Talk to them about how you will be getting to your destination, let them know about where you are staying, and highlight a few fun activities you will be doing. You can also use visuals and show your child pictures of where you are going and exactly what the hotel will look like.
3. )Use social stories. These little books with pictures of places such as airports, hotels or parks can help a person with autism prepare for an upcoming experience. Knowing what to expect when they arrive at a crowded airport or a hotel that smells different than home can alleviate some of the stress that comes from interrupting their routines.
4.)Take advantage of special accommodations. Call ahead to places you might want to visit, or to airlines, and ask about any allowances they make for children with special needs. It can turn a potentially stressful situation into a more positive experience.
Disney’s theme parks, for example, will allow families with a member with special needs to bypass long lines. You can also request special seating on airlines or trains, a quiet hotel room or a wheelchair to help you get from gate to gate during a quick transfer at an airport. There are cruise lines that block off groups of rooms for families affected by autism, and have special dining areas and activities for them.
5.) Take a practice trip. Go away for a weekend, choosing a place that is just a few hours away by plane or car, before attempting a longer trip. It will give everyone a chance to get used to traveling, and it might help identify potential problem spots.
You’re better off finding out during a two-night stay at a hotel, rather than on a two-week cruise, that your child needs his own pillow to fall asleep in a strange bed.
6.) Pack the comforts of home. A familiar stuffed animal, pillow or snack can go a long way toward easing anxiety about a broken routine.
“Identify if there is a certain toy or object they need to have with them,” Pratt said. “And if the child is nonverbal, make sure you have their communication system with you. No matter how much you prepare, you have to be prepared for the unexpected.”