Last updated 1 day 5 hours ago
At STAR of CA, we recognize that the role of the parent in helping a child with autism is critical. We offer parent education classes to help families develop a keen understanding of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to facilitate positive behavioral changes in their children. The skills your family can learn in our classes will also help you become an effective advocate for your child.
In our classes, you’ll learn that behavior analysis is an approach that facilitates the understanding of a child’s behaviors and how these behaviors may be influenced by the physical or social environment. Through behavior analysis, an autism specialist can better understand how a child with autism learns. For example, positive reinforcement encourages children to repeat desirable behaviors. Applied Behavior Analysis is a set of evidence-based techniques based on this approach that are intended to encourage positive changes in behavior.
To sign up for parent education classes at STAR of CA, call (805) 804-5671. Our autism specialists are dedicated to helping families improve functioning and quality of life for children with autism.
Last updated 8 days ago
Despite the increasing prevalence of autism diagnoses, there’s still quite a lot that researchers don’t yet know about autism spectrum disorder (ASD). For example, research is still ongoing regarding the possible neurobiological causes of autism. Currently, ASD is diagnosed when a child meets a certain set of diagnostic criteria that involves social skills, communication skills, sensory deficits, and other issues.
For more information on how a child might be diagnosed with autism, watch this video. You’ll hear from a researcher at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He discusses the diagnostic criteria for autism and reminds viewers that autism is a spectrum of disorders, rather than one specific challenge.
If your child has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, STAR of CA can help with evidence-based therapy options. Families in the Los Angeles area are encouraged to call us at (805) 804-5671 or explore our comprehensive services online.
Last updated 16 days ago
Teenagers with autism face unique challenges, such as building strong, age-appropriate relationships and coping with the changes associated with adolescence. Additionally, many parents of teens with autism report that symptoms seem to worsen with adolescence, when in actuality, teens with autism are just undergoing the same, normal changes that neurotypical teens face. You can help your teen during these volatile years by showing unconditional love and support. It’s also important to work with autism specialists who offer family support services and can help your adolescent learn social skills.
Accept Your Teen’s Need for Independence
All kids, whether or not they have autism, display increasing non-compliance as they enter the teen years. You’ll notice some changes in your teen’s personality and behavior patterns. Although these issues are a normal part of growing up, they can be more pronounced and difficult to cope with when they occur in a teen with autism. You can ease the transition by gradually giving your teen more choices, which nurtures his or her sense of independence. Allow your teen to practice his or her decision-making skills in a way that still requires adherence to house rules. For example, your teen might be allowed to establish his own morning routine to get ready for school, as long as he or she is ready in time.
Discuss the Changes of Adolescence
Children with autism often have trouble coping with changes. The bodily changes associated with adolescence can be particularly intimidating for kids. Explain these physical changes in a way your child can best understand. For example, one child might learn more effectively by reading books about puberty, while another might do best with visual aids.
Provide Organizational Support
Although your teen’s body and routines are changing, you can provide consistency in other ways. If your teen will need to adapt to a new school schedule, activity, or other change in routine, make sure it’s included on his or her day planner or calendar in advance.
The autism specialists of STAR of CA understand the unique complexities of raising a child or teen with autism. We encourage families in the Los Angeles area to explore our comprehensive autism resources, such as our peer mentorship program, which facilitates social skills and lasting relationships. Schedule a consultation with an autism specialist today by calling (805) 804-5671.
Last updated 24 days ago
The Affordable Care Act is going into effect, and it could provide underinsured and uninsured autism families with the opportunity to find cost-effective therapy for their children. Continue reading to learn more about how the Affordable Care Act will affect your options for finding affordable autism treatment in California.
Families with Employer-Sponsored Insurance
Many ACA reforms do not apply to ERISA plans or grandfathered plans and employer-sponsored plans that were in effect prior to March 23, 2010. If your employer-sponsored insurance qualifies as affordable, you forfeit eligibility for government insurance if you elect to purchase a plan through an ACA state or federal insurance marketplace. Plans on the Covered California health exchange cannot exceed $2,000 per individual, and annual out-of-pocket costs cannot exceed $6,350. Insurance policies sold through a state or federal healthcare exchange must cover 10 essential health benefits (EHBs), including behavioral health treatment.
Families with Private Health Insurance or No Health Insurance
The law now requires individuals with no insurance to purchase a plan or face an increasing penalty for every year without insurance. Those who earn less than 400% of the Federal Poverty Level may be eligible for premium tax credits to offset the cost of health insurance on the exchange. Alternatively, there are several charitable grants for families with autism that may be able to provide assistance for those families that meet certain criteria.
Families with Medicaid, Children’s Health Insurance Program, or Public Benefits Insurance
In 2014, Medicaid eligibility has expanded to anyone with an income of less than 133% of the Federal Poverty Level. However, Medicaid is not currently required to provide ABA therapy. In California, you may buy into the exchange if you earn 138% of the Federal Poverty Level or more, and you may also qualify for tax credits and subsidies if your employer-sponsored plan is unaffordable.
At STAR of CA, we are here to help families of children with autism receive high-quality and personalized treatment, including ABA therapy. To request more information about insurance funding for autism treatment in Los Angeles, contact us online or call (805) 804-5671 today.
Last updated 1 month ago
Constant support and communication with friends and family is a crucial aspect of ongoing autism treatment. To that end, STAR of CA has developed the Peer Mentorship Program to teach children with autism positive social skills.
This 6-week program pairs up peer “mentors” with children with ASD to teach them the basics of friendship and essential skills such as initiating interaction, responding to questions, and compromising with others. Similarly, parents receive training to communicate more effectively with their children and address their unique symptoms. The program includes a field trip and the total cost is $210 for the entire six-week session.
The Peer Mentorship Program is just one of the many autism treatment programs at STAR of CA. We can help families develop a customized treatment plan and assess the scope of their insurance coverage. To learn more about our autism treatment and ABA services in the greater Los Angeles area, contact us at (805) 804-5671 today.