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    Discrete Trial Teaching Basics

    Last updated 8 days ago

    Discrete trial training (DTT) is a structured technique that falls under the umbrella of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). Autism specialists commonly use ABA to encourage positive behavioral improvements in children with autism. At its heart, ABA relies on a reward system to induce positive changes. When an autism specialist uses DTT, certain skills are broken down into their most basic components or steps. For example, when teaching a child colors, an autism specialist may ask him or her to point to the color red. When the child does so correctly, he or she is rewarded with praise or sometimes a special treat. Non-compliance –or incorrect responses—is ignored by the therapist.

    Autism therapists use an ABC model to perform DTT. The “A” stands for antecedent, which refers to the directive that is given to the child. “B” is for behavior on the part of the child, which may be non-compliance, no response at all, or a successful response. “C” is for consequence, which may involve the therapist ignoring non-compliance or rewarding a successful response.

    The highly trained ABA therapists of STAR of CA look forward to meeting your family and learning how we can help your child. Call an autism specialist today at (805) 804-5671 or visit our website to learn more about our methodologies.

    How Does Autism Impact Sleep?

    Last updated 18 days ago

    Children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) are more likely to suffer from disrupted sleep patterns. They may be more opposed to going to bed and they may wake up frequently during the night. Unfortunately, these types of sleep problems affect the whole family. Furthermore, sleep deprivation contributes to a wide range of health issues and behavioral problems.

    Learn how to help your child have a good night’s sleep by watching this video. This ASD expert recommends trying behavioral and educational interventions with help from an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist. He also offers some advice regarding co-sleeping and established bedtimes.

     If your child is struggling with sleep problems because of autism, let the caring autism therapists of STAR of CA help. Call (805) 804-5671 and ask about our Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs.

    Helping Your Kids Cope with Their Sibling's Autism Diagnosis

    Last updated 29 days ago

    A child’s diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) affects the family as a whole. Since every child is unique, you can expect siblings to react in various ways. Younger children may be confused and sometimes jealous about the attention given to the child with autism. Older children may feel protective of their sibling or embarrassed about his or her atypical behaviors. The first step in helping your children cope with a sibling’s diagnosis of autism is to learn about the disorder together.

    Learn About ASD Together

    Confusion, jealousy, embarrassment, and other emotional reactions to a sibling’s diagnosis of autism can sometimes stem from an incomplete understanding of the disorder and what it means for the sibling. Consider encouraging your children to attend meetings with the autism therapist together. Read age-appropriate books with your children about autism and discuss the ways in which the disorder manifests in the sibling.

    Encourage Ongoing Communication

    Encourage your children to share their concerns and thoughts with you. Since new issues will arise long after the initial diagnosis, it’s a good idea to establish ongoing communication. Periodically, ask your children how they feel and if they’ve encountered any new challenges.

    Create Special Family Time

    All children need special family time, whether they have autism or not. You can schedule activities for the entire family to enjoy together, in addition to one-on-one time with each child. One-on-one time wards off feelings of jealousy and resentment, while activities for the whole family help strengthen the bond between siblings.

    Consider Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

    Some children experience a great deal of stress when a sibling is diagnosed with autism. Sometimes, this may lead to anxiety or even depression. If you suspect your kids could be experiencing these difficulties, consider asking the autism specialist about cognitive behavioral therapy or other counseling services. Support groups for children of siblings with autism can also be helpful.

    STAR of CA strives to support the whole family in raising a child with autism. If your children are experiencing difficulty with their sibling’s diagnosis, call (805) 804-5671 and ask us about cognitive behavioral therapy for anxiety and depression. Our autism specialists also provide parent education classes and support groups for both parents and siblings.

    How to Make Reading Part of Your Life with Your Child with Autism

    Last updated 1 month ago

    Children with autism often struggle with speech and language delays. By making reading part of your daily routine with your child, you can encourage his or her communication abilities, language development, and listening comprehension. Reading regularly also contributes to improvements with social skills because it helps children with autism learn how to relate to the outside world. Talk to your child’s autism specialist about ways of incorporating reading into your youngster’s daily routine.

    Find Books with Sensory Stimuli

    Sensory stimulation is important for all children, but especially so for those with autism. Look for books with sensory stimuli, such as buttons to press to create sounds, tactile additions such as feathers, and scratch-and-sniff areas. You’ll likely find that these types of books tend to capture your child’s attention for a longer period of time. They can also promote a young child’s interest in reading.

    Connect Reading with Activities

    Children with autism flourish with established routines. Encourage your child to develop a love of books by connecting them with certain activities. For example, you can read a book about going to sleep before bedtime and naptime. When it’s time to get ready for school, you can read a book together about preschool.

    Use Repetition for Language Development

    Autism specialists recommend using repetition to nurture your child’s language development. Read the same books together over and over again, and encourage your child to talk about his or her reaction to the story and the pictures. Books that feature repetitive phrases and rhymes are particularly appealing to children.

    Look for Books with Human Faces

    Although books on animals are quite popular, children with autism can benefit from reading books that feature human faces. Many children with autism have difficulty recognizing the nonverbal cues that indicate emotion, such as facial expressions and body language. Talk about the faces in the story together and discuss whether they seem happy or sad.

    The autism specialists of STAR of CA provide intensive, individualized intervention programs to help children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) reach their full potential. Our autism specialists strive to help children struggling with developmental delays, including speech and language deficits, catch up with their peer group. If you have any questions about our comprehensive, evidence-based services for children with autism, please call (805) 804-5671.

    Spotlight on Peer Mentoring

    Last updated 1 month ago

    STAR of CA offers a wide range of programs to meet the needs of children with autism and their families. Your child may benefit from our peer mentorship program, which introduces peer mentors to youngsters who need a little extra help with their social skills. Children and their mentors enjoy theme-based activities such as indoor sports, socio-dramatic play, and arts and crafts while learning how to make new friends. 

    When children with autism have the opportunity to socialize freely with peer mentors, they tend to display remarkable progress with their social skills. They learn how to initiate conversations, respond to conversations, and compromise as needed. During the peer mentorship program, our autism specialists work closely with parents to help them learn how to be facilitators of social interactions, such as through role playing.

    If you would like to learn more about the peer mentorship program available at STAR of CA, please call (805) 804-5671. Our autism specialists also provide therapy with Applied Behavior Analysis.

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  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Sunday
  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday
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STAR California, a division of Support and Treatment for Autism and Related Disorders, provides Psychological and ABA Services to children and families in home and community settings. This division does not provide school-based educational services.
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