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    How to Have a Great Vacation with Your Child with Autism

    Last updated 11 days ago

    Family vacations can be particularly challenging for children with autism. These youngsters often have difficulty coping with changes in routine. You can prepare your child for these changes by talking about what he or she can expect from the trip. Additionally, select a destination that will not be overwhelming for your child, especially if he or she has hypersensitivities. For example, a child with tactile aversions may not appreciate spending time on the beach.

    You get some more helpful tips about vacationing with a child with autism by watching this video. This expert discusses some factors to consider when choosing a destination and deciding where to stay during your visit.

    At STAR of CA, it’s our goal to provide effective, family-centered support with evidence-based autism therapies and supportive services. Families can schedule a consultation with one of our caring autism specialists by calling (805) 804-5671.

    An Overview of STAR of CA's Methodologies

    Last updated 21 days ago

    STAR of CA was founded for the purpose of providing comprehensive, evidence-based autism therapies within a supportive, nurturing environment that focuses on the whole family. Our autism therapists understand the unique array of challenges that families of children with autism face on a daily basis. Our methodologies have all been clinically proven to help children with autism thrive, reducing frustration for the whole family. Some of the evidence-based methodologies our autism therapists use include discrete trial training (DTT) and pivotal response therapy (PRT).

    Discrete Trial Training (DTT)

    Discrete trial training is a highly structured technique that encourages compliance and direction following in children with autism. It involves breaking down a task into its most basic components. DTT follows an “ABC” method, involving an antecedent, behavior, and consequence. The autism therapist provides an instruction, or antecedent, to the child. The child’s behavior is the response to that request, which could be compliance, non-compliance, or a lack of a response. The consequence is the autism therapist’s response. If the child correctly performs the response, he or she receives a reward as positive reinforcement. Otherwise, the behavior is ignored.

    Pivotal Response Therapy (PRT)

    Pivotal response therapy is known to be a highly effective, clinically proven technique based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) principles. Unlike DTT, which targets specific behaviors, PRT targets areas of a child’s development, such as self-management, the initiation of social interactions, and motivation. PRT can help a child thrive with regard to social skills, communication, academics, and behavior. PRT is based on child-initiated play. For example, during a session the child will choose the type of play. The autism therapist provides directions or opportunities, and offers positive reinforcement with each attempt.

    Parents can learn more about the methodologies used by the autism therapists at STAR of CA by visiting our website. Or, give us a call at (805) 804-5671 to schedule a consultation. Our autism therapists look forward to meeting your family and learning how we can help you overcome challenges.

    Breaking Down Myths About Autism

    Last updated 27 days ago

    Despite the growing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders (ASD) in the U.S., myths regarding autism are still quite pervasive. If your child has been recently diagnosed with autism, it’s a good idea to connect with an experienced autism specialist who uses evidence-based practices. Your child’s autism specialist can help your family understand the challenges of the disorder and how best to help your child.

    Myth: All Children with Autism Are Intellectually Impaired

    It’s commonly thought that a diagnosis of autism automatically means that a child is also intellectually impaired. The truth is much more complex. Each child with autism is unique, and has individual challenges and strengths—just like any child who is developing typically. Many children with autism are high functioning, and many have exceptional IQs and academic strengths. Just as with typically developing children; however, some children with autism do have intellectual difficulties.

    Myth: Autism Challenges Are Unmanageable

    Since autism researchers have yet to find a cure for the disorder, many people assume that the challenges associated with it are unmanageable or that therapies are ineffective. Although there are indeed plenty of unproven therapies for autism, there are also highly effective, clinically-proven methodologies that help children overcome their challenges. An autism specialist can use techniques based on Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) to help children improve their communication abilities, social skills, and other areas of development.

    Myth: Children with Autism Prefer Social Isolation

    This is among the most common myths about autism because many children with ASD have difficulty with social skills. Although these youngsters may have trouble making and keeping friends, this by no means indicates that they prefer social isolation. They simply need more patience and understanding to build social connections. An autism specialist can help children with ASD improve their social skills.

    At STAR of CA, our goal is to help children and families affected by autism spectrum disorders (ASD) overcome obstacles to success and reach their full potential. Our autism therapists provide effective, evidence-based therapies for children, based on the principles of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA). For more information about our services, please call (805) 583-8060.

    Discrete Trial Teaching Basics

    Last updated 1 month 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) 583-8060 or visit our website to learn more about our methodologies.

    How Does Autism Impact Sleep?

    Last updated 1 month 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) 583-8060 and ask about our Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) programs.

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  • Hours:

  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Sunday
  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday
  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Tuesday
  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Wednesday
  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Thursday
  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Friday
  • 6:00 AM to 8:00 PM Saturday


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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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