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Vista Hill/STAR Specialties

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New Program Trains Parents of Children with Autism

San Diego, CA, July 25, 2012 --( FIT Targets Difficult Behaviors that Interfere with Success in Typical Social Settings.

STAR Specialties, a service of Vista Hill, is providing group behavioral training to parents together with their children diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

The FIT (Family Intensive Training) Program has parents working together along with other parents and the support of a personal Behavioral Coach to teach their children social skills and provide help in managing behaviors that may isolate families and limit their ability to enjoy social activities.

Autism is a complex developmental disability, a result of a neurological disorder that affects the normal functioning of the brain, impacting development in the areas of social interaction and communication skills. Autism is a spectrum disorder and it affects each individual differently and at varying degrees.

The 22-week FIT training course is designed for children between the ages of 5 and 10 years old. It includes an intake interview and assessment, group and personalized behavior coaching, social skills training and sessions in a community setting where parents and children can practice their strategies.

Children with autism typically show difficulties in verbal and non-verbal communication, social interactions, and leisure or play activities. The FIT Program offers benefits far beyond the skills training in providing the children a safe, comfortable environment where they form friendships with their peers. The parents, too, find great reward and strength in learning and bonding with other parents who share similar challenges in their family life.

Former FIT parent, Shankar Sundaram, MD. states, “I am very impressed with the staff and have interacted with them many times starting with the evaluation of my son’s skills and then tailoring a treatment approach. They (STAR) have a very inclusive approach and the therapists have always tried to involve my son’s older brother, in therapy sessions and this has resulted in significantly improved interaction between the brothers.”

FIT training is offered at various locations throughout San Diego County, with two groups beginning in the South Bay sand North County. New groups are forming continually. These sessions are held after school hours, once a week for two hours. FIT is vendored through the San Diego Regional Center for the Developmentally Disabled.

Vista Hill, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization established in 1957, develops and maintains a dynamic, diverse array of quality services and programs serving individuals, families and communities throughout San Diego County.

If you would like more information regarding the FIT Program, obtain application details or enroll your family, please contact Roberta Lawry, or visit our website at

Contact: Roberta Lawry
Tel: (858) 514-5170
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Vista Hill/STAR Specialties
Roberta Lawry

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