San Diego: (619) 692-0622
Santee: (619) 749-7059

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Pediatric Speech, Occupational & Physical Therapy Centers
in San Diego
Kara Dodds & Associates

San Diego: (619) 692-0622

Santee: (619) 749-7059


Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)

ASD now includes autistic disorder, PDD-NOS, and Asperger syndrome. ASD is a developmental disorder that affects communication, social skills, and sensory abilities caused by differences in the brain. Children with ASD develop at different rates in different areas. They may have delays in language, social, and learning skills, while their ability to walk and move around are about the same as other children their age. They might be very good at putting puzzles together or solving computer problems, but they might have trouble with social activities like talking or making friends.

Our Speech, Occupational, and Physical therapists are “tailor made” to work with families and children with ASD as therapists hold specialized and advanced trainings in evidenced-based data driven methods proven to render the best outcomes.  Therapists work collaboratively adapting activities, shaping communication, improving motor skills, all awhile teaching children with ASD in a fun, creative learning environment to improve and generalize skills learned.  

Empowering positive change towards your child’s development

Red flags of developmental delays and/or ASD may include:

  • Delayed speech and language skills (e.g. not talking) by 18 mos or 2 years of age
  • Limited or no pointing to use “joint attention” (e.g. doesn’t point at objects to show interest (point at an airplane flying over) by 14 months
  • Uses few or no gestures (e.g., does not wave goodbye)
  • Have trouble understanding other people's feelings or understanding jokes or sarcasm
  • Repeat words heard (e.g. echolalia)
  • Have obsessive interests (e.g. lines up toys or plays the same way)
  • Seek sensory input (e.g. flap their hands, rock their body, or spin in circles)
  • Have unusual reactions to the way things sound, smell, taste, look, or feel

Red flags of social deficits can include:

  • Prefers to play alone or has limited play (e.g. difficulty making friends)
  • Difficulty or inconsistent to respond to name (e.g. difficulty shifting attention)
  • Difficulty engaging in social games (e.g. peek a boo)
  • Limited shared interests with others (e.g. reading books together or singing songs)
  • Fleeting moments of social interactions (e.g. difficult to keep attention)
  • Can be difficulty to comfort when upset
  • Has trouble understanding other people's feelings or talking about own feelings

Therapy Methods

At Kara Dodds and Associates, we realize that children benefit from a variety of therapy methods and approaches. As such, our team of multi-disciplinary pediatric therapists obtain advanced courses and trainings and specialize in neurological and developmental delays. Therapy is delivered in a one-to-one setting but also in small groups in a systemic, structured, but play-based teaching approach. Our specialized therapy methods include -

  • Picture Exchange Communication Systems (PECS) is using a series of visuals to teach a child to initiate by giving a picture to a communicative partner.
  • Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) is a tactile-kinesthetic approach that uses touch cues to clients articulators to help guide them through a targeted word or phrase.
  • Kaufman Speech & Language Protocol: is a way to teach children with apraxia of speech the easiest ways to say words until they have increased motor –speech coordination.
  • Hanen Center: (More Than Words) teaches techniques on how to use visual systems for transitioning, requesting, understanding the schedule or “what’s” next, how to shape echolalia speech patterns and more in everyday activities.
  • TalkTools: is a muscle-based oral motor programs designed to promote speech and improve oral motor (lip, jaw) by utilizing oral placement tooks (chewy tubes, z-vibes, horns, whistles) to improve verbal output, feeding, and speech production skills
  • DIR/ Floortime: is a developmental, individuated relationship based (www.circlestretch.com) programs that are used to improve social connects between children and communicative partners.
  • Social Thinking: Developed by Michelle Garcia Winners her programs target social skills programs with techniques used based on "ILAUGH" model (www.socialthinking.com)
  • The SCERTS® Model -Social Communication, Emotional Regulation and Transactional Support (www.scerts.com)
  • Social Stories: developed by Carol Gray, these method uses visuals and individual stories to teach social skills or appropriate expectations of behaviors through visual models www.thegraycenter.org), and Video Play Modeling.

Funding / Insurance Options

We accept a variety of plans to cover your child’s therapy needs. We bill and work with insurances directly taking the hassle out of it for families. We accept:

  • Tricare (Health Net Federal Services)
  • Kaiser
  • Easter Seals of Southern California
  • San Diego Regional Center (in home or center based)
  • PPO plans including: Anthem Blue Cross, UHC, Blue Shield, Coventry, and more.

We will take the lead on determining coverage and finding the best options available with your plan. Call today at 619-692-0622 for more information.

Ready for a fun therapy environment, that truly cares about your child and your family?

Come experience the difference!

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Mission Valley Center

Kara Dodds & Associates - San Diego
7840 Mission Center Court, Ste. 200
San Diego CA 92108

(619) 692-0622

Monday through Friday: 7:45am6:30pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only

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Santee Location

Kara Dodds & Associates - Santee
8840 N. Magnolia Ave Ste 220
Santee CA 92071

(619) 749-7059

Monday through Friday: 7:45am6:30pm
Saturday: By Appointment Only

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