Frequently Asked Questions:
ANSWER: Learning disabilities can be categorized either by the type of information processing that is affected or by the specific difficulties caused by a processing deficit. Information processing deficits Learning disabilities fall into broad categories based on the four stages of information processing used in learning: input, integration, storage, and output. This is the information perceived through the senses, such as visual and auditory perception. Difficulties with visual perception can cause problems with recognizing the shape, position and size of items seen. There can be problems with sequencing, which can relate to deficits with processing time intervals or temporal perception. … […]
ANSWER: Our Social Skills Therapy Groups and Summer Camps are staffed with both 1:1 and 3:1 ratios of child to interventionists.  Child ratios are carefully determined by a combination of factors including the child’s independence level, parent reports, community outing experience, and strength of safety skills in the community.  All of our ABA Therapy Programs are a 1:1 ratio.  One of Xcite Steps’ main priorities is keeping children safe and adequately supported.
ANSWER: Yes, we welcome parent’s interaction, and sometimes it is required for our in-home ABA programs.  It Is not uncommon for a new family to attend their child’s first activity in our Xcite Steps Social Skills Group Therapy program, however we encourage parents to allow their child enough space to promote healthy independence.  We find children perform best in our Social Skills Group Therapy Programs when they have a chance to bond with their peers without any interruptions or distractions from parents or siblings. 
ANSWER: We are open to explore each person’s unique needs.  During our assessment meeting we consider with the family if their child would be an appropriate fit for an Xcite Steps program.  It’s very rare that we are not able to accommodate a family or child’s needs.
ANSWER: Yes.  We do background checks, via LiveScan, and finger printing on every staff member at Xcite Steps.
ANSWER: Yes.  Active participation in complimentary therapy services, such as Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Physical Therapy, are not only beneficial for the child but often recommend.  Collaborative care between Xcite Steps and additional professionals will aid in the child’s treatment and can provide the best overall care for the child.  The Xcite Steps Integrated Therapy Center hosts Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, and Educational Therapists that can assist in providing collaborative care to compliment Xcite Steps’ ABA Therapy services.
ANSWER: Every child is unique, and Xcite Steps designs tailored programs for every child, thus creating completely individualized targets, goals, and progress markers.  Xcite Steps uses a variety of different data collection methods and behavior tracking graphs to continuously monitor progress.  Parents are able to see the gains the child is making on a daily basis, providing immediate feedback on progress made.
ANSWER: Xcite Steps provides services for children, youth, and teens, ages 3 to 17.  Xcite Steps has a subsidiary program, Xcite Steps for Adults, which serves adults of all ages, from 18 and up. To learn more about adult services visit www.excitestepsadults.com 
ANSWER: Xcite Steps can be contact via phone at (858) 428-0222.
ANSWER: Our business office is located in the Sorrento Valley area of San Diego, California, and we serve all of San Diego Counties.  Our address is 3978 Sorrento Valley Blvd., Suite 100, San Diego CA 92121.
ANSWER: Xcite Steps was founded in January of 2006 by co-founders Matthew Winkley and Stefan Hochfilzer.  Both founders brought unique passions and experiences to build Xcite Steps.  They are committed and united by the common missions to bring quality and empowering opportunities to youth and adults who experience disabilities. Learn more by visiting the Our Company page.
ANSWER: Absolutely not! Although it is not uncommon for a new family to attend their child’s first activity in our Social Skills Group Therapy program, we encourage parents to allow their child enough space to promote healthy independence.  We find children perform best in our Social Skills Group Therapy Programs when they have a chance to bond with their peers without any interruptions or distractions from parents or siblings.  We encourage parents to utilize these 2 hours of free time to partake in some self-care!
ANSWER: Xcite Steps works diligently to provide entrance discounts to various businesses in the community where the Social Skills Group Therapy events occur.  Occasionally an activity fee may apply, which covers entrance costs into the facility.  The activity fee does not cover food or lunches, however children have the option to pack a lunch or purchase food at the venue should it be available.
ANSWER: Research shows that ABA Therapy shows the most progress when applied generously, using the maximum amount of hours available.  The benefit of Xcite Steps’ services is they are flexible and individually tailored to allow families to make the most of Xcite Steps’ programs and the child’s schedule.  Typically, most children at Xcite Steps receive In-home ABA Therapy ranging from 2-3 hours a day, 5 days a week, and also enroll in our Social Skills Group Therapy program that runs on Saturdays.  This schedule allows for an optimal range of services in a variety of different therapeutic settings.
ANSWER: The process to start services involves approximately four steps.  More information on this process can be found on our Getting Started page found here.  The time in which it takes to start services can depend on a variety of factors, including interventionist availability, flexibility of scheduling, location, and insurance processing times.  At Xcite Steps we try our best to keep processing times low to ensure the child is receiving the care needed in an appropriate time frame. 
ANSWER: Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) Therapy was first developed in the 1970s by Psychologist Ivar Lovaas and Robert Koegel at UCLA.  The original approached developed was a technique or sub-set of ABA Therapy called Discrete Trial Training (DTT), which is still used today.  ABA Therapy has been around for 44 years, and is based on the finding that when behavior is rewarded, it is more likely to be repeated.   It’s approach has expanded to include several different types of ABA Therapy or techniques to aid application, including: Pivotal Response Training (PRT), Behavior Modification, Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), Functional Analysis, Differential […]
ANSWER: The benefits of ABA Therapy are plentiful, and almost any client can find a benefit from the techniques and approaches used in ABA Therapy.  ABA Therapy can build and develop language use, communication skills, and also build on current conversation.  ABA Therapy can improve functional language, while also working on more conversational or social language between peers.  ABA Therapy also benefits the child’s social development, showing improvement with peer interaction, engaging with peers, and social play.  Benefits of ABA Therapy also transfer over to the school environment, showing progress in both fine and gross motor development, increased focus and attention, […]
ANSWER: Yes.  We are in-network with many providers including TriCare, United Health Care Military and Veterans (UHCMV), Magellan Health Services, Anthem Blue Cross, United Behavioral Health, Regional Center and Aetna.  Coverage varies based on families health plan.  Xcite Steps is in the process of becoming a provider with many other insurance companies in the near future.  Please contact us to inquire about your insurance needs.  Depending on insurance plan details, a copay for services may apply. 
ANSWER: Stefan and Matt are very selective about who gets to be part of the XciteSteps mentor team. Most of our mentors are referred to us by other mentors in our program. We have also established great relationships with many of the local universities and students working on their special education, social work or psychology undergraduate or graduate degress are considered to be a XciteSteps mentor. We also receive mentor referrals from our affiliates in the community while others are attracted to us through our website or job listings.
ANSWER: Our mentors have a variety of educational and work experience backgrounds.  Many are special education teachers, behaviorists, social workers, college students, or young professionals working in the education or social work field.  XciteSteps works hard to maintain a stable of unique and qualified mentors who have various interests and backgrounds so that we can make appropriate matches for any child, teen or adult.
ANSWER: Xcite Steps was founded in January of 2006 by co-founders Matthew Winkley and Stefan Hochfilizer. Both founders brought unique passions and experiences to build XciteSteps. They are committed and united by the common mission to bring quality and empowering opportunities to youth and adults who experience disabilities.
ANSWER: We do offer transportation and at home pick up or drop off. Many of our participants are transported via our staff’s vehicles. Cost is $1 a mile.
ANSWER: Our business office is located in Solana Beach, California and we serve all of San Diego and Orange Counties.
ANSWER: We are a community based organization.  Our activities are spread out through San Diego County and less than a half hour drive for families.  Our mentors also travel to families’ homes for mentoring sessions.
ANSWER: XciteSteps provides services for children, teens and adults: ages 3 to adulthood
ANSWER: Yes. We do back ground checks, via LiveScan, and finger printing on each mentor.
ANSWER: We currently don’t have a scholarship program and we are working towards offering one soon.
ANSWER: We are open to explore each person’s unique needs.  During our assessment meeting we consider with the family if their child would be an appropriate fit for an Xcite Steps program.  Its very rare that we aren’t able to accommodate a family or child’s needs.
ANSWER: Yes we welcome parents interaction and involvement in our programs.  Its not uncommon for a new family to attend their child’s first activity with Xcite Steps.
ANSWER: Yes, our events and activities are available for sibling participation.
ANSWER: Our social and sports club events are staffed with a 3:1 ratio. Xcite Steps offers 1:1 support upon request.
ANSWER: Learning disabilities can be categorized either by the type of information processing that is affected or by the specific difficulties caused by a processing deficit. Information processing deficits Learning disabilities fall into broad categories based on the four stages of information processing used in learning: input, integration, storage, and output. Input This is the information perceived through the senses, such as visual and auditory perception. Difficulties with visual perception can cause problems with recognizing the shape, position and size of items seen. There can be problems with sequencing, which can relate to deficits with processing time intervals or temporal perception. […]
ANSWER: Cerebral palsy refers to a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and to maintain balance and posture. It is due to a nonprogressive brain abnormality, which means that it does not get worse over time, though the exact symptoms can change over a person’s lifetime. People with cerebral palsy have damage to the part of the brain that controls muscle tone. Muscle tone is the amount of resistance to movement in a muscle. It is what lets you keep your body in a certain posture or position. For example, it lets you sit up straight and […]
ANSWER: Intellectual disability is characterized both by a significantly below-average score on a test of mental ability or intelligence and by limitations in the ability to function in areas of daily life, such as communication, self-care, and getting along in social situations and school activities. Intellectual disability is sometimes referred to as a cognitive disability or mental retardation. Children with intellectual disability can and do learn new skills, but they develop more slowly than children with average intelligence and adaptive skills. There are different degrees of intellectual disability, ranging from mild to profound. A person’s level of intellectual disability can be […]
ANSWER: Developmental disabilities are a diverse group of severe chronic conditions that are due to mental and/or physical impairments. People with developmental disabilities have problems with major life activities such as language, mobility, learning, self-help, and independent living. Developmental disabilities begin anytime during development up to 22 years of age and usually last throughout a person’s lifetime. Developmental disabilities activities at CDC include: Studying how common developmental disabilities are and who is more likely to have them Finding the causes of developmental disabilities and the factors that increase the chance that a person will have one Learning how people with developmental […]
ANSWER: Autism is one of a group of disorders known as autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). ASDs are developmental disabilities that cause substantial impairments in social interaction and communication and the presence of unusual behaviors and interests. Many people with ASDs also have unusual ways of learning, paying attention, and reacting to different sensations. The thinking and learning abilities of people with ASDs can vary—from gifted to severely challenged. An ASD begins before the age of 3 and lasts throughout a person’s life. ASDs include autistic disorder, pervasive development disorder (PDD-NOS / atypical autism), and Asperger syndrome. These conditions all have some […]
ANSWER: Asperger’s disorder can be defined as the following: Qualitative impairment in social interaction, as manifested by at least two of the following: marked impairment in the use of multiple nonverbal behaviors such as eye-to eye gaze, facial expression, body postures, and gestures to regulate social interaction failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level a lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment, interests, or achievements with other people (e.g., by a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest to other people) lack of social or emotional reciprocity Restricted repetitive and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests and […]
ANSWER: Childhood Disintegrative Disorder can be defined as the following: Apparently normal development for at least the first 2 years after birth as manifested by the presence of age-appropriate verbal and nonverbal communication, social relationships, play, and adaptive behavior. Clinically significant loss of previously acquired skills (before age 10 years) in at least two of the following areas: expressive or receptive language social skills or adaptive behavior bowel or bladder control play motor skills Abnormalities of functioning in at least two of the following areas: qualitative impairment in social interaction (e.g., impairment in nonverbal behaviors, failure to develop peer relationships, lack […]
Our Services are available in the following areas:

San Diego (North)

  • Oceanside
  • Carlsbad
  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • San Marcos
  • Camp Pendleton
  • Escondido
  • Vista

San Diego (Central)

  • La Jolla
  • Clairemont
  • Downtown
  • Poway
  • Mira Mesa
  • Coronado

East County

  • Santee
  • Lakeside
  • La Mesa
  • Spring Valley
  • El Cajon
  • Paradise Hills

South Bay

  • Eastlake
  • Chula Vista
  • National City
  • Bonita
  • Imperial Beach
  • Otay Mesa

Temecula Region

  • Murrieta
  • Lake Elsinore
  • Menifee
  • Fallbrook