Autism Spectrum Disorder
Living with Autism Spectrum Disorder is a different experience for everyone. Having a therapist who is experienced and knowledgeable with ASD is an important part of successful treatment outcomes. In my practice, I use an integrative approach that combines natural strengths with new skills and strategies. Interventions target the various stages of life and levels of functioning.
Early intervention for young children is a significant predictor of positive outcomes for behavior modification and skills acquisition. Every child is different and requires an individualized treatment plan.
Difficulty communicating can impede upon a child’s ability to get their needs met, and can often lead to maladaptive behaviors. Meltdowns can be disruptive for the entire household. Children benefit from learning how to regulate their emotions in this stage, as well as learning to communicate with caregivers in a healthy way.
Social skills development is a salient part of the counseling process for young children with ASD. Using creative and evidence-based techniques, children learn effective strategies for interacting with others and navigating the world around them. Skills like impulse control and decision making are also helpful in improving self-efficacy and self-esteem.
Older children with ASD may struggle with being able to fall asleep or stay asleep, feeling anxious or overwhelmed, having difficulty with organization, increased aggression, or not wanting to go to school.
Many would like to have meaningful friendships with others, but find it difficult to do so. Teens living with ASD may feel depressed because they are aware of their differences and feel like they don’t fit in. The experience of puberty may exacerbate symptoms due to changing hormone levels.
Teens living with ASD can use a counselor for support and guidance as they balance the pressures of school, family, friends, and extracurriculars. It’s an exciting time to explore new responsibilities and independence. Learning new skills and strategies will help them create a satisfying and meaningful life.
Entering the Workforce
Obtaining a job is part of leading a meaningful and fulfilling life. Participating in the workforce is how we provide for ourselves and how we become a contributing member of society. It is imperative that young adults living with ASD are able to find gainful employment. Career counseling interventions explore positions that align well with strengths, skills, and abilities.
In addition to the expected stressors of adulthood, those living with ASD may experience specific challenges related to navigating a majority neuro-typical world. New relationships with co-workers, supervisors, friends, intimate partners, and community members are developed throughout the lifetime. Having the right support is helpful in maintaining your desired lifestyle. Solve problems and find solutions that work for you.