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Help for children with autism: an individualized approach to autism treatment

As an autism therapist, my distinctive approach is to combine a background in behavioral and developmental therapies with a mental health focus. Difficulties in the processing and expression of complex feelings for children on the spectrum can be even more challenged in the face of environmental stressors and conflict within families. Help for children with autism in sessions can take the form of more traditional autism treatment such as behavioral therapy (Applied Behavior Analysis or ABA), developmental play therapy (Floortime), and social skills support, to increase and positively reinforce a child’s ability to utilize positive coping skills, communicate successfully, and engage with others. What makes me different as an autism therapist, is that I also incorporate into autism treatment my experience with theoretical orientations that work well with children such as cognitive behavioral therapy and narrative therapy. I also use more alternative treatments for autism such as art therapy, to provide a well-rounded therapeutic program for emotional and cognitive challenges. I join with children by exploring their unique interests and often use these preferred subjects as a starting point for initial rapport building and collaborative problem solving.

Unique autism therapy approach using art therapy and play therapy

I use creative modalities such as art therapy and play therapy in autism treatment to best channel a child’s preferred and familiar means of expression, draw on concrete thinking, use visual processing, and ease difficulties in verbal communication. Due to challenges in social skills and ability to regulate and effectively express strong emotions, art can become a safe and appropriate way to direct overwhelming feelings. Through the art therapy process, problem solving capacities can be enhanced, emotional regulation can be achieved, and a sense of accomplishment and pleasure can be experienced. Developmental play therapy can also help children increase communication abilities by providing a safe outlet to process complex feelings, work through conflict, and increase self-esteem. Engaging in play expands reciprocal interactions and symbolic play capacities, and teaches ways to negotiate the social world more successfully.

Specialized autism treatment for behavioral, social, & emotional challenges

In therapy sessions, my approach to treatment for children with autism is strength-based, and provides help for specific challenges children face by reinforcing positive coping tools to help manage acting out behaviors, emotional problems such as anxiety and depression, and difficulties in the social realm. I collaborate with you to provide solutions to issues with emotional regulation, inflexibility with rules, and strategies to use with frustration and anxiety when schedules/events change, transition time is limited, and things do not go as expected. I can work with you to create a tailor made behavioral support plan using positive reinforcement strategies, and will also help your child increase his/her ability to see things from a different perspective by challenging rigid thinking patterns, and building frustration tolerance through engagement in non preferred activities. Autism treatment will also include social skills support to help increase a child’s awareness of social cues (e.g. when to use eye contact, personal space, and what is appropriate to share or keep to oneself), and to provide more comfort and fluency with conversation and friendship skills.