Autism Spectrum Therapy
Autism spectrum is a neurodevelopmental condition that impacts an individuals’ social, communication, and behavioral functioning. As neurodiversity-affirming therapists, we choose to leave the word disorder off of the diagnostic term. We prefer to acknowledge the unique traits that autistics have as differences instead of a disorder. We are life span therapists and have decades of experience serving autistics of all ages and needs. Currently, in our private practice, we specialize in providing mental health supports for autistic children, teens, adults, and neurodivergent couples.
What is Autism Spectrum?
Autism spectrum traits typically show up in early childhood years. However, more and more adults are coming to us, wondering if their autistic traits better explain the current daily and relational challenges they are facing in their everyday lives. They wonder if these needs were misunderstood or missed when they were younger?
For a child to be identified with autism spectrum, he or she must present with persistent impairments in social communication and social interaction across multiple settings. This includes deficits in social-emotional reciprocity; challenges in non-verbal communicative behaviors and reading social and emotional cues with others; and, difficulty initiating, developing, and maintaining social relationships. The autistic child also can struggle with significant challenges associated with restrictive, repetitive patterns of behavior (RRB), interests, and activities. Examples of this include stereotypical or repetitive motor movements known as stimming; inflexibility and insistence on sameness in routines or social situations; highly restricted interests or hyper-focused behavior on a topic of interest; and hypo- or hyper-sensitivity to sensory inputs. Finally, the symptoms must be present in the early childhood years and can cause significant impairment in the child’s overall daily functioning across a variety of settings and contexts. There is no cure, being autistic means being autistic for life, and we wholeheartedly believe this is a big part of their identity that we need to collectively embrace and accept.
At Spectrum Connections Therapy our intention is to be neurodiversity-affirming. While we are experienced identifying autism traits, we don’t diagnose. If you are looking for a diagnosis, you will want to seek out a comprehensive neuropsychological evaluation from someone experienced in providing assessments to rule in or out autism spectrum. As therapists, we focus more on a collaborative approach where we work together to identify the areas in your life you want to improve so you can feel like you are thriving not just surviving.
The goal of therapy is not to fix you but to help you unpack unhelpful habits and patterns that are leaving you feeling stuck. Good therapy should involve the process of joining with you, validating your experiences, normalizing your struggles, and holding a safe space for you to explore these areas in your life where you can get unstuck and moving forward. If we are working with a young autistic child and their family, we use a family systems approach and parent coaching is a large part of each session.
Spectrum Connections Therapy Autism Spectrum Support
We are passionate about supporting the mental health needs of autistics. We live in a world, more often than not, that doesn’t truly get your experience. We know how hard masking can be and the toll it can take on your well-being and your relationships. We enjoy partnering with you to support any other concerns you may have such as managing anxiety, depression, emotional dysregulation (e.g., meltdowns) and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
We integrate and individualize components of Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral therapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Couples Methods, Mindfulness, Family systems and Exposure therapy to help you move forward in a positive way. To touch base about how we can be of support, please contact us for a free 30-minute phone consultation