Family Sessions: Meeting with the family to work together to address concerns, goals and treatment planning. Video review, phone and email consultations are also available.
Individual Consultation: Individual meetings with the consultant to address social development and self awareness.
Small Group Social Skills Program: Offering social skills support in a small group setting to assist with friendship development.
Crisis intervention: Intensive support to address current crisis. Evaluate well-being and provide assistance to help the person return to pre-crisis functioning levels.
Parent Training: The parent training sessions consists of educating and teaching parenting skills to increase family functioning and success. This may occur with couples separately or in small groups.
School Consultations: The consultant will observe the person with ASD in the school setting to evaluate performance and functioning. The consultant will then discuss modifications and provide interventions to the family and school.
Professional Training: ASD Consultancy will train staff within social service agencies, schools and places of employment. The consultant will provide educational literature relating to ASD, the diagnosis, presenting issues and intervention planning.
Individual, Marital and Family Therapy offered: Psychotherapy services provided to assist with reducing emotional distress and building coping strategies.
Historically, conventional mental health services did not offer treatment services for people with Autism. There was a divide; you either had mental health concerns, such as anxiety or depression or you had a developmental disability, not both. Therefore Autism treatment primarily focused on behavioral management, while neurotypical people who required therapy received psychotherapeutic treatment for their emotional distress. This duality was heightened by the limited clinical training given in graduate programs to budding future therapists. This often left future clinicians unsure about how to proceed with treatment for people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). There was also a challenge that lay ahead of them, how do I understand ASD and tailor clinical information to the person with Autism? It was also clear that many people with Autism were being misdiagnosed in conventional mental health settings. Diagnoses such as ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression were among the common mis-diagnoses.
Over the last five years, treatment approaches have gradually begun to change. For instance, CEU’s are currently being offered to licensed clinicians regarding Autism. However, it is imperative that Autism training is offered prior to graduation as a mandatory requirement, not as an elective post graduation. But we do recognize the post graduate training is a step in the right direction. Other factors influencing treatment changes include; the change in expectations for people with Autism, the increase in autobiographical literature and an array of treatment options all have served to highlight the emotional needs of people with Autism. Also, the influx of people diagnosed and seeking treatment has increased exponentially thereby bringing more attention to the needs of persons with ASD. While the awareness of Autism has improved issues of co-morbidity has only recently been explored.
Studies report that 3 out of 4 people with Autism Spectrum have co-occurring conditions, such as Anxiety and Depression. Multiple factors such as social isolation, low self esteem, bullying, expressive communication difficulties, sensory issues and dealing with their diagnosis may impact the extent to which persons with Autism may experience Anxiety or Depression. Therefore the need for psychotherapeutic treatment for people with Autism is critical in improving their quality of life, sense of hope, optimism and self esteem.
ASD Consultancy believes that the emotional life of the person is central to their well being. There are many challenging life factors and relationships to understand and gain support in. So it would seem only natural that some people with Autism are going to benefit from a supportive relationship with a professional who understands the spectrum. As Marital, Family Therapist we also help the family unit through challenging times. Whether the person has language, some language or no language we work to give the person a voice to their concerns, thoughts, feelings and their humor.