Autism Therapists in Louisville, KY

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Photo of Molly Fitzgerald King, Counselor in Louisville, KY
Molly Fitzgerald King
Counselor, LPCC-S, LPAT
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40220
I am accepting clients for private pay and superbilling. I help adults who struggle with emotional reactivity, anxiety, and distractibility. I specialise in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and treat individuals with addiction, trauma disorders, depression, and anxiety. My current primary focus is Autism. I use shame resilience methods and mindful self compassion. I love to incorporate art, dance, yoga, and music into my work. I also strive to make mindfulness skills more accessible for people who struggle with sitting still.
I am accepting clients for private pay and superbilling. I help adults who struggle with emotional reactivity, anxiety, and distractibility. I specialise in Dialectical Behavioral Therapy and treat individuals with addiction, trauma disorders, depression, and anxiety. My current primary focus is Autism. I use shame resilience methods and mindful self compassion. I love to incorporate art, dance, yoga, and music into my work. I also strive to make mindfulness skills more accessible for people who struggle with sitting still.
(502) 878-7209 View (502) 878-7209
Photo of McKenzie Rich, Art Therapist in Louisville, KY
McKenzie Rich
Art Therapist, ATR-BC, LPAT, LPCC, IMHP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40204
Specialties include working with children with a history of trauma, anxiety, and/or autism, developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.
McKenzie believes in working with the whole child, seeking to address mind, body, and spirit through creative expression. Vocalizing emotions and difficult experiences can often be challenging, while the act of creating can be healing. By integrating art therapy with creative play, movement, and connecting with the natural world, McKenzie invites individuals to find their unique “voice.”
Specialties include working with children with a history of trauma, anxiety, and/or autism, developmental and/or intellectual disabilities.
McKenzie believes in working with the whole child, seeking to address mind, body, and spirit through creative expression. Vocalizing emotions and difficult experiences can often be challenging, while the act of creating can be healing. By integrating art therapy with creative play, movement, and connecting with the natural world, McKenzie invites individuals to find their unique “voice.”
(502) 842-5144 View (502) 842-5144
Photo of Michelle Anderson Keller, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Louisville, KY
Michelle Anderson Keller
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40243
I have practiced social work for 20 years, most of which has involved children and adults with histories of trauma and significant treatment needs. I have approximately 4 years of experience with direct treatment of children and adults in a therapeutic practice or setting and obtained my LCSW to be able to independently practice. I enjoy working with children, adults, families, and couples with regard to complex treatment needs such as trauma, conflict resolution, anxiety and mood disorders, grief, and developmental issues affecting individuals and families such as learning disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
I have practiced social work for 20 years, most of which has involved children and adults with histories of trauma and significant treatment needs. I have approximately 4 years of experience with direct treatment of children and adults in a therapeutic practice or setting and obtained my LCSW to be able to independently practice. I enjoy working with children, adults, families, and couples with regard to complex treatment needs such as trauma, conflict resolution, anxiety and mood disorders, grief, and developmental issues affecting individuals and families such as learning disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder.
(502) 443-1637 View (502) 443-1637
Photo of Moorman mental health services LLC, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Louisville, KY
Moorman mental health services LLC
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, MS, LPCCS
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40216
At MMHS..Our goal is to provide a solution focused approach to clients issues. We specialize in autism and behavioral disorders And our focus is on for Forensic populations. We address the needs and concerns of mental and behavior health that are not available in urban communities. We give our clients the opportunity to live healthier and productive lifestyles. We also provide solutions for parents with children who struggle with behavior at school and throughout the community . Ultimately MMHS promotes a preventative and less stressful life for the family as a unit.
At MMHS..Our goal is to provide a solution focused approach to clients issues. We specialize in autism and behavioral disorders And our focus is on for Forensic populations. We address the needs and concerns of mental and behavior health that are not available in urban communities. We give our clients the opportunity to live healthier and productive lifestyles. We also provide solutions for parents with children who struggle with behavior at school and throughout the community . Ultimately MMHS promotes a preventative and less stressful life for the family as a unit.
(502) 513-7119 View (502) 513-7119
Photo of Stephanie Evans, Psychologist in Louisville, KY
Stephanie Evans
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40243
I accept new teen clients only with a diagnosis of (or traits of) autism spectrum disorder; I do not accept new clients over the age of 15.
I am a pediatric psychologist with 25 years experience in the field of mental health, having worked exclusively with children and teens for the past 20 years. I have experience in treating a wide range of problems, but I am especially skilled in working with those who are neurodivergent (ASD, ADHD) as well as children who struggle with anxiety, OCD, social delays and sensory issues. I will work with you and your child to help clarify goals for treatment. I believe that treatment should be individualized to the needs of both the client and the family, that uniqueness should be celebrated and that strengths should be built upon.
I accept new teen clients only with a diagnosis of (or traits of) autism spectrum disorder; I do not accept new clients over the age of 15.
I am a pediatric psychologist with 25 years experience in the field of mental health, having worked exclusively with children and teens for the past 20 years. I have experience in treating a wide range of problems, but I am especially skilled in working with those who are neurodivergent (ASD, ADHD) as well as children who struggle with anxiety, OCD, social delays and sensory issues. I will work with you and your child to help clarify goals for treatment. I believe that treatment should be individualized to the needs of both the client and the family, that uniqueness should be celebrated and that strengths should be built upon.
(502) 842-4751 View (502) 842-4751
Photo of Willis Steer, Art Therapist in Louisville, KY
Willis Steer
Art Therapist, ATR-BC, LPAT
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40207
The primary populations I work with are Trauma & Violence, Autism & Neurodiverse, Anxiety, Depression, Low Self-Worth, Gender Identity, and Physical/ Sexual Abuse, though I am always open for new challenges.
Looking for someone to talk to in a safe and non-judgmental environment? Life can be overwhelming at times, but I am here to listen and help process some of the challenges life can throw at you. Together, we will explore, identify, and address your needs through an individualized therapy process.
The primary populations I work with are Trauma & Violence, Autism & Neurodiverse, Anxiety, Depression, Low Self-Worth, Gender Identity, and Physical/ Sexual Abuse, though I am always open for new challenges.
Looking for someone to talk to in a safe and non-judgmental environment? Life can be overwhelming at times, but I am here to listen and help process some of the challenges life can throw at you. Together, we will explore, identify, and address your needs through an individualized therapy process.
(502) 317-1770 x1 View (502) 317-1770 x1
Photo of Amie Robertson, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Louisville, KY
Amie Robertson
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, CSW
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40243  (Online Only)
Family strengthening, equality and inclusion are areas of passion which led me to fulfilling professional experiences in the areas of autism/developmental disabilities, family preservation and trauma-informed care.
I believe that each individual is the expert of their own life, and within them are the strengths and solutions they need to create positive, lasting change. As a therapist, my job is to have a bird's eye view and help you navigate through obstacles that may get in the way along your personal journey. Participating in therapy is a commitment. I hope to make the process as easy as possible by offering teletherapy appointments from the convenience of your home, during your lunch break at work or even coordinating on-site space with your middle or high school counselor.
Family strengthening, equality and inclusion are areas of passion which led me to fulfilling professional experiences in the areas of autism/developmental disabilities, family preservation and trauma-informed care.
I believe that each individual is the expert of their own life, and within them are the strengths and solutions they need to create positive, lasting change. As a therapist, my job is to have a bird's eye view and help you navigate through obstacles that may get in the way along your personal journey. Participating in therapy is a commitment. I hope to make the process as easy as possible by offering teletherapy appointments from the convenience of your home, during your lunch break at work or even coordinating on-site space with your middle or high school counselor.
(502) 306-3613 View (502) 306-3613
Photo of Child & Adolescent Psychological Evaluations, LLC in Louisville, KY
Child & Adolescent Psychological Evaluations, LLC
MS, EdS, LPP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40202
Have you tried medications without success? While we can test for a number of issues, we specialize in autism and asperger's. We can also test adults for autism and have resources for helping autistic adults and autistic children navigate the world around them. We do NOT use ABA, and do not refer to ABA providers. We prefer a strengths-based approach to help autistic people in ways best suited for their individual needs. We have an autism-positive approach that is beneficial to autistic clients and their families.
Have you tried medications without success? While we can test for a number of issues, we specialize in autism and asperger's. We can also test adults for autism and have resources for helping autistic adults and autistic children navigate the world around them. We do NOT use ABA, and do not refer to ABA providers. We prefer a strengths-based approach to help autistic people in ways best suited for their individual needs. We have an autism-positive approach that is beneficial to autistic clients and their families.
(502) 373-6174 View (502) 373-6174
Photo of Dr. Alex J Hinnebusch, Psychologist in Louisville, KY
Dr. Alex J Hinnebusch
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40203
I specialize in neuropsychological evaluations, assessment (Learning, ADHD, Concussion, High-Functioning Autism), and psychotherapy.
I aim to provide an authentic relationship experience to clients who are looking to address their mental health concerns and improve their quality of life. I strive to always be honest and genuine in my relationships with my clients, while encouraging those that I work with to enact the change in their lives that they are seeking. Treatment is personalized to each patient’s unique needs, drawing on my prior training and expertise in a variety of therapeutic orientations. I seek to provide a relationship in which you can learn more about yourself, and challenge previous assumptions and experiences.
I specialize in neuropsychological evaluations, assessment (Learning, ADHD, Concussion, High-Functioning Autism), and psychotherapy.
I aim to provide an authentic relationship experience to clients who are looking to address their mental health concerns and improve their quality of life. I strive to always be honest and genuine in my relationships with my clients, while encouraging those that I work with to enact the change in their lives that they are seeking. Treatment is personalized to each patient’s unique needs, drawing on my prior training and expertise in a variety of therapeutic orientations. I seek to provide a relationship in which you can learn more about yourself, and challenge previous assumptions and experiences.
(680) 204-4382 View (680) 204-4382
Photo of Rick Hudson, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Louisville, KY
Rick Hudson
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, PhD, LPCC-S, NCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40205
My work with clients has included addressing depression, anxiety, self-esteem and identity concerns as well as the social/emotional challenges that accompany ADHD, Autism and other disabilities. As a self avowed ‘nerd therapist’ with ADHD myself, I am passionate about working with fellow nerds, outcasts, artists or creatives who may feel out of sync with a mainstream approach. I am particularly adept at assisting clients in identifying their strengths and talents and applying them toward career, educational and other life goals. I am sex positive and endeavor to be an ally to LGBTQ+, poly and kink communities.
My work with clients has included addressing depression, anxiety, self-esteem and identity concerns as well as the social/emotional challenges that accompany ADHD, Autism and other disabilities. As a self avowed ‘nerd therapist’ with ADHD myself, I am passionate about working with fellow nerds, outcasts, artists or creatives who may feel out of sync with a mainstream approach. I am particularly adept at assisting clients in identifying their strengths and talents and applying them toward career, educational and other life goals. I am sex positive and endeavor to be an ally to LGBTQ+, poly and kink communities.
(502) 771-2608 View (502) 771-2608
Photo of Robert Scott Watson, Psychologist in Louisville, KY
Robert Scott Watson
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40222
I have spent 30+ years assessing ADHD, Autism, learning impairments, and mood disorders. I see patients ages 10 and up and can usually provide written evaluations within one day of the assessment.
I have spent 30+ years assessing ADHD, Autism, learning impairments, and mood disorders. I see patients ages 10 and up and can usually provide written evaluations within one day of the assessment.
(502) 335-4571 View (502) 335-4571
Photo of Shelby Birchler, Art Therapist in Louisville, KY
Shelby Birchler
Art Therapist, LPATA
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Louisville, KY 40222
My experience in early childhood education has opened my eyes to the impact of early intervention. My time working in residential and outpatient care settings has strengthened my drive to help children, adolescents and families identify their strengths. Throughout my master’s program, I gained experience in outpatient and residential settings. Post graduation, I worked for a foster care agency providing for ages 3-18. I have worked with children and adults facing a variety of diagnoses including but not limited to depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, neuro-divergent and trauma-related disorders.
My experience in early childhood education has opened my eyes to the impact of early intervention. My time working in residential and outpatient care settings has strengthened my drive to help children, adolescents and families identify their strengths. Throughout my master’s program, I gained experience in outpatient and residential settings. Post graduation, I worked for a foster care agency providing for ages 3-18. I have worked with children and adults facing a variety of diagnoses including but not limited to depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, neuro-divergent and trauma-related disorders.
(502) 628-4694 View (502) 628-4694
Photo of Kelly McGraw Browning, Psychologist in Louisville, KY
Kelly McGraw Browning
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40241
I also work in the areas of depression, adjustment problems, ADHD, behavioral problems and autism.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in Louisville, KY specializing in children, adolescents and families. In 2006, I founded Pediatric Psychological Associates, a private practice dedicated to helping children from their earliest years through their challenging teens. Prior to private practice, I served as a pediatric psychologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. I work with children and teens with a variety of emotional, behavioral, developmental and social problems. I have specific expertise in the area of pediatric anxiety and pediatric health psychology.
I also work in the areas of depression, adjustment problems, ADHD, behavioral problems and autism.
I am a licensed clinical psychologist in Louisville, KY specializing in children, adolescents and families. In 2006, I founded Pediatric Psychological Associates, a private practice dedicated to helping children from their earliest years through their challenging teens. Prior to private practice, I served as a pediatric psychologist and assistant professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children's Hospital. I work with children and teens with a variety of emotional, behavioral, developmental and social problems. I have specific expertise in the area of pediatric anxiety and pediatric health psychology.
(502) 324-3971 View (502) 324-3971
Photo of Prospective Greenlight, Counselor in Louisville, KY
Prospective Greenlight
Counselor, MPA, MEd, LPCA
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40218
These include Autism Spectrum, ADHD/ADD, mood disorders, anxiety, chronic illness, and eating challenges.
We are here and now; but is your past a healthy part of it? The past can be a time of learning and moving forward, or it can be a red light in our lives and freeze us in that moment of time. It can paralyze us. Or, it can have us living in a world of caution lights where we fearfully drift through them, unaware of the present or future, or vigilantly white knuckling our way, just existing and just “getting through” each day. How we come to terms with the past, forgiving our mistakes and others’ faults can catapult us into a more peaceful and fulfilling life.
These include Autism Spectrum, ADHD/ADD, mood disorders, anxiety, chronic illness, and eating challenges.
We are here and now; but is your past a healthy part of it? The past can be a time of learning and moving forward, or it can be a red light in our lives and freeze us in that moment of time. It can paralyze us. Or, it can have us living in a world of caution lights where we fearfully drift through them, unaware of the present or future, or vigilantly white knuckling our way, just existing and just “getting through” each day. How we come to terms with the past, forgiving our mistakes and others’ faults can catapult us into a more peaceful and fulfilling life.
(502) 236-1760 View (502) 236-1760
Photo of Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center, Marriage & Family Therapist in Louisville, KY
Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center
Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, LCSW, LCADC
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40206
Kilgore provides a wide range of individual and group services such as marriage/relationship counseling, parenting, psychological testing, clergy/congregational care, grief, loss, depression, addiction/substance abuse, ADD/ADHD, autism, anxiety, and divorce recovery; but excel in child/adolescent therapy.
Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center is a not-for-profit faith sensitive counseling center that has been healing the mind, body and spirit of individuals and families for 33 years. Our mission is to meet the emotional and mental health needs of those in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. Kilgore integrates and leverages behavioral sciences and takes a holistic approach of working by, with and through you to improve your quality of life. We serve the Louisville greater area and will serve and meet you where you are regardless of your background, experience, and situation.
Kilgore provides a wide range of individual and group services such as marriage/relationship counseling, parenting, psychological testing, clergy/congregational care, grief, loss, depression, addiction/substance abuse, ADD/ADHD, autism, anxiety, and divorce recovery; but excel in child/adolescent therapy.
Kilgore Samaritan Counseling Center is a not-for-profit faith sensitive counseling center that has been healing the mind, body and spirit of individuals and families for 33 years. Our mission is to meet the emotional and mental health needs of those in our community, regardless of their ability to pay. Kilgore integrates and leverages behavioral sciences and takes a holistic approach of working by, with and through you to improve your quality of life. We serve the Louisville greater area and will serve and meet you where you are regardless of your background, experience, and situation.
(502) 532-8172 x18 View (502) 532-8172 x18
Photo of Dr. Justin Romney, Marriage & Family Therapist in Louisville, KY
Dr. Justin Romney
Marriage & Family Therapist, PhD, LMFT
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40222
Waitlist for new clients
As an assistant professor of couple and family therapy at the University of Louisville, I not only conduct research on high-conflict couples and systemic treatment of autism but also train and supervise master's level therapists.
Therapy is often a scary decision you are making at one of the most difficult times in your life. As your therapist, I'm committed to building hope and confidence in yourself and your relationships. My mission is to create a collaborative and feedback-informed environment, ensuring you feel supported while embracing challenges and pursuing desired change. I work with many clients struggling with anxiety, depression, and self-worth. I have experience helping many couples through their most difficult moments by creating a greater connection with each other.
As an assistant professor of couple and family therapy at the University of Louisville, I not only conduct research on high-conflict couples and systemic treatment of autism but also train and supervise master's level therapists.
Therapy is often a scary decision you are making at one of the most difficult times in your life. As your therapist, I'm committed to building hope and confidence in yourself and your relationships. My mission is to create a collaborative and feedback-informed environment, ensuring you feel supported while embracing challenges and pursuing desired change. I work with many clients struggling with anxiety, depression, and self-worth. I have experience helping many couples through their most difficult moments by creating a greater connection with each other.
(502) 325-3400 View (502) 325-3400
Photo of Serenity Brain Solutions , Occupational Therapist in Louisville, KY
Serenity Brain Solutions
Occupational Therapist, OTR/L, Trainer, MS/OTR
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40207
I have been an advocate of mental health and treated patients suffering from anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, mood disorders, PTSD, insomnia, and more for over 13 years as an occupational therapis helping clients of all ages. Don't let poor mental health hold you back from living a happy life. Amanda observes that there are individuals who cannot afford medical care or receive the necessary treatment due to their financial situations and knows it is crucial to provide services and hope to those who are most vulnerable. Therefore, we offer discounts and financial assistance to families, along with a sliding-scale payment option.
I have been an advocate of mental health and treated patients suffering from anxiety, depression, autism, ADHD, mood disorders, PTSD, insomnia, and more for over 13 years as an occupational therapis helping clients of all ages. Don't let poor mental health hold you back from living a happy life. Amanda observes that there are individuals who cannot afford medical care or receive the necessary treatment due to their financial situations and knows it is crucial to provide services and hope to those who are most vulnerable. Therefore, we offer discounts and financial assistance to families, along with a sliding-scale payment option.
(502) 797-1932 View (502) 797-1932
Photo of Christy L Howard, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Louisville, KY
Christy L Howard
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, MSSW, LCSW, RPTS, CAS
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40219  (Online Only)
Waitlist for new clients
New credentials obtained in 2015! AutPlay Level II Certification and Certified Autism Specialist Credential.
My experience includes a wide range of treatment issues for both adults and children. I have experience in treating childhood behavioral issues from ADHD, Anxiety, Grief, Depression, Mood Disorders, Developmental Delays, Disruptive behaviors and Oppositional behaviors. I have extensive experience in helping children heal from trauma related issues such as Adjustment Disorder, Divorce, Anxiety, RAD, PTSD, and other Diagnoses resulting from emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. I have participated in specialized experience and training with the young child population from birth to age 5 and utilize the Ages and Stages Questionnaires to screen for developmental delays in children ages 6 and under.
New credentials obtained in 2015! AutPlay Level II Certification and Certified Autism Specialist Credential.
My experience includes a wide range of treatment issues for both adults and children. I have experience in treating childhood behavioral issues from ADHD, Anxiety, Grief, Depression, Mood Disorders, Developmental Delays, Disruptive behaviors and Oppositional behaviors. I have extensive experience in helping children heal from trauma related issues such as Adjustment Disorder, Divorce, Anxiety, RAD, PTSD, and other Diagnoses resulting from emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, and neglect. I have participated in specialized experience and training with the young child population from birth to age 5 and utilize the Ages and Stages Questionnaires to screen for developmental delays in children ages 6 and under.
(502) 804-5492 View (502) 804-5492
Photo of Olivia Williams, Counselor in Louisville, KY
Olivia Williams
Counselor, PhD, LPCA
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40217
Olivia Williams, PhD, LPCA is a developmental psychologist and is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in Kentucky specializing in anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, and children & adolescent counseling. I have experience in a vast range of mental health specialties and have experience with different populations. I utilize an approach based on individualized needs, but some common approaches include person-centered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Systems, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Using personalized approaches allows me to explore all areas that may be impacting one’s overall wellbeing.
Olivia Williams, PhD, LPCA is a developmental psychologist and is a licensed clinical mental health counselor in Kentucky specializing in anxiety, depression, ADHD, autism, and children & adolescent counseling. I have experience in a vast range of mental health specialties and have experience with different populations. I utilize an approach based on individualized needs, but some common approaches include person-centered, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Family Systems, and Solution Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT). Using personalized approaches allows me to explore all areas that may be impacting one’s overall wellbeing.
(660) 371-5164 View (660) 371-5164
Photo of Inspired Psychological Services, PLLC, Psychologist in Louisville, KY
Inspired Psychological Services, PLLC
Psychologist, LPP
Verified Verified
Louisville, KY 40245
Rebekah provides psychological testing for ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Learning Disorders for children 4-16. Testing can include intellectual functioning, academic performance, executive functioning, adaptive functioning, as well as mood and behavior rating scales. Each evaluation consists of a comprehensive intake with you and your child, 1-2 testing sessions, and a feedback session when you will be given a copy of the psychological evaluation. The cost of testing starts at $1500.
Rebekah provides psychological testing for ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and Learning Disorders for children 4-16. Testing can include intellectual functioning, academic performance, executive functioning, adaptive functioning, as well as mood and behavior rating scales. Each evaluation consists of a comprehensive intake with you and your child, 1-2 testing sessions, and a feedback session when you will be given a copy of the psychological evaluation. The cost of testing starts at $1500.
(502) 829-7498 View (502) 829-7498

Autism Therapists

What is the most effective treatment for autism?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) has come to be considered the standard treatment for children with autism spectrum disorder, and research has confirmed its effectiveness for many children. Therapists trained in ABA techniques work with children (and their parents) on developing social skills, communication and learning abilities, and everyday habits of hygiene and grooming. The clinician will tailor their program to the child’s particular need but the overarching goal will be to help them advance as far as possible toward independence based on their level of symptoms and decrease the need for additional special services. Families should seek a mental health professional specifically trained in ABA, and holding special certification in the technique, who has extensive experience not only with the approach but in using it with children with the same level of symptoms as the child who needs care.

How does ABA work?

Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) sessions, which typically focus on positive reinforcement, can be intensive, lasting two or more hours several times a week, and continuing for two years or more. Therapists can also be expected to ask parents to take an active role in reinforcing lessons. Research has found that the technique can lead to major improvements that decrease the need for additional special services.

How does treatment for autism work?

Therapy sessions based on Applied Behavior Analysis will likely be frequent, intensive, and highly structured. After a thorough assessment, a therapist will help a child understand and develop skills in a range of areas, including communication, motor skills, social skills, self-care, play, and academic skills, as well as routines of daily living like hygiene. Typically, the therapist will help a child break down the components of a behavior—often referred to as the antecedent (what prompts an action), the behavior, and the consequence(what immediately follows)—and then reward the child at every step, while also asking parents to reinforce the lessons, and the rewards, throughout the day. This core therapy may be supplemented by occupational or speech therapy, and antidepressants, antipsychotics, and anticonvulsants may be prescribed to address specific severe symptoms.

How long does therapy for autism take?

Some people with autism spectrum disorder may be engaged in some level of therapy for many years, but research shows that treatment will be most effective if it is begun early and delivered intensively. When therapy begins by age 3, children tend to be better able to grasp and adopt the skills needed to manage everyday life, including attending school and establishing social relationships. This type of early-intervention treatment regimen is highly structured, typically involving 20 to 40 hours of one-on-one therapy per week, along with additional hours of engagement managed by parents, for a period of two years or more, although the duration of treatment is dependent on the child’s level of symptoms and pace of progress.