Autism Therapists in Dallas, TX

Photo of Natalie Friedrich, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Natalie Friedrich
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75254
Natalie Friedrich, Ph.D., is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Texas. Dr. Friedrich has received extensive training in psychological, neuropsychological, and psychoeducational testing and evaluations for individuals of all ages: 20 months – adult. She also received official training in the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) and specializes in the assessment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Friedrich has a passion for working with parents of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and of children with disruptive behaviors.
Natalie Friedrich, Ph.D., is a Licensed Psychologist in the state of Texas. Dr. Friedrich has received extensive training in psychological, neuropsychological, and psychoeducational testing and evaluations for individuals of all ages: 20 months – adult. She also received official training in the administration of the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule, 2nd Edition (ADOS-2) and specializes in the assessment and diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Dr. Friedrich has a passion for working with parents of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and of children with disruptive behaviors.
(972) 787-1739 View (972) 787-1739
Photo of Logan Williamson, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Logan Williamson
Licensed Professional Counselor, LPC
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75220  (Online Only)
You are looking for someone with the 3 E's. Education, Experience, and Empathy. We all want to become a better version of ourselves, and desire to walk that journey with someone who is best prepared. Over the last 18 years I have helped individuals and families with a wide range of issues, and have developed specialties in ADHD, Anxiety management, Depression and Autism. I incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Family Systems theory, while adding an understanding of neuropsychological functioning to help my clients. These methods have been clinically proven and are evidence based treatments.
You are looking for someone with the 3 E's. Education, Experience, and Empathy. We all want to become a better version of ourselves, and desire to walk that journey with someone who is best prepared. Over the last 18 years I have helped individuals and families with a wide range of issues, and have developed specialties in ADHD, Anxiety management, Depression and Autism. I incorporate Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Family Systems theory, while adding an understanding of neuropsychological functioning to help my clients. These methods have been clinically proven and are evidence based treatments.
(214) 761-8317 View (214) 761-8317
Photo of Cassandra Holt Kimbell, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Cassandra Holt Kimbell
Licensed Professional Counselor, MSEd, LPCC-S, NCC, EMDR, CIT
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75206
Everyone deserves to feel balanced and deserves to have a safe space to let go and share. Nobody should ever feel alone or always have to be “the strong one”. I use an eclectic model- combining pieces of CBT, SFBT, EMDR and Mindfulness-Based Practices and customize them to fit the person in front of me. I am listening, taking it all in, and deciding which pieces may be of most help to you and your life. I specialize in working with creatives and neurodivergent humans. I go above and beyond to provide the best care for my clients free of judgement. (On a short waitlist but scheduling EMDR intensives and Autism/ADHD Assessments).
Everyone deserves to feel balanced and deserves to have a safe space to let go and share. Nobody should ever feel alone or always have to be “the strong one”. I use an eclectic model- combining pieces of CBT, SFBT, EMDR and Mindfulness-Based Practices and customize them to fit the person in front of me. I am listening, taking it all in, and deciding which pieces may be of most help to you and your life. I specialize in working with creatives and neurodivergent humans. I go above and beyond to provide the best care for my clients free of judgement. (On a short waitlist but scheduling EMDR intensives and Autism/ADHD Assessments).
(214) 480-4943 View (214) 480-4943
Photo of Jenifer Balch, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Jenifer Balch
Licensed Professional Counselor, PhD, LPC-S, RPT-S, CAS
Verified Verified
15 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75230
I also have extensive training and experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Life can sometimes be filled with unexpected challenges and difficult emotions. I would love the opportunity to support you through your journey. I highly value the therapeutic relationship and work to build an environment where you feel safe, accepted, valued, and understood. Everyone is unique and I work to tailor the counseling process to meet your specific needs. Most importantly, I want you to feel that you are in the care of someone who can help you meet your goals. I offer a free phone consultation to help you decide. I also offer virtual sessions to make counseling more convenient and comfortable for you.
I also have extensive training and experience working with individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
Life can sometimes be filled with unexpected challenges and difficult emotions. I would love the opportunity to support you through your journey. I highly value the therapeutic relationship and work to build an environment where you feel safe, accepted, valued, and understood. Everyone is unique and I work to tailor the counseling process to meet your specific needs. Most importantly, I want you to feel that you are in the care of someone who can help you meet your goals. I offer a free phone consultation to help you decide. I also offer virtual sessions to make counseling more convenient and comfortable for you.
(972) 441-7593 View (972) 441-7593
Photo of Stuart N. Robinson, PhD - Live More Simply, Inc, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Stuart N. Robinson, PhD - Live More Simply, Inc
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75231  (Online Only)
We specialize in testing, diagnosing, counseling and coaching adults with Asperger's, Autism, ASD, dyslexia and other learning disorders, ADD/ADHD - Attention Deficit Disorder, visual and auditory processing disorders, language and communication disorders. We also treat anxiety disorders like OCD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety, as well as sleep disorders. Many of these occur with ADD/ADHD, dyslexia or Asperger's/Autism. If you researched ASD and feel there is a possibility then there is probably good reason to explore it further.
We specialize in testing, diagnosing, counseling and coaching adults with Asperger's, Autism, ASD, dyslexia and other learning disorders, ADD/ADHD - Attention Deficit Disorder, visual and auditory processing disorders, language and communication disorders. We also treat anxiety disorders like OCD, panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and social anxiety, as well as sleep disorders. Many of these occur with ADD/ADHD, dyslexia or Asperger's/Autism. If you researched ASD and feel there is a possibility then there is probably good reason to explore it further.
(469) 228-8668 View (469) 228-8668
Photo of University Park Counseling & Testing Center, PLLC, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
University Park Counseling & Testing Center, PLLC
Licensed Professional Counselor
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75230
At UPC, we have Certified Autism Specialists who have extensive training and experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum.
Are you ready to start living your life to its fullest potential? At UPC, you will find caring and genuine support for you and your family. Our hope is that you'll find a fresh perspective and learn more effective and efficient ways of coping with what life brings your way. Many of our clients discover renewed self-confidence, serenity, balance, and wellness. Relationships and work performance improve with this new outlook on life. You are given the tools you need to build and maintain a fulfilling life, along with a deeper sense of your life's meaning and purpose.
At UPC, we have Certified Autism Specialists who have extensive training and experience working with individuals on the autism spectrum.
Are you ready to start living your life to its fullest potential? At UPC, you will find caring and genuine support for you and your family. Our hope is that you'll find a fresh perspective and learn more effective and efficient ways of coping with what life brings your way. Many of our clients discover renewed self-confidence, serenity, balance, and wellness. Relationships and work performance improve with this new outlook on life. You are given the tools you need to build and maintain a fulfilling life, along with a deeper sense of your life's meaning and purpose.
(469) 609-6414 View (469) 609-6414
Photo of Lauren Roth Certified Autism Specialist, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Lauren Roth Certified Autism Specialist
Licensed Professional Counselor, MS, LPC, NCC, CAS
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75230
I believe in Temple Grandin's declaration, "I am different, not less." As a Certified Autism Specialist, I enjoy working with those who are neurodivergent thinkers, have Autism, ADHD, OCD, PDD, or learning differences, or who share traits with neurodivergent thinkers. My Texas-based therapy practice aims for you to feel supported, respected, and guided to find wellness and growth in your life. Are you wanting to improve your relationships, or share with others your truest self? I'd love to help. In addition to in-person, you can meet with me via telehealth throughout the states of Texas and Minnesota.
I believe in Temple Grandin's declaration, "I am different, not less." As a Certified Autism Specialist, I enjoy working with those who are neurodivergent thinkers, have Autism, ADHD, OCD, PDD, or learning differences, or who share traits with neurodivergent thinkers. My Texas-based therapy practice aims for you to feel supported, respected, and guided to find wellness and growth in your life. Are you wanting to improve your relationships, or share with others your truest self? I'd love to help. In addition to in-person, you can meet with me via telehealth throughout the states of Texas and Minnesota.
(214) 206-4661 View (214) 206-4661
Photo of Larry K Sanders in Dallas, TX
Larry K Sanders
BCBA, MBA, LBA
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75208  (Online Only)
Larry Sanders is a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who has a passion for helping people with autism and other developmental disabilities. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management, and an Education Specialist degree from Liberty University. He completed his coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis at Arizona State University. Larry has a rich background in counseling and therapy, with over 10 years of experience in various behavioral therapy settings, including Organizational Behavior Management (OBM).
Larry Sanders is a Licensed Behavior Analyst (LBA) and Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) who has a passion for helping people with autism and other developmental disabilities. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Healthcare Management, and an Education Specialist degree from Liberty University. He completed his coursework in Applied Behavior Analysis at Arizona State University. Larry has a rich background in counseling and therapy, with over 10 years of experience in various behavioral therapy settings, including Organizational Behavior Management (OBM).
(214) 225-7880 View (214) 225-7880
Photo of Aika Marie Shinkawa, LPC Associate in Dallas, TX
Aika Marie Shinkawa
LPC Associate, MS, LPC-A
Verified Verified
3 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75219
Has your child or teenager been struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-harm, ADHD, Autism, or trauma? Have they come out to you as transgender, or have they recently received a challenging diagnosis? Are you looking for a safe space where you or your loved one can talk and get help moving forward? If this sounds like you, I am here to help. As a transgender, neurodivergent therapist, my lived experience informs my practice in unique and helpful ways that foster empathy & meaningful connection in the therapy room. No matter your identity, I am here to support you and grow alongside you.
Has your child or teenager been struggling with suicidal thoughts, self-harm, ADHD, Autism, or trauma? Have they come out to you as transgender, or have they recently received a challenging diagnosis? Are you looking for a safe space where you or your loved one can talk and get help moving forward? If this sounds like you, I am here to help. As a transgender, neurodivergent therapist, my lived experience informs my practice in unique and helpful ways that foster empathy & meaningful connection in the therapy room. No matter your identity, I am here to support you and grow alongside you.
(214) 271-4419 View (214) 271-4419
Photo of Erica Sewell, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Dallas, TX
Erica Sewell
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCSW-S, RPT, CAS
Verified Verified
4 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75252
My specialty areas include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome/Intellectual Disabilities, Rare Genetic Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Medical Conditions, ADHD, Grief, Self-Esteem, and Life Transitions.
In celebration of each individual's strengths and unique qualities, I offer an individualized approach that is customized to the needs of each client. I believe that with support, guidance, compassion, and understanding people have the ability to not only find solutions to their challenges, but the strength to make positive changes. I am passionate about working with children, teens, adults, and families and offer play therapy, activity therapy, expressive arts, and/or traditional talk therapy. I practice from a neurodiversity affirming lens where we focus on empowerment and appreciating everyone's unique differences.
My specialty areas include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome/Intellectual Disabilities, Rare Genetic Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, Chronic Medical Conditions, ADHD, Grief, Self-Esteem, and Life Transitions.
In celebration of each individual's strengths and unique qualities, I offer an individualized approach that is customized to the needs of each client. I believe that with support, guidance, compassion, and understanding people have the ability to not only find solutions to their challenges, but the strength to make positive changes. I am passionate about working with children, teens, adults, and families and offer play therapy, activity therapy, expressive arts, and/or traditional talk therapy. I practice from a neurodiversity affirming lens where we focus on empowerment and appreciating everyone's unique differences.
(469) 871-6316 View (469) 871-6316
Photo of Bloom Child Psychology, PLLC, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Bloom Child Psychology, PLLC
Psychologist, PsyD, MEd, RPT-S
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75254
She specializes in diagnostic evaluations for autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, dyslexia/learning disorders, and anxiety/depression.
Dr. Bonny Stewart is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Specialist in School Psychologist, and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. She has advanced specialization working with children and families. Her passion is to help parents find answers and understanding to help their child succeed at home, school, and in all aspects of their lives.
She specializes in diagnostic evaluations for autism spectrum disorders, ADHD, dyslexia/learning disorders, and anxiety/depression.
Dr. Bonny Stewart is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Specialist in School Psychologist, and Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor. She has advanced specialization working with children and families. Her passion is to help parents find answers and understanding to help their child succeed at home, school, and in all aspects of their lives.
(469) 457-4197 View (469) 457-4197
Photo of Alexandra Pillat | One Life Child Development, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Alexandra Pillat | One Life Child Development
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75224
Dr. Pillat conducts psychological and psychoeducational evaluations for the following diagnoses and presenting concerns: Academic Difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Difficulties (ADHD), Behavioral Concerns, Developmental Delays, Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia), Social Skills & Communication, and Speech & Language.
Dr. Pillat conducts psychological and psychoeducational evaluations for the following diagnoses and presenting concerns: Academic Difficulties, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Difficulties (ADHD), Behavioral Concerns, Developmental Delays, Learning Disabilities (Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dyscalculia), Social Skills & Communication, and Speech & Language.
(214) 536-6992 View (214) 536-6992
Photo of The Center Testing and Assessments, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
The Center Testing and Assessments
Psychologist, PsyD, LP, MSSW
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75209
Worried your child may have ADHD? Autism? Feel your child may have learning differences that make school more difficult? Ever thought that there was something going on with your child or teen that you just could not put a finger on? An assessment may be the answer.
The Center testing team is highly qualified and experienced, specializing in various areas of mental health and education to ensure you receive accurate diagnoses and an effective treatment plan. They have a deep understanding of the latest assessment tools and techniques to provide accurate and reliable results. Our therapists offer personalized treatment plans that cater to each client's unique needs and goals. Using a client-centered approach empowers clients to take an active role in their treatment. We work collaboratively with clients to develop personalized strategies for overcoming their challenges and achieving their goals.
Worried your child may have ADHD? Autism? Feel your child may have learning differences that make school more difficult? Ever thought that there was something going on with your child or teen that you just could not put a finger on? An assessment may be the answer.
The Center testing team is highly qualified and experienced, specializing in various areas of mental health and education to ensure you receive accurate diagnoses and an effective treatment plan. They have a deep understanding of the latest assessment tools and techniques to provide accurate and reliable results. Our therapists offer personalized treatment plans that cater to each client's unique needs and goals. Using a client-centered approach empowers clients to take an active role in their treatment. We work collaboratively with clients to develop personalized strategies for overcoming their challenges and achieving their goals.
(214) 997-6775 View (214) 997-6775
Photo of Samantha Ricks, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Samantha Ricks
Licensed Professional Counselor, MA, LPC, NCC
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75230
Samantha enjoys working with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. Samantha wants to empower children and families to explore and express their emotions and equip them with skills to utilize in their daily lives. Samantha has gained research and clinical experience working with children with neurodevelopment disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. Along with equipping children with emotional skills, Samantha utilizes various activities that support the development of social and executive functioning skills in session.
Samantha enjoys working with children, adolescents, young adults, and their families. Samantha wants to empower children and families to explore and express their emotions and equip them with skills to utilize in their daily lives. Samantha has gained research and clinical experience working with children with neurodevelopment disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder and ADHD. Along with equipping children with emotional skills, Samantha utilizes various activities that support the development of social and executive functioning skills in session.
(469) 296-5946 View (469) 296-5946
Photo of Christopher Smith, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Christopher Smith
Psychologist, PhD
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75201  (Online Only)
Taking new clients! Autism Advantage is an innovative telehealth practice devoted to working with adults with autism spectrum conditions to understand their unique personality advantages and use their gifts to overcome challenges. We believe autism spectrum conditions are neurological differences to be understood and appreciated. Countless historic and current innovators have been or likely would have been diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions. Many successful people with these conditions believe it gives them unique advantages to problem solve they can use to overcome challenges.
Taking new clients! Autism Advantage is an innovative telehealth practice devoted to working with adults with autism spectrum conditions to understand their unique personality advantages and use their gifts to overcome challenges. We believe autism spectrum conditions are neurological differences to be understood and appreciated. Countless historic and current innovators have been or likely would have been diagnosed with autism spectrum conditions. Many successful people with these conditions believe it gives them unique advantages to problem solve they can use to overcome challenges.
(469) 940-7450 View (469) 940-7450
Photo of Courtney Smith, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Courtney Smith
Licensed Professional Counselor, MEd, LMHC, LPC, RPT
Verified Verified
2 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75230
Always feeling inadequate from your drive to be perfect? Perfectionism comes with feeling uneasy when making mistakes, high expectations, self-criticism, and good enough is unacceptable. Thinking that being perfect will lead to a happier life usually lends to finding an unfulfilled life. Growth transpires when you let go of holding yourself to the unattainable standards. I specialize in helping clients starting at age 8 to adult struggling with perfectionism, anxiety, Autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, spirituality development, behavioral issues, LGBTQIA support, and relationship issues.
Always feeling inadequate from your drive to be perfect? Perfectionism comes with feeling uneasy when making mistakes, high expectations, self-criticism, and good enough is unacceptable. Thinking that being perfect will lead to a happier life usually lends to finding an unfulfilled life. Growth transpires when you let go of holding yourself to the unattainable standards. I specialize in helping clients starting at age 8 to adult struggling with perfectionism, anxiety, Autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, spirituality development, behavioral issues, LGBTQIA support, and relationship issues.
(360) 230-5632 View (360) 230-5632
Photo of Shannon Cotter, Counselor in Dallas, TX
Shannon Cotter
Counselor, ThM, MA, LPC
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75254  (Online Only)
I am a Christian Counselor who brings extensive expertise in working with people dealing with conflicts in relationships, singleness, spouses of addicts, abusive relationships, grief/loss, anger management, adolescents, aging, trauma, and high functioning Autism.
I encourage a genuine attitude with self, other people and God in order to have authentic relationships. I use a respectful, direct and collaborative approach in my sessions and believe that interpersonal relationships are a key factor in successfully navigating life. Transitions and challenges can offer us an opportunity to find greater understanding of purpose, more meaningful relationships, and increased confidence and personal gratification. I understand how difficult the process of counseling can be, but I also know the rewards that come from true healing.
I am a Christian Counselor who brings extensive expertise in working with people dealing with conflicts in relationships, singleness, spouses of addicts, abusive relationships, grief/loss, anger management, adolescents, aging, trauma, and high functioning Autism.
I encourage a genuine attitude with self, other people and God in order to have authentic relationships. I use a respectful, direct and collaborative approach in my sessions and believe that interpersonal relationships are a key factor in successfully navigating life. Transitions and challenges can offer us an opportunity to find greater understanding of purpose, more meaningful relationships, and increased confidence and personal gratification. I understand how difficult the process of counseling can be, but I also know the rewards that come from true healing.
(469) 972-3835 View (469) 972-3835
Photo of Stacy Marshall, Licensed Professional Counselor in Dallas, TX
Stacy Marshall
Licensed Professional Counselor
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75227  (Online Only)
My specialties include depression and anxiety, trauma, family conflict, Autism and ADHD, BPD, and working with queer, trans, and nonbinary clients.
I believe that each person is the expert on themselves and their experiences, and my role is to be a supportive guide throughout the healing process. I always want our work together to be a collaborative process, so we will structure our time together around your goals. This is your space, and you get to decide how it looks. Some clients are looking to stay near the surface, and work on coping skills and solutions to daily life problems. Others want to explore further into their own past or their inner world.
My specialties include depression and anxiety, trauma, family conflict, Autism and ADHD, BPD, and working with queer, trans, and nonbinary clients.
I believe that each person is the expert on themselves and their experiences, and my role is to be a supportive guide throughout the healing process. I always want our work together to be a collaborative process, so we will structure our time together around your goals. This is your space, and you get to decide how it looks. Some clients are looking to stay near the surface, and work on coping skills and solutions to daily life problems. Others want to explore further into their own past or their inner world.
(737) 232-7468 View (737) 232-7468
Photo of Mathias Ngwa, Psychological Associate in Dallas, TX
Mathias Ngwa
Psychological Associate, PsyD, ABSNP, LPA, ICP
Verified Verified
Dallas, TX 75249
Are you looking for a psychological/neuropsychological evaluation and/or a medication free treatment for attention, sleep, migraine, anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, headache, or traumatic brain injury problems? Are you a struggling learner seeking ways to improve performance at school, sports or work? Do you have a history of autism spectrum, ADD/ADHD, fetal alcohol syndrome, language and communication problems, Down’s Syndrome, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, concussion, stroke, memory difficulties, chronic illness, motor and balance coordination, developmental delay, Parkinson’s, or multiple sclerosis?
Are you looking for a psychological/neuropsychological evaluation and/or a medication free treatment for attention, sleep, migraine, anxiety, depression, stress, PTSD, headache, or traumatic brain injury problems? Are you a struggling learner seeking ways to improve performance at school, sports or work? Do you have a history of autism spectrum, ADD/ADHD, fetal alcohol syndrome, language and communication problems, Down’s Syndrome, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, concussion, stroke, memory difficulties, chronic illness, motor and balance coordination, developmental delay, Parkinson’s, or multiple sclerosis?
(682) 204-6546 View (682) 204-6546
Photo of Rachel Oppenheimer, Psychologist in Dallas, TX
Rachel Oppenheimer
Psychologist, PsyD, LSSP
Verified Verified
1 Endorsed
Dallas, TX 75240  (Online Only)
I have experience and enjoy working with individuals impacted by autism spectrum and executive functioning disorders. My aim is to help clients with social skills, self-esteem, insight, perspective taking, and increased quality of life. I use evidence based techniques along with warmth, empathy, and a collaborative and strengths based approach.
I have experience and enjoy working with individuals impacted by autism spectrum and executive functioning disorders. My aim is to help clients with social skills, self-esteem, insight, perspective taking, and increased quality of life. I use evidence based techniques along with warmth, empathy, and a collaborative and strengths based approach.
(469) 481-1341 View (469) 481-1341
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.