Autism Therapists in Seattle, WA

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Photo of Jennifer Monahan DeMella, Psychologist in Seattle, WA
Jennifer Monahan DeMella
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
Seattle, WA 98109
Neurodevelopmental concerns affect thinking, memory, learning, or behavior. Sana Psychological, PLLC specializes in the diagnosis of and treatment recommendations for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays. We focus on the impact that an individual's cognitive abilities, emotional regulation, and social relatedness has on their day-to-day functioning and development - and finding ways to help them thrive.
Neurodevelopmental concerns affect thinking, memory, learning, or behavior. Sana Psychological, PLLC specializes in the diagnosis of and treatment recommendations for neurodevelopmental disorders, including autism spectrum disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, learning disorders, intellectual disabilities, and developmental delays. We focus on the impact that an individual's cognitive abilities, emotional regulation, and social relatedness has on their day-to-day functioning and development - and finding ways to help them thrive.
(425) 215-0236 View (425) 215-0236
Photo of Kim MacEachern, Psychologist in Seattle, WA
Kim MacEachern
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
5 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98122  (Online Only)
Accepting new Testing Clients only at this time. As a clinical psychologist, I offer comprehensive psychological evaluation and assessment services, including specializing in Autism, ADHD, diagnostic clarification evaluations and presurgical evaluations. You will receive evidence-based findings of your diagnosis as well as thorough recommendations and referrals as part of the evaluation process.
Accepting new Testing Clients only at this time. As a clinical psychologist, I offer comprehensive psychological evaluation and assessment services, including specializing in Autism, ADHD, diagnostic clarification evaluations and presurgical evaluations. You will receive evidence-based findings of your diagnosis as well as thorough recommendations and referrals as part of the evaluation process.
(425) 243-1245 View (425) 243-1245
Photo of Hayden Jones, Counselor in Seattle, WA
Hayden Jones
Counselor, LMHCA
Verified
Seattle, WA 98134  (Online Only)
I have worked extensively with neurodivergent (Autism, ADHD, 2E) individuals and take a strength based approach to working with what keeps people going.
I enjoy helping others to build deep, meaningful connections with not only those in their lives but their own central sense of self and system of values. In particular, I enjoy finding ways to bring geek and gamer cultural interests into therapy and utilize the things that bring people joy while providing a safe, supportive environment to explore their own life experiences while building on the supports that have helped them navigate their lives. I take a very humanistic approach to counseling that encourages honesty and openness since we're ultimately all just people trying to figure it out day by day.
I have worked extensively with neurodivergent (Autism, ADHD, 2E) individuals and take a strength based approach to working with what keeps people going.
I enjoy helping others to build deep, meaningful connections with not only those in their lives but their own central sense of self and system of values. In particular, I enjoy finding ways to bring geek and gamer cultural interests into therapy and utilize the things that bring people joy while providing a safe, supportive environment to explore their own life experiences while building on the supports that have helped them navigate their lives. I take a very humanistic approach to counseling that encourages honesty and openness since we're ultimately all just people trying to figure it out day by day.
(206) 759-7007 View (206) 759-7007
Photo of Lark Huang-Storms, Psychologist in Seattle, WA
Lark Huang-Storms
Psychologist, PhD
Verified
Seattle, WA 98125
Waitlist for new clients
I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in diagnostic assessment of autism across the lifespan (including presentation in adult women). I provide evaluations for clients who wonder about possible autism for themselves or their children. I also have a small therapy practice where I focus on mental health and wellness with clients who are autistic or whose lives are shaped by autism (including Asperger’s Syndrome). Over the past decades, I directed Autism Centers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University where I engaged in research, training and clinical care.
I am a clinical psychologist who specializes in diagnostic assessment of autism across the lifespan (including presentation in adult women). I provide evaluations for clients who wonder about possible autism for themselves or their children. I also have a small therapy practice where I focus on mental health and wellness with clients who are autistic or whose lives are shaped by autism (including Asperger’s Syndrome). Over the past decades, I directed Autism Centers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and Oregon Health & Science University where I engaged in research, training and clinical care.
(206) 279-6922 View (206) 279-6922
Photo of April Walter, Psychologist in Seattle, WA
April Walter
Psychologist, PsyD
Verified
Seattle, WA 98133
At The Center we provide diagnosis, treatment, education/employment assistance and housing assistance for those on the Autism Spectrum.
I specialize in working with individuals and families struggling with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD/ADD, Learning Disorders and other Neuropsychological or Psychological Issues.
At The Center we provide diagnosis, treatment, education/employment assistance and housing assistance for those on the Autism Spectrum.
I specialize in working with individuals and families struggling with Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD/ADD, Learning Disorders and other Neuropsychological or Psychological Issues.
(206) 466-5649 View (206) 466-5649
Photo of Salloni Nanda, Psychologist in Seattle, WA
Salloni Nanda
Psychologist, PhD, NCSP
Verified
Seattle, WA 98133
I have training in a variety of interventions for anxiety (including Exposure and Response Prevention, SPACE, CBT, Coping Cat), for autism (including ABA, RUBI), and childhood challenging behaviors (including Incredible Years).
I am a licensed psychologist with over 8 years in practice. I work with children, teens, adults, and families on their journey towards hope, healing, and health. I provide evidence-based, culturally sensitive course of treatment and collaborate with providers across settings to develop a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan. I specialize in working with individuals with anxiety related disorders (including OCD, generalized anxiety, phobias), autism, school refusal, and children with behavioral difficulties and their families. Some areas of growth my clients focus on are emotions, education, adaptive skills, and relationships.
I have training in a variety of interventions for anxiety (including Exposure and Response Prevention, SPACE, CBT, Coping Cat), for autism (including ABA, RUBI), and childhood challenging behaviors (including Incredible Years).
I am a licensed psychologist with over 8 years in practice. I work with children, teens, adults, and families on their journey towards hope, healing, and health. I provide evidence-based, culturally sensitive course of treatment and collaborate with providers across settings to develop a comprehensive assessment and treatment plan. I specialize in working with individuals with anxiety related disorders (including OCD, generalized anxiety, phobias), autism, school refusal, and children with behavioral difficulties and their families. Some areas of growth my clients focus on are emotions, education, adaptive skills, and relationships.
(425) 620-3554 View (425) 620-3554
Photo of Madeline Frank in Seattle, WA
Madeline Frank
PhD, BCBA-D, LBA
Seattle, WA 98125
I use positive behavior support strategies to support children, parents, and families with and without autism spectrum disorder.
My experience as a behavior analyst spans educational, clinical, and home/community settings. I worked for several years as a special education classroom teacher and I feel strongly that parent involvement/training is critical for a child's success. I aim to provide children and families with tools to rapidly improve language comprehension and vocalization, replace problem behaviors, teach self-help skills, and enhance age-appropriate social skills. I primarily work with children between 2-10 years old, but have experience working with clients up to 21 years old.
I use positive behavior support strategies to support children, parents, and families with and without autism spectrum disorder.
My experience as a behavior analyst spans educational, clinical, and home/community settings. I worked for several years as a special education classroom teacher and I feel strongly that parent involvement/training is critical for a child's success. I aim to provide children and families with tools to rapidly improve language comprehension and vocalization, replace problem behaviors, teach self-help skills, and enhance age-appropriate social skills. I primarily work with children between 2-10 years old, but have experience working with clients up to 21 years old.
(206) 312-6845 View (206) 312-6845
Photo of Samar Ayyub, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Seattle, WA
Samar Ayyub
Clinical Social Work/Therapist, LCAISW, MEd, RYT-500
Verified
1 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98103  (Online Only)
I blend traditional, evidence-based practices with holistic practices, such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, to guide you on a path toward self-healing and understanding. I specialize in helping you manage feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. I also provide executive function, self-regulation, and social skills support appertaining to ADHD, autism, and other related challenges. Along with patient care, I work with parents and caretakers of children with disabilities to help them overcome everyday challenges, navigate the intricacies of special education, and discuss how to best support their child.
I blend traditional, evidence-based practices with holistic practices, such as mindfulness, meditation, and yoga, to guide you on a path toward self-healing and understanding. I specialize in helping you manage feelings of stress, depression, and anxiety. I also provide executive function, self-regulation, and social skills support appertaining to ADHD, autism, and other related challenges. Along with patient care, I work with parents and caretakers of children with disabilities to help them overcome everyday challenges, navigate the intricacies of special education, and discuss how to best support their child.
(206) 483-0592 View (206) 483-0592
Photo of Megan Wiebelhaus, Counselor in Seattle, WA
Megan Wiebelhaus
Counselor, LMHCA
Verified
Seattle, WA 98115
I work with teens and adults who identify as quirky/nerdy, highly-intelligent, introverted, highly-sensitive, or as having ADHD or Autism (or some combination of these). Those with these traits often share something: a sense of outsider-ship, of not quite belonging. This can lead to loneliness, shame, isolation, depressions, self-loathing--all that fun stuff.  I, myself, have 3 or 4 of the above traits, AND was homeschooled on top of it, so my own sense of outsider-ship was crowned with awkward homeschooler social skills :) Working, both on self-acceptance, and feeling like I belong, is something I enjoy sharing with my clients.
I work with teens and adults who identify as quirky/nerdy, highly-intelligent, introverted, highly-sensitive, or as having ADHD or Autism (or some combination of these). Those with these traits often share something: a sense of outsider-ship, of not quite belonging. This can lead to loneliness, shame, isolation, depressions, self-loathing--all that fun stuff.  I, myself, have 3 or 4 of the above traits, AND was homeschooled on top of it, so my own sense of outsider-ship was crowned with awkward homeschooler social skills :) Working, both on self-acceptance, and feeling like I belong, is something I enjoy sharing with my clients.
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Photo of Steve Tutty, Psychologist in Seattle, WA
Steve Tutty
Psychologist, MA, PhD
Verified
Seattle, WA 98112
Dr. Tutty provides counseling (virtual) to youth and young adults struggling with issues relating to depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, parent-child conflicts, peer conflicts, and academic challenges. In addition, Dr. Tutty provides parent management training/coaching to parents, as well as psychological testing for autism, ADHD, complex mood conditions, gifted intelligence, and learning disabilities, which are often helpful for informing IEP and 504 plans.
Dr. Tutty provides counseling (virtual) to youth and young adults struggling with issues relating to depression, anxiety, ADHD, autism, parent-child conflicts, peer conflicts, and academic challenges. In addition, Dr. Tutty provides parent management training/coaching to parents, as well as psychological testing for autism, ADHD, complex mood conditions, gifted intelligence, and learning disabilities, which are often helpful for informing IEP and 504 plans.
(206) 565-1684 View (206) 565-1684
Photo of Dr. Steve Tutty - N. W. Family Psychology, Psychologist in Seattle, WA
Dr. Steve Tutty - N. W. Family Psychology
Psychologist, MA, PhD
Verified
Seattle, WA 98112
Dr. Tutty provides psychological and neuropsychological evaluations to children and adolescents who may be struggling with ADHD (executive functioning), Autism, Learning Disabilities, Twice Exceptional, Anxiety, Depression, as well as counseling for children affected by high conflict divorce. Dr. Tutty also provides counseling to children and adolescents for these issues (most insurance plans accepted). In addition, Dr. Tutty provides forensic psychological services to adults in need of mental health and parenting evaluations, as well as personal injury evaluations (e.g., TBI), which are not covered by insurance.
Dr. Tutty provides psychological and neuropsychological evaluations to children and adolescents who may be struggling with ADHD (executive functioning), Autism, Learning Disabilities, Twice Exceptional, Anxiety, Depression, as well as counseling for children affected by high conflict divorce. Dr. Tutty also provides counseling to children and adolescents for these issues (most insurance plans accepted). In addition, Dr. Tutty provides forensic psychological services to adults in need of mental health and parenting evaluations, as well as personal injury evaluations (e.g., TBI), which are not covered by insurance.
(360) 208-2713 View (360) 208-2713
Photo of Jenny Leung, Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA
Jenny Leung
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT, E-RYT
Verified
Seattle, WA 98103
I specialize in working with neurodiverse (ADHD, autism, SPD, highly-sensitive, introvert) or mixed-neurotype couples and couples struggling with intergenerational trauma from childhood, depression, anxiety, cultural or personal identity.
Couple Counseling Only! I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified in Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT). Working exclusively with couples, I help partners to uncover underlying emotions and to communicate more effectively for attention, understanding, compassion and caring. The result is greater warmth, trust, safety and emotional connection. Honest and direct in my approach yet gentle and patient, I am committed to creating compassionate and authentic relationships where each partner feels deeply supported, understood, and seen. I work frequently with couples where one or both partners are of Asian ancestry.
I specialize in working with neurodiverse (ADHD, autism, SPD, highly-sensitive, introvert) or mixed-neurotype couples and couples struggling with intergenerational trauma from childhood, depression, anxiety, cultural or personal identity.
Couple Counseling Only! I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified in Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT). Working exclusively with couples, I help partners to uncover underlying emotions and to communicate more effectively for attention, understanding, compassion and caring. The result is greater warmth, trust, safety and emotional connection. Honest and direct in my approach yet gentle and patient, I am committed to creating compassionate and authentic relationships where each partner feels deeply supported, understood, and seen. I work frequently with couples where one or both partners are of Asian ancestry.
(206) 966-4172 View (206) 966-4172
Photo of Eastside Mental Health Solutions, Counselor in Seattle, WA
Eastside Mental Health Solutions
Counselor, MA, LMHCA
Verified
2 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98107  (Online Only)
If you or a loved one are feeling overwhelmed with the challenges of autism, know that you are not alone.
Are you someone who is looking to improve their daily functioning and overall quality of life? Are you seeking help with communication, social interaction, and emotional regulation? You may be struggling with anxiety or depression, difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, or finding a fulfilling career. My goal is to work collaboratively with my clients to develop strategies and tools to help them better navigate the world around them and achieve their individual goals. By creating a safe and supportive environment, I aim to empower my clients to become more confident, independent, and fulfilled individuals.
If you or a loved one are feeling overwhelmed with the challenges of autism, know that you are not alone.
Are you someone who is looking to improve their daily functioning and overall quality of life? Are you seeking help with communication, social interaction, and emotional regulation? You may be struggling with anxiety or depression, difficulty forming and maintaining relationships, or finding a fulfilling career. My goal is to work collaboratively with my clients to develop strategies and tools to help them better navigate the world around them and achieve their individual goals. By creating a safe and supportive environment, I aim to empower my clients to become more confident, independent, and fulfilled individuals.
(206) 222-4015 View (206) 222-4015
Photo of Alaina Boyle, Counselor in Seattle, WA
Alaina Boyle
Counselor, MA, LMHC
Verified
Seattle, WA 98112
Waitlist for new clients
I have extensive experience working with young people on the Autism spectrum.
I am passionate about providing evidence-based, compassionate care to teens+young adults (ages 12-25) and families. We are navigating unprecedented times where social, familial, global, and educational stressors can make it difficult to maintain mental and emotional health. I have worked with a wide variety of clients facing identity questions, anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief, adjustment challenges, etc. and create a treatment plan based on each client's unique needs. In our work together, you will learn coping+relaxation skills, deepen your self-compassion, build strength+confidence, and progress towards your personal goals.
I have extensive experience working with young people on the Autism spectrum.
I am passionate about providing evidence-based, compassionate care to teens+young adults (ages 12-25) and families. We are navigating unprecedented times where social, familial, global, and educational stressors can make it difficult to maintain mental and emotional health. I have worked with a wide variety of clients facing identity questions, anxiety, depression, PTSD, grief, adjustment challenges, etc. and create a treatment plan based on each client's unique needs. In our work together, you will learn coping+relaxation skills, deepen your self-compassion, build strength+confidence, and progress towards your personal goals.
(206) 258-7542 View (206) 258-7542
Photo of Suzanne Murray in Seattle, WA
Suzanne Murray
MA, BCBA, LBA
Verified
Seattle, WA 98125
I specialize in working with children diagnosed with autism, anxiety, ADHD, ODD, and those needing support with emotion regulation. I provide 1:1 child behavioral therapy in the office, home, or school setting as well as parent coaching. Issues addressed may include: behavioral challenges, social skills, attention/focus, toilet training, bedtime routines, selective eating, and tantrum-type behavior. I also have extensive training in the application of behavior analysis to education including addressing special academic needs.
I specialize in working with children diagnosed with autism, anxiety, ADHD, ODD, and those needing support with emotion regulation. I provide 1:1 child behavioral therapy in the office, home, or school setting as well as parent coaching. Issues addressed may include: behavioral challenges, social skills, attention/focus, toilet training, bedtime routines, selective eating, and tantrum-type behavior. I also have extensive training in the application of behavior analysis to education including addressing special academic needs.
(206) 825-6693 View (206) 825-6693
Photo of Dr. Anthony Osuna, Psychologist in Seattle, WA
Dr. Anthony Osuna
Psychologist, PhD
Verified
Seattle, WA 98119
I specialize in evaluating adults for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and providing mental health care to individuals from marginalized backgrounds, including people identifying as autistic, Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian, and LGBTQ+.
Hello! I'm Dr. Anthony Osuna, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Seattle, WA. I am uniquely specialized in providing diagnostic evaluations and mental health therapy for autistic (ASD) and neurodivergent (e.g., ADHD, cognitive differences) adults. My goal is to help clients understand their difference and empower them prioritize their mental health and overall well-being.
I specialize in evaluating adults for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and providing mental health care to individuals from marginalized backgrounds, including people identifying as autistic, Black, Indigenous, Latino, Asian, and LGBTQ+.
Hello! I'm Dr. Anthony Osuna, a licensed clinical psychologist based in Seattle, WA. I am uniquely specialized in providing diagnostic evaluations and mental health therapy for autistic (ASD) and neurodivergent (e.g., ADHD, cognitive differences) adults. My goal is to help clients understand their difference and empower them prioritize their mental health and overall well-being.
(206) 895-3305 View (206) 895-3305
Photo of Sarah Swenson, Counselor in Seattle, WA
Sarah Swenson
Counselor, MA, LMHC
Verified
3 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98109  (Online Only)
Often in my practice, autism and high intelligence come together.
Have you struggled to help your counselor understand the true nature of your relationship because you believe one of you may be autistic? Most well-intended couple counseling techniques are ineffective with couples like you because they are insight-based and emotion-focused, both of which are challenges for someone who is autistic. I can offer insight into what it means to be autistic and what it means to be neurotypical, so that you can see where growth and change might be possible. Together, we can identify communication strategies that will be more effective and goals that make sense to both of you. You are not alone.
Often in my practice, autism and high intelligence come together.
Have you struggled to help your counselor understand the true nature of your relationship because you believe one of you may be autistic? Most well-intended couple counseling techniques are ineffective with couples like you because they are insight-based and emotion-focused, both of which are challenges for someone who is autistic. I can offer insight into what it means to be autistic and what it means to be neurotypical, so that you can see where growth and change might be possible. Together, we can identify communication strategies that will be more effective and goals that make sense to both of you. You are not alone.
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Photo of Lauree Akhtar, Clinical Social Work/Therapist in Seattle, WA
Lauree Akhtar
Clinical Social Work/Therapist
Verified
Seattle, WA 98109
I have work with teens and adults, and my focuses are: Healing from trauma and shame, whether from childhood or from societal oppression; Intersectional identity development, especially for multiply-marginalized people; Neurodiversity, particularly autism and ADHD; Relationship building & relational skills; Eating disorders- inclusive of those related to NDs.
www.paradoxtherapy.com/lauree. It's difficult to find a therapist, especially if you’re a multiply-marginalized individual who must cope with not just day to day stressors, but also the stressors of living within systems of oppression against multiple parts of your identity. If you’re in that situation, you may wish to find a therapist with an amount of lived experience, if only to lessen the burden of “explaining” how these systems affect you, and I’m passionate about helping people like you receive services that will more deeply understand the impacts of your environment on you, even if we do not have the exact same identities.
I have work with teens and adults, and my focuses are: Healing from trauma and shame, whether from childhood or from societal oppression; Intersectional identity development, especially for multiply-marginalized people; Neurodiversity, particularly autism and ADHD; Relationship building & relational skills; Eating disorders- inclusive of those related to NDs.
www.paradoxtherapy.com/lauree. It's difficult to find a therapist, especially if you’re a multiply-marginalized individual who must cope with not just day to day stressors, but also the stressors of living within systems of oppression against multiple parts of your identity. If you’re in that situation, you may wish to find a therapist with an amount of lived experience, if only to lessen the burden of “explaining” how these systems affect you, and I’m passionate about helping people like you receive services that will more deeply understand the impacts of your environment on you, even if we do not have the exact same identities.
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Photo of Vanessa M Miller, Counselor in Seattle, WA
Vanessa M Miller
Counselor, MA, MHP, LMHCA
Verified
Seattle, WA 98119  (Online Only)
I hold two master's degrees, one in Counseling Psychology (2008) and the other in Special Education, with an emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorder (2020).
My name is Vanessa and I'm so honored that you are considering me for your counseling journey. Therapy is highly effective with a compassionate therapist to walk by your side and encourage you on your path to improving your life. I offer unconditional positive regard, a non-judgmental approach, and will remind you the whole way of all the love you deserve. I've helped many different types of clients improve their relationships, create peaceful environments, replace negative thoughts with positive ones, overcome trauma, communicate better, and more. My primary specialties include Autism, ADHD, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
I hold two master's degrees, one in Counseling Psychology (2008) and the other in Special Education, with an emphasis in Autism Spectrum Disorder (2020).
My name is Vanessa and I'm so honored that you are considering me for your counseling journey. Therapy is highly effective with a compassionate therapist to walk by your side and encourage you on your path to improving your life. I offer unconditional positive regard, a non-judgmental approach, and will remind you the whole way of all the love you deserve. I've helped many different types of clients improve their relationships, create peaceful environments, replace negative thoughts with positive ones, overcome trauma, communicate better, and more. My primary specialties include Autism, ADHD, and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
(206) 202-1870 View (206) 202-1870
Photo of Nicole Myers, Marriage & Family Therapist in Seattle, WA
Nicole Myers
Marriage & Family Therapist, MA, LMFT
Verified
2 Endorsed
Seattle, WA 98103
I am a neurodiversity affirming therapist and I specialize working with neurodivergent clients (Autism/ADHD) and related difficulties. I have a special interest in relationship and social difficulties and how masking and rejection sensitivity impacts mental health. Issues I work with are: anxiety, depression, social anxiety, perfectionism, relationship issues and trauma, problems at school or work (motivation, attention, and interpersonal problems). I use an individualized approach based on my client's needs, using evidence based approaches: CBT, Mindfulness, ACT, family systems, self-compassion, Social Support, and DBT-informed.
I am a neurodiversity affirming therapist and I specialize working with neurodivergent clients (Autism/ADHD) and related difficulties. I have a special interest in relationship and social difficulties and how masking and rejection sensitivity impacts mental health. Issues I work with are: anxiety, depression, social anxiety, perfectionism, relationship issues and trauma, problems at school or work (motivation, attention, and interpersonal problems). I use an individualized approach based on my client's needs, using evidence based approaches: CBT, Mindfulness, ACT, family systems, self-compassion, Social Support, and DBT-informed.
(206) 701-0266 View (206) 701-0266

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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.