If you have or suspect you may have a teenager with higher-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder, I can help.
I am a therapist who is sensitive to the needs of teens with high or average IQs, but significant major social interaction and communication difficulties. These teens are sensitive to many things and perceive their environment differently, and in a unique way. They might have obsessive, repetitive, or highly selective interests. They also often have problems figuring out peer-appropriate social situations, and have difficulty dealing with life transitions. Other areas of life difficulty may include:
- Maladaptive attempts to gain social approval
- Entrenched avoidance patterns
- Being bullied at school, or in other settings
- Depression and anxiety due to feelings of extreme alienation
- Inability to be self-directed and/or accountable with routines or structures
- Hygiene and basic self-care problems
From 1994 to 2013, the term Asperger’s Syndrome was used for Autistic individuals presenting with this type of clinical picture. As of May, 2014, the official diagnostic term “Asperger’s” has been retired in favor of diagnosing and classifying “ASD” along a continuum, based upon the severity of overall symptoms; and with attention to social interaction and communication deficits and repetitive behaviors as major identifying factors.
Treatment that I facilitate with teens and families focuses on the following skills-based, psycho-educational and developmental approach to psychotherapy:
- Social Coaching
- Self-Awareness Skills
- Self-Regulation Skills
- Social Awareness Skills
- Accountability and Goal-Setting
- Increased understanding of compensation for severe Sensory Integration Dysfunction
In addition to the above themes of treatment, I encourage clients and family members to become familiar with the Program for the Education and Enrichment of Relational Skills (PEERS®) Program Developed at UCLA by Elizabeth A. Laugeson, Psy.D. and colleagues.
Additional readings by Temple Grandin, Ph.D., Jed Baker, Ph.D., Wendy Lawson and Hanna Rosin are also included as bibliotherapy for parents and family members to discuss with me in family therapy sessions. I have access to a referral network of unique programs and specialists who offer innovative and helpful approaches to teens and families with ASD.
Ready to get in touch?