Every kid deserves an equal chance to live their best life. However, this idea becomes much more difficult in implementation when you consider every child’s unique ways of learning and interacting with the world. For some children, the very things that make them unique can hold them back.
Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) is thought to affect 1 in every 59 kids. For these 1 in 59, their communication and behavioral functions develop differently, often in a way that impede on society’s definition of success.
Of course, none of this means children with ASD have a second-pier life! Autism does not make kids less of an individual. For some, Autism Counseling is just a way for them to thrive in their worlds.
At Thriveworks Woodstock, our Autism Therapist is passionate about walking alongside those with autism so they can have the tools they need to build the best possible life.
What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?
Autism is classified as a developmental disorder. This means in affects many social and learning skills, has a strong genetic base, and symptoms begin in childhood (although it can take years for them to recognized and properly labeled as autism).
At its core, autism affects how children see and interact with the world around them. Usually, parents will see their child meet challenges interacting with peers and succeeding in school.
Thriveworks Woodstock wants to stress that just because someone has autism does not mean they are less capable of succeeding in life. Sometimes, success might look a little different than society will like us to believe, and there will always be bumps in the road. But really, that’s no different from success for a neurotypical (those without autism). The truth is that autism brings a unique perspective of the world that can make things difficult, but never impossible.
If you are concerned that yourself or a child has autism, look for these signs:
- Inability to make eye contact
- Poor listening skills
- Lack of expressed emotions (has one set facial expression that doesn’t change often; not a lot of smiling or laughing)
- Failure to respond or lapse in response when their name is called
- Difficulty holding a conversation
- Intense, focused interest in one topic
- Difficulty reading contextual clues and tone of voice
- Repetitive speech or actions (repeating words or phrases, one specific movement that is repeated)
- Dislike of change; needing the same routine
- Acute sensitivity to light, texture, noise, or taste
- Disturbances in sleep patterns
- Preference for older companions, difficulty relating to peers.
Symptoms begin to show around the age of 2, and last in some form or another for the entirety of a lifespan.
There are of course many other symptoms of autism. Every person will exhibit autism differently, not to mention that it is a spectrum. Each symptom can be felt with varying degrees of severity. This makes it tricky for some older children and adults who don’t fit the typical box of autism but still notice disparities between them and the people around them. It is entirely possible to be on the lower end of the autism spectrum and not know it until you’re an adult.
Whatever your experience with autism, Thriveworks Woodstock is here to guide you through the therapy process and start building the life you and your child deserve.
What Is Autism Therapy?
Therapy for Autism Spectrum Disorders will look different depending on the person and situation. It varies- much like autism does- based on factors like age, gender, and symptoms experienced. The one similarity is that Thriveworks Woodstock always practices a client-first mentality. Your goals, fears, and struggles will be our main priority.
That’s not to say our Autism Counselors don’t have a few methods that can help us meet your goals. In an Autism Therapy session, a Thriveworks Woodstock counselor might:
- Work with the school to get in-class aid
- Develop communication skills
- Work with parents to adapt to the child’s unique needs (like sensitivities to changing plans or texture, for example)
- Practice physical therapy (managing repetitive behavior)
- Develop behavioral management skills
- Practice occupational therapy (reinforcing life skills such as getting dressed, preparing food, and brushing teeth.)
This is a limited list, and if you have any questions about autism or autism therapy, please give Thriveworks Woodstock a call! We are more than happy to answer your questions.
As always when it comes to mental and behavioral health, it is important to see a counselor quickly after you recognize the signs. The methods used in Therapy for Autism will be helpful no matter your position in life, but the earlier we start, the better we are setting you or your child up for the future!
Autism diagnosis come with a lot of scary and confusing questions. Where do we go from here? Is there even any hope to live a normal life? What about the financial costs? What’s the next step?
Thriveworks Woodstock understands the concern and love rooted behind all of those questions. And they’re valid questions! Autism is neither preventable nor curable, which means that there most likely will be a lifetime of managing symptoms. But this does not have to be an exhausting or all-consuming task. The vast majority of people living with autism manage to do so fully and happily. It will be different, but as autism teaches us, different doesn’t mean bad.
Thriveworks Woodstock is more than happy to walk with you through any other questions you might have. We are excited to meet you and begin building a life you and your child can thrive in.