Our practice understands that everyone is unique and there isn’t any one way to approach difficulties in life. We use a hybrid approach that is personally tailored to each individual. People who suspect they have Aspergers or Autism are likely already pretty hard on themselves. Our goal is to help them to build on their gifts and work on strategies to overcome the trickier parts.
What is Aspergers?
Typical Symptoms of Autism Spectrum Disorder for Children and Adults
- Not point at objects to show interest (for example, not point at an airplane flying over)
- Not look at objects when another person points at them
- Have trouble relating to others or not have an interest in other people at all
- Avoid eye contact and want to be alone
- Have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
- Prefer not to be held or cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
- Appear to be unaware when people talk to them, but respond to other sounds
- Be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
- Repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of normal language
- Have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
- Not play “pretend” games (for example, not pretend to “feed” a doll)
- Repeat actions over and over again
- Have trouble adapting when a routine changes
- Have unusual reactions to the way things smell, taste, look, feel, or sound
- Lose skills they once had (for example, stop saying words they were using)
There are a number of ways to work with Aspergers and Autism. We focus on a employing a humanistic approach in combination with some cognitive behavioral techniques, mindfulness, and social skills work. What does this mean? We really try to work with clients to understand their world and how it may feel differently than others. We work with them to investigate resources as a team that might help them overcome what is frustrating them.
Behavior Treatments – This treatment focused on teaching applicable skills and behaviors while reducing or eliminating negative, dysfunctional habits. They must be consistent and ensue in all suitable settings.
Mindfulness – “The intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.” What this means is working to build our awareness of our inner world and work to not have negative emotions or stimulus flood and overwhelm us.
Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy – CBT and stress management are important because they help the child or adult with Asperger’s learn to deal with anxiety, anger and obsessions. Therapists usually use two principal methods of behavior therapy to advance self-help skills and decrease the occurrence of self-harm activities.
Modeling – this involves a demonstration of a desired skill or behavior, and then directing or encouraging the Asperger’s person to duplicate it. Modeling is useful behavior treatment in nearly all settings.
Enhancing Social Competence – social skills are taught using a variety of methods and settings such as: friendship groups at school, classroom activities, group therapy programs, buddy or mentoring programs, and peer therapy.
Targeted Intervention Strategies – recently interventions studies focused on teaching distinct aspects of social aptitude, such as joint attention, emotion recognition, and theory of mind abilities.
Important to Remember – Most important to consider is that when it comes to behavior treatments, everyone in the Asperger’s person’s life must make an effort to work jointly as a team. Parents, mental health professionals, pediatricians, neurologist, educators, occupational therapists, and other professionals must all cooperate to make sure everyone involved meets the person’s needs.