April is “ National Autism Acceptance Month.” For some, autism might feel like a big or even
scary word. Autism, or Autism spectrum disorder, is a broad range of conditions mostly
categorized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal
communication. There are many types of autism and the conditions fall into a range within a
spectrum. Some individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder require a lot of support in their
lives, while others are able to live entirely independently. Each person with autism has a set of
strengths and challenges. Although autism can be diagnosed at any age, the symptoms of autism
typically appear within the first 2 years of life. Some of the common symptoms of autism
include: learning and developmental delays, difficulty communicating, difficulty in social
situations, attachment to unusual interests, sensory issues, repetitive movements, and trouble
Effective Therapies for Autism
Current therapy options for Autism Spectrum Disorder seek to reduce symptoms that interfere
with everyday life and increase daily functioning:
- Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA therapy): ABA is a type of therapy that focuses on improving specific behaviors, such as social skills, communication, reading, and academics as well as adaptive learning skills. In this type of therapy there is an emphasize on positive reinforcement and antecedent, behavior and consequence
- Neurofeedback Training: Improves brain functioning as the brain learns how to optimizes output though biofeedback
- Social-Relational therapy: Social-relational treatments focus on improving social skills and building emotional bonds. Often times, someone who is on the Autism Spectrum is able to learn and acquire skills that will be helpful in social situations.
- Cognitive- behavioral Therapy (CBT): CBT psychological approach that focuses on learning the connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. During CBT, a therapist and the individual work together to identify goals and then change how the person thinks about a situation to change how they react to the situation.
- Occupational therapy ( OT): OT has been shown to be helpful to improve the ability to self-regulate emotions and participate more successfully in social interactions. OT has also been effective in helping individuals with autism overcome sensory-related issues.
According to the Autism Society, 1 in 54 people as of 2020 had been diagnosed with Autism
Spectrum Disorder. As understanding of what autism is increases, so will acceptance. Early
recognition, as well as behavioral, educational, and family therapies, may reduce symptoms and
support development to ensure long-term success.
At Mountain Vista Psychology, we know how challenging having learning differences can be, therefore, we are here to help. Take the first step and call our office at 720-583-9332. You can make your appointment or we offer a 20-minute free phone consultation to discuss your needs.
Dr. Steffanie Stecker a licensed psychologist and the owner and clinical director of Mountain Vista Psychology, PLLC.
In addition, she is a board certified neurotherapist (BCN E5669) and board certified in QEEG (QEEG-D). Less than 100 people world wide are board certified in QEEG, which indicates competency in reading QEEGs and choosing neurofeedback protocols. Dr. Stecker is passionate about brain based effective therapy and creating a safe relationship for her clients to create change. She loves what she gets to do each day!