You have many choices for treatment of autism spectrum disorder at the NDC, so that you can find the approach that is right for you.
We have been working with individuals with autism spectrum disorder – including Asperger’s Disorder and Pervasive Development Disorder NOS, for over 25 years. We have seen many types of autism treatment come and go. We have also seen that some approaches to autism treatment have consistently helped our clients with autism spectrum disorder move forward in life – to interact better, show greater flexibility and emotional control, and generally cope better in life. We have come to rely on behavioral and cognitive-behavioral approaches. We also employ a developmental approach to helping with social functioning. This approach builds on the methods of Floor Time or the DIR approach of Greenspan and Wieder, the work of Gutstein, Prizant and colleagues, and Michelle Garcia Winner.
Social Connections Family Therapy
It’s not easy to raise children with autism spectrum disorder. They are in their own world much of the time. They do not really connect with you, or seek or even accept your guidance and care. They can be rigid and tense. Most have frequent meltdowns. Even though you may understand that these difficulties come from the autism spectrum disorder, there may be times when you find yourself sad, frustrated, angry, and guilty.
We can help. We will work together with you in family therapy so that you can use the many opportunities in your daily life with your child to help him learn to connect with you and others, become more flexible, and to stay calm and cope with life. We will also help you to better manage the stress of parenting and to maintain a strong partnership and supportive social network. You are your child’s main guide in life. This social connections family therapy is a main form of autism treatment.
In our Friendship groups, we make sure the kids are having fun. Lots of it. We want to build their motivation to connect with peers. So we employ carefully planned enjoyable activities in which important social skills are needed to complete the activity. Then we coach the kids to use these skills in the course of the fun.
The groups are small. Usually no more than four kids, carefully matched for level of social competence.
Neurofeedback: Cutting edge treatment backed by research and our experience.
Neurofeedback, also called EEG biofeedback or neurotherapy, harnesses neuroplasticity to directly train the brain to function better. Early research has shown lasting benefit for social, cognitive, sensory, and executive function in individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Our own research with this innovative autism treatment has shown that on average our neurofeedback clients with autism spectrum disorder obtain significant improvement in ten weeks time. Learn more.
It is not easy to help kids with social deficits learn how to interact better with peers. But it is especially hard to give this help from a therapy office that is far removed from peer interaction. To be the most helpful, you need to be present when the social interaction is happening. To help best, you need to do it live, from the sidelines, like the coach in sports, observing as it happens. But this is not how therapy usually works. Therapists work in their quiet offices and their clients tell them about what happens outside of it. Some professionals use groups, but the kind of lessons learned in structured groups do not always (or even often) transfer well to the confusing messiness of real life with peers.
Several years ago, we decided we would no longer accept these limitations. So we developed a social coaching program using paraprofessionals. We train and supervise the social coaches who go out with the clients into real social situations and coach them live. We have worked with a number of adolescents and college students using this approach, and have seen faster and more substantial progress than through the usual methods of autism treatment.
Remember summers as a kid? Free from the stresses of school, you could just hang out with friends, and have fun. That’s what summer should be, but for most kids on the autism spectrum, it is not. Summer should be a chance to grow socially, after all the academic demands. Most kids on the spectrum are stuck inside, playing videogames, hiding away from the overwhelming social world. The typical day camp is no solution either for kids on the spectrum. Way too much stimulation. Too little structure. Too little supervision. For most kids with ASD in the summer, the opportunity to develop socially is wasted.
That’s why we built Camp Kindred. Camp Kindred is a summer day camp for kids with ASD. Its small, with a high staff to camper ratio. All activities are carefully designed so that the kids have fun at the same time that they are learning and exercising the social skills that are the basis for reciprocal social interaction. Learn more.