Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
To determine whether you meet the diagnostic criteria for Autism spectrum disorder, I will conduct a detailed clinical intake interview. This interview will include questions about any ASD characteristics, your academic and social history, and assessment of your current functioning and any areas of concern.
In addition, you, as well as a person who knows you well, will be asked to complete the Social Responsiveness Scale – 2 (SRS-2). After these sessions, if further diagnostic clarification is necessary, I will administer the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule -2 (ADOS-2) to gather supplementary information.
I developed my approach to helping those with Autism spectrum disorder through my training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel-Hill in their Treatment and Education of Autistic and related Communication Handicapped Children Division TEACCH program. I combine education about ASD with visual strategies to improve your social skills and help manage anxiety and increase positive social interactions both at home and in the workplace. We will develop treatment goals together that are clearly defined and realistic. My passion for working with those on the spectrum translates into empathic understanding for both current concerns and those from your childhood. Many adults I see in counseling for Autism spectrum disorder have experienced some degree of trauma in their background, which contributes to emotional distress. My goal is to not only teach you skills to manage your current difficulties in social situations but also to teach you to be more gentle with yourself and patient with your progress.
Since not all young adults with autism spectrum choose to attend college, I find it particularly rewarding to aide in the transition towards greater independence by providing consultation to agencies at the request of parents of adults with ASD. I conduct observations of the adult in their workplace or community training program. I also provide feedback to staff and employers to create autism-friendly environments. Visual structure and routines are essential. By understanding what comes next, having predictable work situations, and providing clear and consistent visual supports, individuals on the spectrum can thrive.