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Can A Counselor Diagnose Autism

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Finding The Right Person To Diagnose Autism

How to Get an Adult Autism Diagnosis

The right person or group to diagnose your child will be trained, experienced, affordable and available in your area. To find that person :

  • Start with your own pediatrician. He or she may have a terrific list of names, and may even be able to help you get an appointment quickly.
  • Connect with other parents. Local support groups and listserves are wonderful resources for information about professionals who are both competent and supportive.
  • Check with your school district and/or regional agencies. You may find there are low-cost or free options available to you.
  • Surf the web. If you live outside a major city, you may find terrific resources that your suburban sources know nothing about.
  • Do your homework. Check on the recommended specialists to be sure that they really have the credentials and experience you want.

Mental Health Clinics Treatment Programs Or Hospitals

To find a mental health facility or program, use the Behavioral Health Treatment Services Locator from the US Department of Health and Human Services. This locator includes public, private and Department of Veterans Affairs facilities. Choose Select Services to specify treatment approach, insurance accepted, preferred language, age groups served and more.

Free and Reduced Cost Clinics: Use this directory to search over 300 free and reduced cost clinics across North Carolina by location, hours of operation, insurance accepted and type of service provided. Choose Behavioral Health from the Services menu.

How Can Social Workers Help People With Autism

A social worker that specialises in autism is often employed by a government agency, disability agency or self-help group to provide assistance and support to parents, children and adults with autism.

Social workers are trained in complex problem solving, as well as counselling, monitoring wellbeing and family support.

If you suspect you or someone you love has autism, or if you are undergoing the early stages of assessment, the diagnostic process can be challenging, as such its important to seek support where possible.

Social workers operate as a trusted friend or family member might assisting you with filling out forms and paperwork, advocating on your behalf with doctors and specialists, seeking out information, and putting you in touch with specialist agencies and services.

Social workers offer a broad range of services to people with autism and parents and carers of autistic children, including:

Undertaking personal and family counselling, or arranging therapy services through a relevant professional.

InformationAccumulating and presenting easy to understand information about relevant support services and options.

CoordinationHelping you or your family to coordinate various specialists and health professional appointments, arranging travel and accommodation and managing care and respite.

AdvocacyActing as a personal representative and counsel for you or your family when dealing with complex government and community services.

Read Also: What Is The Life Expectancy Of People With Autism

Autism In Adults: Being Diagnosed Late In Life Is Challenging

With the adjustments in both the DSM-5 and its predecessor, the DSM-IV, to the definition of autism, more people are also being diagnosed with this developmental condition later in life.

Typically, people who are on the autism spectrum but do not receive a diagnosis until adulthood have milder symptoms. They may feel like they do not belong they may wonder why they struggle to maintain friendships or relationships or they may first receive a diagnosis of a co-occurring condition like depression or anxiety, which developed because of social isolation or communication struggles with others.

Testing children for signs of autism is a much more established practice, so many adults who are on the autism spectrum end up self-diagnosing themselves. Then, they seek help from a doctor or therapist who can provide an actual diagnosis. A medical diagnosis is a vital step to getting the right type of behavior therapy to understand and manage symptoms.

Who Is Able To Diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder

Telehealth can improve autism diagnosis

There are a number of professionals who can diagnose Autism Spectrum Disorder . Each type of professional has different training. It is important to choose a professional who has extensive experience in diagnosing individuals with ASD and other conditions which may appear similar to ASD at first glance. Being able to distinguish between ASD and another condition is called making a differential diagnosis.

A Developmental Pediatrician is a pediatrician who has advanced training in developmental-behavioral medicine. Developmental Pediatricians evaluate, counsel, and provide treatment for children, adolescents, and their families with a wide range of developmental and behavioral difficulties, including ASD.

A Pediatric Neurologist is a pediatrician who has advanced training in pediatric neurology. Child neurologists treat children from birth into young adulthood and often diagnose, treat, and manage neurological conditions, including ASD.

A Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist is a physician who specializes in the diagnosis and the treatment of disorders of thinking, feeling, and/or behavior, which affect children, adolescents, and their families. Many do have specializations that include diagnosing ASD.

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Newly Diagnosed Adult With Autism Seeks Therapy Advice

Im a newly diagnosed 47-year-old with autism. What kind of treatments can help me?

Todays Got Questions? answer is from psychologist Megan Farley of the Waisman Center for developmental disabilities at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Dr. Farley received an Autism Speaks research grant to study the factors that help or hinder the development and success of adults with autism.

This is both a great question and a difficult one to answer. Currently we have far too little in the way of evidence-based treatments for adults with autism spectrum disorder .

We have a small handful of treatment strategies that have been clinically evaluated and found to be effective for helping adolescents and young adults with autism. At the University of Texas, for example, researchers have successfully used a virtual reality training program to improve social skills among young adults with autism. The PEERS program has likewise shown promise for teaching social skills to young adults with autism.

For live help with these resources, you can call or email the Autism Speaks Autism Response Team and ask for its adult-services specialist: 888-288-4762 or .

General guidelines for finding the help you needBeyond autism-specific programs and therapies, I can offer you some general recommendations based on my clinical experience, that of my colleagues and that of the many adults with autism with whom Ive had the privilege to work.

Adult Symptoms Of Autism

Potential symptoms of autism in adults, which can help you screen whether you might be autistic or not, include:

  • Trouble understanding what others are thinking or feeling.
  • Being confused by idioms or expressions, such as dont count your chickens before they hatch.
  • Inventing your own words or expressions to describe things.
  • Wanting to have a few close friends or one best friend, but never maintaining those relationships and being unable to understand why they do not last.
  • Trouble regulating your emotions.
  • Difficulty managing the natural give and take of a conversation. Instead, you talk more about your favorite subject or take focus in the conversation if the topic is something you understand.
  • Participating in solo activities in your leisure time or participating in a limited range of activities.
  • Strict consistency to daily or weekly routines and extreme difficulty when there are changes.
  • Discomfort looking others in the eye, preferring instead to look at a wall, your shoes, or somewhere else so you can listen better.
  • Being clumsy, bumping into things, dropping things, or tripping over your own feet frequently.

If these and other symptoms of autism feel very familiar, find a therapist who specializes in autism, or ask your doctor for a referral to a specialist. These professionals can help you get the right treatment based on your symptom severity.

Recommended Reading: What’s The Symbol For Autism

Why Mental Health Professionals Need Certification In Autism

Several years ago, I received a referral to provide therapy to a young boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder . This was my first referral to work with a child with ASD. I quickly realized that my mental health license and my training in play therapy were missing something to fully and effectively work with this child and his family. I began searching for established ASD treatments I could learn and incorporate into my work with this young person and other clients struggling with similar issues. Along this journey I eventually integrated models and evidence-based practices to create a protocol for mental health therapists and especially play therapists called AutPlay® Therapy. This was satisfying in my individual clinical work, but I still felt somewhat isolated in terms of a profession identity and accountability regarding my work with ASD.

What Is An Autism Specialist

Getting an Autism Diagnosis

Before 1994, autism wasn’t diagnosed frequently. The change in diagnostic criteria has increased the awareness of the condition significantly. . But there are still relatively few medical professionals who are specifically trained to diagnose and/or treat autism. As a result, the people who are best qualified to diagnose children with autism are those professionals who have had the most experience in doing so, and those professionals may have a wide range of titles. These may include:

  • Social Worker

Recommended Reading: How To Tell If My Child Is Autistic

Can A Child Be Interviewed Without Parental Consent

Police can question a child without a parent present and are not required to obtain permission from a parent before questioning the child. However, if a parent is present when the police approach the child or police ask permission in advance, a parent can refuse to allow the child to be interviewed.

The Following Are Potential Signs Of Autism

Trouble with social communication and social interaction: An example of this is your child may have difficulty having a back and forth conversation because he or she may not share interests or emotions which will present itself in total lack of initiation of social interaction.

Issues with nonverbal communicative cues: This means your child may have issue with verbal or nonverbal communication. Abnormalities in eye contact and body-language, lack of facial expressions or gestures would indicate problems with nonverbal communication.

Difficulties developing and maintaining relationships appropriate to developmental level: This would express itself as difficulties adjusting social behavior to fit varying social environments, trouble sharing imaginative play with other children, and in making friends because of an absences of the interest in people

Repetitive patterns of behavior, interests and/or activities: This can include: repeating speech or motor movements, excessive focus on routines or ritualized patters of verbal and nonverbal behavior and/or extreme resistance to change, fixation on objects and/or an abnormally intense focus on interests, or heightened responses to sensory objects such as indifference to hot or cold, adverse response to specific sounds or textures, and excessive smelling or touching.

Recommended Reading: Can Autism Be Passed Down

Counseling Adults With Autism

Psychotherapists counseling adults with autism can be very successful in helping these individuals cope with secondary disorders and the stresses of daily life. One-on-one counseling can provide adults with autism the information, guidance, and support needed to function more effectively in society. As with any counseling relationship, a therapist must establish trust and develop rapport with a client. The counselor must try to gain the perspective of the client and see life from his viewpoint.

Forming this type of relationship can prove difficult for therapists with clients with autism, since many conversations can be one-sided and revolve around their particular, limited interests. In therapy, a counselor may limit a clientâs speaking about his interest to a few minutes. Instead of stifling the topic of interest of a client with a spectrum disorder, though, an effective counselor should use this topic to build a relationship. A counselor should use a clientâs favorite topic, whether it is numbers, train and plane schedules, geography, the weather, or any other particular interest to relate to him. Relating to him in this way opens up new opportunities to teach new skills, broaden conversational abilities, and improve motivation.

Gaus, V. . Cognitive-behavior therapy for adult Asperger syndrome. Asperger Syndrome and High Functioning Autism Association. Retrieved October 27, 2010, from

Can A Therapist Diagnose Autism

Who Diagnoses Autism and When?

We know its hard to believe- 1 in 54 kids are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder.

The increase in autism rates is due to professionals being better able to observe and diagnose this neurological disorder properly.

Masking is a prevalent behavior in people with autism. Masking refers to individuals learning and mimicking neurotypical people in social settings, making it harder for professionals to diagnose.

That is why only certain professionals can diagnose this disorder which may have you ask, Can a therapist diagnose autism?

Before we answer this, let us explain what autism is.

Also Check: Can A Child Outgrow Autism

Complementary And Alternative Therapies

Complementary and Alternative Therapies, sometimes called Complementary and Integrative Medicine, are treatments that are not part of standard medicine, such as acupuncture, chiropractic, or dietary supplements. It is a term used for a wide variety of health care practices that may be used along with, or instead of, mainstream medical treatment. For more information on the use of Complementary and Alternative Therapies related to ASD, please visit the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health.

Case Examples Of Autism And Aspergers


  • Anderson, C. . Cognitive behavioral therapy and autism spectrum disorders. Interactive Autism Network . Retrieved from
  • Davis, K., & Dubie, M. . Sensory integration: Tips to consider. Retrieved from
  • Educational and behavioral therapies. . Retrieved from
  • Minjarez, M. B., Mercier, E. M., Williams, S. E., & Hardan, A. Y. . Impact of pivotal response training group therapy on stress and empowerment in parents of children with autism. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 15, 71-78. Retrieved from
  • Murray, D. K. . Autism and Learning . New York, NY: Routledge.
  • Norton, P., & Drew, C. . Autism and potential family stressors. The American Journal of Family Therapy, 22, 67-76. doi: 10.1080/01926189408251298
  • Solomon, A. H., & Chung, B. . Understanding autism: How family therapists can support parents of children with autism spectrum disorders. Family Process, 51, 250-264. doi: 10.1111/j.1545-5300.2012.01399.x
  • Solomon, M., Ono, M., Timmer, S., & Goodlin-Jones, B. . The effectiveness of parentchild interaction therapy for families of children on the autism spectrum. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders, 38, 1767-1776. doi: 10.1007/s10803-008-0567-5
    • Client referrals

    Read Also: Autism Adhd Comorbidity

    Early Signs Of An Asd

    The importance of an early diagnosis cannot be emphasized enough when helping families. When a child is diagnosed later in life, it increases parental stress and delays the use of early interventions . Children are diagnosed later because of doctors individual approaches to evaluation. Some doctors may confirm a diagnosis earlier, but many wait until the child is around 5 years old. Occasionally, doctors may misinterpret ASD symptoms as shyness and decide not to follow up with further testing .

    Typically, parents first express concern when their child begins to display symptoms at age 2 or 3.

    However, an ASD can be detected early via standard screening methods such as the Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers , the Autism Diagnostic Interview and the Autism Diagnostic Observational Schedule 2 . Reducing the diagnostic age gap is essential to improve outcomes such as cognition and language development, development of adaptive behaviors, developing independent living skills and teaching social behaviors .

    As a counselor, you can help normalize these feelings and provide education on the potential risk factors for autism.

    The Girl Said Troy Jefferson Welty 60 Pulled Down Her Pants And Assaulted Her According To An Affidavit

    Understanding Autism: Success of in-home therapy

    7:16 PM on Nov 6, 2021 CDT

    An Oak Lawn counselor was arrested last week after police said he sexually assaulted a 13-year-old patient.

    Troy Jefferson Welty, 60, faces one count of aggravated sexual assault of a child. Its unclear whether he has an attorney.

    Dallas police were called the afternoon of Oct. 29 about an assault in the 3000 block of Hood Street, the location of Weltys office, and met with the girl and her family, an arrest warrant affidavit says.

    The girls sister told police that the 13-year-old had an appointment with Welty that morning and reported the assault to her mother immediately afterward. The sister said the 13-year-old has the mental capacity of an 8-year-old because she is diagnosed with autism, epilepsy and hydrocephalus a buildup of fluid in the brain.

    In an interview with detectives, the girl said Welty pulled down her pants and sexually assaulted her, the affidavit says.

    Welty was booked into the Dallas County jail and has since posted $50,000 bail.

    According to Weltys Psychology Today profile, the licensed professional counselor specializes in treating children and adolescents diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, learning disabilities and behavioral problems. Welty does not have any disciplinary history and his license remains active, according to the Texas Behavioral Health Executive Council.

    Read Also: Can Autism Be Passed Down

    Following The Assessment Day:

    After we have met you we then sit together and look at our scores. There is a considerable amount of discussion between clinicians both on the scoring we have done and on our clinical impressions based on our years of experience in this field. We will then write a full report, incorporating all the results from both the pre-assessment questionnaires, feedback from the school and the observations on the assessment day. The report is very detailed and will be made available to you a few weeks following the assessment day.

    We offer a feedback appointment to go through the detailed report. At the feedback appointment it is useful to think about what next. I generally recommend that you share the information with the school or the education provider and that you learn all you can about the diagnosis your child has been given. There are many support groups available for those who are newly diagnosed and it is worth getting in touch with other parents who have been in a similar situation who live close to you.

    Finding Autism Services For Adults

    Autistic adults often struggle to find services, since many advocacy organizations and public health agencies focus on children. The right doctor or therapist may be able to offer a referral to local organizations. The Autistic Self Advocacy Network offers a rich variety of resources, including tips on advocating for oneself and talking about autism with others. The Asperger/Autism Network has compiled a list of resources specifically for adults.

    Autistic adults should know that discrimination against people with autism is a form of disability discrimination. The Americans With Disabilities Act prohibits employers from making hiring or firing decisions based on disability status. It also requires that, in most cases, employers offer reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities, including those with autism. In some cases, a lawyer may be a valuable resource who can help with identifying specific rights and accommodations to which a person may be entitled.

    Therapy can help autistic adults in many ways. Therapists who specialize in autism can connect autistic people to additional services, offer coping strategies, and educate adults about life on the spectrum. A therapist can also help autistic adults talk to others about their diagnosis and manage relationship challenges. In addition, therapy can help a person cope with the social or economic barriers that may have delayed their diagnosis.

    Read Also: Is Asd Hereditary

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