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Autism Counseling and Treatment

Autism Spectrum Counseling and Treatment

Experiencing being diagnosed with autism or on the spectrum can really be life-changing but there is always hope for you or a loved one who is diagnosed. There are many forms of treatment and online therapy has been found to be useful in helping to treat autistic spectrum condition(s). Being diagnosed with autism does not mean you have an illness or a disease but it is your brain processing information differently. Autism is not a medical condition with a cure or treatment to make a full recovery but it can be controlled using certain types of therapy. It does not stop you from living a fuller life but will mean you may need to make adjustments to make life more comfortable for you.

7 Cups can support you in coping with being on the spectrum or perhaps offering care and support to a loved one. Online autism therapy will support you in your mental health journey through the first steps to coping with autism in a way that works for you including the challenges you may face with social interactions. Autism treatment varies from individual to individual but will help you receive support if you are on the autism spectrum. 7 Cups is an on-demand emotional support platform and a caring and thriving community of people that support one another. The 7 Cups Community has helped over 60 million people in emotional distress since 2013. The community is available globally in 189 countries and 140 languages. We provide 1:1 free support sessions with a trained listener, personalized growth paths to help you feel better and online therapy with licensed therapists. Access to services can also be used through the mobile app.

Autism Spectrum Paths

Free & easy exercises to help you
Gratitude Growth Path

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a Very Small Heart, it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.” ― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Sleep Better Games

Sleep Better Gams - Free, easy, interactive from va.gov site. Learn to sleep better while having fun!

Sleep Better Growth Path

Path to Better Sleep - Step-By-Step. Free easy interactive training, makes a customized plan, does tracking, has learning games, tools, and apps from va.gov site. The general public is welcome to use this excellent material per the va.gov FAQ page.

Sleep Diary

Path to track sleeping patterns. Use along with Sleep Better Growth Path. Sleep Better - Step-By-Step. Free easy interactive training, makes a customized plan, does tracking, has learning games, tools, and apps from va.gov site. The general public is welcome to use this excellent material per the va.gov FAQ page.

What Causes It?

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition that causes certain impairments which are seen in the social and communications skills of those who suffer from autism or are on the spectrum. It may present with difficulties with learning and interacting with others. The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of functionality amongst sufferers. Some people use other names for autism including autism spectrum disorder (ASD) which is the medical terminology for autism, autistic spectrum condition (ASC) which is used by some people who are moving away from the medical model of diagnosing individuals and instead focuses on the lived experience of individuals.

There are many possible causes of an individual diagnosed with autism and there is evidence to suggest it may be genetic. For many years, scientists have been trying to identify what particular genes cause autism and they have found it to have multiple genes rather than one single gene. It is not caused by neglect during childhood or adverse childhood experiences.

The Physical Symptoms

The physical symptoms in children may include:

  • The child may not respond to their name
  • Often avoiding eye contact
  • Becoming frustrated when they do not like a certain sensory aspect such as smell, taste or something they can hear
  • Repetition of bodily movements such as putting their hands over their ears or rocking their body
  • Highly emotional in social situations

Autism also varies in boys and girls so autism may be more difficult to identify in girls.

The physical symptoms in adults may include:

  • Not understanding how they think or feel and struggling to put this into words
  • Identifying emotions can be significantly challenging
  • Keeping a strict routine and becoming overwhelmed if this changes
  • Interest in unique topics and becoming fixated upon these
  • Difficulty socializing and making friends, spending time alone very often

Common Treatments

There is currently no standard treatment for autism spectrum conditions but there are many ways to make coping with autism much more manageable to maximize abilities. The most effective treatments typically vary between each individual. Research shows that an early diagnosis can help individuals function at their best. Although there is an overlap of conditions such as those in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Some of the common treatments include:

1- Early Interventions

Typically early interventions work best typically best when a child is aged 2-3 years of age. Due to a child’s brain being more adaptable and having more plasticity, typically children who are diagnosed earlier usually cope better.

2- Cognitive Behavioral therapy (CBT)

CBT focuses on the connections between thoughts, feelings, and behaviour. Together the therapist and individual or parents may set treatment goals n therapy and work towards those collaboratively. Throughout the process, the person suffering from autism will learn to identify and cope with certain sets of triggers. Typically treatment plans in therapy may consist of forming treatment plans with the clinician using a tailored approach.

3- Speech Therapy

Speech therapy may help you to better understand how to work through any patterns of disfluent speech that you may be experiencing. It may help an individual to better pronounce words and work on any speech impairments as well as the ability to identify, sound and understand the meaning of certain words. It is a very effective treatment at helping individuals to communicate who are on the autism spectrum.

Related Conditions

There are many related conditions that an individual may experience similar to austic spectrum conditions may include:

  • ADHD
  • It is found that 20-40% of individuals with autistic spectrum disorders have epilepsy
  • Hearing impairments
  • Down’s Syndrome
  • Dyslexia
  • Dyspraxia

The Neurodiversity Movement

There is a growing movement within people who have been diagnosed with autism or those that have had a loved one being diagnosed that autism is something to be celebrated rather than cured. It is the celebration of our individual differences and what makes us who we are. Often individuals on the spectrum are truly gifted and it can be looked upon as a gift rather than something that is hindering them. Autism is on a spectrum which means no two people with autism will be the same.

At 7 Cups, we truly value that you as an individual are unique and we want to celebrate your strengths and be with you during your struggles.

Parenting a Child on the Spectrum

Parenting a child is challenging and especially when your child is on the spectrum it can be really challenging. Apart from the medical and psychotherapeutic interventions, there are many ways to help parenting your child on the spectrum. A useful technique may be to focus on the positives as life with autism can be particularly challenging and just like most people we thrive on positive reinforcement. It is useful to be specific so your child can understand what they did well and what areas they may need to work on.

Staying consistent and on time can help your child to feel safe in a world that is often challenging and unpredictable. The safety net of a routine can help your child to learn and cope with life with more ease and begin to flourish.

Being on the autistic spectrum shouldn’t be just about treatment and therapy, it should involve fun activities to help you bond with your child and feel like you are positively connecting with your child. Overall, give it time and be kind to yourself because you are reading this because likely you want to do your best for your child. Reach out for support from family and friends. Perhaps you can think of a time where someone can help you to support and care for your child for a few hours so you can get some time to yourself as self-care is crucial to feel supported. We are here for you at 7 Cups and many parents of children on the spectrum find support with us and feel like they have found their tribe.

Life as an Autistic Adult

Life as an adult with autism can be difficult and challenging, just like it is as a child but the good news is that it can be positively managed. The challenges with social skills may be difficult to learn to adapt to but being open with those around you that you are having certain struggles may help you to receive the support you need. You may also find that sticking to a routine may help you to thrive and cope with the demands of everyday life much better. Identifying and expressing your specific needs may assist you to help you better cope.

Navigating Social Situations and the Workplace

Many individuals navigating life on the spectrum suffer from unemployment which can have devastating effects. Many adults on the spectrum may find it is easier to cope if they are working on time management in the workplace and effectively managing their time to better cope with the challenges they face. Communication with employers can help especially if you have any specific needs at work such to be seated in a quieter part of the office or any extra equipment that you need. You may wish to see if there is a mentor at work that you can work with to support you through your journey in the workplace and it is possible for you to really thrive at work and overcome any obstacles you may be facing.