What Do All Those Letters Mean?: ASD

As I sat down to write the Therapy Thursday blog, a time we focus on all things clinical, I knew immediately what to write about. ASD- Autism Spectrum Disorders. I couldn’t help but smile because so many of my clients came to my mind, and I couldn’t help but think of their unique gifts and personalities. I honestly feel like I’m the one learning and growing after a session with someone on the autism spectrum. My role as a therapist is to help a client see different perspectives, but I am often the one learning new perspectives when working with someone on the autism spectrum. This blog won’t be on the symptoms or even what an evaluation looks like (we do those by the way!). Instead, it is on what a diagnosis of ASD is NOT.

ASD is not a diagnosis that defines you. I am a parent. I am also a specialist in assessments. One thing you will hear me repeat time and again, “You have the same amazing child as before you walked in here. Your child hasn’t changed. You just have a deeper understanding of how your child ticks.” My goal for providing a diagnosis is that the diagnosis provides a road map of interventions and deeper understanding to allow for a stronger connection with your child.

ASD is not a diagnosis that means you are isolated from relationships. Most individuals with an ASD seek relationships and friendships. Many might have difficulty navigating friendships at the same level as their neuro-typical peers without some supports. However, it wouldn’t be uncommon for someone with ASD (formerly known as Asperger’s Syndrome) to have a group of friends, be able to live independently and even marry!

ASD is not Rain Man. In fact, very few individuals with ASD are savants. While many individuals with ASD have talents, such as strong ability to recall facts, artistic ability, and strong logical thinking, very few individuals are like the movie Rain Man.

If you would like help better understanding yourself or child with ASD, don’t hesitate to give us a call. Our heart is working with families to build upon strengths.

Written by Amy Rollo, M.A., LPA, LSSP, LPC-S

Amy Rollo is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor and owner of Heights Family Counseling. Amy has been practicing counseling and diagnostic evaluations for fifteen years. She has doctoral level training in the areas of child and adolescent counseling, evaluations, marriage and family therapy, and adult counseling. Amy Rollo provides counseling and evaluation services in the Houston Heights and surrounding areas. Amy’s goal in counseling is to journey with her clients in order to foster positive changes and growth in their lives. Read more about Amy's counseling style by visiting www.heightsfamilycounseling.com and read more about her services http://heightsfamilycounseling.com/services-1/