My child has been diagnosed with ASD, and there are so many treatment options to consider.  What do I do next? 

  1. To start, consider prominent areas of need identified in your child’s evaluation as well as your child’s current challenges that impede functioning at home, school and/or in the community.
  2. Build your library of trusted printed resources and focus on treatments that are research-based.
  3. Based on your child’s most prominent needs, build your Treatment Team (i.e., a combination of professionals working in collaboration for your child's benefit related to areas of impairment in the diagram below)













  • Challenges with Communication 
    1. A Speech Language Pathologist supports the development of expressive language (spoken words), receptive language (understanding and response to spoken language) and pragmatic language (figurative language, idioms, nonverbal communication). For support, consider:
  • Challenges with Behavior
    1. A mental health professional (LPC, Psychologist, etc.) can help with mild to moderate behavioral challenges by helping a child learn impulse control, coping skills for intense emotions, reducing anxiety to unfamiliar or less preferred stimuli or situations and/or assisting parents with approaches to managing challenging behaviors.  Services are delivered in an office setting, usually once per week. For support, consider:
      • Connect Psychological Services offers individual skills training once per week in an office setting using principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Behavior Skills Training (BST), with an emphasis on working in tandem with parents using behavior management training/parent coaching to help generalize skills to the home setting.
    2. A Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) can help with significant behavior challenges, increase compliance and increase “learning to learn” skills (attending, imitation, waiting, response to instruction, etc) in the home and/or community by providing intensive support several times per week.  Services are delivered in a clinic setting, home and/or community. For support, consider:
    3. An Occupational Therapist (OT) can help with addressing any sensory challenges that your child may have.  For support, consider:
  • Challenges with Social Interaction
    1. A mental health professional (LPC, Psychologist, etc.) and/or a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) supports through training the identification of feelings of self and others, coping skills for emotion regulation, reading cues of others/facial expressions, anticipating what others might be thinking and knowing how to respond appropriately, developing a social filter, learning social rules for various settings.  For support, consider:
      1. Milo ABA offers social skills groups several times per week in a clinic and/or a community setting, with an emphasis on working in tandem with parents to help generalize skills to the home setting.
      2. Connect Psychological Services offers individual skills training once per week in an office setting using principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Behavior Skills Training (BST), with an emphasis on working in tandem with parents using behavior management training/parent coaching to help generalize skills to the home setting.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

According to the Association for Science in Autism Treatment, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurobehavioral disorder characterized by impairment in reciprocal social interaction, impairment in communication, and the presence of repetitive and stereotypic patterns of behaviors, interests, and activities (see “triad of impairment” diagram below). The onset of symptoms is typically before the age of 3 years. The severity of impairment in the given domains as well as the pattern of impairments varies from individual to individual; that is why diagnosticians refer to a “spectrum” of disability.











Impairment in social interaction range from difficulty initiating and maintaining interaction, impaired ability to recognize and experience emotions, and difficulty processing and appreciating the thoughts and feelings of others. Communication deficits range from no useful form of communication to very advanced language abilities, but little ability to use language in a social manner. Repetitive and stereotypic behaviors include perseverative behaviors such as complex rituals, extreme difficulty adapting to change and transition, and unusual movements such as hand flapping or whirling.

ASD is a single disorder described in the recently released fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). The diagnostic category no longer includes separate diagnoses for Asperger’s Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. The DSM-5 also includes a related, but distinct, diagnostic category of Social Communication Disorder.  Once thought to be very rare, autism spectrum disorders are estimated to occur in as many as 1: 59 (one in every 59 children).

AUTISM SPECTRUM DISORDER (ASD)

There is much to consider when diagnosing and treating ASD.  At Connect, our goal is to work collaboratively with other community partners as part of your/your child's treatment team.  While certainly not exhaustive (i.e., there are many options and opinions regarding treatment of ASD), the following is aimed to provide some guidance with respect to diagnosis and treatment for those impacted by ASD.

Questions?  832-534-3993

I am concerned my child may be impacted by ASD?  How do I find out for sure?​

  1. Click on LEARN THE SIGNS from Autism Speaks to understand more about signs of ASD at varying ages.
  2. Consider a comprehensive evaluation that includes obtaining information from multiple informants using multiple measures to assess developmental history, cognitive functioning, speech/language, adaptive behavior, pre-academic/academic functioning, behavioral functioning and social functioning.  The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS-2) is considered a gold standard instrument that should be included as part of the evaluation process. Consider: