My Work In The Autism Field
In 1993, I began working as direct care staff for individuals on the autism spectrum. Most of my clients then had what was known as Asperger’s Syndrome but is now considered a form of high functioning autism. I did that for 19 years with dozens of individuals at all functioning levels on the spectrum and I became fascinated by the disorder. At that time, the focus was on helping the individual to “adapt” in a way that would keep them from standing out socially. Often the response to stimming was to change the behavior. With many clients who would flap their hands I was told by the “experts” to have them sit on their hands. Even 24 years ago that seemed cruel to me. I could tell the individual was simply self-soothing and it did not seem right to take away a coping mechanism without providing something that would work. Fast forward 19 years… I took a job as a service coordinator doing case management for individuals. My job was to work as a part of a team bringing resources to bear in the lives of individuals and families. At the same time, I began working on my Master’s in mental health counseling with a focus on trauma. I noticed similarities in the brain development when trauma and autism were involved. It confirmed much of what I had seen in the field in the previous 19 years. The stimming behaviors, it seemed to me, were an effort to control for the trauma induced by a sensory world that was out of control and assaultive. As a service coordinator, I began directing services and making suggestions to the team along these lines and started to see some significant results.
Today, as a therapist in the field, I continue to see this trauma connection on several levels in autism and it is why I bring a trauma informed approach to autism treatment. Calming the trauma of the sensory world and training individuals to regulate emotionally and filter out the environment around them I am finding a success in treatment that is remarkable. My book “The Life Recovery Method: Autism Treatment From a Trauma Perspective” is all about the research, work and results I have been getting over the past 3 years. It is directed to both parents and professionals and full of ideas and advice for improving life on the spectrum. You can sign up to be notified when it is released here.
For a further discussion of autism as a trauma you can join my Facebook support group, listen to my podcast on itunes or on the webpage, or you can watch my latest live video about autism as a trauma here.
If you find these resources helpful and would like to hire me for a distance consultation (I consult via skype and zoom on secure connections across the world) or you live in the Missouri area and would like me to organize and provide supports for you, you will find my rates and services offered below.
Services for Autism are as follows:
By phone: First 30 min free, $90 per hour thereafter
In Office: $100.00 per hour
In Home: $110.00 per hour
(2 hour minimum, discussion prior will include time estimate for assessments, etc)
In office: $110 per hour, first 90 minutes charged as one hour
In home: $110 per hour with 2 hour minimum
Therapy Services $110 per hour.
Staff Training (psychiatric, case management, educators, etc) call for consultation on training needed and fees.