What You Need To Know About Autism & Online Autism Therapy

Have you or a loved one been diagnosed with autism? Do you suspect you might be autistic? 

I specialize in providing therapy to neurodivergent individuals. I especially love working with people who are autistic. 

Online Autism Therapy May Be Just What You Need

Autism is not something that needs to be cured. Autism is not a disease or an illness, it means that your brain works is wired differently than other people. We work on how to better understand what makes you unique and how to navigate a world that can be challenging. 

It makes me sad that our current understanding of autism often frames it as an issue that needs to be fixed when autistic humans are so beautiful and worth celebrating.

Ashlyn Baker, MA, LCMHCA, NCC

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder is a neurological disorder that affects a person’s communication skills, ability to learn, and behavior. People with autism often struggle to communicate with others, have limited interests, and repetitive behaviors.

According to the World Health Organization, autism affects 1 in 100 children, but it continues to affect people of all ages, genders, ethnicities, and sexual orientations.

With the right type of therapy and a caring therapist, you can learn how to thrive in a world that isn’t normally conducive for those with neurodivergent tendencies.

Symptoms of Autism

  • Difficulty guessing what others are thinking or feeling
  • Experiencing social anxiety
  • Preferring routines
  • Having a very deep interest in certain subjects and activities 
  • Having issues with personal space
  • Sensory differences (sensitivity to loud noises, lights, textures, etc)
  • Preferring solitude over company 
  • Avoiding eye contact (or making too much eye contact)
  • Seeming rude to others without meaning to 
  • Taking things literally
autism-friendly therapy

Autism Diagnosis & Assessments

Unlike other illnesses, there isn’t a specific blood or medical test that can definitely determine an autism diagnosis.

Since it’s a developmental disorder, most doctors begin screening at the young age of 18 months to two years, but some people don’t get an official diagnosis for many years.

However, the earlier a child receives a diagnosis after exhibiting autistic traits, the faster they can get proper care.

Many doctors conduct an autism screening at regular well visits. This is the time to bring up any communication issues, mood disorders, aversion to physical contact, or disinterest in things other children their age are normally interested in.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, autism screenings should be a part of every 18 and 24-month checkup.

Myths, Facts & Stats About Autism

Like many health concerns, there are numerous myths about autism that make it even harder for an autistic person to function in society. Here are some of the most common:

Myth: Autism means non-verbal

Truth: Autism is a neurodevelopmental disorder, but it doesn’t mean everyone who has it cannot speak. Many people with autism spectrum disorders have some level of difficulty with communication, but with the right therapy, they can learn proper social skills and interaction.

Myth: Autistic people can only have repetitive jobs

Truth: People with ASD have many different skills and capabilities. While autism may seem like a disability, ASD patients have many incredible talents that make them great employees of many job types, not just those that require repetition.

Myth: Autistic patients can’t have relationships

Truth: Social skills and communication can be a struggle for some with ASD, but that doesn’t mean they cannot be loved and cared for like anyone else. Healthy social interactions are a key component of helping kids and adults function in a healthy environment.

What Causes Autism?

Like many health concerns, there isn’t an exact cause of autism yet, but research is ongoing.

Common reasons for it include gene mutations, genetic variations, and potential environmental factors, such as mature parental age at conception, prenatal exposure to toxins, certain maternal health disorders, excessive prematurity, and birth complications that limit oxygen to the brain.

How To Treat Autism

There isn’t one standard autism treatment. However, autistic children and adults can get support to minimize the symptoms and enhance their quality of life by addressing their specific needs.

Common treatment forms include behavioral therapy, nutrition therapy, medication treatment, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.

Can Autism Be Cured?

There currently is no cure for autism, but the right therapy and support can ensure a high quality of life and that a person can pursue their hopes and dreams.

How Affirmative Online Autism Therapy Can Help

As a therapist who is autistic, I have a unique understanding of the damage that can be done through non-affirming autism therapy. Even the formal diagnosis of “Autism Spectrum Disorder” implies that there’s something wrong with you simply because your brain is wired differently.

Just because you may exhibit some of the symptoms of autism listed above does not mean that you must change who you are to fit in. The things that make you unique are worth celebrating.

Benefits Of Online Autism Therapy

Online autism therapy may feel different or new, but it’s been around for many years and is a great way to help patients with coping skills and social interaction while remaining in a familiar environment.

The key to successful autism therapy is consistency, which is sometimes better achieved without a need for constant change in the environment. At-home therapy also allows more involvement for close family members who support you or your child.

With more flexible timing and the lack of need for transportation, it’s convenient, helpful, and a great way to get the best course of treatment.

The AshTree Counseling Center Approach: Therapy for Autism

virtual autism therapy

I utilize an approach that doesn’t categorize our clients as “sick” or “other”, but rather as a fully functioning human who is navigating a modern world that wasn’t built for them. Facing an autism diagnosis can be really scary.

You deserve to work with someone who sees your values and knows the challenges that can come with being autistic. I believe in providing treatment that will prioritize your wellbeing without forcing you to mask your autism.

My goal will never be to teach you how to behave like someone you’re not. My goal is to help you live your life to its fullest potential, embracing yourself entirely.

Understanding Autism and Its Impact on Your Life

Autism is a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by a range of traits, social differences, and diverse sensory profiles. It describes a difference in how the brain processes and perceives the world – how the brain is wired.

It’s connected to having an enlarged amygdala, which is the part of the brain that processes your ‘fight or flight’ response, processing memory, making decisions, and emotional responses.

It can be overwhelming at times to have an autistic brain because autistic brains have more synapses firing at once. 

autism therapist office

About AshTree Counseling Center: Online Autism Therapy in North Carolina

AshTree Counseling was founded by Ashlyn Baker, who has autism and a thorough understanding of what her patients endure.

She understands what it’s like living in a world where you feel different than everyone else, and she has the tools to help you or your child accept how your brain works and find happiness in life.

How Our Process Works

You’re ready to get support from someone who understands what makes you unique. You’re ready to work with someone who isn’t going to tell you the only solution is to mask. You’re ready to live your best life unapologetically.

As a virtual counseling practitioner, I am ready to work with you in the state of North Carolina, on your schedule, at your convenience. My approach is kind, client-centered, and entirely focused on your well-being.

1. Schedule a Free Phone Consultation

A phone consultation lasts around 15 minutes and is a great opportunity to get to know you and how I can best assist you. Once we gather some details, we schedule you for your first session.

2. Talk to an Autism-Affirming Therapist About How We Can Help

The first intake session will involve getting to know you on a more detailed level.

I’ll ask questions about who you are, your background, your family, your goals for therapy, and your expectations. This will be a time for you to ask questions to me and make sure you’re happy and comfortable.

3. Learn To Embrace Your Autism

As you start to learn more about yourself through regular therapy sessions, you’ll begin to appreciate the things that make you unique. I will help guide you through a process of healing and learning how to navigate a neurotypical world without being forced to mask who you are.

Online Autism Therapy Pricing

At AshTree Counseling, we focus on helping our patients rather than dealing with insurance companies. We offer a discounted rate of $120 for a 50-minute session.

This way, we can focus on the patient and their needs and don’t have to worry about insurance companies telling our patients the type of therapy they can and cannot have.

What Our Patients Are Saying

“Started teaching me to be more accepting of myself as well be more accepting of my own confusion. I’m more aware of how much my obsessions come from discomfort with ambiguity and my own uncertainty.”

“Thank you for being so intricately kind to me.”

“You were so helpful and made a big impact on me and my life. Your counseling services always gave me a safe space to talk and feel heard.”

FAQs

Can You Effectively Learn and Practice Skills Online?

Online therapy for autism may seem strange at first, especially for something as fragile as autism therapy, but with the right therapist, you can learn and practice the necessary skills online.

Autistic adults and children can effectively get the treatment needed to live a full, happy life with online autism therapy.

Do I Need To Have Specific Software To Participate in Online Autism Therapy?

No, you don’t need specific software to attend online therapy for autism. The platform we use is secure and private, so you can feel comfortable during your sessions and connect with your therapist.

Are You Able To Form Intimate Connections With Your Clients Online?

Just because there is a computer screen between us doesn’t damper the relationship I create with my clients.

Online therapy offers a more intimate connection for autistic therapy because my patients are able to see me while remaining in a familiar environment that makes them feel comfortable and able to accept therapy.

How Do I Know What Online Autism Therapy Service Is Right for Me?

No two people need the same type of therapy. I encourage you to set up a consultation to see if we are a good fit for one another.

Your free phone consultation allows you to get to know me and to see if we connect. If you decide to move forward, we can schedule your first appointment.

What Is Neurodiversity?

Everyone interacts with the world around them differently. No two brains work the same, and there isn’t a right or wrong way to think, learn, or behave.

Not ready to begin your therapy journey today? That’s ok! Here are some resources I recommend to my autistic clients that you might find useful!

Autism Resources

Be sure to stay up to date with my blog! 

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Other mental health services I offer:

Anyone can suffer from any number of mental health struggles at once. If this specific type of therapy isn’t suited for your needs, take a look at our other areas of focus:

Therapy for ADHD

Therapy for LGBTQ+

Therapy for Neurodivergence

Therapy for Trauma

Information on our virtual therapy services for North Carolina

outline of north carolina

Before the pandemic, a lot of mental health professionals viewed virtual therapy in a negative light. After the pandemic, the overall attitude in the mental health community has certainly changed. Now we have an opportunity to provide crucial psychotherapy support to anyone in the State of North Carolina! If you live in NC and are interested in working with us, we can make that happen. I utilize an entirely secure digital platform to conduct our sessions and are able to ensure your privacy. The only caveat to working with me is that you must be located in the NC during the session.