4 Tips to Finding the Best Autism Professionals

Assembling a dedicated care team is key to your family’s autism journey.

ADOBE BOUGHT ASD PROFESSIONAL

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The flood of emotions that accompany a child’s autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis can feel overwhelming, and it may be difficult to know where to begin. Take a moment to pause, breathe, and remember that you are not alone on this journey and that a dedicated and effective care team of therapists and professionals can help you and your child’s well-being. 

Choosing the right professionals will play a vital role in their development and help them reach their fullest potential, and the steps below should help you find the ideal care team for you and your child.

Ask questions in your first meeting with an autism therapist

Don’t hesitate to ask relevant questions about the autism therapist’s experience and their center’s practices. Pay attention to the children-to-therapists ratio to ensure that your child receives individualized attention. If you’re meeting with a case supervisor, gather information about the attending therapist who will directly work with your child.

Some questions to ask are: how long have they been practicing as an autism therapist? What training certifications and credentials do they possess? How long have they worked at their center? Will they be available for all your child’s sessions? Who will substitute in their absence? What kind of assessments or evaluations will they use to determine your child’s needs and strengths? How will they track and measure your child’s progress?

Given the recent changes regarding the Board Certified Behavior Analyist (BCBA) certification, it is essential to inquire about alternative certifications or training programs that an autism therapist may have completed. Understanding their qualifications and expertise in evidence-based therapies for autism will help ensure that your child receives the highest quality of care and support.

Other concerns you may wish to address include whether your child will lose regular sessions during holiday periods, policies on parental involvement, and communication with schools and other professionals. Will you receive foundational training to support your child at home? How will they keep you informed about your child’s progress? Additionally, you may want to ask if the care team will participate in school visits and if they have any success stories or case studies to share.

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Trial sessions can help assess compatibility with an autism therapist

Consider scheduling trial sessions or a short-term engagement with potential therapists. This will allow you to assess compatibility over time and see how your child responds to their interventions and strategies. 

Trust your instincts and observe your child’s comfort and receptiveness. Look for autism spectrum professionals who actively involve and educate parents or caregivers in the therapeutic process. They should identify and define goals while providing guidance, resources, and training to support your understanding and involvement in your child’s progress.

Build an effective communication process with an autism therapist

It is extremely important for your child to have a strong connection with their care team. A therapist who responds to your queries and concerns in a timely manner shows attentiveness, care, and availability, which shows that you and your child’s needs are being taken seriously. 

Timely responses are particularly crucial in situations that require immediate attention or rectification, preventing possible crises and ensuring the safety and well-being of your child.

When evaluating potential care team members, look for autism spectrum professionals who actively listen, validate your child's experiences, and establish a positive connection. They need to have a genuine interest in understanding your child's needs, preferences, and strengths. 

If your child’s communication abilities allow it, you can ask them for their feedback. You can also observe how they behave and respond emotionally after any interaction with potential autism therapists.

Do remember that developing a positive dynamic between your child and the care team takes time and ongoing effort.  Regular communication with the care team is essential to ensure that your relationship remains supportive and beneficial for your child's overall development and well-being. 

Intuition can help you choose the right autism spectrum professional

Remember to trust your instincts. Even if a therapist possesses all the necessary qualifications and experience, you may sense that they are not the right fit. Trusting your intuition allows you to prioritize your child's needs and your own preferences, ensuring that you find a therapist who aligns with your personality, values, and therapeutic style.

Finding the right care team of autism spectrum professionals may take time and effort, but the impact on your child's progress and well-being is immeasurable. It’s important to embrace this journey with hope and determination, knowing that with your care team, you can nurture your child's potential and support them in navigating the challenges of autism with confidence and resilience.

 

Visit Resources here to download our curated list of therapy services.

 

Takeaways:

  • It is crucial to find a therapist who responds to your queries in a timely manner.
  • Every aspect of therapy should focus on setting your child up for success.
  • Regular communication is essential to support your child’s development.
  • Always inquire about the therapist's policy on parental involvement and communication with schools and other professionals.