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Autism Counseling in Columbus, Ohio

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects nearly 1 out of every 91 children. It is marked by challenges in social interaction, communication skills, and repetitive behaviors.

Common signs include difficulties in social cues, repetitive behaviors, and intense focus on specific interests. Children with autism may face challenges in relationships, routine changes, and self-expression, creating unique hurdles for parents.

Autism counseling provides crucial support for the individual and family by helping to improve communication, behavior management, and fostering a sincere understanding of the child’s needs. This creates a supportive environment for the well-being and development of children with autism as well as siblings and caregivers living in the same household.

Autism symptoms, signs, and challenges

Autism spectrum disorder has a variety of common signs and symptoms that end up leading to significant challenges to individuals and families.

Here are some common signs and challenges of ASD:

Delay in communication skills development

This may impede effective communication, making it challenging for individuals with autism to express needs or engage in social interactions, impacting both the individual and their family.

Little or no eye contact

The absence of eye contact may hinder social connections, making it difficult for others to interpret emotions or engage in meaningful communication. This not only poses a challenge with friends at school, but also for parents and siblings trying to connect in the home.

Poor social skills or play skills

Poor social skills for children with autism can lead to difficulties in forming and maintaining friendships, affecting both the individual with autism and their siblings, who may desire more interactive and reciprocal relationships.

Repetitive behaviors such as flapping, rocking, and twirling

Engaging in repetitive, self-stimulating behaviors are coping mechanisms for autism and may provide comfort to the child. However, it can also be socially stigmatizing which leads to challenges in social acceptance and understanding for both the individual and their family.


Displaying intense emotional reactions may be a way to cope with overwhelming situations. However, parenting a child with autism on how to manage behavior and for siblings who may find these episodes distressing can be difficult.

Not wanting to be touched or cuddle

Aversion to physical affection or closeness can impact the emotional connection between individuals and family members. This is especially true for parents and siblings who may seek emotional bonds through typical expressions of affection.

Autism activities to do at home

Here are some activities that you can do as a parent or caregiver to help alleviate some of the challenges. These activities can be individualized based on your child’s preferences, sensitivities, and developmental level. The goal is to create a supportive environment tailored to their unique needs. Involving family members and caregivers in these activities can enhance their effectiveness.

Communications skills development

Encourage language development through activities like picture cards, speech therapy apps, or interactive games that promote verbal communication, aiding in overcoming delays in language.

Eye contact building exercise

Use structured activities, such as games with eye contact prompts, to gradually build the skill of making and maintaining eye contact in a comfortable and supportive environment.

Structured social play sessions

Engage the child in structured playdates or activities that focus on building social skills, encouraging turn-taking, sharing, and appropriate social interactions through guided play.

Sensory integration activities

Provide sensory-friendly activities like swinging, jumping on a trampoline, or playing with textured materials, which can help redirect self-stimulatory behaviors into more socially acceptable outlets.

Emotional regulation techniques

Teach and practice techniques for emotional regulation, such as using visual schedules, social stories, or breathing exercises, to help manage emotions and reduce the likelihood of tantrums.

Gradual introduction to physical affection

Gradually introduce physical affection through activities like joint activities that involve touch, such as crafting together, playing with soft materials, or engaging in activities where physical closeness is part of the experience.

Autism counseling benefits and support for the family

Autistic child counseling

Individualized autism therapy can provide a safe space for children with autism or high-functioning autism to express emotions, develop coping strategies, and improve their social skills. This can help foster a sense of understanding and self-confidence.

Counseling for parents of autism

Parenting an autistic child is challenging which is why parents can benefit from parenting counseling or coaching. Through emotional support and guidance on effective parenting and behavioral intervention strategies, you’ll be able to navigate the challenges associated with raising your child with autism.

Couples counseling around autism

Couples counseling can help parents navigate the unique stressors associated with raising an autistic child. While jointly supporting your child’s development, counseling provides a platform to enhance communication, share responsibilities, and strengthen your relationship.

Counseling for siblings with an autistic brother or sister

Autism counseling for siblings can offer a supportive environment for siblings to express their feelings, address any challenges they may face in understanding their autistic brother or sister, and develop coping strategies to improve personal well-being and sibling relationships.

Find an autism therapist in Columbus, Ohio

To find a therapist who specializes in children with autism, feel free to fill out the form below or give us a call. Our team is committed to helping you to find the right fit for you and your child.

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Directions Counseling & Coaching Columbus Ohio