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The Transition House, Inc.

Autism and family counseling: What you should know


Autism affects one in 68 children in the US, and over the last twenty years, the autism rate has steadily increased. Autism is a bio-neurological developmental disability that generally appears before the age of three and impacts the normal development of the brain in the areas of social interaction, communication skills, and cognitive function. Though there is not a definitive answer for how autism develops, research has shown that there are roots in early brain development.  The most successful treatment for autism typically involves all family members attending counseling. Counselors will strive to break negative cycles that are created by the demands of the disorder. A significant amount of time and resources are given to taking care of an autistic child, which results in stress, anxiety, and confusion in family members.

Counselors will try and view families as a whole, and address individual needs and relationships. Counselors will teach family members to communicate and support one another effectively. Parental relationships are often at the core of the family dysfunction. Counselors will work with parents to strengthen their relationship and streamline their approaches to parenting and treatment for their child. They will also work to help the parent/child relationship with the other children in the family who are not diagnosed with autism.

The main objective in counseling is to have each family member thrive individually, and together they will be able to effectively take care of their autistic family member and create an environment that he/she will strive in. Autistic individuals thrive in consistent, calm environments. Dysfunctional family dynamics can be negative for everyone involved. Autistic children act out more in strained and stressful environments, and it can limit their ability to progress. Therapy can correct these negative cycles, though. A positive, open relationship between all family members will help not only strengthen family bonds, it will make your home a welcoming environment for all members of the family.

For information about family counseling in Kissimmee, contact our TTHI Counseling Center here.
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