Child Psychologist for Autism Spectrum Disorder located in Calgary, Alberta
Calgary Child Psychologist Specializing in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that impacts a child’s functioning in various ways. In order to have met criteria for a diagnosis, a child will have challenges in social functioning, sensory processing, and restrictive or repetitive thoughts or behaviours. All children are unique, therefore all children with ASD are unique. Some children with ASD appear to be more aloof and avoidant, where as other children may be very social, though struggle with personal space. Creative Sky supports such difficulties and challenges across all domains of functioning. Discovering how a child’s regulation is impacted is a first step in supporting children with ASD. If a child is not regulated, additional skills or therapeutic interventions are very difficult to learn. Once a child is regulated or in a "ready to learn zone", children and supportive adults can learn about the child’s sensory system, perspective taking, and social reciprocity. Some children who struggle with symptoms related to ASD also struggle with imaginary play. When this is the case, it is an important skill to learn. Children learn 20x faster through play as compared to a traditional behavioural strategies such as “discrete learning trials” . As children learn through play, learning age-appropriate play skills is an important aspect of learning and development. Creative Sky Psychology guides children and offers strategies for reciprocal play. Creative Sky Psychology also teaches children and supportive adults how to become flexible in thought or actions so that children can play in a group. Teens and adults who struggle with symptoms related to ASD also benefit from therapy that are related to specific areas of challenge. This may be relationship or social skills, flexibility, anxiety, or managing sensory processing challenges. As individuals learn to navigate through areas of challenge or difficulties, the possibility of reaching one’s potential becomes a reality.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you wondering if your child has Autism Spectrum Disorder ?
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental condition that expresses itself through various symptoms and observable behaviours. Receiving a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder can be scary for many parents, however, early intervention can help your child develop and grow in the ways that are unique to their learning strengths and challenges. The severity of issues varies with each child, however children who receive a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder typically have difficulties with flexibility and social communication. You know your child best, if you feel something isn’t right, meet with a Pediatrician or Psychologist who specializes in childhood development, and more specifically Autism Spectrum Disorder. The research changes daily, so it is important to have dedicated professionals who can help your child or teen reach their full potential. Autism is not a "one size fit’s all diagnosis". Although there are similar threads, all children and teens express the challenges of ASD differently. A strength-based intervention plan that is tailored to your child's needs is the best approach for growth, change, and managing challenges. Creative Sky Psychology runs a dedicated program to help children and their parents manage the difficulties that travel with ASD. We take a step-by-step approach, first meeting your child where they are at developmentally. We support children and teens with ASD by managing areas of challenge, using strengths and interests. This laddering approach helps children feel success which ultimately fosters wellness and growth.
What Should I do If My Child Has Autism Spectrum Disorder?
If your child receives a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), it is important to get the help and support needed. Your child will benefit from a dedicated intervention program that targets the most challenging needs first. It is important to help your child learn tools to feel safe and calm. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder often have sensory challenges and benefit from additional regulation support. Skill development is an important aspect of helping your child grow and thrive. A trained professional can help you develop a plan to meet your child’s most pressing needs. For example, if your child is struggling with sensitivity to light or sound, it will be difficult to teach additional skills until this area of challenge has been met. A child needs to be in a "calm and regulated state" to learn and grow. Having a dedicated treatment plan can help children, families, and schools navigate the needed steps for growth to occur. All children want to do well. All children can learn to access their superpowers with the right support. A strength-based, developmental approach to therapy allows your child’s superpowers to shine.
What causes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?
The exact cause of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is unknown, however research indicates that a variety of genetic and environmental factors are involved. ASD does appear to have a familial link. For example, if a child is diagnosed with Autism, there is a higher chance that their siblings will have it as well. Twin studies also lend much support to the heritability of Autism. Environmental factors can play a role, though a direct causal link has not been established. Research indicates that certain environmental factors may contribute to or increase the symptoms of Autism but do not directly cause it. It is also important to address what does not cause Autism. Some parents who first receive the news that their child has Autism Spectrum Disorder find a ways to blame themselves or feel they have done something to cause this. ASD is a Neurodevelopmental condition, and there are no causal links between parenting and Autism. These thoughts are normal, however, and are worth addressing in therapy. It is also worth noting that certain parenting practices can help support children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, this involves meeting your child where they are at developmentally.
ASD is a Neurodevelopmental condition that causes individuals to experience differences in various areas of functioning. We often speak of the deficits or challenges that an individual with Autism faces. While challenges do exist, individuals with Autism also have special talents, gifts, and a unique way of learning. Fostering such gifts and abilities allows for children to build self-esteem and gain opportunities for interaction and future growth. Strength-based therapy is key for growth!
Creative Sky Psychology offers treatment for areas of challenge related to Autism in several areas including:
Reference and Regulate
Zones of Regulations
Autism Assessments (ADOS, ADI-R)
CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy)
ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy)
FSCD (Family Support for Children with Disabilities)