About My Practice with Children, Adolescents and Adults with Autism and Asperger's Disorder
The focus of my ASD (autism and Asperger's Disorder / Syndrome) practice is to provide an array of options for families to learn and apply a systematic and comprehensive approach to home and school-based intervention for children, adolescents and adults. I am one of the few area providers whose experience includes working with children, adolescents and adults with ASD (Asperger's Disorder). My offices are located in Burnaby at the Production Way Skytrain station. I am a Registered Psychologist and an approved service provider on the ACT-BC RASP list of behaviour consultants. I have served as a school district autism program coordinator, facilitator, teacher trainer and consultant for school districts in New York, California and British Columbia. I serve families in my offices in Burnaby. For a list of books I often recommend to parents about Autism and Asperger's Syndrome, click here: BOOKS
The services I provide include:
Diagnostic services for children, adolescents and adults for autism, Asperger’s Disorder, PDD and other developmental disabilities (Burnaby and Vancouver offices) (ADOS-2 and ADR-I assessments)
Psycho-educational and developmental assessments and intervention planning. This includes assistance with Individual Education Plans (IEP) for students with autism, Asperger’s Disorder, ADHD and related cognitive deficits
I provide Functional Behaviour Assessments (FBA) and can assist in writing Positive Behaviour Support Plans (PBSP) for school settings in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver, New Westminster, Delta and Surrey. These are often essential for students with autism, Asperger’s and other related disorders.
I provide Behaviour Intervention Plans with appropriate supports whenever possible and can consult with you either in my office of in your home in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, New Westminster, Delta and Surrey
Family Support and Education
Parent education and support both in of my offices and in your home
Educational consultation and advocacy can be provided in schools in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver, New Westminster, Port Moody, Maple Ridge, Delta and Surrey
Adult Assessment Services (autism, Asperger’s ADHD and related disorders)
Workplace consultations and site-based education programs
Community-based social coaching programs for individuals with high-functioning autism and Asperger’s Disorder
Educational / Social coaching for young adults in the workplace, college and similar settings
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Do you provide Diagnostic Services for Autism and Asperger’s Disorder?
Yes. I provide comprehensive assessments and diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), Asperger's Syndrome or Disorder, as well as other social cognitive deficits and learning disabilities. A comprehensive assessment for autism costs $2,000. If a psychoeducational assessment is also needed there is an additional fee as this requires several more hours of testing, test scoring and report writing. These assessments usually take two to three weeks to complete, and the entire process is on average completed within 20 days. I see children ( age 6 and above ), adolescents and adults for testing and assessment of autism. Please contact me to discuss the details and procedure, as it is highly individualized. I have provided services in the area of diagnosis and treatment of autism for over 20 years, and have worked with the provincial outreach program for autism, individual school districts and as a consultant to parents, teachers and school psychologists.
Adult Asperger's assessments cost from $2,000, depending upon the complexity.
What social and language based interventions do you provide?
I provide individual and small group social-cognitive skills training for children and adolescents with autism and Asperger’s focused on developing “theory of mind” and reciprocal social interactions using methods developed by Michelle Winner. I additionally use a variety of approaches when and where appropriate, these include interventions techniques based upon Pivotal Response, RDI, SCERTS and language based interventions as appropriate to individual cases. These interventions may be taught in my office, modelled for you in your home or implemented at school. Each intervention plan is individualized to meet the needs of you and your child.
Do you provide behaviour intervention services such as ABA?
Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is the oldest and most fully researched treatment specifically developed for autism. ABA is a very intensive system of reward-based training which focuses on teaching particular skills. You may or may not need a full ABA treatment program for your child, however at a minimum you should be familiar with the basic techniques used in ABA which are often used to teach specific skills even with higher functioning children. These services are available throughout the Coquitlam, Burnaby, New Westminster, Port Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, Vancouver and the surrounding areas. Much of my time is spent addressing behavioural issues, including non-compliance, toileting issues, school behaviour problems and social/relational issues with adolescents and adults. Stress and anxiety issues are often center to these issues and are often dealt with using behaviour interventions, environmental changes and modified Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.
Do you provide communications focused interventions?
Almost people with autism have issues with speech and language. Sometimes these issues are obvious, many people with autism are non-verbal or use speech very poorly. Sometimes the issues relate not to articulation or grammar but to “speech pragmatics” (the use of speech to build social relationships). Across the board speech, language and communications interventions are likely to be helpful. In addition to therapy I provide assessments for pragmatic speech and communications deficits and will help develop a method to include these issues in your overall intervention program. I provide direct services as well as family and school-based consultation to help develop communications skills for children with ASD.
Do you provide sensory interventions?
Sensory therapy focuses on building daily living skills. Since many people with autism have delays in fine motor skills, sensory or neuropsychological based interventions can be very important. Sensory integration therapy – a technique which may help autistic people manage hypersensitivity to sound, light, and touch is often part of an overall intervention plan. I can make a referral to a registered occupational therapist for you and work with them on more difficult issues.
Do you provide social/relational interventions?
One of autism’s “core deficits” is a lack of social and communication skills. Many children with autism and Asperger’s Syndrome or Aspergers Syndrome need help in building the skills they need to hold a conversation, connect with a new friend, or even navigate the playground. Social skills therapy can help out setting up and facilitating peer-based social interactions. We often use books and programs developed by Michelle Garcia Winner such as her “Social Behaviour Mapping” to address these issues.
Do you provide play therapy?
Children with autism and Asperger’s Disorder often need help learning to play, and play can also serve as a tool for building speech, communication, and social skills. I provide consultation and training in using play therapy techniques in your home, including therapeutic techniques such as Floortime or The Play Project. In using techniques such as play therapy having an understanding of ABA (behavioural) techniques is often not only useful, but necessary. Many therapy programs use a one size fits all approach and rule out the use of techniques from other intervention programs. I attempt to use the most effective techniques that meet both you and your child’s needs. I can make a referral to a play therapist I work with if you would like to focus on play therapy.
What about basic behaviour therapy for problematic behaviours
Children with autism and Asperger’s Disorder are often frustrated. They are misunderstood, have a tough time communicating their needs, suffer from hyper-sensitivities to sound, light and touch and constant anxiety. Using Functional Behaviour Analysis we will help you figure out just what lies behind negative behaviors, and recommend both changes to the environment and routines to improve behavior as well as what specific new skills are needed to address the function of the behaviour (called a Functionally Equivalent Replacement Behaviour or FERB). Behaviour interventions are developed for use in the home, school or community.
Do you believe in using other “developmental” therapy?
Floortime, Sun-rise, and Relationship Development Intervention (RDI) are all considered to be “developmental treatments.” This means that they build from a child’s own interests, strengths and developmental level to increase emotional, social and intellectual abilities. Developmental therapies are often contrasted to behavioral therapies, which are best used to teach specific skills such as shoe tying, tooth brushing, etc. However, a successful program for a child with autism or Asperger’s Disorder will use each when and where they are appropriate. We always attempt to incorporate our understanding of developmental therapy in our interventions. You need a large tool box to be successful!
What about visually based therapy like PECS?
Many people with autism are better visual (external) thinkers. Some do very well with picture-based communication systems such as PECS (Picture Exchange Communication). Video modeling, video games and electronic communication systems also tap into these children’s visual strength to build skills and communication. We have found visual therapies to be a strong focus point in developing a rounded home based intervention. Often we use the PECS system as part of an initial assessment, and then implement visual supports to make sure that our interventions are used successfully in a variety of settings such as the home, school and community. Visual supports give us the ability to externalize learning, often making new skills easier to grasp, and avoids the problem of children becoming “prompt dependent” upon one or more individuals and being unable to fully function in a variety of settings. We are able to develop a comprehensive PECS system for use in your home that will support your child in their development of communications skills.
Do you do adult therapy for those with Asperger's Disorder or high-functioning autism?
In addition to services for children and adolescents I am one of the few providers with extensive experience working with young adults and adults with autism and Asperger’s Disorder or as it is sometimes called, Aspergers Syndrome. As a matter of fact, over the past few years more and more of my practice has focused on working with young adults and social/work-place issues. This includes social coaching, workplace evaluations, intervention planning and family consultations. Full comprehensive evaluations and diagnosis of adult Aspergers is also available.
Do you work with ADHD (Attention Deficit/Hyper Activity Disorder) and Executive Dysfunction?
Much of my work with children and adolescents focuses on ADHD and deficits of executive function. Executive function is the concept referring to the cognitive processes required to plan and direct activities, including what we refer to as task initiation and follow-through, working memory, sustained attention, performance monitoring, inhibition of impulses, and goal-directed persistence. It also affects an individuals ability to control and modulate their emotions.
Many children I see have deficits in executive functioning which prevents them from having the necessary skills to perform well in school and in social settings. With these children we often need to make diagnostic decisions through testing and assessment, and then develop an individualized treatment plan addressing school, home and play. This might involve individual behavioural therapy, school consultation, referral to medical professionals, and parent training and education. I often work closely with schools in Burnaby, Coquitlam, Vancouver, New Westminster and Port Moody.
I often provide reading material, training videos and demonstrate and practice specific intervention techniques with parents and children. Much of the work we do in the area of ADHD is based upon the research and treatment programs developed by Dr. Russell Barkley. Please refer to my ADHD/ADD page for more information.
Can you help us with School Problems?
School academic and behaviour problems are a major focus of my practice. We can help you understand what the problem is through diagnostic assessments, and then develop a school based intervention plan that will work in conjunction with your home interventions. I have provided school based consultation and training throughout British Columbia, as well as in California, New York and elsewhere.
What about Anxiety, Depression or Family Issues?
Children, adolescents and adults are also seen for both diagnostic assessment and treatment of depression, anxiety and behaviour problems that might arise out of environmental or other situations. These individuals might take part in cognitive based therapy or counselling, or they might be provided with more traditional supportive therapy. I have provided child and adolescent therapy for over twenty years using scientifically sound treatment techniques to meet the child or adolescent’s needs. Often this is in combination with parent education, training and consultation. I provide consultation to families in my offices in Burnaby and Vancouver, in-home consultations and school observations (Burnaby, Vancouver, New Westminster, Coquitlam areas). My services range from working individually with children one-to-one in the office to providing training about writing and implementing behaviour plans for entire school districts. For information on children and anxiety: http://www.anxietybc.com/
How Do I Make an Appointment and is there a Waiting List?
You may phone my office at 604.726.2651 or email me to set up an appointment. EMAIL is the best way to reach me, as often I am in meetings, testing or away consulting on cases and unable to get to my phone. The home page of this website has an email form you may use. Fees are $200.00 per hour and may be paid by cash, e-transfer, check or through PayPal on this site. Often extended health care covers the cost of seeing a registered psychologist. As a member of the RASP approved behaviour consultant list and my services qualify for reimbursement through provincial autism funding. There is usually no longer than a one to three week waiting period.