Children & Teens
At Potential, our staff partner with families to develop a plan of care that allows their loved one with autism to grow and thrive.
Autism Services for Adolescents
The teenage years can be challenging and disruptive for anyone. For teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), the transition from childhood into adulthood can be even more confusing and tumultuous. Quite a bit more. It’s hard to put into words emotions you don’t understand. It’s unsettling to see your body change. It’s painful to feel different from your peers at a time in your life when all you want is to fit in. Puberty is a universal experience that is profoundly more challenging for adolescents on the spectrum, especially those who are nonverbal, unable to pick up on unspoken social cues or struggling with a secondary diagnosis such as anxiety or intellectual disability.
Even kids who had been doing fine in school may suddenly falter, socially and academically. Once they reach middle school, adolescents at all points on the spectrum often need extra support and resources beyond what is available at home and in school. Some, maybe for the first time, are no longer able to learn and grow in a public school environment, even if they are in special education classes. They may become frustrated and disruptive, unable to communicate what is going on inside themselves, and engage in increasingly more severe problem behaviors.
Potential’s IBHS Program and Springtime School
We understand that wherever kids are on the spectrum, they are going to have a tough time with puberty. And we are here to help. Through our Intensive Behavioral Health Services (IBHS) program, we support teens with emotional, mental and behavioral health needs. We help them to improve their social skills, gain more independence and bolster their self-esteem. They may come to us after school as an enhancement to their education, or they may be referred to our Springtime School.
The social dynamics of middle and high school make it difficult for some teens with autism to learn. Feeling unaccepted and misunderstood, even bullied, by their peers, they may lose sight of all that is unique and wonderful about themselves. At the Springtime School, they receive highly personalized, year-round Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services along with one-on-one instruction. It’s a highly specialized and structured environment with compassionate and knowledgeable teachers.
Teens who were once lost in the turmoil of adolescence find themselves grounded and supported and understood. It’s the perfect environment for learning new skills, making new friends and adapting to change.