Autism Spectrum Disorder

“I wish I’d known about you years ago.”

At Equinox Counseling and Wellness Center, we specialize in working with teens and young adults living with Autism Spectrum Disorder, neurodiversity and other learning or social differences. Our approach is simple. We connect. We engage. We create sustainable change.

“It’s hard to keep hopes and dreams alive when your child pushes against all of the norms and the uphill battle seems neverending. Young adulthood is just around the corner and it is scary to think about.”

As parents, we often hear that we should “appreciate every moment because kids grow so fast,” “celebrate and share milestones,” “help create healthy friendships for our kids,” and “build a strong family unit.” Each of these is an important milestone when raising children. However, having a child who is living with special developmental or intellectual needs creates additional and unique challenges, and sets a new bar for successful parenting to ensure that children have the opportunity to be the best that they can be.  Milestones can be unpredictable, come at different times, or be buried beneath behavioral acting out. Finding opportunities for success can feel like navigating a maze. Teaching the necessary skills of how to build friendship, align family values and experience social belonging may seem like something so far off it becomes intangible.  For parents, the puzzle and juggling act of keeping all the balls in the air can be overwhelming and exhausting.

“I have never really fit in with other kids. I know my parents want me to grow up and be independent, but I am not sure what that looks or how to do it. It’s kind of easier just being left alone.”

Youth on the spectrum and living with special needs are different from their peers and, at the same time, often share their struggles to belong and fit in to what “should be happening” at their age. They are often internally driven, socially awkward, behaviorally unstable, emotionally unregulated or cognitively impaired. Yet, each one of these young people equally possesses unique strengths and personal desires. Given the right treatment setting, a place where being who you are is accepted and welcomed, support to develop internal resources, and skills for successful living,  young people in the Equinox program thrive.

All the support your family needs, in one place

At Equinox, we have developed a continuum of care and support to stop the madness of having multiple treatment providers or resources that may interact with your child or family in different ways or use different types of treatment. In our experience, this can be confusing and may even escalate problems or create regression in progress. Here, you’ll find a wide variety of service options. We’ll work with you to figure out which ones are best for you child and your family. Within our treatment continuum you’ll find that we all speak the language and use a consistent approach, whether it’s the context of a social or life skills club, individual therapy, family therapy, respite services or skills-based learning.

Equinox believes that our all-starsrequire a specialized approach that is visual, tangible, interactive and compassionate—and makes sense to their world view. Our skilled team members don’t expect the youth in our program to adapt to our concepts and norms, but rather we seek to understand what drives them, where their problem areas lie and how best to help them learn to become the people they want to and can be.   We have found that when we listen, truly listen through our actions and responses, each of the young people we see at Equinox has a lot of valuable insight into how we can best help.

Our scope of services for youth and young adults with neuro-differences includes:

  • Individual Therapy (Home and Community Based)
  • Social and Life Skills Group
  • Adventure Respite
  • Flexible Brains Skills Group
  • Community and Experiential -Based Learning
  • Family Therapy
  • Mentoring
  • Therapeutic Study Lab
  • Sports and Club Activities

As we forge new relationships with your child, you and your family, your team at Equinox will do many things that lead to lasting positive change:

  • We teach and practice flexible brain skills.
  • We provide community activities to enhance belonging and friendships.
  • We build a large toolbox of tangible skills to manage acting out behavior for parents and kids.
  • We practice situational coping in real life situations and with real life problems as they are happening in the moment.
  • We increase emotional regulation and frustration tolerance.
  • We provide education and opportunities to practice safe boundaries.
  • And MOST importantly, we HELP kids and their families join in a meaningful relationship with each other.

The treatment journey is a process and often can be very complex. By engaging in the journey, your son or daughter will learn important life, emotional and behavioral skills to successfully take on the ever impending transitions and challenges of life.

Our Continuum of Services

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Therapy Services

Paying attention to both the strengths and challenges in how your child communicates and relates to others, our therapists find creative ways to build rapport, gain trust and develop a strong therapeutic relationship with your child. On a weekly basis, sessions take place in the community or in your home to enhance generalization of learning. By expertly disguising how “therapy” looks, we watch independence, competence, confidence and positive behavioral shifts develop for our youth.

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Life and Social Skills Groups

Our groups give middle and high schoolers and young adults coping with ASDs a chance to be themselves, laugh, play, make friends, and be involved! Along the way, they naturally learn and practice valuable social, coping, problem solving and life skills. Club EQ, for ages 11 to 14, and EQ Life, for ages 14 to 18, are social opportunities for youth to participate in structured extracurricular activities with peers they can relate to and who have similar interests.

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Intensive Treatment Program for Neurodiverse Youth

Our Intensive Treatment Program keeps families together while providing comprehensive services all within one agency.We make it a priority to thoroughly assess your needs, partner with parents to identify goals and work with youth to gain a global picture of his/her strengths and challenges.  Services may include individual and family therapy, therapeutic care, mentoring, parent coaching, therapeutic study lab, and life/social skills programming.

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After Care

Youth returning home from residential, hospital, or other out-of-home settings greatly benefit from individualized transitional support. Often, this becomes the essential component necessary to support the complex process of returning home and fully integrating back into the family system. Transitional support helps teens and young adults maintain focus and manage anxiety and frustration, as well as increase empathy towards others.

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Adventure Respite

We believe parents and caregivers deserve their own respite throughout the year. Through Adventure Respite your child is in expert care for an active and safe weekend camp experience. Teens are given a chance to have fun, build confidence,  and increase pro-social competence outdoors and away from parental relationships. Through adventure, play and camp living activities, youth and teens navigating social or personal difficulties have an opportunity to practice communication, problem-solving and many other important life skills.