The Autism Center of North Louisiana

 

Family Solutions developed the Autism Center of North Louisiana to service families seeking the diagnosis and care for children on the autism spectrum. It is one of the few facilities in the state and the the only facility in North Louisiana that provides a complete and certified autism diagnosis and treatment plan. We provide the highest standard available when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition to early identification and diagnosis, Family Solutions also provides cutting edge, evidence based treatment services that help you, your child, and your family navigate this unfamiliar world.

 

The Autism Center of North Louisiana is a collaboration of professionals from different therapeutic disciplines all with the passion for helping children with behavioral and developmental disabilities. Our mission is to provide a comprehensive collaborative approach to diagnosis and treatment where we work together using our individual experience and training to provide the best treatment outcomes possible.
“When you put a group of people with passion and experience together in one place, greatness is achieved!” ~ Ben Nicholson, SSP, LBA, BCBA – Clinical Director

Our multidisciplinary approach to diagnosis and treatment is considered the highest standard available in the industry. The Autism Center of North Louisiana one of few facilities in the state to provide this higher level of diagnosis and treatment. We are the only facility in North Louisiana that provides psychiatric, psychological, mental and behavioral health, speech therapy, and occupational therapy services in one location.

Signs of Autism

 

Symptoms of Autism vary in presentation, frequency, and intensity. This is why the disorder is called Autism SPECTRUM Disorder. The following are symptoms and/or disorders that are associated with Autism:

Communication Disorders

Autism is most associated with poor communication or lack of communication. This is impairment in the ability to receive, send, process, and comprehend concepts or verbal, nonverbal and graphic symbol systems.

Maladaptive Behavior

Children with Autism are often associated with behaviors such as tantrums, head banging, biting and other inappropriate behaviors. These behaviors serve a purpose and allow the child to access desirable consequences for their behaviors.

Sensory Processing Disorder

Children who present with Autism may have a hypersensitivity to external stimuli. This hypersensitivity may affect ones sense, like hearing, touch, or taste. Or it may affect multiple senses. Children can be over- or under-responsive to the things they have difficulties with.

Eating Disorders

Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), also previously known as selective eating disorder (SED), is a type of eating disorder, as well as feeding disorder, where the consumption of certain foods is limited based on the food's appearance, smell, taste, texture, brand, presentation, or a past negative experiences. ARFID and Pica are often seen in children with Autism. Pica is persistent eating of substances such as dirt or paint that have no nutritional value is often observed as well.

Motor Deficits

Children diagnosed with Autism often exhibit poor development of function of body parts, usually a limb or limbs. This may be a result in muscle weakness, poor stamina, or lack of muscle control.

Obsessive Compulsive Behaviors

Obsessions and compulsions have been reported to function as a way of coping when the environment is unpredictable and as a means of helping to control the unpredictability. Anxiety often develops because of the unpredictability, and it is reduced when an individual engages in repetitive behaviors.

Social Skill Deficits

Pragmatic language impairments are related to Autism and Asperger Syndrome, but also could be related to other non-autistic disabilities such as ADHD and intellectual disabilities. People with these impairments have special challenges with the semantic aspect of language (the meaning of what is being said) and the pragmatics of language (using language appropriately in social situations). It is assumed that those with autism have difficulty with "the meaning of what is being said" due to different ways of responding to social situations.

Will private insurance cover the cost of ABA Therapy?

Many private insurance companies will cover ABA Therapy for individuals diagnosed with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome or Pervasive Developmental Disorder. A psychological evaluation and an order for ABA therapy are required for coverage of ABA services. Insurance coverage for services will be assessed prior to treatment or initial evaluation. As a courtesy, our office will check coverage for you.



What do I do now?

 

If you have observed any of the above symptoms or have had health care professionals mention Autism to you, the first step is to get a formal diagnosis through a comprehensive autism evaluation by a multi-disciplinary team. Family Solutions is the only facility in North Louisiana that provides the highest standard available when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorder. In addition to early identification and diagnosis, Family Solutions also provides cutting edge, evidence based treatment services that help you, your child, and your family navigate this unfamiliar world.

 

Steps for our evaluation include:

 
  • An initial consultation with our Licensed and Board Certified Behavior Analyst; 
  • An evaluation and medical recommendation from our Pediatric Psychiatrist to confirm concerns of Autism;
  • Formal observation and testing with our Psychologist, Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and Behavior Analyst;
  • A formal evaluation report* with formal diagnosis and treatment recommendations are given to parents.

*This formal evaluation report consists of ALL providers involved in your child’s evaluation. The providers involved in your child’s evaluation consist of Child Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Speech Therapist, Occupational Therapist, and Behavior Analyst.

Austism Evaluation

 

 

Get Help

 

Once your child has a confirmed formal diagnosis of Autism, the next step is to develop a treatment plan that is unique to your child’s specific needs. Family Solutions provides the most comprehensive treatment approach available utilizing ABA, Speech, and Occupational Therapy as the vehicle to get your child moving on their journey. Combined with medication management and family support services, no other center in North Louisiana provides this level of care.

 

Physical Therapy

 

Physical Therapy (PT) is focused on any problems with movement that cause functional limitations. Children with autism frequently have challenges with motor skills such as sitting, walking, running or jumping. Physical Therapy can address poor muscle tone, balance and coordination.

Occupational Therapy

 

Occupational therapists use a holistic approach in planning programs. They take into account the physical, social, emotional, sensory and cognitive abilities and needs of students. In the case of autism, an occupational therapist works to develop skills for handwriting, fine motor skills and daily living skills.

Speech Therapy

 
Benefits of Speech Therapy for children Diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Speech therapy can improve overall communication with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This makes it possible for children diagnosed with autism to improve their ability to form relationships and function in day-to-day life.

Specific goals of speech therapy include helping the individual with autism:

  • Articulate words well
  • Communicate both verbally and nonverbally
  • Comprehend verbal and nonverbal communication, understanding others' intentions in a range of settings
  • Initiate communication without prompting from others
  • Know the appropriate time and place to communicate something; for example, when to say "good morning"
  • Develop conversational skills
  • Exchange ideas
  • Communicate in ways to develop relationships
  • Enjoy communicating, playing, and interacting with peers
  • Learn self-regulation

Our clinic aims to provide the best and most comprehensive therapy experience for our clients and their families. Following the initial evaluation, an individualized therapy treatment plan will be completed, in writing, for families to view, ask questions, and provide feedback. Our main goal is provide high quality care in authentic settings using state of the art equipment and procedures.

People with Autism Spectrum Disorder may have major problems with both speech and nonverbal communication. They may also find it very hard to interact socially. For these reasons, speech therapy is a central part of treatment for autism. Speech therapy can address a wide range of communication problems for people with autism.

ABA Therapy

 

Today, Applied Behavior Analysis is widely recognized as the most effective treatment for autism. It has been endorsed and approved by most state and federal agencies. In particular, ABA principles and techniques can foster basic skills such as looking, listening and imitating, as well as complex skills such as reading, conversing and understanding another person’s perspective. It is also used to increase communication skills as well as reduce tantruming and other undesirable behaviors.

Medication Management

 

There are no medications that can cure Autism Spectrum Disorder or treat the core symptoms. However, there are medications that can help some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder function better. For example, medication might help manage high energy levels, inability to focus, depression, or seizures. Medications might not affect all children in the same way. It is important to work with a health care professional who has experience in treating children with ASD. Parents and health care professionals must closely monitor a child's progress and reactions while he or she is taking a medication to be sure that any negative side effects of the treatment do not outweigh the benefits.

Family Support Services

 

Providing Individual, Couple and Family Therapy for Children, Teens, and Adults. Autism Family Therapy is a specialized therapy practice focusing solely on individuals and families who live with autism spectrum disorder, Asperger syndrome, anxiety, attention deficit disorder and other related conditions. Sessions may include children, teenagers, adults, parents, partners, siblings, grandparents or caregivers.

Nutritional Counseling

 

A dietitian can evaluate the foods the child agrees to eat for potential dietary deficiencies. The dietician can watch the child and family during meal times to assess habits that may be hindering food intake. An Registered Dietician also can screen the medications the child takes that may have side effects that contribute to feeding problems.

Schedule an appointment

 

Today is the best day for you to schedule an appointment for a consultation. Young children with autism who receive the recommended early intervention have a much greater chance, later in life, of living independently, securing employment and developing meaningful and lasting friendships and relationships with long-term research showing benefits for children as they grow and develop. When you contact the office, you will be asked a series of questions regarding the nature of your call. You will be given a time and date to meet with our clinical director.

Make an Appointment

The Autism Center

The Autism Center of North Louisiana is dedicated to provide a high quality of intensive, evidence-based behavioral treatment for children with autism spectrum and related disorders. We provide Applied Behavior Analysis services to children and their families in our clinics, in homes and in schools throughout North Louisiana.

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