Autism Learning Center

Section 1: A Starting Point for Parents

Information about autism spectrum disorder, guiding principles to consider as you weigh therapy options, tips for staying organized with multiple providers, advice from other families, and much more.

Overview: A Starting Point for Parents and Caregivers

Learn how you can best support your child, their siblings, and yourself as your family navigates the diagnosis of autism and begins the process of finding appropriate support for your child.

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Common Situations Parents of Children With Autism May Face

Based on feedback from families at Soar Autism Center, we’ve put together this list of common situations that families face and potential actions you can consider in response.

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Section 2: An Overview of Autism

Autism is on a spectrum, so signs vary significantly in type and severity. The underlying biology of people with autism is not fully understood, and a single process in the brain has not been found.

Biology and Causes of Autism

Learn about the genetic factors underlying autism, the signs of autism, as well as common strengths of people with autism.

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The Signs of Autism

Learn about the signs of autism at 6 months, 9 months, 12 months, 16 months, and 24 months. This infographic also touches on our scientific current understanding of the biology and causes of autism spectrum disorder.

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Getting an Autism Diagnosis for my Child

Information on getting an autism diagnostic evaluation for your child, as well as what happens during and after the assessment.

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Section 3: Overview of Autism Therapy

At first, parents may feel confused or overwhelmed by the number of providers and types of therapy that a child with autism can receive. This section will help you sort through the options.

Finding naturalistic behavior therapy for your child

Parents may have trouble understanding the different sub-types of ABA therapy when choosing their child's care program. We created a chart to differentiate two key forms of ABA programs in general terms: discrete trial training (DTT) and the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM).

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Joint Activity Routines

One of the key features of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) for autism therapy is learning through play and everyday routines. Joint activity routines or “JARs” are used as the core learning tool in the ESDM model of autism therapy, which Soar emphasizes. What are Joint Activity Routines? JARs are activities involving two or...

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The Basics of Autism Therapy

We recommend families consider four guiding principles when building a therapy plan for their child.

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Overview of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM)

As the leading evidence-based autism therapy, ESDM has been shown to improve language skills, cognition, social skills, adaptive skills, and behavior in children with autism.

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Providers on an Autism Therapy Team

In evidence-based autism care you’ll encounter a wide variety of clinicians. Here are the most common providers and the different roles they play on your child’s care team.

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Integrated Autism Care

This video explains how Soar's integrated team of specialists, including speech-language, occupational therapy, and behavioral therapy all work together to ensure the highest quality autism therapy for each child.

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The Evolution of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA)

If you have heard or read much about ABA you know there is a lot of information out there, and it can be difficult to sort through. This infographic helps to explain how Applied Behavior Analysis has evolved as a treatment for Autism and how we apply the ABA science to best serve our clients here at Soar.

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Naturalistic, Play-Based Autism Therapy

Soar's approach to autism therapy is based on the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) a unique, play-based approach that evidence shows to be the most effective and compassionate model for young children with autism.

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Whole-Child Autism Care

This video explores Soar's approach to whole-child autism care. We work with children to build on their strength and target support to enable children with autism to reach their full potential and live fulfilled and self-determined lives.

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Occupational Therapy for Children with Autism

At Soar, all the evidence-based specialties for autism care are under one roof, including occupational therapy. This video demonstrates how we incorporate OT into our whole-child care model of autism care.

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Section 4: Finding an Autism Provider for My Child

Autism providers may differ in ways that can be hard for parents to fully assess before starting therapy. This section will help you know the right questions to ask as you research therapy providers.

Finding an Autism Therapy Provider

We put together a list that summarizes the different types of autism therapy providers. It is not comprehensive but it highlights some major differences between types of autism providers.

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Using Health Insurance for Autism Therapy

Over the last two decades, all 50 states have passed mandates requiring the coverage of health care services for children with autism by private health insurance companies.

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Dealing with Concerns or Challenges with your Provider

It’s often hard to tell before starting therapy which providers are the highest quality. We’ve created this list of red flags for families who are already receiving services and concerned about the quality of care.

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Section 5: Overview of Neurodiversity

If you spend time searching for information about autism, you’ll probably encounter the concept of neurodiversity or interact with advocates for neurodiversity.

Overview of Neurodiversity and Autism

The term neurodiversity was coined to highlight that different people’s brains are wired/structured in many ways, including but not limited to people with autism.

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Soar’s Care Philosophy

Our primary job is to help each child reach their fullest potential. We aim to help children cultivate their strengths, develop new skills to navigate the world, and grow their self-confidence as a person with autism.

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Section 6: Resources for Local Families

This section includes resources in Colorado and beyond to help families navigate autism diagnosis and beginning treatment, as well as to connect with other parents of children with autism.

Providers in Colorado Who Can Provide Autism Diagnosis

This list of providers in the greater Denver area provide diagnostic assessments for autism.

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Local Parent Support Groups in Colorado

Connect with other families that share the experience of parenting a child with autism. Use this list of groups in Colorado and beyond to find and connect with the autism support community.

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Common Abbreviations in Autism Care

The alphabet soup of autism treatment and providers can be difficult to understand. Use this acronym decoder to understand what the different types of autism treatment, providers and professional qualifications all mean.

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Overview of EI Services and Role of Community-Centered Boards

Children with autism may receive services through their health insurance, through state Early Intervention, and/or through local schools. This article focuses on Early Intervention services for children with autism.

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Parent Kit

This comprehensive guide was specifically designed for parents of autistic children in the greater Denver area. Download your own free copy now:

Soar Autism Center

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