Integrated Autism Therapy for the Whole Child

Service and Therapy Areas

Soar Autism Center is a multi-disciplinary clinic focused on diagnosis and therapy for children with autism. We provide an integrated service where the major providers for autism are together under one roof and coordinate care for your child. Learn more about our services below.

Diagnostics

Early identification and intervention are important to long-term child outcomes. We provide families with access to diagnostic evaluations that include thorough recommendations and support for ongoing care. Our diagnosticians are here to help guide you through your journey in finding the right care for your family and child.

To learn more about Soar’s diagnostics program, click here.

Naturalistic ABA therapy (ESDM)

We focus on naturalistic and play-based forms of behavior therapy. Our therapy program is based on the principles of the Early Start Denver Model (ESDM). The ESDM is a naturalistic therapy model that focuses on skill development in the context of play and relationship-building.

To learn more about Soar’s ESDM program, click here.

Speech Therapy

Challenges in social communication and interaction are common for children with autism. Our Speech Language Pathologists will work with your family and child to identify communication goals and provide treatment in a developmentally-appropriate way to meet your child where they are. We also have clinicians trained in augmentative and alternative communication (AAC) technologies to aid in communication for your child.

To learn more about Soar’s speech therapy program, click here.

Occupational Therapy

Many children with autism have challenges in motor skill development and daily living skills, as well as sensory processing and diet and feeding needs. Our occupational therapists will work with you and your child to support those needs in a playful environment.

To learn more about Soar’s occupational therapy program, click here.

Psychological Care

Having a child with autism can present your family with unique stressors. We are here to provide your family with support via licensed counselors, whether that be for your whole family, one or both caregivers, or your child’s siblings.

Parent Partnership & Support

You are the expert on your child. We recognize your expertise and partner with you on the treatment for your child. We provide parent training in the evidence-based Early Start Denver Model (ESDM) to help you implement principles in the home.

Soar Therapy Programs

Soar offers two age-specific programs designed to meet the needs and reach the goals of most young children.

Autism Early Start Program

 

Ages 7 and under

 

Comprehensive and integrated therapy to build foundational skills and enable transition to other settings, like school

Focused Therapy Program

 

Ages 10 and under

 

Tailored therapy specific to certain skills, therapy types, or domain areas

Schedule

Each of our programs is custom-designed to the individual child and typically involves multiple hours of therapy per week. An example child schedule might look like the following:

8:00 AM

Drop off time, daily living skills & transitions

9:00 AM

Group instruction

9:30 AM

1:1 Naturalistic ABA therapy (ESDM)

10:30 AM

Social goals & active play

11:30 AM

1:1 Naturalistic ABA therapy (ESDM)

12:15 PM

Lunch, daily living skills, and rest (if needed)

1:45 PM

Speech therapy

2:45 PM

Snack time

3:00 PM

1:1 Naturalistic ABA therapy (ESDM)

4:00 PM

Pick up

Our Care Philosophy

We believe in the potential of all kids with autism, and we value them for who they are

Our primary job is to help each child reach their fullest potential as a person with autism. We are not trying to cure them of autism or make them appear “normal” in terms of societal expectations. Instead, we aim to help them cultivate their strengths, develop new skills to navigate the modern world, and grow their self-confidence as a person with autism.

We see autism as having neurodevelopmental, not behavioral, roots

We think some programs too narrowly define autism based on deficits and prioritize “fixing” behaviors. We view autism as a neurodevelopmental condition that leads children to act or communicate in certain ways based on individual reactions to their environment. As such, we ask “why” a child is acting a certain way and empathize with their perspective as we develop a therapy plan to support them.

We focus on learning through play, particularly for young children

We think some programs are using overly structured and rigid programs that don’t generalize learning. As much as possible, we incorporate play as a natural, developmentally appropriate way to help kids cultivate and generalize new skills in new areas, using their interests as the primary motivator.

We collaborate for the best child outcomes

Autism is complex and inherently requires multi-disciplinary collaboration, both among the care team and between the care team and family. We work in partnership with parents and caregivers to design the best individualized program for each child.

We follow the scientific evidence

We continuously identify the highest-quality interventions with proven success from scientific studies that help children with autism develop and grow. We are fluent in the best models, particularly for young learners (such as the Early Start Denver Model), and we hire and train the right clinicians to deliver them in our center.

We believe in transparency and continuous improvement

We place a tremendous emphasis on caregiver satisfaction, and we hold ourselves accountable for facilitating meaningful progress for each child. As always, we use that data to learn how to improve care delivery for current and future children with autism.

FAQs

Treatments for autism

  • What are the main treatment options for children with autism?

    Conceptually, there are 3 broad categories of treatment modalities used to support children with autism: 1) behavior and communication approaches, 2) medications, and 3) complementary and alternative medicines, including dietary approaches. What is needed for each individual child will vary and should be based on a consultation with an expert provider in autism.

  • What are the goals of therapy?

    In our view, the overarching goal is to help a child with autism reach their fullest potential and improve their long-term quality of life. This often means helping them develop new skills to navigate the modern world, for instance by helping with speech and communication skills. But this is an important question to ask any provider you may consider.

  • What is so important about early intervention?

    There is a strong evidence base for early intervention on outcomes, and early intervention is supported by leading US medical societies. Parents should, in consultation with a provider, strongly consider services at a young age to support a child’s long-term growth and development. Research studies have even found physiologic improvements in children who receive early intervention therapy, such as changes on brain wave tests (EEG) when viewing faces and objects.

  • What is ABA?

    Behavior therapy for children with autism is typically based on the principles of applied behavioral analysis, or ABA. Simply put, ABA focuses on the use of reinforcement to develop new skills or increase the use of certain positive behaviors. For instance, in a child with delayed speech who likes cars, a therapist might work with the child to say the word “car” and then provide reinforcement for the child saying “car” by giving him or her a toy car. There has been a tremendous amount written about ABA online and it’s easy to get lost, confused, and overwhelmed in the sea of information. Additional detail on ABA and how to evaluate providers is available in our new parent kit that you can download from our website. 

  • What is the difference between ABA and naturalistic behavior therapy?

    ABA is not one therapy—rather, it is a family or umbrella of overlapping therapies. Several different models may be used with your child that, while based on the same underlying principles of ABA, in practice look quite different from one another. We’ve created an infographic on our Family Resources page to talk more about the differences between the different sub-types of ABA therapy, and additional detail is available in our new parent kit.

  • What are alternatives to ABA?

    ABA is not the only evidence-based therapy used in children with autism. For instance, children often benefit from speech therapy and occupational therapy, among other types of therapy. But ABA has been shown in multiple studies to support the development of children with autism, particularly at an early age. The therapies tend to be complementary with one another and high-quality programs will focus on a comprehensive and individualized approach across modalities for a child.

  • What Is Speech Therapy for children with autism?

    Speech therapy is a type of communication therapy typically performed by a Speech-Language Pathologist, a Master’s- or Doctorate-level clinician who specializes in speech and communication. There are many different approaches that a speech therapist may use to support communication in children with autism.

  • What is Occupational Therapy for children with autism?

    Occupational therapy is a type of therapy typically performed by an Occupational Therapist, a Master’s- or Doctorate-level clinician. Specific approaches will vary by clinician and by child, but can include enhancing sensory processing, supporting self-care and daily living skills (e.g. getting dressed), and assisting with fine motor and gross motor delays.

  • Are there medicines to treat autism?

    There are no medicines that have been shown to cure autism or treat its core symptoms. However, a healthcare provider may prescribe medication to support the well-being and functioning of a child with autism, such as medicines to help manage anxiety or help with sleep.

  • How do you provide treatment for autism during the Covid-19 pandemic?

    See our Covid-19 FAQs for more details on our processes for maintaining safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Finding a provider for my child

  • How do I pick a provider? What questions should I ask?

    There is a wide variety of types of autism providers available for families in Colorado. You can download our new parent guide which goes into detail on questions to ask when evaluating different providers. Some questions you may want to ask of potential providers include:

    • What types of services will my child need, and who offers them? (e.g. ABA only or an integrated program of ABA, speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other supporting therapies)
    • If ABA is recommended for my child, what sub-type of ABA do I want him or her to receive? (e.g. discrete trial training, naturalistic developmental behavior interventions, a hybrid)
    • Do I want my child to receive services in a home- or clinic-based setting?
    • What is the training and retention for staff? How much staff turnover do they see?
    • Is the provider using evidence-based services?
    • What are the treatment goals?
    • What support will I get as a parent?
    • What is their track record of success and outcomes?
    • What is the clinic leadership like? Who are they? What do they value?
    • Is my insurance accepted?

  • If my child is diagnosed with autism at Soar Autism Center, can he/she begin treatment at your center?

    Yes. We offer an integrated program where children can receive a diagnosis at our center and then begin treatment with a multi-disciplinary, integrated team across multiple evidence-based treatments.

  • If my child is diagnosed with autism at Soar Autism Center, can he/she be treated by another provider?

    Yes. If you’d prefer to receive treatment at another provider, we are happy to refer you to another provider or coordinate with another provider on a care plan.

  • I have another question that isn’t listed here; can I talk to someone about it?

     Yes. Click the “Get started” link to schedule a call with a member of our team.

  • What role does Early Intervention play in Colorado in treating for autism?

    Early Intervention (EI) is a program in Colorado that provides free services to children under the age of 3, including but not limited to children with autism. Our new parent guide has a detailed overview of how to access Early Intervention services. Early Intervention services and health insurance-based services can be viewed as complementary approaches to helping a child. EI services tend to be of lower intensity and free to families, focusing on a smaller number of hours (e.g. 1 hour a week) and training of parents. In contrast, health insurance-based services tend to cover more hours of therapy (varies by child but could be 20-30 hours a week) and are paid for by health insurance.

  • Services at Soar Autism Center

  • What services do you offer?

    We offer a multi-disciplinary, integrated program across the spectrum of diagnosis and management for children with autism. Specifically, we offer diagnostic services, naturalistic forms of ABA (the Early Start Denver Model), speech therapy, occupational therapy, and psychological support services. We intend to add additional complementary services over time. Our clinicians work together on a day-to-day basis to coordinate care and adapt therapy plans for kids.

  • Does my child need an autism diagnosis to get treatment at your center?

    No. We have a diagnostician on staff who can evaluate your child for autism, and if clinically appropriate for your child, provide a diagnosis.

  • Do you diagnose autism at your clinic?

    Yes.

  • What support do you offer for parents?

    We deeply believe in the importance of parents for the best outcomes in children with autism. We work closely with parents to co-design treatment plans that meet their and their child’s goals. And we have a dedicated parent training/support program focused on helping parents learn the key concepts of the Early Start Denver Model to carry out in their homes.

  • What qualifications does your staff have?

    All of our staff have received the appropriate trainings, certifications, and/or licensure to treat children with autism. Specific credentials and experience vary based on each provider. See the Our Team page for an overview of the specific providers you may see at our center.

  • What is the age range of the children that you welcome at the center?

    We focus primarily on children under the age of 10, and our clinic setting and service offering is customized for young learners. But we don’t have any hard cutoffs for age, and if you have an older child who may benefit from comprehensive services, please reach out via our Get Started page and we can discuss your specific situation.

  • What types of skills do you focus on training?

    Our goal is to help every child with autism reach their fullest potential. What that looks like for each child will vary, and every care plan is individualized to the specific child in consultation with his or her parents.

  • When should my child begin therapy?

    As soon as possible. There is a strong evidence base for early intervention on child outcomes, and early services are supported by leading US medical societies.

  • My child receives speech and/or occupational therapy at other providers already. Why choose your center instead?

    Autism is complex and often involves multiple providers providing care for your child. We believe that coordination of care is important to achieving the best outcomes for children, as care coordination is generally believed to improve effectiveness, safety, and efficiency of care by the Institute of Medicine. Our staff coordinate on a daily basis and we have dedicated times set aside each day, week, and month for care coordination for children with autism. If you have a speech and/or occupational therapist that you really like, we are also happy to extend the coordination to providers outside of Soar Autism Center.

  • Do you have a summer program?

    Our clinical programs are available at all times of year, including during the summer.

  • I want to talk to someone about my situation, can I talk to someone at Soar Autism Center?

    Yes. Click the Get Started button to schedule a call with someone from our team.

  • See all Diagnosis FAQs HERE

    See all Family Resources FAQs HERE

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