Resources for Autism Spectrum Disorder
(& Other Executive Functioning Disorders)
Within our community, we are fortunate to have various organizations, support groups, and other resources for those with ASD and their family members that offer a place to connect as well as education, therapy, or psychiatry. The great thing about resources in our community is that they are accommodating - some are online, while others are in-person!
Therapy can assist with developing social and organizational skills, increasing self-confidence, managing anxiety, and improving relationships, just as it can with any neuro-normative persons, especially if the therapist is experienced in working with children or adults on the spectrum. Therapists can assist with developing personalized goals throughout the counseling process. The treatment is not for the “autism” but rather for the adjustment disorder, depression, or anxiety that the person may have. Insurance companies vary in coverage of these mental health therapies, so it is important to check with specific providers prior to your appointment. (Elliott Counseling will be happy to check your benefits with your provider.)
Type of therapy
Individual therapy focuses on sessions with just an individual client. Group therapy allows for a client to interact with other individuals with similar experiences for a specified amount of time, such as 8 weeks. Family therapy allows for family members to benefit from working together to address the needs of the entire family in therapy.
What will therapy be like?
Initially, it can be expected that a therapist will want to be informed of background information relating to what may be relating to an individual’s or family’s goals for therapy. This is done through a history taking process during the first few sessions, during which time therapy goals are also developed. Clients can expect to develop skills to assist with their personal growth, as well as to develop a trusting relationship which allows them to express their emotions appropriately. Therapy will not change someone’s personality and cannot provide someone with tools who is not receptive to developing these tools.
Individuals and families with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other executive functioning disorders are sometimes disconnected from other families or unaware of resources that may be available to them. Within our community, we are fortunate to have various organizations, support groups, and other resources that offer a place to connect as well as education, therapy, or psychiatry. The great thing about resources in our community is that they are accommodating - some are online, while others are in-person!
Carle Pediatrics and Adolescence Services are able to diagnose and treat ASD, ADHD, and other executive functioning disorders. They work with children up to age 18.
Resources at Carle
611 W. Park Street
Urbana, Illinois 61801
The Autism Program (TAP) of Illinois provides free information for families and professionals. Their resource information is customizable to meet the needs of individuals. TAP’s Resource Room is a great place to learn about other resources in the community as well as training, treatment, and family support. They are open from 10am until 3pm Monday through Friday or by appointment.
904 West Nevada Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
CU Able is an online support group which can be located on Facebook. This group is a secure online group of families supporting one another and providing resources to each other. This is a closed group.
Request to join here: CU Able's Facebook
Autism and Sleep
It has been reported that up to 80% of individuals with autism struggle with regulating and maintaining a sleep schedule. For all humans, especially for those on the autism spectrum, sleep takes precedence on the wellness scale-- lack of sleep contributes to irritability, behavior problems, daily functioning, and more. Click here to learn more about guiding and helping your child(ren) sleep soundly at night.
Traveling with Autism
Family vacation and traveling can be a daunting task. With individuals on the Autism spectrum, it is important to prepare and plan well in advance in order to create safety, transition into calmness, and managing the time spent during traveling. For planning tips and ideas, click here!
U of I Psychological Services Center perform psychological testing. Hours are based on the University’s schedule.
U of I Resources
505 E. Green St., 3rd Floor
Champaign, IL 61820
CU Autism Network is a support group for anyone impacted by ASD within the community. They have monthly meetings as well as a Facebook page and also host an annual fundraiser walk. Meetings are held at the Stephens Family YMCA on the first Thursday of every month from 6:30-8:00 P.M.; free childcare if offered.
Adults on the Spectrum is an online and in-person support group. This group is for “individuals who self-identify as autistic or who have a diagnosis” of ASD. This group meets on the second Saturday of every month in the lobby of TAP, unless otherwise specified. The on-line portion is on Facebook, visit it here.
Developmental Services Center offers case management and family support, an Early Intervention program, a Day Program, residential services, and employment services to assist individuals with living more independently. They provide services to Champaign and Ford county residents.
Visit DSC's Website
1304 W. Bradley Ave.
Champaign, IL 61821
Creating a safe, organized, and calming home is an important part of environmental wellness, especially for a family member who is on the spectrum. It is crucial to establish a space that allows individuals to function and develop/grow to the best of their abilities. In order to best accommodate sensitivities (often to lights, textures, and sounds), check out this article for practical and helpful tips.