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The Help Center

  • What ages do you work with?
    Anyone from 13 years old to adults of any age are welcome!
  • Do I have to come into an office?
    No, our work is on Zoom and you can be in the comfort of your own home.
  • I really struggle with empathy. Can you help?
    First, you have to understand the double empathy problem. Here's an excerpt from a Spectrum News article: "In the case of autism, a communication gap between people with and without the condition may occur not only because autistic people have trouble understanding non-autistic people but also because non-autistic people have trouble understanding them. The problem, the theory posits, is mutual." In short, YES, you have empathy. We help you bridge the communication gap. Read the article and talk to your therapist.
  • I'm a minor (under 18) - do my parents have to give their OK?
    Usually yes, but there are exceptions. Talk to one of our therapists to find out more.
  • I can't get along with my parents and siblings. Can you help?
    Yes! We'll start by working with you but (if and when you want to do so) can bring others into your therapy - which is usually really helpful. We also offer Parental Support Therapy where we work separately with parents to help them understand their child.
  • I know an autistic guy who needs help. What should he do?
    Send him to Therapy 4 Autistic Men.
  • How do I get started?
    Fill out our form and we'll reach out within 24 hours. We'd love to hear from you!
  • What if I have self-diagnosed as autistic? Or not sure?
    We love working with girls trying to identify if they are on the spectrum or even making it broad to women with neurodivergence, with a focus on autism.
  • Can I get a formal autism assessment and diagnosis?
    Yes, through our sister organization, Adult Autism Assessment Center, as long as your 18 or older. If you're under 18, we can help you find assessment resources.
  • What if I am neurodivergent (ADHD or OCD or Dyslexic...) but not on the Spectrum?
    Feeling like you don't fit in is super common. We would still love to work with you and help you figure out what's really going on.
  • How much does it cost?
    From $150 to $350/session, depending on the therapist.
  • Who pays?
    You do. But we'll give you a superbill to send to your insurance company (if you have one). See more on insurance below.
  • How much will the whole thing cost?
    Well, that depends on how long we are working together. Our work with clients usually is between 3 and 6 months. So multiply how much you're paying per session by 6 months, then subtract what (if anything) you get back from insurance and that's not a bad guess.
  • What does "Out of Network" mean?
    We have chosen to remain an “out-of-network” provider for all insurance companies. In our experience, this allows us to provide the highest quality of care, independent from insurance-based rules or decisions. ​ It is your choice whether you would like to apply for insurance reimbursement or not. Usually insurance companies will pay a portion of your spending, depending on your policy. As such, if you decide to seek reimbursement, we provide a “superbill” to you which includes the standard information (such as diagnosis and treatment codes) that most insurance companies require. You then submit the superbill to your insurance company for reimbursement. ​ Please note that we do NOT fill out any forms that are created by your insurance company and do NOT correspond directly with them in any way.
  • Can you explain how payment works? Are invoices and superbills sent?
    PAYMENT: Payment for therapy is due when the therapy takes place. Using our online system (called Simple Practice), your credit card will be charged automatically at midnight on the day of your session. INVOICES: You will automatically receive a monthly "invoice for services" on the 1st day of the month for appointments during the prior month. This invoice will NOT have a diagnosis and other information necessary for submission to your insurance company. SUPERBILLS: You can request for a monthly Superbill as well, which can also be automatically generated on the 1st day of the month for the prior month's appointments. This will have all the appropriate insurance documentation. Some clients prefer to request the Superbill as needed or once per year. Also, some clients chose not to submit to the insurance company in which case a Superbill will NOT be created. ACCESS TO INFO: You can log into the online portal and download your invoices and/or Superbills at your convenience.
  • What do I ask my insurance company?
    1. OUT OF NETWORK: Does my policy cover out-of-network outpatient psychotherapy? 2. CPT CODES FOR PSYCHOTHERAPY: If yes, what is the reimbursement for out-of-network psychotherapy services for CPT Code 96130-95? This code is for psychological testing evaluation services including integration of patient data, interpretation of standardized test results and clinical data, clinical decision making, treatment planning and report, and interactive feedback to the patient, family members or caregivers. This code includes the provider’s time spent interpreting test results and patient data, preparing a clinical report, treatment planning, and clinical decision-making. ​ The "-95" for this code indicates telehealth. ​​ 3. DIAGNOSIS CODES: Will the insurance company reimburse for the diagnoses which you have discussed with your therapist? ​ Please know a diagnosis code is different than a CPT code. A diagnosis code describes what the client (one partner in the couple) is struggling with. If you do not have a diagnosis code yet, the most common diagnosis you could receive would be: Autism Spectrum Disorder. ASD. F84. 0 Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorders. ADHD. F90- If you do not meet the criteria of ASD or ADHD, you may qualify for an "Adjustment Disorder - DSM-5 309.9 (F43. 20)" which is an emotional or behavioral reaction to a stressful event or change in a person's life that typically lasts 3 months or less. Usually the "stressful event" is your relationship struggle. This is generally considered a mild diagnosis that is not intrinsic to the individual and will pass. If a different diagnosis is appropriate, your therapist will discuss this with you. ​ ​ 4. STATE OF CALIFORNIA PROTECTIONS. California’s autism insurance bill, SB 946 (2012), Cal. Insurance Code § 10144.51 (2017) and Cal. Health and Safety Code § 1374.73 (2017) require health insurance policies in California to provide coverage for behavioral health treatment for pervasive developmental disorder and autism. This often includes assessment and diagnosis. The specifics of actual insurance coverage vary greatly between insurance providers and policies. We highly recommend that you contact your insurance providers so that you fully understand the extent and limitations of your coverage.
  • Does insurance work if we live outside of California?
    Our therapists are only licensed to practice psychotherapy in California. If you live outside of California, we can provide neurodiverse-informed coaching services. Also, coaches can NOT provide a medical diagnosis while psychotherapists can do so. Since most insurance companies do NOT reimburse for services unless a medical diagnosis is provided by a psychotherapist, it is unlikely that coaching will be reimbursed for non-California residents.
  • Can I use an HSA or FSA Account?
    Many clients have been successful in utilizing a Health Savings Account (HSA) and/or Flexible Spending Account (FSA) for reimbursement of therapy expenses. Please note that the superbill as discussed above can serve as documentation for your FSA or HSA.
  • What can I read to learn about autism and females?
    The Female Autism Phenotype and Camouflaging: a Narrative Review​​ For a deep dive into the Female Autistic Phenotype, check out this article. ​​ ​Physical health of Autistic Girls and Women: A Scoping Review​ ​The body keeps the score! ​Females with Autism: An Unofficial List​ ​Here's a concrete list of how autistic women go through life. ​ Neurodivergent Minds​​ This book is based on a paradigm-shifting study of neurodivergent women.​ ​ ​'I was exhausted trying to figure it out': The experiences of females receiving an autism diagnosis in middle to late adulthood"​​ Read about the experiences of late-in-life women diagnosed late in life.
  • Could there be more females than males on the spectrum?
    Some research suggests this is true. Check out this article:
  • Do you provide psychotherapy or coaching outside of California?
    All of our professionals are licensed to practice psychotherapy in California. However, outside of California, they are fully equipped to provide "coaching". Therefore, our services are available as follows: California: Psychotherapy or Coaching (dependent on your needs) Outside California: Only Coaching There are several differences between psychotherapy and coaching but main one is that coaches can NOT provide a medical diagnosis while psychotherapists can do so.
  • Is coaching reimbursed by insurance companies?
    Since most insurance companies do NOT reimburse for services unless a medical diagnosis is provided by a psychotherapist. ​ Nonetheless, some progressive insurance companies reimburse clients for "health and well-being coaching". You can ask your insurance companies if they honor the following CPT codes: ​ • 0591T - Health and Well-Being Coaching face-to-face; individual, initial assessment ​ • 0592T - Individual, follow-up session, at least 30 minutes
  • I am really struggling to figure out how to help my daughter. What should I do?
    It's really tough to have a lot of questions and few answers. First, let us ask you a few questions: Are you having difficulty determining your child's position on the autism spectrum? Are you receiving conflicting diagnoses, particularly if your teenager is on the higher functioning side of the spectrum? Even if your teen is high functioning, do you notice academic or social issues that are escalating as they grow older and face greater expectations in larger school and social environments? Is your teen having trouble with transitions or becoming overly fixated on specific activities, concepts, or ideas, leading to consistent schedule adherence challenges? Are you encountering resistance from your teen when trying to provide assistance, or due to their rigid way of thinking? Has the public school system posed significant challenges, especially for your teen? Do you feel a strong urge to protect your child and shield them from the social upheavals and difficulties that are typical during the teenage years, but may be more pronounced for your autistic teen? Are you concerned about your teenager's future, wondering if they will be able to lead a normal life with stable employment and relationships? ​ The teenage years are inherently challenging, and your teen, like their peers, is in the process of developing their identity and finding ways to navigate increasingly complex academic and social settings. Additionally, your teenager perceives their experiences through a unique lens. By adolescence, most higher functioning autistic teens realize that they perceive and process things differently, and although it may be different, it makes sense to them. While many autistic teens may not seem emotionally or socially invested, those with higher functioning abilities may experience anxiety or become reactive, especially if they have faced bullying or struggle to relate to their peers. Others may not fully comprehend their differences, and autistic teens, including your child, may find it challenging to empathize with others. This further complicates the already demanding school environment, increasing frustration and difficulty for both you and your child. ​ At this point, you likely have some understanding of where your teenager falls on the autism spectrum. Perhaps they are on the higher functioning end, or you are seeking a second opinion or different type of intervention. Regardless, finding the right therapist that really understands your child can have a significant impact on their long-term well-being.
  • Will therapy work?
    It won't change who she is (we don't want to do that) but it will help. There are opportunities for teenagers to learn strategies that can mitigate the negative effects of their unique needs. A therapist can assist in overcoming daily challenges, reducing barriers, and fostering a healthier dynamic within the family. Through therapy, your teenager can acquire valuable skills to handle specific social situations. Collaborating with a therapist allows for the practice of potential scenarios, enhancing their ability to navigate social experiences. Additionally, your teenager can acquire concrete strategies to effectively manage difficult situations in a more positive manner. A therapist can also address common executive function difficulties, such as organization, memory, and time management, which often pose challenges for teens on the autism spectrum and impact family and school life. By providing the necessary tools and strategies, therapy can effectively address and resolve these challenges. ​ Furthermore, a therapist can provide insights into your teenager's future and its implications for your family. Together, you can develop a plan and acquire the skills to manage any potential issues that may arise over time. Collaborating with a therapist while facing the challenges of autism enables the development of effective management strategies. Additionally, therapists can assist in setting realistic goals and provide the necessary support and guidance to alleviate stress and reduce conflict. Engaging in this process allows you to gain a deeper understanding of your child's unique needs in a positive and supportive manner. ​ Most importantly, your therapist will give your daughter a place to feel accepted and understood in a way that is often difficult to do at home. ​ While your journey with your teenager may differ from others, with the right support, it is possible for them to lead a fulfilling life. By implementing appropriate approaches, strategies, tools, and education, your teenager can achieve significant milestones, even if you have concerns at present. It is important to note that there is no instant solution for autism, but through an effective and comprehensive approach, the journey can become a truly gratifying one.
  • I'm still feeling pretty hopeless.
    The feelings of helplessness and frustration you may be experiencing are completely understandable. It is not uncommon for parents to receive misguided or inappropriate advice, or to struggle to find the right resources for their child. Our sister organization, Parenting Autism Therapy Center, would be a good resource to help you. ​ Also, take comfort that we specialize in connecting autistic teenagers with therapists who are autistic themselves and trained to help autistic girls. These therapists understand the unique complexities involved and can offer the necessary guidance. It is important to remember that you do not have to face this alone.
  • Can I join in my daughter's therapy?
    Yes, but only when your daughter is ready. Often a child needs time to figure out what she is feeling about her parents. Our therapist will prepare them to communicate with you in a way that works for everyone.
  • Will I know what's happening in therapy?
    We'll let you know in broad strokes, basically that your daughter is OK. We will go through what we do and don't share with you in our intake process to see if you can get comfortable. Thanks in advance for trusting us with your child ​ By the way, every parent of an autistic child should read this: What Every Autistic Girl Wishes Her Parents Knew
  • What is Normal?
    With the help of neurodiverse-sensitive therapy, most clients realize that "abnormality" is not the problem; rather, the difficulty is rooted in trying to fit into their concept of what a "normal" person should look like. This shift away from "normal" can free a person from the shame that comes from the message that she or he is the problem. If we can reorient how we view diversity, abilities, and disabilities, you can begin to feel accepted for who they are; paradoxically, this acceptance makes room for real change.
  • What is Neurodiversity?
    Neurodiversity refers to the idea that the human brain can function in a wide range of different ways. These variations should be recognized and respected as a natural part of human diversity. The most common conditions people think of as neurodiversity are: ​ autism (1-2% of the population), ADHD (4-5% of the population), and dyslexia (the most common type of neurodiversity). But it also can include: Tourette's, dyspraxia, synesthesia, dyscalculia, Down syndrome, epilepsy, traumatic brain injury, and chronic mental health illnesses such as bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, borderline personality disorder, anxiety, and depression. ​ At some point, we recognize that all brains are different so rather than thinking one way is good and another bad, let's understand the differences and how to work with them.
  • What's the Social Model of neurodiversity?
    It's important to note that neurodiversity is not a medical model, but rather a social model that recognizes the diversity of human brains and how they function. This means that neurodiversity is not about "fixing" or "curing" people, but rather about creating inclusive and accommodating environments that support each person's unique strengths and abilities. ​ Some of the key principles of neurodiversity include: Rather than viewing autism and other disorders as unfortunate errors or to be corrected, we should consider these conditions as treasured parts of the genetic legacy of humanity, We work to recognize the value and contributions of neurodivergent individuals to the development of culture, society and technology, Different individuals may have different experiences and needs, There is no one-size-fits-all approach to supporting neurodiversity, We have the opportunity to challenge negative stereotypes and discrimination, and We can set a goal of creating inclusive and accessible environments for all.
  • Can you explain Identity-first versus Person-first language?
    Since 1994, the psychology profession has used the term "Asperger's Syndrome" (AS) to describe a specific group of people with neurological differences that impact social interactions, how the world is experienced, and verbal and nonverbal communication. See below for background on Asperger / Nazi controversy. ​ In 2013, the diagnostic criteria changed and AS became part of a high-functioning autism (Autism Spectrum Disorder or ASD). Our therapists and coaches use identity-first language rather than person-first language. To illustrate: Identity-first language: ​ Refers to our neurodiverse clients as Autism Spectrum (AS) partner, autistic partner, or Aspie (based on former Asperger's terminology). PRO: Suggests that autism is a core part of a person's identity (like being a Canadian) with all the strengths and weaknesses that come with that identity and implies that you are OK with having autism as the core of who you are. This is a clearer path to a more positive and realistic identity for many. CON: Some people don't like to be defined this way. Quote: Autism isn't something a person has, or a shell that a person is trapped inside. There's no normal child hidden behind the autism. Autism is a way of being. It is pervasive; it colors every experience, every sensation, perception, thought, emotion and encounter - every aspect of existence. It is not possible to separate the autism from the person – and if it were possible, the person you'd have left would not be the same person you started with. Jim Sinclair​ ​ Person-first language: Refers to clients as the partner with autism or the spouse on the spectrum. PRO: You are not only your autistic symptoms. Autism is a modifier; it is not what defines you. CON: The assumption usually is that one's autism is a burden that gets tacked onto a person (like a person who is saddled with a disease). This ignores the many strengths of being on the spectrum. ​ Although our team usually uses identity-first language, we understand the different reasons for both approaches and will accommodate whichever you are most comfortable with.
  • What's the difference between Neurodiverse and Neurodivergent?
    Often, the word 'neurodiverse' is used interchangeably with 'neurodivergent'. However, if considered carefully, an individual person technically is not neurodiverse. The term 'diverse' means 'varied,' so while a group of people with different neurotypes can be considered neurodiverse, an individual is either neurotypical or neurodivergent. ​ Since a couple is made up of two people, the term neurodiverse is a better fit.
  • I've heard people say "Autism Spectrum Difference" rather than Autism Spectrum Disorder." Can you explain this?
    Although the psychology profession (and we used it above) uses the term "Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)," we much prefer "Autism Spectrum DIFFERENCE." ​ Considering all the strengths and weaknesses, our clients are no more "disordered" than others. In other words, there is no 'normal'; rather, there are different neurotypes, some more prevalent/common than others.
  • Can you explain Allistic vs. Neurotypical?
    "Allistic" and "neurotypical" are terms used in the autistic community to describe people not on the autism spectrum. While the terms are often used interchangeably, they can have slightly different connotations. The term "neurotypical": ​ is used to describe individuals who have typical neurological development and functioning, meaning they do not have any conditions or disorders that affect their neurological development or processing. is often used in contrast to "neurodivergent," which refers to individuals with atypical neurological development or functioning, such as autism, ADHD, or dyslexia. The term "allistic" is: a way to refer to individuals who do not have autism. It is important to recognize that many people without autism may still have other conditions that affect their neurological development or functioning, such as ADHD, dyslexia, or anxiety disorders. So, while "allistic" refers specifically to individuals without autism, it does not necessarily mean they do not have any other neurodivergent traits or experiences. is used to acknowledge the difference between autistic and non-autistic individuals, without pathologizing or stigmatizing either group.
  • What's up with the Nazi controversy surrounding Hans Asperger?
    Hans Asperger was an Austrian pediatrician and medical researcher widely known for his work on autism spectrum disorder. However, there has been controversy regarding Asperger's involvement with the Nazi regime during World War II. Asperger was a member of the Nazi Party and worked in Vienna during the 1930s and 1940s, a time when eugenics was a prevalent ideology in Europe. Asperger is said to have collaborated with the Nazi regime by referring children with disabilities to the Am Spiegelgrund clinic, a facility that conducted forced euthanasia on children deemed "unworthy of life" under the Nazi euthanasia program. In 2018, a study by historian Herwig Czech revealed evidence that Asperger actively participated in the Nazi regime's euthanasia program and was involved in transferring disabled children to the Spiegelgrund clinic. Czech's findings contradict Asperger's previous reputation as a defender of autistic children during the Nazi era. The controversy surrounding Asperger's involvement with the Nazi regime has sparked a debate among scholars and professionals specializing in autism spectrum disorder. Some argue that Asperger's work on autism should be judged solely on its scientific merit. In contrast, others contend that his collaboration with the Nazi regime is inseparable from his scientific contributions. Given the controversy, we avoid the use of Asperger's but respect a clients' wishes if they prefer that term.
  • What is the connection between Autism and Gender?
    The prevalence of individuals with autism who identify as LGBTQIA+ is not well established due to limited research on this topic. Some studies suggest that individuals with autism may be more likely to identify as LGBTQIA+ than the general population, while others do not show a significant difference. For example, a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders in 2020 found that autistic individuals were more likely to identify as non-heterosexual compared to non-autistic individuals. Specifically, 16.1% of autistic individuals in the study identified as non-heterosexual, compared to 5.9% of non-autistic individuals. ​ Furthermore, a study published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders in 2017 found that there was no significant difference in the sexual orientation or gender identity of autistic and non-autistic individuals. Another study published in the journal Autism in 2016 found that autistic individuals were more likely to identify as a sexual minority than non-autistic individuals. Specifically, the study found that 8.6% of autistic individuals identified as a sexual minority, compared to 5.5% of non-autistic individuals. It is important to note that the samples in these studies were relatively small and may not be representative of the broader population. Additionally, sexual orientation and gender identity are complex and personal topics that may not be fully captured by survey questions. Therefore, further research is needed to better understand the relationship between autism and LGBTQIA+ identities. ​ Please know that our team is fully committed to providing an affirmative space for people who identify as LGBTQIA+.
  • Does being "autistic" mean I'm "disabled"?
    The term "disabled" can have different meanings and connotations, depending on the context and the perspective from which it is used. In general, the term refers to a condition or impairment that limits a person's ability to perform certain activities or participate in certain aspects of society. Whether or not to use the term "disabled" to describe autistic people is a matter of personal preference and perspective. Pro: Some autistic individuals prefer to identify as disabled, as they believe it accurately reflects the challenges they face and the accommodations they may need. Con: Others believe the word disabled over-emphasizes deficits over strengths and may prefer to use other terms, such as "neurodivergent" or "differently-abled," which emphasize their unique abilities and strengths. ​ Ultimately, it is important to respect individuals' preferences and use language that they feel accurately reflects their experiences and identity.
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