AuSM's highly trained, certified therapists have committed their careers to helping individuals with autism understand their diagnosis and address both the challenges and gifts the diagnosis can bring. The AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services (ACCS) team works in partnership with you to develop a plan based on your needs. ACCS is currently available for new clients.
Dear Sara:

My son has been seeing a therapist for a while now. While he seems to like the therapist he still struggles with anxiety, challenging behavior at home, refusal to do some basic chores, and a lack of motivation or desire to do much. Soon he will be transitioning to adult life. What else is there or who else do we call for other supports? 

Needing More Than Therapy

Dear Needing More Than Therapy:

This is a common question for clients. Whether a significant life transition is coming up (e.g. school ending, need to move out of parent’s house, or just a tough year), or a person is struggling, a person may need more supports, and that is OK. Remember: talking about something and doing something are two different things. While your son is learning skills in therapy, he may need help to initiate those skills or find additional skills that are important in environments like home and work.

If you have not already, spend some time on the Minnesota Department of Human Services website. Look at what supports are offered for people with disabilities and people with mental health issues, or call your county and ask about getting other formal supports. This may begin as a Minnesota Choices assessment, which lets you know the supports for which you qualify. You may want to start with Person Centered Planning, which can help your son develop a vision of his future and help all of you navigate the many supports and how to access them.     

Some of the formal supports offered by the county for MA recipients include
Children’s Therapeutic Services and Supports (CTSS). Behavioral supports are provided for children and individuals with ASD through 21 years of age on Medical Assistance through a benefit called Early Intensive Developmental-Behavioral Intervention (EIDBI). 

If your son is getting a bit older, Adult Rehabilitative Mental Health Services (ARMHS) can provide individuals with:
  • Basic living and social skills
  • Certified peer specialist services
  • Community intervention
  • Medication education

Semi-Independent Living Services (SILS) is another support for which some individuals qualify. This includes training and assistance in managing money, preparing meals, shopping, personal appearance, hygiene, and other activities needed to maintain and improve the capacity of a person to live in the community. A goal of SILS is to support people in ways that will enable them to achieve personally desired outcomes and lead self-directed lives.

The Disability Hub MN is a free statewide service to help you find options to live independently. You can call 866.333.2466 Monday through Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or visit the Disability Hub MN website for more information anytime.

In addition to government-provided supports, many non-profits also offer additional services. Social supports can be helpful for individuals who may be experiencing a lot of isolation and want to find others who have similar issues or interests. The Autism Society of Minnesota has many support groups and social skills classes

If your son is interested, there are a number of options on to find social gatherings with his specific interest. I also have many clients that really enjoy Special Olympics and the TAP

While there is no one answer to what is the best support, know there are a lot of supports out there. If you're looking for more guidance about which supports to choose, you can talk to your son's therapist or call AuSM's Information and Resources line at 651.647.1083.

Good luck!

Hear from the AuSM therapists at the 24th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference
The 24th Annual Minnesota Autism Conference is where we'll join our voices as a passionate network to connect and inspire innovation. Here, expert speakers, educators, professionals, caregivers, and individuals with autism have a platform to exchange knowledge and ideas with one another - all with the goal of enhancing the lives of those on the autism spectrum.

AuSM's Counseling and Consulting team will be presenting sessions on Thursday, April 25, and there will be sessions throughout the conference that provide practical life advice for families and individuals on the spectrum.
AuSM Counseling and Consulting Services
Dr. Amy Carrison, PsyD, LADC
Pronouns: she/her
Sara Pahl, MS, BCBA, LPCC, NCC
Pronouns: she/her
Dr. Jennifer S. Reinke, PhD, LAMFT, CFLE
Pronouns: she/her
Bjorn Walter, MA
Pronouns: he/his
Barbara L. Photo
Dr. Barb Luskin, PhD, LP
Pronouns: she/her
Beth Pitchford, MA, LPCC
Pronouns she/her
Meg Benefield, MSW, LICSW
Pronouns: she/her
Sara Lahti, MA
Pronouns: she/her
Services include:

  • Diagnostic, functional or behavioral assessments for children, adolescents, and adults
  • Individual therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Developmental therapy
  • Behavior consultation
  • Marriage and couples therapy
  • Training for organizations and service providers

To inquire about our services or to make an appointment, please contact AuSM at 651.647.1083 or e-mail
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