The Basics: What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

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Each teen with autism is unique. The level of disability and combination of symptoms can vary dramatically on the autism spectrum which makes it essential for every teen with autism to get a proper diagnosis and the treatment they need. The first step towards a proper diagnosis and lasting change among teens often begins with parents understanding autism.

In order to best help their teen with autism, parents first must develop an understanding of what defines autism and the daily challenges their teen faces as a result of their disorder. A supportive home environment, paired with the right strategies can help teens with ASD establish more meaningful relationships and greater success in life.

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is defined as having persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts. This can be manifested in a variety ways from deficits in social-emotional reciprocity, deficits in nonverbal communication, and deficits in developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships.

Common strengths associated with ASD in teens are remarkable memory skills, attention to detail, early reading skills development, creative thinking, and excellent spelling skills. For parents of teens with ASD, it may be more helpful to think of autism as neurodevelopmental disability, or an impairment of the brain, rather than a learning disability. Autism affects not only the way a teen learns, but also how they interact with, respond to, and view the world around them.

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About Vantage Point by Aspiro

Vantage Point is a specialized offshoot of Aspiro Adventure, the program that pioneered wilderness adventure therapy. Vantage Point focuses on helping students with executive function disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Nonverbal Learning Disorders, among others.

The Vantage Point programs are designed to build self-efficacy in our students through overwhelming mastery experiences – our students accomplish goals they never believed possible, which creates a belief that they are capable of changing their own lives for the better. We focus specifically on social dynamics and social skills to help our students connect with others and feel like they can be a part of the world. Experiential Learning is a tenet of our philosophy and our program. Paired with ongoing individual therapy and targeting specific areas for growth, our wilderness therapy programs are proven successful by outcome studies and are overseen by experienced Field Guides and clinical professionals