My teen is gifted and they are on the autism spectrum or neurodiverse.
They excel in one area, but they lack other important life skills.
My teen is struggling socially. Sometimes, they are bullied by their peers, but they want to make friends.
I want to give my teen every opportunity to succeed.
As a parent of a teen with autism, I am concerned about their future after high school.
You Have a Twice-Exceptional Teen with Autism or Neurodiversity
Your twice-exceptional teen is gifted and neurodivergent or exhibits traits associated with autism. They have exceptional abilities in specific areas of their life, such as mathematics, art, music, or writing. However, they may also face challenges in developing other crucial life skills, such as interpersonal skills or executive functioning.
Twice-Exceptional Youth, or Neurodiverse Teens, May Have Areas Where They Could Benefit From Further Skill Development:
- Social skills: Building connections, demonstrating empathy, and appreciating diverse perspectives.
- Communication skills: Navigating conversational turn-taking, initiating dialogue, and understanding non-literal language.
- Self-help skills: Promoting personal care practices and engaging in household tasks.
- Processing speed variations: Some individuals may require additional time to complete tasks or comprehend verbal communication.
- Executive planning skills: Challenges with planning, attention, organization, time management, or short-term memory difficulties
Your Gifted Teen with Autism is Often Misunderstood
Other people seem to have trouble understanding and connecting with your gifted teen who has autism traits. Teachers and extended family members may not fully grasp your child’s unique behaviors and abilities. Your teen is incredibly bright and talented but may struggle to function independently without some assistance. They might also feel socially uncomfortable or misunderstood, leading to labels like lazy, rude, oppositional, or unmotivated. But that’s not the case at all. This is simply a result of their autism. For instance, what may appear as laziness is actually their way of avoiding situations that make them feel uneasy or that they don’t fully comprehend.
Unfortunately, many neurodiverse teens internalize these negative perceptions of themselves. This distracts them from addressing the areas where they need support and skill development. This lack of support can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, and diminished self-confidence.
Gifted Teens With Autism Want to Make Friends and Feel Accepted
Many exceptional teens with autism have a thinking style often referred to as polarized thinking or black-and-white thinking. They strongly hold onto their own beliefs and struggle to understand others’ perspectives. This can make it challenging for neurotypical peers to connect and interact with them. Leading your teen to experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. Unfortunately, some of these teens may have also experienced bullying due to their differences.
As a result, these experiences can contribute to feelings of depression and anxiety in your teen. They may start to believe that they are flawed, broken, or worthless, which further hinders their ability to learn and develop necessary skills. It’s important to remember that your gifted teen desires friendship and acceptance just like anyone else. They also have a desire for independence but may require guidance on where to begin.
The Gifted Teen with Autism Group Provides Support For Your Teen
You know your autistic teen is amazing! And, with the right support and practice, they can master the skills they need to thrive after high school. Your child deserves a tribe and a team that understands and embraces neurodiversity. The Gifted Teen with Autism Group at Open Doors Therapy, offers a safe and supportive environment for gifted teens with autism. Our group provides a space where your teen can connect with others who face similar challenges.
The group provides a safe space for young individuals to express their thoughts, concerns, and emotions. It’s really important for your teenager to have their own group where they can start building their independence and separate themselves from their parents. Many neurodiverse teens with autism rely on their parents to advocate for them, but in their own group, they can learn valuable skills that empower them and help them feel more confident.
In the Gifted Teen with Autism Group, Your Teen Will Have the Opportunity to Develop Valuable Skills
One of the challenges that many neurodiverse teens face is building and maintaining meaningful friendships. That’s why our social support group curriculum is designed specifically to address this. By focusing on teaching and practicing social skills and life skills. We aim to create a safe and accepting environment, guided by an autism therapist, where they can learn and grow. Ultimately, our goal is to empower them with the tools they need to thrive independently, gain confidence, and achieve success in college.
Your Child Will Learn and Practice Social Skills with Other Gifted Youth with Autism
We understand that your gifted teen may face challenges in social situations. This can make it difficult for them to form meaningful friendships. We recognize that their unique social traits may cause them to feel anxious in social settings. That’s why our therapists are here to help your teen develop social skills that they can practice in a supportive group environment. Our goal is to empower them to feel more comfortable and confident in social settings while embracing their authentic selves. It’s important to note that our groups aim to foster social confidence without promoting masking in social interactions. We value neurodiversity and believe in supporting individuals to thrive while staying true to who they are!
Some of the important things your teen will learn include:
- Strategies to boost confidence in starting conversations.
- Managing the urge to share excessive information.
- Enhancing non-verbal communication skills.
- Understanding social norms and cues.
- Developing active listening abilities.
- Expressing empathy and validation to foster connections
Your Neurodiverse Teen Will Learn Strategies to Cope with Stress and Anxiety
Many gifted teens with autism traits experience anxiety due to challenges in social interactions. While they may have exceptional abilities, they may also face difficulties in other areas of their lives. This can lead to significant stress for them. That’s why our autism therapists are here to support your child in learning new relaxation and stress reduction techniques tailored to their needs. Our goal is to help them better manage their anxiety and thrive in their unique neurodiverse journey.
Your child will gain valuable skills in reducing stress through various techniques, such as:
- Developing awareness of emotions and identifying triggers for worry.
- Practicing relaxation methods.
- Implementing self-care strategies.
- Utilizing tips to manage sensory overload.
Your Autistic Teen Will Become More Confident and Self-Aware
Ultimately, our goal is for your child to leave our support group feeling empowered with the skills and self-assurance necessary to thrive in their unique journey. We aim for them to develop independence and the ability to self-advocate. All while embracing and celebrating their neurodiversity.
Some of the Self-Awareness Skills They Will Learn Include:
- Identifying their goals for the future, tailored to their unique strengths and interests.
- Establish a routine and structure that works best for them.
- Equipping them with the necessary tools to foster independence and navigate adulthood in a way that suits their neurodiverse needs.
- Practicing self-advocacy and developing strategies to navigate uncomfortable situations that may arise due to their neurodiversity.
- Recognizing their strengths, honoring their values, and addressing their unique challenges in a neurodiverse-friendly approach.
Specifics about the Gifted Teen Group
This group is specifically for teens and young adults aged 16-20 who identify as neurodiverse or on the Autism spectrum. We warmly welcome individuals who embrace their unique neurological characteristics. Parents and other caregivers can choose to join a separate online group dedicated to autism caregivers. Before joining our group, we will schedule a free phone consultation with you and your child. This will help us determine if our group is the right fit for you. Following that, we will schedule an intake appointment to learn more about you and your child’s specific needs.
For participants, we request a commitment of once-a-week meetings lasting 1 hour. Our group operates during the school year, with two options available. The first group option runs from August through December, while the second group option runs from January through May. Meetings take place once a week after school. The cost of this group is $150 per session for your child. For more information on fees and payment, please click here.
Online Support Group in California
Our groups will be held online via Zoom, providing a virtual space for everyone. Whether you’re in Sacramento, San Diego, or anywhere in between, if you’re in California, you’re welcome to join us! Our group meets in Pacific Standard Time (PST). To join our meetings, you will need an internet connection and a device with audio and video capabilities. We believe that online support groups are especially beneficial for neurodiverse individuals who may struggle with in-person interactions. The virtual format offers flexibility, comfort, and accessibility while still creating opportunities for social growth and practice.
Begin Online Autism Therapy with Your Teen in California, Including The Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, and Sacramento Areas
If you’re ready to discover a supportive community for you and your gifted, neurodiverse teen, we’re here to assist. Open Doors Therapy offers the Gifted Youth Group and Caregiver Group, where you’ll find valuable parenting resources and your child will gain essential life skills in an inclusive and accepting space. Our aim is to boost your confidence in the future, so join us for autism group therapy in California by following these steps:
- Contact our autism therapy clinic to schedule a free phone consultation,
- Join us for a 1.5-hour intake meeting with an autism specialist. This will allow us to make sure the group will be a good fit.
- Find support and give your teen an opportunity to learn new social skills in the group!
Other Autism Services at Open Doors Therapy
All of our services are provided online. Our California counseling clinic helps teens and adults with autistic traits and their families. This includes individuals who identify as having Asperger’s, undiagnosed autism traits, etc. Specifically, our services include individual therapy, parent counseling, and group therapy. We also offer neurodiverse-affirming groups for college students with autistic traits, young adults with autism, neurodiverse adults, women who identify as neurodiverse, a mother’s group, and an online autism parent support group. We now offer online group therapy in the state of California. Also, I write weekly blog posts to share autism information and resources. Please contact Open Doors Therapy to learn more about our autism therapy options and how we can help you or your loved one!