What is Autism?

boy looking out window

What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a broad diagnosis that impacts an individual’s life in seemingly different ways. This difference is why treatment approaches vary for every child. In general, ASD is a social disorder that may impact the development of a person’s cognitive and social abilities. 

How Autism Impacts a Person’s Life

At Reach High, we have found that we are most effective when we take the time to understand how ASD has impacted your child and your family’s life. We are then able to develop an individualized and impactful treatment process that will result in positive and socially significant outcomes. We have developed a holistic approach with treatment development that begins with breaking down the diagnosis to understand the severity level in 4 primary areas.


The two areas of communication we evaluate during our assessment process are your child’s ability to express himself/herself with words and the ability to understand language. Communication is the first step to an individual’s ability to gain independence and self advocacy. During your evaluation, you will be provided an in-depth look at your child’s present understanding and usage of language.

Social Awareness

Autism may have a large effect on the child’s ability to create long lasting relationships with family and friends. We work on supporting them in learning that social interactions can be enjoyable by engaging in imaginary and functional play, having and holding conversations, and responding and understanding others’ emotions. 

Physiological Awareness

Autism’s impact on an individual’s physiological awareness shows itself in many ways that are difficult to pinpoint; however, they are largely based on the individual’s sensory experience which largely impact’s how quickly or often they become aroused by their environment. This can present itself as issues with sleeping, lack of responsiveness or hyperactivity.

Emotional Regulation

Common challenges with emotional regulation may appear as hyperactivity, aggression towards self, others, as well as the environment, impulsivity, and even anxiety. Autism’s impact on an individual’s emotional regulation presents itself as the behaviors of concern for many parents, teachers, or participants in the individual’s life.

How can Reach High help?

Reach High completes a statistically valid assessment that was uniquely designed to output a severity level in the four primary areas of impact. This assessment provides our Board Certified Behavior Analysts with the information they need to approach treatment based on the highest areas of impact for your child’s development.