Behavioral therapist for 4yo girl

I'm looking for recommendations for my 4yo daughter. We've been struggling with emotional and behavioral issues recently and her pediatrician suggested that she could have a high-functioning autism diagnosis. We've received referrals from the pediatrician as well as a list of child and adolescent therapists to contact for individual/family therapy. However, the list of therapists is 4 pages long and I have no idea where to start! While we wait for responses from RCEB and the Stanford Behavior Department (which we're told could take months), I'd love to get started with therapy. We are at the beginning of this journey as a family and any therapist recommendations would be greatly appreciated. We don't have Kaiser and would love to see someone in Alameda, Berkeley, or Oakland. TIA for your suggestions!

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We have also been having some struggles with our 3.5yo son who is highly emotional with some sensory challenges but does not seem to be on the spectrum. Instead of behavioral therapy, my sister-in-law, who is a child development specialist in the Chicago area, recommended play therapy. We have seen some marked improvement already after only a few months of therapy. We see Kristen Hurvitz of Berkeley Play Therapy I'm not sure if she is taking new patients but it's worth reaching out. My SIL said that in kids this young, play therapy tends to be more effective. If Kristen isn't taking new patients, I'm sure she has recommendations for other play therapists.

Hey there, we have a good therapist. Feel free to text me or email me at nspooner [at]

her name is Suzanne harkless if you want to look her up. 

BEware of Behaviour health provider network, or Easter Seals. 

my son was scammed out of thousands of dollars for what they were paid, with a coding of hospital evaluations, and other billings that Kaiser paid them for, I know you indicated you didn't have kaiser, but these networks may be contracted with other medical companies, so just beware.  Hope you get the help you need.  My son is going on 13, and it's a long road, but their are many things you can do as parents that can help cut down on some behaviours. PRayers. 

Hi!  Try a pediatric occupational therapist.  They can help with sensory and emotional regulation regardless of any diagnosis.  When you find out what her triggers are she won’t have as many issues.  It’s a route with the least interventions. Unless your child has had trauma- then psychology type therapist is good to do as well.  Pediatric OT’s can often be used as a spring board and center for other helpful referrals.  You are right to start your journey early.  

My son, who is a high functioning autistic, had a number of emotional and behavioral difficulties when he was 4, though he wasn't officially diagnosed until age 7.  I didn't focus on therapy at the time but took an amazing parenting class that is geared towards families with neurodiverse and/or spirited kids.  It was run by Wellspring Educational Services and called Positive Parenthood (found at website).  The class was intensive and did wonders for our family in helping me learn to support my son to stay regulated.  I still use the tools I learned there. We later started working with Whole Child Psychological Services, who does provide individual behavioral therapy for all ages of kids.  I would highly recommend you check out both.  My son is thriving now, thanks in large part to the help I received from them!

My daughter had similar challenges at that age. It was overwhelming to navigate through all the options and insurance. We did an evaluation with a developmental neuropsychologist (Carina Grandison) who was great to identify her challenges and diagnose. And worked with Lee-Anne Bloom (Oak Bloom OT — for several years. She specializes in Sensory, ADHD and Autism and was incredibly helpful in teaching my daughter,  and us, strategies for emotional and sensory regulation, as well as social skills. It’s been 6-7 years now and she/we still use tools we learned from Lee-Anne.