ISO ASD therapy for newly-diagnosed teen

I’m hoping someone here can help us. My 17-year-old son was recently diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder level 1 (aka “high functioning”), after a months-long process using our Kaiser plan and the Behavioral Providers Health Network. All of his assessments (three now) were done online, and the process took many months. It’s now been three months since he received the diagnosis and we still don’t have a treatment provider — the best BHPN seems to be able to offer is online therapy with an org that is located 100 miles away! 

Our son has only one more year with us and he is struggling mightily. We need to find him, ideally, a peer treatment group that meets regularly in person, within ten miles or so of Berkeley/El Cerrito, as well as a therapist to work with us all as a family. Asap. At this point we are willing to pay out of pocket - Kaiser is failing us. I would be grateful for any referrals!

Parent Replies

New responses are no longer being accepted.

Try Dr. Ari Oklan. He's a psychologist who has been helpful to us for similar ASD issues with our teen son. He does not take insurance (does a superbill you can submit yourself to insurance co.) but when we were looking we finally gave up on that. Also not sure if he's taking new clients right now, but check and find out.

We have also been struggling with Kaiser and BHPN about getting direct treatment for our son who was diagnosed with ASD. A parent educator at Stanford ESPA mentioned we might check with his pediatrician about possible Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and this got us a referral to Kaiser child psychiatry. Apparently they do have a special department for ASD and are opening up for in-person treatment, including family therapy. Generally speaking we have had better experience working with Kaiser providers directly than with BHPN. I hope this helps!

Hi, I suggest you join the asnld-parent- support Google group. It is a local group of parents that meet monthly and exchange support for kids with a similar profile. My son was diagnosed with ASD at 18 and this group has been incredibly helpful with all kinds of resources. DBT was very helpful for my kid- we used Clearwater clinic. It’s a lot to navigate. Feel free to reach out if you think I can be of further help.