Autism Services

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects behavior, communication and social functioning. Psychologists play an important role diagnosing ASD and helping people cope with and manage the challenges associated with the disorder.

Although ASD can be diagnosed as early as 15 to 18 months of age, the average age of diagnosis is about 4.5 years, and some people are not diagnosed until adulthood. However, prompt diagnosis is critical for early intervention. If you suspect your child shows signs of the disorder, call us today to make an initial appointment.

Psychologists also play an important role in helping children of all ages as well as adults with ASD manage specific challenges associated with the disorder.Each person with ASD is different and has a range of strengths and challenges.

Psychologists can make recommendations based on an individual’s cognitive, behavioral, emotional and academic needs. These treatment plans can help ABA therapists, educators and others capitalize on the individual’s strengths and accommodate any challenges. Psychologists create new treatment plans to help clients and their families succeed at key transition points such as starting school, entering adolescence or moving into adulthood.

Psychologists can also help with specific challenges that arise for people with ASD and their families. Here at the Kanata Psychology and Counselling Centre, our services include:

  • Diagnostic assessment – children and adolescents (currently booking assessments), and adults (service to begin in 2019)
  • Treatments to help people with ASD manage anxiety or mood disorders such as depression. This often includes cognitive behavioral therapy or acceptance and commitment therapy, modified to the needs of the individual, helping them cope with negative thoughts and change maladaptive behaviors.
  • Treatments to help manage sleeping and feeding problems that often coincide with ASD.
  • Social skills groups to help people with ASD improve conversational skills, nonverbal communication and play (service to be offered in 2019).
  • Individual psychotherapy to help adults with autism improve relationships, reduce symptoms of mental health concerns, and improve life skills necessary for employment (services to be offered in 2019).
  • Individual psychotherapy to help parents of children with ASD cope with the emotions and challenges they might experience while parenting a child with special needs (service to be offered in 2019).


Written by Dr. Laura Hanson
Dr. Laura Hanson is a Clinical Psychologist at the Kanata Psychology & Counselling Centre where she provides services to adolescents and children. She also has extensive experience working with and running programs for individuals with autism. If you are interested in making an appointment with Dr Hanson or are interested in our Autism services, please call (613) 435-2729 or e-mail to book an appointment. Alternatively, you can click the “Book an Appointment” button above and select Dr. Laura Hanson as who you would like to meet with.