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Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Alter is proud to offer treatment for neurodivergent individuals. Instead of treating autism itself, we treat its most debilitating symptoms in order to make life more manageable.


When clients are dealing with co-occurring disorders like anxiety, mood disorders, ADHD, intellectual abilities, Alter helps them cope with the worst symptoms and learn the skills for a more fulfilling life.

mission viejo facility

We Proudly Care for Those with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Not every mental health center is equipped to treat people with autism, but at Alter we have the specific tools and training to do so.


Duration of Treatment

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a lifelong condition and has no known cure. The treatment team at Alter hopes to help clients accept their diagnoses and make their symptoms more manageable through the use of intense therapy 2x/week and various therapeutic modalities and practices.

Why Choose Alter for Autism Co-Occurring Disorders

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Nothing Short of the Best Treatment for Autism Spectrum Disorder

Alter is unique in that we are an autism-informed company. Many mental health centers opt out of treating neurodivergent individuals, but we welcome them with arms wide open as long as they are able to complete basic ADLs (Activities of Daily Living) on their own (showering, feeding themselves, etc).


Being autism-informed, we’re able to offer tailored interventions to work with the client. For example, our staff understands autistic triggers and stimming, and these factors do not influence the level of care autistic clients receive. Our clinical team has been trained in autism-informed care and is able to work effectively with clients on learning how to cope with their symptoms.

Call Now for Program Availability

Contact our admissions team to learn about our programs and to check availability at our facilities, or submit your insurance to verify coverage.


Real People, Real Results.

“My family was in crisis, I called Alter late in the evening and to my surprise a very kind voice answered my call. The Alter Irvine location seemed too good to be true. It was the perfect match for my son’s needs.


The facility itself blew my mind from the moment I walked through the front door. Everything was so well thought out. It hits your senses, the aroma of garlic from a private chef cooking meals in a dream kitchen. The sounds of water feature in the backyard fostered serenity and calm.


They offer one on one therapy for residents. Clients are treated like humans and not a number.


The staff goes above and beyond for the client’s care. The Inpatient autism treatment program is the perfect choice. My son is in the right place!” – Joyce S.

How Autism Impacts the Family

Living with autism can turn family life upside down. Parents often find themselves juggling increased caregiving demands alongside their own emotional stress and financial worries. Routines get shaken up, family activities disrupted, and siblings may feel sidelined or burdened. Social outings? They often take a back seat as families navigate the unpredictability that can come with autism. The pressure and misunderstandings don’t just affect emotions—but can take a toll on everyone’s mental and physical health. Balancing it all isn’t easy, but with support and understanding, families can find their way through and become closer than ever.

family impact
family therapy

Family Involvement in the Treatment Process

It’s important for families to understand that at Alter, we do not treat the autism itself, we treat the debilitating symptoms that are associated with it.


Both the medical and clinical teams at Alter make it a point to establish and maintain contact with healthy family support. Depending on what the client allows us to share, we provide progress updates and information on symptoms and medications to family members. Additionally, we provide psychoeducation and resources to families who are having a difficult time understanding their loved one’s diagnosis. If appropriate, families are involved in family therapy sessions as well.

Frequently Asked Questions about Autism Spectrum Disorder

What are autism co-occurring disorders?

Autism co-occurring disorders refer to additional conditions or disorders that can commonly occur alongside ASD.


Co-occurring disorders can vary widely among individuals with autism and may present unique challenges and support needs. These conditions may impact the individual’s overall functioning, behavior, and quality of life, and they often require specialized assessment and intervention in addition to addressing the core symptoms of ASD.

  • Intellectual disabilities
  • Epilepsy
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Mood disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
  • Sensory processing disorder
  • Gastrointestinal issues

The causes of these co-occurring disorders can be multifactorial and may involve a combination of genetic, environmental, and developmental factors. Here are some factors that may contribute to the development of autism co-occurring disorders:

  • Genetic factors
  • Brain development
  • Environmental factors
  • Neurobiological mechanisms
  • Developmental and behavioral factors
  • Medical comorbidities

Intellectual disabilities

  • Difficulty with intellectual functioning, including challenges with reasoning, problem-solving, and adaptive skills (e.g., self-care, communication, social skills).
  • Developmental delays in milestones such as language, motor skills, and social interaction.
  • Impairments in cognitive abilities, such as learning difficulties and deficits in memory and attention.



  • Recurrent seizures, which can vary in type and severity.
  • Unusual behaviors or sensations (auras) preceding seizures.
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness during seizures.
  • Motor symptoms, such as muscle stiffness, jerking movements, or staring spells.


Anxiety disorders

  • Excessive worry or fear that is difficult to control.
  • Physical symptoms of anxiety, such as restlessness, muscle tension, trembling, or sweating.
  • Avoidance of feared situations or activities.
  • Difficulty concentrating or sleeping due to worry or fear.


Mood disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder)

  • Persistent feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness.
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in activities once enjoyed.
  • Changes in appetite or weight.
  • Sleep disturbances, such as insomnia or hypersomnia.
  • Irritability, agitation, or outbursts of anger.


Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

  • Inattention symptoms, such as difficulty sustaining attention, organizing tasks, or following through on instructions.
  • Hyperactivity symptoms, including excessive fidgeting, restlessness, or difficulty remaining seated.
  • Impulsivity symptoms, such as interrupting others, blurting out answers, or difficulty waiting for one’s turn.


Sensory processing disorder

  • Heightened or diminished sensitivity to sensory stimuli, such as sound, light, touch, taste, or smell.
  • Overreaction or underreaction to sensory input, leading to discomfort or distress.
  • Difficulty filtering out irrelevant sensory information and focusing attention on relevant stimuli.
  • Epilepsy: Antiepileptic medications (anticonvulsants)
  • Anxiety: Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), Serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), Buspirone, Tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs)
  • Mood disorders: Mood stabilizers, atypical antipsychotics such as Risperidone (Risperdal) or Aripiprazole (Abilify), may be prescribed for severe mood symptoms or psychosis
  • ADHD: Stimulants and non-stimulants

Co-occurring disorders can significantly impact how autism symptoms manifest and are managed in individuals. For example, a common co-occurring disorder like anxiety can exacerbate sensory sensitivities, social difficulties, and repetitive behaviors often associated with autism. Similarly, ADHD can intensify impulsivity, hyperactivity, and attention deficits, making it harder for individuals with autism to focus and engage in tasks. Co-occurring disorders may also complicate communication challenges, emotional regulation, and adaptive functioning, further influencing the overall presentation of autism symptoms. Understanding and addressing these additional challenges is crucial for providing comprehensive support and intervention tailored to the individual’s unique needs.

Managing multiple conditions requires a comprehensive approach involving collaboration between healthcare professionals, individualized treatment plans, and support from family and caregivers. Our team at Alter is very equipped to understand the nuances of treating multiple conditions, making Alter an ideal option for treating autism co-occurring disorders.

The long-term implications of co-occurring disorders for individuals with autism can vary widely depending on factors such as the specific combination of disorders, their severity, and the availability of appropriate support and intervention. However, in general, co-occurring disorders can impact various aspects of an individual’s life, including education, employment, relationships, and overall quality of life. Without proper management and support, co-occurring disorders may increase the risk of functional impairments, social isolation, mental health challenges, and reduced independence in adulthood. However, early identification, comprehensive intervention, and ongoing support can mitigate these risks and improve long-term outcomes for individuals with autism and co-occurring disorders, empowering them to lead fulfilling and meaningful lives.

Supporting a loved one with autism and co-occurring disorders involves understanding their unique needs, providing structure and routine, fostering communication, and accessing appropriate resources and services. Alter helps families with these aspects while their loved one is in treatment.

Call Now for Program Availability

Contact our admissions team to learn about our programs and to check availability at our facilities, or submit your insurance to verify coverage.

We Accept Most Insurance

We accept most major insurance providers including the ones displayed here.
Submit your insurance to confirm coverage.

We Accept Most Insurance

We accept most major insurance providers including the ones displayed here.
Submit your insurance to confirm coverage.

Licensed & Accredited

Our facilities have been awarded prestigious recognition and certifications by adhering to rigorous guidelines and exceeding quality standards with consistent, safe & effective healthcare services.