Cultural Competency and Its Application within the Autism Community for Social Workers

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Often, families are provided some case management support in the social work environment and are not linked with the benefits of traditional social work therapy and counseling services may bring. There appear to be several possible reasons for this, but most strikingly, we find many professionals and families categorize autism as a developmental disability and not a mental illness. Autism is an Axis 1 diagnosis in the DSM-IV, and literature indicates therapy and counseling based on behavioral theory is effective in decreasing symptoms and problem behavior as well as training new skills. Given our skills sets and additional understanding of autism and treatments, we explore ways we can benefit the family and/or client with autism within a social work context.


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