Helping Neurodiverse Adolescent Girls
New Focus Academy helps neurodiverse girls and boys gain independence and live more fulfilling lives. We use evidence-based therapeutic techniques, one on one coaching, and a relational approach to help students grow and thrive.
We help students with various emotional, social, and cognitive challenges that are affecting their day-to-day lives and wellbeing. We see our students beyond their diagnosis, but girls in our program sometimes have one or more of the following diagnoses:
- ASD Level 1 and high level 2
- Nonverbal Learning Disorder (NLD/NVLD)
- Obsessive-compulsive Disorder
- Possible disorders being debated or potential misdiagnoses related to:
- Personality Disorders (e.g., Borderline or Histrionic)
- Oppositional Defiance
- Disruptive Mood Dysregulation
In addition to various diagnoses, some of our girls also struggle with:
- Body image issues
- Sexuality/Sexual issues/Poor sexual boundaries
- Distorted views of social media versus reality
- Emotional regulation
- History of self harm/suicidal thoughts
- Sensory issues
- Identity-related issues (including sexuality and gender)
- Late diagnosis of ASD
- Eating Disorders
Please understand, while we seek to help all students, if your child is struggling with sexually predatory behavior or is intentionally violent or aggressive, New Focus Academy may not be able to support them best. We can refer you to other facilities and professional services for these challenges.
HELPING GIRLS WITH A LATE DIAGNOSIS
Girls at New Focus may have been diagnosed on the spectrum much later than their male peers. We understand the different challenges they may face while being a female on the spectrum. Getting help for your daughter to help her overcome her challenges and identify her strengths can set her up for long-term success.
*From a prominent author on the subject of females with Autism, Jennifer Cook (formerly O’Toole), is the Chick-List Checklist: https://www.sanctuary-magazine.com/autism-in-heels.html
STUDENTS WE SERVE
Below are representative profiles of the type of students that attend New Focus Academy.
Even at a young age, Katie was passionate about justice and superheroes. She collects comic books, pajamas, posters, movies, action figures, and video games related to her favorite superhero, Batman. Her peers entertain Katie’s passions for awhile, but eventually become bored with her unceasing talk of superheroes. Katie also obsesses about getting revenge on peers she feels have wronged others. Unfortunately, her acting out for “justice” has led to aggression and altercations with other peers. In addition, her slow processing speed makes her easily overwhelmed at school. Katie’s family tried alternative placements with little success.
Molly is a sensitive, compassionate young woman who enjoys social interactions. She struggles picking up on social cues and timing, such as telling jokes excessively or at inappropriate times. Molly’s undeveloped social skills cause peers to avoid or even bully her. In desperation for fitting in, she began bullying some of her peers. Her social isolation and cognitive difficulties are causing frustration and avoidance of school and homework.