A number of mental-health issues frequently accompany autism spectrum disorder:

  • Anxiety disorders are very common among people on the autism spectrum. Roughly 40% have symptoms of at least one anxiety disorder at any time, compared with up to 15% in the general population. Anxiety disorders include social phobia (fear of social situations), separation anxiety, excessive worry and other phobias. In addition, many people with autism have difficulty controlling their anxiety once something triggers it.
  • Mood disorders – including depression.  A 2018 study found that Nearly half of adults with autism will experience clinical depression in their lifetime, according to research published in the Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology.
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). OCD is an anxiety disorder. If someone has OCD, it means that they experience repetitive thoughts and behaviours that are upsetting to them. OCD occurs in about 2-3% of people who are not autistic and is more common in people who are autistic. It is thought that our genes (DNA) and our psychological predisposition can make us vulnerable to developing OCD, which can run in families.

Marriage Counseling & Relationship Resources

Mental Health Professionals Who Have Experience with Autism

Aspergers Other Half
Online support group & resource center for people married to Aspies. As of this time, the online discussion forum is geared toward women:
http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/AspergersAndOtherHalf/. They are in the process of upgrading to include discussion forums for men as well, & welcome your feedback.

Karen Cladis, LMFT
(949) 697-537 or (714) 490-3780 / email: karencladis@gmail.com
Specializes in couples counseling involving ASD issues or if one spouse has ASD.

Families of Adults Affected by Asperger Syndrome
Online discussion forum and support group for neurotypical adults who are affected by an adult with Asperger’s. Private bulletin board designed to supply information and insight to the medical, psychological, and neurological communities regarding the families of those affected with Asperger’s Syndrome and how this disorder has impacted their lives.

Susan Gonzales, MSW LCSW
(310) -770-5009
Experienced working with children, families and couples regarding issues surrounding ASD.

TACA offers free Marriage Counseling Groups in Los Angeles and Orange County. Group size is limited to five couples and will meet six times. Group time and dates will be arranged.

Mental Health Professionals Who Have Experience with Autism

Depending on your need , there are a variety of mental health professionals to choose from.  The ones we typically see in the Inland Empire that work with families and adults on the spectrum are:

  • Psychiatrist – a physician with a doctor of medicine (M.D.) degree or osteopathic (D.O.) degree, with at least four more years of specialized study and training in psychiatry. Psychiatrists are licensed as physicians to practice medicine by individual states. “Board certified” psychiatrists have passed the national examination administered by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Psychiatrists provide medical and psychiatric evaluations, treat psychiatric disorders, provide psychotherapy, and prescribe and monitor medications.
  • Psychologist -Some psychologists have a master’s degree (M.A. or M.S.) in psychology while others have a doctoral degree (Ph.D., Psy.D., or Ed.D.) in clinical, educational, counseling, or research psychology. Most states license psychologists to practice psychology. They can provide psychological testing, evaluations, treat emotional and behavioral problems and mental disorders, and provide psychotherapy.
  • Marriage, Family and Child Counseling (MFCC), or Licensed Marriage Family Counselor (LMFC), Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), or Marriage Family Child Counseling (MFCC).  These are all licenses that indicate that someone is licensed to practice as a Marriage, Family and Child Counselor. They work with individuals; couples, families, and groups to cure or relieve mental, emotional, and relational concerns of all kinds.  They have masters degrees, 3,000 hours of supervised experience, and have passed two rigorous exams.

Dr. Paul Brown, MD – Diamond Bar Family Counseling Center
750 North Diamond Bar Boulevard Suite 212
Diamond Bar, CA 91765
(909) 861-4663
Areas of professional interest include management of Autism, bipolar disorder, treatment of Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD/ADHD), child, adolescent, and adult psychopharmacology, treatment of depression, evaluation and treatment of school failure, and treatment of anxiety/panic disorder. Paul H. Brown, M.D. provides individual and family psychotherapy, case management, and medication supervision.

Carolyn E Wylie Center For Children, Youth & Families
4164 Brockton Ave., Riverside
(951) 683-5193
Therapists have Master’s Degrees in Marriage & Family Therapy, Social Work, Public Health or a related field and are overseen by a licensed clinician.  Does not accept insurance, but does accept Medi-Cal referrals from the Riverside Department of Mental Health.  There is a sliding fee scale.  Fees based on gross monthly income and how many people are supported by that income.  There is a short interview to determine needs and requirements over the phone. Eligible clients will be referred to the Department of Mental Health, otherwise they will explain fee structure, and schedule accordingly.

Christian Counseling Service
51 W. Olive Ave., Redlands, CA
(909) 793-1078
In addition to the office in Redlands, CCS has 6 satellite locations throughout the Inland Empire including sites in Loma Linda, San Bernardino, Colton, Yucaipa, and Indio. Therapists are professionally trained, compassionate men and women with years of experience in providing mental health services.

Dr. Christopher Cooper, Ph.D., Clinical Psychologist

6809 Indiana Ave Suite 130-A60, Riverside CA 92506
(800) 790-0890

Carrie Cooper, MFT
1451 South Rimpau, Ste. 203, Corona
(951) 378-2062
Specializes in ASD.  Works with families, individuals, kids, teens, adults etc.  Can assist with parent training and social skills groups.

County of San Bernardino Department of Behavioral Health
268 West Hospitality Lane, Suite 400, San Bernardino, CA
Network of Care is a comprehensive resource for people with mental illness, caregivers and service providers. Offers information about diagnoses, insurance and advocacy, and daily news from around the world concerning mental health.

Inland Psychiatric Medical Group Inc 
101 E. Redlands Blvd., Suite 234, Redlands           (909)-335-3026
770 Magnolia Ave Ste 1F, Corona    (951) 737-1917
41670 Ivy Street, Suite C & D Murrieta   951-696-5220
25114 Jefferson Ave., Suite A  Murrieta   951-600-1812
23110 Atlantic Circle, Suite B  Moreno Valley       951-243-6455
1001 E. Latham Avenue, Suite A&D Hemet                       951-652-8107
Provides Adolescent and young adult psychiatry, Adult psychiatry, Behavioral Health Services, Psychiatric Consultation Services, Evaluation and Treatment, and Child, Adolescent and Adult Therapy.  Speak: Farsi, Hindi, Persian, Spanish and Telugu. Takes a number of insurances, check the website for up to date info.

National Alliance of Mental Illness (NAMI)
NAMI – Western Riverside Co (951) 369-1913
NAMI San Bernardino Area (909) 381-2888
Grass roots organization of families and individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness. Provides leadership in advocacy, legislation, policy development, education and support throughout California. Offers free course to family members of persons who are afflicted with serious mental illness, support and referral services.  Website offers information in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Tagalog.

Novell and Novell
29748 Rancho California Road, Temecula
(951) 252-9911
Sees adults, teens and children

Open Doors Mental Health Support Group
3125 Myers St, Riverside
(951) 358-6858 – Lisa Guynn
This group provides parents and caregivers who are raising a child/youth with mental health/emotional/behavioral challenges a safe place to vent, share support, information, solutions, and resources. Open to the community. This group meets the 1st Friday of the month from 9:30am-11:30am. Meetings held in Room 223.

Operant Services Agency
Operant Services Agency (OSA) is a subsidiary of the Partnership for Education & Professional Development (PEPD). The mission of OSA is to provide behavioral services to children and families to help improve their quality of life. Staff includes a MFT with extenivse experience with autism and certified to provide Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), an evidence-based psychotherapy that works on emotional dysregulation and social difficulties. Accepts most insurances including: IEHP, Molina, United Healthcare, and Tri-Care. Will provide assistance with distance learning.

Terri Phillips, MFT
32605 Temecula Parkway, Suite 208, Temecula
(909) 730-0410
Marriage Family Therapist who offers Neurofeedback, individual, couples or family therapy consultation today. Experienced with treating issues such as anxiety, depression, OCD, ADD, autistic spectrum disorders and to enable people to perform at their peak level.

Quality Life Group
6529 Riverside Ave Ste 133, Riverside
(951) 684 2627
Dr. Kotomori  is board certified in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and General Psychiatry (Specializes in Adults and Children). As such he is an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of Psychiatric Disorders including but not limited to the following. Childhood Conditions – Reactive Attachment Disorder, Behavioral Problems, ADHD, Autism, Mental Retardation, Learning Disorders. Mood disorders – Depression and Bipolar Disorders Anxiety disorders – Generalized Anxiety, Social Phobia, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Separation Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and others. Psychotic Disorders.  Beverly Haines, M.F.T. specializes in individual, couples and Family Therapy.  Experienced with Asperger’s Disorder.

Riverside County Department of Mental Health
6355 Riverside Ave, Riverside
1 (800) 706-7500 or (951) 369-5714
Continuing Community Care assists persons experiencing severe emotional problems. Services include:  case management; advocacy; individual, family, group and vocational training; medication; functional living centers; day treatment; occupational/recreational therapy.

Rod Rhodes, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, LCSW
Whittier, Long Beach
(562) 618-0451
Sees children, adolescents, adults and families and is one of the few therapists who can use facilitated communication.  Dr. Rhodes specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children, adolescents, and adults with Autistic Spectrum Disorders, including Asperger’s and Autistic Disorders, and other developmental disabilities. Following diagnosis, Dr. Rhodes utilizes a combination of non-directive play therapy and behavioral strategies with younger children and cognitive-behavioral, social skills, and humanistic strategies with adolescents and adults. He has extensive experience interfacing with, and assisting, people to access various generic resources such as Regional Centers, Social Security, In-Home Supportive Services, and other treatment providers (such as social skills groups, residential, and vocational services).  Dr. Rhodes also enjoys supporting parents who have a child with Asperger’s Disorder or Autism. He frequently provides consultation to other therapists regarding the diagnosis, treatment, and possible referral for such disorders, and has presented to various groups (Autism Society of America) and mental health and other treatment agencies.

Mitch Rosen, MFT
4160 Temescal Canyon Rd Suite 309 Corona or
43537 Ridge Park Dr,  Ste 202, Temecula
(951) 736-6611
Prefers to work with Aspergers only; sees patients in Corona Temecula.

Schaepper Psychiatry
312 Brookside Ave, Redlands
(951) 271-0397
Provides comprehensive, collaborative and inspiring mental health services for clients and loved ones across the lifespan. Has extensive experience with Autism and developmental disabilities.

San Diego BrainWorks
28936 Old Town Front St., Suite 104, Temecula
Specializing in Comprehensive Psychoeducational/IEE, Learning Disorder, ADHD & Autism Evaluations, Neuropsychological Assessments, EHRMS Assessments, Psychological Testing, & Therapy.

Soaring Families Counseling 
(909) 904-9398
18 E. State Street #206 Redlands, CA
Services: Family Counseling, Parent Support, Couples Counseling, Child/Adolescent Counseling

The Autism Society Inland Empire Autism (ASIE) maintains these Resource Listings as a service to families as a reference tool. Every effort is made to ensure listings are up-to-date. ASIE does not endorse or claim to have personal knowledge of the abilities of those listed. The resources listed are not intended as a recommendation, referral, or endorsement of any resource or as a tool for verifying the credentials, qualifications, or abilities of any organization, product or professional. Users are urged to use independent judgment and request references when considering any resource associated with diagnosis or treatment of autism, or the provision of services related to autism.