Autism & Spectrum Disorders

Autism Center For Children in Fort Lauderdale

If your child has been diagnosed with autism or other developmental problems called autism spectrum disorders (ASD), you might be frightened and stressed. Or, you may be concerned by the social, communication, and behavioral challenges you and your child will face in the future. Well, take heart and worry no more…

At the Breakthrough Pediatric Speech and Occupational Therapy Center, we have both the compassion and skill set to help your autistic child or disabled child thrive. Serving all of Fort Lauderdale, Davie, Cooper City, Plantation, and throughout Broward County, Kimberly Bloom, MS, CCC-SLP and her staff are deeply committed to the health and well-being of your child. We’re confident you’ll be impressed with our selection of life-changing treatment programs that focus on speech, occupational, and behavioral therapy.

Breakthrough Therapy Services knows that autism and speech and behavior conditions can create big obstacles for not only the children themselves, but families as well. That is why we create individualized treatment programs that will allow your child to grow and flourish.

Symptoms of Autism

Because there is no “test” for autism, doctors, therapists and social workers depend on verbal and behavioral cues to diagnose autism or related developmental disorders. They say “if you’ve met one person with autism, you’ve met one person with autism,” and they are absolutely right! That’s because the appearance of autism can vary dramatically from person to person. One person with autism may be very verbal, bright and engaged, while another is non-verbal, intellectually challenged and almost entirely self-absorbed.

Some children show signs of autism in early infancy. Other children may develop normally for the first few months or years of life but then suddenly become withdrawn, become aggressive or lose language skills they’ve already acquired. Though each child with autism is likely to have a unique pattern of behavior, these are some common autism symptoms:

Social skills

  • Fails to respond to his or her name
  • Has poor eye contact
  • Appears not to hear you at times
  • Resists cuddling and holding
  • Appears unaware of others’ feelings
  • Seems to prefer playing alone — retreats into his or her “own world”


  • Starts talking later than age 2, and has other developmental delays by 30 months
  • Loses previously acquired ability to say words or sentences
  • Doesn’t make eye contact when making requests
  • Speaks with an abnormal tone or rhythm — may use a singsong voice or robot-like speech
  • Can’t start a conversation or keep one going
  • May repeat words or phrases verbatim, but doesn’t understand how to use them


  • Performs repetitive movements, such as rocking, spinning or hand-flapping
  • Develops specific routines or rituals
  • Becomes disturbed at the slightest change in routines or rituals
  • Moves constantly
  • May be fascinated by parts of an object, such as the spinning wheels of a toy car
  • May be unusually sensitive to light, sound and touch and yet oblivious to pain

How Breakthrough Therapy Services Treats Autism

While there is no known “cure” for autism, there are treatment and education approaches that Breakthrough Therapy Services of South Florida uses to reduce some of the challenges associated with the condition. The earlier the intervention, the better! The sooner children with autism spectrum disorders get help, the greater their chance of treatment success. Early intervention is the most effective way to speed up your child’s development and reduce the symptoms of autism.

When it comes to autism treatment, there are a dizzying variety of therapies and approaches available. Here are some of the treatments Breakthrough Therapy Services in Fort Lauderdale successfully uses to help:

Speech Therapy

Language or lack thereof, is one of the cues for autism. Virtually all people with autism have speech and language difficulties. Sometimes these issues are obvious; many people with autism are non-verbal or use speech very poorly. Sometimes the issues relate not to articulation or grammar but to “speech pragmatics” (the use of speech to build social relationships). Across the board, though, autistic children will benefit greatly from speech and language therapy.

Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapy focuses on building daily living skills. Since many people with autism have delays in fine motor skills, occupational therapy can be very important. As licensed and experienced Fort Lauderdale occupational therapists, we have been trained in sensory integration therapy – a technique which may help children manage hypersensitivity to sound, light, and touch.

Social Skills Therapy

One of autism’s “core deficits” is a lack of social and communication skills. Many children with autism need help in building the skills they need to hold a conversation, have meaningful friendships, or even navigate the playground. Social skills therapists, such as those at Breakthrough Therapy Services, can help out setting up and facilitating peer-based social interaction.

Physical Therapy

Autism is a “pervasive developmental delay.” Many autistic people have gross motor delays, and some have low muscle tone (they’re unusually weak). Physical therapy can build up strength, coordination, and basic sports skills.

Play Therapy

Strange as it may sound, children with autism need help learning to play constructively. And play can help to build speech, communication, and social skills. Our certified Broward County play therapists use training in particular therapeutic techniques such as Floortime or The Play Project – that build on a child’s interests or obsessions. Play is a wonderful tool for helping children (and sometimes even adults) to move beyond autism’s self-absorption into real, shared interaction. Properly used, play can also allow youngsters to explore their feelings, their environment, and their relationships with parents, siblings and peers.

Behavior Therapy

Children with autism are often frustrated. They are misunderstood, have a tough time communicating their needs, and can suffer from hypersensitivities to sound, light and touch … no wonder they sometimes act out! At Breakthrough Therapy Services, we are trained to figure out just what lies behind negative behaviors, and to recommend changes to the environment and routines to improve behavior.

Who Breakthrough Therapy Services Treats

At our autism therapy center, conveniently located in Davie, we provide treatment for the full spectrum of autistic disorders or for children with developmental delays including:

  • Mild autistics
  • High functioning autistics
  • Pervasive developmental disorder not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS)
  • Asperger syndrome
  • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
  • Rett Syndrome

If you are looking for treatment for a child in need of speech or language therapy, occupational therapy, or if your child is living with a serious delay, disabilities, or Autism, contact Breakthrough Pediatric Speech and Occupational Therapy Center at 954-474-8048. Call today for your child’s speech and/or occupational evaluation; or get to know us and schedule a Free Initial Consultation. We have earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence in Davie, Fort Lauderdale, and all of Broward County.

Contact Us Today!

If you are looking for treatment for a child in need of speech or language therapy, occupational therapy, or if your child is living with a serious delay, disabilities, or Autism, contact Breakthrough Therapy Services of South Florida at (954) 474-8048. Contact our warm and friendly staff for a tour of our facility or to schedule your child’s evaluation today and be sure to bookmark our site and visit us for frequent updates.

Want to get involved and help? Follow us on Twitter (@autismbroward) or Like us on Facebook and join the conversation!  We have earned a well-deserved reputation for excellence in Davie, Fort Lauderdale, Cooper City, Plantation, and all of Broward County.