What is Autism?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) impacts a child’s perception of the world, communication abilities, and social interactions. It is estimated that 1 in 36 children in the U.S. are diagnosed with autism. Children with autism may encounter challenges in forming friendships, expressing their needs, and may exhibit repetitive or restricted behaviors. The good news is there are many early intervention options that can greatly benefit children with autism, enabling them to flourish and achieve their maximum potential.

What is A Spectrum Disorder?

Autism is a complex neurodevelopmental disorder that affects a child’s communication and social skills, as well as behavior patterns. It is a spectrum disorder, which means it presents differently in each individual. Autism symptoms can range from mild to severe, and children with ASD may exhibit a wide range of strengths, challenges, and abilities.

Signs and Symptoms of Autism in Toddlers

Early identification of autism is vital for early intervention and support. Young children with autism may have some delays in language and social skills, as well as difficulty understanding others’ emotions. Some of these specific delays and behaviors include:

  • Delayed speech and communication abilities
  • Difficulty responding to gestures or pointing
  • Repetitive behaviors such as rocking, spinning, or hand flapping
  • Difficulty transitioning from one activity to another
  • Avoidance of eye contact
  • Not responding to their name

Signs and Symptoms of Autism in Young Children

As children with autism grow older, additional signs and symptoms may become apparent. These may include:


  • Difficulty making and sustaining friendships

  • Challenges with problem-solving or understanding social cues

  • Engaging in repetitive behaviors such as lining up toys or playing with the same item

  • Preference for routines and difficulty when there is a change in routine

  • Poor coordination, balance, or motor skills

  • Sensory sensitivities such as loud noises or bright lights

Diagnosing Autism in Children

The diagnosis of autism in young children involves a comprehensive evaluation by a team of professionals, including pediatricians, child psychologists, and developmental specialists. The evaluation focuses on gathering your child’s medical history to rule out other conditions, an observation of your child’s behavior and social interactions, and matching the assessment with autism diagnostic criteria outlined in the DSM-5. If the evaluation matches the diagnostic criteria, a formal diagnosis will be made. Usually a diagnosis will be accompanied by a level of severity ranging from 1-3. Our clinicians are constantly training to be able to serve all children at all levels

Our ABA Therapy Services and Programs

We offer a variety of Applied Behavior Analysis services and programs designed to help preschool children with autism and related disorders grow key communication, social, independence, and self-care skills. Through early intervention and elevated treatment plans catered to your child’s unique needs, our goal is to make a lasting, positive impact on your child’s development.

Our Testimonials

Praise for Our People and Programs

At Wellspring Learning Centers, we value feedback from our families and other professionals in the field. Through their testimonials and stories, we gain insights into the positive changes our ABA therapy programs bring to the lives of children and families affected by autism and related disorders. Hear first-hand how our ABA programs can help make a difference in your child’s life.
Jessica is organized and friendly and is an amazing RBT and Office Administrator. I love how she cares for her learners by always staying calm during problem behavior, treating them with respect, and providing positive options.

Nancy G.

I’m so blessed and happy I was able to come across WellSpring Learning Center. Their staff are very welcoming and caring. I can see the progress and changes in my child since being at Wellspring.


The Wellspring leadership team is super dedicated to creating the best ABA learning experience in Nashville. They invest in their people, their centers, and their parents to create fun, trust, and progress.

Cara E.

Elysia is a remarkable individual with the rare combination of dedication, knowledge, and interpersonal skills that allow her to flourish with the families and clients she works with.

Christine J.

Wendy creates an effective learning environment in the center that not only helps the children but that they really enjoy. She is extremely passionate about assent-based approaches to ABA learning and the importance of activity scheduling, circle time, and structured independent workstations.

Taylor A.

Gerardo is a phenomenal clinician and excellent BCBA. He demonstrates true enjoyment every day in his practice of ABA and takes advantage of every learning opportunity to teach new skills or shape the clinical repertoire of his team. He is an excellent leader, mentor and collaborator and never misses a chance to lead his team to clinical excellence.

Viviana G.

We recently visited Wellspring and met with both Eric and Gerardo. They were both welcoming and enthusiastic to meet with us. This new clinic was absolutely stunning and very well thought out for both function and therapeutic success. Each room serves a purpose and focuses on specific goals a learner might have in their programming. Their enrollment process and parent support is excellent. We are excited to be able to use Wellspring for therapeutic matching for our clients!

Rachael F.

ABA Therapy at Wellspring Learning Centers

Understanding autism is crucial for parents, caregivers, and individuals involved in the lives of children with ASD. ABA therapy is the gold-standard early intervention for autism and we are innovating the traditional ABA program through professionalism and parent collaboration. At Wellspring Learning Centers, we are committed to providing compassionate and evidence-based ABA therapy to help preschool-aged children with autism reach their goals.

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Get Started With ABA Today

Complete our online form to begin your child’s enrollment in one of our ABA programs and a clinical leader will get in touch soon to schedule a consultation.