Autism F.I.R.S.T.

Relational Autism Care
We Work Together.

Northern Virginia's only autism therapy practice to provide collaborative treatment, advocacy and support for your child, family and caregivers. Autism FIRST provides a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach to therapy focusing on support of the Autistic patient and their entire support system including the parents, siblings, and caregivers. We offer ABA therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, sibling support, parent training and support, and other caregiver training and support.


πŸ–οΈπŸ’‘ Understanding Fine Motor Skills in Autism πŸ’‘πŸ–οΈ

Did you know that developing fine motor skills can pose unique challenges for some individuals? From grasping objects to writing, these skills play a crucial role in daily life and learning. But fear not, there are plenty of ways to support and enhance fine motor development!

βœ… Sensory Play: Engage in activities like playdough sculpting or finger painting to stimulate sensory experiences and improve hand-eye coordination.

βœ… Manipulative Toys: Offer toys and games that require manipulation and precise movements, such as building blocks, puzzles, and threading beads.

βœ… Handwriting Practice: Practice tracing lines, shapes, and letters to improve pencil grasp and control. Use different textures and sizes of writing tools to find what feels most comfortable.

Remember, progress looks different for everyone, and patience and encouragement are key. πŸ’ͺπŸ’™



πŸ°πŸ“Έ Sensory-Friendly Easter Bunny Photo Op! 🌷✨

Attention, all families! There is a special opportunity for a sensory-friendly photo session with the Easter Bunny at Tysons Corner Center! πŸŽ‰πŸ“Έ

🌟 Date: March 17th πŸ•’ Time: 10:30am-11:15amπŸ“ Location: Tysons Corner Center, Fashion Court (Lower-Level Nordstrom Wing)

We understand that traditional mall experiences can be overwhelming for individuals with sensory sensitivities. That's why they've created a calm and inclusive environment where everyone can enjoy capturing unforgettable memories with the Easter Bunny!

What to Expect: ✨ Reduced sensory stimuli, including dimmed lighting and quiet background music ✨ Dedicated time slots to minimize wait times and ensure a stress-free experience ✨ Patient and understanding staff trained to accommodate individual needs

Spaces are limited, so be sure to reserve your spot in advance by going to We’d love to see the great photos!

πŸ£πŸ’ πŸŒˆπŸ“Έ | Select the date and time for your Bunny photo experience Select the date and time for your Bunny photo experience at a location near you.


🌟 Saturday Sessions at Autism FIRST! 🌟

Did you know that Autism FIRST offers Saturday Sessions twice per month? πŸ—“οΈ These sessions are designed to provide families with flexibility and support, allowing them to make up hours that may have been lost due to illness or vacations. πŸ€’βœˆοΈ

But that's not all! Saturday Sessions also offer a much-needed break for parents who need to tackle those weekend errands or take some time for themselves. πŸ›’πŸ’†β€β™‚οΈ

At Autism FIRST, we're committed to providing families with the support and resources they need to thrive. πŸ’™


🌟 Immediate Openings Available! 🌟

Looking for a nurturing and supportive environment for your child to thrive? Look no further! Our ABA Day Program, FIRST Steps Ahead, is now accepting immediate enrollments for children ages 2-6! πŸŽ‰

Our program is designed as a school readiness program, focusing on essential skills such as potty training, transitioning, peer interaction, and more. With our team of experienced therapists and personalized approach, we're here to support your child every step of the way on their journey to success! πŸ’ΌπŸ“š

Contact us today to schedule an assessment and secure your child's spot in our program! Let's embark on this journey together! πŸš€βœ¨


🌟 Staff Development Day Announcement 🌟

Attention Autism FIRST Families! πŸ“’ Please note that our center will be closed on Monday, February 26th for a staff development day. This day is dedicated to providing our team with ongoing training and support in Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. πŸ§ πŸ’Ό

At Autism FIRST, we believe in the importance of investing in our staff's professional development to ensure that they have the knowledge and skills needed to support your child's growth and progress.


🌟 ABA Day Program Tour! 🌟

Curious about our ABA Day program? Come explore with us during our Open House on Saturday, February 24th! πŸ—“οΈ Tour our Chantilly Clinic from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM, and our Herndon Clinic from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Discover our nurturing environment, meet our dedicated team, and learn how we can meet your child's needs. We look forward to showing you around!


Happy Valentine's Day! ❀️ We hope your day was filled with lots of love!


Missed out on our Spring Social Skills Group?

No worries! 🌸 Summer Social Skills Camps are on the horizon! 🌞 Stay tuned for updates and get ready to make new friends and learn new skills! 🌈 "


Join us in empowering children and young adults with vital life skills. 🌈 Guided by a BCBA and supported by dedicated RBTs, our tailored groups focus on growth, communication, and connections.

πŸ“… 12-Week Program | ⏰ Weekly 60-Min Sessions | πŸš€ Starts Feb 12, 2024

πŸ‘Ά Age/Skill Categories: K-2, 3-5, Middle School, Young Adults πŸ—£οΈ Core Focus: Conversational, Friendship, Problem-Solving Skills

Experience engaging activities and a supportive environment. Secure your spot for a brighter future! 🌟 ⭐

Learn more about our Social Skills Group here:


In the continuum of care for children with Autism, the dedication persists beyond therapy hours, encompassing every moment of the day. Parents, guardians, and caregivers are indispensable contributors to a child's ongoing development. At Autism F.I.R.S.T., we understand the pivotal role you play.

Our steadfast advocate is ever-present, offering continuous support whenever you need it. Join our monthly Family Support Group event to connect with a community that shares experiences and insights.

For those in our Day Program, the therapeutic journey includes parent coaching, empowering families to reinforce their child's learning. Together, let's build upon the progress made in therapy and create a nurturing environment for lasting growth. 🌟

Contact us here:


Did you know that our day program offers 1 on 1 instruction? The 1:1 therapy works on everything from social skills, sensory integration, gross & fine motor skills, communication skills, ABA Therapy, and parent coaching!

Learn more about our day program here: or contact us at [email protected] to schedule a tour of one of our clinics.


I love someone with autism!


Are you looking to help develop your child's conversational, friendship, and problem-solving skills? We have a 12-week Social Skills Group Program for kindergartners to young adults! There are limited spaces available, so give us a call today and be sure to ask about our early bird and sibling discount. Learn more here:


Need something fun to do on the weekends? Regal has sensory-friendly movies on select Saturday’s each month! Upcoming showings include Wonka Movie, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, Mean Girls, and Madame Web!


Are you looking for a Day Program and/or a Social Skills Group, but want to tour our clinics first? No worries, just contact us and let us know which clinic you want to tour and we will give you a private tour so you can ask all the questions you need and we can see how best we can help you and your child!

➑️ Contact us at [email protected] or call us at (703) 496-4371!


β€œThe world needs all kinds of minds.” ~ Temple Grandin

At Autism F.I.R.S.T.’s Day Program, your child will take steps towards learning the important skills needed for a more independent life, and your family will gain knowledge to continue learning at home and beyond. Program information:


Happy New Year! We are so excited for what 2024 brings! πŸŽ‰


Autism FIRST is excited to announce our Spring Social Skills Groups! We will be serving ages Kindergarten-Young Adult. We have limited spaces available so give us a call and don't forget to ask us about our early bird and sibling discount! For more information scan our QR code or go to:


Happy Holidays from our family to you! β˜ƒοΈ

Know Before You Go - Washington DC 12/14/2023

Looking for a fun activity to do with the family? Enchant in DC has great accessibility, even Ice Skating. They have onsite artisans and vendors, food vendors, ice skating, and more! You can get your tickets here:

Know Before You Go - Washington DC Our Elves have put together these helpful tips to make your night at Enchant DC even more magical.


With all of the holidays this month and coming up means more events, which can disrupt your everyday routine. Here are some tips to help you and your family prepare!

-Have a comfort item: Helps keep calm and focus their attention
-Have a β€œbreak” signal: A word, signal, or sign that your child can use to tell you they need a break from what is going on around them.
-Create a safe space: (like a bedroom) for them to decompress in.
-Create visuals: To help prepare for conversations and meeting people outside of your normal routine create a photo album of who they may meet so they can visually recognize them
-Decorate slowly: If decorations and visual changes are tough, start with one room at a time and slowly introduce the new decor


Winter Break is right around the corner! While some of the holiday traditions may be exciting, the change in routine may be scary for some. Here are some Autism F.I.R.S.T. tips to help you prepare for it.

-Communicate with your child that they’ll have a winter break: Like being home on the weekend, but a little longer
-Connect with your child’s team: Ask your therapists and teachers what their recommendations are to help maintain your child’s progress.
-Prepare in advance: Utilize a calendar to mark off the days till break so they have a visual representation of when their break starts.
-Keep as much of a routine as you can: Waking up/Going to sleep at the same time and eating lunch around the same time will help keep a routine for when the break is over.
-Share stories about the holiday season and what they can expect.
-Most importantly: Remember your child is on vacation, relax and enjoy the family time!


Happy Thanksgiving! πŸ¦ƒ


Happy Halloween!

Photos from Autism F.I.R.S.T.'s post 10/20/2023

Do you need a sensory activity that’s perfect for Fall/Halloween? Grab a pumpkin and put the seeds and the pulp into a ziplock bag. Then you can take a marker and practice drawing a pumpkin face on the bag. If you need another activity take the pumpkin, grab some paint, and use it as a canvas! We’d love to see what you create so don't forget to tag us!

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Videos (show all)

Happy Holidays 2023!
Developing fine motor skills
Playdough Recipe
Can you believe it’s almost time to go back to school???When you have a child on the spectrum, switching from summer fun...
Our founder, Kelli Atangan, gives great tips for going out to eat in this quick video!
ABA Word of the Day! OK, it’s three words. Cassandra Oldham, VP of Advocacy, explains what ABA stands for and what it me...
Welcome to our new office!



131 Elden Street Suite 302
Herndon, VA

Opening Hours

Monday 8am - 7pm
Tuesday 8am - 7pm
Wednesday 8am - 7pm
Thursday 8am - 7pm
Friday 8am - 7pm
Saturday 9am - 1pm

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