Social Communication Therapies for
Children & Adults

 Increased Language Competence = Social Empowerment

Communication and language are the foundation for social connection. Too often children and adults end up in behavioral modification therapy due to acting out, lack of emotional regulation, defiance, or the “inability to follow directions” – ie: the individual seems unmotivated, tuned out, or obstinate.

The reality is 65% of those who exhibit these behaviors DON’T have a behavior issue they have a CHALLENGE accessing their social world and the language that goes with it.

The Arena Method (aka How I work)

A "Max Strengths" Perspective

My clients often call me a “social detective” -- more than likely that comes from my unique training as a Speech Therapist and Behavioral Analyst.
I'm constantly figuring out the best way to use every client’s strengths to maximize their learning and social potential.

Holistic Pattern Analysis

I  never start by looking at the complaint. To start at the complaint would leave out the most important parts of a person - their strengths & individual interests.  My unique process of  “B before C” analyzes behavior first, then interprets the layers of social communication

Comfort Before Uncomfort

Talking about and working on social skills can be hard, especially for individuals struggling to master both language and emotions - which is why before any therapy occurs we start with an “all about us” session where your child/individual and I get to know each other. I want to build trust


For Kids

For Kids

For Adults

for adults

Hi, I’m Dr. Ali Arena and I’ve dedicated my education and career to finding the best communication patterns and behavior changes required to navigate the ever-changing social world. I am both a Speech-Language Pathologist and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. 

I have an Autism, Trauma-Informed Care, Level 1A Social Thinking Practitioner, UCLA PEERs, and Neurodiverse Couples Counseling certifications. Additionally, I provide supervision to SLPS, SLPAS, RBTS, & BCBAS. 

Lastly, My Doctorate focus was unique to say the least as it addressed the dating intricacies of those on the Autism Spectrum which lead me to develop unique 1:1 couples counseling for neurodiverse partnerships and social skills classes for individuals with social learning differences (including Asperger’s syndrome, high functioning autism, ADD/ADHD, and those without a formal diagnosis but who struggle in the social world).