Barb's recent trainings:

Portland Area - Head Start Teachers, Teaching Assistants, and Home Visitors on Integrating Children with Autism and Challenging Behaviors

Oregon-Wide - Juvenile Corrections Professionals on Guiding Tweens and Teens with Autism

Nevada - Early Childhood Educators on Integrating Children with Autism and Challenging Behaviors

Rural Oregon - Specialized Parent Training for Parents Involved with DHS (foster and biological parents)


Dear Parent, Professional, or Individual with Autism,

Welcome. At Synergy, I (Barbara Avila) help guides (individuals, parents, family, friends and professionals) turn frustration into fascination about their children/student/client/your own way of processing. I help you learn new ways to support, and ensure increasing levels of independence for you and a person with autism in your life.


I guide you to be the best parent you wish to be for your child with autism. We combine our expertise in autism with your expertise in your child and family values. We help you and your child find balance, fewer challenging behaviors, and greater independence.

I am a counselor, trainer, and coach. I prefer to see both parents or two guides at a time. If you are in need of venting or problem solving out of crisis mode, I am a counselor. If you are seeking to connect and communicate more effectively with an individual with autism, I am your trainer. And if you just need coaching to implement what you know, I am your coach in clinic or at home.


When I work with teens and adults, my process is often to the individuals directly (rather than parents), to help you understand your own processing, ways to advocate for yourself, and ensure ever increasing levels of independence.


Synergy Autism Mentorship Trainings:

I truly enjoy group processes both online and live. Scheduling can be tricky, so I designed an online version of my Synergy Autism Mentorship - Level 1 training to help people learn how to guide someone on spectrum.

Parent and Professional Groups:

Our current focus is with a group for parents with adult children with autism living at home. This group is currently full. However, we are actively planning for the next group(s) including: a book group discussing The Yes Brain by Tina Bryson and Dan Siegel and a group for parents of teens who are getting close to transitioning to adulthood.

Please CLICK HERE to tell us what you would like in a group.


Guiding must have the element of curiosity going in both directions (from guide to receiver and receiver to guide). The direction that is often (almost always) missing is the curiosity TO the guide.... which we call Curiosity to You (C2U).

The concept of C2U was born out of years of dedicated research and experience in the field of autism by Barbara Avila. Current research is demonstrating the extreme importance of joint attention for children who later develop autism. The challenges associated with not having neurological systems primed for joint attention and subsequent social engagement can be later seen in the hyper focus on objects, topics, “sticky” attention, and the cognitive differences seen in autism.

By focusing squarely and deliberately on the Curiosity to You concept and subsequent engagement with your child and/or student, you can make real and lasting change neurologically that can guide that child to learn more naturally.

Yes, the earlier you start the better but it is truly never too late. And if you think this is an easy concept and/or something your child already does? Think again. Every parent, teacher, and guide whom Barbara has worked with has been lacking the understanding of this important element of curiosity and how life changing targeting it really can be for any individual. We urge you to take these steps today.

Not everyone is ready to be curious. Sometimes, we need to address challenging behaviors, family health, or other factors to be sure that guides/parents are ready to be curious about their children and children are ready to be curious about their parents/guides. Therefore, Barbara's guidance is a mix of counseling and coaching. She is not a licensed counselor but has training to provide couple and family support that targets a family's ability to target curiosity in all members.

To watch and listen to a youtube video sharing more about the C2U concept specifically for children with autism, [click here].