Autism & Aspergers

wordcloud AAutism and Aspergers are both part of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). ASD is characterised by difficulties in 3 areas:

Social communication
Eg: difficulties in understanding jokes, irony & facial expressions; using unusual words & phrases; using an inappropriate tone of voice.
Social interaction
Eg: a lack of interest in others; difficulty in making friends; a lack of social skills & knowledge of the rules of social engagement.
Social imagination
Eg: difficulties in understanding how others think, feel & react; problems coping with new or unfamiliar situations; problems coping with change & transitions.

Because of the difficulties in coping with a world which is a one-size-fits-all, individuals with ASD may:

  • become over-stimulated by too much input from verbal and non- verbal information leading to confusion and sensory overload. This may lead to a meltdown or shutdown of behaviour.
  • experience extreme tiredness & high levels of anxiety which can lead to low mood
  • be vulnerable & experience poor mental health
  • have different sensitivity to the five senses e.g. hyper-sensitive to particular sounds, or low sensitivity to pain

How can Westend Counselling support individuals with ASD & their family?

Because autism is a spectrum condition, all individuals with autism and Aspergers are affected in different ways and to varying degrees. For example, one individual may have limited language skills, and another have good verbal skills but find it hard to understand the ebb and flow of social conversation.

It is really important that the individual’s condition is understood fully by parents, carers, the wider family, friends and those at school, university, college and work.

Westend Counselling can offer specialised support for children and young adults with autism and Aspergers. I work with clients pre- and post- ASD diagnosis on:

  • Regulating your emotions
  • Understanding what autism means for you and those around you
  • Developing techniques for socialisation,
  • Working out who to tell and how to tell them
  • Developing tools for coping at school, home, work, uni & college
  • Making behavioural adaptations.

I also offer separate sessions for parents on:

  • Understanding what autism means for their daughter/son
  • Coming to terms with the diagnosis
  • How to support their child, especially with challenging behaviour such as meltdowns and shutdowns
  • How to access other support agencies
  • How to ensure that their child’s needs are met at school/college/uni/work

Autism is a life-long condition, but individuals can learn to live a fulfilling life with choices and opportunities which suit them, meaning that they can reach their potential.