We have heard that people associate Sensory Processing difficulties with those on the Autism Spectrum. While this is often true, that senses become overwhelmed quickly, and the brain cannot manage or process the sensory information in the ways that neurotypical individuals can. Typically, a meltdown occurs as the mind seeks a way to self-regulate. These Sensory difficulties can affect anyone, although it is very common for individuals on the Autism Spectrum. So, if you have Sensory Processing Disorder, this does not mean you are on the Autism Spectrum. Everyone has differing experiences, and this is measured on a scale, or … Continue reading Sensory Processing
For autistic persons, masking is a complicated and costly survival strategy. It usually entails learning neurotypical behaviours and then imitating them in social circumstances. Masking can sometimes be used to hide activities that people believe will not be approved. People may hide their autism symptoms or traits for a variety of reasons, including advancing their jobs, connecting with others, or avoiding being stigmatised by others. While masking can be helpful at times, doing so on a frequent basis can have negative consequences for one’s mental and physical health. Anxiety, depression, tiredness, a loss of identity, and negative thoughts are some … Continue reading Autistic Masking
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a developmental disorder characterized by the challenges it causes with social interaction, language skills, nonverbal communication; repetitive patterns of behavior; and the display of unique and highly specific strengths and differences compared with other people. One of the most amazing things that I have come to learn about people who are on the Spectrum, is their ability to see the world we live in from a very different perspective than I can. In my discipline of Psychology, I come across many individuals with interesting and varied backgrounds, including perceptions on how their own life path … Continue reading Autism – a young perspective.
At first glance you may see a person squeezing a bunch of grapes, yet on closer inspection, you can see that these are not real fruit. I see adverts regularly while surfing the internet, for toys that help calm your kids down. Squishy balls, Chewy toys, Spinners, Fidget toys in fact anything to keep the hands busy. There are many different types of toys which are predominantly meant to distract the user from the anxieties they experience in their minds. Are they aimed at children only? No, is the short answer. They look like something that you would amuse a … Continue reading Items to help Cope with anxiety
What Is a Weighted Blanket? Occupational therapists have been prescribing weighted blankets to help manage sensory-related symptoms for decades – especially for children and adults on the Autism spectrum. A weighted blanket is a specially made therapeutic blanket with some additional weight, generally weighing between 5 to 30 pounds. They come in different weights to accommodate the user’s size. The idea behind weighted blankets is to make them a little heavy so they can apply a firm pressure on the user’s body. Depending on the manufacturer, these blankets are filled with different weighted materials, including barley, glass beads or even some kind … Continue reading Weighted Blankets
Recently the US Government started to offer Covid vaccinations to children aged 12 +, and hopefully the UK and other Nation’s Goverments around the world will follow suit. While there are many differences of opinion on whether vaccinations should be given to young children, I wanted to outline some recent research highlighting the increased risk of death for people with Developmental or Intellectual disabilities. As this affects both my children; one with Autism, and the other having an Intellectual Disability, I am very keen to protect them from the virus, even more so since reading the following information. Individuals with … Continue reading Autism and Increased risk of Covid
Going to the hairdressers can be a very distressing experience for autistic children due to sensory issues such as a sensitivity to noise and touch. In this article Jim the Trim, a hairdresser from Wales whose barbershop was awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism-Friendly Award, gives us his Top 5 Tips on how hairdressers can make autistic children more comfortable during a haircut. Top 5 Tips Take your time to get to know the person and for them to get to know you. You may have to be very gradual and just allow the person to come in and watch … Continue reading Cutting Autistic child’s hair
Most parents are familiar with a child’s temper tantrum and the disruptive, angry outbursts where the child demands attention, including getting their own way. In contrast, when a child or adult on the Autistic Spectrum has a Meltdown, they are reacting to emotional overload, and their brain struggles to make sense of a situation or behaviour. Ultimately, a Meltdown is a loss of control brought about by changes to the routine or expected behaviours, resulting in the senses being over stimulated all at once. Explosion of emotions! The Meltdown responses displayed by the Autistic person may include verbal expressions, of … Continue reading Autism and Meltdowns
I predominantly offer Psychotherapy sessions for parents/carers of children who are on the Autistic spectrum or who have Special Needs. We walk and talk in Nature, rather than sit inside a room, and this form of therapy is found to be more relaxing, while enjoying the natural environment. There are not many people who can afford to pay out in excess of £50 for an hour of Counselling or Psychotherapy, as these sessions are never just once a week; they go on for weeks, months and sometimes longer. This is an expensive outlay for most people. As a parent of … Continue reading Giving something back.
From a young age I was aware that being out in the open countryside was good for you, both physically and mentally. As a wee boy, I would always feel better for having played outside. I was lucky enough to grow up near enough to woods and parks, so being able to run freely outside my home was second nature to me. Now, many decades later, I have come to appreciate that being out in the elements really is therapeutically good for you. And that is why I offer my clients the opportunity of doing what I call “Walking and Talking Therapy” – which … Continue reading Walk and Talk Therapy
From our day of Baking cakes, I can proudly state that this was very successful. Our son finding relief from his daily struggles with extreme sensitivities to textures, smells and keeping clean, even though only for a couple of hours, is something that we will revisit as often as we can. Our neighbours, family and friends will benefit over the coming months I am sure! The other positive thing that we discovered, is the decrease in anxieties during the busy times of preparation; even waiting for the finished cakes, were less demanding times for our son. Naturally as a parent, … Continue reading Baking with our Autistic Child – Part 3
Thinking that the kitchen table would be in an absolute mess of flour, sugar and sticky dough, I was pleasantly surprised that this was not the case. Every plate and utensil was cleaned as soon as they were finished with, and this may have something to do with having a hot bowl of soapy water readily available – bubbles and children often go very well indeed! So, after putting the cup cakes in the oven, then having a light lunch, in anticipation of leaving plenty room for the finished article, it was time to get the icing sugar made. This … Continue reading Baking with our Autistic Child – Part 2
Most of the people in the UK have recently had more time on their hands than usual, due to the Lockdown. We were fortunate that we were pretty well stocked up with items that could keep our children busy and engaged. One of the popular activities for families has been trying out Baking from home. The supermarkets and shops emptied of the necessary ingredients of flour, icing and sugar, very quickly and for a couple of months, these items above were like ‘gold dust’ to have. One of the concerns we had prior to our decision to make Cakes, … Continue reading Baking with our Autistic Child – Part 1
Take a break from your routine and practice slowing down during this unique Guided Mindfulness Session. I can help you activate your body, improving concentration and reducing stress. Especially, great for newcomers or those that can’t sit still! Mindfulness can help you create some time to think clearer. I can teach you how to be more self aware, even for a few minutes a day, which will help you discover that ‘me-time’ is possible. This ‘Me-time’ is crucial for your Well-being, and provides you with a goal to improve not only yourself, but the well-being of the family too. Everyone … Continue reading Walk in Nature – ASD
Almost every parent of a child has encountered a child’s meltdowns and/or tantrums. But dealing with an autistic child can be slightly different. So we’re going to give you some strategies for calming tantrums and meltdowns that actually work. First, it’s important to differentiate between tantrums and meltdowns because for a child with Autism Spectrum Disorder, they are not the same thing. A tantrum is a cluster of undesirable behaviours that are related to the child wanting something that he or she can’t have. Meltdowns for the autistic child are undesirable behaviours that are the result of sensory overload. … Continue reading Meltdown v Tantrum
Sensory-Friendly Clothes for the Autistic Child Clothing for the autistic child can cover a wide range of needs. What is important or helpful with one child may be totally different than what is needed by another child. Fortunately, today, there are many brands of clothing specifically designed for the autistic child. Some of these companies were started by parents of autistic children in order to make available what was previously lacking—and needed—on the market. Here is a list of some of the common issues that appropriate clothing addresses. Sensory-friendly (soft). Some children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) find clothing that … Continue reading Sensory-Friendly Clothes for the Autistic Child
I have come across a number of articles in various publications, which highlight the difficulties that individuals on the Autistic Spectrum are having when it comes to getting groceries delivered to their homes. If you are deemed as in the high risk category by the Government, you should have been given a priority slot for deliveries, however if your health issue or disability does not fit their criteria, you have to rely on neighbours or family members to get supplies. Autism is not in the Government list. Getting through to your local Asda/Sainsbury/Tesco is another story, and waiting for 4 … Continue reading Autism and accessing Home Deliveries
Do memories cause you pain? Practice being in the present moment. Turn your attention to the here and now. Notice that your thoughts subside when you focus on the present. As your thoughts quiet, so too, the memories, because memories are in essence thoughts. Continue reading Present Moment
How to deal with Quiet Stress “Despite getting a bad rap over the years, expressing anger or frustration is far healthier than smiling sweetly while feeling quietly stressed.” according to Prof Cooper of Manchester University. “There is a growing epidemic of people who don’t voice their anger, and suffer just as much.” When she was growing up, Kate was aware her father had a temper. “He would fly off the handle very easily. My mother was forever telling him to calm down before he had a heart attack,” she remembers. “Growing up, if my brother or I ever lost our … Continue reading How to deal with Quiet Stress.
Drug improves social skills of autism patients in US trials A new drug can improve social skills in both adults and children with autism, scientists have revealed. The studies showed that those on the spectrum would be helped to be able to empathise with others. Scientists at Stanford University in the USA are excited about these revelations. The name of the drug is Vasopressin. There is no cure for Autism, however research increasingly indicates that earlier therapy can have a markedly beneficial effect. The full report can be viewed through this link : Hormone reduces social impairment in kids with … Continue reading Drug improves social skills of autism patients in US trials