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
How many of you reading this get distracted? Whether you are reading, talking or listening, many a time you will have experienced being distracted. It can be annoying, frustrating and takes you out of your stride until you can focus again. What about when we are listening to someone speak. It can take a lot of concentration to hear their voice and what subject they are talking about. Listening takes a lot of effort, and sometimes it is hard to shut out other noises. Can you think of times this happens to you? Sometimes it is not just noises that … Continue reading Distractions
I was in Dunbar, a town on the east coast of Scotland, near Edinburgh, where I took my family on a wee walk to see the Dun-bear – Dunbar + Bear! This particular brown bear is 5 metres high, made of steel and is a tribute to the great man John Muir. John Muir was born here, in Dunbar, Scotland, in 1838 and a museum is located in the town centre dedicated to this great man. The area around the Bear is well laid out with many concrete paths, and open spaces of fields. It is suitable for wheelchairs too, … Continue reading Dunbear – John Muir
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
Fed up with screen freezing or poor Internet connections? No closure at the end of a session? Missing the personal interaction? Eye contact is just not the same on Zoom or Facetime. Consider a socially distanced meet-up with me, and feel free to wear a mask too. Walk-and-talk therapy has also proven to be a stress reliever for people who don’t consider their home a safe space for online therapy — whether they can’t find enough privacy to feel comfortable opening up, or their family or partner disapproves of therapy, or someone they live with is the reason they’re seeking … Continue reading Online Therapy too stressful?
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
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
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
The talking therapies are a form of storytelling, where many conclusions are possible. A good therapist teaches you to get along with the world, not to blow it up. Mindfulness walks can help you get some peace and quiet in your mind, and help to offload some of the negativity surrounding your life. Come and join me for an hour that will start to change your life. Continue reading A good therapist