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Gifted Children on the Spectrum – How Can We Support Them?

by Dr Wesley Turner, Clinical Psychologist Often, ASD individuals who are also Gifted present with a combination of cognitive abilities and executive function difficulties that result in a ‘perfect storm’ that negatively impacts on academic and social performance. Typically, their neurocognitive profiles include discrepancies in the following areas: Cognitive Flexibility…

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Adaptations to Autism

By Professor Tony Attwood, Clinical Psychologist One of the central characteristics of autism in DSM 5 is a deficit in social communication and social interaction. The social and interpersonal aspects of life are a challenge, so how does the person who has autism adapt to these challenges? Clinical experience suggests…

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Dogs Supporting Individuals on the Autism Spectrum

by Toneya Ashby, Psychologist There is a growing body of research exploring the positive impact of dogs (and indeed a variety of other domestic animals) on individuals on the Autism Spectrum. Many individuals on the Autism Spectrum will describe or be observed to possess a natural affinity with animals. Animals,…

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Finding Friends

By Sonya Blandford, Psychologist Having one or more 'good' friends can prevent loneliness and increase mental health. Many children with ASD can struggle to make connections with people they like to spend enjoyable time with. A study by Sosnowy, C et al conducted a semi-structured interview with 20 young adults…

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Research Article Review

Dr Michelle Garnett, Clinical Psychologist Prevalence of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders in Average-IQ Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Meta-analysis Lugo Marin, J et al. (2018). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2018), Vol. 48, pp 239-250 Since their separation as independent conditions, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders…

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Equine Therapy

By Radhika Tanksale, Clinical Psychologist The use of complementary and alternative treatment approaches in the area of autism is growing. Animal-assisted intervention is an adjunctive treatment approach. In my opinion, many children on the autism spectrum have a natural affinity to animals. Additionally, animals are non-judgmental, are a calming presence,…

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Parent and Teacher Agreement of Behaviour Problems in Children on the Autism Spectrum: A summary of a research article

By Ms Lizaan Schwartz, Provisional Psychologist Behavioural and emotional difficulties, including anxiety, depression, aggression, oppositional, and attention difficulties are highly prevalent in children on the autism spectrum (Kanne et al., 2009; Ung et al., 2013). These difficulties affect children’s quality of life and daily functioning, and vary across home and…

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Learning to Accept my Moments of Jealousy

By Madeleine Ryan, Guest Author Jealousy seems to have become an epidemic. It’s what drives social media, celebrity, the fashion and cosmetics industries, and the economy. The insecurity over lack of possessions, or status, or rivalry is often what motivates people to get to the gym, and to strive for…

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Coping with ‘Meltdowns’

by Professor Tony Attwood, Clinical Psychologist Those who have an ASD are prone to have a catastrophic reaction or meltdown when overly stressed, anxious or frustrated. The meltdown may be externalized, with an intense despair that manifests as an expression of anger, perhaps with destruction of property or aggression towards a…

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When and How Should I Inform my Child of their Diagnosis?

by Dr Wesley Turner, Clinical Psychologist A common question that crops up when working with children with Autism Spectrum is when and how their child should be informed of their diagnosis. Caution often needs to be had when informing children and adolescents that they are on the Autism Spectrum without…

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