Tag Archives: mental health and autism

Mental Health Therapy and the Autistic Client: When Clinicians Don’t See the Autism (Can’t See the Forest for the Trees)

Today, autistic people, just like the population at large, find their way to therapy when symptoms of depression, anxiety, OCD and other diagnoses become problematic to them in their daily lives.

As clinicians we need to understand the autistic operating system – in other words, to see the autism – if we are to be helpful to our autistic clients. When we do not have a strong grasp on this the results are that our clients are not served well. Clinicians without a good understanding of autism generally make one of two mistakes. Last blog discussed the phenomenon “It’s All the Autism” which means once the autism has been diagnosed every symptom from that point forward is attributed to the autism. Today we will discuss the other mistake frequently made by clinicians when they do not recognize the autism.

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Mental Health Therapy and the Autistic Client: Establishing Context

Background Information:

The autism neurology gets hit with elements of confusion, chaos and change as a person goes through their day. How this happens is different for each individual on the spectrum. For example, Brady’s neurology startles to a touch on the arm, DeShawn’s neurology reacts adversely when it perceives a surprise change in the therapy room such as new curtains and Aysia’s neurology delivers a punch when her therapy routine was altered by Grandma bringing her rather than mom.

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Autistic Neurology and Behavior

Autistic people use behavior just like people who are not autistic. Basically, when a problem is encountered, people behave in a way so as to fix the problem. We all do this, whether we are autistic or lack autism! However, we live in a majority-is-the-norm society. This means that the behavior most individuals employ to solve day-to-day problems is considered the norm. We call their behaviors solutions.

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