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Neurodiversity

Neurodiversity

struggling with time management, or feeling socially awkward. These can definitely be aspects, but they only touch on a small part of the experience.Being neurodivergent impacts how you think, how you feel, how you learn, how you love, how you grow, and what you value.

 

It can often be incredibly validating for people to learn that they aren’t wrong or broken - their brains just work in a way that needs different support and prioritizes different things than most people. Some of the most brilliant thinkers today and throughout history have been people with neurodiversities. The neurodivergent minds of autistic & ADHD people are often gifted with great skills in mathematics and arithmetic. They may exhibit exceptional proficiency in pattern recognition, logical reasoning, and problem-solving.

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'Neurodivergent' means a person's brain works differently than most 'neurotypical' people in a way that significantly impacts their everyday experiences. Neurodivergence is often used to label experiences like ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), ADD/ADHD, and OCD. However, being neurodiverse (ND) is more than being easily distracted,

They often excel in tasks that require precision and attention to detail, such as geometry or algebra. Other superpowers include higher energy levels, an ability to hyper-focus on a given task, superior analytical thinking, memory, and attention to detail.

There is more understanding than ever about the ways ND can impact our whole wellbeing. That includes our relationships, job satisfaction, mood, and mental health. Having the right framework for how to address these weaknesses - when going the trauma/anxiety/depression/couples counseling route hasn’t been quite right - can make all the difference. Below is the integrated, holistic roadmap I utilize when working with neurodiverse clients:

I have worked with hundreds of children and adults to recognize and embrace their neurodiversities. My focus is the treatment of underlying emotional, behavioral, and social interaction skill deficits commonly found in people struggling with issues related to executive functioning and/or sensory processing. Using hands-on strategies, children and adults learn concrete approaches that can be generalized from the therapy session to everyday life.

Therapy can help unlock the world-changing potential of a neurodiverse mind 

Asperger's & Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

You may be considering individual counseling, but have your doubts that the therapist might not truly grasp your unique experiences. Perhaps you've navigated therapy before, yet it fell short of meeting your needs as a neurodivergent or autistic individual – something crucial was missing. This is because there is a significant difference between counseling with a therapist who is familiar with autism versus one who specializes in autism, embracing the principles of neurodiversity.

 

My passion is working with people on the ASD spectrum to empower them to navigate the complexities of life and relationships through a strengths-based approach. I specialize in understanding the unique strengths and challenges of individuals on the autism spectrum, fostering growth, and enhancing the quality of relationships. 

You might find yourself wrestling with emotions like anxiety, depression, or imposter syndrome. Despite your craving for meaningful relationships, the intricacies of social situations, such as decoding social cues and navigating indirect communication, can be perplexing and draining. Engaging in social interactions might feel like a performance, an attempt to fit in, haunted by the fear of making a misstep. The pressure to get it right becomes so overwhelming that you feel paralyzed and tongue-tied. As a neurodivergent individual, life's navigation can be challenging, especially with sensory sensitivities and executive functioning hurdles. In times of stress from relationships, work, school, or daily hassles, you may find yourself overwhelmed, entering shutdown or meltdown mode.

Adding to these challenges, you might bear the weight of autism-specific trauma – a consequence of chronic misunderstanding, criticism, bullying, and invalidation due to a lack of understanding of your neurodiversity. This leaves you feeling like an alien or outsider, immersed in a sense of loneliness and disconnection. The act of masking your authentic self, attempting to conform while neglecting your own needs, takes a toll that cannot be ignored.

As a therapist, I understand that traditional labels and generalizations may not capture the individuality of people with autism. I strive to create a safe and supportive space where people can explore their strengths and navigate challenges. Whether it's developing effective communication skills, managing sensory sensitivities, or addressing social complexities, I work collaboratively with my clients to create a personalized plan that aligns with their goals and aspirations.

In therapy, you’ll have the opportunity to explore your identity, challenges, and concerns. As you begin to clarify your values, what you care about in life, and how to make your life more fulfilling, together we will build the skills to help you reach those new goals. You will have the space to practice the new skills you are learning and the support to solve challenges that come up.

 

The philosophy guiding my practice is rooted in the belief that therapy has the power to unlock the vast potential within the neurodiverse mind. I am dedicated to assisting people with autism in reaching their full potential, fostering personal growth, and building connections that enrich their lives. Through a strengths-based approach, I aim to provide the tools and support necessary for individuals on the spectrum to thrive and lead fulfilling, empowered lives.

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