The Autism Spectrum can often be a topic that comes with a lot of stigma, and for some individuals you may have reservations or concerns about being labelled with 'Autism'. Having a label is not for everyone, nor does it define who we are. What I do believe is important, if you are someone who has a loved one who has been diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, someone who them self has been diagnosed, or you are seeking a diagnosis, what is the importance of that diagnosis is for you? Or what are your concerns about having a diagnosis?
Autism does not need to define who we are, instead I think we can use the Spectrum as guide to help individuals understand how they experience their internal world.
If you are someone who feels they are struggling in ways often associated with the label of the Autism Spectrum, however maybe you have concerns how a 'Label' could impact you (having this label is not for everyone and I personally believe it does not need to define who we are or be our identity), I am here to offer a safe place to explore what the Autism Spectrum can mean for you or someone you love. I am here to help explore the impact that characteristics associated with Autism can have.
I often refer to anything like autism or ADHD as a neuro-diversity, along with dyspraxia or dyslexia. Meaning neuro for neurology (the brain) and diversity for varied differences, however this is also something I am gently questioning after talking with some autistic individuals. For some these terms are comfortable and others don't like these terms, so I welcome you to explore your experience of the Autism Spectrum.
In my mind Autism is not a disorder, and more a complex set of personality traits, experiences, physiological responses, traumas and it is a concept that is forever changing or cementing depending on our own internal worlds. Maybe the difficulties of being on the Autism Spectrum come with living in a world that is still learning how to support mental health.
There are many characteristics/traits associated with the Autism Spectrum, which may also cross over with other diagnoses in some professional's opinions, however here are a few commonly associated traits:
Through my years of experience I have come to focus on communication and sensory needs in order to create a therapeutic space. However my understanding of the Autism Spectrum is evolving on a daily basis. I have heard people suggest people on the spectrum lack empathy, and yet I have experienced for many individuals it is the opposite, and they struggle with too much empathy. Being able to pick up on subtle messages, from people all around them, and struggling to make sense of the wealth of information their body is feeding back to them.
The picture I have described above is to give you an insight to the kind of person I am when it comes to the Autism Spectrum, the space I want to provide for you, and to show I am just as human as the next person. I will always have something new to learn about the Autism Spectrum, what I offer first and foremost is understanding what Autism means to you, or the loved one you want to understand and support.