Marriage and Partnership Living With Aspergers

Marriage and Partnership Living With Aspergers

Living in the same space as anyone else has its challenges regardless if you are Neurotypical (NT) or Neurodiverse (ND)  lego-wedding

Sometimes it may feel like the ND partner is in the minority and is being constantly asked or made to conform to a majority way of life. They may feel like the one who has to make all or most of the changes. The marriage or partnership can then feel like a constant battle to keep your ways and habits and even sanity in the face of people who want to change you.

However there is another way to see this.  Explained in a most excellent way from a female Asperger perspective

*** The day I explained to my husband about my Asperger’s, one of the first things he said was, “I love you exactly the way you are.” I treasure that and I know it’s not something he said just to make me feel better. He means it. But I also know that I’m hard to live with. I find myself hard to live with at times. So when I say I want to improve my level of functioning, it’s because I want to struggle less on a daily basis and because I want the people around me–the people I love–to struggle less. It has nothing to do with conforming to the expectations of an NT world and everything to do with making life less stressful and more enjoyable for myself and my family ***

https://musingsofanaspie.com/category/aspergers-marriage/

The difference with NT thinking and ND thinking is that the NT is more likely to change something that doesn’t work because they don’t mind change in the same way and ND thinker does.

The points made are really the crux of the matter for any union.  Rather than keeping old strategies and habits that don’t work just for the sake of avoiding change is not logical and not a good enough reason to continue being miserable just on principal.

Often your ND partner will be trying to do the right thing but just doesn’t know what that is sometimes. They may cotton on to an idea and then do it and be surprised why it is being met with hostility when their intention was to make things better.

For example take the ND husband who comes home from his job where he has to conform to a lot of NT thinking and NT orientated work practices that stress him out.  He is looking forward to getting to his safe home, safe space where things are more familiar and comfortable. He comes home goes upstairs to put his feet up oblivious of the wife with screaming kids who was looking forward to him coming back to give her a break from her stressful day.  Seeing her husband waltz in and go for a shower or up to lay down and unwind sends her off on a rampage and screaming match about how uncaring he is.  The husband is goal orientated he has an objective and a plan and regardless of what comes in the way he will just carry on until he does it.

 Cutting some slack – Marriage and Partnership Living with Aspergers

He is not being nasty or uncaring he is firstly continuing on his thought process which, if interrupted, will stress him out much further and secondly is self-preserving. In such a situation the last thing that will be effective is a screaming match or criticism. Such an approach will just reduce you to an annoying noise to be avoided or blanked out.  Key point here is learn to pick your moment so that what you have to say can be heard and considered.

There is miscommunication and misunderstanding here.  Both people in this scenario will feel perfectly justified in the stance they are taking. However for both they are not in a reasonable frame of mind.

We are often being told that the neurodiverse find it hard to see the world from an NT perspective but in my experience of over 30 years of working with Autism I would say that neurotypical people rarely consider what it might be like to experience the world from a neurodiverse perspective.

Aspergers being part of the Autism continuum is a communication disorder but do we ever really stop to consider how we are missing and misinterpreting the messages we get from our Neurodiverse loves ones?

Caroline Goldsmith is a Psychologist with over 30 years experience in the Autism field and is happy to hear from you at any time regarding relationship resolution, intervention or assessment   087 387 6841

Autism Waiting Lists Minister May Meet Families

 

Autism Waiting Lists – Minister May Meet Families  

10th November 2016

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Independent Alliance junior Minister considering meeting Laois Offaly Families for Autism   

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Independent Alliance junior Minister Finian McGrath is considering a request to meet the campaign group for children with Autism in Laois and Offaly.

The Minister of State was asked by Offaly TD Carol Nolan about the waiting times for both appointments and assessments in the early intervention and school age psychology services in counties Laois and Offaly.

Autism Waiting Lists Minister May Meet Families

“I understand that a request for a meeting has been received from the Laois Offaly Families for Autism (LOFFA) group by my office and it is under active consideration,” said a written reply given by the Minister in recent weeks.

Less promising replies of action were given to the Sinn Féin TD to questions tabled to the Minister for Health Simon Harris.

She asked what waiting times for both appointments and assessments in the early intervention and school age psychology services in counties Laois and Offaly. Minister of State Helen McEntee replied saying sent the question the HSE for direct reply.

Dep Nolan also tabled a question to Minister Harris asking for the number of psychologists working in the Laois early intervention team and school age team. Again Minister McEntee said this is a service issue, this question has been referred to the HSE for direct reply.

Deputy Sean Fleming got a longer but reply when he asked a related question of Minister for Health in recent weeks. He asked what the action that will be taken to reduce waiting times for children needing occupational therapy in counties Laois and Offaly.

Minister Harris talked generally about  the commitment in the Programme for a Partnership Government  and HSE National Therapy Service Review Group intention to address waiting lists in Occupational Therapy.

But because Deputy Fleming’s question related to occupational therapy services in Laois and Offaly he referred it to the HSE for direct reply.

 Autism Waiting Lists Minister May Meet Families – Call us for an assessment 087 387 6841

 

http://www.leinsterexpress.ie/news/home/223231/independent-alliance-junior-minister-considering-meeting-laois-offaly-families-for-autism.html

Summer Autism Assessment 087 459 7652

 

Thinking of a Summer Autism Assessment?  087 459 7652

Waterford Psychology

Summer Autism Assessment is a good idea.  The kids are home, you can do it when it suits you and the report will be ready in plenty time for when the child goes back to school.

Summer Autism Assessment 087 459 7652  from 295 euros + 150 for report

Next Funding Cycle

The next funding cycle will be at the end of September 2016. That is when you need to have your report in.

The assessment process

A comprehensive assessment process will make sure that all of your child’s needs are looked at.  We will look at their academic needs (cognitive) day to day function and independence in things like dressing and self care (adaptive), how they interact and communicate with others (observational) and get a good history of their development from birth to where we are now (developmental)

Summer Autism Assessment 087 459 7652   from 295 euros + 150 for report

The Report

A good report is what gets your child the help they need.

The report sets out all of the interventions your child will need to accommodate them and the plan for making sure they get the best possible help.

The purpose of the report is to get services in place like Resource hours an SNA or extra help in the classroom. The report also makes sure that there is enough information about your child in order to get funding for school or DCA or DLA or if they are older, to get help with a DARE application for higher education.

After the assessment the report will be emailed to you for your approval, and then a draft agreed between us all. The draft is then published and stands as the final report.

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Summer Autism Assessment 087 459 7652  Give us a call and a psychologist will be happy to chat with you.  

No obligation and all phone consultations are free

Thinking of a Summer Autism Assessment?

Summer Autism Assessment is a good idea.  The kids are home, you can do it when it suits you and the report will be ready in plenty time for when the child goes back to school.

Summer Autism Assessment 087 459 7652  from 295 euros + 150 for report

Next Funding Cycle

The next funding cycle will be at the end of September 2016. That is when you need to have your report in.

The assessment process

A comprehensive assessment process will make sure that all of your child’s needs are looked at.  We will look at their academic needs (cognitive) day to day function and independence in things like dressing and self care (adaptive), how they interact and communicate with others (observational) and get a good history of their development from birth to where we are now (developmental)

Summer Autism Assessment 087 459 7652   from 295 euros + 150 for report

Waterford Psychology

The Report

A good report is what gets your child the help they need.

The report sets out all of the interventions your child will need to accommodate them and the plan for making sure they get the best possible help.

The purpose of the report is to get services in place like Resource hours an SNA or extra help in the classroom. The report also makes sure that there is enough information about your child in order to get funding for school or DCA or DLA or if they are older, to get help with a DARE application for higher education.

After the assessment the report will be emailed to you for your approval, and then a draft agreed between us all. The draft is then published and stands as the final report.

Summer Autism Assessment 087 459 7652  Give us a call and a psychologist will be happy to chat with you.  

No obligation and all phone consultations are free

 

Waterford Psychology

Neurodiversity & Parents

Neurodiversity & Parents   Talk to a professional about Neurodiversity 087 3876841

Neurodiversity is the movement being driven mainly by  the people who are now adults, but who grew up as autistic children in a world not designed to accommodate them.

While as parents we may seek to investigate and research into ways to alleviate distress for our children it is important to understand why neurodiverse people are so against research which seeks to eliminate Autism.

Such approaches threaten their very existence, so of course this is seen as a fight for survival. Just as say a person with blonde hair who likes how they look would fight against research that was seeking to eliminate blondes.  In the main the neurodiverse see autism as their whole being rather than a part of them.

They prefer to be called Autistic rather than someone ‘with Autism’ for that very point

This issue is separate from the parents agenda that is mostly a well-meaning approach driven by trying to help their children have a better or more stress free or comfortable life, however the two approaches are often at loggerheads. We have those who have grown up Autistic who have carved out a life for themselves often by trial and error of what works for them, and the parents of newly diagnosed children seeing their children in great distress and searching for ways to help them which leads them to organisations researching treatments and elimination. Any parent seeing their child in distress would seek to eliminate that distress, however as parents of Autistic children we have to learn where the line is between helping our children with their diverse nature to eliminate obstacles while not eliminating the essence of what makes them individuals. In that vein we need to define the terminology and phraseology which is acceptable to use in the neurodiversity sphere.

This is an ongoing debate and one that is paving out new paths for neurodiversity acceptance so do feel free to comment and your comments may be added to the post to further understanding.

Summer Greetings from Waterford Psychology Assessment Service

Summer Greetings

Welcome to the Waterford Psychology message this holiday

087 459 7652    phone 4

ASD assessment from 295.00 plus 150 for report

So we all have a bit of time on our hands over the holidays to catch up on all the things we wanted to do for ages.

If an assessment is a top priority for 2016 to get the resources and help your little one needs for next year, then be aware that the funding deadline is fast approaching for September 2016.  After this date it will be next spring when your report can be considered again.

Be on the lookout for social concerns over the holiday period do they shy away too much? Seem to be overwhelmed? Prefer to be off on their own?

Are you concerned about speech development when you think of this time last year did you expect more progress by now?

Is there any clumsiness tripping over that you find difficult to explain a lack of co-ordination or balance?

It could be to just put your mind at ease or to chat about your concerns but try and do it early so we can help you with what you need.

Early intervention promotes the best outcomes we are constantly being told in the research for neurodevelopmental concerns regarding children and yet the waiting lists get longer.

At what age should you be thinking about interventions?  Well the research is very definite about the earlier the better as young brains develop throughout childhood and continue up until the teens.  Learned information gets processed and retained and pruning is influenced by environmental factors and is widely thought to represent learning.

Early intervention has many other benefits and will set the tone for your child’s later development.

An experienced professional is waiting to talk to you be it for Speech and Language Issues with an SLT Occupational functioning with an OT or a chat with Psychology Services.

087 459 7652

The ASD Report for Services and Benefits

The Report is what will be produced after you have an Autism or other mental health assessment which could be for DARE, NLN or SENO or Carers Allowance.  Talk to a professional now 087 459 7652

ASD LEARN

Services and State Benefits you are entitled to with an ASD Report  087 459 7652

The Report is your Key to Services, it is needed to hand in with any application for either extra benefits such as domiciliary  carers allowance or services from the school, college or other agencies.

You may also be entitled to a free travel pass and medical card or other benefits if you or your child has a diagnosis of a mental health condition such as Autism or other condition.

 087 459 7652    0873876841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

For children the most important agency will be the SENO – Special Education Needs Officer and the state agency to apply for your allowances as a carer.   You can use your allowances for therapy with private services or anything that helps you or the child to live a fulfilled life. Approximately 300 euros a month at least.

Why is the ASD Report for Services and Benefits so important?

The report from the psychologist who does the assessment tells the people who work with you or your child what they have to do to help or to make their service work for you.

So for example it will give recommendations on how your child can best access the curriculum to keep up with their work or it can inform the school what your child can tolerate or what they have difficulties with.  Then the school can adjust their demands to accommodate them.

Is a diagnosis enough?

In a word NO.  All the diagnosis says is that you or your child have a certain condition.  It doesn’t give any details of what you or the child will need to access the school curriculum or services.  You need to have The Report and that is given after assessment.

Autism Assessment

Autism Assessment & Diagnosis 

Trans dis team
Autism Assessment Team

Dublin Waterford Cork & Galway           

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Autistic Spectrum Disorders

How to get a Report and Services   See prices for the cost of assessment through direct referral                   

When you start the process of ASD assessment you will soon realise The Report is what everyone is asking for in order for your child to get the services treatments and interventions they need. The Report is the result of the ASD assessment and details what your child needs regarding treatment/interventions/resources.

The report is what comes out of an actual Autism Assessment.

You have 2 routes to the report

  1. State Assessment – Through the AON Process or other state services
  2. Private Assessment – Through direct referral

The Assessment of Need (AON) process

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After concerns are reported regarding ASD through your child’s teacher/health nurse/GP/local child clinic, they will be placed in a queue for an Assessment of Need or AON.  When the child receives the AON the results give a list of professionals your child needs to see – if any at all.

The AON process can have the following outcomes

1 Find grounds for further assessment and give onward referrals to various professionals such as OT, SLT and Psychology.

  1. No onward referrals and your child does not need further assessment.

In effect the AON is a screening process to see if the concerns raised need any further investigation.

AON IS NOT AN AUTISM ASSESSMENT.  IT WILL NOT ALLOW YOUR CHILD SERVICES OR RESOURCES.  All it does is tell the health service which professionals if any should see your child.

You can then be placed on the waiting list for those people.  Waiting lists vary up and down the country from 9 months to 5 years or over in some cases.  The average seems to be around 18 months to 2 years to be seen.

The Private Route

The private route offers parents the opportunity to have their child immediately assessed and a report given which entitles them to all the services/interventions/resources they require.

Children can be referred through their parents or another professional who has concerns.

A screening appointment can be set up to determine if an assessment is required and will be shortly followed by the actual assessment for Autism. (Some parents prefer to skip the screening as they have sufficient cause to warrant assessment)

A good private assessment will look at your child’s educational/cognitive functioning, adaptive behaviour and clinical evaluation of their needs.  They will consult with preschools/schools/other professionals and yourselves to gain a good all round idea of the child’s needs in various settings.

You will then receive The Report that entitles you to apply for the services your child needs.  See prices for the cost of assessment

 087 459 7652    0873876841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

 

Aspergers Diagnosis in Later Life 087 459 7652

Why get an Aspergers diagnosis in later life?      

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Waterford Psychology

I have managed up until now and I don’t need any help so why get a diagnosis now?

This is a question that often comes up and the answer simply is that managing is not really living now is it?

Being able to get past things or get through the day or coping is less than the truly happy, content and fulfilled life you deserve.  The life you may see other people having and wonder why can’t that be me?

Getting into a program now can assist you to fulfill your dreams and goals and to gain inner peace and happiness.  You can get a rest from the constant turmoil of inner stress and never feeling that you are on top of life or that you have a value.

Aspergers Diagnosis in Later Life 087 459 7652

Anxiety drives thoughts to be always productive, measuring up and always on call which produces the stress you feel.  Perhaps you never understood where those thoughts come from or you may think that everyone has them or that you are the only person who thinks like that.

087 459 7652    087 387 6841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

If you stop and look up you will see that you have an amazing amount of productivity in various avenues that probably gives everyone around you a lot of satisfaction and help but you don’t feel the benefit of it.

Diagnosis is the start of the rest of your life which can be lived in a much more self satisfying and content way with interventions that come after the diagnostic process.

Aspergers Diagnosis in Later Life 087 459 7652

Call to talk to someone who really does understand your motivations and challenges…087 459 7652                                087 387 6841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

 

Waterford Psychology

 

 

Gap Closing on Female to Male Autism

Waterford Psychology  

The gap is closing on Female to Male ratios in Autism

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The gap is closing on Female to Male ratios in Autism

There is no doubt that Autism in Females and particularly Female Asperger’s is harder to diagnose in girls.

A very insightful article from Autism Hampshire gives a good insight into how the gap is closing and why it exists in the first place.  Likely related to how girls are so much better at coping and may not see their difficulties as something that need intervention.

The different ways in which girls and women present under the traditional ‘big 3’ headings related to

      Social Communication
      Social interaction and understanding
      Social imagination which is highly associated with routines,  rituals and special interests
      are given in the examples below:

Girls are more able to follow social actions by delayed imitation  because they observe other children and copy them, perhaps masking the symptoms of Asperger syndrome  (Attwood, 2007).

Waterford Psychology

087 459 7652    087 387 6841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

Gap Closing on Female to Male Autism diagnosis intervention Dublin Waterford Cork 087 459 7652

irls are often more aware of and feel a need to interact socially.  They are involved in social play, but are often led by their peers rather than initiating social contact. Girls are more socially inclined and many have one special friend.

In our society, girls are expected to be social in their communication.Girls on the spectrum do not ‘do social chit chat’ or make ‘meaningless’ comments in order to facilitate social communication. The idea of a social hierarchy and how one communicates with people of different status can be problematic and get girls in to trouble with teachers

Evidence suggests that girls have better imagination and more pretend play (Knickmeyer et al, 2008). Manyhave a very rich and elaborate fantasy world with imaginary friends. Girls escape into fiction, and some live in another world with, for example, fairies and  witches.

The interests of girls in the spectrum are very often similar to those of other girls – animals, horses, classical literature – and therefore are not seen as unusual. It is not the special interests that differentiate them from their peers but it is the quality and intensity of these interests.         Many obsessively watch soap operas and have an intense interest in celebrities.

Diagnosis is important but more so are the interventions to lead on for afterwards as girls need very different help to overcome their challenges than boys.  087 459 7652    087 387 6841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

Read more of the article here  ….

Female Aspergers Failing Diagnosis

Waterford Psychology

Female Aspergers’ Failing Diagnosis                                                                    Call us to discuss  087 459 7652    087 387 6841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

Why is Female Aspergers so hard to Diagnose?

Why this form of neuro-diversity is so hard to diagnose and intervene is the presentation often mimics other conditions.  If you are presented with a teenager who is suffering from a mixture of traits plus anxiety, this is the most likely symptom that will be focused upon.  The person will be told not to worry it will sort itself out in time and will pass.  When the parent insists it’s more than this   or mentions a connection to Aspergers’ they may be given a quick run through of the big 3 of ASD communication/social interaction/stereotypical behaviours.

So it’s a case of does she talk to people? YES

Does she have a friend in school? YES

Does she have a fixation about one particular interest? NO

Does she put her hands over her ears? NO

Then it’s not Autism.

To understand why this type of screening doesn’t give an accurate picture we have to look more closely at how those difficulties manifest in the neuro-diversity of Aspergers’

087 459 7652    087 387 6841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

Female Aspergers Failing Diagnosis – Get an answer 087 459 7652

Communication in Aspergers

The way that communication difficulties present in female Aspergers’ is often in the way communication works rather than, if it happens at all.  A girl may very well speak with others but in order for her to try and have a conversation produces crippling anxiety.  She constantly battles with intrusive thoughts such as ‘what should I say, when is it my turn to speak, oh no I missed it again now it’s the wrong time to come in.  They are going to laugh at a stupid thing I say. Think of a time someone else had this conversation and do what they did’.  With the thought process occupied with the pragmatics of the conversation they are not in flow naturally but are mimicking others they have seen, remembering successful scenarios to play out and hopefully will ‘get away with it’  and then it will end.

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School life is a constant worry about being told or asked to speak in a group situation.   Teachers may think they are helping the nervous pupil by challenging them to speak about something they are good at for example if the girl is good at history the teacher may say ‘tell us about the Victorians you are very good at this subject’ The narrative running through the girls head is something like ‘oh no she is not going to let me off.  I can’t do this, everyone will find out I’m not really good at it at all’.

Anxiety, Self-doubt and low self-esteem are common factors with Aspergers’ in both male and female presentations.  However at a glance the traits may be missed more in the girls whom are much more adept at hiding their true difficulties than boys.

Female Aspergers Failing Diagnosis – Get an answer 087 459 7652

Social interaction 

At school the Aspergers’ child may appear to be socially functional in that they have one or a small few friends.  However they often feel they are on the back foot with the friend /s.  They are easily led, feel that they have to go along with what the friend wants as they don’t trust their own judgment and use them to an extent to speak for them and allow the limelight and focus to fall on them as much as possible.  They may also befriend a person with similar challenges to themselves and feel too intimidated to mix with the ‘popular’ kids. Interaction is usually in school only and they find enormous relief to get home and finally be alone without the pressures that interaction brings.  So there is not much carry on outside of school time.  Helpful parents and teachers often encourage participation in extra-curricular activities in order to promote socialisation outside of school however this is often more anxiety producing and exhausting.

Aspergers’ children want friends and to fit in because they feel so different and awkward from others, however there is only so much ‘fitting in’ they can do in a day.

Waterford Psychology

Stereotypical behaviours

Aspergers’ children and adults often have many different interests and talents.  The compulsive and obsessive way they go at tasks often makes them very proficient at what they do but they rarely feel good at anything.  They have a picture of perfection in their minds eye due to an extremely analytical brain process and find themselves coming up short when assessing their own efforts.  They are confused and don’t trust others opinions when they say things like ‘that’s amazing’ or ‘that’s really good’ they assume people are just being kind or encouraging because what they have done is (to their judgement) so inadequate.  (After all it’s not perfect so why would they say it’s good?)

The way in which they focus on a task is to be obsessed about it for a time then drop it for something else later.  So you may have an extremely talented person who can do many things rather than fixated on one.

087 459 7652    087 387 6841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

Female Aspergers Failing Diagnosis – Get an answer 087 459 7652

Sensory Issues

A feeling of being constantly overwhelmed by the world is a characteristic trait of Aspergers and ASD in general.  Sounds, sights and smells are all experienced in a heightened state of awareness and combine to converge and overwhelm the senses, defying the Aspergers need to categorise and sort them for processing.

No sooner has something been assigned a place in their mind then it changes category again.   Initial processing is often sorted into good and bad in order to try and make sense of the world.  This produces a dichotomous thought process that leaves no room for shades of grey and often lands the person in a state of constant dilemma.  They are sure the item is rightly categorised as changing one’s mind is not an option. After all if something has been filed as black, how can it be reclassified as white?  This is not logical.  As one can appreciate the knock on effect of this is they learn not to trust their judgement but continue in the thought process for want of a better strategy to cope with what is going on around them.

A comprehensive assessment including  Occupational Therapy, Speech and Language Therapy and Clin/Ed Psych can help to devise an intervention plan to address all issues mentioned above.

087 459 7652    087 387 6841  info@waterfordpsychology.com

 Female Aspergers Failing Diagnosis – Get an answer 087 459 7652

 

Waterford Psychology