Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can be a scary diagnosis at first, but it can also be seen as a way of describing someone’s individual strengths and challenges.
ASD typically consists of difficulties in two areas: social communication, and repetitive behaviors
Social communication issues vary depending on the individual, and can look like not speaking at all, to having difficulty understanding subtle social cues, such as seeing someone yawning and not realizing that they may be bored.
Repetitive behaviors also vary and can range from things like hand flapping or verbal repetitions to having a hard time talking about topics someone isn’t interested in.
ASD can also cause sensory issues for some people, such as being more sensitive to touch, light, certain textures/tastes of food, or loud sounds.
After earning my first Masters in Special Education, I primarily worked with kids with Autism. Using Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA), I helped some kids learn how to communicate, both verbally and with gestures.
I also worked with children who could talk for days about topics they loved, but needed some help in how to have conversations about other topics and how to manage feelings of frustration.
Having earned my second Masters in Clinical Social Work and being trained as a mental health professional, I now combine the principles of ABA and mental health therapies to help kids and adults navigate a world that doesn’t always feel like the right fit for them.