The Pleasure and the Pain of Intimate Relationships by Dr Michelle Garnett, Clinical Psychologist

Being in an intimate relationship with someone is one of the most intensely joyful and painful experiences we can have. The ecstasy of finding love, being in love, and loving someone is so incredibly uplifting that most people would declare that they ”would rather have loved and lost than never have loved at all.”  Being in love with someone with…

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Camouflaging: Girls and Women with Autism by Prof Tony Attwood and Dr Michelle Garnett

Until recently, the gender ratio for autism was estimated as four boys for each girl. However, clinicians are increasingly receiving referrals for diagnostic assessments of girls and women, and a recent research study has established a ratio of two to one (Rutherford, McKenzie and Johnston 2016). Why have we not previously diagnosed the true prevalence of autism in girls and…

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Turning Game Time into Brain Time: Developing Social Skills Using Minecraft by Luke Blackwood, Registered Psychologist

Minecraft is an open world video game that has become popular amongst children and adolescents, particularly neurodiverse youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Minecraft is often compared to virtual LEGO as it involves using blocks to build structures in an online world by mining for resources and creating tools. This game can be played solo or on online platforms called…

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Autistic Women in the Workplace by Barb Cook

Typically, autism is viewed as a male condition with stereotypical preconceptions that all autistics must, for instance, be mathematical savants and their career paths are in IT. Wrong. In this article I want to highlight some of the inaccurate perceptions of autistic people, in particularly women, look at the many benefits of employing autistic women and to encourage autistic women…

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National youth autism charity Autism Camp Australia launches!

One in 70 Australian are now diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and the prevalence of ASD is reportedly growing at a faster rate than any other disability. Autism has been thrust into the spotlight in the last 12 months, with inspirational autistic role models like Greta Thunberg and Hannah Gadsby sharing their unique take on the world. No two…

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Mindfulness: Why is it so important? by Dr David Zimmerman, Clinical Psychologist

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us. When we engage in deliberate mindfulness practise, it provides a window of opportunity to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind and approaching…

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Encouraging the Positive in Pathological Demand Avoidance (PDA) By, Ms Sarah Ormond, Psychologist

Pathological (extreme) demand avoidance (PDA) is a term applied to patterns of complex behaviours that may be seen in some children on the autism spectrum, who often experience heightened anxiety. Children with demand avoidance may present with difficulties in social communication, social interaction, relationships, and may present with obsessive and rigid behaviour consistent with ASD; however, PDA is proposed to…

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Frequently Asked Question: What is involved in an ADOS assessment? By Ms Nicola Stigter, Provisional Psychologist

Many families who make an appointment for their child, with a psychologist or specialist for a diagnostic assessment for Autism Spectrum Condition, are unsure of what to expect and how to prepare ahead of time. It can be a confusing and overwhelming time for many families. While assessments for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) vary, a common diagnostic tool to assess…

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Gifted Children on the Spectrum – How Can We Support Them? by Dr Wesley Turner, Clinical Psychologist

Often, ASD individuals who are also Gifted present with a combination of cognitive abilities and executive function difficulties that result in a ‘perfect storm’ that negatively impacts on academic and social performance. Typically, their neurocognitive profiles include discrepancies in the following areas: Cognitive Flexibility (the ability to make transitions, tolerate change, problem-solve flexibility and switch attention); Inhibitory Control (the ability…

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Adaptations to Autism By Professor Tony Attwood, Clinical Psychologist

One of the central characteristics of autism in DSM 5 is a deficit in social communication and social interaction. The social and interpersonal aspects of life are a challenge, so how does the person who has autism adapt to these challenges? Clinical experience suggests there are three potential adaptations: the introvert, the “intensive” extrovert, and the “camouflaging” extrovert. The Introvert…

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