School Leavers with Autism- a longitudinal study By Ms Radhika Tanksale, Clinical Psychologist

Leaving school is a big change in an adolescence’s life. There are many avenues and options that need to be explored and considered. Given the associated executive dysfunction for some of the individuals on the autism spectrum, preparing, planning, organising, goal setting, decision-making, and self-initiation, this period in life can be challenging. Exploring and understanding the difference between young adults…

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ADHD and ASD – A review of co-morbid diagnoses in children by Ms. Toneya Ashby, Psychologist

Individuals on the Autism Spectrum often present with additional diagnoses, which are referred to as co-morbidities. One of the most common co-morbid diagnoses for an individual with ASD is Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Research suggests that between 37-85% of individuals with ASD will also present with features of ADHD (Leitner, 2014). As a result of this statistic, ADHD is commonly screened…

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Transitioning to the Workforce, Three key elements to success for students on the autism spectrum by Mr Jay Hobbs, Psychologist

The goal for any student moving from secondary school to employment is to establish a career path that utilises their strengths and interests. Finding a fulfilling career often ensures a sense of purpose, independence, confidence and financial security. However, finding a career path that fits both your interests and strengths is often challenging and this can be particularly true for…

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Building Better Relationships By Ms. Sonya Blandford, Psychologist

Both choice theory and reality therapy were created by Dr William Glasser, a Psychologist.  A chief tenet of choice theory is that, while people are ultimately in control of, and can thus choose, almost all of their thoughts and behaviours, they do not have control over other people' thoughts or behaviours.   Glasser believes that you do not have control over…

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Sibling Influences on Theory of Mind by Amy Cleator, Provisional Psychologist

Theory of Mind (ToM) can be defined as the ability to understand that people (including self and others) have thoughts, beliefs, desires and emotions, which influence and explain actions and behaviours.  In typically developing children, advances in ToM occur between the ages of 3 and 5 years, whereas ToM is often delayed in children with ASC.  A number of studies…

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Self-Injurious behaviours in Adolescents on the Autism Spectrum: A Literature Review and Recommendations by Ms Lizaan Schwartz, Provisional Psychologist

As a professional working with adolescents on the autism spectrum at the clinic, I have observed an increased number of Self-Injurious behaviours being reported by clients’ parents and teachers. Self-Injurious behaviour is when a person physically harms themselves for different reasons. Self-Injurious behaviours in children on the autism spectrum can range from head banging on the floor, walls or other…

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“Tip Sheet for Teachers: Girls with ASD” (not Educators). By Dr Michelle Garnett, Clinical Psychologist & Mr Joshua King, Clinical Psychologist Registrar

UNDERSTANDING GIRLS WITH AUTISM Autism is characterised by social, sensory processing and communication differences, as well as rigid and repetitive behaviours, and sometimes special interests that engage the person for hours. Sensory perception differences may be apparent in the person’s hyper- or hypo-sensitivity to certain or loud noise, tactile sensations, aromas, tastes, light, or, reduced sensitivity to pain and/or temperature.…

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Autism and Screen Time By Dr David Zimmerman, Clinical Psychologist

Research suggests that children and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) spend more time on video games and computers than their peers (Mazurek et al., 2012; 2013; Kuo et al., 2014). Although there are evidence-based benefits identified from the use of digital and social media, such as early learning opportunities, building knowledge and increasing opportunities for social contact and support,…

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Sexuality Education for Teenagers with Asperger’s Syndrome by Tony Attwood

Typical teenagers are usually very enthusiastic about lessons at school on sexuality, due to their own and their peers, developing sexual awareness. Any perceived deficits in formal sexuality education are obtained by private peer group discussion. However, from my clinical experience and recent research studies, this may not be case for those teenage boys and girls with Asperger’s syndrome. They…

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