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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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Generalisation of Social Skills in the Real World by Sonya Blandford

Social skills can be described as initiating and reciprocating interactions, understanding non-verbal communication and managing anxiety associated with social interactions.   Social skill deficits that have not been addressed can have a long term negative impact on a child's life including difficulties around employment, maintaining friendships and mental health.   Social skills development is a frequently implemented intervention for children with ASD.  …

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Social camouflaging in girls on the autism spectrum: A peer-reviewed study by Lizaan Schwartz, Provisional Psychologist

As a professional I have observed the increased levels of anxiety and emotion dysregulation young females with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often experience when camouflaging their social difficulties. This is often most pronounced in school environments and there appears to be qualitative differences in social coping behaviours between young males and females with ASD. To date, few studies have investigated…

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