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Interoceptive Awareness – How to Make Sense of Big Emotions! By Sarah Ormond, Psychologist

Our ability to feel what is going on in our body is an important skill; tuning into to our physical sensations can give us important clues towards our physical needs and emotional states. Paying attention to these internal signals allows us to understand our emotions and direct our behaviour accordingly. This is called interoception – the ability to perceive the…

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Understanding Girls on the Spectrum by Prof. Tony Attwood and Dr Michelle Garnett

Many women on the autism spectrum deliberated about whether or not they should seek a formal diagnosis, weighing up the potential costs and benefits. Once making that sometimes difficult and painful decision, there is a long and time consuming road ahead before they find someone with the knowledge to make an accurate diagnosis. Research shows that at the time of…

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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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