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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Research Article Review by Dr Michelle Garnett, Clinical Psychologist. Prevalence of Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders in Average-IQ Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Meta-analysis

Lugo Marin, J et al. (2018). Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2018), Vol. 48, pp 239-250 Since their separation as independent conditions, Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders (SSD) can be misconceptualised as mutually exclusive disorders.  Similarities between both disorders can lead to misdiagnosis, especially when it comes to average-IQ adults who were not identified during childhood. …

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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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