Autism Spectrum Disorder

Autism is a developmental condition that affects how a person interacts with others and the environment. People with Autism experience a range or ‘spectrum’ of difficulties, to varying degrees, mainly in relation to social communication, social interaction and restricted or repetitive behaviours and interests.  There may also be unusual sensory processing issues and interests. While they may have areas of particular skills, learning difficulties may coexist. Research indicates that Autism occurs in about one in a hundred people.  

Autism is an often misunderstood condition.  At our centre we believe that people with Autism may simply have a different way of processing the world.   For the person with Autism it can be hard work having to think about everything that others may take for granted.  It may also be difficult for those who are closest, to have the patience, to understand the person and what Autism means for them, to motivate and facilitate experiential learning with the right mix of structure, discipline and flexibility, to understand the reasons behind the challenges, pre-empting challenges and helping the person develop ways of overcoming those challenges, nurturing strengths and exploring possibilities.

Receiving a diagnosis of Autism within the family can be a truly overwhelming experience for anyone. The proper supports, stimulation and management strategies, counselling and networking are essential to help families on this journey. We provide individual, paired and small group therapy (social skills). Our experienced staff work holistically to help each person reach their full potential, and we work closely with parents, families and carers. 

Let’s rethink Autism....

There is some magic in all of us.  Together, let  us  work together  to  access the  quiet magic of Autism, explore the awe-inspiring possibilities and celebrate the awesomeness of Autism. People with Autism simply have a different style of brain, a different way of processing the world, and may have difficulties with social understanding, anxiety, sensory processing issues, and may have  particular  interests.  It is hard work having to think about everything... as it is hard work for those who are closest,  to have the patience, to understand the person and what Autism means for them, to motivate and facilitate experiential learning with the right mix of discipline  and  flexibility,  to understand the reasons behind the challenges, pre-empting challenges and helping the person develop ways of overcoming those challenges, nurturing strengths and exploring possibilities...

We are all somewhere along some spectrum. Think about someone you know who has Autism.  We are touched by their sincerity and plain honesty, amazed by their particular giftedness,  and enlightened by their amazing and often novel insights and views, every day of our lives.  We are grateful as we are let in to access their awesomeness as we work together

~Premi

Pragmatics and social skills

Pragmatics is the functional use of language in a social context for a variety of purposes. Pragmatic disorders often coexist with other language problems such as poor vocabulary or grammar. Pragmatic problems affect social interaction and integration, conversation and play skills, lowers social acceptance and affects the person’s wellbeing.

A person with pragmatic problems may say inappropriate or unrelated things during conversations, tell stories in a disorganized way or have little variety in language use.

The person may have difficulty is using language for a variety of uses such as greeting, informing, requesting, compromising, and expressing emotion.

There may be difficulty in adapting language according to different listeners or situations, such as talking to a baby versus a teacher, or in a playground versus a classroom. 

There may also be difficulties in observing rules for storytelling and conversation, including introducing and maintaining the topic, taking turns, repairing when not understood, understanding and using nonverbal aspects such as eye contact, facial expressions, posture, distance and touch. 

While our experienced speech pathologist includes pragmatic skills training into every individual session, we also provide specific social skills groups run together with our occupational therapist or psychologist.  

Social skills groups target engagement and conversational skills development for preschool and older children and teenagers, friendship skills for younger and older children, understanding emotions, regulating behaviour and conflict resolution skills, building self - concept, self -esteem, and self - regulation.