Working with Adults After Diagnosis
Janine has a strong interest in working, post diagnosis, with adults who have ASD. In a collaborative way, she assists clients to explore their situation and devise strategies to promote success in work and relationships. Common areas of focus include:
- helping the individual to understand the impact of ASD and recognise and treat the impact of common mental health issues such as anxiety and/or depression
- increasing the individual’s insight into their behaviour (past and present)
- improving the individual’s sense of self and their emotional capacity to deal with ongoing life challenges
- helping to formulate plans for the future
When working with adults, Janine may see the client’s partner to help broaden understanding and perhaps define any difficulties the couple may be experiencing, in order to optimise outcomes. In the case of young adults, parents are often invited to be involved, if the client agrees. The goal at all times is to work collaboratively to achieve the best results possible.
Janine works with couples where one (or both) partners has an Autism Spectrum Disorder. An accurate appraisal of the strengths and weaknesses of the person with ASD is important when considering the best ways to help a couple improve their relationship; their individual expectations also need to be explored and challenged, where appropriate. An understanding of the perspective of each partner is crucial to discussions about making changes.
Common issues for couples include communication difficulties, parenting issues, stress and loneliness. Strategies include structured therapy sessions with the couple and visual strategies to assist communication. The non-ASD partner can also benefit from seeking psychological support for themselves.