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When Life Changes Course

In Spite of Loss, Learning to Find Joy Where You Can

Lori Gottlieb

By Lori Gottlieb - What do you do when your life’s expectations get turned upside down?

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The Wonder of an Unexpected Alliance

A Therapist's Surprise Connection With Her Client

Christina Emanuel, Christina Emanuel

By Christina Emanuel - Ryan’s reputation arrived before he did: brilliant, oppositional, angry, a general pain in the butt, and autistic. Over the years, he certainly tried my patience and tested my commitment to him. But one day, a few years into his treatment, Ryan noticed a shift in me that helped me redefine what he's capable of, and what we're capable of together.

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Inside the Mind of a Child with Asperger's

Here's an Exercise to Help Children with Asperger's Fit In

Diane Yapko, Diane Yapko

By Diane Yapko - Teachers and parents who understand how Asperger's syndrome affects children can use small behavioral interventions throughout the day to help them learn new skills and adapt their own rigid desires and expectations in order to be more flexible and likeable to peers.

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Myths and Realities of the Asperger's Experience

Normalizing and Mobilizing Clients and Their Families

Richard Howlin, Richard Howlin

By Richard Howlin - Adults with Asperger's syndrome often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. One of my initial goals in therapy is to help them realize the role their brain plays in their everyday practical and social understanding. Then, we embark on a step-by-step process of skill training, life planning, and helping clients integrate their unusual and obsessive talents into a productive life.

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A Special Daughter's Special Night

A Personal Essay from our Family Matters Department

Richard Holloway, Richard Holloway

By Richard Holloway - My daughter is beautiful: she has long, flowing, blonde hair, blue eyes, elegant features, and stands about 5’ 10” tall. She’s now 18, a senior, and this June will be her graduation. It’s a prospect I greet with mixed emotions. She’s autistic and has difficulty with everyday interactions and expressing herself coherently. So in the winter of her junior year, even though the prom was just around the corner, we never imagined she’d go. (A personal essay from our Family Matters department)

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What Therapists Need to Know About Autism

An Interview with Steve Silberman on the Intricacies of Autism and Asperger's

Ryan Howes, Ryan Howes

When it comes to autism, how do we separate truth from fiction? Steve Silberman is a Bay Area writer who, for his Wired article “The Geek Syndrome,” dove into Silicon Valley culture in 2001 to explore the contribution of people on the autism spectrum to the dot-com boom. He followed up that article with years of research and study, culminating in his new book, Neurotribes: The Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity. In a recent conversation, Silberman teased out the intricacies of autism as a pathology and as a different way of seeing the world.

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Helping Children with Asperger's Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Behavioral Interventions to Help Children on the Spectrum Learn New Skills

Diane Yapko, Diane Yapko

Aaron, who has Asperger's syndrome (AS), has great difficulty intuitively understanding the intentions or feelings beneath the literal meanings of words. To him the world is a baffling place---he can't fathom why the other kids treat him the way they do, or what he might be doing that garners such consistently negative reactions. But both teachers and parents who understand how AS affects children can use small behavioral interventions throughout the day to help them learn new skills, such as understanding the nonverbal cues in facial expressions and tone of voice and adapting their own rigid desires and expectations in order to be more flexible and likeable to peers.

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Putting Clients with Asperger's Syndrome on the Path to Success

How Adding Brain Science to Therapy Normalizes Living with Asperger's

Richard Howlin, Richard Howlin

Adults with Asperger's syndrome often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. Worse still, their ability to fake it---to just pick up the emotional tenor of others---is severely limited by their concrete, inflexible thinking style. One of my initial goals in therapy is to help them realize the role their brain plays in their everyday practical and social understanding. Then, we embark on a step-by-step process of skill training, life planning, and helping clients integrate their unusual and obsessive talents into a productive life.

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Treating Asperger's Syndrome in the Therapy Room

Therapy Tools for Helping Clients with AS Improve Social Skills

Richard Howlin, Richard Howlin

Adults with Asperger's syndrome (AS) often behave as if they were confused actors walking onto a stage and being the only ones who don't know the lines or the plot. Worse still, their ability to fake it---to just pick up the emotional tenor of others---is severely limited by their concrete, inflexible thinking style. People with AS aren't able to shift their attention easily or adapt to changing circumstances. Unexpected departures from routine can throw them into complete catatonia. Such was the case with one of my clients, Steven. He'd recently flunked out of college, didn't have a single friend, had no plans for the future, and seemed to have no sense of urgency or concern about his life.

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Therapy Confronts the DSM-5

Therapists React to the Latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual

Martha Teater, Martha Teater

Since few people argue that mental health professionals can treat people or do research without some sort of diagnostic system, we’ll have to make friends with latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. But how are ordinary clinicians across the country adapting to its specifics? As someone who’s given dozens of workshops on DSM-5 and trained thousands of therapists in its use, I’ve had a front-row seat on how psychotherapists have reacted to the changes it means for their practice.

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