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Working with Neurodiversity

Our clinic is well known for its neuro-affirming approach, emphasising a strengths-based approach and appreciation for the authentic individual.

  • Prioritising safety in the nervous system from the outset

  • Utilising language that promotes radical acceptance of difference.

  • Understanding differences in brain function that impact a child’s responses.

  • Minimising overwhelm and meltdowns by creating a canvas of social, physical, emotional and sensory safety.

  • Teaching of flexibility to young people to enable them to handle difficult thoughts and feelings as they emerge, only once nervous system is assessed to be calm

  • Assisting with “giving up” behaviours by recognising fluctuating capacity

  • Guiding young people towards a valued and meaningful life in the face of difficulty.

  • Celebrating diversity

Autistic young people usually report feeling very comfortable within the first session- an essential feature of a young person’s ability to effectively engage in therapy and to benefit from it. We use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to assist young people to manage overwhelming feelings. 


A neuro-affirming approach underpins the following skill development goals of sessions:

  • Recognising my own needs  (sensory/social emotional)

  • Self-advocacy

  • Recognising and understanding multiple perspectives and differences in communication

  • Developing social skills that feel authentic to the young person and enable connection with like-minded peers

  • Recognising different social preferences of neurotypical peers

  • Perfectionism

  • Restrictive eating patterns including ARFID

  • Handling a different style of learning

  • Managing sensory overload

  • Recognising masking and its cost

  • Using the special interest to advantage

  • Managing inattention, executive function deficits and best ways to scaffold support

  • Encouraging the exploration of passions and interests to find like-minded peers

  • Low demand approaches to managing nervous system overload

  • PDA

  • Working with the young person's school

  • School Can't

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