Coaching for High Functioning Adults and Youth on the Autism Spectrum
Individuals on the Autism Spectrum often feel quite alone in a world that does not always value differences. They may be talented, visionary, intelligent, enthusiastic and highly focused but tend to have difficulty expressing or channeling these qualities in a way that can be fully appreciated by those around them. Individuals with features of Asperger's or Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) that I have come to know in my practice often have a limited understanding of how other people feel or think and often have great difficulty interpreting social cues and expectations. This deficit alone can significantly affect their relationships as well as their ability to secure and maintain jobs. As a result of these and related difficulties, individuals on the Spectrum frequently feel misunderstood and underappreciated, and those around them fail to recognize their potential contributions. I have found that while individuals on the Autism Spectrum comprise a diverse group in many ways, they tend to struggle with some of the same issues, and perhaps this can be comforting to know.
If you are a person on the Spectrum, you may recognize some of the following problem areas:
- Difficulty understanding non-verbal or indirect behaviors. You are unable to accurately interpret gestures, facial expressions or body postures in conversations and sometimes miss non-verbal indications that a person is joking, hinting at something, or disagreeing with you.
- Difficulty initiating or maintaining friendships. You find it hard to make or keep new friends due to shyness, fear of rejection, or misunderstandings.
- Being a frequent target of teasing or bullying.
- Being seen as judgmental, rigid or stubborn. You hold so strongly to an idea or belief that you are unable to imagine alternative ways of thinking or behaving.
- Having an addictive interest in computer activities (games, Facebook and social media, pornography, dating services). You become so engaged with this preoccupation that you lose sight of important responsibilities, personal goals or relationships.
The coaching services that I provide are designed to assist with these and other related behaviors by identifying, nurturing and building on the many strengths and positive behaviors that you may also possess.