"Knowing others is intelligence. Knowing yourself is true wisdom." - Lao Tzu
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Children and Teens on the Autism Spectrum
I also have a special interest in working with children and adolescents with high functioning autism, or Asperger’s Disorder to help them make sense of their different experiences in the world and their relationships.
While children with these diagnoses are often offered a variety of therapies including behavioral, occupational, and social skills, they are rarely given the opportunity to talk with someone who is interested in understanding the world as they experience it.
When given this opportunity in the work I do, it serves to promote a better understanding of themselves – which in turn increases their capacity for empathy for others. Ultimately, a new way of relating to themselves and others emerges with an increased ability to manage feelings, relationships, social situations, and inner experiences.
When a child is diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder, Aspergers, ADHD, or has other special needs, the course of parenthood is necessarily altered. The pressure you feel as a parent to provide the best care for your child becomes more urgent and critical. This kind of response is natural, quite common, and even healthy because it is in the service of meeting the needs of your child.
However, in rising to the challenge of raising a child with special needs – many parents lose touch with their own needs and find it hard to care for themselves. Other relationships in your life may suffer, including your partnership, or you may find yourself feeling steadily depleted of energy and joy. Other people may not be able to relate to the demands and challenges you face, which may lead you to experience feelings of loneliness and isolation.
Therapy can become a very important place where parents going through this journey can allow themselves to relax and talk with someone who understands the demands and unique challenges posed by raising a child with special needs.
I believe that in caring for yourself, you are also setting the stage for your child and family's optimal growth; as it places you in a much stronger position to care for your child.
To this end, the benefits of our work include understanding and addressing your needs... And in doing so, we will also be creating a more emotionally sustainable system that supports you to be the best parent you can be for your child.
Chelsea Gottfurcht, Psy.D.
Licensed Psychologist, PSY 26350
Call me: (310) 866-1362 or Email me: firstname.lastname@example.org