Services we offer...
Am I / could I be an Aspie? (Short hand for "individual with Asperger Syndrome):
General information and advice pre- and post-diagnosis for yourself, your partner, family, friends etc.
Please make an appointment to see us (ph. 337 6337) at either 11.00am or 2.00pm on Tuesdays or Thursdays. The initial interview will typically be 60-90 minutes long as we get to know you, your background, particular issues in your life and find out what you want us to help you with. By the end of that time, we will have formulated a plan for moving forward in your life and checked it out with you.
Very often, this plan will involve us in quite a lot of work "behind the scenes" to set up the needful arrangements such as appointments with other professionals including WINZ, educational contacts etc. We will accompany you to all such appointments as it makes a big difference to the outcomes.
Further counselling may be indicated, library books loaned etc. We do not hold support group meetings at the moment, but given enough demand, we could do so.
First things first: we need to get a picture of you and your background/ school/work etc and what are special issues for you at present. This will probably involve going back into your past history as well. Often there are behavioural issues involving other people, as well as specifically AS issues. We may have to give you information about how to get a Diagnostic Assessment, and the benefits of having one done. This ramifies into various other parts of your life, including the benefit system. People who have a diagnosis are almost always thrilled to have their concerns validated and to have found a bunch of people "like them". There are also a few people who resent being asked to see a Psychologist and prefer to continue in their unsatisfying life because at least it is predictable.
Advice regarding education, employment, accommodation, activities.
We will support you at interviews and meetings if you require it. (Recommended). WINZ has itself said that clients accompanied by a support person get a better service than people on their own!
Counselling: If a counsellor or therapist is not themselves a diagnosed Aspie, the counselling is never going to work "properly". Sorry, that is our experience and also that of many other Aspies we know. Be careful about who you ask for a diagnostic assessment. Some people who do have professional qualifications and should know better have been found charging megabucks and giving frankly useless and wrong information! Always ask if they use the special diagnostic tests for Autism and if they don't know what you are talking about, they are not worth going to.
People with Lived Experience and a good store of knowledge about how Aspergers and Autism manifests in people are the most appropriate people to help. Often, "it's not rocket science" but people not on the spectrum sometimes over-intellectualise and over-think because they really don't understand how to tackle the subject. We use a lot of pragmatism coupled with our informed knowledge (we read a lot of books but we also have met a lot of Aspies by now!)
We have been told many times that we are the best resource available for teens and adults in the South Island and are now being asked to conduct "remote counselling" for people not in Christchurch.
Working with your Career Guidance or Disability Resource person in order to plan for "best fit" education and job aspirations. A diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome must be taken into account when deciding on educational, career and life planning for maximum success.
We are happy to address interested groups on our favourite subject- please email us with an indication of how much time you would like us to speak for, plus date(s), venue and time of day you would prefer. (Use our Contact form)
All our work carries a guarantee of absolute confidentiality unless you authorise otherwise.
Screening for Irlen (Scotopic Sensitivity) Syndrome
People who have difficulty with reading and bright light in many situations may be suffering from Scotopic Sensitivity, which means that very bright light interferes with the way the brain interprets what the eyes are perceiving. Typically, sufferers will find print is very unstable on the page and that, sometimes, the text divides itself into meaningless shapes.
Irlen lenses properly prescribed will correct the problem fantastically! For a useful demonstration of how Scotopic Sensitivity Syndrome may affect vision, please visit www.irlen.com.
Leith can demonstrate how specially tinted lenses help with SSS, and (if indicated) will then recommend an appropriate Optometrist for further examination and the selection of the most appropriate tint/s for the spectacle lenses.
People may also find that wearing a hat with a brim of a cap worn the correct way around helps keep reflected light off the ceiling from washing down the face even if tinted lenses are being worn.
Please ring 03 337 6337 for an appointment.
Increasingly we are being asked to mediate and advocate in an employment problem. It is very difficult to advocate for yourself without backup of a knowledgeable support person who can remain emotionally neutral when the situation becomes overwhelming for the Aspie.
We have had great success with this and also are available to conduct staff training for educators, businesses etc.