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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    Are there any psychologists who "specialise" in ASD?

    I have Asperger Syndrome with major difficulties in motivation and living skills (also major difficulties in communication compared to the general population). I found a local clinical psychologist (not listed on this website) listed on the APS website as treating ASD. He focuses on CBT/ ACT, and is also a lecturer, clinical consultant and supervisor . What I'm not sure of is how "specialised" a psychologist should be in ASD in order to be ideal. His website says nothing about ASD: obviously it is just one of many areas of interest for him, whereas on the other hand there are the ASD clinics which focus exclusively on the condition. I've been told that because ASD is so complex it is important to find someone who knows a lot about the condition, and that *some* of the techniques used for the general population for making changes need to be substituted for ASD clients. Is there a fair chance that he would know enough about ASD to be just as "good" as those who work at ASD clinics?
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    Daniel Wendt


    Mr Daniel Wendt is the Principal Clinical Psychologist and Director of Oracle Psychology. Daniel is a Child and Adolescent Psychologist registered with the Psychology Board … View Profile

    Some Psychologists do indeed specialise in ASD and only see ASD clients. However some Psychologists have expertise in the area but see other populations also. I would start by talking to the Psychologist on the phone and asking him/her specifically about their experience and what percentage of their clients are on the Autism Spectrum. 

    Having worked in in the area of helping clients with ASD for many years I would agree that a depth of knowledge in the area is essential for gaining successful outcomes.

  • Katrina Breen

    HealthShare Member

    Thanks Daniel :) 

    Interestingly, the wording of my question has obviously been changed by the site admin: when I posted the question I wasn't actually asking whether there are any psychologists who specialise is ASD (because I knew that there are!)

    Since posting the question, I've been doing further research on CBT in relation specifically to ASD, so as to find out what areas of "difference" would be of relevance to me, and get some idea as to what "skills" or knowledge the psychologist might need, before I phone the psychologist.

    I have read Tony Attwood's article on CBT from his website, and have bought (in Kindle) Valerie Gaus's book on CBT for adults with ASD and am currently reading that. (It's written for therapists, but pretty easy for me to understand as a layperson.... I've been skimming over the (brief) parts that discuss the technical details of research findings etc. and focusing on the more descriptive parts in relation to common thought processes etc. of people with ASD. Some readers with ASD might be upset by some of the "negative" clinical language in describing/explaining the challenges of people with ASD, but I'm consciously reminding myself that it is just that: clinical language :)

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