acceptance

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      “Could My Dad have Undiagnosed Autism?”    Maybe there’s always been something a little off with your dad that you haven’t been able to put your finger on. Perhaps he has trouble making friends or has some unusual routines that you’ve never quite understood. Until recent decades, people thought autism only looked like the severe cases seen in movies like “Rain Man.” Today, we know that Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) can display a variety of mild to severe symptoms. This growing knowledge of ASD has many people wondering if their dad’s unique traits could be signs of undiagnosed autism.    But how can you know if your dad is on the spectrum? And if he’s gone his whole life undiagnosed, should you encourage him to find out?   If you think your dad might have undiagnosed autism, here are some things you should know:    1. There’s a  lost generation   Autism wasn’t widely recognized until the 1980’s, so countless kids with autism were misdiagnosed or completely overlooked in the ‘50s, ‘60s, and 70’s. In recent years, many adults have only realized they have ASD when one of their children has been diagnosed. The tragedy of this lost generation is that these individuals did not receive the support growing up that we now know drastically improves the quality of life for children and adults with autism.      2. There’s no “typical” autism   There’s a saying that if you know one person with autism, then you know one person with autism. No two people have identical symptoms, and if your dad has autism he will likely exhibit some symptoms and not others. Common symptoms include:      Trouble making friends or being “socially awkward”    Difficulty expressing emotion     Making involuntary sounds like clearing throat or humming    Sticking to strict routines and getting upset when they are disrupted    Having repetitive rituals (sometimes autism is misdiagnosed as OCD)    Underdeveloped motor skills (e.g. - poor penmanship or clumsiness)    Fixating on particular interests such as a sports team or astronomy    Having amazing memories    Making honest observations (even if they are inappropriate!)    Being highly intelligent     Being unable to understand body language    Avoiding eye contact     Disliking loud noise or busy environments    Preferring not to be physically touched    Speaking loudly without realizing it    Invading others’ personal space without meaning to    Preferring the company of kids or animals to people their own age      3. Your dad is not defective   People with autism are not broken; they just don’t respond to visual and verbal cues the same way mainstream society does. Having autism in a neurotypical world is sort of like being dropped off in a foreign country with radically different customs than you’re used to; yes, you can get by, but you’ll have trouble fitting in until you learn how to interact in ways the locals understand. In turn, the more society learns about ASD, the more schools, employers, and families can support the success and well-being of people with autism.      4. The spectrum has its perks   Many people with ASD reject the idea that autism needs to be “cured” but rather that society should embrace the unique gifts that individuals with autism bring to the table. People with ASD tend to be honest, loyal, nonjudgmental, passionate, intelligent, nonmaterialistic, and have a great sense of humor. They also tend to be better at living in the present than their ever-distracted neurotypical neighbors. Many also have outstanding talents that go beyond the average person’s capabilities.      5. Accommodations are everything   People with undiagnosed autism spend their entire lives trying to decode how to speak and act in socially acceptable ways. But when a diagnosis is made, adjustments can be made to make work, religious, and family life much more supportive of how individuals with autism think and interact. With accommodations such as mentors, calm workspaces, clear instructions, extended deadlines, additional breaks, and predictable schedules, people with autism can find success and fulfillment in all aspects of life.    Click here to check out our blog on securing accommodations for post graduate career exams     6. A diagnosis can be healing   Today, one in 59 children are diagnosed with autism. It’s impossible to gauge how many kids from previous generations had autism but remained under the radar. As an adult, a diagnosis can help your dad gain clarity on why certain things in life have been difficult for him. Understanding ASD can boost his self-confidence and empower him to embrace his unique gifts and traits. What’s more, there are communities of adults with ASD who he can connect with to build relationships and gain the support he never had growing up.       7. Breaking the news brings risks   So you’ve read the blog and are convinced your dad has autism: now the million dollar question becomes whether or not you should tell him. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this question. While a diagnosis could be liberating, he may not be receptive to hearing your hunch. He’s spent his entire life learning how to cope with his differences, and finding out that he’s had a lifelong diagnosis may feel painful and confusing. A mental health specialist can help you determine whether the pros of understanding his symptoms and potentially seeking support could outweigh the risk of hurting his feelings or creating tension in your relationship.      


   
     
      
        Click here to schedule a 15-minute complimentary session with one of our Specialists 
      
     
   


 
   15-minute complimentary session with one of our Specialists  
   
     
      
         

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Name  *  
               Name 
              
                 
                    
                  First Name 
                 
                 
                    
                  Last Name 
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            
               
                 Email Address  *  
                
                 
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            
               
               Phone  *  
               Phone 
              
                
                 
                    
                  (###) 
                 
                 
                    
                  ### 
                 
                 
                    
                  #### 
                 
               
            

            

        

            

            

            

            
               
                 What is a good time and date to call you back?  *  
                
                  
               
            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

            

        

         

      

      

      
       
         
       
      

      

       Thank you! 

        
     

   

 
      8. You deserve support   As you consider your dad’s emotional needs, make sure you don’t neglect your own. You may also be carrying pain and confusion from growing up with a parent on the spectrum. Perhaps you’ve always felt emotionally disconnected from your dad or maybe you’ve felt a parent-child role reversal as you’ve tried to help him cope with his symptoms. A mental health specialist who understands the impact of having a parent on the autism spectrum can help you work through these challenges.   Dr. Christopher J. Sample, Psy.D.  specializes in supporting men and teenage boys through life’s transitions. If you are a man who is concerned that your dad may have undiagnosed autism, Dr. Sample can provide you with tools to support both yourself and your father.        
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sample 
       Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D.,  is an expert in dealing with the unique challenges that women face throughout each stage of life. If you are a woman concerned that your father or husband may have undiagnosed autism, Dr. Davis can support you in determining the next steps to support your loved one.      
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Davis. 
       Cynthia R. Johnson, LMFT,  is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. If you are concerned with how a family member’s undiagnosed autism is impacting your family, Cynthia can help.   Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D.,  is an expert in child and educational psychology. Dr. Shinn can provide diagnostic testing and recommend support for children or adults with symptoms of undiagnosed autism.       
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life           
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment  with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams, graduate and professional licensing exams such as MCAT, LSAT, GRE, CBEST, NCLEX, GMAT, CA Cosmetology Exam, CA Contractors State Licensing Exam, and CA Bar Exam).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Data & Statistics. Retrieved online: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html  Center for Disease Control and Prevention (2018). Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) Signs & Symptoms. Retrieved online: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/signs.html  Lai MC, Baron-Cohen S (2015). Identifying the lost generation of adults with autism spectrum conditions. Lancet Psychiatry.  2(11):1013-27. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00277-1.   Shinn. M.M.  (2018). Graduate Student’s Guide to Test Accommodations: The LSAT, MCAT, GRE, NCLEX, CBEST, GMAT, Cosmetology Exam, Contractors Exam, & Bar Exam.  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from:   https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/graduate-students-guide-to-test-accommodations    Jordan, M. (2018). Workplace Accommodations: Tips and Resources.  Autism.com  Retrieved online: https://www.autism.com/adults_accommodations2  Ranaghan, S. (2018). My story being diagnosed as an adult on the autism spectrum.  Autism Speaks . Retrieved from: https://www.autismspeaks.org/life-spectrum/my-story-being-diagnosed-autism-adult    How to Cite This Blog Article:    Shinn. M.M. (2019). Could My Dad Have Undiagnosed Autism?  Psychologically Speaking.  [Variations Psychology blog post]. Retrieved from: https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/could-my-dad-have-undiagnosed-autism

“Could My Dad have Undiagnosed Autism?”

Today, one in 59 kids is diagnosed with autism. 50 years ago, autism was largely misunderstood. It’s impossible to gauge how many kids from previous generations had autism but remained under the radar. If you think your dad might be one of the lost generation, check out this week’s blog for 8 things you should know.

     

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
                  
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      The Women’s Guide to Divorce: How to Work Toward Acceptance and Happiness    Divorce is something no woman thinks will ever happen to her. I mean come on - all of our childhood movies ended with a royal couple riding off to the magical land of “happily ever after.” We never had The Princess and the Prenup or Ariel’s Alimony Adventure – we were shown that you find your soulmate, exchange some rings, and it’s all sunshine from there. So what happens when a woman’s lifelong view of marriage comes crashing down into the harsh reality of divorce?  The answer is that the emotional impact can feel devastating, and often makes a woman question her identity and self-worth. If you’re a woman struggling through divorce - there is hope. Try these tips to work toward a happy, accepting future:   1. Write a goodbye letter   The grief experienced during divorce can rival that of having a loved one pass away. Not only are you mourning the loss of your relationship, but you’re mourning the vision you had for your life story. Write a letter saying goodbye to each of the dreams and experiences that you expected out of your marriage. This will help you define exactly what you are grieving so that you can work toward acceptance.   2. Write a hello letter   Divorce is a beginning as well as an end. After you write your goodbye letter, write another letter saying hello to all of the things that you would never experience if you were still with your ex. Hello ballroom dancing lessons. Hello wine tasting trips with the girls. Hello rights to the remote control. Hello flirting with that ridiculously attractive cashier. Though nothing will eliminate the pain and process of grieving your losses, focusing on new hobbies and fun activities can add a silver lining in this difficult time.   3. Redefine your identity    Women often view themselves in terms of their caregiving roles to others. If most of your identity is wrapped up in being someone’s spouse, divorce can really throw a wrench in your self-worth. When you are feeling depressed or that you’ve failed, spend time thinking about your talents, character traits, and values that make you who you are. Remind yourself that divorce does not define who you are as an individual.   4. Find a supportive circle   Friendships can be a little tricky after divorce since many married couples hang out with other couples. When one duo splits up, it’s common for mutual friends to keep their distance, adding to the pain and isolation divorce can bring. The good news is, divorce can be a great catalyst to make new friends who understand what you’re going through. There are lots of online and in-person support groups for divorced women to discuss experiences and share coping techniques. Also, this can be a great opportunity to reconnect with family members or friends that you didn’t have as much time for during your marriage.   5. Take a break from social media    Resist the urge to cyber-stalk your ex. There’s no need to see the petty, “I’m doing great,” posts – they’ll just irritate you. It’s common for women to worry about what their ex and other people are thinking and saying about their divorce; to help avoid this, consider taking a break from social media for at least a few weeks to focus your mind on yourself and not the rest of the world.    For more tips to avoid comparing yourself to social media, click here      6. If you have kids, model emotional intelligence    While emotional intelligence is important for everyone, it is especially important if you have children and are helping them work through your divorce. Emotional intelligence is being able to identify and process your emotions in a healthy way. If you have kids, they might have a hard time expressing their feelings, but you have the power to show them how to acknowledge and work through the difficult emotions divorce brings.  Example: “This is a difficult time for our family. I have been feeling confused and lonely sometimes, but I know that these feelings are temporary. We are a strong family and we will get through this together.”    For more tips on fostering emotional intelligence in your children, click here      7. Work toward acceptance    While it’s healthy to be aware of all of the emotions that you experience through divorce, remember that your end-goal is to accept your divorce and move on with your life. Try not to wallow in feelings of bitterness and resentment – when they arise, acknowledge them, but remember that you will be happier once you can learn to move past them.   8. Keep your heels on the high ground    Taking the moral high ground in divorce can be tough, especially if your ex is petty-posting pics with their new love interest or writing derogatory tweets about you. No matter how awful your ex is being, remind yourself that no good will come from you retaliating. If you’re a mom, don’t badmouth your ex to your kids or try to make them spies. Don’t attempt to get your ex fired or ruin their friendships. As hard as it may be, keeping civil is best for your long-term mental health.   9. See a specialist    Divorce can be one of the most difficult experiences a woman may face, challenging her identity, self-esteem, and emotional health. Many times, friends and family just don’t seem to get it and women can feel alone in their despair. Fortunately, there are many resources for women going through divorce and there’s no reason to go through it alone.   Dr. Daniella A. Davis, Psy.D. , is an expert in dealing with the unique challenges that women face throughout each stage of life. If you are a woman struggling through the challenges of divorce or marital issues, Dr. Davis can provide support, understanding, and practical tips to get back to living your best life.     
 
	 Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Davis 
       Cynthia Johnson, LMFT,  is a specialist in Parenting and Child Therapy at Variations Psychology. She has years of experience in helping parents, teens, and children work through family issues and overcome challenges brought on by divorce. If you are worried that divorce or marital issues are harming your family’s emotional health, Cynthia can help.   Dr. Marta M. Shinn, Ph.D. , is an expert in child and educational psychology. Divorce can impact a child’s school performance, cause them to act out, or result in anxiety and depression. If you are worried about the impact of divorce on your children, Dr. Shinn can provide evaluations, therapy, and educational consulting to ensure your child has support they need to overcome challenges and succeed.     
 
	  Click here to schedule your appointment with Dr. Shinn 
       Subscribe to our blog for a weekly article on topics that affect your life         
     Y.on("domready", function(){
     Y.all('input[name="lname"]').setAttribute("value", "X");
     });
          

 
   
     
      
        
     

     

       

        
          

            

          

            
               

                 
                   First Name 
                   
                 

                 
                   Last Name 
                   
                 

               
            

          
        

        

          
             
               Email Address 
               
             
          

        

          

        

       

       
            Sign Up    
       

     

    
        We respect your privacy.  
    

     Thank you! 
      

   

 
      Found this article helpful?     Rate and review us on Google and Yelp               

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


      

  

    
       
      
         
          
             
          
             
                  
             
          
             
          

          

         
      
       
    

  


              The purpose of this article is to provide an overview of the highlighted topic. For a full consultation, assessment, and personalized treatment plan, schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.   More about Variations Psychology   Variations Psychology is a group practice specializing in Child and Family Psychology.  Our specialists provide therapy to infants, children, adolescents, and adults to help them overcome the many challenges they may face throughout the lifespan of a family. We also conduct diagnostic testing of child and adult conditions that may impact the family’s mental health and development (e.g. ADHD, Autism Depression, Anxiety, Learning Disorders, college entrance exams).  See our   Specialists   page to select the specialist that best suits your need, or simply give us a call and we will guide you..  Variations Psychology is located in Newport Beach, CA and provides counseling to residents throughout Orange County and its surrounding areas including Newport Beach, Newport Coast, Irvine, Shady Canyon, Laguna Beach, Laguna Hills, Coto de Caza, Corona del Mar, Costa Mesa, Yorba Linda, Dana Point, Laguna Niguel, Aliso Viejo, Mission Viejo, Pelican Hill, Crystal Cove, Rancho Santa Margarita, San Clemente, Lake Forest, Huntington Beach, Sunset Beach, Seal Beach, and more.      
  
       References:   https://www.webmd.com/sex-relationships/features/life-after-divorce-3-survival-strategies#3  https://helpguide.org/articles/grief/dealing-with-a-breakup-or-divorce.htm  https://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/03/divorce-stress-_n_4175767.html  https://www.womansday.com/relationships/dating-marriage/advice/a6834/divorce-advice-women/  https://www.womanpulse.com/coping-dealing-divorce-guide/  http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/separation-and-divorce  https://www.womansdivorce.com/positive-side-of-divorce.html   How to Cite This Blog Article:   Shinn, M.M. (2018). The Women’s Guide to Divorce: How to Work Toward Acceptance and Happiness.    Psychologically Speaking .  [Variations Psychology blog post].  Retrieved from https://www.variationspsychology.com/blogs/the-womens-guide-to-divorce-how-to-work-toward-acceptance-and-happiness

The Women’s Guide to Divorce:
How to Work Toward Acceptance and Happiness

Divorce is something no woman thinks will ever happen to her. I mean come on - all of our childhood movies ended with a royal couple riding off to the magical land of “happily ever after.” We never had The Princess and the Prenup or Ariel’s Alimony Adventure – we were shown that you find your soulmate, exchange some rings, and it’s all sunshine from there. So what happens when a woman’s lifelong view of marriage comes crashing down into the harsh reality of divorce?