Hello! I am here to introduce myself and tell you about my new blog covering topics related to neurodiversity, and teens and adults on the autism spectrum.
My name is Dr. Tasha Oswald, but you can call me Tasha! I’m a trained developmental and clinical psychologist. I’m also the founder and director of Open Doors Therapy, a private practice in Palo Alto, near San Francisco, CA.
I specialize in providing group therapy for teens and adults who are neurodiverse or on the autism spectrum. Importantly, I also provide support groups to their parents and loved ones. I have a background as a researcher and have studied many topics relevant to teens and adults on the spectrum.
If you want to know more about me, you can visit my About Page!
Why My Blog Is About
Neurodiversity & Autism Spectrum
So why did I decide to dedicate a blog, and really my whole career, to issues related to neurodiversity and autism spectrum in teens and adults?
First, I think neurodiversity should be celebrated! Neurodiversity is the theory that neurological differences, such as in autism or ADHD, should be respected as part of natural variation in the human genome.
Neurodiversity brings great talents, skills, and innovative and insightful ways of thinking and problem-solving to our world. Neurodiversity represents a pillar of our society, upon which our greatest thoughts and inventions have been built. Behind the term “neurodiversity”, stand many unique individuals, with their own life stories of triumph and hardship.
As a psychologist, I love getting to know each person who is neurodiverse or on the autism spectrum as the unique and wonderful person they are! I love being able to cheer on their accomplishments, as well as to be there to provide support and strategies for them to overcome their hardships and achieve the life they define as fulfilling.
The transition to adulthood and different stages of adult life can be exciting times, but for many people can also be challenging and overshadowed by fears around what’s to come.
For people who are neurodiverse or on the autism spectrum, adulthood can be particularly challenging.
Education, work, independent living, driving, dating, marriage etc. These “benchmarks” of adulthood can feel overwhelming!
Struggling to reach these benchmarks can impact the way you think about yourself (your self-identity), your self-esteem, and your desire to keep trying in life.
Sometimes you might feel stuck, uncertain, or filled with anxiety and dread. Not sure what to do next in life or how to handle certain problems!
Struggling to make friends, manage a relationship, or deal with teachers or co-workers. So you might slowly withdraw from others, and to your own sanctuary (a place where you feel more comfortable, maybe your room or your computer).
It would be ideal if the transition to adulthood felt like one of those magic tricks where the magician pulls a tablecloth out from under the dishes and leaves them undisturbed.
BUT at times, the transition to adulthood probably feels more like all the dishes come crashing down on the floor. Loud, jarring, overwhelming! You just want to hide!
That’s where I come in!
My Blog Provides Helpful Info
For Neurodiverse Individuals & Their Families
In my blog I hope to provide you and your family with helpful information, tips, and encouragement to . . .
- Support the transition to different stages of adult life
- Figuring out your next steps after high school
- Entering college or work training programs
- Developing your career path
- Building friendships or romantic relationships
- Gaining greater independence.
Some of my upcoming blogs will cover the following topics:
- Anxiety & Avoidance – How they prevent you from opening doors of opportunity in your life
- Women with autism, their unique struggles and strengths
- Parenting vs. Consulting – Supporting your adult son or daughter with autism
- I’m not lazy! Reframing the way we think about adults with autism and anxiety
- How to advocate for yourself at college and the workplace
- Remembering your strengths and how they link to a career
- Perfectionism – Nobody’s perfect, so why should you be!
- My super senses make me super sensitive – Tips to make your life easier
- Bullied for too long – I gave up on trying to make friends
- Small steps lead to big goals! Strategies for planning and goal setting
- Who am I – Neurodiversity
When I come across useful resources for teens and adults who are neurodiverse or on the autism spectrum, or for their families, I will post them here on my blog, or on my “Resources” webpage.
I will also try to listen to you and also the greater community in which I live for guidance on the topics that might be of benefit to teens and adults who are neurodiverse or on the autism spectrum, and their families.
Thanks for reading! Please feel free to check-back in for future blogs and resources!
Read about John Elder Robison’s view on neurodiversity, and his life with Asperger’s.