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 am also the founder and director of Open Doors Therapy, a private practice in Palo Alto, near San Francisco, CA.
Though you can find more information about me throughout the Open Doors Therapy website, my hope is that this blog will help you get a better sense of who I am as a therapist and person. Professionally, 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. Finally, my research background is primarily around teens and adults on the spectrum.
Why My Blog is About
Neurodiversity and 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.
Neurodiverse individuals bring great talents, skills, and innovative and insightful ways of thinking and problem-solving to our world. Adults who are neurodiverse represent 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.
Consider Me Your Biggest Cheerleader
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.
Times of Transition Can Be Tough for Autistic Adults
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. Some of these challenges can include the overwhelming “benchmarks” that many adults push for, like:
- Living Independently
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.
Do You Ever Feel Stuck?
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).
You may be struggling with overwhelm.
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 Information
for Neurodiverse Individuals and Their Families
In my blog, I hope to provide you and your family with helpful information, tips, and encouragement for…
- Supporting transitions 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
My Commitment to Keeping You Updated
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 the greater Silicon Valley and Bay Area community 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.
Stay Connected With Open Doors Therapy
Thanks for reading about my new blog! Here are three ways to stay connected with Open Doors Therapy:
- Contact Open Doors Therapy to schedule a free 30 minute phone consultation.
- Connect with me on Facebook for another way to stay informed.
- Subscribe to the blog for news and updated information!
Other Autism Services at Open Doors Therapy
Our Palo Alto/Bay Area mental health clinic serves individuals with autistic traits (Aspergers, high functioning autism, undiagnosed autism traits, etc) and their families. Spcifically, or autism therapy services include individual counseling, parent counseling and group therapy. Our support and educational groups include: college students with autistic traits, neurodiverse adults, women who identify as neurodiverse, and neurodiverse youth & caregivers. If you would like to learn about any of these services, please reach out today!