Hello, fellow ADHD'rs and Autistic neurokin (and/or caregivers)!
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor in Frederick, MD
As a Registered Play Therapist-Supervisor who works via telehealth, I love being able to combine my Child-Centered approach with Digital Play Therapy. Using tools like the Virtual Sandtray App, whiteboards, Minecraft, Roblox, and digital versions of traditional board games I can bring the play therapy office to my clients, allowing them the power to speak in the language of play.
CBT is applicable not just in session to explore why things are challenging but in your day-to-day life - I use CBT techniques in my personal life as well. It just makes sense to consider how your thoughts, feelings and actions are all impacting one another to find ways to make changes. CBT can be used with kids, teens and adults, but it will look a little different in each case.
What's an adjustment disorder? It's a way to capture those times when an identifiable stressor is causing symptoms that aren't truly diagnosable as a long-term"disorder". If your family is going through a time of transition (i.e. separation/divorce, moving) and your child/teen is suddenly clingy, anxious and having nightmares - they probably haven't suddenly developed "Generalized Anxiety Disorder" but an Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety. This is a short-term (and treatable!) diagnosis.
Learning disorders can impact kids, teens and their parents in unexpected ways. It's not only that academics can be challenging, but also the way you hear what people say to you, your relationships, your emotions and resulting behavior can be significantly affected. Ever had your child with ADHD have a complete meltdown when transitioning from one activity to another? Ever struggled to get your child with a Reading Disorder off to school? Then you know exactly what I'm talking about.
I know for a fact that you are not the only one. I have listened to all types of caregivers (adoptive, foster, biological, guardians, grandparents, step-parents, life partners…), who are parts of all types of families, describe situations so similar to yours it’s almost uncanny. When I tell you "Nope, I don’t think your kid is crazy. And I don’t think you’re a bad parent either." it’s because I believe you when you tell me what it’s been like at home and I know - it isn’t just you.
Autism is not a disorder to be treated. It's a neurotype and way of being in the world. Because our world is centered on the neurotypical experience, autistic clients often come to me for support around how to navigate a neurotypical world. We'll dive into your personal autistic experience by exploring your strengths and interests, talking about the ways in which your daily living is impacted and discussing what supports you'd like to have in place. Ask us about PDA!
As a fellow ADHD'r, I understand that it's not only that academics can be challenging. ADHD effects your relationships, your emotions and your resulting behavior. "Simple" tasks can feel impossible while you can simultaneously jump into a new hobby and master it within the week (only to let it go soon after). We'll sort through your executive functioning strengths and differences to figure out what is and isn't working in your daily life, so you can put effective supports in place.
Person-Centered Therapy and Child-Centered Play Therapy form the foundation for all of my clinical work. This means that I'm ready to "meet" my clients wherever they are in each session. Rather than following a strict treatment plan or a workbook, I offer a non-judgemental space for my clients to show up as their authentic selves and get what they need on that day.