by Dawn Anderson LPCCS

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) is the medical format for incorporating what we commonly refer to as LGBTQ information about those we serve in the medical community. The acronym LGBTQ stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning or queer. Sexual orientation describes the attraction a person experiences to others, whereas gender identity is that person’s internal sense of who they are. Best said by a dear friend of mine, Tristan Vaught owner of Transform Cincy, “Sexuality is who you go to bed with, gender is who I go to bed as.”

In healthcare, collecting this information is an important sector of understanding a person, the same way that we ask about their early life experiences, support system, or educational history. For some people, each of those questions would give more insights into how to best support and work with them more than other questions. By collecting data on gender and sexual identity as well as relationships, we can better understand their lives and the of value those sectors of personhood.

A second reason that we collect SOGI data is to provide respectful care. Knowing the proper title and pronouns to use when addressing someone is a way to demonstrate respect and honor them as an individual. Some ways you can incorporate this into your daily life might be introducing yourself first with your name and pronouns, or by using gender neutral pronouns if you are unsure of someone’s pronouns. We use this model more than we commonly think of, such as if I find a lost phone, I would say “someone left their phone here,” and that is the same for “this guest is here for their appointment.” By demonstrating this level of knowledge with those we serve as well as colleagues, we can create a safer work community for everyone with inclusion.

Sexuality is also valuable context in the way we actively show up against heteronormativity in our world. If I ask about my patient’s relationship, I want to make sure I am respecting them by referring to the important people in the lives appropriately. If a coworker tells me they have a child, I wouldn’t likely assume it’s a son. Similarly, if a coworker refers to their spouse, I shouldn’t assume their gender either. It helps to use the same words other use to refer to their significant others. (ex. Husband, wife, partner, son, daughter, child).

When it comes to asking questions, it’s important to consider if I would ask this question to any general person, if not, am I asking for the benefit of the person I’m talking to or my curiosity? If the latter, there are ways to do research and learn more that are more respectful than asking someone I don’t know well. Some resources to learn more include https://pflag.org/ or https://www.cdc.gov/healthcommunication/Preferred_Terms.html.

 

High Hopes, Lindner Center of HOPE’s fundraising auxiliary hosted An Evening of HOPE, May 30, 2024, at MegaCorp Pavilion raising $170,000 for the Center.

The event featured renowned speaker, Kevin Hines, a mental health advocate and survivor of a suicide attempt from the Golden Gate Bridge and a live auction.

Amy Russert & Blake Gustafson co-chaired the event.

All proceeds from the event benefit Lindner Center of HOPE’s Transforming HOPE Campaign. Funds enable the Center to add more treatment units, expand wellness facilities, add clinical staff, increasing the number of patients served, and lessen the suffering of people with mental illness.

Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason is a comprehensive mental health center providing excellent, patient-centered, scientifically-advanced care for individuals suffering with mental illness. A state-of-the-science, mental health center and charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, the Center provides psychiatric hospitalization and partial hospitalization for individuals age 12-years-old and older, outpatient services for all ages, diagnostic and short-term residential services for adults, and research. The Center is enhanced by its partnership with UC Health as its clinicians are ranked among the best providers locally, nationally and internationally. Together Lindner Center of HOPE and UC Health offer a true system of mental health care in the Greater Cincinnati area and across the country. The Center is also affiliated with the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.

 

 

REGISTER NOW! 1 CME/CEU OFFERED

Please join us October 8, 2024
5:30 – 6:30 p.m. EST

For a free webcast

Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy: A Brief
Overview

 

PRESENTED BY:
Laurie Little, PsyD, Chief Patient Experience Officer and Staff Psychologist

Participants in the webcast will be able to:

  1. Identify 3 psychedelic medicines that are used to treat mental illness.
  2. Describe research that supports the use of psychedelic medicine in the treatment of anxiety, depression and PTSD.
  3. Describe the current laws and restrictions regarding the use of psychedelic medicines.

Click here for flyer

Register here

Target Audience:
Psychiatrists, Primary Care Physicians, Non-psychiatric MDs, Nurse Practitioners, , Social Workers, Psychologists, Registered Nurses, and Mental Health Specialists and interested parties as well

ACCREDITATION STATEMENT
This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing
Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the University of Cincinnati and the Lindner Center of HOPE. The University of Cincinnati is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The University of Cincinnati designates this live activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™. Physicians should claim only the credits
commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The Ohio Psychological Association under approval number P099-311067501 (2010-2012) approves the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry for 1 mandatory continuing education credit for Ohio Licensed Psychologists.

The This activity has been approved for 1 clock hour of CEU by The State of Ohio Counselor, Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapist Board.

DISCLAIMER
The opinions expressed during the educational activity are those of the faculty and do not necessarily represent the views of the University of Cincinnati. The information is presented for the purpose of advancing the attendees’ professional development.

Half Day Workshop Offered Education on Mental Health and Wellness to More Than 200

Lindner Center of HOPE hosted more than 200 community members at Community Education Day on Sunday, May 19, 2024 in acknowledgement of May Mental Health Month at Manor House in Mason. The half-day workshop offered an opportunity for community members to enhance their awareness of mental health and wellness.

Brandon Saho, Creator of The Mental Game Podcast, Cincinnati native and former sports reporter with WLWT-TV was the keynote speaker. Saho said goodbye to his dream job in 2022 to focus on his mental health. Saho says he was at his lowest. He was depressed and alone and he didn’t know how to live. Saho spent time as a patient at Lindner Center of HOPE and realized that he didn’t want anyone to struggle like he did, so he started The Mental Game podcast. Saho spends time talking with athletes, musicians, and celebrities with the goal of saving lives through these conversations.

Three sets of breakout sessions followed the keynote presentation. Attendees designed their afternoon according to their areas of interest choosing from varying topics such as:  depression, empowered parenting, finding a therapist, addictions and more.

Just prior to the breakout sessions, attendees participated in a friendly farewell to Michael G. Leadbetter, MD. Dr. Leadbetter, retired plastic surgeon, will launch his year-long friendship bus tour of the United States June 2024 raising awareness around the importance of friendship and connection for mental wellness. The trip is in memory of Leadbetter’s wife, Debbie, his life partner for 49 years. The couple had planned much of the trip before Debbie passed, with the goal of visiting friends around the country, highlighting the significant role friends played in their lives and their mental wellness.

Community Education Day also offered a resource center for participants to gather information on other community services and offerings.

More than 200 members of the community participated in Lindner Center of HOPE’s Community Education Day in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Saho, Creator of The Mental Game Podcast, Cincinnati native and former sports reporter with WLWT-TV was the keynote speaker.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon Saho gives keynote speech.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(l-r)Dr. Paul Crosby, Lindner Center of HOPE President and CEO with Dr. Michael Leadbetter preparing to send off the Friendship Bus Tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Participants at Community Education Day give Dr. Leadbetter a sendoff.

A resource center was offered at Community Education Day.

 

Breakout sessions filled out Community Education Day with opportunities to increase awareness and understanding.

Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason is a comprehensive mental health center providing excellent, patient-centered, scientifically-advanced care for individuals suffering with mental illness. A state-of-the-science, mental health center and charter member of the National Network of Depression Centers, the Center provides psychiatric hospitalization and partial hospitalization for individuals age 12-years-old and older, outpatient services for all ages, diagnostic and short-term residential services for adults, and research. The Center is enhanced by its partnership with UC Health as its clinicians are ranked among the best providers locally, nationally and internationally. Together Lindner Center of HOPE and UC Health offer a true system of mental health care in the Greater Cincinnati area and across the country. The Center is also affiliated with the University of Cincinnati (UC) College of Medicine.

by Jessica Kraft, MSN, PMHNP-BC

 

 

 

 

Anxiety and mood disorders are amongst the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions in the United States. While many find successful treatment through various psychotherapies or medications targeted at managing anxiety and depression, no medication will magically take away all anxiety or life stressors and it is not uncommon to experience breakthrough anxiety or symptoms of depression even while under the care of mental health professionals.  In today’s hectic world it can be challenging to juggle daily responsibilities and find ways and time to take a step back and practice mindfulness or focus on self-care. This article explores different mindfulness activities and alternative therapies, some of the benefits they illustrate, and how to include them in our day-to-day routines.

Meditation: Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and is considered one of the oldest spiritual practices in ancient India and China. While it can be challenging to find an agreed upon definition for meditation, in general it is agreed upon that meditation is a practice and form of mental training with the goal of calming the mind (Wang et al., 2022). Meditation can look different to different people and can be practiced in as little as a few minutes every day.

Yoga: Yoga is an ancient spiritual practice with roots in Indian culture and is an alternative therapy often combined with meditation that focuses on breathwork and the adoption of physical postures.  There are multiple style of yoga that differ in intensity and length of time, but multiple individual studies and systematic reviews have concluded that yoga can benefit those struggling with depression with symptom reduction seen with 60-minute sessions per week (Saeed et al., 2019).

Exercise: There are numerous studies and clinical trials showing the benefits of exercise related to mental health, particularly for those who struggle with anxiety and depression. A meta-review examining the relationship between anxiety disorders and physical activity (especially aerobic and resistance exercises) with over 69,000 participants showed that on average participants reported significantly reduced anxiety over a 3-year period when engaging in physical activity on a regular basis. Analysis examining sedentary behavior showed an increased risk of depression over time compared to those who engaged in more physical lifestyle activities (Firth et al., 2020). While there can be limitations in studies related to exercise types, additional therapies, and other variables there is one thing that remains consistent: no trials have shown that physical activity worsens anxiety or depression (Saeed et al., 2019).

While mindfulness activities and alternative therapies sound great on paper, they can be challenging to practice regularly. Below are some tips for squeezing in mindfulness activities into a hectic schedule:

  • Utilizing meditation apps. Most popular meditation apps (Calm, Headspace, Healthy Minds Program) have lengthy daily meditations, but they also include quick 1-3 minute meditations/deep breathing exercises that can easily be practiced before going to bed, before starting the work day, or to take a time out when feeling overwhelmed
  • Find exercise you enjoy doing. Motivation to exercise can be challenging enough, but when it is for an activity you don’t even enjoy this can be even more challenging. Find an activity or sport that you actually enjoy or look forward to doing and this will help with consistency, especially if you are able to engage in the activity with friends or family and turn it into a social or group event
  • Make slow, incremental changes to routine. It’s not uncommon to make a self-care plan including things like exercising daily, meditating daily, and making dietary changes. When we try to make multiple changes like this overnight it is easy to get discouraged if we miss a day and sometimes, we don’t even get back to it. Focusing on one change at a time and incorporating it into your routine more slowly helps with habit changing
  • In short, set yourself up for success with the four laws of behavior change. 1) make it obvious – if you want to go to the gym after work every day pack your bag the night before, 2) make it attractive – get yourself a new pair of shoes or a new workout outfit, 3) make it easy – start with a few minutes per day, and 4) make it satisfying – set up incentives to motivate yourself and keep it going (Clear, 2022)

Sources:

Clear, J. (2022). Atomic habits: An easy & proven way to build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones: Tiny Changes, remarkable results. Cornerstone Press.

Firth, J., Solmi, M., Wootton, R.E., Vancampfort, D., Schuch, F.B., Hoare, E., Gilbody, S., Torous, J., Teasdale, S.B., Jackson, S.E., Smith, L., Eaton, M., Jacka, F.N., Veronese, N., Marx, W., Ashdown-Franks, G., Siskind, D., Sarris, J., Rosenbaum, S., Carvalho, A.F. and Stubbs, B. (2020), A meta-review of “lifestyle psychiatry”: the role of exercise, smoking, diet and sleep in the prevention and treatment of mental disorders. World Psychiatry, 19: 360-380. https://doi.org/10.1002/wps.20773

Saeed SA, Cunningham K, Bloch RM. Depression and Anxiety Disorders: Benefits of Exercise, Yoga, and Meditation. Am Fam Physician. 2019 May 15;99(10):620-627. PMID: 31083878.

Wang, Zanyi1,; Rawat, Vikas1; Yu, Xinli2; Panda, Ramesh Chandra3. Meditation and its practice in Vedic scriptures and early Taoism scriptures. Yoga Mimamsa 54(1):p 41-46, Jan–Jun 2022. | DOI: 10.4103/ym.ym_48_22 (https://journals.lww.com/yomi/fulltext/2022/54010/Meditation_and_its_practice_in_Vedic_scriptures.8.aspx)

By: Elisabeth Renner LPCC-S, Lindner Center of HOPE Outpatient Therapist

 

 

 

In the journey of mental health and personal growth, two concepts stand out as essential: authenticity and vulnerability. These are not just buzzwords; they represent profound paths to healing and self-discovery. Drawing insights from the writings of physician and author Gabor Maté, let’s delve into the transformative power of authenticity and vulnerability.

Authenticity is the courage to be true to oneself, to honor one’s feelings, thoughts, and experiences without pretense. Authenticity begins with self-awareness and acceptance. It requires a deep dive into our inner world, acknowledging our strengths, weaknesses, fears, and desires. Authenticity invites us to embrace our imperfections and vulnerabilities, recognizing them as integral parts of our humanity.

 

Vulnerability is often misconstrued as weakness, when in fact, it is a profound strength. It is the willingness to expose our true selves, to open up and genuinely connect with others. Gabor Maté asserts that vulnerability is the gateway to intimacy and healing. When we allow ourselves to be vulnerable, we invite empathy, understanding, and support into our lives. It is through vulnerability that we break down walls of isolation and shame, forging authentic connections with others.

In our society, authenticity and vulnerability are often suppressed by societal norms and expectations. We are conditioned to wear masks, to hide our true selves. True liberation comes from shedding these masks, from embracing our authenticity and vulnerability unabashedly.

Practicing authenticity and vulnerability requires courage and resilience. It means stepping into discomfort, confronting our inner demons, and facing the judgment of others. Maté illuminates, it is only through embracing our shadows that we can bask in the light of self-acceptance and inner peace.

How can we cultivate authenticity and vulnerability in our lives? It begins with self-reflection and introspection. Take time to explore your inner landscape, to identify your values, passions, and fears. Embrace your vulnerabilities as valuable aspects of your humanity, rather than weaknesses to be hidden. Practice self-compassion, treating yourself with kindness and understanding as you navigate the ups and downs of life. Cultivate authentic connections with others by sharing your truth openly and honestly. Engage in deep, meaningful conversations that go beyond surface-level interactions. Create spaces where vulnerability is welcomed and celebrated, where individuals can show up as their authentic selves without fear of judgment.

In conclusion, authenticity and vulnerability are not just ideals to strive for; they are essential ingredients for mental and emotional well-being. The path to healing and self-discovery begins with embracing our authenticity and vulnerability wholeheartedly. Dare to be authentic, to be vulnerable, and to embark on a journey of self-discovery and growth with courage and grace

Drug and alcohol detoxification, commonly referred to as detox, is the process by which an individual’s body clears itself of substances such as drugs and alcohol. It involves the physiological or medicinal removal of toxic substances from the body, typically under the supervision of medical professionals. The primary goal of detoxification is to manage the acute and potentially dangerous effects of withdrawal that occur when a person stops using substances to which they have become dependent.

Detoxification can occur in various settings, including medical facilities, detox centers, or even at home under medical supervision, depending on the severity of the addiction and the individual’s overall health status. The process may involve medications to alleviate withdrawal symptoms, as well as supportive care to address any medical or psychological complications that may arise during withdrawal.

It’s important to note that detoxification is just the first step in the journey to recovery from drug and alcohol addiction. While detox addresses the physical aspects of addiction by removing the substances from the body, it does not address the underlying psychological, emotional, and behavioral issues that contribute to addiction. For example, according to SAMHSA (Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration), 83% of individuals with a substance abuse issue, also have a co-occurring mental health issue (i.e., depression, anxiety, trauma). Therefore, detox is typically followed by ongoing treatment and support, such as counseling, therapy, and participation in support groups, to address these deeper issues and help individuals maintain long-term sobriety.

Certain substances are associated with more severe withdrawal symptoms and potential complications during detoxification. Here are a few examples:

Alcohol withdrawal can be particularly dangerous and even life-threatening in severe cases. Symptoms may include tremors, hallucinations, seizures, delirium tremens (DTs), and in extreme cases, cardiovascular collapse. Medically supervised detox is often necessary for individuals with alcohol dependence to manage these symptoms safely.

Benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Valium, and Ativan, are central nervous system depressants that can lead to physical dependence with prolonged use. Withdrawal from benzodiazepines can be severe and potentially life-threatening, with symptoms including anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and in rare cases, delirium, or psychosis. Medically supervised tapering is usually recommended to minimize the risk of severe withdrawal symptoms. Always consult your prescriber prior to making any medication changes.

Opioids, including prescription painkillers like oxycodone and illicit drugs like heroin, can cause significant physical dependence. Withdrawal symptoms from opioids can be highly uncomfortable and include flu-like symptoms, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, anxiety, and insomnia. While opioid withdrawal is typically not life-threatening, it can be challenging to manage without medical assistance, and medications such as methadone or buprenorphine may be used to ease withdrawal symptoms and support recovery.

Barbiturates, though less commonly prescribed today, are another class of central nervous system depressants that can lead to physical dependence. Withdrawal from barbiturates can be similar to benzodiazepine withdrawal and may include symptoms such as anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and in severe cases, delirium, or cardiovascular collapse. Medically supervised detox is necessary to manage withdrawal safely.

In addition, the advancement in technology, has resulted in the rise of behavioral or process addictions (i.e., gambling, social media, gaming, compulsive buying). These new forms of addiction can emulate drugs and alcohol withdrawal and increased tolerance symptoms as well. Individuals who become addicted to these behaviors can exhibit depression, anxiety, irritability, and agitation when discontinuing the behavior.

It’s important to emphasize that detoxification from any substance should be approached with caution and under the guidance of medical professionals, as withdrawal can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous, especially in cases of severe dependence. Seeking professional help from healthcare providers or addiction specialists is crucial for ensuring a safe and successful detoxification process.

In the journey of detoxification from alcohol and drugs, remember: the path to recovery may be challenging, but the destination of freedom and a healthier, happier life is worth every step. Embrace the support around you, stay resilient in the face of obstacles, and know that every day sober is a victory worth celebrating. Your courage to embark on this journey is the first step towards a brighter tomorrow.

By: Chris Tuell, Ed.D., LPCC-S, LICDC-CS
Clinical Director of Addiction Services

 

 

 

 

An Untapped Resource in the Treatment Journey

 According to a February 2024 article in the Journal of American Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, the prevalence of mental health conditions in adolescents has been increasing worldwide, outpacing the availability of effective mental health care. More adolescents require acute inpatient psychiatric hospitalization, but do not have resources for sub-acute care after discharge. Step-down programs, often known as partial hospitalization or day treatment programs, are helpful in decreasing re-admissions but are often underutilized. These programs can also serve as a step-up from outpatient care if severity is escalating. Partial hospitalization is designed to offer this intermediate level of care between inpatient and outpatient services.

Given that adolescence is a dynamic stage of life full of transitions and a common time for symptoms of mental illness to first present, teens may have difficulty managing home, school, and social activities without therapeutic intervention. Adolescent partial hospitalization offers day treatment during weekdays, so evenings and weekends can be used for patients to test skills learned during treatment hours.

Though partial hospitalization programs primarily occur in group settings, programs should be designed in a way that meet the unique needs of each patient participating in the program.  Ideally, programing includes elements such as psychoeducation, individualized treatment planning and goal setting, a variety of psychotherapeutic experiences, psychiatric evaluation, educational support, and family involvement.

The most effective adolescent partial hospitalization programs are staffed by multidisciplinary treatment teams including a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist and psychiatric nurse practitioner, mental health specialist, specialized therapists, licensed social worker, psychiatric registered nurse, licensed teacher, and a dietitian.

Patients and families participating in adolescent partial hospitalization should benefit from tangible insights and skills that will foster resilience, improve communication, bolster coping skills and functioning. These tools are intended to help better navigate daily life and maximize a teen’s chances for success.

 

Lindner Center of HOPE in Mason, Ohio offers an adolescent partial hospitalization program for mental health. Learn more about the program at:  https://lindnercenterofhope.org/adolescent-partial-hospitalization-program/.

June 19, 2024 6p-7:30P EST Countryside YMCA – Lebanon or virtual

Nicole Mori, RN, MSN, APRN-BC, Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner

Is the circadian system the key to better mental health?

Participants will:

  • Learn about current scientific evidence supporting the role of circadian rhythms in mental health.
  • Learn 3 practices for mitigating the effects of circadian misalignment.

Click here for registration

Elisha Eveleigh Clipson, Ph.D.
Child Psychologist, Lindner Center of HOPE
Assistant Professor – Clinical, University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience

 

 

Parents bring their children for psychological testing to answer the same question: How do I best help my child navigate through life? Increased autism awareness has led to a greater sense of identity and connectedness among many members of the autism community. There have been opportunities to highlight the strengths of individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. With increased autism awareness, more parents notice symptoms and wonder if the diagnosis applies to their child.

I spend much of my professional time determining whether a child meets the criteria for autism. Part of the process is ruling out other explanations, and possibly ruling out autism. Sometimes families are upset when their child does not meet the criteria for autism.

Recently, a teen without ASD symptoms reported she was upset I did not “give her the diagnosis of autism” because she knew she had it. I deeply wanted this teen to better understand her experience, but she was not sufficiently trained to provide an accurate diagnosis.

Psychologists aim for accurate diagnosis. This informs the answer to the question of how to best help a child navigate through life. It is worth educating parents on what other issues have overlapping symptoms with autism.

When it is Autism

Individuals with ASD have differences in social communication and social interaction. Part two of the diagnosis has to do with restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities.

On the communication side, we see significant difficulty in the following areas:

  1. Social-emotional reciprocity.
    1. This may include trouble with back-and-forth conversations or failure to initiate or respond to social interactions.
  2. Nonverbal communication used for social interaction.
    1. For example, trouble understanding or using nonverbal gestures, lack of facial expressions or avoiding eye contact.
  3. Developing, maintaining, and understanding relationships.
    1. For instance, trouble sharing in imaginative play, making friends or a seeming absence of interest in peers.

Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior might include:

  1. Repetitive motor movements or speech. Classic examples include repetitive phrases and unusually repetitive lining up of toys.
  2. Some children with autism have inflexible routines, unusual greeting rituals, or distress with small changes.
  3. The experience of abnormally restricted, fixated interests or preoccupations may be present.
  4. Many children with autism have differences in sensitivity to sensory input. This may include indifference to pain, excessive smelling of objects or visual fascination with the movement of an object.

 

What else could it be?

Social (Pragmatic) Communication Disorder

This involves persistent trouble with the social use of verbal and nonverbal communication. Symptoms include difficulty with:

  • Greeting others and sharing information.
  • Changing communication to match the context, e.g. communicating differently with a teacher than a peer.
  • Knowing how to use nonverbal signals to regulate social interactions.

Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder

  • Children with ADHD experience more sensory processing issues than other children. They may be more sensitive to sounds or smell.
  • They may have difficulty taking turns or picking up on social cues.
  • May become distracted and disengage in the middle of a conversation.
  • Some children with ADHD can become, “hyper-focused” on an interesting task.

Anxiety Disorders and OCD

  • Individuals with anxiety disorders may avoid social situations.
  • Anxiety can make a person feel less comfortable with eye contact.
  • Some children refuse to talk outside of the home.
  • Rigid patterns of behavior and thinking are possible.

Sensory processing difficulty

Individuals with a range of developmental and psychological experiences have sensory processing difficulty. This is more commonly experienced with mood disorders, anxiety or ADHD. It is also more prevalent in children with Intellectual Disability or Global Developmental Delay.

Behavioral concerns

  • Not all children with autism have behavior problems. In fact, many do not.
  • Children with behavioral concerns may have trouble understanding and regulating their emotions.
  • Some children with speech and communication delays exhibit behavior problems when unable to express themselves.

Depression

  • The range of facial expression or tone of voice may be more neutral.
  • A person may become socially withdrawn.

“Overcontrolled” personal traits

Some of my colleagues at LCOH provide Radically Open DBT. This is for people who experience a spectrum of problems that result in being “overcontrolled.”

  • May exhibit less emotional expression, saying, “I’m fine” when they are not.
  • Show a limited range of facial expressions.
  • Their lives may be rigid, and rule governed.
  • May seem aloof or distant in relationships. For instance, they might avoid sharing personal information.

 

Having Autism does not exclude a person from also experiencing the conditions described above. Yet, meeting the criteria for one or more of these conditions does not mean a person has autism. Providing an accurate diagnosis honors the experience of people with ASD and other conditions. It empowers families to best support their children throughout the lifespan.