Therapy and Autism

2 replies (Jump to last post)

Verity Grant


Hi all!

How is your day so far? This is my first post smiley

I am an integrative Psychotherapist based in Scotland and I work with children and young people aged 7-18 years old. 

I have experience working with children, young people and adults with autism in a support working role but not in a therapeutic role. I used to work with clients aged 14 years plus before I relocated to Scotland, so working with young children within a counselling role is new for me but such an amazing experience!

I currently have a new client who is 7 years old and has a mild form of autism. We have had one session already and I let them explore the room and to lead me to wherever they wanted to go within the space.

I would like to ask for your advice, support, skills and knowledge of working with children who have autism for my learning. 

I look forward to your replieslaugh

Edited on September 20, 2018 - 12:12pm


October 21, 2018 - 12:36am

Hi, firstly I would say there is no such thing as 'mild' autism.  Someone has to be significantly impaired to receive a diagnosis. I think because so many high-functioning individuals mask and mimic to fit in, they are viewed as having a 'mild' form of ASD, when really they are just internalising.  To be autistic is always difficult.  I can recommend reading the following:

Invisible at the End of the Spectrum: Shadows, Residues, ‘BAP’, and the Female Asperger’s Experience

All the above will give you an idea of different aspects of why there is no such thing as mild autism, how people mask and how just because you don't see it, doesn't mean anything.

I would advise reading up on pathological demand avoidance subtype also, as the approach you would need with a child with PDA would be different than the other ASD subtypes.

I would find ways of asking them what is bothering them or difficult for them, maybe social stories would help. PECS might be useful. Ask them if they have any ideas as to what might resolve an issue. If the idea is not possible for any reason, to explain why so they can understand in practical terms.  The main areas of difficulty will be socialising, sensory, anxiety and communication. They might misinterpret peers intentions and meaning, take things literally, fail to understand humour and they may be vulnerable to being bullied or misled/tricked by other children.

As they say, when you've met one person with autism, you've met one person with autism. Each is still an individual with their own personality and blend of their traits. Some autistic children can also struggle understanding social boundaries and may behave inappropriately or be bullies themselves. Hope this helps.

December 20, 2018 - 10:44am



Thank-you very much for your response. I wanted to respond to your reply earlier  but I could not log in.

Since my post, I have had many clients with Autism and clients with Aspergers. Thank-you also for your correcting me on my choice of language of 'mild'. Of course every client is different to the next and with your support, as well as my own reading, I have learnt a variety of ways of working with each client in a way that suits them.


I really appreciate you replying to my post and your support.