As the parent of an adult son with autism and a teen daughter with ADHD, I have learned first hand how to encourage my children in a way they understand. This personal experience has given me a deep and nuanced understanding of both ASD and ADHD.
Whether neurodiversity is impacting your primary love relationship or your parent/child relationship, I am here to help.
I have also learned that these challenges give families the opportunity to grow with each other. As a parent, I treasure the special opportunities I have had to appreciate my children through a different lens. I believe that recognizing and accepting our differences has brought us much closer together. I would be honored to assist you and your family with this beautiful opportunity.
Education and Relevant Experience
I am an Associate Marriage and Family Therapist who graduated from Pepperdine University with a Master's in Clinical Psychology with an Emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy and a Master's in Education.
I have worked extensively with those struggling with various mental health issues, such as depression, anxiety, grief, and loss. Having been part of the Los Angeles County Probation Department for many years, I understand how families need caring and constructive support when faced with a family member struggling with substance abuse, defiance, and isolation from the family unit. A non-judgmental, safe, and nurturing space encourages clients to open up and share their voices.
Neurodiversity and Parenting
As the parent of an adult with Autism and a fifteen-year-old with ADHD, I have real-life experience with Neurodiverse individuals. This experience has allowed me to develop an understanding of both those who are Neurodiverse and family members who must develop skills that encourage communication, connection, and an appreciation of the many different ways people may look at the world.
The world can be observed through many different lenses; different isn't wrong, just different.
There is strength and resilience in all of us, and those who are Neurodivergent often need assistance with recognizing and developing the skills. Families also need skills to understand better how a Neurodiverse individual may understand or need to receive information to build understanding.
Parental Self-Care: Understanding and accepting differences and challenges can be ever-changing. As a parent of Neurodiverse children, I have learned that I must be just as patient with myself as I am with my children. Just as the children are not perfect, I am not either, and I will sometimes not meet the challenge. However, the goal as a parent is to learn and incorporate skills into our home which encourage growth, acceptance, and a loving environment. Communication is the most critical skill needed to promote a positive relationship and personal growth for all parties.
Impact of Being Unaware: As a foster parent and former Los Angeles County Probation Officer, I have observed many children and teens unaware they were Neurodiverse. This lack of information may cause struggles in school, depression, self-medicating, and difficulty with familial relationships. Behavior and communication can drastically improve when clients and families have access to diagnosis and coping skills. Clients must understand why they may think differently and that they are cared for despite these differences.
One of the most important aspects of a Neurodiverse relationship is positive communication and coping skills when there is a lack of understanding. Within Neurodiverse relationships, the differing perspectives each partner may hold may be challenging for each partner to understand. That is why communication is so essential. Creating an environment where each partner feels accepted and appreciated encourages communication.
Developing skills that allow each partner to value and understand emotions is also necessary. The goal is to decide what you need as a couple and work toward building a solid foundation and relationship. Working with a Neurodiverse couple is similar to other couples' work. Most couples who I work with have hit many bumps in the road and need to express to each other what they are experiencing while feeling accepted and secure in a safe environment.
Neurodiversity and Sexuality
Evidence suggests that neurodiverse people, particularly those on the autism spectrum, are more likely to be gender diverse and have a lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, or asexual sexual orientation. This can be one of the areas in life that cause confusion, isolation, and fear in children and teens who are neurodiverse.
Understanding sex and sexuality is often complicated for teenagers; however, when Neurodiversity is added, the client's mental health may be challenged. Families often need extra support to understand and accept this aspect of their children's lives.
When working with Neurodiverse couples and sexuality, some barriers are often in place. This includes variations in sensory differences and sensitivities, communication, and past experiences. Challenges often occur due to differing needs and a need for more communication between partners.
Couples can, however, develop compromises in these areas through counseling and nurturing the needs and desires of partners. Often couples need assistance to understand the body language, verbal and nonverbal cues couples often participate in when communicating a desire for intimacy. I offer a safe space to explore each partner's needs and the language needed to convey these messages successfully.
Neurodiversity and Co-Parenting
Separation and divorce may cause difficulty for Neurodivergent children who must adjust to a new normal. Parents will have the challenge of assisting with understanding in a manner that the child or teen can understand. For Neurodivergent children, predictability, structure, and order will be important as the necessary changes occur. Communication will also be important as changes occur, so the child is aware of and expects differences in schedules and living environments.
Co-parenting with a parent who is neurodiverse also has its challenges. The changes that happen during the end of a relationship may be difficult for a neurodivergent parent. Therefore, therapy before and during transition and challenges will offer support. Remember the loving manner you provided support during the relationship and continue to offer support. An essential area to promote positive relationships will be communication.
Neurodiverse Couples Counseling
Neurodiverse Pre-Marital Counseling
Neurodiverse Family Conflict
Neurodiverse Separation Therapy
Grief and Loss
Solution Focused Therapy
Cognitive Based Therapy
Emotion Focused Therapy
Registered Associate, AMFT #129568
Supervised by Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452
Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.
Phone: (310) 663-6904