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Our world is changing & so is SBSP.

In 2022 my son and I were  late-diagnosed as Autistic . Whilst this explained so much for both of us, it also left a vast canyon on unknowns. I took a deep dive into 'all things Autistic' which rapidly became my new 'special interest.'

This was challenging as a speech pathologist. Cutting edge research by Autistic researchers questioning Autistic adults has started to reveal deep discontent with traditional models of therapy.  Many treatment protocols are designed around lessening Autistic 'deficits' to make us more like our mainstream/average peers. Often goals are set around communication & behaviour in such a way as to make the Autistic human fit in more easily at home or school. In some ways these goals are more for the people around the Autistic individual than for themselves. Autistic adults have reported reduced quality of life outcomes, increased shame and other mental health issues when they cannot maintain these strategies or feel like they are acting & not being themselves. This is often called 'masking' which is extremely tiring & often leads to Autistic Burnout.

So what is the answer?

Neurodiversity & why our words matter!

Neurodiversity is a fairly recent concept. Simply put it means that not all brains work in the same way-being neurodivergent means that our brains work differently from the average or 'neurotypical'  person.  Neurodiversity covers a broad range of brain differences such as Autism, ADHD, Dyspraxia, Tourette's Syndrome and Dyslexia.

Importantly a Neurodiversity-Affirming approach acknowledges that all different types of brains are welcome in the 'human' garden. These are differences and not deficits. In the same way we would not expect a gardener to plant a rose upside down, just because the 'important part' of a potato plant is in the soil, society increasingly  acknowledges that neurodivergent humans need some different 'conditions' to neurotypical humans (mainstream/average/normal are words often used here).

Another word for our human 'garden' in our context - education, work, home, leisure which also includes our internal states. Neurodivergent humans often thrive when 'accomodations' are made that respect their requirements. Without these they may significantly fail to thrive. A cactus may need dry conditions with succulent-friendly soil  whereas a tomato plant may love being grown inside a poly tunnel with special fertiliser. When we try to have a 'one size fits all' to gardening (OR HUMANS) ALL the plants in the garden suffer.


SBSP and our special Lismore therapy space

Our Neurodiversity-Affirming therapy space in Lismore has been curated & designed around a deep understanding of neurodivergent humans - young & old.


Neurodivergent humans are often very sensitive to  their 'context':

  • Noise - ticking clocks, buzzing lights etc

  • Smell - perfumes, sanitisers, 'new' toys, food etc

  • Light - often very light sensitive and need dim lighting

  • Expectations - often 'demand avoidant' or highly 'rejection sensitive'

  • Stimming & fidgeting - need to be free to stim, move, use preferred fidgets whenever!

  • Vestibular - seeking and wanting big movements-'bust out'

  • Talking - too many questions or talking  at us, can send us into 'shut down'

  • Escape - we need to be release from others - love to hide or create a nook

  • Interaction - face to face or expectations to make eye contact can be painful

  • Special Interests - we will often relax easier if we can engage in our special interest

  • Our Rules - we often have strong ideas about how to do something

  • Your Rules - we often want to explore in an unconventional manner - not 'your way'

  • Our communication - mouth words, body actions, vocals, AAC, 'Info Dumps' we have a mega broad range of ways to communicate and are highly variable.

  • Gestalt vs Analytical Language Processing - we need the right kind of models


Our Lismore space considers all of these aspects. Therapy is genuinely child or adult led. You decide where you feel comfortable and what you would like to engage with and how you would like to engage with it. Our initial primary goal is that our clients feel supported, safe and trusting. We respect your choices. All communication goals start there.

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