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At Minds and Hearts we aim to improve and enhance the lives of people with Asperger’s Syndrome and Autism. In order to do this we provide a broad range of services to assist all individuals accessing the clinic from infanthood through to adulthood. At Minds and Hearts we aim to provide families with the most efficient, comprehensive and affordable services possible.
The psychologists at Minds and Hearts assist families who are just embarking on their journey of understanding an individual’s strengths and challenges. The diagnostic assessment appointments provide the opportunity to explore the possibility of whether or not an individual has an autism spectrum condition. The assessment typically involves a one hour initial appointment which is used to determine whether the diagnostic assessment would benefit the individual and plan the assessment process. Then a series of appointments will follow aimed at gathering further information about an individual. A one hour feedback session is conducted once all of the information has been gathered and a treatment/management plan is formulated if needed.
At Minds and Hearts clinicians are available for one hour intial appointments during which time families are offered advice about managing some of the challenges associated with Asperger’s Syndrome and autism. During these appointments the specific problem areas are explored and a plan of action is devised which may include the recommendation for ongoing assistance.
Minds and Hearts psychologists are skilled at providing ongoing therapy to families requiring more consistent support and advice. These appointments usually occur on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis. Initially a thorough assessment of the needs is conducted to determine the best treatment plan. Cognitive behaviour therapy is typically used.
Cognitive assessments allow for a deeper understanding of an individual’s intellectual functioning and strengths and weaknesses within an individual’s cognitive profile can be identified. All of the clinicians at Minds and Hearts are trained to conduct cognitive assessments and provide reports with useful recommendations pertaining to an individual on the autism spectrum.
In an attempt to disseminate more information on ASC and to assist more families with common areas of challenge, we have developed a series of Information nights at Minds and Hearts. The information nights provide an opportunity for parents/partners to gain a greater understanding of the strengths and challenges associated with Asperger’s Syndrome and autism and learn better ways to manage the challenges.
Minds and Hearts has continued to expand its group therapy programs over the years. In 2012, Minds and Hearts is offering approximately 18 group therapy programs covering a large age range. The groups are typically 8 weekly sessions and are conducted during school terms. Topics addressed include emotion management, social skills, self-understanding, relationships, and bullying.
Minds and Hearts has developed a number of training events for professionals, parents, teachers, and support staff of individuals on the autism spectrum. In 2013, our clinicians will present in various locations around the country on topics such as Succeeding with Asperger’s Syndrome in the Teens in Melbourne, Townsville and the Sunshine Coast, Girls and Women with Asperger’s Syndrome, and Autism Spectrum Conditions: Diagnosis and Treatment – Basic Workshop and Advanced Workshop. We will also be hosting an ASC: Professional Seminar and Dinner Series which promises to offer valuable information to professionals in the area.
Clinicians at Minds and Hearts are available to complete home, school and workplace visits to educate staff about the unique profile and needs of a person with Asperger’s Syndrome or autism. Over the years, we have found that just understanding Asperger’s Syndrome and autism goes along way to bring about positive change.