Neurodiversity and Additional Needs

Child with special needs playfully painting

As a former special needs teacher with experience working both privately and within special developmental settings, Lynsey’s therapeutic support can complement homeschooling or build a bridge between school and home – she can help create, understand, and adjust IEPs, ILP’s and behavior plans. She is used to working alongside families, other teachers, occupational therapists, speech therapists, music therapists, physios and is happy to collaborate to ensure consistency occurs for clients under the care of numerous intervention specialists. Depending on timing and travel, she can attend schools or venues to provide further observation or support off-site. Finally, if you are a parent or guardian of a neurodiverse child, she encourages you to reach out if you need to talk to someone. You’re doing a fantastic job and asking for some ‘backup’ from time to time is entirely normal!

Through her former role in education, Lynsey has extensive experience supporting individuals with a diagnosis of autism with and without an intellectual disability. Having taken a long-term placement as the lead teacher of an autism resource in London, Lynsey has an extensive skill set for engaging and supporting *autistic children and adults. Due to her augmentative and alternative communication training, Lynsey is comfortable working with families to create picture exchange communication systems, alternative language displays, social stories, and visual schedules to support emotional regulation, behaviours of concern, and wellbeing. She very much enjoys using art therapy as an expressive medium for all who see her but also for individuals who are non-verbal or prefer to communicate by way of vocalisation or other means. As a therapist, she warmly welcomes and respects self-diagnosed persons or those who identify as autistic but do not possess a formal diagnosis. Lynsey advocates for autistic females and sensitively supports alternative or lesser-known expressions of autism. She is very aware that autistic females are often mislabeled as having other issues and that this can be stressful and lead to trust issues when it comes to seeking support. She understands autistic issues with masking, self-harm, social anxiety, self-advocacy, self-esteem, hyper-empathy, gestalt perception issues, sensory processing issues, and autistic burnout. Lynsey prioritises the personal experiences of autism as told by the autistic community above that of traditional concepts, ideas, and stereotypes.

*Where possible, identity-first language is used here, instead of person first. This is in keeping with the advocacy of many members of the autistic community.

Lynsey holds a postgraduate certificate in Dyslexia and Literacy and has been a tutor to students diagnosed with dyslexia. Lynsey possesses a deep empathy and understanding of the emotional impact dyslexia can have on children and adults. She recognises that while excellent educational interventions are available to students, their mental health and resilience can sometimes be overlooked. Art therapy can support persons with dyslexia to use creative pathways to express or organize their thoughts and feelings. Lynsey also offers dyslexic individuals counselling to help with resilience, self-advocacy, anxiety, depression, shut-down, life strategies, and wellbeing. She has an excellent understanding of twice-exceptional children and adults.

As a special needs teacher, Lynsey encountered and very much adored many students with ADD or ADHD. She also worked with ADHD or ADD students who were from school or who developed school phobia. Lynsey supported the students and their families while bridging learning, wellbeing, and communication between school and home. Lynsey has a good understanding of the impact of adults, ADHD, not least discovering attentional issues at a later stage of life. Lynsey encourages self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and regulation through art therapy and counseling, finding different strategies to reduce stress and access the best quality of life.

Cuddly toys of a special needs child

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