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How autism impacts parents and teen girls

My guest today is Janeen Herskovitz is a licensed mental health counselor in the state of Florida and owner of Puzzle Peace Counseling, LLC.  She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Special Education from Rowan University in New Jersey, (1995) and her Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Webster University (2010). She is a trained as an EMDR Trauma Therapist and writes as a Topic Expert contributor on Autism Spectrum at goodtherapy.org. She has been married to her husband, Joe since 1995, and together, they have two teenage children. 

Signs of autism and parents receiving help:

  • Janeen shares her personal story about becoming a mom of two children with special needs
  • She describes autism as a spider web-areas impacted such as social skills, communication, health issues
  • Defined by social communication difficulties and inflexible patterns of behavior-there are other health patterns that go along with it
  • Janeen recommends to not do all types of treatment at one time to reduce feeling overwhelmed
  • Technology can help kids communicate
  • Might see regression in behavior
  • Joint attention issues
  • Sensory issues

Lessons learned through this journey:

  • For parents to put themselves first
  • Go with your gut” in services you need for you and your family
  • It is about the connection with your child
  • 1 out of every 68 children will be diagnosed with autism
  • Girls may mask signs of autism
    • May start to show signs through lack of eye contact or not keeping friends-they tend to observe environment and “faking it” vs boys
    • May have other diagnoses such as ADHD, Anxiety, OCD, or PTSD
  • Exploring how we (society) can fit more into the autistic world vs those with autism have to fit into ours
  • Fewer expectations on your child and more acceptance
  • Grief cycle for parents, especially when your child is first diagnosed
  • Parents may develop PTSD due to coping with child with autism
  • She uses EMDR to decrease symptoms of PTSD

Janeen’s Information






For clinicians her seminar in goodtherapy

Resources (some are affiliate links):

National Autism Association website

Temple Grandin -Thinking in Pictures

Rudy Simone-Aspergirls: Empowering Females with Asperger Syndrome