Your expert advice, understanding of our daughters Asperger anxieties, and gentle methods of coaching during the past 4 months or so, are the reason she has a good chance of making her new life happen successfully.
You have listened to her and understood, rather than mis-interpret, which had happened so often in the past with other health professionals. She is almost 35 years old and for the first time ever she feels enabled to deal with many of the life situations that the rest of us deal with automatically.
With your help she has started to understand more about why she has never really fitted in. It has helped her to realise that there are others like her, it is not her fault and she is not mad or bad. She no longer says "sorry" quite so much - you have helped her realise not everything is her fault. We believe this is due to her knowing & acknowledging her limitations, understanding the problems using the learnt coping strategies and having the courage to face them, all of which you have brought about during your sessions with her. Discussing issues with you in a one-to-one setting and coming up with personal coping strategies for different issues has helped enormously.
The improvement in her self esteem and growing confidence means she now has the courage to explain to us how she is feeling. She can at last explain in more detail to us what she has problems with and how we can help or support her. This has never happened before and you have therefore transformed our lives as well as hers. For the first time we can help rather than feel helpless. We are all learning coping strategies for differing issues. All this has helped make her feel slightly less anxious. We have seen her start to come out of herself a little and agree to join in social events (e.g. meals out and family gatherings) instead of hiding away and using avoidance tactics. For us, just knowing why she acts as she does at times, and how we can help alleviate the stress and anxiety of certain situations, has improved our relationship. Because of her increase in confidence and self-esteem we are no longer quite as anxious regarding her vulnerability and her future.
The service you provided was not supported by either the health service or social services - even though they don't have their own staff trained to help clients with Aspergers. However, once she finally had the Aspergers diagnosis she needed to find out more about how to deal with it. Our daughter was adamant that, if necessary, she would pay the fees privately and used her own savings from family Birthday & Christmas presents. We all think it was the best investment ever.
There must be many adults with Aspergers who, like her, have suffered mis-diagnosis over many years and then left high and dry by the agencies supposed to support them, due to lack of funding. A few short months of your expert therapy would be an equally wise investment for Social Services as they will then reap the benefits in future. Folk affected by Aspergers from any part of the social spectrum will then also discover coping strategies that will lessen their reliance on prescription medicine and mental health teams.
We all hope someone in authority will see the light very soon.
In a short time we have seen a huge improvement in our daughter as regards her own self. She has a far greater understanding of herself, her needs and her limitations etc. This has helped her to cope with life better on the whole. She still has a long way to go and we are not naive enough to think 4 months will solve all her problems but you have started something off that has given us all hope for the future.This is entirely down to you and your work with her and as a family we will always be eternally grateful.
You are an absolute marvel! Thank you from all of us. June 2015