On Monday 25 March we held our March edition of Let’s Talk About Autism Speech and Interactive session. Guest speaker Holly Maby’s presentation focused on obsessive behaviour and specialist interests of girls and young women on the spectrum.
She used her own experience as well as academic research to come up with strategies and advice for parents, professionals and others who work directly with girls on the spectrum.
Holly also explored the under researched area of specialist interests of girls and young women and how to positively encourage and celebrate these interests in an academic and home environment.
She distinguished obsession from interest, and generalised boys having object-obsession but girls having people-obsession; so she denounced segregation/stigma and promoted addressing fears of undesirable behaviour by empathising, asking what could help and adapting.
On the other hand, Holly said interests can be used as opportunities for cross-curricular projects, e.g. avoiding prescription of topics for writing and ICT, and even allocating time to reward and allow recuperation from dull/stressful schooling, as this is child-led and conditional time out.
Autism Voice will continue with this series in May.