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Aspergers' in Adults - the hidden disorder?

Event number: 18966
6 CPD hours
Study Group Network
Presenter(s): Dr Matthew Berry, MAPS

There has been increased awareness and detection for children who present on the Autism Spectrum. However, many individuals, who are often academically competent (especially those born prior to 1980) passed through the school system struggling to make sense of the world, its people, and its rules of engagement.  

This distress that this may cause can end up with presentation to psychologists at any stage in their adult life with common misdiagnoses of social anxiety, OCD, schizophrenia as well as addiction, depression, and/or relationship problems. However, therapy is often of minimal benefit because in many cases, these issues are secondary to undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome. 

This workshop looks initially at the clinical features of Autism Spectrum Disorder, and then unpacks how these criteria may not particularly helpful or relevant when considering sub-clinical individuals on the spectrum but who are still impacted. An exploration of commonly occurring real-world features illustrated by vignettes from literature, film, and TV, is followed by a discussion of the whether Asperger’s should considered separately from Autism Spectrum Disorder, or even as a disorder at all. 

A strengths-based approach to understanding and coaching this group follows, framing aspergers as a skewing of abilities, rather than a disability, deficiency or disorder. 


Learning Outcomes

-         - Recognise cognitive, social, language and sensory/bodily real-world signs and symptoms, above and beyond the contemporary and limited diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder.

-          - Approach the question of diagnosis appropriately 

-          -Understand the stages the client goes through before and after identification as Aspergers

-          - Coach clients with strategies to maximise functioning in a neuro-typical world.

-          - Help the client to redefine self based upon their unique strengths and assets as a result of being Asperger’s. 

 - Work with both the client and their significant others to enhance mutual understanding and fulfilling relationships.

About the presenter(s)

Matthew Berry is a clinical psychologist with a primary interest in addiction, substance use and related compulsive appetitive behaviours.
His career to date has included voluntary, forensic, adult, youth, community and residential settings and is currently in private practice in Melbourne, involving training, supervision and clinical work.
He lectures post-graduate addiction counselling, and has developed and delivered workshops on Understanding Substance use and Addiction; Motivational Interviewing; Working with Resistance for both the APS and the NZPS.


Please make sure you read the group description and details carefully before registering for a study group. CANCELLATION POLICY: As we keep study group fees to a minimum and presenters are paid according to the numbers who attend, we prefer not to provide refunds other than for 'exceptional, unforeseeable circumstances'. We are happy for you to nominate an alternative attendee or you may transfer to another study group, but only within 2 months as this adds extra admin costs. Cancellations up to 14 days prior to the study group you are registered for will receive a full refund. Cancellations within 1-13 days of the study group will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations within 24 hours of a study group will not be refunded. All cancellations must be given in writing.

Online registration


Psychology Melbourne
2/50 Queen Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Venue is wheelchair accessible
Start date: 21/10/2017
End date: 21/10/2017
Time: 9.30am – 4.30pm


APS member: $193
APS student member: $193
Non APS member: $385


APS - Melbourne Branch
The Study Group Network (SGN) is an initiative of the APS Melbourne Branch designed to improve psychologists’ clinical and research skills and to keep them current with new developments.
Contact Karen Holst
03 8662 3300