Hi my name is Charmaine Ann du Plessis and I am autistic, together with ADHD.
As a mature autistic person that is also married to an asperges husband I have gained many valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t.
One of the first things that I just had to accept is that I have different abilities not a disability. For years I yearned to be normal and would set goals to mimic neurotypical people, this destroyed my self-worth and esteem. I pretty much felt that my compass was broken. In virtually all life settings I was plagued by feelings of being a fraud, not being able to comprehend what I am and how I fit into this rigid world. I would work very hard at school, but was also told that I was way to talkative. This ability I still possess but have learned how to use this somewhat irritating and very awkward reaction to stress to my advantage. Even though the odds were stacked against me I completed high school, got two BA degrees and started two companies that have become the driving force behind making a difference in helping kids on the spectrum.
Some of the core values that I work with are:
Predictable environment – (fix the environment, not the person)
Positive regard – (good and bad make the world we live in but everything has an outcome of progress)
Choice and knowing how to make them is the cornerstone of happiness
Catching kids on their highs and celebrating their superpowers.
Helping parents sort out their own issues, because sometimes the pain that they experience is so big that they have lost sight of their kids.
I am person centred and believe that the joy is in the journey.