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Consultant Counselling Psychologist 

Est. 1995

Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychologist
  • Services
Autism Assessment
  • Over 150 cases completed to date
Expert Witness Reports
  • Many of cases completed
Marriage & Family Counselling
  • 28 years experience

Access to over 120 mental health professionals. Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Counsellors and more!

– Doctor of Psychology
– HCPC Counselling Psychologist since 19/01/2012
– Autism Assessment: Over 150 cases assessed to date
– Child, Adolescent & Adult Psychologist- Cardiff University and Bond Solon Qualifications for Expert Witness Work Completed
– 28 years’ experience as a Counselling Psychologist in the UK working with Children, Adolescents and Adults
– Expert Witness Psychological Report Writing since 2007 – many reports completed
– Strong knowledge and qualifications in therapeutic interventions using systemic and CBT framework
– Highly experienced in adolescent psychological assessments such as depression, anxiety, self-harm, trauma, PTSD, abuse and social withdrawal

how autism affects the brain?

Autism and the Brain: Unraveling the Mystery
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex neurodevelopmental condition that has intrigued scientists, clinicians, and the public alike. Its effects on the brain are as diverse as the individuals it touches. While there is no single “autistic brain,” research has begun to shed light on some of the structural and functional differences that may underlie the behaviors and experiences associated with autism.
Structural Variations in the Autistic Brain
One of the most striking findings in autism research is the variation in brain structure. Studies utilizing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) have revealed that children and adolescents with autism often have an enlarged hippocampus, the region responsible for memory formation and storage. This enlargement may not persist into adulthood, but it signifies a developmental difference that could impact cognitive functions.
The amygdala, a key player in processing emotions, also shows size variations in individuals with autism. Conflicting results from different studies suggest that the amygdala may be smaller in autistic individuals, particularly if they also experience anxiety. Other research indicates that autistic children may have an enlarged amygdala early in development, with the difference diminishing over time.
Another area of interest is the cerebellum, traditionally associated with movement coordination but now recognized for its role in cognition and social interaction. Autistic individuals have been found to have decreased amounts of brain tissue in parts of the cerebellum, hinting at its potential involvement in the condition.
Cortical Differences and Developmental Changes
The cortex, the brain’s outer layer, exhibits a different pattern of thickness in autistic individuals. This variation aligns with alterations in a specific type of neuron during development, suggesting a neurobiological basis for some of the behavioral traits observed in ASD.
In some infants later diagnosed with autism, unusually rapid growth in certain brain regions has been documented. This accelerated growth could influence how the brain develops connections and processes information.
Functional Implications of Brain Differences
The structural differences in the autistic brain are not merely anatomical curiosities; they have functional implications. For instance, the synchronization of brain connections in autism can be prolonged, affecting the brain’s ability to switch between processes. This could manifest in the intense focus on specific interests or difficulties with transitions that are characteristic of ASD.
Moreover, neurological disorders such as epilepsy and macrocephaly are more common in autistic individuals, suggesting that the differences in brain structure may also predispose them to other neurological challenges.
The Ongoing Quest for Understanding
Despite the progress made, the autistic brain remains a puzzle with many missing pieces. No two autistic individuals are the same, and the brain’s complexity mirrors the diversity of the autism spectrum. Ongoing research continues to explore the genetic, environmental, and developmental factors that contribute to the condition, with the hope of uncovering more about its etiology and potential interventions.
Autism affects not just the brain but the whole person and their way of interacting with the world. By deepening our understanding of how autism affects the brain, we can move closer to a society that fully embraces neurodiversity and provides support tailored to each individual’s unique needs and strengths.
For more detailed insights into the studies mentioned and the current state of autism research, readers can explore the sources linked throughout this article. The journey to comprehend the autistic brain is far from over, but each discovery brings us a step closer to unraveling the mystery of autism.

Autism Assessment in London

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a complex developmental condition that involves persistent challenges in social interaction, speech and nonverbal communication, and restricted/repetitive behaviors. The effects of ASD and the severity of symptoms are different in each person. That’s why it’s crucial to have a comprehensive assessment conducted by a professional who is deeply experienced in the field.

Dr. Alireza Moafi, a Doctor of Psychology, stands out as a leading expert in autism assessments in London. With over 150 cases assessed to date, Dr. Moafi brings a wealth of experience and a deep understanding of the nuances involved in diagnosing and supporting individuals with ASD.

The assessment process is a critical step in identifying the presence of autism spectrum disorders. It involves a series of evaluations, including but not limited to developmental history, observation, and structured interviews. Dr. Moafi is well-versed in these techniques and utilizes a combination of ADOS-2, ADIR, and 3di assessments to ensure a thorough and accurate diagnosis.

Beyond his role in assessments, Dr. Moafi is also recognized for his extensive work as an expert witness, providing psychological report writing since 2007 with over 100 reports completed. His expertise is not limited to autism assessments; he is highly experienced in adolescent psychological assessments covering a range of issues from depression, anxiety, self-harm, trauma, PTSD, abuse, and social withdrawal.

For families navigating the often overwhelming process of seeking an autism assessment, Dr. Moafi’s clinic offers a beacon of hope and clarity. The clinic’s approach is rooted in a strong knowledge base and qualifications in therapeutic interventions using systemic and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) frameworks. This ensures that each assessment is not just a diagnosis but a pathway to tailored support and intervention.

Dr. Moafi’s dedication to his field is evident in his 27 years of experience as a counseling psychologist in the UK, working with children, adolescents, and adults. His educational background and training, including Cardiff University and Bond Solon qualifications for expert witness work, further solidify his standing as a trusted professional in the psychology community.

For those seeking an autism assessment in London, Dr. Moafi’s clinic represents a comprehensive resource backed by decades of professional experience and a commitment to the mental health and well-being of his clients. To learn more about Dr. Moafi and his services, you can visit his website or reach out for a consultation to discuss your specific needs and concerns.

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