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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

why autism avoid eye contact?

Understanding Eye Contact Avoidance in Autism Spectrum Disorder
Eye contact is a fundamental aspect of human communication, often perceived as a sign of attentiveness and social engagement. However, for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), maintaining eye contact can be a challenging and uncomfortable experience. This blog post delves into the reasons behind eye contact avoidance in autism, supported by scientific research and studies.
One of the primary reasons individuals with ASD may avoid eye contact is due to the overactivation of subcortical brain structures in response to direct gaze. This neurological response can lead to an unpleasant excessive arousal, making eye contact stressful rather than engaging. Contrary to the misconception that avoidance of eye contact is a sign of indifference, it is, in fact, a coping mechanism to decrease overwhelming sensory input.
Furthermore, imaging studies have shown that when individuals with autism concentrate on the eye region, especially when viewing faces expressing fear, there is significant overactivation in the face-processing components of their subcortical system. This overactivation is not as pronounced in neurotypical individuals, suggesting a unique neurological experience for those with ASD when it comes to eye contact.
Another factor contributing to the discomfort is the “fight or flight” response triggered in the brain during eye contact, which can make a simple conversation feel like an intimidating encounter. Additionally, some theories suggest that individuals with autism may avoid eye contact because it distracts them from processing verbal information, thereby hindering their ability to focus on the conversation.
It’s important to note that autism is a spectrum disorder, affecting individuals differently. While some may find eye contact particularly challenging, others may not experience the same level of discomfort. The variability in experiences underscores the need for a personalized understanding of each individual’s communication preferences.
In conclusion, the avoidance of eye contact by individuals with autism is not a reflection of their lack of interest in social interactions but rather a response to their neurological makeup. Recognizing and respecting each person’s comfort levels with eye contact can lead to more effective and empathetic communication strategies. As we continue to learn more about ASD, it becomes increasingly clear that supporting individuals means acknowledging their unique experiences and adapting our interactions accordingly.
For those interested in exploring this topic further, the research mentioned in this post provides valuable insights into the neurological underpinnings of eye contact avoidance in 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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