Oran Blackwood has been working with neurodiverse young people over 10 years. He is also a SENCO and a therapist qualified in Child Counselling and Integrative Psychotherapy. He works with both neurodiverse adults and children.

He is also the parent of a son with autism and global developmental delay.

Through his educational and clinical work, as well as voluntary work for the National Autistic Society (NAS) and in suicide respite, he realised that services available for neurodiverse people are largely oversubscribed and underfunded. This was especially true for services that supported mental wellbeing. Working as a counsellor, he decided to develop and offer a low-cost counselling service for neurodiversity.

He identified two main challenges; support for parents of children with special educational needs as well as support for neurodiverse children and adults. With the public sector services inundated with referrals, counselling support is often delayed or cut short and issues with depression, social anxiety and school refusal may not meet the threshold for statutory services. 

He is highly experienced in working with adults and children who present with a range of neurodiverse conditions, especially attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism. These include working with client’s suffering from depression, anxiety, suicidal ideation, and self-harm.

A skilled practitioner in the use of counselling techniques including Person-Centred Therapy, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Gestalt Therapy and Psychoanalysis he also uses art and play therapy with younger children tailoring his intervention to his client’s needs.

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Counselling for Autism Spectrum Conditions

I understand the stress of school life on a child with autism. Issues with social interaction and communication can leave a child feeling isolated and ‘different’. There can also be internal struggles with the school’s understanding of their needs.

Schools can be overwhelming for children on the spectrum due to sensory needs or not feeling they fit in. Only 1% of the UK population is autistic, however, mental health conditions are much more common in people with nearly 80% of people on the autism spectrum affected compared to the general population.

Anxiety affects 40% of autistic people and depression 30% (National Autistic Society). Because much of the focus can be on dealing with autism, or because mental health conditions can be hidden behind autism, not enough emphasis is placed on supporting the mental wellbeing of the child or young person with autism. It can also be very difficult working with someone with autism for many reasons:

  • It can take a long time to establish a therapeutic relationship
  • The young person may not be able to communicate how they are feeling
  • They may not understand how they are feeling
  • They may not be able to connect their emotions to external factors
  • The emphasis may always be on managing behaviour rather than understanding emotion and this may take some time to resolve

I work with the child to develop ways of understanding their needs to help them cope better with their emotions. As a parent of a child with these very needs I am highly aware of and focused on the core issues that affect children and families. I can therefore deliver my work looking at the family as a whole to ensure the best outcome for your child.

Get in touch to have a quick no obligation discussion or drop me an email with your name and number and I will get back to you at the earliest.

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Counselling Support for Parents

I personally understand the emotional battle that parents face in finding the right support, the constant worry about the future of their child and the emotional toil connecting with a child with special needs can sometimes take. Understandably, this can create additional tension within the home.

Being the parent of a child with special needs can be mentally and emotionally taxing, and having an understanding ear can help relieve some of the stress. I recognise this first hand, so I offer a non-judgemental space to voice concerns and struggles, all through a confidential and supportive service.

Please note, when counselling a child, it would be inappropriate to also work in a counselling role with the parent. This could lead to conflicts in the therapeutic relationship. It is recommended that an alternative counsellor be sought who can solely focus on your needs.

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Pricing is competitive, so please contact for further information.

There is limited free counselling available for children with autism who exhibit school refusal behaviour. Please indicate on the form below if you or your child needs support in this area.

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