TWAP049: Living Well On The Spectrum

An Interview with Dr. Valerie Gaus, PhD

Do you ever get tired of hearing that you’ve got “symptoms” or that you’ve got a “disorder”?

living well on the spectrum

Dr. Valerie Gaus, PhD, approaches the spectrum as a scientist practitioner.

She talks about strengths and differences, not symptoms or disorders, as the key to living well on the spectrum.

That’s why I’m excited to have her on the show.

I’ve referenced both of her books extensively as I work with autistics and Aspergians.

Show Highlights

  • Dr. Gaus’ roundabout path to working with autistics and Aspergians
  • Empathy – how does it work for the spectrum?
  • Identifying emotions
  • The role of positive psychology in addressing the challenges of living on the spectrum
  • How the autism brain is different, not deficient
  • The importance of being willing to ask for help
  • Autism differences – social, thinking, emotional, sensory/movement

Resources Mentioned In The Podcast

Dr. Gaus’ website

The Positive Psychology Center at University of Pennsylvania

The Emotional Blindness of Alexythymia

Living Well On The Spectrum, by Valerie Gaus, PhD

Cognitive Behavior Therapy for Adult Asperger Syndrome, by Valerie Gaus, PhD

Autism Spectrum Disorder in Mid and Later Life, edited by Scott D. Wright, PhD

Join the Conversation

What topics would you most like covered on the show? Who would you like me to interview? Share you answer in the comments below or Ask me a question via my Contact Page.

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I'm Steve Borgman. I'm a licensed clinical professional counselor and blogger committed to bringing you hope, understanding, and solutions that you can apply to your life immediately.

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  • Aspergian Listener

    I’m quite dismayed about something you said in episode 49. Dr. Gaus was speaking about the gentleman being so ashamed about not being able to adjust to his new rent payment method that he was getting more and more secretive. You replied, “In that way, he’s very human.” Are you suggesting that, in other ways, he is NOT human? If that’s not what you meant, then what exactly did you mean? Having listened to every one of your podcast episodes, I know you don’t think of us Aspies as other than human, so I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt for your poor choice of words in this instance. But still, that hurt.

  • Dear Listener, thank you for reaching out to me. No, I by no means meant to imply that he is not human. I think I wanted to empathize with how hard of a situation it was for him to go through. And I wanted to emphasize your very point – that what he was going through is something very human? I’m sorry if I came across any other way.