Ep. 34 / Identifying Feelings: Alexithymia, Emotion and Autism

autism emotion feelings alexithymia autistic

danielle sullivan emotional intelligence coach emotion and autismWelcome back to the Neurodiverging Podcast! Today, certified life coach Danielle Sullivan discusses the basics of what emotional intelligence is and why it can be difficult for neurodivergent people to develop emotional intelligence skills. We're also discussing alexithymia, how folks with autism process emotions differently than neurotypical people, and some easy interventions you can try at home to improve your own emotional intelligence skills, too!

Click here to learn more about "What Is This Feeling?" -  Danielle's introductory, self-paced course to increase your own emotional intelligence!


🎧 Want to listen? This post is based off of Episode 34 of the Neurodiverging Podcast! Listen on Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Youtube


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Show Notes:

Further Reading:

Works Cited:

  • Samson AC, Phillips JM, Parker KJ, Shah S, Gross JJ, Hardan AY. Emotion dysregulation and the core features of autism spectrum disorder. J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 Jul;44(7):1766-72. doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-2022-5. PMID: 24362795.  https://med.stanford.edu/content/dam/sm/parkerlab/documents/Emotion_Dysregulation_and_the_Core_Features_of_Autism_Spectrum_Disorder.pdf
  • Sifneos PE. Short-Term Psychotherapy and Emotional Crisis. 1972, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  • Gaggero, Giulia et al. (2020.) A Scientometric Review of Alexithymia: Mapping Thematic and Disciplinary Shifts in Half a Century of Research. Front. Psychiatry, 10 December 2020. doi:10.3389/fpsyt.2020.611489. https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2020.611489/full
  • Kinnaird, E., Stewart, C., & Tchanturia, K. (2019). Investigating alexithymia in autism: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European psychiatry : the journal of the Association of European Psychiatrists, 55, 80–89. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eurpsy.2018.09.004
  • Surman CB, Biederman J, Spencer T, Miller CA, McDermott KM, Faraone SV. Understanding deficient emotional self-regulation in adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: a controlled study. Atten Defic Hyperact Disord. 2013 Sep;5(3):273-81. doi: 10.1007/s12402-012-0100-8. Epub 2013 Feb 15. PMID: 23413201; PMCID: PMC4009378.

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Good Life Coaching Means A Lot of Reading

About This Page As a life coach, I am an avid reader and enjoy keeping up on new research and taking courses to further my education. This page contains recent books and workbooks I’ve read in the past few years pertinent to the neurodiversity and parenting coaching I do most often.  Disclaimer: Please note, just … Read more

Ep. 27/ Mindfulness for Neurodiverse Families with Dr. Rabia Subhani

mindfulness for neurodiverse families

My guest today is Dr. Rabia Subhani, neuropsychologist, certified mindfulness teacher (many times over!), and mother of an autistic child. Rabia is the creator of Mindful Village®, a secular eight to twelve week program geared towards the parents and caregivers of  neurodiverse children. On this episode of Neurodiverging, Dr. Rabia and I are discussing what … Read more

Ep. 25/ Executive Function Tips: Automation & the Activity Partner

As a neurodiversity life coach, I work with a lot of autistic and/or ADHD folks who have trouble with executive function skills, like prioritizing and organizing tasks, procrastination, difficulty getting started on a project, and other similar challenges.

If this sounds like you, then I'm here to tell you more about what executive function is and isn't, and to introduce you to two strategies to help strengthen your executive function skills: automation, and the activity partner. 

Plus, sign up here to receive a 7-page guide and workbook to help you choose an activity partner and get the most value out of your time together!

Or, join the Patreon to download this booklet, the Getting Unstuck Check-In, and many other resources today!

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Body Doubling for Autistic Folks

It’s very common for neurodivergent folks to have trouble staying attentive to a task that is not interesting to us. Even when we are trying to focus on the things we have to do, it can be hard to keep on-task.

Some of the most common concerns are issues like:

  • You didn’t plan how to approach the project, so now it’s hard to find a place to start.
  • You didn’t consider how much time the project will take, or have under- or overestimated how long it will take (sometimes drastically!).
  • You got started and then forgot what your goal was.
  • You got started and then got distracted with some other task.
  • You got started and then got frustrated, and weren’t able to talk yourself into persisting with the project.

Having an activity partner or body double nearby can help with all of these situations.

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