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Shrink2Shrink's podcast

Like Siskel and Ebert with a psych twist.  Each month, 2 therapists use a movie (clips included) to explore the human condition. Using the movie characters and the content, two therapists discuss relationships, mental health and share insights that we can all use in our own lives and we learn from the movies!

Feb 26, 2017

Colleen & Courtney tackle assassins, autism, sibling differences, social awkwardness and corporate greed! It’s all in this episode of Shrink 2 Shrink on Film – We explore the movie The Accountant – between #BenAffleck, #JohnLithgow, #JeffreyTambor, and #AnnaKendrick, there is great acting, but more importantly for us here at S2S, there are many psychological goings on that we love to discuss!


The Accountant Movie 


The Accountant Original Soundtrack 


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Dr. Colleen Mullen

Courtney Calkins - QuadFather

There are three main diagnoses that make up the Autism Spectrum:

Classical Autism

Children with classical autism have little to no communication skills, show a preference for objects over people and engage in the same behaviors over and over again. High-functioning autism refers to children who have average to above average cognitive abilities (intelligence).

Asperger’s Disorder

Children with Asperger’s Disorder have average to above average cognitive abilities, have difficulty reading nonverbal cues, talk too much about a narrow range of topics, sound like “little professors”, have difficulty making and maintaining friendships, and show unusual specialized interests (e.g. bus schedules, the Titanic).

Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)

Sometimes referred to Atypical Autism- Children with PDD-NOS have some characteristics of either autism or Asperger’s Disorder, but do not have enough symptoms to be meet the criteria for the either disorder.

Some facts about autism

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates autism’s prevalence as 1 in 68 children in the United States. This includes 1 in 42 boys and 1 in 189 girls.
  • An estimated 50,000 teens with autism become adults – and lose school-based autism services – each year.
  • Around one third of people with autism remain nonverbal.
  • Around one third of people with autism have an intellectual disability.
  • Certain medical and mental health issues frequently accompany autism. They include gastrointestinal (GI) disorders, seizures, sleep disturbances, attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety and phobias.


Signs and Symptoms

Parents or doctors may first identify ASD behaviors in infants and toddlers. School staff may recognize these behaviors in older children. Not all people with ASD will show all of these behaviors, but most will show several. There are two main types of behaviors: “restricted / repetitive behaviors” and “social communication / interaction behaviors.”

Restrictive / repetitive behaviors may include:

  • Repeating certain behaviors or having unusual behaviors
  • Having overly focused interests, such as with moving objects or parts of objects
  • Having a lasting, intense interest in certain topics, such as numbers, details, or facts.

Social communication / interaction behaviors may include:

  • Getting upset by a slight change in a routine or being placed in a new or overly stimulating setting
  • Making little or inconsistent eye contact
  • Having a tendency to look at and listen to other people less often
  • Rarely sharing enjoyment of objects or activities by pointing or showing things to others
  • Responding in an unusual way when others show anger, distress, or affection
  • Failing to, or being slow to, respond to someone calling their name or other verbal attempts to gain attention
  • Having difficulties with the back and forth of conversations
  • Often talking at length about a favorite subject without noticing that others are not interested or without giving others a chance to respond
  • Repeating words or phrases that they hear, a behavior called echolalia
  • Using words that seem odd, out of place, or have a special meaning known only to those familiar with that person’s way of communicating
  • Having facial expressions, movements, and gestures that do not match what is being said
  • Having an unusual tone of voice that may sound sing-song or flat and robot-like
  • Having trouble understanding another person’s point of view or being unable to predict or understand other people’s actions.

People with ASD may have other difficulties, such as being very sensitive to light, noise, clothing, or temperature. They may also experience sleep problems, digestion problems, and irritability.

ASD is unique in that it is common for people with ASD to have many strengths and abilities in addition to challenges.

Strengths and abilities may include:

  • Having above-average intelligence – the CDC reports  46% of ASD children have above average intelligence
  • Being able to learn things in detail and remember information for long periods of time
  • Being strong visual and auditory learners
  • Excelling in math, science, music, or art.

Treatments and Therapies

Early treatment for ASD and proper care can reduce individuals’ difficulties while helping them learn new skills and make the most of their strengths. The very wide range of issues facing those “on the spectrum” means that there is no single best treatment for ASD. Working closely with a doctor or health care professional is an important part of finding the right treatment program. There are many treatment options, social services, programs, and other resources that can help.


Here are some tips.

  • Keep a detailed notebook. Record conversations and meetings with health care providers and teachers. This information helps when its time to make decisions.
  • Record doctors' reports and evaluations in the notebook. This information may help an individual qualify for special programs.
  • Contact the local health department, school, or autism advocacy groups to learn about their special programs.
  • Talk with a pediatrician, school official, or physician to find a local autism expert who can help develop an intervention plan and find other local resources.
  • Find an autism support group. Sharing information and experiences can help individuals with ASD and/or their caregivers learn about options, make decisions, and reduce stress.


A doctor may use medication to treat some difficulties that are common with ASD. With medication, a person with ASD may have fewer problems with:

  • Irritability
  • Aggression
  • Repetitive behavior
  • Hyperactivity
  • Attention problems
  • Anxiety and depression


As a parent of a child or young adult who displays evidence of one of the Autism Spectrum Disorders, you will want help in understanding these. Children with ASD have challenges in three main developmental areas:

  • Delayed or deviant language development
  • Disinterest in other people and/or poor social skills
  • Rigid, repetitive, behaviors that are difficult to change

Top 5 Facts about Autism

Top 10 Inspirational People With Autism and Asperger Syndrome