“My ten year old son and I visited Dr Mandy & Associates just after he was diagnosed with Autism. We found Mandy enormously helpful and reassuring. F and I learnt lots about Autism and why he sometimes finds things difficult and challenging. Despite having many strengths, F has always been an extremely anxious, angry and apprehensive child. However, he really trusted Mandy and through their conversations I learnt things about him and the way he feels that I hadn’t previously realised. It was also very helpful to have a specific time scheduled for once a week. This allowed us to ‘park’ any difficult or confusing issues and work them out together with Mandy’s guidance rather than carrying them around all week and feeling persistently worried. F saw Mandy twelve times and I have no doubt that we will return in the future. For now, the improvements I have seen include better self-awareness, more empathy for others, less anxiety and anger and a better ability to concentrate at school.
His first really good school report arrived last month and I have no doubt that this achievement is largely thanks to Mandy’s guidance, patience, empathy and insight. F is now much better at focusing on his strengths and less worried about his weaknesses. Mandy has also given us invaluable advice on the right school environment for F and also on other therapies and forms of support. I can’t recommend Mandy highly enough – F’s confidence and self-esteem have improved enormously and this has had a very positive knock-on effect for the whole family so it’s been hugely beneficial and worthwhile.”
FG, 10 years
“We approached Dr Mandy Smiton to discuss our 11 year old daughter’s anxiety issues. When we first met Mandy, we were desperately worried about our daughter, however, Mandy gave us a framework to work with and reassured us that this was a situation that could be dealt with. The fact that she was able to reassure us based on her previous experience was invaluable. My husband and I were both very impressed by her; she is approachable, kind, empathetic, professional, and developed a strong relationship of trust with our daughter immediately. We would not hesitate to recommend Mandy and can’t thank her enough for the support and professional help she has given our family”.
OH, 11 years
“My son and I visited Mandy for help with controlling and understanding his anger. We both found Mandy extremely reassuring and she put us instantly at ease. My son was able to methodically work through the challenges he faced. He always enjoyed his visits and left after his sessions with a better understanding of himself and a new confidence that he could take control of his emotions. The work Mandy did for him has had a remarkable effect and I believe has been the pivotal point for all the positive change which has followed. I would thoroughly recommend the work Mandy does and would not hesitate to return should we need to.”
AE, 10 years
“We met with Mandy when our 9 year old daughter suddenly developed extreme anxiety issues including a sickness phobia. At the time, we were in total despair. Our usually happy child was refusing to leave the house, go to school, eat food she would previously have devoured and the impact on our family life was enormous. It was devastating to watch her wither and we desperately needed help.
From the first meeting, Mandy quickly established a relationship with our daughter and gave her and us hope that we could get through this bleak time. Mandy became a lifeline for us and offered support, not only in our weekly meetings, but additionally through the week via email. As desperate parents, this was clearly what we needed and although I was aware of it then, it’s now that I look back on it that I realise how much Mandy went out of her way to help us. I’m also certain that we weren’t the only desperate parents making demands of her time but Mandy never failed to respond to each plea for help.
Mandy’s advice and professionalism was impeccable throughout our dealings with her. She is clearly very knowledgeable and she gave our daughter tools to help her cope and get through a really frightening period in her life. We are indebted to Mandy and I honestly don’t know what we would have done without her.
For our daughter, there was a time when she wouldn’t have ever wanted to not see Mandy. She came away from the sessions thinking about what Mandy had told her and even though she might not have acted on Mandy’s advice immediately, the drip feed of each meeting worked miracles. I now look back on this bad period in a different light. Although I wouldn’t want to ever go through what we went through as a family, I feel confident that Mandy has taught our daughter some skills that will see her through all sorts of tricky and challenging times in life. I would recommend Mandy wholeheartedly. She is simply amazing!”
KF, 9 years
“My husband and I had pretty much exhausted our options when we came to see Mandy. Our 7-year-old son had been diagnosed with and was being treated for ADHD, but we were still struggling with behaviour issues. At home we just about managed, but at school, the situation was getting out of hand and no one had any answers. We saw Mandy in desperation, and I wish we had seen her much, much earlier! She worked with us to find some easy strategies to employ at home. She also just listened and reassured us that we were doing the right things. Crucially, she also identified that we may be dealing with autism, and encouraged us to have an assessment. One Asperger’s diagnosis later and we’re finally accessing a range of services and support that have made a huge difference to our son and to our family life”.
RS, 7 years
“With our daughter about to start school in the autumn and with an ASD referral confirmation from CAMHS stating that the waiting time would be at least 18 months, we decided it would be in our daughter’s best interests to see if we could find a private specialist. Mandy was exceedingly helpful and we managed to get the whole autism assessment completed very quickly. This meant that all the relevant people were able to get the report before the end of the school year, giving them the chance to better plan for the arrival of an autistic child in reception class. Our daughter is now very happy at school and is being very well supported. The diagnosis also means that the school will have a greater chance of receiving additional funding for a further teaching assistant, so we are very happy that we found Mandy!”
AO, 4 years
“Having had longstanding concerns about our son being on the Autistic Spectrum, and being on the NHS waiting list for over a year, we contacted Mandy to see whether she could help us with a diagnosis and, subsequently, a way forward. We found the whole process easy and straightforward. Mandy offered us a choice of appointments, which we conducted in a comfortable and non-medical location. Her combination of friendliness and professionalism put all of us at ease, especially our son.
The report Mandy provided was comprehensive, including advice and next steps. We would wholeheartedly recommend Mandy’s services to anyone needing an ASD assessment; it is probably the least stressful way it can be done!”
JS, 10 years
“We approached Mandy in the summer of 2013 to assess our 13 year old son for Aspergers Syndrome. At the time we did not know a great deal about the condition and had a lot of questions to ask. Mandy was so patient and understanding and immediately put us at our ease.
Meeting Mandy face to face was a pleasure, she was warm and friendly but also professional and knowledgeable. Mandy conducted an observation of our son at his school and liaised with staff on our behalf and it all went very smoothly. Our son had no idea at all he was being observed and was extremely surprised when we told him afterwards.
Our son can be quite withdrawn around people he doesn’t know but Mandy did all she could to put him at ease during her one to one meeting with him. He remarked afterwards that he didn’t find his meeting with Mandy at all stressful and quite enjoyed it!
Getting a diagnosis of Aspergers Syndrome has been a positive experience as we now have the understanding and knowledge to deal with any problems our son experiences due to the condition. Our son has taken the diagnosis extremely well and said that ‘it explains why he does certain things.’ We as a family all strongly believe that having Aspergers is something to be proud of. Yes, it can present challenges but it can also bring great talents and strengths.
Throughout the process I personally experienced a whole range of emotions and it wasn’t always easy, however, I thank Mandy for helping us through and being there for us every step of the way”.
HE, 13 years
“I consulted Dr. Smiton because my four year old daughter was resistant to ‘pooing’ on the loo and was still having soiling accidents on a regular basis. I had been given so much conflicting advice and tried many different methods and I needed to be able to hand the problem over to someone who wasn’t simply going to give me the text book advice and leave me to it. Each child is an individual and Dr. Smiton was able to look at the whole picture and not only offer practical ideas but most importantly adapt them depending on how things were going. She also offered to liaise with the school which I found invaluable in relieving the pressure on both myself and my daughter and in making sure everyone was adopting the same approach. I was surprised how relatively quickly the problem was resolved and cannot praise Dr. Smiton’s commitment and professionalism highly enough”.
AM, 4 years
“We chose Mandy to help our 17 year old daughter with overcoming her depression and negative thoughts as she was a psychologist who was very well qualified and specialised in working with children and adolescents. After the first consultation it became clear that our daughter would find it easy to talk to her and more importantly that she quickly understood what the issues were and how they could be resolved. The sessions with Mandy have helped enormously and have given our daughter a much more positive outlook and given her strategies that she will be able to use throughout her life”.
AE, 17 years
“Mandy offered my daughter an amazing level of respect and understanding that has visibly changed her attitude to everyday life. When she first met Mandy she was depressed, withdrawn and angry. Mandy has brought her laughter back. I would thoroughly recommend Mandy to any teenager who is reaching out for understanding and am confident that their parents will feel a huge sense of relief as a result of her care too”.
MM, 12 years
“We went to see Mandy as our son was suffering from severe tics. From the first appointment Mandy was very helpful, supportive and put our minds at ease. Our son then started Habit Reversal Therapy and straight away we saw positive results. To this day the tics are very few and most of the time nonexistent. We would highly recommend Mandy, she has helped our son and ourselves become more confident and positive in dealing with his problem”.
EM, 10 years
“We consulted Mandy for our son with Asperger’s Syndrome who had developed a need to visit the toilet constantly. He could be urinating up to 30 times a day. This took up an incredible amount of time and made days out virtually impossible. His education was also being affected by the amount of time he spent in the toilet. We visited specialist consultants and had various tests which could not find a cause. As time went on he began to become extremely negative about everything in his life and wasn’t the usual happy boy everyone knew. He would get many bad thoughts in his head and would hit himself violently to try and get them to disappear at the same time as screaming “get me a doctor”. There have been many challenges along the road but this was the most heartbreaking thing to witness.
We desperately needed help for our son and were put in contact with Mandy. On our first appointment Mandy carried out a full assessment and highlighted that it was OCD causing the intrusive thoughts and ritual behaviours, urinating being one of them. It was a relief to know why this was happening but daunting to know that it was a big challenge to tackle. Mandy made this task so much more manageable and guided us all through it amazingly. My son instantly had a rapport with Mandy and got on with her so well as he knew that she “got him”. Within a few sessions the toilet problems had stopped which was incredible. With this under control it was then on to tackle the intrusive thoughts and other rituals. At first this was so hard for our son as he had to try and let the bad thoughts float by without the need to carry out the ritual. At times it was awful seeing him so distressed trying to ignore an intrusive thought but so amazing when, after using Mandy’s guidance, the thought had gone. At each session Mandy would go over the techniques and talk about the route of the anxieties with him.
Mandy has taught us the best skills for guiding him through the process and combatting the vicious circle of OCD. Mandy has not only helped my son but the whole family. His sister no longer has to witness her brother so stressed and hitting himself and we can feel more confident in helping our son as we are not so bogged down with worry. There have always been challenges, and there always will be, but OCD has definitely been the trickiest so far. The whole family are indebted to Mandy. The best description being from our son as soon as we have said bye to Mandy at the end of each session, “Mandy is just such a happy medicine”.