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Liz McClanahan

Liz McClanahan

Listen to Liz discuss Neurodiversity

on the Neurodiverse Love Podcast

At A Glance:

Specialties and Certifications


  • Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist

  • Neurodiverse Parenting and Couples Specialist




  • Bachelor of Art degree on Psychology, Ashford University, San Diego, CA

  • Master of Art degree in Clinical Psychology, Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA


More about Liz


  • I live in a neurodiverse family every day.

  • Married for 26 years on and off (we were able to reconcile after a divorce and remarry)

  • My husband is on the Autism Spectrum and received his diagnosis later in life.

  • My two children are also on the Spectrum and were diagnosed with ADHD.

Main Areas of Focus
Neurodiverse Parenting

Parenting is not easy! Perhaps you, your spouse, or your children are on the Autism Spectrum (AS), and you feel stuck, frustrated, sad, lost, and don’t know where to turn for help.


I have over 24 years of personal experience with raising Autistic children alongside my AS spouse. Neurodiverse families have parenting issues specific to them that an experienced therapist is trained to treat. I work with couples to cope with the complexities of parenting.


As parents, we all want our children to be successful, happy, and healthy. Some families have the added stress of co-parenting in a blended family or parallel parenting. I am here to listen, understand, and coach parents to navigate high conflict situations, build their parenting skills, and create a family environment where each family member can thrive. Whether your goals are to reduce conflict, reduce stress, or increase communication; I guide parents through techniques aimed at building a stronger relationship with their children and creating the results desired.


There are some unique aspects of how the AS brain processes and expresses information that differs from the neurotypical non-Autistic (NT) brain; although this may bring tremendous advantages in certain areas of life, it can make relating to others and everyday activities difficult and stressful for children and their parents. 


Topics which are common in neurodiverse parenting that I work with include:

  • Alexithymia - a person has difficulty identifying and expressing emotions

  • Executive functioning capabilities - cognitive processing differences

  • Sensory issues - identifying and managing when an AS child or parent feels overstimulated

  • Masking- AS child or parent has high-stress levels while trying to “pass” as neurotypical 

  • PDA- pathological demand avoidance - AS child or parent may become overwhelmed transitioning to different topics or activities 

  • Communication - both child, parent, or spouse misunderstand each other’s behavior and needs

  • Defense mode - understanding flight, fight, freeze, or fawn mode and how to cope

  • Emotional wounds - AS child or parent feeling unaccepted, been bullied, or internalizing negative labels from the neurotypical society (trauma)

  • Mind blindness - AS child or parent may struggle to understand or empathize with how others are feeling which can interfere with social interactions

  • Special interests- AS child or parent may experience hyperfocus on specific topics or exhibit repetitive behavior 

  • Interoception- AS child or parent may struggle to identify bodily sensation which impacts understanding emotions 

  • Auditory processing disorder- listening and understanding processing differences

  • Challenges at school and learning- different brains need different education 

  • Emotional dysregulation- meltdowns, being emotional flooded, angry outbursts, anxiety 

Other Areas of Focus


  • Neurodiverse Couples Therapy & Coaching

  • Trauma Treatment

  • Depression & Anxiety Treatment 




  • Couples

  • Individuals (adults only)




  • Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT)

  • Narrative Therapy

  • Solution-Focused Brief Therapy (SFBT)

  • Person-Centered Therapy

  • Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)

  • Gottman Method

  • Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

  • Family System Therapy (IFS)

  • Positive Psychology

  • Trauma-informed Therapy

  • Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy




  • Registered AMFT #133330

  • Supervised by Dr. Harry Motro, LMFT #53452

  • Employed by New Path Couples Therapy Inc.


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