Nazeer Zerka

What is autism: Using CDT to understand better, diagnose, and support women

As a clinical mental health therapist at Purdue University Counseling Center, we provide individual, group, and crisis management counseling.

Clinical orientation includes CBT, strengths-based, and solution-focused therapies while understanding the systems leading clients to his office. My primary clinical interest is working with individuals on the autism spectrum, people of color, and student-athletes. I emphasize a strong bond and a safe place to talk with every client.

Before moving to Minnesota and now Lafayette, I was born and raised in Saginaw and Flint, Michigan. I have a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and psychology from Grand Valley State University (Grand Rapids, MI) and a master’s in social work from GVSU. I am currently a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky. Before working at Purdue University’s counseling center, I spent five years as a mental health therapist at St Mary’s University of Minnesota. I focus on providing therapy and developing outreach to the university’s sports teams and students of color, specializing in working with those on the autism spectrum.

Using a feminist theoretical framework called critical disability theory, we will break down all the intersections within autism and what is needed to make a diagnosis. Focusing on women and their symptomologies and moving away from a disability framework to a differing abilities lens