HELP FOR PARENTS OF CHILDREN WITH ASPERGER'S & HIGH-FUNCTIONING AUTISM

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for 1/13]

I have been with my girl friend for about a year now and the "honeymoon is over". A bunch of  months back we started getting into these "tiffs", every month or so, and it would take hours of discussion to get her to be settled, but my explanation attempts of what caused me to "get mad at her" would get completely diluted and of no relevance by then.

Having had multiple occurrences, with no recollection of the previous discussions and solutions other than "I had gotten mad at her", I had come up with a good list of "causes" (irritants). During the last encounter, she mentioned something that her mom had said about her childhood/infancy, in that she would fight/reject being held. I remembered this as being a symptom of something and searched the web for it, which led me to pages listing the exact same list of irritant causes I had come up with, being listed as symptoms of  Asperger's Syndrome. These led me to your pages, I ordered and have been reading your eBook, along with other web pages, but they all deal with parents "teaching" their children.

She is 57 and I am 60, so I am looking for help on how to "get thru" to her, without being a parent, I already get resistance on just trying to make "suggestions", so I do sparingly. When I pull back to regroup, she drills me on "whats wrong" and I try my damnedest to not let it get into another "tiff", but she requires something and won't let it alone. It has taken a toll on the relationship, but I am not ready to bail yet, now worried I am going into "male fix it mode".

Should I inform/confront her with the specific AS symptoms list and my experiences/examples with/of her? ...but all prev "tiff" discussions have not gotten thru. That's what is so frustrating - the condition will not let the explanation in!  (a "Catch-22") I need a different approach. Best I should try to find and attempt to have us/her to go to AS specialist sessions, so there is a "translator" between us to open the door/help make her aware?

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I have a grandson 11 years old who has Aspergers. We only found out about 3 or 4 years ago. But we are so thankful that we did find out. We can help him with his condition as long as we structure his day.  He loved math but did not want to read. We insisted that he works each day on reading and now, he loves to read. Thanks again for your book.

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I need help for my son. He was 15 in November. He hates school, but seems to be well-behaved there for the most part. His grades have dropped tremendously in the past year or so. He was inducted into the National Junior Honor Society in the 7th grade but now is barely passing several of his classes and that is with me attempting to stay on top of it at all times.

I am a teacher so I have more awareness than many, but home life is killing us. Aaron had a sister who is almost 21, one who is almost 18, and one who is almost 12. He has never gotten along with the 18 year old, but until recently his relationship with the 12 year old was great. Recently all he does is argue and fight with her. He has no friends at school whatsoever so when he comes home he says he just wants to be himself and rants and rages at everyone here. He is very violent to the point that I have backed off of consequences for fear he would hurt me. My 18 year old says the auro of our home is miserable. (She just found out that her brother has been sneaking into her room and taking underclothes, etc) I have taken all internet away and his phone because of pornography found on it. He has been caught several times during the night with his sister's underclothes on. We just discovered this a few weeks ago and are working on finding a therapist to address these concerns. This has been difficult in our area. We are LDS (Mormon) and these behaviors are so out of touch with our values and beliefs. In his heart he is a gentle soul, but I do not get to see that side of him often. He is a very giving young man when he is not angry. I went through a divorce 2 1/2 years ago and dad thinks it is all my fault because "I made him leave". I know that Aaron is very angry over this because in his mind it is all my fault.

Aaron is very rude, disrespectful, and argumentative on most days. The simplest of requests can cause him to go off. It is affecting all of my children and myself. He is presently taking medication for severe ADHD but that is all at this time. We have taken numerous meds over the years.

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My husband and I recently found your site and are excited to start exploring the resources there.  We have a 16-year-old who was just diagnosed within the last few months; 10 years ago it was considered but determined that he was just borderline.

In your article "Parenting Aspergers Teens: Double Trouble?" (http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2010/09/parenting-aspergers-teens-double.html) you refer to a printed card to present to police should your teen be pulled over.  Do you have such a card?  My husband had coffee this morning with a friend who works for the Sheriff's Office here to talk about how they might handle an Aspie if pulled over.  The key seemed to be identification and his suggestion was to have something with the license and registration which all officers would ask for first.

I thought I would put something together if you didn't have anything already prepared - I'll use what you have if there is one! Thanks for putting this together.  We are implementing your system and our household seems calmer already.  We still need to work on it until it becomes second nature, but we're happy with the first results.

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Mark,
My name is Bill Schulte, a speech and language clinician in the public school setting, and I am looking for some input, feedback, or general advice to assist our middle school special education program in working with our asperger population. We presently have a 7th grade student who is having difficulties with his transition to the middle school level, as he makes growling noises at teachers and students when he is "overloaded," has struck a teacher in the classroom setting, and appears to have many of our staff working for him rather than working with our staff in the educational process. In the end, we are in need of some assistance to get this student back on track.
I have read many of your articles and do enjoy the website information you provide for parents and educators. I am able to identify, from reading your material, what we didn't do in assisting with this student's transition to the middle school, but now am looking for solid information to help us move forward. Getting everyone on the same page should more than likely be our number one priority, but we have some related services staff who are reactive in what we need to do after a meltdown as oppossed to developing methods to reduce meltdowns over time. This hinders our consistency in approach as well as progress when we attempt to promote positive outcome options for preset levels of performance expectations.
Any information which you are able to provide given this scenario would be much appreciated. As much information as I have forwarded to my colleagues in print and video from your site which makes all the sense in the world to me, has not been bought into at this point in time. I will continue to compile information for our professional development and hope that eventually they buy into the philosophies which can help our asperger population.

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My 18 year old son is finishing high school this year. He attended a small special education high school in Little Rock.  He is high functioning and during a 30 minute conversation he would be perceived not  to have any issues to the untrained eye.
Problems arise in complex social interactions and reading subtle clues.  He is quite intelligent and his main interest is sport management. He is a walking sport encylopedia. He is immature for his age. He desperately wants to be normal. and failure in social situations have led to frustation.   He is acutely aware of his Asperger's and is at times depressed.  His frustations have led to angry outbursts and at times aggression. He has been treated twice as an in-patient.  He is slowly maturing and the anger is although still there is in general terms much better controlled. He is only angry with his parents, whom he blames for his predicament, and outside the home he has never misbehaved.
I think that attending college and succeeding is crucial for his self-esteem. He would likely benefit from  a small campus setting, easy to navigate, where there is access to support (assistance in organizing his life) and a counselor with experience in Asperger's (for guidance in terms of social interactions etc.) .My wife and I have have identified the College of the Ozarks and Marshall University as possible options. Do you have any other recommendations with regards to possible colleges? I do think that he can be a successful student, but the first year would be really crucial..

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My husband and I are working on implementing your plan for teens.  We have started with the "yes, but..." and that seems to be working fairly well in the sense that things we want our 16-year-old son to do are actually getting done and without much of a fight.  It does feel more peaceful in the house and we are working on the next steps of consequences and time-outs.

Our concern stems from the requests he has to which we can respond "yes, but..." - they are all requests for time on the computer.  He doesn't have friends that he socializes with outside of school; he doesn't go to the movies; he doesn't ask to use the car to go places; there really isn't anything else he asks for.  When he requests time on the computer, we've been replying with "yes, but first you must clean up your room (or any number of tasks)".  He does this willingly and then we let him know he can be on the computer until a certain time (usually 30 - 90 minutes).  After that, he's been good about getting off the computer and when he asks again, we have another task that he must complete.

His first semester just ended and we discovered that his grades are in the toilet.  We have been communicating with the school on methods to help him (he was just officially diagnosed in the last few months) but not in time to salvage this past semester. We are extremely concerned that his obsession with computer games and role-playing chat rooms are causing him to neglect school work and do shoddy work on what he does accomplish (including our task requests).

In the past we have used computer tools to limit his access to the internet, but that has always resulted in additional negotiations (i.e. the internet was down for part of his hour's time, none of his friends were online at the time he was on so he needs to be on again later, there were glitches in the program that caused his game to lag, etc.)  He has meltdowns if something goes wrong during his time and begs for additional time because one hour is never enough.  This has also led to lying and cheating to get into the computer when we are away from the house or computer hacking to get past the barricades.

Right now we have the computer open but have asked him and his brother to ask us for time before getting on.  They have been doing that and we have been using the "yes, but..." reply with success.  However, big picture includes the grades and low-quality work.  We would like to have free access to the computer and the programs on it (Photoshop, a graphics program, Word, a drawing tablet) but limit internet access for gaming.  We are concerned that this will just turn into a battle again and that there won't be a positive impact on the grades anyway. I guess what we're asking is how do we continue to implement your program when there is only one request (computer time) and only one currency for grounding?

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Dear Mr. Hutten,

I very much enjoy your thoughtful and informative articles on My Asperger's Child. I have a son diagnosed on the spectrum, and work at an autism center, so I can certainly make good use of your hard work.

I would like to include the information you provide in our resources. We do not charge for our services, and we provide, family consultations, training to parents and the community, screening, referrals, visual aids, both generic and personalized,  and we have a resource room with tip sheets, therapy aids and a library.

With your permission, I would like to reprint some of your articles, including, of course, the name of the website, a little about you, and the web address. I did not see a copyright on the site, but I wanted to check with you first, to be certain that you were in agreement with using your articles in this fashion.

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I have a first cousin diagnosed with aspergers (boy, approx. 35), his mother, my aunt,  highly likely, fact is I'd just say she is and was never diagnosed.  In that family of 4, the parents did seperate, live seperately but not divorced.  My cousin not able to hold a job, lives with his Dad. It's so hard to sum up what I'm trying to ask.  Let's just say I've taken the aspie quiz myself, and showed some traits.  I have concerns about my son, who seems to be wired a bit like me, but is doing ok socially so far.  He is in 6th grade.  Perfectionistic traits, and always often has to be "right".  He can be intense.  Many time, I've lost my temper and asked him to "back off".  This has actually improved in the last couple years.

I am wondering about my brother, who is 46 and would be SO ANGRY if he knew I thought he may have Aspergers.  He is a different person around me, He doesn't really talk to me, I bug him.  I think I always have.  He is 6 yrs older than me, but I remember lots of anger from him towards my mom.   Now, he seems to have developed a strong dislike towards my family.  He is actually very social with others.  But it's like he is a different person with them..  He is respected in our community, and the one people would like to have at a party because he can be VERY funny.

It's just so convoluted and confusing, and basically I just want to do all I can to help my own 2 kids (9 and 12) develop as good as I can help them socially.  They have some aspie traits, but I don't think would be enough to diagnose. When I take the aspie quiz, it actually makes me laugh because I've seen some of the things the quiz mentions in myself or family. I need a resource to better know how to relate to my brother, so I don't bug him.  Also, to help my kids be successful socially.

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I currently work as the resident clinician for a program that specializes in young men aged 13 to 22 who have Spectrum diagnoses.  We currently have 14 young men in the program and since this is a new endeavor, it is highly likely that we are going to have more in the near future. One of the things I am working through is the paucity of services and resources out there for those who have aged out of the school system.  Job Corps, an excellent resource in the New England area due to some excellent dorm situations as well as strong work training apart from skill training, have just announced that they suspended all applications in the pipeline due to the debt ceiling compromise in DC this last week. Our guys come from NY, CN, MA, Maine, VT, NH and RI. We have a couple of group homes for Autistic young men over 22 in the Boston area but nothing else, and nothing for those who are PDD-NOS or AS.

Would you be interested in doing some collaborating to develop a similar program for residential settings who are faced with launching these young adults?  Many of the guys have been in some type of substitute care for most of their lives so we also have some trust and attachment issues. This would be a training format for program staff and something that other clinicians could use as a basis for working with their case managers, community based family specialists, and ultimately parents when young people have parents who want to be involved. I can see this as being a program that has income producing potential. I know the agency I contract with would pay for training.

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Mark,

Thank you, I am very impressed with the style of delivery and the information, I have purchased the 'My Aspergers Teen' eBook in preparation rather than in panic, the parental respect was terrific and something that my local school could learn from.

After all the money I have spent on professionals, the parental training approach you offer is fantastic value for money - I will be referring this to my local Autism Community Training people when I see them Feb 8th 2013.

Be in touch,

Regards Chris

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My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the Aspergers child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

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Although Aspergers is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager with Aspergers are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the Aspergers teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

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Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

Research reveals that the divorce rate for people with Aspergers is around 80%. Why so high!? The answer may be found in how the symptoms of Aspergers affect intimate relationships. People with Aspergers often find it difficult to understand others and express themselves. They may seem to lose interest in people over time, appear aloof, and are often mistaken as self-centered, vain individuals.

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Online Parent Coaching for Parents of Asperger's Children

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