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 July, 2013]

You have no idea how much I appreciate your emails - I am completely blessed by your good, honest, common sense approach to parenting teens.  Thanks a million!

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QUESTION: So the drama continues. I'm at a point where I want to throw in the towel. I'm not sure where else to go. My son is currently on probation for possession of xanax. I reported him to his school about it (back in Nov) and he just recently learned it was me that did it (his dad told him). He now tells me constantly that all the things related to that incident (ex. Treatment, costs, transportation) are all my fault, that I brought it on myself. His dad tells me that too. We are divorced and I take him to all group therapy sessions, counseling, court appearances. I also pay for everything as well. Dropping about $5000 so far this year. My son has a very negative attitude towards things when they don't go the way he wants. He is currently in summer school and sent me a nasty text this morning because the teacher moved him to the front of the class. He lives in a fantasy land thinking that when he gets older he is going to grow weed in California and he doesn't need school to do that. He tells me this on a regular basis. I do realize that he is almost 15 and boys don't seem to snap out of that la-la land mentality until later on. I guess what I'm trying to get at is that it hurts me to watch him destroy his life with this attitude he has. And I'm tired of busting my behind to make extra money to pay for all this "stuff" when he could care less. But if i said "forget it, I'm not spending $200 for summer school." Then it would be my butt on the line, not his. He has realized also that the required drug tests he takes don't test for shrooms or acid, so that is his drug of choice for now. He even failed his first drug test on probation and not a thing was done by the PO. I was floored by that. I realized then that this is all just a joke to my son. To sum it all up, I'm exhausted. Mentally and physically. I can't handle another appointment, fee etc. I don't know if there is any advice you can offer or if time is the only possible solution.

ANSWER re: “He even failed his first drug test on probation and not a thing was done by the PO. I was floored by that. I realized then that this is all just a joke to my son…”

I used to be a juvenile probation officer. I can tell you that the wheels of justice turn very slowly. It won't be a joke for much longer. Let your son continue to dig his grave. Let go. Let his PO handle it. He will get his consequences in due time.

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I have been married to a wonderful man since 1981.
There have been many situations over the last 31 years where my husband's behavior was inappropriate, embarrassing or just hurtful and I didn't understand it.
I even went to therapy to address my unhappiness at one point about 4 years ago.
I was angry that he was always watching TV in his free time, I was feeling invisible,and addressed my dissatisfaction about his addiction to TV watching, His reaction was my the trigger to going to therapy... he said...Get use to it because it isn't going to change...in a loud assertive voice..I felt so uncared for and rejected.
My therapy did not even touch on the reality that he may have a neurotypical brain...but I realized I didn't want to throw away my family or all we built together.
I have been wondering in the last year if he has aspergers and after reading some online articles and a book I do think my husband may be an extremely high functioning brillant person with some level of it. I am very sad that all these years I didn't know why he said or did the things he has and now he even said, sometimes I wonder if I have aspergers.
The question is now on the table. I told him I think he does, but that it is not a bad thing.
 I read a book the 22 things you should know if you have a partner with aspergers...almost every chapter had an example I have experienced or he has shown.
He has no ticks or cluminess. and he was extremely good looking as a young man, so no one would think he has an atypical brain, they just would be annoyed by his social behaviors and not picking up that they are bored of his conversation focus. He told me for the first time that the reason he took off his wedding band many years ago is that he couldnt stand the feeling of it on his hand.

My question is how important is it  for me to encourage him to get tested and will this help if he does have aspergers should he tell others or will this typically create depression in the person. He already went through Cancer at 33.This was pretty traumatic but his statement about his cancer experience was..it was just something he had to go through...

I am an extremely social and an emotionally in tune person so the reality  after all these years that I am living with a man that will never meet my needs or want to engage in the things I want to do socially or can never be understanding when I am not as smart as him has really hit me. I am angry that I didn't see this sooner, I personalized a lot of his behaviors or was angry because I thought he was being a jerk! Now I realize he just doesn't process the same as others. I do love this man and see all so much good.

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My son  is 7 years old, has been diagnosed with AS, whom attends a very small school of 24 students.
I have been working with his teacher to overcome my son's melt downs at school, A lot of it is very small melt downs, my problem is there has been so many different  Principle's In the last two terms, as you are so aware of Children diagnosed with AS, they don't like Change, My other issue is that given that we have very small numbers at the school this is a two teaching Teacher's school, all  kindergarten  to year 2 are together and years 3 to years 6 are together,  with separate Teachers, but in the afternoons they all go together.  My concern is that it gets a bit overwhelming for my young son and for the past term they have had different teachers, your advice would bee so helpfully. My issue is do I look at sending my son to a private school all keep him in this school and work a lot closer with the Teacher, I have spent the last 3 weeks working with the teacher and have now got all reports back from  Pediatrition, psychologist, waiting to see what funding comes through, Mind you, I have had all this in place and now I find out the school has another Acting  Principle starting this coming term?

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I have a 17 yr old. Im not sure if she has aspergers  or not . she has been diagnosed with bypolar and depression. but the more I read I wonder about the other. I need help bad!!!! Im so drained emotionally with her!! she has no compassion or empathy nothing at all. @ times I feel I could be gone and she would never even care. she has never had friends and when she meets someone new she has always used the term  " best friends" and im like she doesnt even know this person. she is very non-social Isolates herself in her bedroom away from everyone. she is social disabled . she thinks only of herself and doesnt think about anyone else. when I hug her its like hugging a stuffed animal. she Isolates herself into the computer or in her room. she has a hard time connecting with anyone. she just wonders off and sits by herself.she also has poor hygiene and I have to nag her about it.she is also very immaturand & nieve for her age and some times will play and get along with younger kids.  My heart breaks for her. but, I don't know what to do either. I have shed more tears over my daughter and all I can ask is how did this happen ? what did I do  to cause this?.she desires to be loved and have friends & have a boyfriend but, just cant seem to do it. she also has talked about that lonely feeling and says its the worst feeling in the world.  shes also been known to cut on herself and when she was 15 she tried to take her life. I don't trust her and wont leave her alone cause I feel she would do it again. shes on wellbutrin and lemecto and was on abilify. that was making her gain weight so she wanted to stop taking it but now I think shes worse not being on it so idk. I have read the symptoms of apergers  she fits all the social symptoms and traits but not the other traits. do you think we could be missing this diagnose with her?

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Hi our 9 year old son has AS and he has just recently told us he feels alone. He has not cared so much for having friends up till now. He now has a desire to make friends or likes the idea of having a buddy. He also does not remember other children. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

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Dear Mark, 

I don't know where to start with this email. My husband and I are at the end of our ability to know what to do to survive or to help our son. Our son is twenty-four years old and we have lived almost all of those years just making sure that he could make it through a day. He was diagnosed when very small with ADHD, and we were able to get him through school with his degree. I won't even attempt to tell you what that entailed as we live every day just wanting to make sure that he can live and won't hurt anyone else or end up in prison. Please trust me that I am not over stating any of this. 

My husband and I are not in good health anymore. I am sixty-one and in a wheel chair and my husband is seventy-six and not getting around very well either. We just went through a terrible ordeal with Jonathan with the law and keeping him out of prison. He cannot hold down a job. He is married and his wife lives with us too. We have told them we would try to help as long as there are no drugs, alcohol or violence involved. 

My son has such a distorted view of his childhood with me that I truly believe he hates me and I am unable to do anything for him. He basically treats anyone that is in authority the same way, with no respect. We have just about depleted our resources and with Jonathan and Elizabeth not having any insurance we do not know what to do from here or which way to turn. Do you have any suggestions, because we are desperate. 

Note: When Jonathan was small he had as many symptoms of autism and  tourette's syndrome as he did with ADHD. One on one he can make things seem so normal but only those close would know the truth. My husband and I are worried that when we are gone Jonathan will end up on the street or worse. We would appreciate any help or direction you have to give us. 

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I have a sixteen year old boy who was previously diagnosed with ADHD, expressive language disorder. Now they say it is Aspergers and after reading the information on it, I must admit that even he agrees. My issue is that his father and I have been divorced since our boy was 3 but his father has never accepted our son as he has always been different. He does not like physical activities and prefers to play video games than interact with people in the real world. He is close to me and his 9 year old sister but has serious issues with his father and as such doesn't trust other men to accept him either. I am h aving trouble trying to get him to "act his age" and balance his emotional age. He is my world and there is nothing I wouldn't do for him. Do you have any guidance that may lead me in the right path for the few years I have left with him at home to teach him all I can? Thank you for your time and assistance.

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Hi Mark,
I am writing from Australia in hope you can provide some support for our family who is at present at a huge crossroads.  Our son is now 19 and has a diagnosis of OCD ADHD and Aspergers.  He is incredibly manipulative  and has become quite a rude individual.  I look at other kids with aspergers and although they have the rigidity they are nice kids!

Although he is 20 he is like a 14 year old.  He has only space for one obsession at a time.  We had star wars, trains, bird watching, bike riding and war gaming (making, painting and playing with tiny figures)  We have employed him in our business and is being trained as a dental technician.  He can do things when he wants but it is the want to do that is the hard bit.

The OCD has calmed a little since its peak last year when he was wearing no clothes because they were all contaminated with soap.  He won't go into the laundry because soap or use the kitchen tap or go near the sink .  So therefore he does not wash his own clothes or dishes.  He struggles with even us putting his clothes in a washing basket because that basket has been in the laundry.

Because we employ him, he is rude to us at work but luckily we have a lab tech who is training him.  He does take any criticism from us and yells over the top of us.

He has stopped taking his antipsychotic and anti depressant medication about 6 weeks ago.  Now he is still on quick release ritalin but wanting natural calm tablets because he has read of an issue with the coming off ritalin causing heightened anxiety.  He is adamant that he will not go back on these because they make him fat and not want to ride.

Since going off them he has lost a little weight and now is in to riding  not war hammer.  He is spending all his waking time in his darkened room surrounded by filth on his computer.  He also has a huge obsession with porn.  His computer broke and he needed his study material off it so I gave it to a tech who was gobsmacked by the amount of porn on his hard drive in a mere 4 months.  This to me is a real concern.  When I asked him about not taking them (flushing them down the toilet) he told me that he had had the decision and that I was always trying to shove medication down his throat and control him and what was I being paid?  He screamed at me for 30 minutes or more about me abusing him with medication.  I had no energy to fight back as I was spending my time at the hospital nursing my dying father who died later that week.  Dominic showed no emotion, care or concern for me (very understandable for aspie)

He goes through our personal stuff to find food… chocolates etc.  We can't buy food in advance as he binge eats. He has a very limited diet but want
s to have frozen diet food delivered (he is just full of contradictions).  He will never apology for this and I think he knows it is wrong on one hand but on the other he thinks it is his right to have anything he wants.

This morning  it took me 40 mins to get him up for his breakfast and this made him 40 minutes late.  When I told him we needed respect he told me to go get cancer.  I am tired of him not doing anything towards the family.  He demands, he screams over the top of us and believes it is our job to give him what he wants and support him.  We are now totally exhausted.  My husband is very patient with him but we are now totally over it all.

We used your behaviour management plan when he was 14 isn and it worked well.  We have always tried to be consistent with him but he is now totally out of control. He has no friends… he did have one earlier this year but it is always one sided.  Luckily he is not into alcohol nor drugs and doesn't drive.

Do you do one on one coaching?  We have tried a local psychologist who has been useless and his psychiatrist is along way away and is only really interested in talking medication.

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Hello, I have an adult son who was recently diagnosed with Aspergers.  It is The Ranch's (Located in TN) thought that he has had this condition since he was small and was misdiagnosed his whole life.  This lead to drug addiction and bipolar.  He is currently taking Saphris and is living in a sober living group.  I live in Alaska, he is in TN.  Josh will be 26 in December and not able to continue to be on my insurance. 
My questions are:  Are they any colleges; schools, programs that can help Josh with a career path?  He has a high interest in computers.
The Ranch recommended Transitional Living in PA; however, Josh has bounced around most of his adult life.  He has managed to stay just out of harms way with the law; but this last go around was a little too close for me. 

The medicine is super and he is happy.  He has been out of the Ranch for 30 days and is starting to get restless.  I am concerned that if he enrolls in school without help that he won't be able to handle the disappointment. 
I read many of the parent comments and I totally feel this has been Josh's condition his entire life.  
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Your section within the Aspergers Handbook on this is extremely helpful.
I am however in the UK courts at present over this.
My son has been removed from me because the court and professionals do not believe Max's own words that:
'I am nothing to do with his relationship problems with his father'.  They are accusing me of parental alienation that I have never done...
I empathise totally with their respective plight and coping mechanisms and merely sought 'support for them'.
As the uk are so prejudice against all Aspergers matters  - Could you recommend any UK medical reports that support your well documented and explained evidence...
We have had my son in the burns unit, a near drowning,  walked off and left on the beach,
and currently the father has a chronic illness on top and his meltdowns are even worse than usual..
Our son was deaf for 2 years and only recently could I prove he isn't Aspergers..
but he is still wanting to never see his father again and sell all his stuff on e-bay from his dads when he gets home...
These are big issues...
Any help please   -  A kiddy with his own speech and language issues - a lot of which I feel are to do with his father rejecting him for initially presenting as he did himself..  It appears to me with intimate knowledge of them both that:
a)  The father is jealous of Max (his jealousy is on a par with his anger)
b)  For all the things he dislikes in himself he hates in Max  -  but his mild autism presentation is known to be deafness caused as he has theory of mind, empathy and understanding of people..
Max just doesn't get and cant cope with his dad.

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 Good afternoon. I would love some suggestions for my best girlfriend to help her with her asperger teenage son. My friend is very loving and nurturing. However, it seems she is reluctant to encourage her son to be independent. He is physically aggressive in his meltdowns. She tries to create an environment that will not trigger his frustrations.
We live in western NC. There seems to be little assistance available for asperger issues here. Her son has been asked to leave schools because of his meltdowns. She currently has no school options for him. I would love to see her allow him to attend a therapeutic boarding school. However, his OCD issues are a problem with rooming with others.
Thank you for any suggestions I can pass along with her. She is a single parent at the end of her rope.

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I have a 36 year old asperger son who is living independently on government pension.  He was just diagnosed in October.   Throughout his life there have been several false starts and failed attempts leaving him now with a complete loss of confidence and depression as he feels there is no hope for any normalcy in his future. Before the diagnosis he held hope that finding the right medication would correct everything.     He is also a recovering addict from prescription drugs, drug free for last 8 years, except for the odd marijuana cigarette.   Now that he has the diagnosis he feels hopeless and I believe has given up.  

He is opposed to seeing any health professional (doctors and pschy, social workers etc.) but when he does, he chooses to fake good health when he sees them.   Seems to enjoy the approval/smiles etc that he gets from them.    I don’t quite understand this, but it is what he does.    In reality, he has some definite health concerns which he tells only me about adding to my burden.

He cannot manage his finances, constantly losing his money, bank card, or wallet; and spends without any thought or planning for necessities.   Depression and anxiety are a huge problems and most disabling.  Both have been medically diagnosed.  Has contact with only a small peer group (most known since childhood and mostly drug addicts) but desperately would like to be  able to socialize and expand this group, but simply cannot find the strength or skill to do so.    He also has a sleep disorder which interferes with his life; semi-sleeping most days about 20 hours, and then at other times unable to sleep for 3-4 days.

He was recently  accepted into a program designed especially for Adults with Asperger around achieving customised specific goals.  I initiated the contact and attended the initial assessment with him, but its up to him to decide if he wants to take advantage and so far he is not showing even the slightest interest.

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Mark: I found your web site when I was seeking answeres for my son and his wife and our grandson who has aspergers. I am impressed witht the information and will on my husband agreement download the e-book. My son is sceptical about anything that is not conventional therapy for Ethan but insanity is when you keep doing the same thing over and over and it doesn't work. Our hearts break as we watch this family disintigrate before our eyes. Ethan is on medication and has some therapy but I would just love for them to have the resources they need that actually work. I am going to try hard : ) to talk my son into reading your material. Ethans melt downs are getting out of control as he gets older and stronger. It is painful to see an very intelligent child robbed of his gift and childhood by a disorder than can be overcome and not define him. But his parents need help. I hope my son will at least take a look at it.

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QUESTION:

Hello Mark,

I'm a new client, but have purchased your books and listened to your audiocasts.

Our 16-year-old is at an acting improv camp -- his first day -- and "got sick" immediately and wants to come home. I am ignoring his repeated calls but wondering if that's the right tactic. 

Will is a strong-willed kid who fits so many of your descriptions of hard asperger's teens, and we've struggled to get him to do much this summer beyond be with his friends. (Because he knows asperger's kids struggle to make friends..his current obsession is to have many, many friends and be with them as much as possible.)

He's a good actor and witty and did fabulously in improv in high school, but I pretty much begged him to go to this camp -- It's just five days in the afternoon. But he doesn't know anyone, and I know it must be hard, and I probably should have prepared him better.

It's over at 5 so I think I can hang on until that time now, but I may well struggle to get him there tomorrow. Any advice? It cost $200 with no refunds.

Ugh.

Thank you for all you do,

Kathleen


ANSWER:

RE: Any advice? Yes ...definitely. Keep on him about attending. Will he learn much about improvisational acting? Probably not given his level of anxiety.

BUT - he WILL be developing some much needed emotional muscles for future use. In the meantime, ask him if he can come up with an improv about "nervous" people going to improv camp (how funny is that!). It might ease his nerves !!!

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 I receive your daily newsletter and find it to be so helpful.  I really appreciate your articles.  My 6 year old son struggles in many areas you talk about.  He has a school age diagnosis of emotional disturbance and takes medication for impulse aggression because his tantrums are so out of the blue and violent.  I was wondering if you have articles and tips that maybe I’ve missed regarding fits of “self-hate”.  When my son gets frustrated during a non preferred activity he turns to self hate for 30 minutes or more of out loud statements like “nobody likes me”, “I have no friends”, “I’m stupid”, “I can’t do anything”, “I’m a bad kid”, “I’m a loser”, etc. etc.  He will go on and on.  The truth is he has a lot of friends, he is smart, he is a natural athlete and he has love all around him.  None of his statements are true nor should he see himself in this way.  I need to find a way to get rid of this self destructive behavior.  It gets in the way of him accomplishing simple tasks like a homework page that I know he can do, or a simple chore like picking up his stuffed animals or returning books to a shelf.  Those tasks should take 5 minutes but after 30 or more minutes of self hate fits each item takes 45 minutes.  I appreciate your suggestions.

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My son was assessed in December by a psychologist through our private insurance. We decided not to wait for the school psychologist because we were told it could take up to a year to see her. He attended 4 one on one sessions and we filled out 2 questionnaires, and spoke with her about the issues we had been having with our son since he was a toddler (he is now 7) At the end of the process we were told that he is dyslexic, has attention deficiencies  and is highly sensitive. We were told to send him to a tutor for the dyslexia, he is learning to self regulate the attention deficiencies so that was not of great concern and to buy the book " the highly sensitive child" and we'd be fine.

In April/May the school psychologist was able to assess him. She observed him in class as well as during recess and asked us to fill out different questionnaires than we had previously filled out (The two previous ones were helpful in assessing ADD/ADHD- the one we filled out for the school was for Aspergers) and talked to me at length about his issues. At the end of that process the school psychologist told us she felt our son was on the high functioning end of the spectrum. She was unable to formally diagnose him as it is against school policy and we are now waiting to see a pediatrician- which here in Canada could take upwards of 6-8 months.

My question is what is/are the major difference(s) between Highly Sensitive Children and High Functioning Autism spectrum disorder? I am feeling more confused/lost now than before we started the whole process.

I have found your website/FB page to be very helpful and informative. I am grateful that I found it.
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 Hello Mr. Hutten!

My name is Beverly and I have two sons that are both Autstic. Kyle, my oldest, has a more severe form of it. In fact, when he was younger the chief psychologist at Rileys Children's Hospital said that his autism was so bad that he probably wouldnt have more than 50 words of speech or be able to dress or feed himself. Well, here we are now and he is 13 years old and taller than me. He has done amazing things and we all have had to work very hard to be here at this point. However, 13 years is a long time to deal with the constant stress of someone like Kyle.

Kyle is on a variety of medication to control both his autistic tendencies, anxiety, and severe ADHD. We have opted to go the least-effective-dose route and it has worked so far. What I am writing to you about is his sleeping. It has always been an issue and has only escalated recently. Either it has escalated or its effects on me have taken their toll.

Several years ago Kyle would repeatedly wake up in the middle of the night throwing up half way across the room. We learned through trial and error what and how much to let him eat before he fell asleep. Unfortunately we were not able to save the carpet in his room and had to pull it up. After awhile Resolve carpet cleaner can rub holes in any type of carpet.

I said all that to tell you he is still waking up every other night. When this happens he is in full panic mode and his stomach hurts. It has gotten to the point that I hate going upstairs to my room because of the fear of him waking up, thus waking me up next. He gets right in my face and acts like he is about to die. My husband works 3rd shift which works for the entire family so that we can spend time with him after work and school. However, it leaves me dealing with Kyle in the dark.

This happened this morning and that is why I am emailing you. I realize that when a person is woken up while they are in a deep sleep it can raise the cortisone levels and ultimately damage their heart and nervous system. You can only imagine the mix of frustration and tiredness that I deal with. Constantly.

This morning he came in my room no less than 4-5 times before I had to threaten him to stay put. Both boys have clocks in their rooms and know that they are to stay there until their clocks say 6:30. On another lovely note, no matter how late Kyle gets to sleep he wakes up super early, everyday, 365 days a year. He has slept in a total of 5 times in his entirely life and it was only 15-20 minutes of "oversleeping".

I need help. Plain and simple. I cant do this anymore and I'm tired of being tired. He is taking an anti-anxiety medication that seems to take his edge off. But there is still a type of stress anytime he is around, its almost like you could physically feel it.

I'm not sure what else to do. Part of the frustration I deal with is that Im trying to deal with him, all the while being quite enough so that we don't wake up Jonathan who's room is across the hall from me. Is this normal/common among Autistics? I really don't know what neuro-typical is.

I don't want you to think that this is a minor thing that we occasionally think is a bad thing. We have worked very hard with both boys and have seen amazing progressions in them mentally and emotionally. Its just that when he wakes up hungry/sick/out of it I seem to be the one who pays the price for it. And as we all know parents of special needs kids need to live forever. Thank you for any help you can give.

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 Hi Mark,

I've been watching your videos on YouTube since January, when, after watching every episode of Parenthood I could watch, I realized that my husband might be on the autism spectrum.  With two first cousins who have been diagnosed, and a mother and uncle who have always exhibited "strange" behaviors......it isn't far fetched, though it is hard to believe.

We have 4 children, 3 are adopted (all have high emotional needs).  I have ADD, diagnosed a few years ago.  My mother-in-law was just re-located close to us....she has full blown Alzheimer's.  Our newest adopted child is deaf....he came home a year ago.  We adopted a14 year old from a troubled situation....she has neurological issues, undiagnosed.  You get the picture.

I know that in the grand scheme, and compared to many....my life is "easy" and it is...truly.  I am blessed beyond belief.  My children are wonderful, and my husband is also an amazing, loving, incredible partner and individual.  He and I have been "working" on our relationship for years.  It is hard to write this because he is so "normal" in so many ways...yet, there are a few areas in which he is not, really...it's so subtle, but as the stress in our life rises, and my ability to keep all the "balls" in the air diminishes, it is becoming more and more evident that something is not "typical", nor has it ever been.

I've read everything I can about Asperger's syndrome on your website.  I still haven't downloaded the book.  We are trying to find a therapist with knowledge of spectrum disorders for him to see and receive a diagnosis from but haven't found one yet.  If you have any referrals in the Denver area, we would appreciate it.

I'm writing I guess, because I don't know who to turn to.  I don't want to tell my friends for fear that they will label him and look at us and him differently.  I have a therapist whom I have tried to talk with about it, actually two....but I don't think they truly understand this disorder, nor do they understand what I am going through as a spouse, so that has proven frustrating.

I have so many needs in my life right now....so many who need me.  I am so afraid that I am not  going to be able to do it....especially if I have to "parent" my hubby too, for the rest of our lives.  This thought has me in bed today.  I feel depressed, which is not typical, at all, for me.

If you are available to coach me...that would be great.  Let me know when and I will call.  (I am also a Life Coach.)  Thank you for reading my email.

Blessings on your work.  It is so important.

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Hello! I was trying to find someone that I could get professional advice from without having to pay an arm and a leg or make appointments with. I hope you are my answer. My boyfriend of 4 years and the father of our 2 yr old son just recently found out that his daughter, who just turned 8 years old was diagnosed with ADHD and Asperger's. She is not his real daughter, although she knows him as "daddy" and has raised her since birth. Her mother and I do not talk and my boyfriend cannot get much information out of her on the subject. I need to know ways or tools that I can use to help this young girl. The situation is very frustrating for me and now, I realize I'm sure it is even harder for her. It makes me sad that she is struggling and we want to help her and make things as easy as possible. A few of her symptoms include...
-meltdowns
-high anxiety
-constant hand washing
-rudeness
-continuing to talk or ask questions even after we have answered her
-having a hard time smiling when asked to for pictures, or showing emotion in general.
I knew there was something different about her when I met her. I am not her mother or father, so I wasn't sure of past history or things she has been through. I blew it off as a dramatic, immature, rude, attention seeking girl. I now know other wise and just want to make life easier for all of us.

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Finn is actually a fairly clever guy (IQ 135) and tall for his age so I think a lot of the problem is that people expect a lot of him, he has no communication problems as such, in fact I am British and my hubby in German, so he goes to a bilingual school here in Berlin. He does struggle though to communicate effectively in a social setting, it is very difficult for him to make friends and doesn't have a best friend which saddens me but we move around a lot (Military) so perhaps this is as much a self protection strategy as it is a coping strategy, perhaps we can work that out together.

The behavioural problems are predominantly at school and in places where there are a lot of people, a lot going on, a higher level of noise and not a lot of peace or space. He doesn't really have meltdowns anymore but he is stubborn and refuses to do things (not at home, but at school for sure). The very same thing can often be done at home in no time if he feels like it.

School makes the impression of trying to help but I am not convinced they really care. They have already written him off as probably being an academic failure despite the teaching staff all acknowledging the fact that this is not a cognitive problem.

He doesn't really have a 'fascination' but he does read a lot and the more stressed he is the more he reads. If we go to a new hairdresser he will need to read all of the posters before he sits down, he tends to get up and start reading whatever is on the wall if he is bored or stressed. Sometimes he needs time out (not the naughty type) to recharge, often 5-15 minutes is all he needs.

My husband and father of Finn is in the army, we are married and living together in what I would say is a loving but up and down relationship, the way that relationships are but since we found out that our son has Aspergers, he was diagnosed about 5 months ago, things are a lot calmer between us and I hope that we are becoming better and more understanding parents.

More soon I guess as our coaching continues, I have had a business coach before but never one for Finn, so I am looking forward to finding ways to help Finn and the school that may help us at home too, anything that helps those would help us too by taking the pressure off us a little

I prefer not to tell my husband that I am working with you immediately, he tends to be quite reluctant to seek help but is happy for me to do so, I would recommend we work together, see some progress and then I am happy of course to explain where I am getting the tips from. I hope that you understand, it could be of course that my husband has similar traits that he is not ready to think about too much just yet.

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I wanted to email someone who knows more than I do about Aspergers, I often wonder if my son leans more to having Aspergers, rather than his current diagnosis of ADHD combined type w/ ODD, and a mood disorder..... He sees and talks to "Dream Mares" at night time, as he calls them..... if he hasn't taken his risperidone at night and has difficulties falling and staying asleep. Is it possible for a child to have a form of Autism/Aspergers and still socialize with others? He does try to talk to other peers, but doesn't make friends well, he doesn't understand how to play with others so they tend to leave him out which usually results in him having a huge emotional breakdown, and makes the other children not want to play with him more. He's deathly afraid of water anywhere above his chest area, which his psychologist said sounded like a sensory issue, he also has the ticks so to speak where he pats the back of his head, or claps his hands at random times, and sometimes has trouble getting his words out and gets very frustrated and has outburts at times.... I know Im not a doctor by any means, but I've done my own research and feel theres more going on than what his dr has diagnosed him with... He will be 5 years old Nov 20th and starts headstart this year and is NOT potty trained, he was in a special ed class at the same school he's starting headstart in and all 4 other children had different disabilities and they were the first and really only real friends he's made, "normal" children so to speak are a different story, i've asked the school and psychologist to have him tested for Aspergers but they all refuse because he does socialize with some children and adults, but at the same time he rarely ever looks anyone in the eyes, including me, his own mother...... Any suggestions, comments, tips, would be greatly appreciated, and thanks for taking the time to read my message and answering anything if and when you can!

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Hello Mr. Hutten.  I have started a blog called TweenEverything and would like to know if I could use you as a reference on certain topics.  What are your boundaries regarding this type of thing? I believe in what you are doing and my clear intentions would be to draw people to you, your newsletter, books etc.  I do not have specialized training in this field, but because I feel there is such a great need in this age group, I feel that those professionals who have gone through the schooling and training deserve to be more recognized for their efforts. 

I have started this blog/website for parents because there is not a great website, in general, where parents can go to get information about this particular age group.  This tween-young teen age I refer to is from age 10-14.  Mostly the middleschool age.  I’ve become passionate about this age group of tweens & young tweens.  Mostly because I have one myself, age 11, and I am the Aunt to 4 others.  In this age group there are young tweens and older tweens depending on their age, maturity and various other characteristics.  I believe that these years in her life are going to be key to her development.  With that being said, in my efforts  to understand and learn about the tweens in my life, I have yet to find one landing spot, or educational and informational site, that I could look up to help me through this difficult, yet exciting journey.  So it is my goal for this website to be an informational website for Parents about this age group and to help them during this awkward time in their life.  I hope for it to be a resource for parents who don’t know how or aren’t able to talk to their kids about real important issues.  As parents, we need to help our “tweens” understand the “who, what, when, why and how” of this very difficult and confusing time in their life.  I feel strongly that we need to start at a younger age to equip this generation with the “know how” before they get to the teen years or specifically high school. 

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I suspect that my husband is an Aspie. At the moment, he has moved out from our home and both of us are comtemplating divorce.
My husband  has not had a formal diagnosis done to confirm it, but from what I have read (symptoms of an Aspie), most of the traits show that he may fall under that category.
 I would very much like to save our marriage , now that I realise he may not mean to behave in the way that he did as I truly believe my husband is not aware of his condition and is just out there crying out  for someone to help him make sense of his world.
Furthermore, we have a son , who is now 3 years old, and I would like to equip myself with the knowledge of understanding/living with an Aspie.
We are both from different background ( me being Asian, while  my husband is  German) and it adds on to the the challenge of understanding each other. We are also 5 years apart in term of age gap ( me being older by 5 years) and that we have children together from my previous marriage.
I began to notice his 'coldness' after our son was born and having to communicate with him seemed impossible as he does get defensive and at times lie to cover for his weaknesses ( I suppose).

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Dear Mark,
I have enjoyed many of your videos and articles on Aspergers Syndrome, due to chance that I have Aspergers Syndrome. I have two sons, which have been diagnosed with infantile autism, so our psychologist a the childrens psychiatric clinic noticed some traits, which relate to Aspergers Syndrome. It is not so nice to know that I might have Aspergers. I have also enjoyed the video on the Loner subtype. I am most likely to be a loner, and I found the video very helpful, although I am in doubt whether the type is fixed, or they are in a process? The Actor might always know, he is acting, but the "Outcast" might has given up acting or has been caught acting. Finally the "Loner" may have given up altogether and has simply given up on eveything and everybody.

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Hello.  We have a male resident in our long-term care home (age 85) who presents with possible undiagnosed Asperger’s Syndrome.  In collecting some information from his sons, and his current disposition, it is a consideration.  I can find very little literature on diagnosing  and treating/ caring for an elder adult with this diagnosis.  I am familiar with Asperger’s as I have a 12-year old nephew diagnosed with same.  The care team would like to better provide support and meaning to this older man’s life but struggle to connect with him.   We are fairly certain that we are not dealing with a dementia-type disposition such as Alzheimer’s. Can you direct me to pertinent literature addressing Asperger’s in elders/older adults?

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Hello, I am a virtual guidance counselor that works with students within a k-12 life skills program.  I came across your ebook today and wondered if I could put the social skill stories into a power point to present during my guidance sessions on my online classroom?  My students range from high functioning autism to those with aspergers and I think that the social skill stories would be a great addition to my guidance lessons on social skills and character education. Please let me know if permission to share those stories via online with my students is allowed.  I have not yet purchased the book. Thanks J.

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It was grace of God that I found your website Mark!  I have ordered your book and I am anxious to devour it!

My husband and I have a 21 year old who is learning to deal with his AS. We discovered it his freshman year of college so it is only 4-5 months of knowledge.  We are at a loss right now trying to get him to find ownership in anything!  We accept his AS and embrace that that is the reason he failed out of college...we accept his need for down time to "detox" from the day and we embrace the need to meet him as an AS rather than neuro typical.... ( much like wizards and Muggles from Harry Potter!)  but here is where we are stuck. 

this weekend we found out he had quit his job back in march and has been pretending to go to work just to appease us.  He lied to us in a way he has not ever done.  We only found out after he had wrecked his truck and shredded his rear tire!  We suspect he was trying not to be a problem to us as we were (and still are) dealing with his younger brothers substance abuse.  the two were not super close but i am wondering if he is effected in some way.   Regardless, Erich, our 21 year old is the new worry!  He has no drive for anything and no interest in any one area other than video games ( hand held or otherwise)  He is taking classes for college but even with that has NO motivation for advancement and it feels like he is only doing it to please us.  We are okay and embrace the possibility of only a two year trade school, only he has no clue what to do!  I just need it to be his choice in order to get his passion applied to success.  He is simply floundering.  

When he failed out and came home we had him pay rent etc to be in our house. It was before we knew he is AS sand when we found out - we slacked off the requirements.  He made a whole year of payments and worked two jobs to make it happen.  Now he seems to be lost again.

Help!  We are open to any ideas!  We just found FOPI is stafford, TX thru Focus Initiative.  We are willing to do anything but I just can't help but think there has got to be something that we are missing....simple and straight forward?  I am a first grade teacher and work with little guys all day long but can't help my own son....and we are growing frustrated but refuse to give up!! 
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Reached your site when I was looking for help with my Aspie teen who is 17. In the past two years, he has gone from working hard to completely giving up on life, work and happiness. He say "I hate work, and I would rather kill others and kill myself than work" and has tried to hurt me physically. He is in between meds, having tried Prozac (worked somewhat at first, but numbed him after a few years, and Risperidone (blurred vision). His rage episodes have gone from once in a few months to daily.

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We have a 28 year old well, over 6 foot tall and well built.  He becomes very passionate with a range of topics, today's being the purity of the white race.  His conversations are very heavy and exhausting and even harder when the subject is at the extreme, but if we do not listen or agree it seems to be enough to put him into melt down and he will at times become abusive and violent.

We are getting older and now fear for our safety, as at these times, as you know, he is out of control.  We are afraid for us, and him, for the day he loses control and permanently harms us.  If this occurs, it could mean the end of one of our lives as well as the end of his.
 
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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content