Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for Jan., 2015]

 Do you need some assistance in parenting your Aspergers or HFA child? Click here to use Mark Hutten, M.A. as your personal parent coach.


 Hi Mark,
Your ebooks and audio’s are so incredible.  Between the Launching Adult Children and Teen ebooks, I am confident the “tough love” that I am now employing will be a positive outcome later.  My ex- is the “no-rule” parent, while I am the “structured” one.  Your tips and encouraging comments are starting to make a difference between my 18 year old son and me.  I wish I was able to understand the “poker response” a long long time ago.
Thanks for taking the time to help parents like me!
Kind Regards,


My daughter started kindergarten this year, it has been a nightmare.  She switched schools about 6 weeks in. Very bad experiences and too many in her classroom. Miley is 5 1/2, she was diagnosed with ASD in October. Unfortunately, the school doesn't believe the diagnoses and they have said that to her developmental ANRP. They think she solely has behavior problems, I wish that was the case.  It's so difficult for all involved, but mostly my little daughter.  Any suggestions or tips when dealing with the school? I've had so many meetings and do not feel like I'm making any ground. Any insight would be helpful and appreciated.


Hi, Dr. Hutten,

Maybe you can direct me to a source for help.  I have a 46 year old son who was employed as a Nuclear Pharmacy Technician for 19 years.  One and a half years ago, he was terminated because of a medication error that he and a pharmacist had made.  The error did not harm the patient.  The pharmacist, who was ultimately responsible for the error, had his “hand slapped”.  It was our son’s  second error in 19 years.  A few years prior to that incident, he had reported a pharmacist to his supervisor who was causing coworkers to be exposed to excess radiation.  His supervisors did nothing about it, so my son called the Anonymous hotline for his company to report the pharmacist.  By the time the investigation was over, my son had been identified.  For the next 3 years or so, it seems that the company had been looking for a way to replace my son. Two other facts in this case:  my son was the highest paid tech in the company and he was tardy numerous times.  The error caused the company’s HR department to finally terminate him.

The termination has almost paralyzed him.  He has been applying for jobs online with little feedback from the companies to which he has applied.  He has been using his 401k and is almost out of money.  He received unemployment for 6 months.

I can’t talk to him without arguing because I can’t understand this job paralysis.  (I’m  a hospital pharmacist—71 years old—who still works a few days a month.)  He needs to talk with someone to help him get over this paralysis.  I’ve diagnosed attention deficit and possibly Aspberger’s Syndrome.  (I’m just pulling at straws trying to understand this, don’t know if these are his problems.)  In the meantime, his health is deteriorating—he’s grinding his teeth down, he has untreated diabetes (no health insurance).  Is there anyone  who could help get him back on track?  We don’t want to have him move in with us (he’s very sloppy).  He doesn’t want to move in with us, either.

Also, I love him and don’t want to be the nagging mother.  I can’t believe that I’m in this position at both of our ages.  (He lives in St. Louis, MO, and my husband and I live in Port St. Lucie, FL).  I know I need counseling, also.  Could you recommend anyone for me to talk to?  I feel our pastor has enough problems with her own family to take on ours. Thanks for listening.  Found you on the internet.


Dear Mark,
Firstly we would like to thank you for the excellent resources you provide for us which we have only recently discovered. We have read and referred to many texts before,and since ,our youngest's son's official diagnosis at the age of 14 and yours is at the top of the list for giving us practical strategies with structure to follow.
Here is some background, a little long winded but necessary to help with the question we want to ask you. We had spent 5 years's living in Tennessee and he had been in your state education system. We were regarded as different as a family in the area we lived as we did not rule our children with an iron rod, they had boundaries but also were allowed to voice an opinion and included in discussions. We had no family ,or close friend ,support so relied a lot on each other. So a lot of his early signs of having a difficulty were put down to cultural differences.As the problems largely occurred in school ,and at other social activities, where the discipline was very rule and authoritarian based the penny didn't really drop until he was 9. He had a particularly unkind teacher who refused his requests for help based on her opinion of him just not listening where as we now know he was missing the point getting frustrated/ fidgeting/distracted but was at that point still asking for adult help which was being persistently refused ( we gained this knowledge too late). This ultimately led to avoidance behaviour and his distrust of anyone he saw as being in an authoritative/teaching role. He started trying to manage his now obvious difficulties with maladapted coping / self- preservation strategies which were then continuously regarded as bad behaviour.

We returned to the UK when he was 11. Our education system is less structured and predictable so it became clear to us very quickly that what we suspected was correct. It then took 3 years and a huge amount of distress all round ,but particularly for him ,for that to be formally recognised and for us to have access to specialist teaching staff.Wow ! what a difference that made but he resisted them too to begin with and they took some time to "get him" but we're not prepared to give up on him and he gained some good first stage qualifications with them. He then wanted to study Photography at what we call a college of further eduction which would take him to the end of your High School.

He would be regarded as being at the more able end of the spectrum which brings with it difficulties that are not as visible or obvious to the outside world and in our opinion place such young people at high risk as they are also more aware and bothered by the fact that they are different to their peers. Our way of managing his difficulties has meant he is incredibly independent as long as he is in control or has got his head fully around the situation with his trusted support network accessible. We realised that he only really got to understand certain aspects of daily life by experiencing them himself, we could not inform him of what might occur or the consequence, he had to gain that experience and feel/see it for himself. These mostly related to his overwhelming desire for friendship and acceptance. This led to many negative experiences as he worked out where he would fit and learnt the hard way about human nature but also positives that showed him choices he could make. His openness and honesty allowed us to observe, support and guide along the way, a bit like being flies on the wall. It resulted in a very different kind of parenting to what we had done with our other children.

The question we have is that at 18 he has developed a great need to stand up for himself, as a result of past negative experiences, which results in confrontation with teaching staff at the college he is currently attending. He studies alongside NT students with classroom support which he is resistant to as he believes he doesn't need them. If a tutor questions him he will take great offence, which is often an over-reaction to a negative teaching approach and will question them back in the same manner. This is seen as rude and inappropriate and they then only see the behaviour not the catalyst. They have received a mountain of information on how to manage him but seem to forget, because of his capabilities, and create avoidable situations which then are blamed on him.They view him as intimidating with an aggressive tone and bad language although he is not physical towards them. He then harbours that event and doesn't seem able to move on from it which is causing him problems. He holds a grudge and feels the need to punish the person who has offended him usually with irritating disruptive behaviour. He is unable to try and find a rational solution because he feels wronged and wants an apology from the tutor for their offence. At home he has to apologise when he has done something wrong and expects the same irrespective of who they are outside of the house. We have been unable to explain that often in apologising the tutor would then be admitting to behaviour that goes against college rules and that there would be a fear of official complaint against them. He is black and white and so that rationale ,quite rightly really ,holds no truck with him.

We desperately need a strategy for him to try to stop bearing grudges which only really create more negativity for him and are currently putting him at risk of not achieving his university place goal as they over-ride his work efforts which he thinks is another way of punishing the tutor!

Sorry this is long but we always feel the need to provide explanation so that there can be objectivity.

Hopefully you can give us some guidance to point us in the right direction. We have used you defiant teen book but home is largely Ok, the problems are created outside the house and we then deal with the fallout.

Do you ever come over here to hold workshops?


Hi Mark,
We are on week four of the program. We are working at implementing the assignments. Our son is 16 years old. We could use some clarification on when to take things away. We have started using the art of saying no, and the art of saying yes. Today he was dragging his feet on getting out the door for basketball practice. His older brother told him if he wasn't ready he was going to leave him. He said something like, Why do you guys always do this, you're so stupid. My husband responded with, Why do you drag your feet? I know it wan't exactly poker face, but what should our response be when he is disrespectful. He called us stupid and then spit on the carpet as he was leaving the house. It seems to me, he should clean up the spit when he gets home and we tell him the next time he calls us stupid he is choosing to give us his iPod for 24 hrs.


Thanks Mark for your response. I understand I didn't give you a whole lot of information. We are working the program week by week and not jumping ahead. ( You're probably thinking to yourself, "Oh yes you are, otherwise you wouldn't be asking me these questions.") We have watched the videos, taken notes, and printed out material.  We are so thankful for this program. We know that traditional parenting has not worked with Levi, but didn't know how to parent differently. We have three other sons, 32,30, and almost 18. Levi is our son through adoption. He has a lot of grief and anger. We realize we have compensated and made excuses for him. We scored way too high on overindulging, 74 and 75. In reading about other parents' struggle with their teens, we know it could be a whole lot worse. We want what is best for Levi. Your program is helping us regain our confidence as parents. Thanks for the reminder to go slow. We have been on the crazy cycle for way too long. Thanks for all you do to help parents and teens. May God bless the work of your hands.


I read your article about launching your adolescent into adulthood.  I am a struggling single parent of 22-year old daughters with Aspergers.  One of my daughters has no motivation whatsoever, has tried college three different times and fails due to inability to wake up and attend classes for more than a few days at a time.  I am at a loss of how to help her as she is now home all day while I work.  She says she wants to work and has applied for a few jobs, but her track record with work is not good either.  She will do fine working several days at a time and then something hurts or she feels bad and can't go.  I am so frustrated as she is a bright person.
  My other twin is successful in school and working, but is a hermit and very obsessive with books and movies.  She talks about nothing but and excessively spends tons of money on both with no regard.
I would like to know if you know of any kind of support group or therapy to help.  I am desperate!


Hi Mark: Happy new  year , I am looking to get help with my sons fear of germs . I have purchased your coaching program today. His time spent in the shower is growing. His mother and I spend a lot of time washing his towels and clothing. He him self does not like all the time spent in the shower . He (Jimmy)  does realize his fear is not rational . He has changed his phobias over the year ie clowns the color blue ect... so things can change . We are looking for things to change for the better , We have been told if you take away on fear from an Aspi  another will replace it..We are told it may be worse yet I am not willing to except that answer. I am not sure what background you need  to know about our son . He just turned 16 he has had his Aspi .diagnosis for 11 years. Jimmy rejects the label. His mother and I have en divorced for almost four years. Jimmy lives with Mom and his 11 year old brother. I have just finished my first semester at SIU in there BCBA program . So you can see I am vary motivated to provide my sons with the best I can .


Hi Mark,

I recently started your program. I am still on week one and studying week two.
My problem is my son's outbursts are not due to telling him no.
Most of the time it is something I said. He tends to perceive things the
Wrong way. It doesn't always slowly build up. Like tonight he told me his
Step mom loves biscuits and gravy. I said I love them too. He says who do you think
Likes them more? I said that would be hard to say because she and I both like them.
So it's hard to prove who likes them more. So he continued on and I answered in the same fashion. He then says I hate when people do that when I'm trying to tell them something. Then preceded to throw a plastic spatula at me. He missed, I'm getting pretty quick with my reflexes : ).  I calmly asked what that was about. He said he was bothered by the way I answered him. I explained to him he is going to have to learn to accept the way people respond. Because everyone is different.
My question is do I discipline in the same fashion as you stated in assignment two?


Dear Mark,

We have purchased and read two of your ebooks - Living with an Aspergers Partner (1.5 years ago), and recently your book on parenting teens with Aspergers.  Before the two questions, some quick background.  My husband (an Aspie) and I have been married for 21.5 years, and have three children:  15.5 yo daughter (Aspie), 13 yo daughter (NT) and 6 yo son (NT).  I've known since we were 1st married that something was not quite right (while dating I thought he was just introverted and scientifically/engineering oriented.)  We are both engineers, so it seemed like a good match (as colleagues, we work very well together).  We both love the Lord (Christians before marriage), and had our kids in Christian school, so as our oldest daughter advanced in school, there were always the AS issues (but no AS awareness), and also masked by a lot of working with teachers etc..  Thus, it was not until the 7th grade when we realized she was in fact hard-wired very differently, and in the same hard-wiring as my husband.  They were tested almost 2 years ago, confirming the AS, and our daughter is now in our local public high school AS program (10th grade).

I have two questions for you where your input would currently help the most.  My Aspie husband is easily "set off" (can be almost anything) and then suddenly like a light switch he acts moody/dark and mean (it seems without really realizing it).  This has been very hard on me over the years, as I am the type that seeks to be "joyful always"...  We have been discussing this issue since we got married - he can mostly control it around non-family members.  For the 1st several years of our marriage, when I would try to talk to him about his sudden "light-switch" mood swings, he would become more angry and shut down/mind blindness.  We have consistently sought help from the Lord and through the Word, which has kept us together.  Lately (he is about to turn 50), he seems to realize more how hard this has been on me, and is more open to trying to help what he calls his "reactionary behavior".  What do you think would help this particular issue?

Next Question.  When our oldest daughter started 7th grade in her Christian school, and started really struggling (we learned later there was also bullying), she also decided that she no longer wanted to go to church.  Perhaps she associated the "mean girls" at the Christian school with church...  We continue daily family devotions, spending time in the Word, though it has been three years now that she does not want to go to church (or youth group).  Note - we are blessed with a very loving church, with rich Bible teaching.  She is incredibly gifted in art (drawing). We're always encouraging her about how she could bring glory to God through her art.  She greatly enjoys interacting with other young artists on the internet.  Over the past year, she has developed a focused friendship with another Aspie boy from school, who has no interest in talking about the Lord.  It is very nice for her to have this fun friendship with another Aspie, though it would be nice to have opportunities for her to interact with other Christian Aspie teens (ideally who also love drawing)...  Your input would be greatly appreciated.



I am watching the videos in your program for aspergers meltdowns. They are helpful. I used the fair fighting guideline last night, and it worked Beautifully. Thank you so much. I think your program will be our saving Grace.

Sincerely,  Deb


Mr. Hutten,
Thank you so much for taking emails. I am a grandmother to two children 8 and 5 who have exhibited symptoms of Aspergers.  There is only so much I can do being gramma but any information will help. I purchased and downloaded your handbook.
Our children, the kids parents,  have not had them diagnosed fearing that the kids would be labeled. Both kids have had speech therapy for years. Our 8 yo is doing very well with her speech and is mostly understandable but she did have to repeat first grade because she was not getting Math at all.  She does struggle with melt downs and can easily ignore her mother.  She has discipline when she does those things but it doesn’t seem effective. (We believe that our daughter-in-law also has Aspergers along with her mother. Our daughter-in-law had speech therapy her entire school years.) Our grandson, is a quiet one, and his speech is not improving much from what we can tell.  He seems to have less social struggles (he does play along-side and not with his friends) and doesn’t melt down. He does love love love video games in any form. On iPhones, tablets, etc. He used to spend a week a month with us until he started school.  His mom noticed an improvement in his speech when he had been with us.  We think it is because we can’t understand him so he has to adjust for us. Mom can understand him.
He is getting one on one help in his young fives class and has speech.
I read in your handbook that they think of words visually. How would we use that on our visits? We so want to interact with him and know how he is thinking. We are able to see them once a month and give their mom and dad a break. He tries to communicate with us but when he speaks in sentences his word separation is lost. I can eventually get what he said if I repeat it enough times in my head. But I can’t respond correctly when he is talking to me. It breaks my heart.  I’m sure he is getting too used to that look he gets. I don’t want to do that…
Any of your thoughts would be helpful.


Hi Mark

Just want to say when an incident has happened it is so amazing to switch the computer on and find the appropriate article. 

My son who has a diagnoses of Asperges/ADHD is well in truly ODD and when I read your article today “that’s us” is how I felt.  From my point I am definitely the rigid parents probably over parenting due to negative social interations for so long.  He is now 9 and medicated.  He was run over at the age of 5, burnt his leg on a motorbike 3 months later which required a graft, then bullied at his school which required a school change. He was medicated with sertreline (Zoloft) for ?post traumatic but since then is also on Concerta for the ADHD.  Bascially he has hit me since age 4 when life becomes too much.  It has had an enormous effect on my relationship with my husband who I feel is also on the spectrum.  I have tried a number of diet changes which take the edge off but as you have said there is no cure.  We are now off to a psychiatrist as the elevated moods, aggressiveness/violience, defiance is destroying the family. We are I know guilty of giving in as life is lonely without friends.  His conflicts or incidences at school in 2014 were enormous for many reasons.  He was suspended once and had numerous high incidence cards which required the intervention of the Principal.  We are hopeful with careful choosing of the teacher for 2015 that the above will be less.  In many ways I am writing to say that there is enormous fear on my part where the violence  is concerned.  Due to conflicts with my husband there is very little respect I feel.  How do I regain this and feel there is  some control.  I imagine once you put things in place things will get worse before they improve???  I am seeing a psychologist to try to have someone neutral to help with the conflicts.  My husband will also start treatment soon so we can try to parallel parent.  My older son who is 12 and a gentle soul is also now quite aggressive towards his brother as life revolves around his brothers behaviours.  AS you can see I have a ADS family with many dynamics.  Could you please advise where I should start first???  Would I benefit from doing the online course or are your articles enough???  Would a family counseller be beneficial??


Hi Mark,

We have an undiagnosed, possible Asperger, young adult who has fallen through the cracks of the school system and is now one of those kids you speak of who is living at home and just wants to be on the computer all the time. 

We have been working with an 'in person' therapist for a few months (he refuses to go) and her recommendation is that we kick him out! 

I would like help coming up with another scenario if possible. We are struggling to instill structure,etc.
I have listened to two audio tapes out of your seven. 

Perhaps we should finish listening and then get in touch. We really need help coming up with a plan. 

Currently we've taken away the computer (the only thing our son lives for). I'm afraid we've hit him with the biggest stick first...instead of doing other, less consequential things that might have worked. The only other stick we have now feels like kicking him out of the house. 

How much do you charge for consultations? 


Just wanted to take a minute to thank you for your emails, newsletters and support tips.  I save them in my mailbox until I can focus on them.  I have a HFA boy age 8.  So many of your articles are pertinent right now.  

So, in case you were wondering if anyone was listening.  I am.

Thanks again.



Hello Mark,

We have found your website and eBook for helpful, the best resource we have found to help us with our son.

We are stuck with where to start as the situation is quite bad and we are struggling to find leverage with him.

Jack moved out of home to stay with the family of one of his friends November last year. This worked briefly for him for a while, since then he has been staying at various friends places, refusing to come home. The only way he will even come to see us is if he’s trying to get money from us or he is in trouble. Otherwise he just gets abusive or hangs up when we try to contact him.

We would really appreciate the opportunity to talk with you about strategies to get him back, he is only 15 years old.

Hi Mark,
I have a 26 year old son who I believe has aspergers, but was told 10 years ago he has ADHD. He graduated college, has had a few jobs here and there and now lives at home. He hasn't been able to land a job and my husband and I are very concerned. He fits so many of your descriptions on your website. Where do we start to help him move on with his life and become self sufficient?


My son is 16 and I just found out last year that my son has aspergers.  The reason I am contacting you is because my son keeps charging my credit cards, this has happened a couple of times and each time he changes his tactic. I am a single mom so money is tight anyway but then the next thing I know my gas money has been used on his x box or he orders a game from e bay. Please help me


My 14 year old son with Asperger's just got a 3 day suspension from school for pushing his chair back into another student and the other student subsequently hit him in the eye. The principal eventually told us that there had been other different incidences and that is why he got the three days. He also told us that since Mike is so high functioning, he will be treated like the other students since he knows he was doing something wrong. Am I wrong in being upset that we were not informed of the other instances? Am I wrong in being upset that he is being treated like the other students since he has no social filter and knee jerk reactions to those who push his buttons? I feel like sending the principal an article about Asperger's and wondered if you could suggest one of your wonderful ones!
Thank you,



Thank you for all the work you do with individuals with Asperger’s Disorder.

I am a psychotherapist practicing in Raleigh, NC, and I work with many adults with Asperger’s Disorder.  Even though most of your material is for children and teens, I find it to be still helpful for adults too.  I just ordered the “Teaching Social Skills….” E-book.  Pursuant to your order of buy one, get two free….the other two eBooks I am interested in are: My Asperger’s Teen and The Asperger’s Comprehensive Handbook.

Thank you.

Kathy Honeyman, LCSW

Raleigh, NC 27615


Hi!  My 7th grade son, Rayden Meyer, is a student at Calvary Academy in Springfield, IL and is doing a science fair project on how children on the Asperger's/Autism spectrum have better social skills when involved in a performance group (example- choir, theatre, ect.).  He has a survey for parents or teachers to fill out for his project.  My son is involved in a theatre group that meets every Saturday.  I am also the student coordinator for our group.  We currently have a few people in our group that are either Autistic or Asperger’s.  I, personally, have seen great improvements over the past couple of years with these kids in our program.  My son is hoping to spread awareness of this issue in order to benefit others. Any help in this matter, would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you!  We would like to have these surveys back by
January 23.  Thank you for your help!

I am currently looking for children that are in some type of performance group (choir, theatre, etc.).  If you know of anyone that would be willing to take the survey, we would greatly appreciate it.  I have attached the survey that has an explanation with it.  Thank you!


Thanks Mark, my darling 10 year old boy Tobi has had a complete meltdown, on the last night of a one month dream come true holiday for us as a blended family.

I had a skiing accident whilst abroad 6 days ago and we are due to fly home today. Tobes has coped marvellously well really with the ups & downs of a blended family holiday abroad but my accident and these last days of changed arrangements have tipped him over the edge.

I have been upgraded to fly business home to Australia from Rome & advised if this late last night as I can't tolerate my knees being bent for long. I'm in the middle of trying to sort an upgrade for Tobi too as he has had a meltdown late last night. Damian my partner us not his guardian, as he had indicated to the insurers already, and has his two daughters with him as well.

This feels bloody awful- all of it - at a time when we should have been having the time of our lives. Reading the introduction to your book helped - thank you!

I look forward to continuing it and hopefully getting some help to be able to parent my son better. I am fearful for all of us at this point ( as well as Tobi's future as he comes into adolescence) and the tenability of my relationships in our blended family, which is particularly upsetting.

Anyway thanks again,


Hello Mark,
We've been struggling in a number of areas with our 16 yr old daughter with Aspergers.  I'm really looking forward to reading and implementing your ideas!  


I have just been reading some of your reviews on your book.
I have just ordered it and hopefully it will be some help to me and my husband.
We have always felt are middle daughter has been different.
But always kept saying through out different stages it will get better as she gets older.
But recently it's been getting worse.
Since she went to high school.
I'm currently waiting for a diagnosis through the doctor but I'm 100% she has aspergers.
We feel very much alone as a family.
So any help or suggestions would be very grateful.
Will look forward to receiving your book.
I'm currently paying for her to see a councilor to help with her aggression.



30 yr old Daughter has 3 kids. She has little to no empathy with kids, she does not interpret their actions accurately and is in ( unnecessary ) conflict with them most of the day.

It's a bit like watching a soldier raise small children. I'm concerned for them...they get little encouragement and way too much correction. I have been very involved in their lives and try to give as much empathy, encouragement ...hugs as I have time for.

My 21 yr old Son wants to be an IT programmer . He is very intelligent but gets stuck getting from here to there. He also often makes choices that do not even serve his own best interest. and has Aspergers melt downs about health issues. When he was younger he would go into full on rage about having a pimple. He is very attractive and looks like he goes to the gym 4 times a week.....but never lifts a weight. Since he has turned 21 alcohol is an issues also.

lacks empathy. If I try and involve him in any parenting he usually makes a hard situation off the chart impossible. Also ...I would like to move to the country ...I would like to walk out my back door and be among trees and nature..this has been an ongoing issue in our  marriage...I would like him to know how important this is to me. 

Hello Mr. Hutten
I hope you can help because at this point I feel very lost.  I have no problem purchasing "Living with an Aspergers Partner" but I'd just like to make sure my situation applies.  I'm doing so much research but haven't found anything about what's happened.  I've been involved with a 30 year old man with Aspergers for the last 4 months.  We are somewhere between friendship and being a couple.  We've had sex once, sometimes he kisses me out of nowhere, usually not.  We see each other almost every day and I sleep over at least 5 nights a week.  We have a very joking sense of humor.  He knows that his bluntness or sense of humor makes him come off as an asshole at times.  My sense of humor matches his so he enjoys spending excessive time with me but he has an obsession with online dating and his unrealistic ideals of physical beauty (why we're not in a formal relationship)  If I'm gone he tells me he misses me.  I know that Aspies can suffer from mood swings, severe overreaction and anger or things that "trigger" them.  I know one of his triggers to be feeling like he's deliberately being ignored.  So I try never to do that.  As of a few days ago I've found another although I can't say exactly what it is.  My question is how to proceed once you've unknowingly set off a "trigger".  One second we're wrestling on the bed and teasing each other, joking like normal, the next he gets up, is withdrawn, and rude, asks me to leave.  I thought he was kidding so I jokingly said, no way you promised to help me today.  The next thing I know he's screaming at me to get out and physically pushed me out of his home.  In my mind I did nothing, nothing out of the ordinary for our relationship, nothing I can see but very real for him.  I sent a text immediately apologizing if I overstepped or made him feel unappreciated or cornered in any way b/c I value him so much in my life.  He responded an hour later telling me to never contact him again, and blocking my number and blocking me on social media.  I don't know how to proceed and no one in my life understands and insists that I'm better off to let him be out of my life.  I know him to be amazingly intelligent, and funny, and hard working, and I'm a bit devastated to be honest at the thought that he truly no longer wants me in his life...especially considering we didn't even have a fight.  How can I proceed so that I do not retrigger him?  If I give him some space is he likely to change his mind and unblock me on his own?  I don't know what to do and I don't want to give up on him. We've talked at length about how sometimes his behavior has cost him a lot of friends and a lot of people don't get him.  He can't see this as being one of those situations.  Please, can you help me?


Hi, Mr. Hutton:

My name is Susan Thompson. I am an LPC having 25 years experience counseling. I am searching for a certification in treating Level I Autism. I work par- time for an agency and part-time at my private practice.  Do you know of one or more which you believe would provide that for me without being extravagantly expensive?  I say that because I have checked into Drexel’s cert and it ultimately costs $13,000 just for tuition. That seems like a high cost.  Anyway, I would appreciate any information you could offer me regarding this.

Thanks so much,


Hi Mark:
We have had an unsettling experience this week. Our son Alex continues to not attend school, has withdrawn from all activities, except for occasionally playing with his rock band. He stays home all the time, usually does his chores.

After reading and hearing many articles/comments about the dangers to one's health of having a phone in a room at night, we told Alex that he has to hand in his phone over the night.  Only so that he has a deep sleep.  We gave him a heads up on this on the Friday of the weekend and said it would start on Monday. He refuses to do this.

Tuesday his consequence was the phone was cut-off and no wifi. In the evening he was furious with us. Tore the cords out of our television and pulled our computer apart. He was pushing and shoving against us in doing this.
Wednesday he was moved to a full grounding with no access to TV, computer, games etc. We have put a lock on the laundry room which controls the power.  On Wednesday, when we came home from work, he had broke down the door (damaged the door) to the laundry room, turned on the power to what he needed and had left the house.

We were very upset that he had moved to this extreme. My husband called the police on the phone to discuss this matter. The police said they could come but he was not home. We decided to lock Alex out of the house for the night. The temperature here (Canada) is very cold so we were worried. At midnight Alex was at the door, crying and cold. He promised to hand in the phone. So we let him in.  He kept the phone with him despite his promise,  and went to bed.  When I left for work this morning he was laying in bed, with no intentions for the day and seemingly no remorse.

I am very worried about this. We have a young man, our son,  who is mentally ill/depressed, and yet he is controlling our home. He is on medication, he sees a counsellor, the school gives him lots of latitude on how to work and yet he remains helpless and does not listen to us. In your opinion what should happen next?  


I am very interested in your OPS program. My question is, does this have strategies for High-functioning Asperger parents (both parents) who have an Asperger child & a high-functioning Asperger child or is it for neurotypical parents dealing with an Asperger child?

That is our biggest challenge--dealing with our own condition(s) while trying to parent two boys with Aspergers. Half of our family has the insensitivity to others' emotions and the other half is hyper-sensitive.


Hello Mark,
I am interested in your e-book and just want to clarify that you are offering the additional coaching via email. Do you have parameters around the email coaching?

My son is doing very well to the point where some of the behaviors have subsided and he is mainstreamed, no longer in a special school.  At 17, we are approaching individuation and adulthood fast.  We have some concerns and need some help to get this boy using his strengths in the world.


 I have never contacted a total stranger for advise, but I found your FB site about a month ago and have found your insights to be spot on for my 12 1/2 aspie son.   Our struggle is school.  He attends a special Ed program designed for kids who's behavior is impacting school performance.  It's a self contained program but kids are mainstreamed as appropriate.  My son has trouble with frustration, competition, and anxiety but is very bright.  He is very articulate but rigid in his thinking. He hates school. The behaviors of the other special Ed students he finds very bothersome. There are many students who are loud, or self stim through sounds or noise.  He is mainstreamed for 2-3 classes.  However, the real problem is his meltdowns. They have been increasing in frequency lately and have become very physically violent. The school responds by suspending him. Once the meltdown is over, he becomes very depressed about himself. He has a terrible time dealing with the shame.  It makes it very difficult to "process" his behavior.

It is so hard as a parent to figure out what to do. These types of meltdowns do not occur at home. He works with a therapist and is medicated by a physiatrist. The school provides group counseling once a week and individual support during issues, but they continually place him with teachers who do not know how to handle him and situations that are difficult.

Any advise about what I can do?  I am so scared and extremely frustrated. Thank you for reading this..


Hello Mr. Hutten,

Thank you much for your quick reply.  First I want to say that I truly think your newsletters are very informative.  I have a 22 year old daughter in the Autistic Spectrum/ Aspergers who has aged out of the public school system and those therapy provided by our county. Since then, it has been very difficult to find consistent therapy pertaining to her special needs.  In some ways, she had regress socially as well as auditory processing, sensory and communication skills. There are a few schools in California that offer a transitional programs for young adults. Because she is not qualify as a Central Valley Regional Center client these programs are extremely expensive.  Please advise.

Thank you kindly.  If you prefer that I call to schedule a phone consult. Please state your fees.

Hi there , I came across your website today. I work with a HFA child in mainstream SCH in the UK. I find it difficult to get over to him the teaching/ learning that is required of him. He is very much into Thomas the tank engine,(blue train and friends) , he finds it hard in literacy to write in different contexts eg learning about the Great fire of London, asked to write about the events but he wants to have Thomas in the story. How do I get around this. I have tried Thomas time where he is able to talk about the stories etc but he still manages to try and put it in his writing. Please help?


Mr. Hutten--I believe it was just about a year ago that I found your website about Launching Young Adults with Asperber's Guide for Parents.  I regretfully confess that we still have not implemented your system with our now, 24-year old son, who has NLD.  Things got markedly better because he got a job shortly after I bought your guide and he absolutely loved what he was doing (contracting work).  Well, as of December, he no longer has his job because it's winter and it is a very small business (the owner) and he doesn't have enough work for our son.  I guess I have several questions and didn't want to be assuming that I can ask them via email or whether I could set up a phone consult conversation with you so that you understand I'm not looking for "free advice".  Please let me know what you would prefer.  I am also happy to compensate you via email.   Thank you in advance for your response.


I was looking for some sites about parenting to get to know more about parental involvement in the children's school life and came across yours, actually, I found the article dedicated to this very topic. It is really good, and I would love to say thank you.
By the way, I have recently created an infographic about parents helping kids with homework, thought, it might be worth sharing at your site.
Either way, keep up the awesome work.


So two weeks later I moved to a new apartment. The following week my senses exploded due to a solid hour of an alarm and 4 months of construction right outside my workplace. 2 weeks ago I finally got my SPD diagnosis. I had my first shutdown last Wednesday after a full day of overwhelming sensory input. I went to bible study but I didn't want to. I wasn't sure if I should have gone or not. I kinda knew what was happening since I'd read about it before but I wasn't 100% sure, and I didn't know how to make it stop or how long it would last. I freaked out my friends since I was basically unresponsive and 'looked completely overwhelmed.' After our study was finished my friend said, "out with it," and I was basically unfiltered. (look out...) I'm hoping things are okay because I said a lot of what's been going on and it wasn't pretty and I think I overwhelmed her.
I've also had (more than a few) meltdowns but not violent or anything like that, not even loud (I'm in an apt. and don't want to scare people...) just crying and can't stop - but now I have a weighted blanket, deer hunting headphones and some other things and I know how to calm myself down (finally).
So do you have any advice for what to do about the shutdowns? Since it happened once, it might happen again, right? I read your article to 'talk to your child soothingly' but that really doesn't apply in my situation. That's what my friend did when I got to bible study but she's pretty intuitive about me (pretty much the only person I see on a regular basis in my life who is). So how do I 'get myself out of it?' I wanted to stay home in the dark under a blanket but since I never, ever miss the study I thought that might draw attention to myself. Think I drew negative attention to myself instead this way.
That was a lot. Sorry. :-P


Dear sir,
       I have a 16 year old son whom since the age of 8 I suspected was really struggling with friendships in school.aged 9 he was really really down most of the time.since the age of 2 he had a real obsession with motorbikes.i tried satisfying his obsession by buying him a few motorbikes but he never satisfied powerful enough.he went to 3 different senior schools as he struggled to fit in,thus ending aged 12 with 1 hour a week home schooling from hostpital,which he couldn't concentrate on and didn't last long.aged 12 he started hanging around with older street boys as he said they were his only so called friends,even though we didn't agree it was them or know one.we suspected he was smoking weed and stopped him hanging out with them for a year.aged 14 he had no real friends and no schooling even though we tried to make him engage.from 14 he became increasingly angry smashing house to pieces regularly.his behaviour becoming more odd ie 5 hour showers during night and constant ranting in our faces.last week he admitted smoking weed since 14 regularly and he has puched me in face 5 or 6 times in the last few months.i had to get him sectioned for a month last Monday as it can't go on.please please help me out as I'm a certain he will be diagnosed as aspergers and we are so stressed with him it's like a never ending nightmare as we have an 11 year old frightened to death of even walking passed him in the house.could you email me back a few dozen tactics for free to try and lessen the anger and understand him.i would be truly grateful and try and make regular contact with you.
  From stuart in liverpool , england

Dear Mr. Hutten,

I found about your book while searching for children that behave in the way mine does. He’s 11 years old and completely out of control. It makes our life a real misery on top of all our problems.  We have gone through a lot of financial trouble in the last couple of years. We lost our home, my husband lost his job. We can’t pay for fancy therapy or tons of doctors to see him. We’re now left feeling hopeless and powerless. I’m hoping that your book can help us because it’s all I can afford.

Our biggest problem right now is that he refuses to go to school, for any reason, including  that he’s angry, that he doesn’t like the teacher, that he’s tired, etc. He just won’t move from under the covers in his bed, and fight us, hit us, yell at us, etc. if we try to dress him up and force him to go. He’s got a good size, so struggling with him is pretty much impossible. He has left horrible bruises in my arms and body when I’ve tried to remove his stuff in the past. We’ve tried punishment, taking away stuff he likes, but then he turns into this rude and obnoxious being, taking it out on his older brother,  and causing all sorts of disturbance or damage to things in the apartment,  and to people, until he gets his stuff back. He’s usually very nasty to his older brother, even when he’s in a good mood, but when he gets angry he is very destructive. He even threatens us saying “You’re making me mad. Bad things happen when I get mad”.   If we tell him to do something he simply says he won’t, that he has the right to say no. He won’t listen. We can’t discipline because he simply refuses to do anything we say, as if we didn’t even exist. He laughs at us,  because we have no power to make him do what we say. He doesn’t respect authority at home or at school and he’s usually very stubborn about his ideas, no  matter about what.  He thinks he has all the answers about everything and will get mad and lash out if you disagree.

We are in deep trouble with the school district and they have sent us truancy letters, called us, etc. Because he did have some medical issues with chronic constipation, we had managed to get him a teacher come work with him  for a couple of hours 3 times a week for a few months. Even that was a struggle some times.  He was supposed to go back to school after the Christmas break, but that has been a nightmare. I think we have managed to make him attend  1 week worth of days of the whole month of January. We are running out of excuses and doctor notes for the school. We are desperate.  

 This is living hell and is disrupting my whole family. We’re about to get in trouble with the law due to his refusal to go to school and he acts like he doesn’t care at all.


My 29 year old son has just been diagnosed with Aspergers. He has not held down a job for more than a few months, suffers severe depression and has a drinking problem (has to drink to sleep or cope, his words). He has always shown signs of aspergers, but we completely missed them, thinking he was just shy.More signs started around the age of 13, moodiness, temper,grades started to drop. He is currently on income assistance and I am in the process of trying to get his aspergers recognized as a disability. He will not take any medication for the depression and continues to use alchahol to medicate himself. I recently got him a job as a security guard and seems to enjoy the work (hard to tell as you have to drag things out of him), but he still needs to drink to get to sleep at night. He seems to function well in the morning, gets himself up and has not been late for work. Is using alchahol like this common amongst adults with aspergers, and what can I do about it?
Thanks for any advise you can give.


Our 20 year old son uses marijuana and other illegal drugs.   He mainly uses marijuana.  We have tried to get help for him but he sees no need for it.    Someone suggested that we ask him to leave home unless he deals with this addiction.  But my husband and I feel with aspergers (mild case) he is a terrible disadvantage on his own right now.  What would you suggest we do to help him?


Dear Mark,
Thank you for being there to offer support. It seems my husband and I still need it.
Our 17 year old daughter has made some poor choices in the last 6 months; staying out all night, smoking cigarettes and weed, crashing her car driving too fast, skipping classes, verbal aggression. When issueing consequences she has run away to friends houses. On her return she has had a 3 day grounding. We thought things had settled down until last week.
She was arrested and charged for possession of marijuana along with her 18 year old boyfriend, while sitting in his car at the mall. She was frightened and has pledged that she has learned her lesson and will not be smoking again. My husband and I hugged her and asked if she was okay at the police station and took her home. We told her we would need time to think about any other consequences. She wanted to leave and stay at her boyfriends house as she stays there often. We told her we needed her to stay home and that he could visit. This was our attempt to keep her home. She stayed home that night but was extremely angry the next day when she heard me speaking with her father on the phone about wether or not we would talk to her boyfriend's parents. She swore at me and told me that I wasn't supportive and that she had had punishment enough and that she was leaving home to live with her boyfriend. She left and did not return for two days. When she returned we sat down to try to resolve the issue. She said she was so sad in our home (her sister lives at home and has Borderine Personality Disorder, which is difficult for all of us) and that it was time for her to make her own way in the world. She does not want to resolve any issues. She has a part time job and is taking extra shifts to help get a downpayment for an appartment.She wants to stay at her boyfriends every night until they move out together but is coming home to do laundry and eat occassionally. This she does for our benefit as she knows we want to see her and have a relationship with her.
My question is, and I did just read your post about runaways, should we let her go without a fight? My concern is not that she wont be able to do it, she is pretty self sufficient, it is that she will continue to smoke weed, not attend school often enough to graduate and that she is young to live with a boyfriend.
Should we expect anything from her until she leaves or just let it go, in order to keep the peace?
Should we speak with her boyfriend's parents about the arrest and their plans? Her boyfriend feels that it is his right to tell his parents not ours. He has not told them and our daughter has said she will be angry and disappointed if we tell them.
The car insurance money has just come in and is hers as she bought the car. The cheque is in my name and is $2000. I am reluctant to give it to her. She is angry that I haven't given her the money yet. Should I?  
Please help.

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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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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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If you’re the parent of a child with Aspergers or High-Functioning Autism, you know it can be a struggle from time to time. Your child may be experiencing: obsessive routines; problems coping in social situations; intense tantrums and meltdowns; over-sensitivity to sounds, tastes, smells and sights; preoccupation with one subject of interest; and being overwhelmed by even the smallest of changes.

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