Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for July, 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.


In the search for information that could potentially help Lisa and us to a less distressful everyday life,  I stumbled over your e-book
"The Aspergers Comprehensive handbook".
After just talking a very short glance at the now successfully downloaded pdf-file, I can only conclude that it indeed seems comprehensive.
I like that it in a straight forward way adresses everyday problem situations and ways of dealing with them. We really need that kind of support.


 Dear Mr. Hutten,

I purchased your book in and around May 5th.  My husband has Asperger's (along with other issues including many many incidences of infidelity, more recently I found out even with men) and somehow, through these many issues, we have been married for 35 years, very very rough years and I am not sure how much longer I can hang in there. I think we have only lasted this long because I can't bear to see my children hurt and deal with their emotions and mine at the same time if I divorce him.  We are also linked professionally and work in the same place in the same department. My husband indicated the book has helped him tremendously and he felt as if you were in his head and his life as so much was what he was reading was how he was feeling and perceiving.


Thanks Mark!
I´m more or less shocked by the sheer speed at which you give me valuable answers.
I will pass the sites you sent to Lisa, and check if there is a support group near us.
Again, thanks a lot for your concern and assist.
Best regards,


Doctor Hutten,  I have a 9 year old grand son that needs to be evaluated and diagnosed.  I am sure he has Asperger Syndrome.  We are having a difficult time finding someone that will evaluate and diagnose him.  I need some one in Kansas or Oklahoma.   I need some one to help us with this so that we know how to best place him in school and help him at home. 
Thank you,


Dear Mark,
I am very grateful that i have found your site and have signed up for the online course...yet to start as chaos has ensued with my son's difficulties at school. I do not know if it is appropriate to ask you this on this platform, but i am in such a quandary and really need advise on who to speak and a face to face parent support group? My 9 yr old son has been suspended from school numerous times over the last 18 months, and after changing schools after much deliberation with his dad (we're divorced but still have an amicable relationship), on day 1 of week 3 there was a minor incident in the morning followed by a far more serious one in the afternoon leading to a 20-day suspension pending exclusion....well he is now excluded, not only from that school but ALL schools except distance education. Reading the details of incidents is like reading a story about a strangers child...not my son who has meltdowns but never ever even close to the level of aggression and violence evident at school. Im going to stop there as i do not know if this is the right place, but thought a bit of background. Your time and assistance in this matter would be greatly appreciated.


Hi Mark,
My grandson Jake was diagnosed a few years ago with aspergers. He was probably about 9 or 10. Up until then Jake seemed like the perfect child. Did not have any trouble with motor skills as a toddler. He could carry on a conversation like an adult...Was the first to read in Kindergarten etc. We moved him to a private Christian School. He is now 15 and is having issues in school. His grades dropped down this year. He is a bright young man. In the 7th grade he scored  the highest on his ACT than any other student in the history of this school for a 7th grader. He does not want to go back there. In fact the only way he can attend is to have a teachers aid with him at all times. His anger issues have increased. Jake is seeing a therapist. He is on Amphetamine Salts Er 25mg 1xd and Risperidone 0.25 mg 1 2xd.
His Mom and Dad have gone through a divorce during the past two years and he goes back and forth for visits.He does not like this arrangement.
I guess my biggest concern right now is what is best for Jake and his Education.
How do you feel about Home Schooling and the Aspergers child?
I do not think there is a private school for the Aspergers child near us.
I am just a grandmother who keeps her grandson a lot and loves him more than life itself.
Do you have any suggestions on the direction we need to take at this time?



Your program helped so much even before I was finished. But then we got into a busy season of graduations and vacations and everything fell apart. I have a question, which is really two questions:

My daughter is 13 (14 next month). She has an iphone and a laptop which are very important to her, and pretty much nothing else in the world matters to her, except maybe TV but she only really watches that if she has no phone or computer.

There are times when I have told her, if you choose to do/not do whatever, you lose your phone for 12 hrs, or 24 hrs. But then she refuses to give it to me. I have in the past physically taken it, but that turns into a physical fight so I avoid that now. Also I think she should voluntarily turn it over. So I say something like, If you don't give it to me now, instead of 12 hrs it will be 3 days. And she still refuses to give it. So what do I do then?
I can shut off her cell service easily, but I cannot shut off the wifi that the phone is capable of using, and honestly she uses the wifi more than the cell part. She can talk and text through internet apps. So I learned how to change my wifi password. But that is  inconvenient for myself and my other, older child. There is always a bit of a problem getting our devices to accept the new password.

So the first question is, do I continue with shutting off the cell service and wifi, in spite of the inconvenience (older child leaving for college next month so I won't have to worry about her being affected so much), or if not what do I do?

Maybe I should say something like I am shutting off the cell service and the wifi, and it will be off for 3 days, and the 3 days does not start until you hand over both your devices?

Second part, is what do I do now...

We went away on vacation recently where she refused to give me her phone when I told her to for some misbehavior. I could not shut off the wifi in the hotel, so I grabbed the phone out of her hand. She attacked me pretty badly and cut and bruised me and it hurt a lot. At my instruction my older daughter videotaped this. Being in another state I was afraid to call the police or anything (all I needed was for her to end up in foster care or one of us to end up in jail in Florida. We are from New York. I am rooted in my community and have relationships with the courts and law enforcement b/c of my work, but I don't know what I am dealing with in Florida so I was afraid).

Once home I gave the phone back after a couple of days. I felt I had let the assault go too easily but did not really know what to do.

But before I gave her the phone back I told her I wanted the ability to control it if she did not give it to me. With the help of extended family I set up the "find my iphone" feature which allows me to erase the contents of the phone (she is very attached to her pictures and videos she had stored on there). I told her I am now giving you the phone back, but if you ever refuse to hand it over when I ask I erase the phone. She agreed.

A week later she woke up on a Sunday. We had an event to go to where she was getting an award, and she likes to get up 3 hrs or so earlier than she has to leave to allow herself a lot of time. I guess she slept through her alarm and I knocked on her door 1 hr before we had to leave and asked if she was awake. She saw the time and immediately started screaming and crying REALLY loud, like a temper tantrum, b/c she was upset she woke up "late." My older daughter works late in a restaurant at night and I was afraid she would wake her (the older one has already been put through so much by his child. And her tantrums have been a big problem for years and have disrupted our family life to a great degree). I said stop screaming, and if you wake your sister you lose your phone. She only got louder. Her sister woke up. I said give me your phone. She refused and hid it under her body. I said if you refuse to give it back I will erase it. I gave her a few warnings  then walked in my room, opened my computer and erased her phone. She walked in a second later and gave me her phone. I said ok but it's already erased. She went totally wild and yelled like crazy and started hitting me. I called 911.

They took her to the psych ER b/c they asked if she had ever threatened suicide. I told them yes, but it was months ago and I did not think she meant it. In the psych ER she saw a social worker and a psychiatrist. They released her with a diagnosis of ODD and a recommendation that she see a therapist. (She has been in therapy but does not feel comfortable with the therapist and won't open up. So we spoke as we were waiting in the ER and I told her we would find a new therapist, and she seemed to understand she has to open up. )

When we got home she wanted to go to her dad's for a while. I agreed b/c I really wanted her out of the house. But now I don't know what to do.

I left her dad 11 years ago b/c he was very abusive to me mentally. financially, emotionally and physically. I have always had sole custody. He has visitation for only 6 hrs on Sundays. I have encouraged him to see them more, though, and really wanted him to take them some overnights when they were younger b/c I worked some nights and it was a great struggle to afford child care (he has resisted paying support and still does. It is a constant court battle). He refused to take them, mainly, I think, to make it hard for me. His hatred of me exceeds his love for them. Anyway in recent months I have tried to reach out to him, despite our differences, for help in dealing with her. He blocks my number and won't speak to me. For a while this past year, whenever I tried to impose a consequence she would "run away" to his house. The problem was 1) I could not confirm she was actually there b/c he won't communicate with me, and 2) While I support her spending time there, she should not be going there to evade my rules. That running away only stopped when I filed police reports against the both of them- her for running away and him for interference of custody.

So now she has been at her dads for the last week and while it has been great to have a break from her, I wonder how I should deal with her coming home. I am still looking for a therapist but it is going to be a few weeks before I get an appt. Yesterday she asked me for her phone, and I said you lost your phone privileges when you hit me. She replied, then I am going to live here b/c dad will get me a phone but only if I live here.

So he is undermining my consequence of her dangerous behavior.

I am considering filing a PINS petition (NY law- person in need of supervision- family court intervenes and forces the kid to do what is needed). She has talked about him filing for custody. I don't know if he has any desire to do that, and I can't imagine he would ever win, but I hate to go through that.

How do I let her back? How do I get her back? How do I deal with the devices? Do I continue to withhold them b/c she has gone so far as to forfeit them? Or do I give them back b/c without them I have no leverage?


Dear Mr. Hutten,
Where do I start? This is so complicated but I will try to get to the point asap. I have a daughter Sarah who is 15. She will be going into high school this year. She went to catholic school until third grade. She was sort of diagnosed with ADHD and a learning disability and they would put her in the lower grade in the back of the room. Bad situation! I put her in public school and she thrived at first with the special attention and great fourth grade teacher. Socially she struggled. I started noticing things that didn't seem to develop and she went to a special school/health center who deal with Autism. I asked for her to be with a female and they had no female staffer, so she went unwillingly and tested poorly, and they said she is on the Autism Spectrum???
The problem is ... they made her be present at every meeting, sometimes waiting in the outside room. She felt like we were calling her stupid and saying something is wrong with her. She didn't take the diagnosis well. The next day we had an IEP at her school and they said she was doing WONDERFUL. She was brought into that meeting late and when they told her she was doing great she started to cry uncontrollably. She was happy and her special ed teacher didn't see that diagnosis being accurate at all!
Fast forward now, I put the diagnosis on the back burner and we have tried to work with her at home. Bringing her social skills up a little. I recently saw another physchologist that went over her records and she was appalled that the school or doctors never did an IQ test. She said that was terrible that she had to go to the meetings, while she is testing at a very low math 5th grade, she will go into 9th grade algebra. I worry more about her not having many friends or being so socially shy, awkward, not knowing how to make friends. She is wonderful with her sister, who is 21 and commutes to college. That is her best friend.
I made an appt. with a local Dr. who specialty is ADHD and Asperger's, however,  the secretary said that Sarah must be present for the initial meeting. Here we go AGAIN! I understand its because of insurance??? I wanted him to go over the papers or ask his opinion. They did tell me she can wait outside while I talk to the Doctor and fill him in. She has a book about Executive Functioning Disorder and that sounds not as scary to her. So I was going to tell her we are just getting the diagnosis right.
I am sorry to ramble, I don't know how to help her and I think it does damage to her self-esteem. She seems so sensitive. There is a boy across the street who has severe Autism and has to go to school at times in a helmet. I think when she hears anything about Autism she is making a connection??? I know she feels left out by her peers so she feels like something is wrong with her. She is also overweight and tired all the time. I want to take her to the best people to help. Please help me. 

Dear Mark

Thank you for alll the valuable insights you are giving. I have bought
& read many of your books. My son has 2 major issues that are
bothering us in social situations as well as home. He does not talk AT
ALL though he talks when he wants to ask for something & he is a
middle school all A student. Recently we went to a wedding and he did
not talk at all to any one . He also does not talk at home at all
(except rarely with his sister where the conversation doesnt have any
substance). He does not accept that this is an issue. He also doess
not want to sit next to me and he hates touch by people. He says he
hates me and my husband but he seems to connect more with my daughter
& tolerates my husband more than me. How can we help him with these
issues as we are worried he will never be able to get a job or
function in society this way however smart he is.



My partner of 12 years is 55, educated, a successful athlete and businessman…and he has many Asperger symptoms, specifically with regards to our relationship.  The more I read….it all fits, but he has not been diagnosed, nor have we discussed it as he is extremely intelligent and at times volatile and he really sees that his problems all stem from me.

I dialogued with a therapist who specializes in this area hoping he’d be the one to bring this to light so we could work together in managing our relationship better.  We’ve seen him 3 times and his philosophy to me privately was that unless my partner states he is having difficulties, he wouldn’t bring it up.    I really feel that it needs to be discussed, but I don’t think I should be the one to tell him what I suspect.

Do I dialogue with this therapist again, tell my partner myself, or find another therapist?
My partner, who has never had more than a 2 yr. relationship, will feel denial, then anger.
I just don’t know what to do.
Your advice would be most welcome!


Hello Mr. Hutten

My name is Lisa, and I have a sister named Jamie. Jamies son, Tyler, has Aspergers. He is at the high end of the spectrum. Tyler is 12, soon to be 13 years old.

The reason I am emailing you today is because Im worried about my sister. She has always dealt with tantrums with Tyler, but now he is very strong and is way more physically mature than kids his age. My sister has her own health issues and she cannot take the physical tantrums. The problem is that Tyler feels horrible when its over and that makes its harder on my sister. My sister has always been very emotionally strong, and she really thinks she can handle everything. She probably can, but we need some advice.

The hard part for our family is watching my sister get hit and not being able to do anything about it. My sister has a hard time doing anything because she always falls to the side of Aspergers. I believe at some level he is spoiled, but I dont know the difference sometimes. I know my sister struggles with that as well. Tyler does have a lot of "stuff", meaning games, ipod, etc...

He had  a complete meltdown last night because my sister took away a video game that was given to him that my sister had not seen yet. My sister watched it and it is very violent and took it away from him. He went crazy and was uncontrollable. He was violent with my sister. I dont want her to be hurt, but also am concerned about Tyler. I know he struugles with his own issues.

This is very difficult fro my family, and would really like some advice. My sister has always been a strong advocate, and she is awesome. She loves her son very much. She is always watching videos and trying to find solutions. I am just trying to help.

Do you have any suggestions? He does have a counselor that he started talking with. He is only violent with my sister.


Hi Mark,

My husband and I follow you and read all your articles. I wonder if you could recommend which book of yours we should buy to help with our 5 and a half year old ASD high functioning (acts more like an aspie but we were diagnosed when aspie was removed from diagnosis). Do you ever come to Colorado? We would love to set up time to meet with you and have additional assessment of our son. 

One other question I wonder if you've had on the forum yet. Our son, Tillman, is adopted. We discuss his birth family (aunt, uncle, two older siblings) and he knows them and sees them. Birth mom is never around and we won't ever meet birth dad. We both think Tillman is too young to talk to about this complex situation, especially with his literal world and how he overthinks things. Can you share some advice on how and when we might best discuss this? I don't want to scare him and we want to be very open with him when it is appropriate and relevant.

Many thanks for the work you do as it has been incredibly helpful to us on our journey with our sweet boy. 

Our son is 34, with Asperger's. Loses every job, has no friends, rarely leaves the house, throws awful temper tantrums, curses of great vulgarity.  We got your workshop. The problem is, he won't accept he has Asperger's, feels it is a label and won't go for help. After four years of being unemployed after being fired from his last job, my husband found a little part time job for him, but after only three weeks, he just stopped showing up and was fired. My husband and I just had our 43rd wedding anniversary, but our marriage is in real trouble because of our son.  He lives upstairs, but we feel we have no privacy, are extremely stressed and feel completely hopeless.  He had some therapists in the past, but they didn't help at all.


I'm dating a mother of a 4 year old and newly diagnosed HFA son. I also have a son, mine is 2, yet because work and parenting visitation schedules our boys haven't yet met.
I really care about them and believe her son is a special gift. He and I have bonded. I want this to work. Do you have advice on dating HFA parents when both parties have boys who are of similar age?
Sincerely, Thank you. 


Hi again Mark, and thank's a lot for being so quick in respons and helping me out in this matter!
My 15 year old daughter Lisa was sadly not diagnosed with Aspergers until end of March this year.
This after 2-3 years of steadily worsening mental health, with her acting out more and more drastically
to a degree making us parents really worried.
Finally she scared me and her mother Karin almost to death by one morning, the 24:th of September 2014,
not turning up in school, but instead stepping down in the dark and cold waters of Gothenburg's harbour,
which we got informed about at work by phonecalls from class mates, who were really worried after recieving MMS messages
with pictures of the water surface and intentions from Lisa.

One hour later we sat at the hospital emergency with an indeed hypothermic, but thank God ALIVE Lisa.

That was, besides a brutal eye-opener for us,  the abrupt start of an investigation at the regional psyciatrical
clinic for children and youngsters in Gothenburg.

The diagnosis was put the 24:th of March, and as you would expect we are now in a phase of retrospective and re-evaluation
of Lisas and our lives so far.
What Lisa herself desire the most, is to get in contact with people with the same diagnosis and who are in a similar situation as she is, to be able to share
thoughts and her own experiences with someone who really can relate to them. She feels terribly alone , misfit and outside the social context of her class mates.
Of course that is a fact that is very hard to bear also for us parents. It does not seem that the health care here in Gothenburg have summoned such local groups, or can
assist in helping her getting the desired contacts elsewere.

Do you have any ideas? Getting in contact with such groups in the US or other places would these days not be a problem over internet, if we just knew them and knew how to find them.


Ok. Here's the challenge I am facing every day with my 12yr old, Aspie. The problem is, he just doesn't know when to stop! I will give you an example. It is a really hot day, so he starts squirting me with a water spray in a bottle with guests at the table. After a few squirts, I tell him he has done a great job, that I feel much cooler and now he needs to stop, but he carries on and carries on, laughing away until I am drenched!

Another example, playing with his brothers in the pool, he starts becoming too physical and they say stop and it's like you can't get through to him. The more you ask him to stop, the more he carries on. He thinks as long as he is having fun and he is entertained, then the other person is having fun too, even if they are getting mad, screaming, crying....

It can get dangerous. How do make him understand enough is enough. I tried suggesting I rang a bell to signal, he really did have to stop, but that didn't work!

 It happens at school too when he interferes with others and they say "get off", "stop" and he just carries on laughing and doing whatever it is.

I have a 27 year old son with Asperger’s Syndrome. He has recently moved back home after trying to live independently.  He is a gifted artist and dreams of being an animator (the next Walt Disney), however, despite gaining an animation degree he cannot find work or move forward with his life in any way. He is angry, frustrated, depressed and anxious and this leads to meltdowns and family arguments. He has tried working in various roles but it never works out.  He hates having the condition and somehow got through university without anyone knowing. He is one of 5 children and his siblings are also suffering or don’t care for him anymore. I am really the only person he has but I am struggling to cope. His father left when he was 7and although he has helped financially he has not been in his life other than that.  

Family life is not good and as his mother I do not know how to help him.  I feel depressed and helpless myself and have less patience with him and although I know this makes things worse I do not seem to have the capacity anymore to deal with his issues as I am also struggling to cope with my father who has dementia.  My son is getting no help from the medical profession now that he is an adult. 

My 16 year old son was recently diagnosed with Aspergers / High functioning ASD. He also struggles with Depression, Anxiety and Self- Harm issues. Up until last year he was a 4.0 student, then he got very depressed and spiraled down quickly. He's been depressed off and on for years, but would never open up about it. We tried several therapists. I'm interested in the parent support group.  Do you know if there is a teen support group online as well?  He does much better communicating inline or via text than by telephone or in person.
Thank you,


My name is Melinda. My 15 year old son has a diagnosis of Asperger's, ADHD, adjustment disorder with anxiety.
My Husbands ex-wife has filed charges against my son that he is a danger to her children also accused inappropriate behaviors which from what we understand are lies. My son is currently on house arrest ordered by the judge until my son can receive testing. I need help knowing what to do to ensure fair handling of this case as well as support for us as a family.
Any advice or recourses welcome?
Thank you!


Dear Mr. Hutton,

I was interested in you're book about teaching social skills and emotions. We have  2 young children my son is 5 with Autism and I think on his way to becoming more high functioning he has made tremdous strides, however he still has a long way to go but I believe in him and if he has the right tools and foundations it will help him continue on this path. We also have our 4 year old daughter whom was finally officially diagnosed with ASD - aspergers. It was hard to get her help because she didn't present her symptoms as severe as her brother etc... Is this book something that you think would be helpful for us now at this age and stage. Or do you recommend something else that pertains to the younger children with ASD ASP/high functioning or classic Autism. I am a very proactive person and I believe in treatment and help as early as possible but I'm not sure if they are capable of understanding what I'm trying to teach them yet. Well actually my daughter might? Please any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time I hope to hear from you.


Thank you, Mark! I have been in an on-again, off-again relationship with an HFA man for five years. Off-again because, in spite of agreeing that he is HFA (he has diagnosed himself and will not get screened), I keep expecting him to act as a neurotypical man would do. I have also pressured him to get therapy, but he refuses. I keep trying to leave the relationship, but he is very constant, and steadfastly loves me, although his trust is compromised greatly because I keep running away. Now I feel that I must accept him as he is, and that he will not change. I love him so much -- he is a creative genius, extremely intelligent, funny, and a lot of fun (one on one)--but his negative, critical ways of speaking to me, especially when he is under stress or anxiety, wound me so deeply. Also, stress and anxiety cause him to withdraw sexually, which has been very difficult for me. Your book is already helping me to understand him better. I truly want to help him to feel safe with me again, and to learn to live with our differences. When he feels loved by me, and safe with me, the love he gives to me is unparalleled. It helps me so much to know that you are there.


 I'm writing to you about my 26 yr old son. Diagnosed with, A.D.D. in first grade, then LD in Middle school.
He was never diagnosed with HFA, but tested and suspected of having it.
We moved from MI to FL a year ago and I talked to his previous PHD over the phone and he told me, "He now realizes that my son indeed, should have been diagnosed with Aspergers." He also mentioned that if I take him to get another opinion in FL, that he would back the diagnose up. Well, his insurance ran out last year through his dad. My son and my husband don't think it's necessary to have him diagnosed....or as my husband calls it, labeled. He thinks it would be worse for our son. We do agree that he needs help with social skills and self confident.

Confused and desperate!


Hi Mark-

I'm trying to put together pieces about my wife- she's run away from home again for the 3rd time in a year.  We met in Canada in 2011, married there in 2012, moved back to my home in Texas for work in 2013- she's from PEI, Canada and I grew up in Plano, TX.  Two nights ago after a lengthy email to her family back in Canada, concerned about her- no way to contact her- and letting them know I still was trying to love and help Katherine- but this time I ran to file for divorce, not knowing Katherine may have Aspergers and laid out to her family how concerned I was.  2 hours after sending that email of concern to her family, I receive your welcome newsletter email and another from USAAA in my inbox- addressed to me that I never signed up for.  No actual response from Katherine or any of her family- only these two emails for aspergers newsletters.

From what I understand this is most commonly found in men- diagnosed 4:1
I'm starting to realize I may be married to a beautiful high functioning woman.


My 22-year old grandson stays at home with me, his mother, and 2 siblings in hermit-like fashion, saying that he is waiting for God to tell him what to do with his life. My impression is that he probably is unsure of himself & afraid to look for work. However, when I approach him about doing something constructive with himself (joining Job Corps), he resorts to yelling, name-calling, etc., to get me to back off.  He ends the conversation by saying, "Do what you feel you have to."
My biggest problem is that I feel that I cannot turn him out. He has absolutely no place to go and NO survival skills. He couldn't even succeed at begging on the street corner because he wouldn't look at the cars to see who was offering him food or money! I feel that turning him out would be equivalent to turning out a young adult with Down's Syndrome, and I truly don't know what to do.
Thanks for any help you can provide.

Mr. Hutten,

I am a teenager with Asperger’s, and I need some help. Even when a situation is minor, I get upset, make a noise reminiscent of a seagull, and end up whining! And it is getting on my nerves! Counselling has never worked, nor my relatives, or a local specialist… It seems after I break the meltdown, I think of myself as a pathetic failure. And I have but 7 or so real friends. Everybody else makes me think they’re my friend, but in reality, they are repulsed by me, most likely due to my meltdowns, which involve kicking, banging, screaming at the top of my lungs, and making suicide threats. I need to turn my life around this instant!


I came across your page on Facebook and subscribe to your email newsletter.  Thank you for what you do!  I am the parent of a 12 year old (son) who was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 6.  He has been treated accordingly with ADHD medications off and on since that time. He has always been a "quirky" kid but the older he gets, the more it seems to me that he should have been diagnosed with Asperger's instead of or in addition to ADHD.  He is not an extremely obvious case, if that makes any sense. Once you spend time with him (more than the 1-2 hours that a typical assessment seems to last), his unusual social behaviors make themselves apparent.  What would be the diagnosis that a child who would have been diagnosed with Asperger's would receive now?  I feel strongly that he has more than ADHD but I am unable to find anyone who will spend enough time with him to get to the bottom of it.  I greatly appreciate your advice!

Hi Mark
My 12yr old aspie's current obsession/passion/ Interest is "Minecraft". He is at his happiest playing this. Should I restrict the amount of time he plays a day or should I not worry if I feel he is still getting lots of exposure to other activities and experiences? I am making sure we have a real routine about turning it off otherwise he has the biggest meltdowns about stopping.


Hi Mark,

I bought Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management ebook a few months ago and have completed reading it. 

My son is now 16 and is diagnosed of having asperger last July. I am a single parent, his father left when my son is 10 months. I need to work and I have a maid in the house to take care of him. We live in HK, a crowded city. He is diagnosed of having ADHD and ODD when he was 8. He took Retalin for about 4 years, and after discussion with the doctor, he stopped already. 

He started to avoid leaving the house since late of last year. He said to me he hates human being and hates living in the world. He studies in a middle school near the house and he walks to school every day. Apart from attending school and going to some tutorial class, he is very reluctant to go out. 

We lunched every Sunday in the past with my mother and my sister. Starting late of last year, he said he hates seeing my sister (because she turned long face before him once before). Starting this Mar, he said he hates seeing my mother also as she is always nagging and he regards old people as worthless. Last Sunday I successfully convinced him to go out for lunch with me in Tsim Sha Tsui, a popular place full of people. He again showed a lot of anxiety. When we walked in the street, he hid behind me expressing that he felt painful when seeing a lot of people. He opened an umbrella so that he can cover the sight of seeing people. When we are inside the MTR, he said he felt dizzy and painful. He then said to me he will never go to crowded areas and will only lunch in our living place without the need of taking any transportation vehicles. In fact in the past 3 months, I cannot convinced him to go out for lunch. Every time he will change his mind and refuses to go out in the last moment. I then bought take-away back home for him. 

Can you advise how to handle such situation? in the past few years, whenever I go into his bedroom (as our house is small, and my clothing and skin care are in his room), he is very angry saying I am intruding his privacy. He spoke a lot of foul language upon me and always forces me out of his room. He also has violence. He will use violence to force me to give him mobile or computer to play. He could play over 10 hours a day in computer games or Japanese animation videos. His English and Chinese are very poor. He has never passed his Chinese exam in the past. But his Maths and Physics are very good. I always remind him that he needs to spend more time  in language study and that will trigger his anger easily. He needs to sit for the public exam in less than 2 year time. That public exam will determine whether he can get into the university. He seems very much wanting to go to u, but he cannot have the will power to study. I am afraid of he cannot survive and could not find a job. Going into the university is somehow to buy time or defer him to enter into the society so early. 

In addition, he will use violence to force me to buy different junk food for him if I am reluctant to do so. He eats a lot of chocolates, potato chips and ice-cream. If I don't buy for him, he will squeeze my neck, or push me to corner, or blocking the way that I cannot move. 

I don't know how to handle him and . Can you give me some advice?


My son has a passion for filmmaking and is making fan music videos on YouTube as well as stop-motion animated short films for which he has a true gift, but I cannot get him to go to College and apply himself to grow that gift into a career. He plays video games when he isn't working on a new video of his own and he tells me he cannot work outside the home. He literally gets panic attacks during job interviews and they are real panic attacks, not fake!  I wonder if your book can still help him? He does also suffer from PTSD and ADD.  

I have been able to get him to establish and maintain good credit, set up a checking account and he has his driver's license and has had it since he was 16 and has driven accident and ticket free all these years. For those accomplishments I am very proud of him, but it is time to date, get a job and/or go to college.  With his multiple issues, I was just wondering if you believe that you can still assist him? Could you please let me know?


Hello Mark,

My name is Burt I am 35 years old recently diognosed with Asbergers.  I now realize why I have never really fit in with people and have had very few friends all my life.  Could you help me to understand the symptoms of Asbergers?  I have been told that there are several ways to pick up on body language.  Several ways to pick up when females feel uncontfortable as well as, in relationships and building communication.  These are things in which I have suffered from all my life from grade school tell now.  

My parents and my family do not understand ASBERGERS.  My peirs as well as my friends whom come into my life.  

I have pursered many relationships in my lifetime and have not been successful due to some of the symptoms which of ASBERGERS.  Which I am not aware of the symptoms and things that I do that are the diognoses of ASBERGERS.  I do not know when they are effecting me.  

I do not want to use ASBERGERS as a crutch to go on with my life.  I do want to understand how to avoid the symptoms and to be able to recognize when a symptom is accuring. This is a major problem in my life.  Mostly with communication and understanding body language.  I am very active in my community but, have made very few friends which I communicate with on a regular basis.  Now I understand why.  They may have felt uncontfortable and they did not tell me.   These are things I do not pick up on.  

Can you possibly give me the tools to understand better.

Thank you for all your help.  

I found your information from a facebook blog on those suffering with ASBERGERS.

Hi. I have some questions about Pathological Avoidance Syndrome. Is Pathological Avoidance Syndrome considered a disability? Is Pathological Avoidance Syndrome the same thing as autism, high functioning autism, mild autism or Asperger's Syndrome? What specifically is Pathological Avoidance Syndrome? Would a highly intelligent person who doesn't have the social problems people with Asperger's have, doesn't have a lot of intense interests, doesn't talk obsessively about things like french revolution, music, astronomy, etc, spins objects a lot, is obsessed with people and often asks a lot of questions about people, prefers simple friendships over complex friendships, likes to spend a lot of time alone, etc be classified as having Pathological Avoidance Syndrome? Take care.


Hi, God bless you, Mark: 

I live in El Paso, TX and he my son is in college in Rochester, NY.  He only had 2 classes to go to finish his Computer Science degree, but got suspended for 1 year for making less that a 1 point GPA. I am stuck making 500.00 payments to my credit card when I charged 3000.00 for those last 2 classes that he failed.

I told him he needs to come home because I am going to sublet the apartment to someone else since he is no longer in school or working.

He is embedded in that apartment and refuses to move.  He must think that if he ignores me, then I will just keep sending money up there.  I am on a teacher's salary and this expense is breaking me.  I would like to retire, but I am concerned that I would not make it financially. 

I am sending him about 1600.00 a month for room, board, auto and health insurance.  He has been in college for about 10 years, but I have been paying out-the-nose for 6 years, since he started attending out of state.

Maybe he is "playing his cards" because he knows that I will not legally break the lease, thus allowing him to stay there.  The rent is 650.00.

He says that he is sick and cannot work or go to school, but I think he has hypochondria.  As much as he chases diagnosis and visits doctors, he still to this day has not gotten a diagnosis.

I posted the apartment on several sites and people are calling me because they are interested in it, but my son will not answer his Google-Voice so he can show it to them.  Management will not get involved. He is the only one who can help me sublet, since I do not live there. He will not return my calls.

The only other way I can "flush him out" is stop sending him food money at all, but then, he will not have money to eat.

I would appreciate help.  I need MAJOR intervention, but he is (effectively) ignoring me now from 2,000 miles away.

I tried to get counseling, but all they ineffectually said was, "What do you need to do for yourself?"



My wife and I are SEN teachers and parents of a twenty four year old male adult, who has though undiagnosed has definite traits of asperger's Syndrome (he has actually been diagnosed with social communication difficulties and dyspraxia). Eight months ago he came back home after living in a shared house with friends. Though we love him very much, we are finding living at home with him to be intolerable on days and would appreciate help as to what do do next. My main question is would you be able to help us, despite the fact that we live in the UK?

Best wishes


Hi Mark,
Do you have any suggestions for helping my 14 year old son to be ready on time without forgetting anything?  We have tried getting him to bed earlier, adding extra getting ready time to his schedule, packing things up for school/sports the night before, laying his clothing out ahead of time, etc, making lists of what he needs for the day so he is prepared.  He gets so annoyed if we keep on him in the mornings that we are all tense by the time we get into the car.  What can we do to have a peaceful morning and not be rushed or late?  He tends to function only on sloth mode and can't seem to pick up the pace at all.  Do you have any ideas?
Thank you,


 Hi Mark,Would the strategies offered in this ebook be relevant to a 12 year old, without Aspergers? I am noticing that though my daughter is bright, outgoing, full of laughter, very affectinate... she is very clueless to social cues and any non-verbal communication of others. She just seems to be oblivious. I have quietly pointed a few things out after awkward situations I've witnessed, because I feel like if she doesn't see it, how can she learn unless I tell her? But she just gets exasperated and says I'm picking on her. I do not intend to frustrate or embarrass her, but what else am I to do?



I am a big fan of your blog and have been a reader for quite a while. Are you currently accepting guest posts? If so, I would be happy to write one for you want - The choice is yours! (The only thing I ask for in return is just one or two do-follow links back to my website.) I am professional writer with a lot of blogging experience, so you can count on me to produce quality content. As soon as you reply with a topic, I will get started right away.

I saw that you featured some guest posts in the past and I thought the piece was an excellent fit for your site and your readers. Let me know if you’d be interested in reading and possibly hosting and article, I’m excited about the possibility of working with you. I look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.


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