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

Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for Jan., 2016]

 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.

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Thank you for your YouTube videos re: Adults with Aspergers. My husband was diagnosed about a year ago.   We have been married almost 3 years, out of sadness and frustration I decided to do a search for a counselor who had Asperger's experience.  Your video "Asperger Men and Marriage problems"  was the 3rd one on the list of Google choices to come up on the screen. 

I am a nurse, so you can imagine the differences my husband and I have when it comes to empathy and emotions.  Your video made sense to me, I only hope it will make sense to my husband.  I have sent it to him, so fingers crossed.

Thank you for your video, I will continue to look for someone closer to our area.  It is good to know I am "not crazy". Stay warm over there, and again, Thank you.

/Carmen

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My boyfriend and I have been looking for someone to help explain his 13 year old son's unusual behaviors and social awkwardness.  He exhibits many of the signs and symptoms of asbergers but has never been diagnosed.

He is very thin in stature, walks a little funny with stiff arms and slightly hunched shoulders , constantly flaps his hands for no apparent reason.  He's socially awkward, very smart and uses a high vocabulary.  He seems to be off in space, and when asked a question pauses for a second but will engage.

He suffers from anxiety when met with different situations.  He is terrified of elevators, bleachers or stairs, heights, large crowds of people and noise like a mall situation.  He literally shuts down and becomes emotional and usually holds on to my boyfriend until his anxiety has passed.

He is somewhat immature for his age.  He loves video games and is extremely smart.  His math and science scores are extremely high.  He is not very physical at all in school he had a melt down when they were doing push ups, started shaking and was sent to the nurses office.   Last year his school teachers and nurses were concerned because of some dark drawings and writings in which he eluded to wanting to die.  He was taken to see a psychologist but she determined that he was not suicidal and appeared to be ok.  She really only visited with him a couple of times.  He doesn't really like to make eye contact but will when asked.  He has few friends and is socially awkward.  He will wear pants that are clearly too small and not care or seem to understand that he should not.

We are unsure whether we need to take him to see a psychologist, psychiatrist, a therapist, a neurologist or who at this point.

He is otherwise a pretty normal child.  I'm just concerned that if he can't manage some of these things it will be hard for him to function as an adult as he will need to overcome some of his anxieties on his own.  As he enters high school he may be a target for bully's.

I was searching the Internet and saw your website and just thought I'd ask your opinion on the matter as an expert.

Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.  We live in laredo, Texas and resources and health professionals are very limited in this area.  We are two hours from San Antonio, Texas and are willing to travel for better healthcare.

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We've been down this road before. Denial doesn't help anyone and can only do a major disservice to the one(s) needing assistance.  Just like the lame, blind, etc...before us, autistic parents and others involved will have to work diligently towards encouraging a societal change in attitudes towards the autistic community to be that of one of acceptance and needed assistance.

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My 14 yo son has not been diagnosed with anything but has become more anti everything- not voicing just not acknowledging that you even asked him to do something.  His deep voice is mumbly on purpose and therefore doesn't really communicate.  He doesn't really have friends, nor does he show temper tantrums or anger outbursts- he just doesn't do homework and seems uncaring of consequences. He's very bright but started letting grades go from easy A's in 6th to now C's and F's in 9th because he doesn't care. We've locked all electronics up with a password and he doesn't even want to comply to get his favorite dessert ice cream.  We've been going down this slow downward spiral for about 2 years, worsening recently but still gradually.  He went to 3 family counseling sessions, but then refused to get in car after.  The main thing that makes me think he may be in the autistic spectrum is:  he paces regularly at home daily and his lack of acknowledging personal space.  He used jump up and down and get visibly excited at movies, but then plug his ears and make noised during the conflict parts- even in the theaters.  Now he just doesn't want to watch movies- even the latest Star Wars- which he loved.

So.... I'm not sure your book is for us.  Please comment  :-}

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Dear Mark
I just want to express appreciation for what you do . I think many women find their AS husbands will listen to your advice and implement it despite how often we wives have said the same thing - they listen to you !
I've just found your book for parents as not surprisingly my 7 year old son has just been diagnosed also as HFA .
If you have a mailing list could I please be added to it to find out about newsletters and pod casts .
Thank you for being so Inspiring and sanity saving

Kind regards, Kay

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Dear Mark

I am the father of a very high function 15 soon to be 16 year old, that I totally lost my emotional anger level, and I don't know what to do.  Lauren is in the process of her assessment process with only two visits left.  She goes to a private school and with insurance they have to break it up into session.

After she kicked her mother while refusing to give up her iPad; I hit the bathroom door with my fist in anger and yelled at her at the top of my lungs.  She goes to private school that costs $14,000 per year and her dance costs about $5,000 per year.  I am currently on total disability from a job accident, and my health insurance was cancelled today.  This is sounding like a sob story for me; but it is here.

She sees a psychologist twice per week and I am just in a position that I am not able to see any substantial progress.  She was fine all day and because of one little things she shuts down, breaks down crying, and will get physical.  Fortunately, my wife is of cooler mind; but when she kicks her mother - which she has before - I get infuriated and personal issues got the best of me today.

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Ian 9 y/o is my grandson. He was diagnosed with Asperger's Dec2014.
Needless to say I was shocked, and angry too.
Still numbed I turned to the Internet (I was never able to get ahold of the developmental pediatric again). There I found Ambitious about Autism, and others. The ones I'm following closely now are the Asperger's Experts and Askpergers.
They are both inspiring,the 1st one have better sound advice but are selling almost everything. Which I cannot afford. Neither will I be able to pay the membership fee in your OPS.
But I have read your articles re: sexual education for teens. Have gone thru the listings on the sides of the articles, even found the one about grandmothers.
I like you. You seem a very intelligent and considerate man. Even your saying one issue at a time shows that. So of course, I am now a subscriber of yours haha.
Thank you ;))

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I see that you appear to be down in OC. My family is in Ventura County, which I know is 2.5-3 hours away; but do you ever meet with families in person, or is the support primarily through the e-mail and other services provided. Even that is worth the $49.

I am enjoying reading your book, going through it slowly, and digesting. I also do know that you said to not ask specific questions about your e-book until after reading and implementing the ideas; as I remember correctly.

Anyways, I just wanted to share with you that I have enjoyed reading it so far; as it has provided a lot of good information. Our daughter - Lauren - is still going through the official assessment process.

Probably as you know - private insurance makes you break it up into 7-8 individual sessions - not even including the 3 parental sessions. I just share this as even though she has not been "officially diagnosed"; she has seen 2 people who agrees that she has ASD & also has general anxiety disorder.

I will continue to read; but thank you for your kindness.

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Dear Mark

Thank you for providing information and education about Asperger's to families and friends who are concerned about the welfare of their loved ones. On new years eve some of my dearest friends lost their daughter( she committed suicide)and who had been given the diagnosis of Asperger's. It is tragic beyond belief, and hard to deal with the reality that she was so desperately alone, and not able to get and seek the support she needed in order to make life less painful. She was a talented pianist, worked so hard to reach her goals but in the end it was too much for her, and the only way out of her misery was to end her life. I know she is in a better place, no more pain and agony, I just wish I could have reached out more even being thousands of miles away, it is human to feel this way. It makes us strive to become better human beings. In the light of tragedy we all learn and grow, and hopefully we will be more mindful of people in( deep) need in the future. There is only one thing to say and that is Peace. and Love in the memory beautiful Maria.

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I would just like to say thanks from the bottom of my heart for this article and the whole blogger site it so straight to the problem I am facing. It looks like we are not the only parent that have the defiant manipulative teen issue.

Although that is comforting to know...it is also disturbing. What is going on with this generation of teens?  Is it us, the parents? or both?

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Hi,
Like many others I'm sure you've heard from, I'm desperate for help. To be honest, I'm so depressed that reading is difficult. However, I've been lying here in bed listening to your video clips on YouTube since 4 a.m.. I get the feeling "you get it". I am drowning in despair and really need help.
I also think my Aspie husband would be more willing to watch videos over reading the literature you've written regarding how to have a successful marriage with an Aspergers spouse.
Are videos from your conferences available for purchase?
Kim

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Thanks Mark
It's my precious Grandson. I'm not the mother.  He has an amazing family!!
He is so special to me.
I'm interested in trying to learn more. It's so hard to watch at times.
I don't live in the same town.I want more knowledge so I can be of more help.
My daughter and son n law are spending thousands and thousands.
 He is in so much therapy. I can see a lot of improvement. Would love 
 to chat some time .
 Think it's Karma I came across some of your tapes looking for something else tonight
Thanks Jo Karr

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Hi Mr. Hutten,

Just wondering if you know of any books I could get to help me deal with 40yrs of dealing with my Aspergers father. I'm about to severely cut contact with him. It's hard to take, and I'm tired.

I found your writing about parents with this disorder to be quite interesting.

Thanks,

Esther

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My husband and I live near Charleston, SC. We adopted our son a little over 8 years ago, when he was 5 1/2 years old. We knew he was Deaf but had no idea the extensive psychiatric disorders he had.

He has been medicated for PTSD, ADHD,
Conduct Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, and Reactive Attachment Disorder.
He is demanding, aggressive, and violent. His hurts himself and others.

He has had Cognitive Based Therapy with several different therapists; Neuromodulation; Occupational Therapy; 2 months of day treatment;  15 5-day residential treatments; and 3 long-term residential treatments (2 weeks, 3 weeks, and 10 weeks).

He does worse during unstructured periods such as Christmas break, Easter Break, and summer vacation. He has some behavior problems at school because he is not as socially mature as his peers.

We don't know where to turn, so we hope you have some answers for us.

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My daughter ran away from home, took a greyhound bus to St. Louis, then was on her way to Chicago.
She left her cell phone at home and cancelled her credit and debit cards.  She was using cash.
They said she as trying to call someone in Chicago to make sure they would pick her up while she was at the bus station in 
St. Louis

She panicked when I surprised her at the St. Louis bus station and she took a cab to a homeless shelter who saw her have a meltdown and then they put her in a st louis hospital.  She's there "voluntarily."  

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My name is Heidi, I live in a small community, about 35 miles east of Binghamton, NY, called Deposit. A very dear friend of my has 3 children, the 2 oldest are both boys. Dominick, her oldest, 14, is extremely out of control, he hasn't hit her, yet, but if things continue at the pace they are, that isn't too far down the road. Amber, is shy, yet when you get to know her she's an amazing person. Yet at the same time has social anxieties, more like trust issues. Tonight things really escalated after Dominick came home from school. He had a doctor's appointment in the next town over and the staff wanted to know why she looked so miserable and upset. She explained what happened, and the doctor asked him why he still had his teeth, apparently appalled by Dominick's behavior. Her reply was 'I can't touch him, he's a CPS caller'. Sadly, this is very true. He's gotten into fights with his younger brother, and gone to school the next day with a visible mark on him. When asked about this mark, Dominick would blame Amber or her live-in boyfriend, Rob. Who has pretty much been Dominick's father 3/4 of Dominick's life. Next thing they know, CPS and/or the NY State Police are at her door.

Sadly, this couple is at their wits end about what can they do, who can they turn to, who to trust, or even have some kind of support. I found your page on Facebook and suggested it to her, but again the trust issues come into play. I'm not afraid to stick my face out and find a way to help them. They are like family to me and have helped me when my fiancee passed away last May.

Dominick has ADHD, and is medicated, but probably needs an adjustment or even a change in medication. Counseling does not work for him because he knows how to play the counselor, refuses to talk and just wants to play games.

He has been expelled from our school district and attends a school for kids with behavior issues in Binghamton. This school doesn't see any problems with Dominick, because compared to the other students, Dominick is an angel. Since this transfer, he has become even worse. Back before Christmas, Dominick and his brother were bringing in firewood, before the brother went to his father's for a weekend visit. For whatever reason we don't know why, Dominick chucked a piece of wood at his brother. Causing scratches on his cheek, then proceeded to choke him and bounce his head off the sliding glass all before Amber could get to the back door and break it up.

Any and all help, suggestions, referrals, tips are very much welcomed.
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Hi
I just discovered that my son has Aspergers Syndrome Disorder after visuting a psychotherapist. He diagnosed it using parent interview. 

I bought a book about Aspergers, a book about nutrients for Aspergers - the lack of nutrients in Aspergers kids. I understand it but what I don't understand is, he is emotional at times. For example, he wanted a transformer movie toy 2007 so badly. This is an old toy and cannot be found at Toys R Us stores so, I searched in ebay and found one and got one for him. When he received the toy, he tried to transform it but could not. So, to please him, I wrote to the seller informing him about the problem. The seller replied, "what is specificallly wrong with the right leg?" the seller asked. He checked my email and he read it and he found that the way the seller replied is rude and he could not take it. He got so hurt and kept thinking if the mayter for days. What should I do or How should I do to eliminate ir get rid of the thoughts, all kind.
I think I have found someone who can help. If you charge fees, please let me know. I am happy to pay, if it is not too expensive.
Best regards
Cindy
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Hello!

I googled today "How to get someone to admit they have Aspergers," and your website came up.  Our daughter is 25 and has not been officially diagnosed, with part of the reason being she is so resistance to that label or condition.  She graduated college in an honors program with a 3.9, but started to fall apart her senior year, and we then realized most of her difficulties related to social, relationships and communication.  That was almost 3 years ago and her life, our lives, and our family are being devastated. She has been fired from 3 jobs, has lost all relationships except 2 girls, who would never leave her, never dated (she's very attractive), totaled her car and doesn't like to leave the house. In our home, where she is living, she is vocally disrespectful, curses non stop, destroys things and even hit us.  She sees a therapist regularly, but will not go with us to see a psychiatrist for a diagnosis or discuss or read anything about Aspergers, she says everyone else are idiots, she's not. (Not that we've ever labeled Aspergers as that) We realize she probably has other mental disorders - comorbid by this time, we though are desperate to have her dialogue about or consider Aspergers. 

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Hi Mark,

I have just discovered your website nd newsletter! Our daughter was just diagnosed with NLVD/Asperger’s with a verbal IQ of 130+. Math fluency is in the 10th percentile or lower.

Since most schools use the broad ADOS2-HF and CARS2 assessments, what tests are appropriate for our verbal child to really identify her type of HFA?  She charms them and teachers but disguises big academic, social and transition gaps that need to be addressed.

PPT meeting to finalize is next week.

Thanks!!

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Hello Mr. Hutten.
My name is Bethany and I have 2 custodial grandsons ages 9 and 6.(The eldest I have had since 9 months old and the youngest since he was 12 months old.) I have been fighting red-tape since the eldest was just 4 to have him diagnosed with something we could treat whether by changes in environment, me, diet, medication, a different game plan...anything. His behaviour is off the chart and has been since age 4. Both boys were diagnosed with" Reactive Attachment Disorder".  I have had us as a family in counseling. I had them enrolled in both individual and group sessions in addition to our family sessions. I get no where. 
I tried other doctors, I tried other routes. I read up myself on ADHD, ODD and Bi-Polar conditions because both of their parents have ADD, father has ODD, father had feral child syndrome when he was rescued from an abusive home where he witnessed the death of his baby sister by their mother biting her. Both of their parents have been termed bi-polar and yet neither thinks they need the medication prescribed, which is very common in the bi-polar individual. Both parents suffer from severe depression which in their mother results in euphoria and up days where she never sleeps for days at a time and then bottoms out and begins to choreograph motions leading to suicide. Both parents have tried to kill themselves and the father spoke often of killing off the whole lot of them. I had to hotline the family when my daughters hand had been bitten through and I noted several deep bruises on the fleshy parts of her side, arm, neck etc. They placed the father in jail for his clear abuse however his adoptive mother and dad did not want the stigma involved with a jail stay and he was bailed out and kept out that same evening. The hotline led to the removal of the children based on abuse by the father and the CHOICE to stay with her husband was based as neglect on their mothers part (she is my only daughter). Children were going to go into state custody unless I wanted them and so I took my grandsons BEFORE they had been state-placed  for 24 hours, not knowing any better and so rather than having foster care money I have had to raise each child on between 111 and 113 dollars per MONTH income, only source. Also since I was well-below "grandmother age" at the time I took the boys I did not and still do not qualify for social security. We have been homeless. We have been well-below the poverty level. At that level one can find several programs for behaviour in raising children but they all come with a huge price tag...that being said when you have no money to work with, even a dollar is considered a huge price tag.I am not writing to ask you for anything FREE or you to "treat" us in any way. I am writing because I understood your video bits on the website and you made sense to me. I am writing because I do not know where else to turn and when you have the actions of these kids and people say "Oh, boys will be boys." or they say "Have you ever heard of Munchhausen Syndrome Mrs. Hughes?"Really? I'm seeking attention because without any help from any one any where, no programs fitting, I'm the one with the problem? One of the main problems is I am not a hitter parent. I choose to try to talk thru things with the boys to get them to see why discipline in the form(s) of time-outs, or privilege removals, are necessary for them to learn to cope and change themselves for the better outcome. They do not care. They talk over everything I am trying to say. They are very rude, disrespectful and aggressive. In one case where the eldest boy went after the youngest and tried to choke him to death , then to stab him,  inappropriately I guess I  chose to take the knife away and then to spank the eldest child. One hit on his fanny, my hand. He laughed in my face, said with a grin "That did NOT hurt you stupid woman!" and then he sealed the deal by kicking my right knee backward causing me to drop like a stone. I did not want him to get a label so young, so I never had it treated and now have days I literally can barely walk. There has been TALK of ODD and one neurologist and one gp have stated the boys have ADHD for certain, but neither will treat it with anything. The boys were witness in their very early development of my own bad marriage, wherein my ex would talk down to me and tell the kids they did not have to listen to my "stupid ass"...but it was stay in that home until I could get accepted into a housing program with them, or be homeless and at the time our shelters were chock full in Decatur IL.They were witness and their little sponge-brains swallowed all he would show them to be rude, disrespectful to women, specifically me and their mother when she was allowed to visit with them. I will accept a lot of blame, though, I feel I did the best for them that I could at the time I had to do what I did. The eldest grandson Michael refuses to do his homework. He refuses to do any chores stating "If you make me clean up YOUR messes since this is YOUR house I ain't taking any care of you when you are OLD Lady!" Or, "It's your job to clean up after us all the time since you can't even GET a REAL Job Dummy!" (Yes, mirroring the ex.) I spend all of every day of life trying to make sure one does not kill the other literally or kill me. I have had to hide all the knives and the patio lighter for the threats to burn me down in the house. I have tried everything(that I am aware of trying) to make it better for the boys, better for me....for our little nuclear family unit.I pray every day for an answer. I pray every night for an answer. I read whatever I think may help. I have taken sugar, color and high glycemic carbs out of their diet. I have tried melatonin for them to get to and stay asleep at the suggestion of the neurologist because as she put it, "Their brains do not tone down at night when they are supposed to sleep." They get 3 hours of sleep and they are up like a shot ready to go and at that time of evening I am JUST making it into bed if I am lucky because of having to stay up and clean and re-order the whirlwind they left behind in their aggressive, loud and threatening "play." I have lost three relationships because, "You can't control your children." Three attempts at having something for my happiness. Bottom line is if you hit them to discipline they hit back. They NEVER stop talking back, slinging their opinions or "accidentally" hurting me and our therapy dog Missy. When your therapy dog needs her own therapy animal, well, that should be one clear indication there is a problem here. On February 22 I will be taking the eldest to the Eastern Carolina University Hospital Pediatric Psychiatry department for an evaluation. It was requested by his GP...back in OCTOBER 2015. That was the waiting list.  The schools Vanderbilt Eval shows no significant anything that matched ANYTHING I say about their behaviours at home because they are seeing NONE of it in school...again leading to "Have you heard about Munchhausen Syndrome Mrs. Hughes?" I have grown so weary, weak and tired of all of this. I just want a healthy happy life. I am so fed up catering to children who are so awful and I do not know where to turn or what to do. I love my grand babies so much. I have tried to do whats best for them and I just keep failing. Other than GOD I have no where to turn. So, back to why I wrote you...sometimes people who write books or create programs also have a lender copy available to those in DIRE financial straits. I am in that category. I NEED something to help me straighten this out before these boys choose to be like Jeffrey Daumer (sp?) . Their interactions are worsening. The youngest is trying to pull the legs off of frogs because he says "Littler things than me can't feel nothing anyway." If you do not loan your product like a library copy where you get it back...is there a way to pay it off in minute installments like $10.00/month until its paid and THEN send it to me? Any advice you can lend would be very welcomed. I am so lost. I am so tired of this constant battle. I want the boys to be well young men who care for their partners rather than belittle degrade and neglect or abuse them. There is no masculine mentor in their lives, so I have to do the best I can for them. I tried to get them into Scouts and 4-H, but they were too "loosely behaved" to settle down when the fingers went up in the air for the quiet sign. We were asked to leave there and Church for the same reasons. I am sure you are a busy man, so I will leave this right here. I do not intend to disrupt your life or beg for free stuff. I am only asking if there are options I can afford in order to get the help the boys and I need or if in fact after reading this you think there may be alternate routes, please share with me. I just want resolve for the good of the many. With Respect and Kindness...Sincerely, Bethany Hughes  God Bless

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Hi Mark

How do you find time to respond to everyone?!

I have been spending a lot of time on your myaspergerschild website over the last few months as my 9 year old son's behaviour gets worse. He has always been a difficult child compared to his 12 year old sister and 7 year old brother. He is mostly irritable and angry and the slightest thing will cause him to scream and shout. His siblings always end up giving in to his demands (be it taking their turn on the computer or giving up a sleepover so as not to offend him if he doesn't have one). Last week, the idea of not having a sleepover when his siblings did have one (he had his birthday party the next day so we wanted him to get a good sleep) caused him to throw flour, beads, lego all over the kitchen.

We are in the process of getting him diagnosed and we are attending the final ADR-I interview next week. He may fall outside the full diagnosis because he does have some social strengths eg making friends, team sport etc. However, we know that he is different. He finds change difficult, he resists going to school (although he does very well at school), sensory issues, sleep issues, anger, aggression, and he often gets 'stuck' in his desire to have something that it can take over the whole day. His anxiety levels always seem high. He is very good at the violin and does enjoy it but a few weeks ago he just decided he couldn't do it anymore and now we even struggle to get him to go to the building as his little brother still needs to go to his cello lesson.

Any advice would be appreciated.
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Hi Mark,

This week I ended a magnificent 3 year relationship with a wonderful man, Walter. He is truly the great love of my life and I his. I feel as if a veil has been lifted by reading your website and now am quietly hopeful about our potential. I would like to ask some questions and explain a bit about him so that you might be able to help us.

In one of the last letters I wrote to him I screamed "When will you ever stop being so selfish and wake up to yourself?" "What about me?!" As I pondered the question myself something twigged and I looked up Aspergers. So I sent him your link and a self test link and left him to process it all and get back to me when he was ready to restructure the relationship and make meeting both of our needs a priority. I was at the end.   

His response to my "selfish" question was so stunning and I was so devastated by my lack of ability to get through to him how this relationship felt for me that I lost the last bit of optimism and resilience I had. This was mostly because I was so depleted after an extended period of not getting my needs met. I gave up hope for the future and for the resolution of our current issue. I could no longer bear the waiting until he has time to process this all, or the pain of the loneliness that is fully a third of our relationship.

To avoid this in future I then proposed to restructure our relationship and put ourselves at the centre of our lives, and made our plans and designed our life around us both, while considering how we could all (Walter, myself, my children and his son, and our ex's) get our needs met. 
Because this would mean changing some of his routines (rostering his 50% parenting time first, work shifts next, home school camps and art exhibitions next, art studio time next, chores, next... me after that...) and it came at a busy time of the year for him, (because he can't organise his life or time) and it came after I said I couldn't be with him any more ( too much of my changing my mind in one week) he did not respond favourably and argued some of the irrelevant details in the e-mail.
(It is difficult to know sometimes whether to write to him, less stimulation, or to speak face to face, more feedback. Neither works consistently.)

Since then I bought your e-book in order to try to a) diagnose b) gain insight c) learn strategies to avoid such misunderstandings in future.

Most of your book was irrelevant for me. Walter is very sensitive, perceptive, intelligent and caring. He has learned how to manage social interactions and much of life including relationships. And we are very compatible in many ways that make some of his social and relationship challenges a non issue for me.

However he has trouble empathising with me unless I say things in the right tone of voice, at the right time and circumstances and with the least amount of emotion and related information. I need to be extremely careful with the expressing my emotions and with making sure I keep the topic/request/issue simple and remain focused and on topic, and I need to make sure that I have extracted the essence of the issue from the other aspects of the situation so that he does not focus on the details of some of the less important things and become overwhelmed or obsessed with correcting facts or dealing with those details.

Walter did a self test yesterday out of curiosity and and did not score high, and he did not relate the the description. I agree that he does not exhibit all the possible behaviours and some of them not to their fullest extent, and that he is not impeded by Aspergers the way and to the extent that many others are. 

Is it possible that he is not Aspergers but has something else and similar?

If so, in what direction should I explore?

Or, is it likely that he is high functioning or low on the Aspergers spectrum? (I'm guessing here on the use of these terms) and could that  mean that he won't relate to the diagnosis?

If so does that mean he will possibly think that he does not need to look further into the possibility of him/Aspergers being part of the problem in this relationship?

Do people like this identify or not with the descriptions or the situations? One of his comments about the self test questions that he said yes to was that almost everyone in the world would say yes to those questions.

I am afraid that at 45 he will not want to rethink his idea of himself and that it might be too overwhelming to see his behaviour, relationships and life with new eyes and consider the consequences of this new information. 
I don't want to push Aspergers down his throat and I don't want to blame him. I just want him to understand how I experience things in the relationship as it was and to consider putting the relationship before his art and his current strategy of organising his roster and life.   

Here are the things that make me think he is Aspergers. 
* Routines, and inability to quickly change his routine or plan.
* Not having the ability to empathise with me unless I am very calm, clear and articulate about what is going on for me. (and even then...) This in spite of being very caring and socially capable in certain practiced and safe environments, and seeming to be very concerned, interested and sensitive to others. And being very much in love with me and caring a great deal about me, wanting to understand me and wanting me to be happy. 
* getting distracted by minor facts when arguing a big picture deal with me, quite an irrational and surprising for someone so intelligent and so capable of complex and rational thought when his emotions and our relationship is not at stake/involved.
* brain short circuit when given too much stimulation, information, social/emotional stuff, and needing much more time that seems reasonable to process issues between us and feelings and reactions. 
* Not being able to meet my needs while he is in overwhelm when our relationship is in crisis. Withdrawing and not being able to say anything reassuring when he is about to withdraw for an extended period of time. 

My experience when we are in conflict is that I need to initiate contact, reconnection, and solutions to problems. My resolve is to allow him to process all of this and to require him to initiate reconnection. I'm afraid that he won't because I have always taken on the role of initiator and taken responsibility for the relationships evolution. 

Do you think he needs me to do this with the new insights I have gained about how he processes things? 

Or have I been allowing him to remain in  his Waltered state by carrying him and supporting him through the relationship and emotional minefield?

I don't know if my emotional, social and relationship strengths, effort and commitment have done more good or bad. 
I feel that if I had 'diagnosed' him earlier, and had the insights that you offer before we broke up that I could have prevented this break up and that we could have been very happy together with me being the one responsible for the management of the relationship. But now that we have the opportunity to start again I am not sure about the balance of responsibility and I don't want to start again in an unhealthy unsustainable way. What do you think? What would you advise?

I would love your opinion and insights on these questions. In return I offer any writing I have done or can do for you that you could use to help others. I think you have a wonderful resource and that helping people in these relationships has the potential for rippling out into society and the world in important ways. I believe that helping people with Aspergers in their relationships means that their gifts to the world can be offered. An 80% divorce rate means a lot of people who are going to struggle to get their art and gift out there...all that passion and talent wasted because of lack of support and social skill. 

With much gratitude for your work and, thanks in advance for your time.

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Hello Dr. Mark Hutten. My name is Vance. I am a 20 year old who has been doing research in Aspergers for about 4 years. I am also familiar with your youtube videos. From my personal history, research, and personal struggles, I am almost positive that I have it - and so does my doctor. I have just about all of the symptoms, especially involving serious problems with socializing and making friends, not staying in a group conversation, narrowed interests, inability to make friends, etc. The only thing I don't quite understand is what is called "mind-blindness." I know that it refers to problems in reading body language, reading and predicting emotions and intentions of others, facial expressions, etc... This is the only symptom that I don't think I have. Because for example, I DO see when someone is angered or crying. I also can read facial expressions (although I often misread them). Or if I come home and see someone routing around the kitchen, I automatically can predict they are looking for something. The reason I am asking you is because I am currently seeing a doctor for an evaluation. So I want to know if I'm understanding this symptom correctly.

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So I read your books and listened to everything on your web site and I have a question.  First some background.  I am 55 year old male.  I was diagnosed with Aspergers about 2 years ago ( before DSM V) after realizing that my youngest son was on the autism spectrum and hearing a radio show on NPR and doing some research I got a professional diagnosis.  It was an experience that freed me from all of the blame and guilt i had put onto myself over the years.  My wife of over 30 years cried.   She lost all hope.  I lost all guilt.

So 2 years later she still thinks I can change.  It isn't the quirkiness so much that bothers her as the "meltdowns".  I don't throw a tantrum ( well maybe sometimes) but usually just become overwhelmed and shutdown and get very disagreeable.  She gets very upset and I must pay for it for days until I apologize in the "right way" which I really do not know what that is.  I know that I have upset her but I can't stop it once it starts.  All of your suggestions I have tried but she does not feel that she should have to do anything because the problem is with me...   We have spent a fortune on counseling over the years.  All centered on trying to change me.

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Hi Mark,
Back again - I've reached the point when I've been thinking about getting a divorce for a month now. I can't sleep for weeks, and I had a pretty bad breakdown today morning and was shouting with my husband for half an hour about him being an irresponsible father for not taking care of our daughter's health issues, and crying for another half an hour - above my daughter's an my visiting mother's head.
1. I can organize our life so that our daughter gets proper medical help and a healthy living environment that e.g. is mold free and let's her breath properly.
1. I can't argue with my husband each day about the fact that e.g a mold-free home and his daughter being able to breath properly is a priority. I can't go on shoutinb at my husband to help us with our daughter's health issues - or when I give up and ask somebody else's help taking the blame for that all the time.
I can live with not getting e.g a new cupboard but our daughter's health issues can't wait. No matter what solutions I try to find, with or without my husband, nothing is good for him: "Don't tell me what to do. I'll add this to my long to-do list." "I'll decide if it's a priority or not. "I hate when your mother is here to visit us because it bothers me that she is around." "Why did you spent money on getting a cleaning lady to come."  "Don't even think about becoming a stay-at-home mome instead of working."
It makes me mad. At the weekend when he stated that removing mold from our flat is nowhere near his priority list AND that he hates that my mother was there (whom I asked to come to help) AND why don't I make our bedroom in order - something broke inside me. I keep shouting at him. I really felt that I could hit him. I cry. I don't want him to touch me. I really, really feel that I don't want to talk to him. I can't sleep. I try to work. I try to keep meeting our 4 year old Asperger's daughter needs - and not shout at her, too, out of sheer frustration. I try not to collapse but with increasingly less slerp and more stress it gets more and more difficult. I want help. I want out... I just can't go on like this.
And I keep repeating to myself what's written in your book but I just can't attribute positive intention to my husband's behaviour anymore - especially not the one related to our daughter's health...
It was approximately 2 weeks ago that our daughter's neuro-psychologist finally could get through to my husband that our daughter has Asperger's after almost a year - and that my husband has, too. The neuro-psychologist offered us to go to him for marriage counseling but my husband refuses to come. For him, there is no problem, there is no such things that we couldn't discuss or solve at home - for him, the only problem is my "attitude".
Do you see any way that I can still make our marriage work? 

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Hello. Thanks for reading my email. Please forgive my lack of proper writing skills at the moment. I am all over the place .   My name is Deanna  I have a nine year old son  brody who was diagnosed with Asperger's last year. Before that it was Bi Polar Disorder, before that it was ADHD.

He has been on medication since he was five. He was on metadate for two  and a half years which made him never want to eat and he  developed ticks, then it changed to abilify which he has been on for a few years now. They also this year put him on Tenex with the Abilify. My son has these meltdowns. He is high functioning but we argue every day...basically everything I have read on your web page  ....happens to us...even the over parenting , especially that .

I have babied him because since he was 3 he has had issues . hitting his head on wall , not being able to calm. and because if my own issues trying to Not be like my mother but in extreme opposite.

I have has him in the first 5 program, Tbs , Kaiser mental health and county mental health since he was 3. he has  an IEP and is in special ed since 2nd grade buit I think he needs higher functioning kids to be around. they want to transfer him out soon.

His dad and I separated when he was 1 1/2. I was withdrawn for the first year, and confused and in denial.he went and still goes with him every weekend. 

he has a step dad, my sweetheart of 6 plus years...I believe my sweetheart may have a mild form of ASD too but that's another story and he is good to brody.

at dad each weekend he gets 10 HOURS  plus of video games and sugar sugar sugar ... its fun time at dad each weekend but dad doesn't take him to play with other kids too much. Dad has never been too cooperative with anything I try and it does seem the weekends shut down any progress we have made during the week .

at my house there are dietary restrictions and he cant stand me for it.  my son will do a chore maybe twice a week like taking trash out or picking up his clothes if he is in a good mood. I know this is my fault. I have done everything for him and giving up on so many times trying to stand my ground. I get really frustrated and exhausted. But every day I wake up hoping and trying to stay optimistic.

It impossible so far to get him to feel at peace and not be depressed by his lack of making friends and his resentment of himself when he acts up and gets mean. there is a breakdown then a sorry session after he naps or calms. he only truly gets mean to me, mom.

my heart is breaking. I don't want him on these meds anymore. that's a huge issue. Ive never been comfortable with it..but I get scared , he self harms.  I want to take control. I have the book 123 magic but I need more.

here is another  big deal... DADS house every weekend. its so different.. no discipline there he doesn't have rules much there at all ..his dad thinks I should " whoop his ass" which is ridiculous and physical discipline always backfired and made me and my son feel awful.

I am an emotional mess. trying to stop the behaviors I do that are me trying to fix my own sad childhood. I am trying hard to do whats right for my sweet boy. I baby  him too much. Ive done almost everything for him and I spend every night crying for years .

I just want him to be happy. Can I reverse what damage has been done and  can I be successful with this program without his dads help on the weekends?

I am going to re read these email and die from embarrassment . I will buy your 19.00 e book in 2 weeks when I get paid . I am anxious to get it.  That sounds ridiculous but its very tough for us at he moment and we are working on dollars a day. We will be just fine but just saying why I wont immediately.

How can I make this work with him being at dads Friday night through sunday day ?

I am going to try NOW to stop babying him. I have a ridiculous amount of guilt and depression and anxiety over all this. I haven't really been able to relax in the last six or seven years. I am 37. I am a professional face painter. My son is a good polite boy very smart but needs help learning to take care of himself. He still cant tie his shoes but is excellent at math and video games etc.

 sometimes we have tender moments. each day in fact but I want them to come before the storm not after. I am very interested in learning to prevent these melt downs and arguing days and to more importantly help my son learn to function on a level where he is proud of himself and can thrive.  
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Hi Mark
Thank you so much for all your posts,I find them very helpful!
My son is nearly 13 and displays very disrespectful behaviour to us,his parents,more so to me,his mother. He can be the sweetest,kindest,most beautiful soul at home and then out of the blue,he looks for a fight which often spirals completely out of control whereby he threatens the most horrible things and wishes he didn't have us as parents. He has thrown things at me,taking my phone and other possessions and hiding them if something is confiscated from him due to bad behavior. Most times the trigger is because of something he has no control over,like losing in his xbox game and others,less frequently,without any trigger. 
I am at my wits end and don't quite know how to deal with this behaviour. He is also a child you cannot teach anything to,such as tying his shoelaces,schoolwork etc, as he is easily frustrated triggering huge meltdowns. To people on the outside,my child is an angel...
Do you have any advice for us.

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Where are the resources for us?  My husband and I are sure that he has Asperger’s, but we can’t kind a dr.  in Kansas City that works with adults.  We are a textbook couple who deeply love each other and are looking for peace.  He loves me so much that he puts his obsessions aside to help me with the daily raising of our 5 year and 4 month old boys.  Both of which seem, we are pretty sure, to be NT.  But I can tell that it really takes a toll on my husband:  irritable, grumpy, snaps at me, retreats to the bedroom to watch tv, ect…  I have found that if I can introduce a routine for him, then he can participate in the new behavior that I need.

Can you help?  I have asked people at the Midwest autism center, in Boston, and around the US and can’t find much.  

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