Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders

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The Challenges of Puberty in HFA and AS Teenagers

"We seem to be having ever increasing difficulty with our 13-year-old daughter (high functioning). We began to notice a change for the worse around the time she reached puberty. Her anger and anxiety have reached a new level. She also seems very very depressed much of the time. Is this normal for a teen with this disorder? What can we do to slow down what I see as a train wreck in the making?"

Puberty brings with it challenges for all children, however, children with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) and Asperger's (AS) face increased challenges through puberty. The behavior issues of impulsivity can increase in both frequency and intensity.

Kids with HFA who experienced bullying in elementary school - and now continue to experience bullying during their middle school years - may become increasingly aggressive. 

Adolescence can become a very difficult time for a child with HFA as peers may no longer be willing to tolerate someone who seems different. Moodiness, depression and anxiety can also develop in adolescence due to hormonal imbalances, resulting in increased separation of the "special needs" teen from his/her peers.

Adolescence is a time when social demands become more complex, and it becomes increasingly important to be able to understand social cues. Children with HFA can be more vulnerable to (a) manipulation by others and (b) peer pressure. They are likely to experience more rejection among their peers. With young people on the autism spectrum, interaction with peers usually creates more anxiety than interaction with younger or older people.

In order to create a few parenting changes that may help your daughter through this difficult time, answer the following:
  • Do any particular situations seem to trigger defiant behavior in your daughter?
  • Has your daughter been diagnosed with any other medical conditions?
  • Have your daughter's teachers reported similar symptoms?
  • How do you typically discipline your daughter?
  • How have you been handling your daughter's disruptive behavior?
  • How often has she refused to follow through with your rules or requests?
  • How often over the last six months has your daughter argued with you or her teachers?
  • How often over the last six months has your daughter been angry or lost her temper?
  • How often over the last six months has your daughter been vindictive, or blamed others for her own mistakes?
  • How often over the last six months has your daughter been touchy or easily annoyed?
  • How would you describe your daughter's home and family life?
  • What are your daughter's symptoms?
  • When did you first notice these symptoms?

Here are a few parenting strategies that can help:

1. If you're depressed or anxious, that could lead to disengagement from your daughter, which can trigger or worsen her behavior. Let go of things that you or your daughter did in the past. Start each day with a fresh outlook and a clean slate. Learn ways to calm yourself, and take time for yourself.

2. Set up a routine. Develop a consistent daily schedule for your daughter. Asking your daughter to help develop that routine can be helpful.

3. Remind yourself that your daughter’s behavior is most likely a temporary inconvenience rather than a permanent catastrophe.

4. Recognize and praise your daughter's positive behaviors. Be as specific as possible (e.g., "I really liked the way you helped pick up your room tonight").

5. Pick your battles carefully. Avoid power struggles. Almost everything can turn into a power struggle — if you let it.

6. Model the behavior you want your daughter to exhibit.

7. Develop a united front. Work with your spouse to ensure consistent and appropriate discipline procedures.

8. Build in time together. Develop a consistent weekly schedule that involves you and daughter being together.

9. Assign your daughter a household chore that's essential and that won't get done unless she does it. Initially, it's important to set your daughter up for success with tasks that are relatively easy to achieve, then gradually blend in more important and challenging expectations.

10. At first, your daughter is not likely to be cooperative or appreciate your changed response to her behavior. Setbacks and relapses are normal, so be prepared with a plan to manage those occasions. Behavior often temporarily worsens when new limits and expectations are set. But, with persistence and consistency, the initial hard work will pay off with improved behavior. Also, as she passes though the storms of adolescence, things are likely to improve by default.


==> Discipline for Defiant HFA and AS Teens


•    Anonymous said... Alpha-Stim AID for anxiety. And, it gets better once adult.
•    Anonymous said... Encouraging articles.
•    Anonymous said... I'm having the same problem with my son. He is on a low dose antidepressant and it made such a difference. My happy boy is back.
•    Anonymous said... I've been going through that with my 13 y/o Aspie, too. Wicked anxiety and depression. It really started at about 10 or 11 and peaked for us this year. Luckily, between therapy and regular talks, we're in a better place now. I try not to rush her or stress her out. Her daily routines help calm her so we do our best not to interfere with them.
•    Anonymous said... Jed Baker gave the best explanation of one of the reasons why this happens, they become aware of all the drs, meds, therapies, spec schools etc, that they feel they are broken and unfixable. This happened to my son too. Meds and therapy helped, but Jed Baker also adds that we must increase our praise to help them during these years. I can honestly say doing this has helped our son. Good Luck!
•    Anonymous said... Medication. Risperdal and depakote work great but cause weight gain.
•    Anonymous said... My daughter too is in a major depression, she is on depokote and it is not working, neither did Prozac and another anxiety medicine. Feeling hopeless/helpless over here
•    Anonymous said... my son is 16 and is a nightmare with moods, temper, despite what we do as parents its not enough. he wont chat.!
•    Anonymous said... Totally! Normal! My guys meltdowns increased & aggression. I stuck to my guns with him and haven't used Meds. I've used humour, timeouts & rewards. It's hard but he's trying very hard!
•    Anonymous said... We are in the SAME boat over here!!!
•    Anonymous said... Yes yes yes!!! Totally normal...unfortunately! We got my daughter back into counseling and had a medication change also. Good luck .
•    Anonymous said… She's probably having trouble making/keeping friends and is likely being bullied. This is the age where they become acutely aware that they are different from others. Does she have any hobbies? I would strongly suggest getting her involved with a group of kids with similar interests, social skills groups, etc.
•    Anonymous said… my son has autism and i know is similar to aspergers. He is 17 now and I wish all the parents out there with teenage children with aspergers all the luck in the world through this difficult stage in both yours and their lives xxxx
•    Anonymous said… My daughter is only 10, going through puberty and anxiety is at an all time high!
•    Anonymous said… My daughter is 6 (almost 7) and is showing physical signs of puberty (breast development and armpit hair - along with the odor). She has become increasingly non-compliant in school and becoming more aggressive towards her teachers... At home she's almost a perfect little angel. Of course we have a very strict schedule/routine at home and any change in it has to be explained thoroughly before we get compliance.
•    Anonymous said… I'm 26 and autistic and still can't deal with puberty. It's extremely hard to explain. I just can't accept the physical change in myself or friends I knew before/during it. It's just too different seeing them with facial hair etc. I find it very crippling that my mind makes these natural things so hard to deal with even when they've happened a long time ago.

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Sibling Issues: Tips for Parents Dealing with HFA and AS

"Any tips for a mom who has to constantly explain to the children who DON'T have autism (high functioning) how to get along with their brother who DOES?  Help!"

In most cases, High-Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger's is a condition in families where both parents and siblings must learn to adapt and understand the condition at the level they are able. While moms and dads are learning to cope themselves, it is often difficult to see that there are other children involved—children who may be suffering themselves from the confusion of understanding the nature of the disorder in their family.

As a parent, it’s important to understand that kids learn things at different rates and in different ways than adults. They have questions about how to understand the behavior of their sibling that need as much attention as the HFA child needs. As the family grows, more questions will arise, and all of the children in the family need to learn the best ways to adapt to the behaviors of the child on the autism spectrum.

How HFA gets explained to siblings depends upon the age of the sibling and on the particular problems the affected child is having. For some kids, they just need to know that their brother or sister has a brain condition that leads him/her to resist change or to become fixated on certain things. Other children have the maturity to understand the nuances of how difficult it is for the "special needs" child to understand the emotions of others and to communicate non-verbally with others.

Some siblings can act-out angrily as "the child who isn’t getting the family’s attention." Others find themselves being their “brother’s keeper,” fending-off comments and teasing from other kids who see their HFA brother or sister as a freak. A sort of unnecessary maturity is forced on the sibling to be the protector or go-between when it comes to other children and their autistic sibling.

As a mother or father, it’s important to keep the lines of communication open in discussing the problems that may come up or the ways everyone can cope with the disorder in the family. Family therapy helps in some cases and should be an option for all families dealing with sibling issues related to HFA.


•    Anonymous said... I DESPERATELY NEED HELP in this area too!
•    Anonymous said... i know its repetitive but just keep telling them no matteer how many tyms. it will eventually sink in. the non aspies get frustrated also.
•    Anonymous said... I say to my 'other' son that we have to practice patience. But my aspie son does not have too many different rules, he is treated the same as the others. He must learn the rules or not play. He receives the same punishments. The difference is upfront consequences, they need the outcome to logically understand why.
•    Anonymous said... my 12 year old son adores his 4 year old non-aspie sister..... she gets a little frustrated when he hugs her too hard....but that the worst of far.•    Anonymous said… I eventually got tough with the older... I said, you brother learns differently...
•    Anonymous said… I highly recommend sending the other kids to a Sibshop. It has helped my daughter a lot, and she is more confortable talking about her feeling regarding her brother. There are a bunch of good kid books on Amazon to help kids understand.
•    Anonymous said… Is simply told my other son that the one has autism. Try getting that Holly Robinson Peete book, it explains it well to other siblings.
•    Anonymous said… My aspie has two younger twin sisters. It took several attempts but after breaking it down to them and explaining to them that their brother processes information differently and went into detail ( on their age level) about what that meant. They have finally begin to understand what that means and have started getting along better. I guess it all boils down to education about Aspergers.
•    Anonymous said… My middle child has AS and has an older and younger sister, the younger gets on fine with him but i found with the older (and with him as well) that it really helped sitting down with her and saying J has AS that means x y and z...which meant next time he did something she could say does he do this because he has AS? LIke wearing a jumper all day today when its been 30 degrees C.....
•    Anonymous said… My older two care less about the AS diagnosis. ..they think their brother should be like them period is really hard to explain to a 19 and 17 year old about something they don't believe in...they feel like I am being unfair.

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Dietary & Therapeutic Considerations for High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

High-Functioning Autism (HFA) is a neurobiological disorder that has no known cause or cure. For this reason, a number of alternative therapies have been tried to improve the symptoms of HFA and other autistic spectrum disorders.

Much has been made about the gluten-free and casein-free diet. This includes a diet virtually void of wheat, oat, rye and barley foods as well as any dairy foods that generally contain casein. Many parents have noted significant improvement in the behavioral symptoms of their child. Such a diet can be difficult to arrange, but there are web sites that sell products free of casein and gluten, and a few week's trial of the diet may make a difference that no medication can do.

Other alternative therapies include chelation therapy (rids the body of heavy metals which may be contributing to the symptoms), cranio-sacral therapy, auditory integration therapy, sensory integration therapy and music therapy. Some of these alternative therapies have gone past being “alternative” and have reached mainstream medical therapies.

A natural supplement found to be helpful in HFA is called L-Carnosine, a supplement that is a protein combination of alanine and histadine. In several studies, it has been shown to improve the auditory processing skills, socialization, speech production, fine motor skills and language skills of children with autism spectrum disorders.

Certain digestive enzymes have been developed for kids with HFA and related disorders. It is felt that the enzymes reduce the amount of undigested food that unhealthy gut bacteria thrive on.

Some researchers believe that kids with HFA are deficient in glutathione. Some companies now manufacture what is called liposome-enclosed glutathione. Glutathione is an antioxidant that also helps rid the body of toxins, including heavy metals.

Electrolyte solutions containing minerals are used to prevent dehydration and add valuable minerals to the child’s diet. In addition, phosphatidyl serine is used because it is known to regenerate damaged nerve cells and improve memory, learning and concentration.

There is much less research on dietary supplements and dietary changes in children with HFA and related disorders. Any research done is often done on extremely small numbers of children, so they can’t be widely recommended; however, none of these therapies are harmful to the body, so they may be tried safely in families looking to optimize their youngster’s level of functioning. As an example, numerous parents have reported wonderful results when giving their child melatonin for sleep issues.


•    Anonymous said... Avoiding dyes, ESP red 40. The frustrating thing is that most kids antibiotics are pink and have red 40
•    Anonymous said... omega 3 fish oil capsules/oil of evening primrose capsules/good multi vitamin and mineral supplement,
•    Anonymous said... So, is it possible it's the GMOs that are in almost all wheat, soy and corn causing the problems and not the actual gluten? Why after thousands of years are people all of a sudden reacting to gluten? Organic foods are GMO free!
•    Anonymous said... We removed all artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives and saw a HUGE difference in about a week. It's worth a try for a week to see if it will help your child. We saw huge improvements in stimming, focus, hyperactivity, and meltdowns decreased. It worked better than any medications we have tried.
On a side note, most of the colors/flavors/preservatives are banned in other countries as a known health hazard for human consumption. Yet our government allows it. I'll let you do the research if you choose
•    Anonymous said... We've been doing the GAPS diet for 4+ months. We've seen huge gains (among the most impressive have been the initiation of pretend play -- there was zero before -- vanishing of rough play, and excellent growth in social and verbal skills). GAPS (similar to and based on SCD) removes all processed foods, grains, sugars (except in fruit and honey) and starches, and is designed to heal and seal the gut lining. It's a commitment, but it has been totally worth the effort and expense. Also, it has changed my super-picky eater into the kid who asks for vegetables for snack and plain fruit as dessert!
•    Anonymous said... when we look that he GF/CF diet, there was a lot of referring to gluten and casein being changed into a type of morphine in the brain and this is why these kids crave for these foods, it's like a drug addiction. When we change our son's diet, we had it rough for about 5 weeks and it was apparently his body going thru withdraws. We have taken additives out and added omega 3,6 and 9 which contains evening primrose oil and it has worked really well, a different kid.
•    Anonymous said... With my son we have to avoid dyes and colorants along with a lot of sugar. But he craves dairy and salt. Not sure why yet.

More comments below…

Tantrums and Meltdowns in Kids on the Autism Spectrum

"My son, who is nearly 5 and has Asperger's (high functioning), has started to get uncontrollable meltdowns. He is as nice as pie one minute, and then for what seems like no reason at all, he kicks off, hitting, jumping, throwing things, and laughing almost hysterically. Nothing calms him down when he is like this. Please let me know what can be done to stop this behavior." 

Parents with children who have Asperger Syndrome and High-Functioning Autism will often tell you about times their child has had a “meltdown” or type of temper tantrum that can disrupt the lives of the whole family.

These types of behaviors can be as rare as once a month or can happen several times per day, leaving parents sometimes frustrated and exhausted. There are, however, things a parent can do to minimize the strength and length of these tantrums.

The first thing to pay attention to is your own response to the tantrum. Are you calm and quiet? Have you taken steps to assure safety? Are you thinking clearly? Take slow, even breaths and reassure yourself that you’ve survived these meltdowns before, and it doesn’t have to be the dreadful experience you anticipate it to be.

Speak with a soft, neutral and pleasant voice. This relaxes both you and your child. Stay away from unnecessary words, and keep your movements slow and purposeful.

Many meltdowns happen as a result of rushing around or trying to get somewhere. It’s vital to take the time to slow down and rearrange your priorities. Forget that you have a timetable and concentrate on helping your child settle down first.

Keep safety a priority. Children in this stage can be impulsive and can forget every safety rule they were ever taught. If the child is having a meltdown while you’re driving, stop the car and take care of the issue. If your child tends to run away from you, resist the urge to chase them as it can make the situation worse.

Hold your child if necessary or talk with him in an attempt to redirect his behavior. In other situations, let the meltdown run itself down. Bear in mind that the child will often be exhausted after a meltdown so that you may need to give him the time to rest and get his breath back after such an event.

Remember that these types of behaviors represent ways you child is trying to communicate with you. Think about what the behavior represents and make attempts to avoid the behavior the next time. In addition, think in terms of prevention rather than intervention. Once a meltdown occurs, it's too late to put the brakes on at that point. It's infinitely better to learn your child's "revving up" signals (i.e., the signs that he's becoming agitated or frustrated) and find methods of distraction to get him off that track immediately.

As one parents stated: "There usually isn't any stopping it once it gets to that level. You have to try and head it off before it starts. They can't be calmed and told to stop. I've found help by talking to my sons after the meltdown. I tell them they can't act like that, that it isn't good for them or anyone else. I let them know I know things are hard for them but they still have to find another way to cope. And I give them choices. I've made a sensory area that is just for them. We call it the cool down club house. It is a pop up tent with sensory things inside. Fidgets, coloring things, other small toys they enjoy. When they feel one coming on they are to take themselves away from the situation and go to their club. If they allow themselves to get like that, then there is consequences, and I let them know what they are prior. It puts them in charge of their meltdowns and let's them know its not proper. On top of that, it gives them rules = and Aspies like rules. It has helped us anyway."



•    Anonymous said... HUGS. Just know that you are not the only one! That helps a little. Really, I've found that there are no quick fixes. Eliminating food dyes helped us some, but it was not a miracle cure. My son still has meltdowns at almost 11, but over time he's slowly learning control. It may help to see what is triggering these meltdowns and avoid the trigger, if possible, or approach it differently. When there is anxiety or things appear to be heading toward a meltdown, try using some coping techniques that she can learn ahead of time, like "squeezing lemons" (squeezing her fists together repeatedly) or concentrating on her breathing to calm herself down. It will take a while and you'lll have to work with her on those. See what kinds of things she finds soothing. For my son, it's warmth (especially warm water) and heavy pressure (he likes to be a sandwish between two beanbag chairs). Most kids have something soothing that can head off a melt down as well. Some OT things that can be helpful are a weighted or neoprene vest, squeeze balls or textured toys, and things like swinging or spinning depending upon her preferences. There are lots of these calming OT things available for purchase online. Finally some studies have shown that teaching children to meditate, even for just a few minutes each day, can help their overall temperament. There are some good yoga and meditation websites for kids that you can take a look at, and see if a few months of meditation helps. Finally, unless you have a personal objection to medication, talk to your daughter's doctor about it. She's young, but I have found that there are some medications that help my son stay calmer overall, and have more control when his emotions are spiraling. Meds are not for everyone and I won't recommend any here since all kids are so different, but it's a last-resort that's available if she needs it.


•    Anonymous said... I agree that it can be the simplest sensory issue and you need to think of the common thread. I am amazed how my son can articulate like when we took tennis lessons in a huge tent that magnified every sound. He told me he was listening to every conversation and sound and couldn't pick out the sounds he was involved in. I'm very lucky my son can verbalize sometimes what is setting him off and understand his noise sensitivity. I say stay open minded to find which sensitivities bother your child. Food coloring is another for us.
•    Anonymous said... I completely understand what you are experiencing! My daughter is now 12 and continues to have meltdowns that can turn into full blown tantrums that can last an hour! We have been trying for years to understand and prevent them. It is just like a light switch- she is completely fine and chatting and then she is screaming & out of control. It makes no sense- very irrational! Age, maturity, medication and time continues to help but it is a constant struggle. I can only tell you that you are not alone.
•    Anonymous said... I personally agree with Heather. Although food may be playing a part and is definitely something to look into, I have found with my son that meltdowns usually happen because he is overwhelmed or frustrated over a given situation. I have to constantly remind mysel to make sure he is well prepared for the day (if there are changes to the normal routine, explain early why and what is expected - behavior wise from him as well as what the new or changed event is). Every meltdown my son has had, I can usually tie to me not being as understanding or as patient as I should have been. I'm not trying to say that is what's happening for you, but after many years (my son is now 13), I have found my behavior or expectations usually compound the problem.
•    Anonymous said... I'll second the food dyes. We had to eliminate red 40 from my daughter's diet. She would go from a very sweet, obedient child to a real handful. Between the Flinstones chewable vitamins, NestlĂ© strawberry milk, breaded chicken nuggets (yes, it's there, too) she was overloaded. Once we eliminated it from her diet she was a different child!
•    Anonymous said... Just a quick note, many things help and others don't, that of course, will be child specific. I have a 16 year old and whilst life is always interesting with an aspie, the major meltdowns have subsided as he has matured and been taught what is and isn't socially acceptable. I whole heartedly agree that this is vital for the child to find 'their' place in the world. But the key to getting there is vigilant preemption of triggers. is waaaay easier on all of you to avoid them and as you all know, they usually aren't major issues. The other thing to remember is that you are looking after YOUR child and YOUR family. one else's, their judgment is unimportant!
•    Anonymous said... Please be careful the meltdowns don't turn into violent melt downs We carry a distraction with us at all times ie Lego that he will play with and it will distract him. We let him melt down a little while and watch from a distance then try and distract him with food or toy. If this doesn't work we leave him alone for another minute then try again.
•    Anonymous said... sigh. maybe make it clear that what he's doing is not appropriate and that it's not acceptable. it's not the food, it's whatevers setting him off in the first place. take a look at what happens right before he has a meltdown. the "what seems like no reason at all" IS a reason to kids like him with aspergers, and I guarantee he'll feel better just with you sitting down to find out whats upset him. fixing what upset him (if possible and "acceptable") will do a world of wonders. I dont normally rant like this, but as a parent of an aspie and as an aspie myself, it's something I feel very strongly about. if you raise a child to ride the aspie train, they'll do so their whole life. teach an aspie to deal with issues first hand like every other neurotypical child (within reason, of course), you'll raise an amazing aspie.
•    Anonymous said... Two of my kids are very sensitive to food dyes. Eliminating food dyes from their diets has made a huge difference for us. On days when they don't have food with dyes, they are in control of their emotions. On days when they have food with coloring, they have enormous meltdowns and loss of emotional control. Figuring out this trigger was a lifesaver for us.
•    Anonymous said... Watch the protein/carbohydrate balance, too. I could definitely see mine burn out faster after a heavy carb meal or snack. Once that blood sugar dipped it was meltdown city!
•    Anonymous said... When I discovered that my aspergers son was allergic to red dye, it was like a miracle. the days of dr. Jeckyl and mr hyde syndrome went away and although he is still an aspie kid, on the spectrum, there are no more crazy explosive manic uncontrollable over reactions. ... unless we get red dye by mistake, then look out for about 3 days. I am reminded each time it happens, to me or him, how life would be if we'd never discovered the link.
•    Anonymous said... When you remove the dye, it becomes that much easier to find the other triggers: noise, sleep, frustration, anxiety. Also O.T. made a huge difference for us, getting on a sensory diet st home and before school made the day go by so much better. Riding a bike or scooter in the morning and installing a hammock chair swing were two things that help us still to this day. Movement helps my kids organize their thoughts and feelings. Hope it helps.
•    Anonymous said... Wish I knew. We try to calmly talk to our nine year old. He was diagnosed last year but school suspected it since kindergarten. Since he was verbal, I didn't see it. He has had some meltdowns that have caused people to threaten to call cops nome because they didn't understand. Now that I know he is aspergers, I can handle the meltdowns a but better and know how to react better.
•    Anonymous said... Don't misunderstand what I'm saying...I still have a child w/ Aspergers. I still have to talk to her about what is acceptable social behavior. She still has obsessions and adheres to routines. She still suffers from anxiety and has sensory issues. We have our challenges every day. What I said is that there are substances like food dyes going into these kids that can influence their behavior, ability to concentrate, etc. My daughter does so much better when these things are eliminated from her diet.

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Parenting System That Stops Meltdowns & Tantrums Before They Start

What are meltdowns? 
They are overwhelming emotions 
that are quite common in children with 
High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's Syndrome. 

What causes them? 
It can be anything from a very minor
incident to something more traumatic.

How long do they last? 
It’s anyone’s guess. They last until the child
is either completely exhausted, or he gains control
of his emotions -- which is not easy for him to do.

From the Office of Mark Hutten, M.A.
Online Parent Support, LLC
Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But...

Don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day - and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

If your child suffers from High-Functioning Autism (HFA) or Asperger's Syndrome (AS), expect him to experience both minor and major meltdowns over incidents that are part of daily life. He may have a major meltdown over a very small incident, or may experience a minor meltdown over something that is major. There is no way of telling how he is going to react about certain situations. However, there are many ways to help your child learn to control his emotions.

The problem is that most parents of
out-of-control Asperger's children have tried very hard to regain control - but with little or no success.  And it seems the harder the parent tries, the more the child "acts-out."

I often hear the following statement from parents:
"I've tried everything with this child - and nothing works!"  But when they attend my parent-program, they soon discover they have not tried everything, rather they have tried some things.  Learn more about the parent-program.

Now there is an
online version of the parent-program for working parents who are struggling with their Asperger's children, and you will experience the same success as those who attend the program in person.

You will learn
cut-to-the-chase parenting strategies that work immediately rather than months or years down the road.  And I guarantee your success or you get your money back - and you can keep the package I am about to offer you.  This is how confident I am that the online version of the parent-program is going to work for you.

online version is called Online Parent Support (OPS).

OPS is a program designed specifically for parents with Asperger's children who experience frequent and unexpected meltdowns. OPS provides the practical and emotional support parents need to change destructive childhood behavior.

The straightforward, step-by-step action plans presented in the curriculum allow parents to take immediate steps toward preventing or intervening in their children’s negative emotions and choices. Parents involved with OPS have the opportunity to experience success at home within the first week.

The curriculum teaches concrete prevention, identification, and intervention strategies for the most destructive of child behaviors. Parents cycle through programming quickly, thus reducing the length of time that (a) effective solutions in parenting are implemented and (b) resultant positive change in their child's behavior is experienced.

OPS includes My Aspergers Child eBook (a digital book).  In this book, I share over 150 proven techniques to use with your Asperger's child. If parents don’t have these techniques, all they are left with are conventional parenting techniques. And as they may have discovered, conventional techniques don't work with unconventional children. Learn more about traditional parenting strategies.

Believe it or not, your child does
not need counseling... and you do not need parenting classes. You also do not need - nor would you want - a 250-page manual on how to be a better parent. Who has time for that?  And you do not need to go through another year of pain and misery with an out-of-control Asperger's child and his tantrums, meltdowns, and shutdowns!

However, what you may need is someone who has worked with Asperger's children and frustrated parents for nearly 20 years - and does so for a living - to show you a set of very effective parenting techniques that are guaranteed to work.  That would be me, Mark Hutten, M.A.

OPS includes:
  • Live Audio Recordings of the entire parent-program I conduct at Madison County Youth Center
  • Power Point Presentations and Videos shown during the program (plus dozens of additional videos on everything from ADHD to Wilderness Programs)
  • OPS Website -- updated daily with many additional parenting resources
  • OPS Bonus eBooks Site -- I obtain re-distribution rights to other parenting eBooks and offer them FOR FREE to members of OPS; currently there are 44 additional eBooks for download ($318. value)
  • Parent Forum -- where members of OPS support and seek advice from one another; meet and talk (via forum or chat) to married and single parents who are experiencing the same parent-child difficulties as you (currently over 6,000 members)
  • OPS Weekly Newsletter -- provides many additional resources for parenting today's Asperger's children
  • Access to me via phone, email, or OPS Chat Room -- always feel free to contact me as often as needed while you begin to implement your new parenting strategies
  • 100% Money Back Guarantee

Whether you have big problems or small problems, whether you are a single parent, divorced or separated parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, step parent, a traditional two-parent family, or a grandparent raising a grandchild - this material is guaranteed to work for you and your Asperger's child.

Initially, the parents who attend my
parent-program (the same program you’ll get with Online Parent Support)  are at their "wit's end" and describe home-life as “hell's kitchen.”

A few short weeks after they complete the program (which is divided into 4 sessions, 90 minutes each session), the majority of parents report that problems in their homes have
reduced in frequency and severity and are finally manageable. 

You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how simple it is to get started with these non-traditional parenting strategies.  Whenever you have a couple spare moments sitting at your computer, you can see how to bring about positive change in your household...

…change that will
reduce parent-child conflict;

…change that will
reduce your stress-level significantly;

…change that will
increase the likelihood that your Aspergers child will be a success - at home, at school, and in life.

 Order My Aspergers Child eBook 
and Join Online Parent Support 
for a one-time payment of only $19.00.

This program is GUARANTEED to work, 
so there's absolutely NO WAY that you can lose!

*** Instant Download Access ***
 *** No Monthly Fees ***

Here is a summary of what you’ll receive when you join Online Parent Support:
  • My Aspergers Child eBook which contains the text version of the parent-program (read online or print out a hard copy from your printer)
  • Live audio recordings you can listen to online
  • Power Point Presentations and Videos you can view online
  • Full access to OPS Website
  • Full access to Bonus eBooks Site
  • Parent Forum where a community of parents support each other
  • OPS weekly Newsletter
  • On-going & easy access to your own personal parenting-coach via phone, email correspondence, or OPS Chat Room
  • No hassle money-back guarantee

Online Parent Support is all about:
  1. Serving people, specifically parents who are at a point of frustration with their Asperger's child's emotional/behavioral problems and resultant parent-child conflict
  2. Providing an invaluable product that everyone can afford
  3. Providing a parenting-package that continues to grow over time by incorporating additional products and services at no extra cost to existing members

Feel free to contact me.  You'll get no "sales pitch" -- just answers to any questions you may have:

1. What is your toughest parenting challenge currently?
2. What other problems are you experiencing with your child right now?
3. Do you have any questions about
OPS or My Aspergers Child eBook?

Dear Parents, 

I'm not offering a complete cure for ALL behavior problems, and I'm not trying to claim that every single thing that you'll ever need to help your child is in my eBook. But if you are looking for rock solid and proven solutions to a whole bunch of parenting-problems associated with parenting an Asperger's child - especially intense temper tantrums called "meltdowns" - then I'm confident that you can benefit from my help.

For many years now I've been running a very successful parent program, but I wanted to take it a step further.  I wanted to reach out to parents worldwide and help them discover that
there really is light at the end of the tunnel. That’s when I came up with Online Parent Support (OPS).  Since its launch in 2004, OPS has overwhelmed users and success rates have been phenomenal.

If you're one of those parents who has paid a fortune on
must-have parenting eBooks only to find they were full of useless information you could have gotten anywhere, then don’t make the mistake of clicking off this site before you at least call or email me with some specific questions about My Aspergers Child eBook. I guarantee you won't find this information anywhere else.

You could (and may) spend the rest of the afternoon
surfing and "researching" about Asperger's and meltdowns only to find that you've gained a wonderful knowledge of what the problem is without any knowledge of what to do about it.

Let’s face it: You have been force-fed garbage and misinformation that will never put your Asperger's child back on the right track.  All you have really been doing is building-up even more barriers and creating more stress – for you and your family.

I'm tired of reading all the bad advice out there …I’m tired of seeing Asperger's children's lives ruined because their emotions and behavior can’t be controlled …and I’m tired of seeing parents chase their tails in a hopeless cycle of frustration and stress.

I’m giving you the chance to break the cycle of drama and chaos …to bring harmony back into your life …and to keep your child from years of suffering.
And I’m going to put my money where my mouth is... 

If you don’t begin to experience success with these strategies within the first week, then I want you to email me – – and say, “I want a refund.”  I will gladly - and immediately - refund 100% of your purchase. No questions asked!

Parenting out-of-control, Asperger's children is tough! If you don't know how, that is...

Here’s a recent email from a new member of Online Parent Support. She and her husband sent this email to their son’s Psychiatrist and Treatment Team:

“…coming up with a proper diagnosis and treatment has taken us down many roads, all leading to different therapies, parent-education classes, including Jayne Major's course Breakthrough Parenting Services as well as James Lehman's Total Transformation Program. Through countless hours of research  and phone calls, we have discovered the different levels of support are dependent on insurance, out of pocket expenses, including potentially selling our home and putting him in a residential treatment center with no guarantees of a positive outcome. Needless to say, quality intervention has been hard to find.

Recently we found an on-line course by Mark Hutten called My Aspergers Child. It seems the most helpful and pragmatic approach so far. We wanted to share with you where we are in the course so we are all on the same page in helping our son and family through this crisis.”

$19 is really a painless drop in the bucket compared to the money you could lose over time with counseling, parent-education classes, psychiatric evaluations and treatment, residential placement, medication, repairing property damaged during tantrums, etc.

Yes, for the price of dinner at McDonald's, you will have all the crucial information you need to jump full force into getting peace and harmony back in your house again. If you need to justify the expense, skip taking the kids out to eat once this week - and it's paid for.

If you’re going through the same
parent-child conflict that most of the other parents who land on this site are going through, then the problems at home and school are not getting better - they’re steadily getting worse. How much longer are you willing to wait?  I'm guessing that you have already wasted too much time and energy trying to get some real solutions.

I trust that you’ll take a step of faith here and get started with this on-line program immediately.

Mark Hutten, M.A.

Order My Aspergers Child eBook 
and Join Online Parent Support 
for a one-time payment of only $19.00

You Can't Lose With My 100%, Ironclad,
"Better-Than-Risk-Free" Money Back Guarantee

I say "better-than-risk-free" because this whole package is yours
to keep even in the unlikely event you decide to ask for a refund.

If for any reason you aren't satisfied with your purchase, 
just contact me within 365 days (that's right - one year!) 
and I'll give you a 100% prompt and courteous refund... 
no questions asked! 

*** Instant Download Access ***
 *** No Monthly Fees ***

Mark Hutten, M.A. is a practicing counseling psychologist and parent coach with more than 20 years’ experience. He has worked with hundreds of children and teens with Autism and Asperger's. He presents workshops and runs training courses for parents and professionals who deal with Autism Spectrum Disorders and is a prolific author of articles and ebooks on the subject.


Online Parent Support, LLC
2328 N 200 E
Anderson, Indiana

Cell: 765.810.3319

A brief biography...    Frequently asked questions...

A few emails from parents who have joined Online Parent Support:

We cannot thank you enough for your help with our children and their meltdowns. We bought My Aspergers Child a few years ago when we were at our wits’ end, and it has done wonders for our family. Our oldest (11 years old) has benefited greatly from the techniques you have given to us to avoid and handle meltdowns. -- W.N.

I've already recommended this program to several families. I wish I had access to something like this when my Aspergers child was much younger. It would have saved us a lot of heartache now. You really need to franchise this program to other areas. I would love to attend a seminar, but live too far from you. It would be great to have one in my area. -- K.P.

Just a quick note to say thank you for your program. You have done a really great job on this and it was very affordable. -- A.F.

I just have this calming feeling that we are going to be ok, and I started the techniques from Assignment 1 and already can see a look of astonishment on my daughter’s face. So on that note - Thank you and I am looking forward to what else the program has to offer. Everything you state just in the first 30 odd pages hit the nail on the head! -- J.S.

It works, it really works! You are a God send! -- B.I.

Nothing has helped as much as this common sense advice. We've been to counseling, read books, you name it. We can't even put into words what we owe you. Thank you so much for your help. -- L.A.

Tara and I joined your website for our 6-year-old quite a few months back. Let me say this after having gone through many different programs for difficult children with Autism, your program is very solid. We have told our current counselors and connections about it so that other parents may use your very good resources, too. Our son is to the point now where he no longer has meltdowns. -- T.M.

My husband and I were at the end of our ropes. I prayed for wisdom and God certainly answered my prayer. I have already tried some things on the first week (actually the day I ordered this), and to my amazement - they worked!! I had already been thinking the turmoil was like a drug for my daughter – and I was right. Thank you so much and God Bless you! -- N.H.

Thank You Mark! Our prayers were answered with your program. We are gradually reclaiming control of our family. THANK YOU for bringing love, peace and harmony to our family once and for all this time. Yes there are still those idle complaints here and there -- and the occasional gnashing of teeth. But this time it is our son and not us the parents whom we find gnashing of teeth and complaining. That is a sign of order just as God our Father has intended it to be. THANK YOU! -- M.S.

Thank you so much for being available -- I still can't get over your generosity! It seems amazing to me that I have no one to talk to about these things, and I need to rely on a stranger half way around the world -- but God bless you for your work -- things have really improved since I started this process -- it was so out of control, and overwhelming. -- L.W.

Thanks again Mark. I have been very impressed with your advice and felt I should "pay it forward" as we feel we are getting such extreme value for our money. As such, I sent your web mail address to the doctor who was "trying" to help us. Our autistic son was so extremely disrespectful during our visit with the doctor that he was exasperated at the end and told us there was nothing more he could do and so we should consider kicking him out at 18 and prior to that, send him to a home for "raging" children if his behaviour continued. I also note that our doctor has a Psychology degree. I know he has many cases such as ours, so I sent him your website to pass on to other parents who would benefit from this resource. Kindest regards. -- S.H.

Thanks Mark. After reading some of your ebook, it makes me realize areas we have to work on. Not ONE counselor we've ever seen has ever made more sense -- we've wasted hours in counseling. We are going to take some positive steps forward now. -- E. & P.

There are only a few of you around, Mark. Keep doing what you love - it shows. -- B.K.

This program makes a lot of sense to me. I appreciate the straight talk and not a bunch of lists and personal research. I need help now, and that is what I feel this offers. Thanks again. -- C.R

Today, I spoke to my son's former counselor (whom I was asking for a referral for another counseling, which I did before I found your ebook). I told her, “I think I don't need it for now,” because I found your site. I gave her your site and told her to spread the word about your ebook, since her job deals with parents and kids of similar problems. In a week's time, I've seen a great change. Thanks again for all the help! -- A.D.

When I started the program, I felt so lost and helpless. Mark said things that made me swear he knew my child personally. Everything I read seemed to be about my child. This was how I knew this program was different, and that it could work. -- I.O.

You completely rock!! I am only on Week #1, and I am already seeing a change. I am so impressed with your web site. I keep finding more and more good, helpful stuff! Thank you and your staff so much! May God bless you as you help us, one child at a time. -- C.C.

You have given us so much relief by responding to our questions. Thank you very, very much. Your book is great, and we can't tell you how much we appreciate your dedication to teaching parents how to deal with Aspergers kids and their meltdowns. -- B. & M. 

In reading your book, I realized that there are others out there that have exactly the same problems as I do, and who are making exactly the same mistakes as I was -- and that there are people like yourself that advocate what I believed in. This has helped me gain the strength I needed to tackle the onslaught. And let me tell you that this is exactly what it has been the last 3 weeks. I put the expectations and responsibilities with the earning or loss of privileges on paper, and when I handed it to my son and wanted to discuss it with him – well, almighty hell broke loose! And this continued for a whole week – constant swearing and telling me he will not adhere to it and I will not control him. Although battered and bruised by the emotional experience, I am proud of myself -- I did it! I put my poker face on and stuck to my guns. A week later, although he is still not earning any pocket money (as he refuses to do what I have put on the list), he did come to me and ask what he needed to do to get his computer back. We are now at the un-grounding point (and the 'get the computer back' point) as he has managed to go a whole week without losing his temper and swearing. He still does have the attitude that he will not do what is on the list, but I am watching him carefully -- and have been able to keep the discipline in place for the relevant things I put on the list. -- G.D. 

It has taken longer than necessary for me to complete this program, but I have finally done it! During these past few weeks, my husband and I have been implementing many steps, successfully. Our son, Daniel, has been completing his weekly chores without any complaint. The times that he forgets (or for some reason doesn't complete the chores) we deduct from his allowance. There haven't been any big blow-ups around here, and the few irritable times we've had have been much less stressful. Once school begins in a couple of weeks, we might have some tense times, but I do feel prepared for them now. Also, I re-took the quiz; the first time I scored in the 80s, today I scored a 56. I really do thank you very, very much. This is a great program and I will be re-reading it many times. I hope it's ok to email you from time to time to say hi and fill you in on our progress. Enjoy your summer. -- S.B. 


Online Parent Support Staff:  
Mark Hutten, M.A. (Counseling Psychology)
David McLaughlin, MD (Consultant: Psychiatry)
Julie Kennedy, Psy.D. (Consultant: Clinical Psychology)

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Website by MBH Publishers

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

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Click here to read the full article…

Living with an Aspergers Spouse/Partner

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

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Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

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My Aspergers Child - Syndicated Content