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 August, 2018]

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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Hi,
My husband, 75, is a highly accomplished professional, but in the
 last year or so has started manifesting Asperger-like behavior.  Now everything I say he takes literally.  He seems not to be able to connect one idea to another, has become more combative in his speech (he almost immediately screams when I say certain things).

He may have had some of the attributes before, which I did not read correctly, but now it is worse.

The question is, can someone who has not exhibited such obvious mannerisms before, get progressively worse as they age?  Or am I dealing with a totally different issue.

Thanks for any ideas

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Your books and audio have given me a sigh of relief. I have honestly thought I was going crazy!  You have helped me understand exactly what is going on in my marriage and with my husband. Your books and audio have helped me disengage emotionally from what my husband does. I now understand he doesn’t mean to hurt or offend. And I’m also been given some tools with how to talk to him and relate to him. Yea!! And thank you!

I am 58 and have known for about 4 years my husband has Aspergers. I’ve suspected for longer. We have been married 38 years. He has had a pornography problem since he was 14.  That I didn’t know about when we married. For me it just adds another layer to the difficulty of this relationship. 3 weeks ago I asked my husband to leave. Because he can’t get the pornography under control. But also because he has no desire to understand the aspergers and repair the breach. Suddenly he is highly motivated!!!  My question is, how do I understand the addiction in context with the aspergers?  Unfortunately this is something I take very personally and it hurts me and our intimate life immensely. To me this is a moral issue. But I would love your input as to how this relates to Aspergers. If it does at all.

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Good morning,
I recently read an article stating Autistic kids often have hypothyroidism. My 15 year old daughter with Asperger’s syndrome was diagnosed with hypothyroidism due to Hashimoto’s disease several years ago and placed on a very low dose of medication. But lately her endocrinologist seems reluctant to optimally treat the problem with meds (Armour). As a person with the same condition I know she is under medicated. As a result her grades have dropped, and she is displaying behaviors such as “cutting” herself. Do you have any articles or information I can present to her doctor to encourage a more aggressive treatment of the hypothyroidism. And second, can you give me some insight into how to address or understand the cutting behavior. I am terrified she is going to end up cutting her wrists. I am attempting to get her Counselling but my ex husband is currently blocking it, so I working on a court order to get her help. But this takes time
Thanking you in advance.

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My daughter married who I believe to be a high functioning artistic. He is now 52 and they have been married 24 years. She was the perfect choice for him as she believes everyone does their best and when he sits in front of his computer the majority of the day while she cooks cleans washes and supports him although he has a degree in architecture and one in archeology. He has never been able to hold a job. He talks without acknowledging input of others and is an expert on anything you might mention. He joined the air force when he couldn’t get hired anywhere else and was sent to North Dakota. She, with a masters in business could find a job in Minot a d also joined the air force. He didn’t make captain and was kicked out and she is now retired as a Lt Colonel. He joined the Air Force reserves and worked 3 days a month and is now retired as a Lt Colonel.
I feel he has ruined her life, that because of his personality or lack of a normal personality she has been denied friends and normal relationships. I hate him. He told her the reason I don’t like him is because I hate men. I believe he knows what he is and uses her in every way he can. I believe him incapable of real love. He cannot watch emotional movies or movies with conflict.
The only thing he is not an expert on is HFA and would never see any relation to him and HFA.
Is there any help for my wonderful daughter?

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I have a grown son (mid 40's) who was never properly diagnosed as a young boy, due to lack of knowledge and mis-diagnoses in the 1970's.

He has isolated himself and lives abroad (London).  Considering the severity of his emotional distress he has done remarkably well in employment, but recent reports of his anger and his irrational behavior have me deeply concerned.  He has not talked to me for many years (over 20) because of my divorce from his father and my need to protect his younger sister from his outbursts. (In late 1980's,  I needed to get an Order of Protection from the court since he would come to the house when I was working and terrorize his sister.  That worked in that the outbursts stopped but you can imagine the fear and rage that it caused him. 

My daughter is grown with two little girls of her own and she wants nothing to do with him for the obvious reasons.  He rages at her as well, saying really unspeakable things when he contacts her via texts or email.  She has let him see her daughters with strong supervision but now says she will no longer accept him in her home.

He does have intermittent contact with his father but recently that has ended due to a major melt-down.

I live in north west NJ and enjoy a full and active life.  I will admit to being glad to not having any contact with him since he's irrational in his anger and outbursts, but I think and worry about him constantly.

I am seeking a group and/or assistance in handling my own guilt over this matter.  I do not wish to set off another panic or rage attack by him.  There is no doubt in my mind that it  would occur if I tried to contact him.  My daughter has begged me not to since it will only exacerbate the situation, and I know she's right. Needless to say, I want to make sure he gets support where he is if at all possible.  Unless he comes to a "separate peace", I cannot see this going on or ending well.

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Mark, you seem to be the person we are finding who has the most knowledge about dealing with adults with either Asperger's or NVLD.  Next week, my husband and I will be in Louisville for my aunt's 100th birthday .  If you have any cancellations on Monday, July 30 or Tuesday July 31, we would welcome the opportunity to drive to meet with you.  Again, thank you very much for any help you can give. Meanwhile, we are learning a great deal by reading your articles.

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Dear Mark,

Following the reading of your book "Living with an Asperger Partner" and the complementary audio/video, I would kindly like to ask you please for your advice concerning a topic which I haven't found explained in detail: How to teach/explain to Asperger partner not to lie?

I have an Asperger partner, man 49 years old, for about a year. He is wonderful in many aspects but I have discovered recently he is actually a lier, esp. in unpleasant situations. Apparently he has learnt in life that lying makes life easier and helps to avoid problems/blaming/complications etc. I am afraid that raising this very sensitive issue (his "survival" technique) will make him angry, hysterical and depressed as several other topics which I tried very kindly, gently and peacefully to discuss with him.
How can I trust him if I know he is a very skillfull lier?

Thank you very much in advance, Mark, for your kind help and advice if possible. I would be very grateful to you.

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Hi there. My child is 13 and has recently been diagnosed with Aspergers. I am still trying to process this and looking for a fresh approach to the behavioral challenges we have faced for many years unsuccessfully. He needs constant reteaching of daily living, health and hygiene and social skills. He argues and ignores and sasses and gets angry and frustrated often. Which program should I start with? Are the suggestions and content similar in each program or do you have specific things offered in each? I am kind of overwhelmed where we are with the challenges we are facing and looking for peace and and looking forward to something that can help get us on the right track to reduce the conflict and stress in our family life. I have 2 young ones to care for as well so I don’t have a lot of reading time so audio would be most beneficial and I’d like to know which program will give us the best approach to start off with to tame the arguing and attitude so we can get on the same page to work together to start making progress with a fresh approach since we now have a direction to head knowing his diagnosis of Aspergers. Thanks for your help!

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I follow your Facebook feed and wanted to post a general question/advice, but thought I’d reach out to you first. We have a 16 year old daughter that we sent away in December. She tends to be a follower and boy obsessed. She was expelled from school for skipping all the time for a boy (whom they ultimately broke up)
Sent her to another school, was suspended and I was called in all that time for skipping, smoking and vaping on campus. We found alcohol, she would sneak out and vape all the time. We sent her away for 6 months to what we were in hopes of was to pull her head out and refocus.

She was a 3.8 and when she was expelled a 1.7 Gpa. She went to school online while away and back up to almost a 4.0, got a job and we thought making great progress. She came home July 1st, but her boyfriend who also on a poor track is still here. He’s like eeyore with no goals, poor academically, etc.. she quit taking her online classes, and has now decided to not go to college (and was doing concurrent enrollment) has 2 med term certs and is gifted in those aspects. But has decided to put her life on hold for a boy with no drive. She’s sneaking out, I’ve found alcohol again, and vapes. And she has developed a piss poor attitude once again.

We’re not sure what to do at this point. I even left a message for the bf mother for a meeting.

Do we relocate her again for another 6 months? We’re at a loss, and she has younger siblings, so we’re trying not to affect them with all of this either.

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I have lived with my daughter and knew what was going on with her and made accommodations for her for the last 35 years. Her dad passed away when she was 13 years old. Without being too length-- I am writing to see if you have any data on whether an Asperger's High Functioning adult with a Master's Degree from college, can live alone and raise two low-functioning autistic children? She actually has 3 children. Her 9 year old is with her first husband and she is high functioning, if on the spectrum at all. The others are ages 3 and 4, and one is hypotonic and the other is hypertonic...meaning basically, they are AUTISTIC and they are NON-VERBAL and one is unable to walk at all.  My 35 year old daughter only has custody of the 2 younger ones due to domestic violence, their father has a restraining order from coming near my daughter. He is missing in action as far as support of any kind. Once I got her back from a Texas hospital, I moved her and one child in with me. She was pregnant with the last baby but we didn't know it until she was tested at the hospital. I put a security system in my home. We have sought out the BEST early intervention therapy for the little boy with hypotonia since his birth. He communicates with an iPad I purchased 3 years ago and attend The Little Lighthouse School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. 

I am searching high and low for how to help my 35 year old daughter move out on her own with these children. Please tell me you have worked with such cases and you can help by providing a book title or some name of a group that assists mothers in the raising of their children. Since you understand high functioning individuals, you already know what kinds of issues I am dealing with in getting assistance for her and the children. She has been "fixed" so there will be no more children, thank God, but my daughter has little ability to choose a good mate, and has been alone for almost 3 years. I am not trying to get her "fixed up with a husband" to take care of them, but I would like to find help for her with daily life skills and budgeting and a group home is not the answer. She cares for the children fine out of my home where I oversee and make connections and recommendations for her. But I won't live forever, and I would like to try to find some type of assistance for her future.

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Hi Mark

I’m in Australia and have purchased some of your ebooks such as “launching adult children” which was very helpful and explained a lot of things about my daughter’s inability to transition to college life despite her being a very high academic achiever.

She has only recently received a preliminary diagnosis of Aspergers from a clinic in Brisbane (Tony Attwood’s clinic). There were many problems during her high school years but I did not pick up on it.

I had to put her on antidepressants earlier this year to cope with anxiety and depression and this has helped enormously. However the antidepressants do not remove AS, unfortunately.

She is still having great difficulty socialising and making friends even though this is something she desperately wants. Last night I got a typical message from her about her ongoing struggle. I am at a complete loss as to how to help her. I cannot do the socialising for her. Her message and my response is attached.

I try to “coach” her and keep the messages positive because she tends to jump to false conclusions about other’s intentions (poor theory of mind). I also think she has difficulty reading body language and picking up subtle clues/messages.

As you can see from the time of the messages, she has poor sleep patterns and often wakes me in the middle of the night asking for help.

I’m really not sure how to handle this. 

Any insights would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for your help.

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Hi Mark

I have watched all of the videos in Lesson 1

I admit I have been an over indulgent parent in some ways

it started at the end of 13 into 14 now at 15 his behavior is out of control

I would ask him something simple like unload the dishwasher or pick up your clothes off the floor

he would ignore it if I asked him again to do something he didn't want to do he would get on his bike sometimes even at midnight and then leave

it really started getting crazy at 14 when he was smoking weed everyday

now since June 1st he has run away and stayed at people houses I don't know where he is at for weeks at a time

and he smokes weed at least 20 times a day

when I tell him not to smoke weed in the house he just laughs at me

then I tell him I will have to call the police on him he laughs at me and gets on his bike and rides away

he goes to his dad's house where his dad gives him whatever he wants unlimited marijuana  food and money

he has no responsibilities at all
his dad picks up his dishes does all the chores does his laundry and freely smokes weed with him

my son has only come to my house a few times since June 1st

I told him he can't smoke weed at my house and can't bring in weed paraphernalia like pipes bongs rolling papers  etc

he said fine he will never see me again

he was on the swim team now he says he doesn't care

he says he doesn't care about anything except smoking weed

his dad hates me so much that he is willing to destroy his own son just to get even with me

his dad said these exact words

he dad loves it that they smoke weed together all day long and that he has dropped out of swim team and basketball and doesn't care about school

it is his way of hurting me

the dad knows it breaks my heart to see my son going down the drain

I have call the police they said at most the dad will get a misdemeanor ticket for giving him weed and will not go to jail at all

I called CPS they said since he is 15 they won't get involved

it would be my word against the dad's

my son says he loves weed and will never stop

he says he doesn't need anything from me food money clothes etc he says he doesn't care
as long as he has marijuana

he will most likely not do good in school if he keeps smoking so much weed he says he doesn't care about anything except more marijuana

he told me now sometimes he even sells it to kids he knows

what can I do?

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Hi Marc,
I am not sure if you have openings now or are still doing Skype sessions with new clients with AS, but I am an AS adult looking for a therapist that has experience dealing with challenges specific to being on the spectrum. I am 35 and was diagnosed last year by a therapist in the Cleveland, OH
area who is one of the very few people that has expertise dealing with ASD in my region. He mostly deals with children, and it became apparent that he was less equipped to deal with some of main issues I had been dealing with. I saw another therapist that specialized in ASD cases and while that was more productive he moved away. I have tried working with another therapist since but he has been unhelpful. 

I have been married for 4 years, but my marriage has been disintegrating over the last year and is about to hits its limit. There are a variety of issues, but in the time we might have I would like to focus on one thing: I would like a skills-based approach to becoming better at including the feelings of others when I act. With my previous therapist I worked mostly on empathy issues, but while I feel differently now to my wife not very much has changed. I still seem as oblivious or selfish as I always have to her.  While I know I have much more work to do I think it would help her as much me to have a therapist that is working on concrete skills with me week  to week.  I hope that is something you may be able to help me with.

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Dear Mr. Hutten,

I have a son who is 21.  He just graduated from college.  He is a really bright kid and a very decent human being.  My wife and I spoke to him about going out to look for work (he studied computer science, but he is really a self taught graphic artist and spends all day on the computer or on video games).  He explained that he has every intention of doing so, but that he feels he needs some kind of medication to keep his mind stay focused and to control anxiety.  He has been diligently trying to self diagnose and feels that he has ADHD of some kind.  I asked him how he managed to make it through school with no problems and has a degree from such a reputable college.  He explained in detail how he learned to cope with how his mind works and managed to play against his strengths, but that often times he felt overwhelmed or mentally exhausted in school. He is sincere about wanting to get help because he's looked up insurance info and has been trying to find a psychiatrist or some place that accepts our insurance to get a proper evaluation. 

Do you have any suggestions as to where we could start or suggestions for me as his dad as far as not doing too much for him.  I tend to be the nurturing type while his mom doesn't believe there's anything wrong with him and he just needs to get going.  I noticed your book on your website and figured it might be helpful even if my son my have a different diagnosis.  What do you think?

Thanks for taking the time to read this email.  I'm sure you are extremely busy.  If you have the time to offer any suggestion, it would be deeply appreciated. 

I wish you God's continued blessing and strength in the noble work that you do.

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A little background about myself: I am male, 55yrs old and married to Brook for 23 yrs. We have 2 lovely children; Ryan who is 23yr old and Sara who is 20yr old. We live in Melbourne, Australia and it was Brook's suggestion that I may show signs of Asperger Syndrom.
About over a year and a half ago I hit a point where I was not able to express my feelings and views clearly anymore and started retreating into myself. About 7 months ago we amicably decided that it was best for me to move out of the family home and since then we've been on a rocky road together to heal our relationship.
It has pained me a lot to see Brook suffer from bouts of depression due to this situation and I am willing to do anything to sort this out; for her and our beautiful children's sake.
I love Brook & the children more than words can describe but it's the words to her and my children that are evading me.

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I been reading and listening to your channel.
What do you do when your husband is blind to your sons disability? And has been the past ten years ? I did get the help he needed in school when he was in elementary school.resource room and some therapy in school to help with his need to rush through his work .My son was a emergency c- section. and unfortunately the doctor waited to long to deliver and compromised both our health. I was treated for high blood pressure during the waitting time and became toxic. Therefore we were very sick he was sitting in meconium for to long I believe
How can I get the recorded of my child birth with him ? It was about 18 years ago.
It may sound crazy that I world inquire now but it's cause I feel he has HFA / learning disability
He had an iep in School and I tried my best
I just know he acts mature then he regresses
He was diagnosed with ADD / OCD.
I was treating him when meds 5 years ago
Then he spoke to us and asked if it was ok for him to try without the meds.and he really did the same with or without medication.
He was very sensitive to the medication.
I'm reacinhg out to you because I want my son to be independent. I also have a 16 year old who I believe has asspergeres but is diagnosed with
OCD/ Anxiety and depression. The both been in therapy and was never diagnosed with
HFA or Asspergeres? Why if it all seem to be on a spectrum?   I thank you for your videos they have helped me to the conclusion this may be what the correct diagnosis is.  I am highly sensitive person.  I have been diagnosed with bipolar depression at a very late age 47.
I do have anxiety as well plus OCD, My husband
has the same condition as my older son
But never been diagnosed with anything
He has been to the doctor for medical issues like anxiety and panic attacks he is a aero space enginer. And only sees black and white no greys.
So with my own issues I have my hands full
A huband that is blind to his son's issues and both my kids believe therapy is a waste of time .
Please help with some advise. I need to stay strong for my family.
I am sorry for this letter that is all over the place
Thank you in advance for reading this

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Hello there,

I am doing some research for a mental health & illness editorial project I'm contributing to, and I discovered a page of your website ( http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2013/09/) that mentioned ADHD. I'm just trying to get a grasp the different vantage points of the topic to help me write useful content about ADHD.

That said, I have two quick questions:

1) Might you be OK if I possibly link to and/or mention your website from this mental health project? Simply put, the project is focused on providing free online content to people about mental health/illness and related topics. (there are no fees/costs involved, and your content would never be copied)

2) The project I'm working on is with a leader in the mental health industry, and I know they're always looking to work with websites like yours; often contributing funds to organizations and website owners to list their free mental health resource in related content and/or providing unique content to be published online. Do you mind if I forward this email conversation to my contact at the company so they can follow up with you directly?

No comments:

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