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 September, October and November - 2018]

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Hello Mark, I just wanted to take the time to tell you how much your short, yet precise and to the point, your YouTube videos have helped me to get others to understand my 11 year old son. He has HFA and OCD and is basically a loner. It hurts my soul that he has never experienced a sleep over, invites to parties or having any friends in general. I believe that his (and countless others) complete oblivion as to how the world truly operates is both a curse and a gift. Anyway, I think you are an amazing person and I wanted to make certain that you are aware of how your videos help people to understand the misunderstood. May God bless you for your time here on earth and beyond!

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My son is a second child. He gave us some trouble growing up, like failed all his classes at once in 8th grade and 10th grade, stole money once to buy an airgun, was addicted to gaming and pornography. We worked very hard to keep him on the right track, using anything we could think of.

We thought he is over that as he started college. We had two uneventful years, except in second year he  placed swastika on someone's door and got on probation. He started getting really good grades, got to a professional athlete level in Karate and trained with the national team, with his father as his coach.

However, he fell in love for the first time last fall with the sister of his best friend, and wanted more freedom than we were willing to give due to his past misbehaviors, like going out all the time, staying out all night, etc. To fight us, with her support and guidance, he started creating the narrative of a victim, the imprisoned man with overbearing insufferable parents. When we saw him slipping in grades and behavior, we tried to redirect him, to argue, to reason, to isolate. Nothing worked.

He run away on 2/6/2018 taking many valuable items with him. His girlfriend took him to her church where he claimed we would kill him if he is not hidden or protected. He invented a story where he was an abused, starved child whose parents stole his identity and opened credit accounts in his name, including mortgage accounts. He accused us of abusing our minor children as well. He spread his victim story to anyone who would listen, including police and banks where he had his accounts. We were devastated.

He refused any contact with any member of the family or our friends, except his older sister until she refused to listen to his victim story calling him on his lies. Then he cut her off too. He found a graveyard shift job but quit within weeks. He sold all the items he took from home and blasted all of his money on hydroponic gardening toys. The church and his friends are paying for his bills and he has taken no financial responsibility for himself.

In July, after a lot of emotional messages sent to him from his mother, he agreed to talk to his sister and us, but only if we pay his bills. We agreed that we would, as long as he would communicate to us. He agreed to visit his sister. However, this lasted for only a week or two. Very quickly, his messages to us turned hateful, containing the same accusations that he spread to others. He lied, bullied, exaggerated and exonerated himself. He refused counseling of any sort. After a month of that, we gave up and stopped paying the bills. He stopped communicating to anyone again.

That is where we are now. I recognize that I should have been using your strategies much much earlier. Is all hope lost for this child now?

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Hi.  SO my 14 year old daughter has anxiety, low self esteem and now her therapist thinks she has ODD.  I've only met with her once on this so I know there is a ton to learn. I'm reading just about everything I can but have a question about homework, specifically. I do not want to post this on the FB page because of who can see it.

How do you help them with their attitude/effort towards school and homework?  As in, they think everything is stupid, they really don't read/work/study but just do what it takes to finish the homework without actually LEARNING.  Does that make sense? Like she refuses to actually READ the material and just skims it looking for main words to help answer questions over the material.

Although her grades are As and Bs it's not a pretty sight and as a whole, I feel like she's getting dumber each school year. Like although she's doing the works she's not being reached.

Thank you so much for reading this email.  I'm sure you get tons of questions so I absolutely understand if you can't respond.

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Hi Mark -
My name is Lynette Papp and I subscribed to your "My Asperger's Child," this year. I  found it extremely helpful particularly for my step-grandson who struggles with Asperger's.

I just wanted to let you know that Balboa Press (Australian Division of Hay House) has published my first book entitled "Being with Asperger's."  I have made reference to you and your website in a couple of places and I thought you might be interested in checking the book out. 

My long-term partner Walter, who died four years ago, had Asperger's syndrome and struggled to find a balance for many years until he discovered what the problem was.  The book began its incarnation three years ago and gradually came to fruition in early August this year.

The book is written in the form of a posthumous conversation interacting with cartoons, doodles and writing found in a diary which my partner called "Walter's Secret Diary." It was discovered amongst his papers in a wooden box in our attic.  Walter's cartoons are quirky and quite brilliant and some of the anecdotes are both humorous and sad.  The memoir represents a glimpse into Walter's Asperger's mind.  It also provides insights into how life was for me as his partner of thirty-four years and ways that we dealt with Walter's issues.

I hope you might read it.  At present, I am awaiting my author's bulk order but the book is already available both in paperback, kindle and e-Book on many websites including Amazon, Google and Balboa.

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I'm interested in purchasing your ebook, however, I do know that more than likely it will be only me that would read it.  My partner, although he is aware he's on the spectrum, probably will not.  My question would be, would this book be of any benefit just to me as the NT partner?

I realize each person on the spectrum is different and I'm more than sure that whatever someone has experienced in childhood or in early years, helps form how they are now. My partner is in his early 50's and had a rough childhood.  There are many times he's fine, but he is prone to meltdowns along with unreasonable outbursts that I'm never prepared for.  He always says he ponders things a long time before acting. 

The 90% that he's enjoyable to be around is worth my staying, but the other 10% I have huge difficulty living with.  I've been trying to read all that I possibly can on the subject, for it helps my sanity. 

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Hi Mark,

My name is Heidi and I'm the parent of Carson. An 11 year old with Asperger's. To give you some background, Carson has had several learning development issues. He was diagnosed with severe dyslexia, dysgraphia, fine motor skill delay of 4-5 years, gross motor delays of 4-5 years, and ADD. He has never been a child with any sort of ticks or obsessive compulsions (although recently he has started mouthing inaudible words after he finishes what he is saying. He has started doing this when he is upset). Rather he is very quiet and generally my child who was the happiest and never acted out (until recently). He was born 5 1/2 weeks premature but never spent a night in the NICU.

We did not realize Carson was on the autism spectrum until quite recently although last year the developmental MD he sees mentioned she suspected Asperger's. I've always known Carson was really smart, but saw an issue in the start of K5 (Carson was 6) when I was trying to play a game using letter sounds with he and his younger brother. When I brought it to the school's attention is when we were instructed to seek a specialist to diagnose Carson. That is when we learned of all of the issues with the learning delays, etc. We immediately sought therapy for all of the above. And, literally we were seeing a therapist every day for different conditions. At the beginning of first grade, his teacher stated that she couldn't teach Carson and that he should be in special ed.

This was at a very expensive private school. And, knowing how bright Carson was. I immediately withdrew both of my children. I started Oliver (Carson's younger brother) at a different private school who had an Orton Gillingham reading program (he was in K5), and I home schooled Carson during first grade and taught him to read, etc. I also had him see one on one a dyslexia therapist every day for an hour. We continued with fine/gross motor school therapy and ended up getting on prescriptions for ADD. The next year Carson could read considerably better than most of his peers. He has always been excellent in Math so that was not an issue.

I needed to get back to full time work (my husband and I own a small company). The new private school wanted Carson to repeat first grade. They were concerned with all of the other issues that he would feel more successful in first than second where the peer group was much more mature than they felt Carson was. We agreed knowing that it would later be difficult for Carson since that would be put he and Oliver in the same grade (not the same class). But, both boys would be in 1st grade. It was then that Shawn and I started noticing issues with social skills. He never had an interest as a young child to do what the other kids where doing. He played with other children as we had lots of play dates sometimes 2-3 times a week (at the time I was not working). But, he was always very passive and typically this with the same group of kids (mostly girls which he definitely prefers).

Since 1st grade, Carson is now in 4th. Carson has yet to develop a friend. He plays with other kids when they come over for Oliver, but he would rather be playing Fort Nite. Not realizing Carson had Asperger's or even what that was we've tended to be very hard on Carson for not wanting to socialize with other kids. This summer and past few months has been really bad for that. I do not let my kids have electronics during the week. We reserve it for only the weekend. But, if allowed Carson would play Fort Nite from the time he wakes up till the time he goes to sleep (I obviously don't allow this). But, lately getting him to do anything else is cause for a screaming match (way out of character for him).

He lies or exaggerates any interactions with other kids his age. For instance, at a recent luncheon with other kids in his class where they had board games. Oliver and a group of 2 other boys went into a corner to play a board game. Carson came back to my table where I was sitting with adults and asked for me to play Yahtzee with him. I explained that he needed to go into the corner and play with Oliver as they needed a fourth player. With tears in his eyes, he said no they are being mean to me. They don't want me over there. They hate me. Angry, I said Carson you haven't even tried. Go over there and try to play what they are playing. He walked over and stayed maybe 2 minutes came back and said that Oliver called him stupid. Again, starting to cry he refused to go back over. I played Yahtzee with him and later, spoke with Oliver. He honestly didn't know what Carson was even talking about.

Basically, I think he has given up on any friends at school. He will speak with boys about Fort Nite and they'll call for a couple of days over the weekend to play Fort Nite. But, for the most part, he's never had a real friend.

This school year has become especially stressful. Just getting him to do his homework is now a struggle (he's a straight A student). He just wants to watch TV from the moment he walks in the door. I've really tried to be hesitant about taking away Fort Nite during the couple of hours over the weekend since I realize it's the only thing he seems to enjoy. But, if this was Oliver screaming at me about homework the loss of Fort Nite would have been an immediate consequence. Of course, Oliver loves other things like fishing, bike riding, swimming, etc. Losing Fort Nite is not something he's thrilled about, but it's certainly not the end of the world. With Carson, it is.

During the week, the boys generally go to either karate or swim (this has been our schedule since Carson was 4). We mix in other activities that the boys "want" to do. For instance, Oliver also plays soccer and football. Carson wanted to play tag football so we signed him up. Every practice, every game is a constant battle. He doesn't want to run. He doesn't want to play. Basically, he sulks the entire game. It hasn't helped that they put Oliver on the same team as Carson this year. Carson definitely has set himself for failure when he tries to compare himself to Oliver.

Oliver his younger brother is pretty much better than Carson at everything! Swimming, soccer, making friends, and even school work. But, Carson has always been the "good" child. Never screaming, always coming home and doing his school work. Getting dressed in the morning, etc. I could always count on very little push back from Carson. He knew our routine and definitely thrived on it. He absolutely hates to do be punished or have me upset in any way. Oliver my other son who is always punished for one reason or the next because he's yelled/screamed at one of us or, maybe he pushed his baby sister (Pippa is 3). But lately or since school started back for us, Carson has been coming home from school extremely sad/depressed or angry. He explodes screaming at me with the just the slightest questions like 'hey please don't turn on the tv until you've completed your homework'.

Yesterday, it was. Get dressed we've got to get ready for your football game. He didn't yell about the football game, but rather he cried. Dad is going to scream at me because I"m not going to do anything good. This is not true at all. His Dad has a very passive personality and does yell at him (but, not for football). When he got home, I said well how did you do. And, he said I don't know just ask Dad he knows. Shawn later told me he didn't put ANY effort in the game at all. He walked down the field while the other kids ran.

Last night, he asked me if he could be home schooled again.  I asked specifically if he felt left out at school? Are any kids being mean? Do you like your teacher (he said yes to this one)? Is it stressful for you being in a large group when you've been in a small group last year? Do you find the school work overwhelming? Is it stressful having a new teacher when last year you already knew Ms. Tori? The answer to all of those questions were just no or some variation. He sees a therapist at his school, but I think it's only a few minutes per week. This was her comments to me when I emailed her last night:

"I have been seeing Carson each week. I did not see him Monday because I believe he was tardy.  (I called for him, and he wasn't here yet.).  I have not seen a change with Carson as far as his interactions with me and his affect.  However, as we have talked before it is really a challenge to get Carson to express his thoughts and feelings.  He often responds with one word answers, and says what he thinks I want to hear or what he thinks he should say.  He has a lot of trouble considering other people's feelings or perspectives.  We continue to work on this, but it is definitely a struggle. Because he has a hard time expressing himself, you may be getting the "explosion" when he gets home.  Sometimes kids hold it together and regulate themselves all day, but then once they get home they lose it.  When he said he wanted to be homeschooled, could he tell you why?  I might revisit this, and see if he can give you any explanation."

My understanding is that there are no real resources for kids like Carson in Jackson, Mississippi as far as social groups, etc. Most of them focus on kids who have extreme behavior issues like head banging or slamming things, etc. Most people don't have a clue that Carson is Asperger's and think I'm actually making this up. He is really high functioning.

I need help! I've called his developmental MD to see if she has a counseling recommendation, but right now, Shawn and I are at a loss on how to help Carson succeed. My worst fear is that he becomes seriously depressed. Carson was the happiest child in the world. Always in his own world, but really really happy. If I need to take him out of school then we will. We are willing to do anything to help Carson. I just don't know how.

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I’ve been hearing your audios in the web and I wonder if you can give some advise on my particular situation. I’m currently in a relationship with a woman that I believe is facing AS, that deduction arises from her behavior (Lack of emotions; obsessions with her work, order of things and cleaning; routines; sensory issues, extremely self interest; very extreme difficulties to express her emotions). In addition her son who is 24 years old and living in same house, was AS or autism diagnosed.

After my believing that she is as well in the spectrum, I already invite her to consult a specialist, however her reaction was to deny a possible consultation by saying that she already went to one specialist many years ago and any mind disorder or disfunction was diagnosed, nevertheless observing her daily behavior she seems to meet the particular conditions of AS.

I kindly request your advise on how to proceed with her and lead her to be aware that she is probably facing the appearing of AS common issues, so I might convince her to see a specialist.

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After having separated from my husband after 30 yrs, including 4 years of his newly found sobriety , my daughter whom is an educator hinted that I should read up and research this topic. A year ago, I informed my husband to discuss this with his " anger management" therapist who by the way believes my husband is on the spectrum, but has told my husband he will not let him use the disorder as an excuse, which will him help. I am committed to using your information to help open dialouge with my husband so that we can salvage some relationship for the sake of our daughters 28 & 23 years old. I have also been helping my older daughter deal with her emotions and have always challenged my daughters to find respectable outlets for any anger issues.

From one who is also in the field of education and social service and in co dependent recoveryI applaud you for writing so well.

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Hello Mr Hutten,
A counselor recommended your my-out-of-control-teen to me and I have found this very helpful.
I hope you would be able to help me on the below issues.

Short history
I have a 14 year old daughter [adopted from a traumatized country at 4yrs 10 months].
Extremely hyperactive and excitable since childhood. But also compassionate towards her orphanage kids; sick people, the homeless and helps out at our local gospel mission and animal shelter with good commendations. Has been subject to physical and verbal bullying in Grades 2,3 and 7 needing school changes.

About 2 years back there was a chain of events including changes in grandma's health; change in neighbors from a christian family to a 'live life full' family, and severe problems at a friends older sister.
My daughter responded with anger; distress; suicidal ideation [at being made to stay away from troubled home] followed by acting out in school in Grade 8 [i was told depressed teens act out].
She did make good friends at her new Grade 8 school, active in sports [Volleyball and then Track], music, math honors, volunteering and goes to a church youth group.
In the latter half of Grade 8- she was diagnosed with ADHD [with lack of impulse control] by her pediatrician and did well on Concerta. Behaviour settled.

I am a physician and have spoken to her both from a spiritual standpoint; from responsibility to less fortunate kids and from the scientific standpoint on the negative effects of Etoh/ cannabis [which is going to be legalized soon in our province]/ vaping/drugs/ early immature sexual activity.

After Grade 9- there is an automatic change to high school [Grade 10-12].
At this summer time her pediatrician requested a holding off on Concerta -  to give her a break and see how she does. The plan was to restart in the new school year.
While she did well in sports and volunteering over summer- towards the last weeks, it came to my attention that she was indulging in unwanted teen behaviour.
because of this- she lost several privileges [both at sports] and at home- cell phone and vacation travel. [cell phone will be earned back early October if good behaviour continues]

I do hope that she realizes the consequences.
She continues with some of her old good friends, Track, music, youth club at church and attends school [started Sept 4th] regularly and gets ready in time.
I do have wifi-control at home now beyond 9:30 pm or 11 pm [depending on day]

I do feel that once she gets her cell phone back [we will discuss guidelines before this] that she will start stretching her hang-outs and activities.

My Concerns and questions
How do I have her stay away from negative peer groups [she seeks endless friendships with all types]and negative social media stuff?
How do I prevent further suicidal approaches by her?
How do I respond if at further events should she be suicidal?
How can I get her to take her Vitamins and Concerta [she has stopped these since having her cell phone taken away.]
How can I help her get her school grades up again ?
[she has always been an A to C student; upgraded to A and B mostly- in Grade 9] [ now did well in short math quizzes scoring over 100%- but in full class math honors test - got an F;] [in socials which is her least fave- got good scores in small quizzes but just a Pass in class test]

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Hi Mark,

I am guilty of not trying to know more about Aspergers the stressors, triggers and her emotional being at all those times. It was also so stressful for me as well as overwhelming because I did not know how to manage my daughter or even help her. I had my family members asking me why was she so defiant in certain situations and that I did not discipline my daughter accordingly. Coming from an overbearing Asian family that is very free with so-called advice is tough.  Being a first-time mom who was trying to do right, many times I had failed my daughter by not wanting to find out more about her diagnosis.

Only last year when she was bullied and I noticed stark changes in my daughter's behavior that I realized that this was something bigger what I had previously understood. Thus, I was really blessed when I came across an experienced clinical psychologist that had experience with Aspie girls back in the USA. I owe her my sanity and my daughter's path to managing her anxiety and all her challenges. I have attached my daughter's Mind Map, an exercise that was done by Dr. Julia Goolsby, her therapist.  This was done by Asie in her first class. Truth be told it was very depressing to me to think my daughter thought of herself. I also recognize some of the words used was words that her grandma has used on her. Since Dr. Julia managed to teach Asie breathing exercises to calm herself down as well as many other concepts like empathy, the concept of taking turns, sharing, how to play in a group, personal space and types of different touch by other people. I am hoping that this current therapist will be able to teach her about puberty and more about her body and eventually the reproductive system, sex and how to protect herself. Malaysian schools do not do this properly. 

Asie totally loved the Disney movie Inside Out. In that cartoon movie, the concept of trying and attempting at least once was something that was discussed in the show and because she loved this movie. I use the concept in the movie, her love of Pokemon and now she is fixating on a particular type of Japanese dog breed (Shiba Inu). She has let me know that she wants to learn Japanese and want to visit Japan soon. She knows that the creator of Pokemon has Aspergers as well and she sort of connects with this. She refuses to wear dresses unless she really has to for some traditional and cultural occasions even then she tries as much as possible to try and get away from doing so. She does not want to be known as a girly girl. Goes for a class where she is thought woodwork and engineering and is the only girl in the class, opted for Drum lessons instead of Piano, hates pink but loves art and clay work and is pretty good and artistic as well. I am going to try and follow the steps that you have suggested and let you know how it goes.

Until my next issue, which definitely will be how I tell her about her father and when.  My story is rather complicated.

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Please pardon me for taking the audacity to write to you.  I'm a 64-year-old female who suddenly had an epiphany after my employer noticed my lack of social skill after repeated complaints from others at my workplace.  Previous to this, I remember receiving a report from 23andme about 4-5 years ago showing a graph of autism spectrum disorder, and my autism category was located on the far left corner of the graph under Aspergers.  At the time I didn't know what aspergers was and thought I was just slightly autistic.  I've contacted 23andme to send me again the graph, but now it looks like they've purged their files due to some restrictions from the government.  Is there someone you know here in the Bay Area who might be able to help me whether I'm autistic, or is the genetic report sufficient for me to accept that I am an aspie? Thank you so much for your help.  I've read your articles and find them very helpful in giving me insight into myself.

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Dear M.A. Mark Hutten,

I am an Aspie. I realize that coexisting with me can be a real challenge (I already went through a divorce) and now, as I am in a new relationship, the complaints regarding my behavior are being repeated. I signed up for the social skills training but I am afraid that it does not concern some key issues that make our relationship hard for my partner. Can you tell me if your book could help me in this situation, or is it only a solution for my partner? Is there some other source that you could recommend for me?

Daily interactions with people really exhaust me. Additionally dealing with the same complains that I cannot even fully understand is very hard. I would be grateful for any help.

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We have a 26 year old son who, although living in a self contained suite above our garage and paying rent, is not finding his way to employment and self sufficency.

He was raised as a NT and only was DX 2 years ago.   He moved out when he was 20 and went through hell (and told us NOTHING)  After the second home invasion where he got beat up, we brought him home.

We have worked hard to help him feel safe, get out of defense mode and calm down.  That  has been somewhat successful.

However he has had some bad service providers who have not taken the time to know him and headed him down dead end paths as far as employment is concerned.  So he is still trying to work with a (new) service provider to find employment.

He plays video game and smokes pot to cope with the anxiety and boredom.

Dad and I are retired , we have some financial resources but not alot. 

Dad started a garden this year just to get him out of the house and into doing something, which is having some positive effect, when there isn't tension or a blow up between him and his dad.  Dad also is ASD.

Son is so frustrated with the 'system' that promises to help and doesn't.   He has behaviors that affect his sociability (loud, opinionated)  We are working on getting him to be easier to be around.   He is coming along very slowly.

He also has ADHD, developmental delayed and a possible hypoxia brain injury from birth.

He is capable of working and wants to work but the world is not a friendly or even safe place for him.

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Hi Mark,

I just read your article "Parents with Aspergers Syndrome" on the Neurotypical site, and wanted to say thank you for writing that.

I completed a Bachelor of Psychology (2014), and have since studied a few counselling subjects, as well as Mindfulness and Hypnosis.

Part of my journey has been to try and find out what is wrong with me. I'm 58 years and have had a lifetime of low self-esteem, and am very sensitive to rejection. 

In the past month my research has taken me to Aspergers and how it is a condition that has been missed in women. After reading about it I am certain this is what my mother suffered from, and gives me an explanation for why I never felt loved by her. Also, why her comments at times were incredibly hurtful, and how she could be totally oblivious to the hurt I felt. If I could describe my childhood it would be where I had to walk on eggshells to avoid creating a anger outburst from her, where my feelings were never considered, and where I was not encouraged in anyway by my mother. She was in the era of the state at home mother, so some of that lack of encourage was cultural I would think. My adult life with her has mainly been one where she has abused me, but mostly she has chosen not to speak to me or other members of her family. She is 80 now, and I have considered getting back in touch with her to check that she has what she needs. Having a better understanding of what her condition is tells me that should I get in touch with her not expect any warmth.

I am a mother myself of a beautiful 15 year old girl. Having had a mother like mine presents me with parenting challenges, in that I did not have the modelling. I try my best. Hopefully, my daughter will feel the love that I didn't, and will know she is valuable.

In the meantime, I am still trying to find ways to increase my self-esteem, and wonder if having not received that attunement growing up whether it is possible. 

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My 14 year old son has been put in the middle of a custody battle that his 
father has started. He and his father have more in common so he tends to 
gravitate more towards him. However, he has begun to be defiant, rude, 
argumentative, belligerent, etc. towards me.  If he does not get what he 
wants he starts to argue with me and winds up embellishing/exaggerating the 
facts. Unfortunately, his father has told my son that I am a liar and has 
put him in the position of making a choice, which I believe is destructive 
(we have joint custody and have had that arrangement for 5 years). My son 
sees a therapist weekly and I meet with him as well.  My son's behavior is 
getting worse and I don't know how to deal with it.  Everything you 
mentioned above (walking on eggshells, etc.) I have experienced.  The sweet 
loving little boy that I raised has become someone else (cold, distant, 
nasty, hurtful), and I am heartbroken.  I don't know how much is Aspergers 
and how much is him being a typical teenager.

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thank you mark.  I was actually on page 33 of 69 of your ebook when this email came through. I am reading it all first and then plan to go back and start the process from the beginning.   You are correct (in your video in session #1) , I am at the helpless hopeless stage.  We have a 16 yr old son with Aspergers' and he is doing his schooling online with the Centre for Distance Learning (www.cdli.ca) here in Newfoundland, Canada.  In fact,  I am a math teacher with CDLI. My son has no motivation to do anything and the start to this school year has been very difficult.  My son is totally isolated from any peers and its so painful to witness.  We have a psychiatrist  for my son who has said she can do nothing for us.  My wife and I are at odds now and and  things in general are not well.  I am hoping this will give us a framework.  But we are at the end of our rope.  But we intend to invest in your approach.

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I’m looking to see if you have a quick tip guide to help me right the track of my relationship, that seems to be finding its way to a breakup, while I read the book. The love for one another in this relationship is extremely strong however it’s the day to day challenges that separate us the most.

I want this relationship to work, I know deep down she does too. She recently gave me a book called Understand Asperger’s- I’ll be reading it as well.

Back story:
My gf, Kayla, has Asperger’s, we moved in with each other around 1 1/2 month ago and as of right now we have many symptoms of what you spoke of in the tutorial. We went to the same high school growing up, she took me to my senior prom, to be honest it was a magical night. In all reality, our relationship didn’t blossom there as I was a senior and graduating. I didn’t pursue the relationship due to an agreement I had with my parents regarding No GF, we’ll buy you a car. Away from that we started talking early 2018 again, something fierce was building. In July, we saw one another for the first time in 15 years, It was love at first sight for me and I could almost say it was for her as well, but I’m not going to put those words in her mouth. We started dating and the universe seemed to align everything for me to relocate and be with Kayla. August 31st 2018, I moved in with Kayla. My whole life came with me, my dogs and several items from my previous house. I was so excited and happy that I really never paid attention to the impact that all these changes had on Kayla and have impacted our relationship. As of this moment, we struggle with the day to day communication and personal space that Kayla needs. We also might have a surprise pregnancy that has added to the struggles of our day. It pains me to know that she doesn’t want to have this child, if in fact we are pregnant, with me due to the short comings of not understanding Asperger’s or Kayla to a full extent. It’s easy to say we rushed into this relationship, we were engaged after a beautiful drunken night of guitar hero and my beautiful gf. As of right now, our struggles have pushed Kayla to request that I move to my own place, I can’t confirm if our relationship will continue or not. I want to fix and work on being a better partner for Kayla, hoping that I do not have to move out and that we can make progress, grow, and have a healthy relationship. I would love to be a father, and at one point in our relationship we wanted to have 2 boys.

I’m sorry for the bunny trail story, I’m tearfully writing this because this is me wanting to save the relationship that God and the Universe put on our plate, it’s so fierce and has so much love, it’s absolutely beautiful.

Kayla is tagged on this email as well, I’d love for her to see and understand how important she is to me and how much I’m willing to work at understanding her.

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Hi Mark,

I'm seeking some help, possibly parent management training and therapy for my son and I.  Here's the situation: my 9-year old son was diagnosed several years ago as having Asperger's Syndrome/being high functioning on the mild side of Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD), with ADHD (hyperactivity and inattention) and ODD as co-morbidities.

Developmentally, he hit all of his early year milestones early or on schedule (crawling, walking, talking, learning to read, etc.). He's also been tested as having a higher IQ (around 125 - 136 on the standard Wexler scale), and doesn't appear to have learning disabilities. He can be extremely sensitive to sound (sensory issues), at times, he gets migraines, and has some fine motor coordination issues (especially around writing, and he has not yet learned to tie shoe laces).

He has had a lot of difficulty with organization, breaking down steps to complete a task (executive function), appropriate behavior and understanding social context, social cues and others' social intentions.

He sometimes has had difficulty with asking for basic needs as well, such as asking for a drink of water when he's thirsty, or following basic rules such as remembering to raise his hand and ask for permission to leave the classroom to use the restroom at school. As well as some hygiene issues, especially related to toileting.

Rarely, my child has also had difficulties with his vision, such as temporary, random changes in color vision where greens and yellows suddenly appear brown and vice versa, but only for a short period of time.

He also sometimes has issues with short term memory loss, when for example, he has an aggressive rage outburst (that currently people think are ASD melt-downs/tantrums), where he doesn't remember any of the incident afterwards. He has also remembered things that didn't happen according to other people that were there and directly observed the same incidents, including myself and school staff, though this false memory situation has only occurred twice to my knowledge throughout his entire lifetime.

I should also mention that his birth process was long and complicated, so I'm also looking into exploring the possibility of imaging his brain to ensure there is no brain damage related to birth trauma, or anything else that we may have missed.

Oh and I've also observed him having years of issues with vivid nightmares when he was younger, and sudden intense fear for no apparent reason, which I think may be anxiety? Thus, I'm starting to become concerned that more so than just ASD/ADHD/ODD, these other issues I mentioned above may be related to some other issues, which I understand children with ASD can be prone to.

Please let me know what, if any other information you may require so we could discuss therapeutic options. Please provide me with a list of pricing for online parent management training, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy for my son, and any other options you may provide that you think would be helpful as well.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Mark,

I read your "Parents with Asperger's, The Asperger's compressive handbook" and appreciate your insight and concern for child welfare with a HFA parent.

I am in a horrible situation with my ex and we have a 2 year old child. I was able to get out of our abusive relationship(have protection order) and recieved custody of our child, yet he has visitation. We have attorneys involved and my ex is court ordered to do 1 year Domestic Violence program and we just recieved his mental evualation stating he has HFA level 1, anxiety disorder, and ADD. The evaluator stated his diagonosis should not effect his ability to parent and should not effect his visitation. I know and have experienced the effects of his HFA, abuse, rage, and manupliation and need help advocating for my child in court and wonder if you can help or know anyone who can?

All of the points you touched on in your handbook are concerns I have and I fear for my childs safety not only physical, but emotional and mental. Do you have any material, studies, research, or a letter that I could present to the court to educate them about the reality of the developmental effects an HFA parent has on a 2 year old.

Thanks for your time! I do not know where to turn, locally there seems to be little understanding, resources, and support for court relating to HFA parent/Child relationship.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hello Mark

I have a question about my 9 year old with Aspergers.
His school told me that since the beginning of the school year in September he runs off the playground when really upset and tries to run into the school or off of school property.  It is hard for him to go out for recess anyways because playing with other kids is really hard and he’d rather be by himself.  Teachers and his aide try to help him play with kids outside- sometimes this a successful but other times not especially when the teacher or an aide is not available.  I know he wants friends and has a couple ok relationships but often at recess they are engaging in activities he doesn’t want to do.  Like sports for instance.
He attends a progressive, private school so there are no consequences in place so to speak of for this behavior.  The school is turning to me for answers as this behavior is a safety risk.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Good morning, I am considering purchasing your program because both my husband and I are at our wits’ ends of how to handle our 13 year old.  We are in the “depression” stage.  Last year our son won the respect reward at school and made straight A’s.  This year, he had a fall out with a girl, sunk into a deep depression, and had to be committed to the hospital for a week for suicide ideology.  Since then (and showing signs before the fall out with the girl) he has been rebellious, reckless, defiant, apathetic about school, and mean.  We are afraid to set too many boundaries or push him because we know that a lot of this stems from depression and anxiety and we fear for his life.  Yet now he walks all over us! Would your tactics help an out of control teen with the suicidal thoughts?  Thank you for your consideration.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hi Mark,
Hope you don't mind me writing to you. I found your myaspergersteen page 
after researching some (lack of empathy) trates that my daughter has been 
showing. She's 13 now and has recently been exhibiting increasingly 
difficult behavior. She has very little empathy for my wife and I and her 
younger sister. At school she has always done really well, been ultra 
independent but has recently started to act very disinterested and just do 
the bare minimum. Her general behavior when out of the house is usually 
good although she can be very socially awkward when with us. During 
arguments or rages she f's and blinds at us and has punched me in the face. 
Even when fairly calm she tells us she doesn't like us and she wants to 
live somewhere else. Yet all her primary school teachers described her as a 
model pupil. She has shown some anxious traits when growing up and had a 
period around the age of 7 or 8 where she'd pull out all her eyebrows and 
some patches of hair on her head. Do you think we are dealing with a 
hormonal teenager or do you think she could be showing some signs of being 
HFA. Thanks for your time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My son is 13,  5'10, 190 pds and aggressive.  He has impulse control issues, inappropriate touching of me and his sister. I'm afraid I'll hurt him or wind up sending him away because if he doesn't stop and continues to hit,  poke or grab,  I cannot handle him.  He's a gifted,  smart,  kind,  considerate,  compassionate child sometimes,  but with the ADHD,  he's driving me crazy.  I'm trying to get him into ABA therapy e.t.c but it's expensive and I'm exhausted from filling out grants and scholarships to get assistance so he can get the help he needs.  What advice do you have for me?

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