Showing posts from April, 2010

ASD and "Problems with Balance"

Question My [high functioning autistic] child has great difficulty with balance – is this a normal trait or something else? Answer Both ASD (high-functioning autism) and Sensory Integration Dysfunction often go hand in hand. It is common to hear that a child with the disorder also has difficulty with balance and other gross motor skills, fine motor skills, and unusual tolerance (or intolerance) to sounds, lights, smells, and touch.     These complaints cause as much of a problem for children with ASD as the actual language, communication, and social weaknesses that are a direct result of Autism Spectrum Disorder. There are therapies that address the symptoms of autism and sensory issues. However, there are activities you can do at home with your child that will help develop sensory integration. There are separate sensory systems that create a person’s sensory profile. Here is a list of these sensory areas:   Fine motor skills are necessary for grasping, writi

Is there any method I can use during the meltdowns...?

Question I have three teenagers on the autism spectrum and my spouse does also. Needless to say, our home is stressful at least once a day---usually more---every day. The conflict upsets our preschooler and leaves me in the middle to maintain peace and order. It is challenging to keep them from misreading, reacting to, and feeding off of each others' moods/verbalizations. Is there any method I can use during the meltdowns, especially if I come in when it's already angry and chaotic? I've tried getting them to separate and cool off, but they seem locked into engaging with each other. And, if I leave the room or the house I often end up with holes punched in walls, broken items, etc. Answer The parent’s behavior can influence a meltdown’s duration, so always check your response first: Calm down Quiet down Slow down Prioritize safety Re-establish self-control in your son/daughter, then deal with the issue 1. Take 3 slow, deep breaths, and rather


My soon to be 12 year old has ADHD. But now we are suspecting ASD. We wonder if it could be one or the other - or both. Is this possible? How can we tell the difference? He and I butt heads because he will not stay on task for chores unless I stand over him, and even then can't seem to get it together. He gets angry if asked/told he needs to do chores. And no, none of them are that hard, and he will admit that after a long painful, drawn out affair.    ==> Click here for the answer...

Grandparents Raising Asperger's Grandchildren

Question Are there many other grandparents like me helping to raise kids with Aspergers? And what qualities do you think we bring to this task? Answer There are many grandparents, aunts, uncles and other family members who are involved in helping to raise kids with Aspergers (high-functioning autism). The degree to which relatives are involved in the care of the kids can vary greatly, but grandparents often have a special place in kid’s hearts. Grandparents bring a unique set of skills to the raising of their grandkids. Many grandparents have the ability to spend a great deal of time with their grandkids because they are retired or have cut back on their work schedule. This gift of time is typically accompanied by patience. Parents are often harried, rushing from here to there to get things accomplished according to the schedule. Grandparents often don’t have those pressures. This gift of time and patience can be especially important to a youngster with Aspergers. G

13 year old Aspie daughter had her day in court...

Hello Mr. Hutten, I would like to share with you and you can feel free to share with others something wonderful that happened to our family yesterday.  After almost a year and half of being bullied, harassed and assaulted on the school bus, our 13 year old Aspie daughter had her day in court with the perpetrator (another 13 year old bully). My daughter was terrified to testify, but I assured her that her family was there to protect her. We also were blessed to have a witnessed to one of the horrific beatings that my daughter endured come forward. She was terrified as well.  The States Atty's office in Upper Marlboro, Maryland brought forth the case. It was a long process, without any assistance from the school system. Anyway, to make a long story short, the bully was found guilty on all three charges of second degree assault. The judge remanded her into custody on the spot. She was taken away in handcuffs. There was high drama in the courtroom. It had been

Mother Tells Her “Aspergers-related” Story

My son has a very mild case of Aspergers , but I have always held him to a high standard of behavior especially in regards to other kids… you hit/bite you get a time out, privileges taken etc. My boyfriend has 2 children 7 and 8. The 8 yr old is mildly autistic. I have 3 family members who are autistic (all on the more severe side) so I have some experience in this, so dating him didn’t phase me at first. He does not discipline them at all. His son plays "chicken" when my 11 yr old is mowing… almost gets run over, my son swerves to miss him and runs over some flowers, and I think my boyfriend was more upset about the flowers than the fact that his son caused it by jumping in front of the tractor. We had a bonfire, and his son kept playing in the fire, waving smoldering sticks and waving them around, running at and near the fire.....if I hadn’t said anything I believe my boyfriend would have ignored all of this even when his son tripped and almost fell i

I suspect my husband has Aspergers. What should I do?

Question I suspect my husband has Aspergers. What should I do? Answer Approaching your spouse with the idea that he may have Aspergers (high-functioning autism) can result in two completely different responses. Either he is concerned and interested in pursuing an answer to some obvious issues, or he is in complete denial. He may even decide that the problem stems from you. In all honesty, most individuals with Aspergers are well aware that they don’t process things like other individuals. Relationships of any variety have been difficult since childhood. Sensory issues have plagued them, like noises others don’t hear and lights that others can ignore. The way they carry themselves seems less than graceful to fairly clumsy. Their obsessions overtake any attempt at normal social conversation. Yes, they know they are quirky, but have no concept of the reasons behind these differences. Let’s assume that your spouse knows that something is different about the wa

The 14 yr old has been having meltdowns and the 16 yr old is reacting to them...

Question I'm in the middle of a separation that has many levels of drama and it's taking me a lot to manage. Meanwhile, I have 4 children - 3 boys and a girl. I have a teen that is on the Autism spectrum and one 2 yrs older. The 14 yr old has been having meltdowns and the 16 yr old is reacting to them which only escalates things in to fist fights and hole punches in my walls and asking for the male neighbors to come over and support me to bring order. The older one is suffering from the loss of his dad who at the same time resents for what he feels he suffered in abuse at his hands but, longs for him. It's just so much and I'm concerned that things will totally break before I can figure how to get past everyone’s hurt and now resentments and anger with each other. Help!!!! Answer Re: Siblings reacting to meltdowns... Having a youngster with any type of developmental disability can be very stressful for the parents and the siblings of that youngster

Can Aspergers be treated? Yes!

Is there a cure for Aspergers? No. Aspergers (high-functioning autism) can currently not be cured and the condition is life-long. However, with correct treatment and therapy, many people with Aspergers can go on to lead normal lives and may even excel in certain areas of occupational functioning. Can Aspergers be treated? Yes, most definitely! However, because Aspergers is a relatively new diagnosis in the field of developmental psychology and psychiatry, many treatment approaches are still in the developmental stages and lots of work still needs to be done in this area. One thing has definitely been established - the sooner treatment begins - the better! This applies especially to remedial, educational and therapeutic intervention. While there is no specific treatment or 'cure' for Aspergers, there are many interventions which can significantly improve the functioning and quality of life of people and kids with Aspergers. Social Skills Training— This sh

What are the pros and cons of the APA’s plan to change the diagnosis of Aspergers to autism without the current separations?

In February 2010, the American Psychiatric Association released a draft of the possible revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM. The current version, the DSM-IV, contains somewhat complicated diagnostic criteria for Autism Spectrum Disorder, which includes Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified, Aspergers, and includes reference to Rett’s Disorder or Childhood Disintegrative Disorder. The AMERICAN PSYCHIATRIC ASSOCIATION plans to revise the category of Pervasive Developmental Disorder, simplifying the criteria and removing the distinctive divisions. With this revision, there will no longer be a diagnosis of Aspergers or PDD-NOS. All individuals who meet the criteria will be given a diagnosis of Autism Spectrum Disorders. The reasoning for these changes is to create a more consistent diagnosis, and a spectrum-type diagnosis may solve the problems of inconsistency. This will eliminate the need to diagnose an ind

I don't want to be a prisoner in my home...

We don't feel so alone anymore. I feel for all of you. We have a 12 yr. and he's very smart and sneaky. No putting holes in walls yet but I'm waiting. He's very small for age so it's not to violent yet. He likes to tell me (mom) how he's going to kill me. Every detail. Does anyone elses kids threaten in this way? All the doctors say lock your doors at night and lock up knives. REALLY!!! I could have figured that out on my own. But I don't want to be a prisoner in my home. ```````````````````````````````````````````````````` COMMENT When a child threatens to hurt someone, take it seriously. Children and adolescents who threaten violence are significantly more likely to behave violently than those who do not make threats, according to a study of more than 9,000 youngsters reported in the August issue of the Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, a journal of the American Medical Association. My Aspergers Child: Preventing Temper Tantr

Parenting ASD Children: Preventing Problems Before They Start

Question "Are there some ways to prevent some of the discipline-related problems encountered with ASD children (e.g., meltdowns associated with receiving a consequence for misbehavior)? I say ‘prevent’ because it seems that once my son knows he is going to be punished, it quickly escalates into meltdown, which by then is much too late to intervene (i.e., it just has to run its course at that point). In other words, can a parent ‘predict’ - and thus prevent - a potential meltdown?" Answer Sooner is better than later. Most people tend to wait until a problem arises and then attempt to deal with it through the use of a consequence. Consequences can be positive (gaining something) or negative (losing something). At times, consequences are discussed prior to an event, but usually in terms of a motivator: "If you do this, you will gain (lose) something else." More often we use consequences in the middle of a problem, such as, "If you don't stop th