COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for May, 2014]

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Hello Mark, I wanted to give you and update on Mickayla's progress. Well since we followed your program and started making our kids earn everything and also took Mickayla out of homeschooling and enrolled her at New Heights, a charter school she has gone from getting F's to getting A's and one B-. We even noticed a change in her attitude toward her siblings and she has a group of friends who are not only A+ students but who stay away from trouble, too. She is still cranky from time to time but I don't get into fights with her anymore. We talk more, too. She wants a cell phone now and my husband and I told her that she has to pay half of the bill and half for the phone, she also has to go by a cellphone contract I found on line. Thanks so much. Your program is worth a million!


I am feeling very fragile after 48 years with a man I have loved so deeply with little return of that love in any emotional way.  What I have learned is to accept his actions:  keeping our young family safe and fed and housed; caring for all equipment; being a dedicated science teacher for 34 years; donating hundreds of hours a month as a volunteer for so many things.  What I have missed is an emotional connection with him. 

Having come from from a sexually abusive home (early childhood), I have have been courageous in seeking the help I needed (at 48) to keep from totally psychological disintegration.  I integrated 8 alter personalities in ten years, determined to get through grueling therapy without medication and come out whole and content I have. 

As we were moving after 40 years in one home in Downtown Tulsa to a rural town in south central Texas to be near our physician middle daughter  and her family.  As I was saying goodbye to my therapist in Tulsa, he told me my husband had Aspergers and to study up on it and determine that for myself.  It was a relief to find the causes of his behaviors that had always perplexed me.  However, my therapist wasn't sure telling him at age 71 was wise as he didn't think he could change.

Something has to change and I believe he must know so that we don't have to live in such isolation that gets worth each year of his life.  His constant criticism has had the affect of allowing myself to become over anxious and emotional. 

It sense it is time to tell him what I know, let him study the topic, and come to the conclusion for himself.  I'm hoping your ebook will help me do that.

Again, thank you for sharing of yourself on the Internet.  I feel a bit less lonely today.  He is off volunteering as a tour guide today, and I am revisiting and learning as much about the autism spectrum as I can. 


We have been searching for years to find out what my daughter is all about.  We have put endless hours ,out of love, wanting the best for her.  In the last few months we have determined it is Aspergers.  We have inundated ourselves with books and info from everywhere we can find it.   During this time, I have discovered that my husband probably  has this as well.  What I heard of your seminar was so accurate in how I feel and the issues we have in our marriage.  I feel , more and more, that I am at loss with trying to communicate with him.  We are not even close to divorce but everyday seems harder and harder.  I did share with him these feelings, but as you mentioned he was not very receptive and has yet to continue the conversation after three weeks. 
I was glued to your talk and when it ended, I wanted  to hear more.  I don't know where to go from here and hearing what you said was validating and encouraging.  I  will sit and watch or listen as long as it takes, if it means saving my marriage and my family!
Thanks for what you do.


My wife and I are just in the initial phase of diagnosing our 16 year old son with AS.  In other words, we think he has it, but we’re not sure.  As with most AS kids (I assume) he has been diagnosed with ADD, sensory integration issues, etc.    My question is -  are you aware of anyone in the Boston area you would recommend we meet with to discuss our son’s situation (behavior, habits, etc) to get a sense of whether he is more or less likely to have AS?   He fits some symptoms, but not others (which is probably not unusual):

•         Well liked among his peers, but not many close friends, something always “seems to happen” but he’s never sure what it is
•         Rejected by his ‘best friends’ but not sure why
•         Can be unintentionally intimidating to others, a serious look, almost like a scowl would be his normal facial expression
•         Very focused on a few things  (basketball is #1, but music, movies and TV are also important)
•         Maintains good eye contact in conversations
•         Very competitive, always judging how he ‘measures up’ vs. his peers
•         Good (3.2 GPA) grades, very preoccupied with going to a good college
•         Athletic (a good basketball player) but way below average fine motor skills ( buttoning a shirt is difficult)
•         Very limited diet (never will eat any fruits or vegetables)
•         Monotone in verbal communication
•         Very respectful to authority figures (teachers, coaches) never any behavioral issues at school- considered ‘a nice boy’
•         Has a good heart, not intentionally mean to anyone, feels empathy
•         Can be very disrespectful to parents, because he feels like he can be himself at home, being good all day seems to exhaust him
•         If he’s outwardly happy or in an obviously good mood, there’s usually a reason (he had a great game, did well in on a test, he’s on vacation, etc.)
•         Hygiene- won’t use soap or deodorant on his own, needs to be told- almost every day
•         Very disorganized, which causes lots of unnecessary anxiety, always losing things, leaving things behind, more than simple forgetfulness

Sorry for a long email, but we’re just coming to terms with the possibility he has AS and aren’t sure what the next steps should be.   Many thanks for any insight!!


Hi Mark,

You don’t know me but I’m desperately hoping you can help me.  Regarding this article on your My Aspergers Child blog http://www.myaspergerschild.com/2010/10/aspergers-teens-and-sex-education.html and specifically, the following paragraph:

On the one hand, there are the shy, prudish teens who consider it a big deal to unbutton the top button on their shirt or to wear shorts….

Both types of Aspergers teens create social issues with the "prudish" type often being subjected to bullying over their appearance. They also often have problems attending gym class. These Aspergers teens often face longer-term life and relationship issues because social rejection in the teen years can often have lasting consequences. All too often, these teens have major issues with dating and with meeting others. In this regard, some of worst problems stem from their conservative dress sense and the fact that they would never set foot in many of the places where social activities are conducted (e.g., dances).

This paragraph is an accurate description of me - an adult female with Asperger’s, suffering from the same long-term issues that you describe.  I need to find out more about this to pinpoint why, in my late 30s, I am still incapable of entering into any sort of relationship, and hopefully find a way to overcome my difficulties, but I cannot find any other information about this extreme “prudish” type of Aspergers anywhere.

Please, where can I find out more?


My 16 yr old son was diagnosed PDD two tears ago (we have a 21 year old reclusive daughter with Aspergers as well), and as he grows he has become very depressed anxious panic attacks, no friends, afraid to go outside, is home schooled because he cant keep up academically and this has caused a great self hatred, and he sees he cannot succeed in the school system , so I took him out because of the damage it was doing...(even the IEP did not help him).  But now he does nothing or very little of homeschooling, as he cannot sit still for academics but is ok with video games, and youtubing, etc.  the neuropsychiatrist has tried antidepressants, antipsychotics, stimulants, and many other types of meds that have done nothing but make matters worse!  So he is off everything except Xanax for panic attacs.  We have recently put  him in a social skills group therapy, which I am skeptical will help him, as he wont connect with anyone except the only girl in the group who has latched onto him.....he believes that he is same sex attracted but wants to "try" a relationship with a girl, (he has never had any romantic relationships at all yet in his life, this would be his first...and she seems very controlling which worries me but I am watching closely and not getting involved at this point) but he won't connect with the boys in the group and I feel that for some reason it is more important for his male maturity to connect with his same sex peers on a social level, so that he can find himself.  I hope this is making sense as I do not have much time to sit and compose a perfect letter.


Dear Dr. Hutten,

I am writing you to see if you could help direct me to some effective materials for creating a more stable relationship with our adult son who is now almost 30.

He is living independently and has worked as a Pharmacy Technician at Safeway for 10 years which is the silver lining in all of this. He is a good employee and we are very fortunate that this aspect of his life is stable.

He is actually a foster child who came to live with us at age 6 due to his Mother’s debilitating MS. He had a chaotic childhood and was in several different foster home situations.

He is currently involved with young woman who shows no romantic interest in him. She is a student and does not work and uses our son to finance all of her entertainment, clothes, make-up etc. His finances have always been very tenuous but bills have now gone to collections and he has no savings. He is getting very little rest, off all medication including thyroid and I don’t think is eating well. My obvious concern is for his health among other concerns.

In additional we are dealing with the following behaviors which make this more challenging:

•         Once he has an idea it takes on a life of its own. For example, he would risk his health, financial stability, and other relationships to keep this girl in his life. He becomes focused on one issue and cannot let that go even though things are falling apart in other areas of his life
•         He is a chronic liar and does not seem to have any remorse
•         He told us recently that he has “no feeling” for us, his brother or his Mother who passed away in 1995
•         He has numerous challenges managing ADL’s
•         He seems to live in somewhat of a fantasy world and seem oblivious to reality
•         He has had a number of academic failures

I am wondering if there are specific videos and or books that might help us in managing our relationship with him which is quite strained right now. I believe that there is more involved here than Asperger’s. He also has a diagnosis of ADHD and anxiety.

My other concern is that we have such a challenging situation that this will be difficult to address. We want to stay involved in his life at some level since we believe he is at such risk but that has become more challenging since he knows we are concerned and I think he only wants to be the company of people who do not have the full picture or don’t care about his personal choices.

I do have a counselor who would be willing to meet with both of us to explore some of these issues. She has worked in the Asperger community for many years. She is suggesting that he might also have an attachment disorder which is possible based on his background.

I would appreciate any recommendations for figuring out how to interact with him and keep him safe—that is our challenge right now.


Dear Mark,

My husband, Bill, and I are the parents of a 26-year old son whom we strongly suspect has Asperger's.  While Alex has not been diagnosed by a professional, he does seem to manifest most, if not virtually all, of the symptoms.  He has, however, been diagnosed with ADHD as well as with cystic fibrosis.

I purchased your ebook yesterday and Bill and I are reading it.  As per your request, I won't pose any specific questions to you until we've thoroughly read the material and listened to the audiotapes.  However, as we anticipate that your one-hour Skype conference sessions would be very beneficial for Alex, may I please ask at this point what your fee is?

Thank you very much for your kind assistance.

Best regards,



Dear Mr. Hutten:

I am the mother of a 13-year old boy.  We live in Southern California.  I purchased your eBook, Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management.

I would really appreciate the opportunity to speak to you directly for some guidance. 

My son was diagnosed with delayed receptive and expressive speech at age 3.  He attends a typical school and we does not have any accommodations.  We have never discussed his issues with him or his schools.

We moved my son to a small private school two years ago at 6th grade.  He is now in 7th grade and has no friends whatsoever.  He is completely ignored by his class mates.  How can this be?  He is a super nice good looking kid with absolutely no behavioral problems.

The only thing I can think of is the fact that his verbal communication is not up to par with the other kids his age and he can be socially awkward when he is not at ease.  This can’t be the whole problem, can it?  There seems to be some disconnect that he and I cannot figure out.  He is incredibly sad and hurt by his school experience.  His self esteem is extremely low and his outlook on life frightens me.

We desperately need some professional help so that we can get to the root of his social problem and fix it.  I know he can make and keep friends.  He still maintains his friendship with 3-4 kids from his old school.  He has a wonderful best friend. 

Needless to say, we are withdrawing from the private school at the end of this year.  He has two public school options for next year.  I need to get this problem understood before the start of the school year so that we don’t repeat the same mistakes.  My son agrees.

I cannot sleep because my nights are spent worrying about my son and imagining his loneliness at school every day.   My heart is broken and so is his.


As I sit at my office desk in tears I manage to search for some help and came across Launching Adult Children with Asperger’s. This sounds like a Godsend.  First I have a daughter who is 20. She was diagnose  with mild Asperger’s at age 7. The therapist said it was a mild case and she compensated well.  She is highly intelligent which has open many doors but her social skills hinder her progress. I know you hear tons of stories but mine may be a little unique. I knew about my daughter diagnosis for years but she didn’t know until she was 17. This has been a rude awakening for her and I think I may have destroyed her life in efforts to protect her. I’m at a lost and I’m hoping your book will give me some guidance.  We lived in Terre Haute and she recently move back home from Anderson University and transferred to ISU (which seems to be a big sensory overload). She doesn’t want to live on campus because she had an awful time coping when she was away at Anderson. Long story short, are there support groups near Terre Haute, IN not just for parents but for people with Asperger’s?    I notice you have online support for parents but is there online support for her? I appreciate your help.


Hi Mark,     I have a daughter called Natalie aged 24years who has recently been diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome. She did well at school even though she had problems with migraines. She had two attempts at university studying Chemistry and Forensic Science but was stressed out and had a lot of migraines, lots of time off sick, struggled to catch up with lectures and course work and therefore was unable to complete the course. Since then she had applied for an apprenticeship in Bussiness and Admin., was granted a place at our local college but was unable to find a firm that would give her the experience. She was told that she had limited work experience. My sister who has a Bed and Breakfast Hotel in Trinidad offered to take her on for six months. She left our home in Preston, Lancashire, England in January and my sister had her assessed by a psychiatrist in March. She has motor clumsiness and co ordination, low coping skills, needs reminding about combing her hair , cleaning her teeth, eye contact issues, limited facial expression, can`t figure out if what she`s wearing is appropiate or not. My sister says that she has learnt a lot since working with her,exposure to different people and situations. They had wanted her to stay there for a year for treatment but Natalie wanted to return after the six months as she was missing our family and the weather was becoming too hot for her.

She hasn`t been told about her diagnosis as she is returning home in June, therefore only an assessment was done and no results communicated to her. She will be given some career guidance until she returns. I would like to have something in place for her on her return. Have you got any suggestions on how I should proceed? She is such a lovely girl, very bright and I just want her to be able to get a good job and be able to support herself and be independent.


Thank you very much for offering your online coaching service - I have been enjoying your newsletters for 6 months or so now and have found them very helpful and insightful.  I have a 6 year old daughter with ASD, and one challenge we are having with her is difficulty getting her to sit still and stay in her seat at appropriate times (school, church mealtime, etc.)  She just seems so wiggly and restless, much more so than her twin brother.  Any suggestions would be much appreciated! 

RE: She just seems so wiggly and restless…

Restlessness can be an ADHD symptom. Also, the lack of challenge for certain gifted kids makes them fidget in church, class, etc. They may find what is happening is too dull or boring, and this leads them to fidget.

Some kids have a genetic disposition to wiggle around and tend to move more than other kids. They are constantly moving and are mostly unaware of this habit. Instead of worrying about it or giving unnecessary punishments, it is advised to accept this nature and allow the wiggling (probably not what you wanted to hear).

Allow your daughter to have something in her hands or lap. Just make sure the items you give her to fidget with are light in weight and don’t create any kind of racket. Children who are permitted to move their hands freely are able to fidget less - and learn faster - than children who are prohibited from doing so. The various hand movements help children concentrate and learn.

Although there is no way to completely do away with restlessness, you can minimize it to some extent. Providing a different form of stimulation often helps (e.g., holding and squeezing a stress ball). Unless restlessness causes distress to others or turns to agitation, there is no need to worry about it. It is not such a bad thing, and usually dissipates over time.


Mr. Hutten,

I am at the end of my rope with my 17 year old son. Peter was diagnosed with Aspergers/PDD-NOS when he was 11 years old. Since then, Peter has displayed symptoms of depression that progressively worsened. He is currently prescribed 150 mg of Zoloft per day which somewhat helps.

The reason I am contacting you is because Peter is having a difficult year in school. He is a junior this year but it is unlikely he will pass his classes this semester even though he is capable of earning straight A's. Peter has had bouts of nonattendance and tardiness all year. In fact, he did not attend school at all this past week. He says that he doesn't need an education and that he doesn't like school. He has become very defiant about school and has made it known to the school personnel that he doesn't want to be there.

As I said at the beginning, I am at the end of my rope. I am seriously considering withdrawing Peter for school and enrolling him in a GED program. Is there any advice you can give me?

Your input is much appreciated. Thank you.


hello, i have a 12 year old son with a diagnosis aspergers, adhd, anxiety disorder, depression, TICS, and mood disorder. He was in the psych hospital in Feb. for the first time. we homeschool him. We adopted him at birth and the birth mother told us that she "might" have smoked dope and drank prior to knowing she was pregnant.

My  question is this...he is out of control to the point of endangering himself, me or animals. He threatens to kill the psychiatrist and me. Everything is someone elses fault and the whole world is against him. I know you hear this time and time again but I feel as if i am the only one going through this and I isolate myself from others so that I dont have to deal with him in public. We have been to classes, read books and tried therapies and nothing seems to work. I was under the impression that he cycled in the year and was just having a tough time but we are going on our 5th month of really tough struggles with him. I have considered placing him in a longterm group home because I dont feel as if i can do this anymore. I am tired of fighting with him and just want to know how you can help us?
 we do have medical insurance and they have suggested different things but nothing is working right now. I dont even like my child and a mother should never feel that way. I'm just tired of trying things that dont work...


Hello Mark,
I came across your site tonight desperate for some answers for my brother who has a son with HFA. My brother is not dealing well with things in general, with his son and is finding it hard to motivate him when it comes to school. they have huge outbursts and nothing positive comes form it. My dealings with students with HFA and Autism has been through my teaching, but I am not the parent, so I understand, my advice is limited.

Can you advise me as to where outside of school, or who within school he and his wife could go for any further advice. My heart goes out to my nephew and adore him as he does me! he is in year 8 and not coping with homework etc.  Thanks so much for your time reading my email.


Dear Mark,

I am really confused and don't know where to turn. Your information is incredibly helpful and focused. As her mother, I believe our daughter has Asperger's.

Our daughter Lucia is 13, diagnosed with NLD three years ago. (She was diagnosed with selective mutism and anxiety at age 7.) Her experienced psychologist recently evaluated her and we are awaiting the school's portion of the evaluation.

He said that bec she doesn't have too strong of a repetitive interest, she cannot be diagnosed ASD, and that the other choice is social communication disorder (which insurance will not help us with) with the new DSM-V. I am certain that it's not just communication that's a problem for her!!! If she has NLD, Asperger's, PDD, shouldn't she be classified as under the spectrum? I don't know what to do or think. I like a label bec then I can learn about it and better help her! Do you know what we can do to get a proper diagnosis through the well -respected practice? Shouldn't they take into consideration mother's observations?


 Hi, can you help us with our adult 22 year old aspie who just won’t do what we ask her to do.  She has a job and loves to work but goes to work 5 hours early and just sits there or wanders the store.  We cannot get her to do her chores or laundry and the minute we leave for work she leaves the house.  We live 30 miles from her job with no public transportation so taking her vehicle is not an option.  She has flunked out of college and we now want her to get a full time job but she doesn’t look too hard.


I am a social worker in a Private OMH clinic and I have a client and family that I have not been able to help much. I am not use to this! After 4 years with this 15 yr old I love her but have not made much of a dent in her outbursts at home and her parents are as exhausted as when I first met them! I am sorry to vent but what is the cost of your program. I see the book is 19 Dollars? What other fees are there. The family is not wealthy but they do have some resources. I can’t recommend what I do not know about so I was going to order the book also, or first. I have been in practice for 32 years but not a lot of Spectrum kids that function so high. By the way this child has done great in school.


Thank you very much Mr Hutton, my daughter was diagnosed in dec with ODD and ADD we have been swing a therapist for 3 months and she is taking Ritalin when I can get her to take it she is 12. My frustration is I have implemented everything the therapist have advised and I feel like I'm spinning my wheels. She throws fits is rude disrespectful swears and other times she is very sweet. I just want to be able to have a semi normal household as I have other children and also be able to go places and not have to be embarrassed as I'm not sure how to handle her in public. Any advise u can give is appreciated a that's why I'm online trying to gain more knowledge to help my daughter and my family .


Hi Mark:
My grand daughter is 8 years of age and diagnosed with HF Autism by NYU Child study - a 3 day evaluation. My son has sole custody, as her mother left the home when Lily was 6 years old. My grand daughter is now in a Special needs school and doing extremely well....She still has her meltdowns.  However, she now can hold conversations, good memory, fun to be with, can teach me how to use a laptop, tablet, etc.  Our main concern is "Play dates in her home." She becomes very Territorial and will not share her toys or allow anyone in her room .  Play dates outside of her home most times go well. We have an untrained attendant in the home and neither she or her dad are able to get her to share.(big problem) as she is losing potential friends and the opportunity to acquire needed social skills.
Would greatly appreciate your suggestions.
Thanking you in advance.


Dear Mark

Thank you for your quick response. My child, 7years, has been recently diagnosed by Aspergers Syndrome. Since then I have been reading up & researching online on Aspergers Syndrome as suggested by yourself and some of the well wishers. I have also met people to understand support and resource  available for a child with ASD. To be honest to you at this junction I am lost and am reaching out to you to seek advice on way forward for Mikhail.

As suggested by you Social Skills Training and CBT is the best intervention plan for Mikhail, in which case who can facilitate, an OT/SI  for example to be improve his ability to respond when called or Behavioral Therapist for helping him with Social Cues.

I have oriented the School about his issues, through Remedial Education they are confident about dealing with school situations like writing, attention, Motivation, Group participation and Bullying.

Eagerly look forward to your response, as you will empathize, i need guidance in helping my child reach his potential. Thanking you in advance. I am attaching the scanned copy of the Mikhail's diagnosis report for your reference.


I am a social worker and recently met a client who has Asbergers. He is filled with rage and does not know how to control his anger. He is seriously a threat to himself and his family. Could this be the result of autism? According to both himself and the family he has never been abused and has not lived a hard life. What are your opinions? I was reading about your OPS classes and was thinking of referring him to you for help. Is there a way that he can obtain help without it being a financial difficulty on the family?


Hi Mark,

I have trouble with my daughter, age 14, and son, almost 10, at home.  The weird thing is, out in public, they are fine! Active at church and youth groups, Actually great roles models! Straight A's, awards, complements from teachers and parents all the time!!   Grounding my 14 year old just makes her laugh, she hardly ever goes anywhere anyway.  She just does homework!

 Its only inside our home that I get backtalk, strong will battles, hitting me, refusing to help, temper tantrums, knocking over things,  making unreasonable messes.  No one would suspect it. 
Have you worked with families like this?    No stealing, no drugs, but if I ask them to load the dishes, I need a good lawyer!  If I try not to argue, my son wont go away, you never listen!! You dont care about me! You are grounding me and ruining my life!" Then keeps hitting me.  cant leave or he might take it out on his sisters.

My 7 year old isnt too bad yet.

Read tons of parenting books, I know, limits, respect them....etc.  Starting to praise more more good behavior, although was already doing this!  I suppose the issue was inconsistency, grounding them and letting them go for good behavior the next day, not being on the same page with my husband on punishments, arguing with him in front of them, and being sarcastic and yelling, although I'm much better nowadays.  Why am I still having trouble?  


We have been having difficulty getting my daughter, who is 12, up and ready for school in the mornings ever since she began school at 5 years old.  To give a bit of background, while she does have a hard time falling asleep, she has been taking Trazodone (have also used Melatonin in the past) for this particular issue, and is generally asleep within an hour of taking it.  When she was younger, her bedtime was 7:30pm, at the beginning of this school year that had been pushed back to 8:30, and currently is 9pm.  She consistently goes to bed at 9pm (sometimes on a weekend she will stay up a little longer, but it is rarely past 9).

While this has been a problem forever, next year she will be going to middle school - and she will need to be ready to go an hour earlier than she currently is.  We have been discussing this with her for at least 2 years, so she definitely knows it is coming. Generally the problem is that she will get out of bed (begrudgingly, and most of the time my husband takes her blankets off her bed to get her out - occasionally we have had to remove her from her bed ourselves) and then will get distracted reading books, playing, just laying around, etc.  And will not get dressed.  At this point, she is generally naked in her bedroom - otherwise I would send her to school in pajamas.

We have tried several methods to try and get her to see what happens if she doesn’t get up and get ready:

Letting her miss the bus (meltdown - yelling at the bus - but the same issue persists the very next day)

I did put her in the car on the way to an appointment once with only underwear on, and her clothes in a bag.

Removing all toys/books from her room (she still would lay on the floor, or take books from her sister’s room, or read boring literature from mail flyers, etc.)

Reward charts (several different kinds, with several different options, and several types of rewards - currently she can earn $1/day if she gets herself out of bed and dressed before her father gets out of the shower - I believe she has earned $3 so far through this system, and we have been doing it for over 3 months.

Nothing has helped - I don’t believe this is a sleep issue, as on the weekends she has no problems getting out of bed at the same time or earlier than normal to read, play with her toys, use her time for computer/video games. And she has shown that she *can* get ready if there’s a good enough reason for her to want to.

I’m not sure what exactly we are going to do next year - do you have any helpful hints or ideas that we can try next?


My son will be 20 at the end of May, and officially diagnosed with Aspergers when he was 17.   He started seeing a psychologist (she actually did testing).  But since he was 18, and wouldn’t sign a release, the person could not share info with me.  So I felt like my hands were tied.  I want to help my son be as independent as I can, but during that time, I wasn’t getting any information.   I asked about services, but was told they were limited because he was not in high school any longer.

Initially, he didn’t really want people to know he had Aspergers, thought his case was mild enough that he could adapt.  But in the last 6-8 months, I think that is changing.  As he understands himself more, maybe he is realizing his challenges more than before, I don’t know.  He had a “situation” with his previous therapist, and it required him changing therapists abruptly.  That did not go over well. 

Last fall, he got so overwhelmed with things, that he told his therapist that he was having thoughts of hurting me and his brother.  He was admitted to Gallahue, released 3 days later.  They started him on Risperdal and Inderal.  He didn’t like how that made him feel, so only took them for a short period and stopped.  He found another therapist (he found her by doing an internet search)- and she has really been positive for him.  He is a little more willing to share info.  He is not on any medication now.

His grandmother, my mom, died after a brief illness when he was 14.  We were all VERY close and after she died,  I was very depressed.  I think that impacted him in ways I am still realizing.  His paternal grandmother, who lived in Grand Cayman, died a couple years later.  Although Niko was not very close to her, his dad became very depressed.   His father and I have had marital problems, too.  Not a fun place to be a lot of the time at our house, although I tried my best. His dad and I have been separated for the last year.  Niko doesn’t like his dad, doesn’t want to speak to his dad. 

He lives at home, has one 16 y.o. brother.  He has sent several applications, gotten some interviews, but no job offers.  He is also taking a class per semester at Ivy Tech.  Thought he wanted to be a psychologist, but may be reconsidering that at this point.  I don’t think he knows.

So he tells me he is depressed, but therapist not recommending seeing a psychiatrist for medication at this point.  I like his therapist.   She doesn’t take a lot of Niko’s crap.  He has outbursts when he is challenged or doesn’t get what he wants.  I have been called every name there is.

Niko says I don’t understand him or what he needs because of his Aspergers.  I have read a lot online, several books. I have read your info on Young Adults with Aspergers.  Sometimes, I am not sure if he is trying to manipulate me, or if he is really that rigid in his thinking.  I WANT to understand how he thinks.

I want to help my son be as independent as he can be, like every other parent.  Sometimes, I think he will be able to move out, finish school, and get a job.  On the other hand, sometimes he seems to be so paralyzed by basic activities.  He sees a therapist, but I still struggle with trying to find help for him.  I am probably feeling guilty too because if he was diagnosed earlier, he could have gotten help earlier.  He also went to a meeting with vocational Rehab to see about services, but he is “waiting” to see if he qualifies.  I struggle with helping him vs letting him do things on his own.  I struggle with support vs doing it for him.   Please help me as I try to understand my son and be a support in his quest for independence.  

Dear Dr Hutten, 

My name is Ruth. My 6yr old grandson, Nolan, has been having horrible meltdowns, violent behavior towards himself and others for the past 4 years. We are not able to take him to a restaurant, a store or an amusement park. He was in our local psychiatric hospital for 3 weeks last month. He has been diagnosed as ADHD and aspburgers on the autistic spectrum. For the last 4 years he has been on resperadone, adderall, conccerta and clonodine as he doesn't sleep. He also wets himself regularly which he didn't do before all these drugs that don't seem to be helping all that much.  We are getting desperate. He is getting too big and fights too hard. We can't get to where we need to be because he is melting down. Normal places we need to be like WORK. We live in a small school district in Northern NY. Because he is high functioning the school has not given him an I.EP. We have been trying to get help for him for 4 years. Other than drugs that don't work we have gotten nowhere. He is never happy and he know he's different then the other kids. He has a very sad pitiful little life. It just breaks my heart. Not only that, I just don't know how much more of his meltdowns we can take emotionally. I am willing to take him wherever I have to. My daughter and I just don't know what to do! Please, is there anyone or anything that can help?


Hello. Can you please give me some advice? I'm 22 years old and I have AS. I was diagnosed with AS when I was 17, which means I've been through a really tough undiagnosticated childhood. I don't take any medication (only B6 vitamin+magnesium). Because when I was 17 the psychiatrist who diagnosed me prescribed me 6 different pills to take everyday (anxiolytics, antidepressants, OCD controller pills, soothing pills) and I despise those pills because they create addiction. So I stopped taking them. And I always had my tough moments yes, but I was dealing with my issues with a positive mind and it was working out, I can say I was having a pretty healthy life and I could handle things on my own. But in the last year, I've been noticing that some of my issues are getting worse... Particularly my social issues. Sometimes I can't even spell a word to strangers, it's like my mind freezes. Sometimes I can't even leave the house. I've been afraid of everything around me lately. I can't use public transports and I get really anxious when I'm in a car by someone who's driving. My OCD got worse too. I have meltdowns more often. And when I get depressed it hits me really bad... [0/10: usually a 8 or a 9]. It's really stressful because I lose all my focus and I can't even keep a positive mind anymore. Why do you think this is happening? What do you think I should do? Besides taking so many pills again? I really don't want to take pills. If you are a doctor or you also have AS, can you please tell me what you think I should do? (I'm sorry about some potential grammatical errors; I'm portuguese) thank you for your time. It would be really helpful if you could answer.


Good evening Mr. Mark,
My husband and I have been on the edge of our marriage. Recently I lost my job, due to nature. After being told I had aspergers I thought it would make our relationship move way more smoothly because we could have an understanding of what was going on. It has not despite talking with professionals and researching the internet we are at each other more than ever and despite reading up on the subject we are still not getting g a grip on our situation. I fear ending a second marriage that I complete adore and am trying everything in my power to change my communications with my partner so he doesnt feel like I am neglecting him, so I dont appear needy or distance and we keep running into walls over and over again. My meltdowns have hit an all time low and we just end up blaming each other in the end. Your book has peeked my interest and would love the in site it has to offer. Due to being unemployed I cannot purchase it. I have checked our local libraries to see if it is available for rent and it is not. Everything I read on your website discribes our problems to a t and I would love to be able to read and have my husband read the book in hopes of some type of resolution that doesnt end in divorce. I would appreciate any help you can give.


Hello,  I am trying to plan for the future.  My son is 16, has aspergrs, and bipolar.  His anxiety level is a 20 ,  he does not have a desire to learn to drive, he fears everything.  I took him out of public school for fear the next time he got beat up, he would not survive.  Now he is transgender.  I am on ssi disability, for 17 yrs for bipolar.  I am his mother.

I am not sure of the future?  I am overwhelmed,  I do not trust the system!  As foster care has already had2 visits in our life,  which has scarred us greatly.  Can you advise me?

We tarted homeschooling, helots interest.  So at 9 the grade his gap a was all a's and b's.  I AMA single parent,  I am wore out of thinking!  I thought at 17 for him/ her to take the GED and focus on voc rehabe?  Now I am questioning everything that I think of!  I know there is an answer but, the remote area we are in has taken a toll on us both!


My son, Ari, 18, has been tested three times by seasoned professionals. He received an IEP and it was recommended he should be in a special needs school (he’s about to graduate from the summit school, queens, which has been fab since they have a social skills track which is his issue; he’s strong academically), even though he’s never been officially diagnosed. I believe he’s an asperger kid and I was drawn to you because you’re the first professional I’ve seen who addresses the anger symptoms. Ari is B+W, impulsive. Thankfully I know he has a good heart. I have been advised to disengage from him when he’s angry, as in, I can’t be with you when you talk to me disrespectfully, or we can speak when you’re calm down, etc. How do I handle him when he’s perseverating, assuming the negative and that I won’t do something even as I’m telling him I will (we end up talking over each other, embarrassing and true). He doesn’t stop talking and it’s like a hammer to my head. I’m exhausted as it’s nearly daily. When he’s calm, I’ve tried suggesting meditation, therapy. I’ve asked how I can help. He truly believes that he needs to curse (I am a no-curse home) to let go of his anger. As another example when we thought the laptop may have been damaged, I knew he’d take it hard. He believed the worse and left me the most awful vm trying to control and manipulate me to get it fixed when I already told him I’d handle it (generally I’d have had him fix it - I don’t like to enable him or treat him as though he has an issue). A day and one-half of anger and hostility could have been avoided if he had been able to problem solve with me, but it’s the absence of his ability to problem solve that often causes this emotional chaos. Your thoughts? Thank you very much in advance.

Dear Mark,

My son is 27 yrs old, and was diagnosed with Asperger's in December of 2011, due to my persistent and relentless pursuit of a real diagnosis for him.  (As opposed to the popular default diagnosis of "ADHD/Depression."). I am an RN and recognized that so egging was different since birth).

Elliot, my son, has been through hell, due to our lack of proper diagnosis or comprehension.... To where I kicked him out at 18 yrs old, due to running with a bad crowd and lack of motivation to keep jobs.  He failed miserably on his own, and eventually ended up in legal trouble.. At which time I worked with a public defender who was able to get him into a setting where he could have  housing and trained to be an oil change tech at Jiffy Lube, and had  moved to a decent setting.

I then decided to help Elliot return to school... First his G.E.D., and then started ITT Tech for computer game design.  The class ended after about 6 mos., Elliot was already falling behind, and I was researching Asperger's.

My personal life brought me back to San Diego (from L.A.), and after more frustrating psych appointments, we finally found one who nodded and said "that is classic Asperger's" after everything I told him. BUT... He (the psychiatrist), kept folding his arms, saying how unfortunate it was that Elliot was diagnosed so late, and he didn't know what to tell us!

Shortly thereafter, I was found to have cancer and everything sort of went on hold with Elliot.  I did take him to "CASA" in Carlsbad.  They seemed like they just wanted money from me and in fact, billed me more after I had already made a substantial co-pay, and then reported me for late pay... Needless to say, I'm not anxious to go back.

Unfortunately, I am a little of an "improvisational" person...not one for routine or regiment as Elliot is SO in need of.  I downloaded your book over a year ago, but due to my demanding job, I  was never able to get around to reading it.  Then today, I finally decided I have to just do it-- I'm feeling desperate to "launch" my almost 28 yr old!!  But, the link will no longer allow me to download your book.

In addition, I am desperately seeking guidance and resources, so that Elliot can have a real life.... And so can his mom.  I feel as if the more he lives with me, the more he is falling into a pattern of laziness, blaming his not "being normal," on his absolute absence of ambition or wanting to contribute in any way other than the chores I make him do.  I am trying to create a future with a partner now, and feel so helpless and frustrated.


I was looking at your advertisement for the "Launching Adult Children with Aspergers" site.  I read this:

Is your child 17-years-old chronologically, but more like a 9-year-old emotionally?

  • Is your child now an adult – and still living at home doing NOTHING?!
  • Are you concerned that you will be taking care of this child well into his 40s?
  • Do you have serious doubts that your child will be able to “make it in life”?
  • Does the thought of him “living on his own” worry you beyond measure?
  • Is he more concerned with video games than getting a degree, learning a skill, finding a
    job, or dating?

  • That is my son!  He's 17 chronologically but I have always said he was 9 mentally!  I thought that was written just to me.  He still has a stuffed animal.  He is more interested in playing video games and we wonder if we will have to take care of him for the rest of his life.  I'm worried about him trying to live on his own because right now I don't think he is capable of that.  He seems lazy and we have a hard time getting him out of bed in the morning.  He says he doesn't want to live with us forever but doesn't seem interested in more schooling.  He is finishing up high school with 2 more years to go.  We held him back a year when he was in kindergarten.  So he will graduate in 2016. 
    We have taken him off of gluten for the past 8 weeks and have also seen a change in him there.  He is interacting more with us and smiling more, something he didn't do much before.  

    Dear Mr. Hutten:

    My 15 year old grandson, Sam, who lives in Raleigh, NC, has aspergers and is having severe meltdowns when dealing with this father. His parents are recently divorced (3 years ago) and had joint custody until this month when his mother was given full legal custody. My grandson despises his father and has threatened to kill him and his brother.

    We, as grandparents who live in New Jersey, are at a loss as to how to help them.This past weekend at a family event he had a meltdown and his father told him he no longer wanted to have anything to do with him, and, Sam feels the same way towards his father. 

    Can you suggest a course of action for us. I am interested in obtaining counselling for myself and my wife in order to learn how to deal with this situation. Can you suggest a local counselor? Are you available for counselling on line or in some other manner?

    RE: Elliot Rodger...

    A high functioning aspie went on a shooting spree in CA. He was angry at being rejected by other college students and girls. He was angry at his only friend ending their friendship and not knowing why. His story at it's core sounds like so many aspies that I've read about, and myself as well. I after reading about him, I felt like it was important to say to all the angry aspies out there YOU ARE NOT ALONE! You are different from NTs, you are different from a lot of people, and you are not always going to be understood, but there are others like you out there! It's hard to believe, your aspie symptoms tend to cause you to have trouble picking up on others emotions, so it often feels like there is no one out there that cares, but there are. Check the websites, go to the chat boards, find friends among the aspies that understand what you are going through and are going to accept you. Learn to understand what you are so that you can better relate to the NTs out there. I was angry and lonely. I read his story and have to wonder about what kept me or others from being like him. I found this site, and discovered there were others like me, and it gave me hope. I get wordy in most of my posts. I have the tendency to repeat myself, one of my defining aspie traits. If you get nothing else out of this, just remember YOU ARE NOT ALONE!


    Good Morning Mark,

    I want to thank you for your assistance and wonderful support with your educational pieces directed to teens and behavior. I was hoping you could help me… My question is now that my eldest has turned 20 and will be turning 21 in a few months, he seems to be spiraling and off track.  He has developed mood swings, that in a 20 minute time span he can go from happy, sad, angry, happy, no affect, angry, happy…

    Ty has always been my compliant, however, lacked self-esteem throughout his elementary and teen years.  He was always trying new things to find himself.  He worked hard in school, was part of the National Honor Society, as well as a scholar with the Youth Leadership in Medicine.  His teachers always had nice things to say about him.  He even experienced 10 days away on a medical educational tour in his Junior year.  Ty went on to college (4 hours away from home) and had a dream that he would be with his girlfriend at the time.  He wanted to be in nursing, however, his girlfriend urged him not to pursue that degree, since it would take so much time away.  He changed to psychology, then changed to radiology just before starting his freshman year.  They broke up a few months before HS senior ended, and Ty’s world came crashing down.  He went for counseling, was put on antidepressants, and Adderol for ADD, just to keep his focus.  He was diagnosed with ADD, and was able to manage it well during High School, but since in college, all his strategy systems fell apart too.  He failed to keep his psych appointments while in college, and I ended up getting him almost every weekend for a home visit.  He was a mess.  His roomates smoke pot all the time, and he didn’t do that, and he felt he didn’t fit in.  

    At the end of his first semester, he didn’t return back to that college, due to a (blessing in disguise) head injury (concussion due to snowboarding).  He instead took medical leave, dis-enrolled in full time college, planned on working full time, and easing back into college during the summer at a local community college.  He did work full-time, enrolled in medical terminology over the summer and got an A.  He started community college full-time this past fall to purse nursing, and did well in the beginning, but again started slipping with his grades (only with his hardest classes).  He also completed a very tough EMT course in the fall, and finished this January.  He started working on the local Ambulance, but needed shoulder surgery in March, and has not since been back, nor is he motivated to go back, or keep his boss updated on his progress, even though he has return to work notices, etc.  

    While during the surgery recovery, he decided to smoke pot instead of taking pain meds. He liked it..too much.  Everyone in the house, and his girlfriend also noticed his mood swings getting worse, and he started smoking pot, and lying about it.  We’ve caught him smoking at home, and have told him that’s against our house rules, and he continues to disobey.  He has also been engaging risky behavior, with cheating on his girlfriend, and speeding with his car.  In the meantime, his girlfriend has suggested that he may be bipolar due to a self test they did together.  I have somewhat suspected this too, however, didn’t know if his mood swings got worse from the concussion.  I got him to make a psych appointment for eval, but he cancelled it due to a school scheduling confict (he never keeps his appointments or checks if he has other things going on, nor does he care that he keeps appointments he makes…)   I just don’t know what to do for him at this point.  Due to his age, and his potential, and his lack of priorities..I need help in advising him, and dealing with him. 

    He also has a 16 year old high functioning asperger’s brother that lives at home too.  The mood swings have affected him throughout the years, and even more now… Any suggestions on where to take this from here?


    Mr. Hutten,
    We have appreciated your emails and ebooks -- we're really sinking our teeth into them now.
    Q1)  Our 18 year old son has been struggling in school for some time.  He has been staying up late and sleeping late and he's done less and less work throughout this school year.  Now we're at a week before classes are over and he has stopped logging in (attendance for cyberschool). Once school is done Friday we intend to remove his computer (which he paid for) or at least remove the keyboard -- likening it to a repossession.  I'm thinking that we could structure "work" to "buy" time on the family computer if the school allows him to finish his courses over the summer.  I can't make him do his schoolwork but I also don't want to prevent him from doing schoolwork (should he decide he's going to work toward graduating) without computer access. Does this approach sound feasible?  Does he ever get his computer back?  Can I say (along with other terms of staying at home) he'll get it back after graduating?
    Q2)  As I said above, he's basically become nocturnal staying on the computer most of the night.  I have set the internet to shut off 12-6am but he has found work arounds.  I can't make him go to bed at a certain time neither can I make him get up at a certain time (although he gets up if there's somewhere he wants to go).  In order to remind him that his times are flipped I'm thinking to remove lamps and shades from his room. Again, does this sound feasible?  Do I need to warn him this is going to happen? Under what circumstances does he ever get them back?

    Hi.  I've not emailed you for a while but life for my sons getting worse
    Senior school sent him to a unit to improve his behaviour he was there 3 wks and won't go back
    Suspected ADHD.  PDA  he won't engage with any professionals so they are working off our feedback
    Although he did complete ados assessment outcome not enough traits for autism diagnosis
    Anyway he won't attend school
    School are being asked to organise home schooling but it's a 2 man teaching job so not sure it's viable but we want an education for our son
    In the process of a statement for his education
    He's been stealing lately as we are giving any money as behaviour and swearing at home is ridiculous
    We don't want to press police charges as that's drastic measures on our son
    Can you offer any advice please Mark ?


    Hello,  I am trying to plan for the future.  My son is 16, has aspergrs, and bipolar.  His anxiety level is a 20 ,  he does not have a desire to learn to drive, he fears everything.  I took him out of public school for fear the next time he got beat up, he would not survive.  Now he is transgender.  I am on ssi disability, for 17 yrs for bipolar.  I am his mother.

    I am not sure of the future?  I am overwhelmed,  I do not trust the system!  As foster care has already had2 visits in our life,  which has scarred us greatly.  Can you advise me?

    We tarted homeschooling, helots interest.  So at 9 the grade his gap a was all a's and b's.  I AMA single parent,  I am wore out of thinking!  I thought at 17 for him/ her to take the GED and focus on voc rehabe?  Now I am questioning everything that I think of!  I know there is an answer but, the remote area we are in has taken a toll on us both!



    Dear Mark,

    Thank you, thank you for all your words of wisdom and help.

    I have a 13yr old twin aspie who is obsessed with wanting to get the computer game Grand Theft Auto which is R18+ rated.
    Some of his school friends have it and he wants to get it so he can play with them on line.
    This game is not appropriate for a 13 yr old let alone one with Aspergers. 
    Im not sure if you are familiar with it but it contains drugs, a rape scene, strip clubs, an act of necrophilia and so on.
    Any way I have said no but he wont let it go. He just keeps going on and on. Messaging me, calling me and always talking about it when he's home.

    I cant seem to change his focus on to something else and he is just getting more and more fixated on the issue.

    Do you have any suggestions?


    I'm familiar ...have even played it a few times years ago.
    I think it's ok to let him play it. By today's standards, that game is no worse than the others ...but limit his time on it. Also, its use should be considered a privilege that is earned (e.g., "as a reward for cleaning your room, you can have 1 hr. on your video game today").


     Hello Mark,

    I have been having a hard time with my son "Seth"  

    He is 10, with an IQ of 127, has been diagnosed with Aspergers, and severe ADHD when he was 8, through a Neuropsycologist at the Connecticut Pediatric Neuropsychology Associates, in CT.
    I am a single mother, his father is in the picture, though he is out of the picture emotionally, and is doing the best he can to care for himself. So, "I" am the one that makes the decisions. 

    Seth was prescribed Medadate CD 10 mg, and I feel that it helped a little.. now, he is not taken any meds. I had taken him to a homeopathic doctor that got him on a diet, and that worked for a little while. His current doctor is about to retire, and about to see a new one once the records are in order.

    He is VERY impulsive, I "know" there are times he can control it, and other times he cannot. 
    School has been working hard to come up with a plan, to get him to control the impulsive activity. 
    They work for a little while, but it seems like he grows out of it quickly. I have emails from the teacher I can share to get a better idea.

    Seth seemed to have mastered lying and manipulation very well.. has no problem lying to me straight faced. When he doesn't want to do something, he will be very disrespectful, and more defiant even though he knows it's highly in tolerated. 
    I feel like I've lost control, and if I don't do something "now" it will only get worse. Seth is insured under the state "Husky" in CT.
    I need to find resources, as I've haven't found much luck so far.  I will keep searching.


    Mr. Hutten,

    I have been receiving your emails for maybe 1 1/2 years. I think this is as close as I've come to actually writing to you. Probably because I am exhausted and out of options. I do appreciate your newsletters as they offer helpful tips and suggestions. It feels nice to know that someone actually "gets" it. Mostly I think....no one but another parent with similar circumstances could possibly understand. Thank you for the work you do.


    Dear Mark,
    I am mother to three young daughters age four, four and five.  All three of them already act like teenagers.  I can't imagine how difficult it will be when they actually reach their teen years.  I believe all three of them are possibly high functioning ASD, ADHD or ODD.  I'm not really sure.  All I know is the older they get, the more aggressively defiant they get.  The oldest steals, lies and destroys others' property often.  She seems totally disconnected from the feelings and needs of others and is just mean and seems to enjoy it.  She and the alpha twin are physically aggressive and teaching the other twin to do the same.  (Smaller twin is about a year behind her twin in development, due to a stroke in utero.  She has hemiplegic cerebral palsy and has developmental delays, but is also very intelligent in many ways.)  The three of them fight constantly and the whining is driving me and their dad (my husband) crazy. 
    I'm ready for a change.  I just want some peace and joy for our family.

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