Loneliness in Children on the Autism Spectrum: Tips for Parents

Kids with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) are more likely to be lonely than “typical” kids. Research shows that they face considerable challenges in making and keeping friends. There are many causes that may result in loneliness for these young people. For example:
  • Change in environment (e.g., relocation from country side to cities, relocation from joint families to nuclear families)
  • Change in school
  • Fear of school bullies
  • Feeling of being invisible
  • Feeling of being isolated
  • Inability of making friends easily
  • Lack of self-confidence
  • Lack of social support
  • Lacking of understanding from others
  • Losing a friend
  • Loss of a mother or father
  • Rejection from friends
  • Relocation of a friend
  • Shyness

Signs that your AS or HFA youngster is feeling lonely include:
  • draws sad pictures
  • fails to interact with peers in class
  • never discusses or speaks with other kids
  • never invites kids to his house
  • plays sad tunes
  • prefers being in his room rather than staying out when guests arrive
  • prefers staying home rather than playing outside with other kids
  • walks home alone rather than with peers after school

When a youngster comes home and says, "no one likes me" or "everyone hates me," it can be hard for a mother or father to tell the difference between temporary exclusion versus ongoing rejection. Fortunately, research studies offer some advice on effective strategies to help “special needs” kids cope with - or avoid - loneliness. Here are some tips:

1. Before parents intervene in their youngster’s social difficulties, they should ask themselves some questions about their own history. For example, do you and your youngster have different temperaments when it comes to socializing? What were your friendships like at that age? Where did you stand in the group in terms of popularity? How did you cope with loneliness as a child? What worked – and what didn’t?

2. Become an expert on your youngster’s social life. Observe his social behavior to determine specific strengths and weaknesses, then share your observations with your child. Also, capitalize on his strengths rather than trying to “fix” weaknesses.

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

3. Don’t drag your own emotional baggage into the equation if you were bullied or teased as a child. Resist the urge to march onto the playground and chastise the bully for picking on your youngster. Also, avoid the temptation to gossip about the bully’s parents in the parking lot after school.

4. Employ the help of your child’s teacher. Let the teacher know that you are working with your youngster on “friendship skills.” The teacher can then structure the classroom environment to support efforts to form satisfying social connections with your child’s peers.

5. Encourage your youngster to participate in various activities in school (e.g., sports, hobby courses, music, etc.).

6. Give your child a gentle push to try new social challenges. AS and HFA children need lots of support and encouragement, while at the same time being gradually pushed out of their "comfort zone."

7. If you have just relocated to a new neighborhood or city, then it is likely your youngster misses her old friends. In this case, help your youngster to make new friends. Call a snack party and invite all the kids from the neighborhood. Introduce your youngster to all of them.

8. If your youngster is afraid of bullying in school – then take care of it. Deal with the school bully by complaining to the teachers and other school authorities. If this approach doesn't work, then have a talk with the bully’s mom or dad. Confront the bully if necessary, and teach your youngster to cope with bullies.

9. Lack of confidence is one of the major causes why an AS or HFA youngster can feel lonely. The good news is that moms and dads can assist with confidence-building by helping their youngster to recognize his unique abilities and talents. Children on the autism spectrum have way more talents than deficits (more information on this topic can be found here).

10. Look for a variety of group opportunities. Scouts, church youth groups, drama club, chess club, and sports teams all provide an alternative to school as a place for your youngster to make friends and gain acceptance.

11. Nurture your youngster’s belief in her ability to develop better friendship skills. This requires ongoing empathy, encouragement, and problem-solving support from you, the parent, in order to: (a) develop the hope and motivation to persist in making friends; (b) maintain a positive attitude and acceptance that children may vary in the way they form friendships; and (c) facilitate the view that friendships and satisfying social relations as important.

12. Praise your youngster for the efforts and contributions (rather than end results) she does in any particular activity (e.g., “You did a great job helping me plant these flowers).

13. Provide training and intervention to promote your youngster’s competence and sense of control. Different types of social skills training found to be effective include: role-playing, problem-solving exercises, peer-tutoring, and modeling.

14. Teach basic social skills (e.g., how to start a conversation, how to guess what other people are feeling, how to join in group play, how to ask for help, etc.).

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

15. Try to structure the environment to promote friendship and provide opportunities to experience social competence. For instance, you can set up an opportunity for your AS or HFA youngster to work collaboratively with another youngster on a task or project that they can successfully complete (be careful to select a youngster who is likely to work well with your youngster).

16. Sometimes, you may feel that the social relationships your AS or HFA youngster is developing are childish or superficial, or that your youngster’s friends are too young or not really a good match. Nonetheless, by understanding that friendship skills take time and practice, you will be able to give your youngster the encouragement and support she needs to build these skills in her own way and at her own pace.

Loneliness is distressing for all children. But, for a youngster with AS or HFA, loneliness may become an ongoing struggle resulting from a lack of social skills or a belief that she simply can’t make and keep friends. As a mother or father, you can play an important role in identifying your youngster’s specific social strengths and challenges, and help her understand that friendships require effort and skill. By doing so, you support her hopes for closer friendships and more meaningful social networks in the future.

Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
More articles for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:
Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…


Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...


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

Click here to read the full article…


Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

Click here to read the full article…


Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

Click here
to read the full article...


Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

Click here for the full article...
A child with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) can have difficulty in school because, since he fits in so well, many adults may miss the fact that he has a diagnosis. When these children display symptoms of their disorder, they may be seen as defiant or disruptive.

Click here for the full article...

Effective Interventions for Problem Behaviors in Children on the Autism Spectrum

In order to create an effective intervention for problem behaviors in children with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA), parents need to take into consideration a variety of aspects.

Let’s first look at “The 4-Step Plan”:

1. Hypothesize the Function of the Behavior:
  • Escape/Avoidance
  • Sensory Feedback 
  • Social Attention 
  • Wants tangible item or activity

2. Gather Information:

a. Antecedent: Does the behavior occur…
  • Following a request to perform a difficult task?
  • Repeatedly, in the same way, for long periods of time, even when no one is around? 
  • When a request for an item or activity is denied? 
  • When you are attending to other children in the room?

b. Consequence: When the behavior occurs, do you…
  • Allow your child to engage in inappropriate behavior?
  • Attend to your child? 
  • Leave him or her alone? 
  • Negotiate or give the desired item/activity?

3. Plan an Intervention:

a. Based on information gathered, are environmental changes needed?
  • Limit toys and games available to your child
  • Less noise/chaos
  • Remove distracters

b. Based on information gathered, determine how you should react to the challenging behavior each time it occurs.
  • Plan to attend
  • Plan to ignore
  • Plan to redirect
  • Plan to remove privileges

4. Identify a Replacement Behavior:

a. What appropriate behavior is “functionally equivalent” to the challenging behavior?
  • Teaching your child to communicate his or her wants appropriately to replace escape/ avoidance behaviors
  • Teaching your child to ask if he or she can use the computer later to replace tantrum behavior 
  • Teaching your child to tell you what he or she wants/needs in order to replace attention-seeking behaviors

b. Create “replacement behavior” planning guide (write it down in a journal or notebook).
  • Describe how you will evaluate if – and how – your child uses the new response.
  • In what situations will “training” (i.e., behavior modifications) occur? 
  • What functionally equivalent behavior are you going to train in place of the problem behavior? 
  • What motivation system will be implemented during training? 
  • Which behavior are you going to target for replacement?

Next, let’s look at Differential Reinforcement:

Differential reinforcement is the process by which the frequency of a desirable behavior is increased while the undesirable alternative behaviors are eliminated. It is used when the desired behavior already occurs occasionally and when there is an available reinforcer.

The first step to differential reinforcement is to define exactly what the target behavior is, and also to define the undesirable competing behavior (e.g., if Michael plays video games twice as much as he does homework, the target behavior would be doing homework, and the undesirable behavior would be playing video games).

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's
The next step is to collect baseline data. Baseline is the period of time before behavior modification is implemented. The baseline serves as an indication of whether or not behavior modification is successful. So with Michael, the parent would record and graph the amount of time spent doing homework and playing video games each day.

In the third step, a reinforcer should be chosen (i.e., an item which the child is willing to work for), for example, snacks, praise, games, etc. With Michael, he could be reinforced with video game time.

Every time that the desirable behavior is demonstrated, it should be immediately reinforced. So, for every 30 minutes Michael spends doing homework, he would immediately be given 15 minutes of video game time. If too much time elapses before the child is reinforced, the target behavior will not increase in frequency.

Throughout the process, it is important for the parent to record the frequency of both the desirable and undesirable behavior so that progress can be tracked. After the desirable behavior is at the desired level, and the undesirable behavior is virtually eliminated, behavior modification can be decreased.

Lastly, here are a few additional interventions for problem behaviors in AS and HFA children:

1. Checklists and Schedules -- Provide visual structure and motivation needed to complete tasks/chores/activities, and stay on target by checking off tasks/chores/activities upon their completion.

2. Contingency Contracts -- The parent and child formalize agreements concerning specific behavior for the exchange of “reinforcers” (i.e., stimuli, such as rewards, the removal of unpleasant events, or punishments that maintain or strengthen a desired response) by writing an agreement. It outlines the behaviors and consequences of a specific behavior management system (e.g., good behavior “A” gets reward “A” …or misbehavior “B” gets punishment “B”).

3. Interspersed Requests -- Used to motivate AS and HFA kids to perform a difficult or unpleasant task by initially asking them to perform several easier tasks, which they can complete successfully in a short amount of time. This helps promote “behavioral momentum.”

4.  Premack Principle -- A method of maintaining and increasing compliance with rules through the use of positive reinforcement. A desired activity is available to the youngster on the completion of an undesired activity (e.g., the child who completes homework can earn an opportunity to play on the computer).

5. Redirection -- Introduce a novel stimulus to recapture the child’s attention by delivering verbal and nonverbal cues to the child to stop misbehavior, offering assistance with a task, engaging him/her in conversation, reminding him/her to focus attention on the task, or modeling calm and controlled behavior.

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

6. Rules -- Establish, teach, and enforce house rules. Rules should be positively stated. Identify the specific behaviors you wish to see displayed.

7. Self-Evaluation -- A self-management system that has been used to promote appropriate behavior. AS and HFA kids are taught to evaluate their own behavior using a rating scale. For instance, a child can rate his or her behaviors using a 0-5 point rating scale ("unacceptable" to "excellent"). The child earns points, which can be exchanged for reinforcers based on both child-behavior and the accuracy of his or her ratings.

It is important for parents to know that, independent of their AS or HFA child's diagnosis, there are behavioral interventions that are very likely to help. A diagnosis of an autism spectrum disorder increases the likelihood that parents will observe behavioral problems, but that does not mean that they have to live with those problems. Understanding that kids on the spectrum experience the world in a different way is important. But, moms and dads also have a responsibility to work with their child so that he or she can develop more socially appropriate behavior. Using the methods outlined above can be a good start toward this end.

Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:

College Depression in Older Teens and Young Adults with Asperger’s and High-Functioning Autism

"The emotional transition to college has really been a challenge for our young adult child with HFA. He has struggled with depression even more than in the past during high school. He is having a lot of trouble dealing with this new stage of life — how you we help?!"

College depression is a common problem among older teens and young adults with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA). In this post, we will look at why the transition to college makes these “special needs” individuals vulnerable to depression — and what moms and dads can do about it.

College depression isn't a clinical diagnosis, rather it is depression that begins during college. AS and HFA students face many challenges, pressures and anxieties that can cause them to feel overwhelmed. For example:
  • Due to their “quirky” or odd behavior, they may experience ostracism from the peer group, teasing, or bullying.
  • Money and intimate relationships may serve as major sources of stress.
  • They are adapting to a new schedule and workload.
  • They are adjusting to life with roommates.
  • They may be living on their own for the first time and feeling homesick.
  • They are trying to figure out how to “fit-in.”

Dealing with these changes during the transition from the teenage years to adulthood can trigger depression during college in these individuals. College depression has been linked to:
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Drug abuse
  • Risky behaviors related to drug and alcohol abuse
  • Smoking
  • Impaired academic performance
  • Preferring to isolate rather than socialize
  • Returning home after a failed attempt to adjust to college life

Many “typical” college students occasionally feel sad or anxious, but these emotions usually pass within a few days or weeks. However, with students on the autism spectrum, feelings of sadness or anxiety may persist and interfere with normal activities. This is often due to the fact that their emotional age is much younger than their chronological age. Thus, they are emotionally and socially unprepared to “mix” with peers who are developmentally advanced by comparison.

Signs that an AS or HFA student may be experiencing depression during college include:
  • Agitation or restlessness
  • Angry outbursts
  • Changes in appetite or weight
  • Crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Distractibility and decreased concentration
  • Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy
  • Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Fixation on past failures
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
  • Indecisiveness
  • Insomnia or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
  • Self-blame when things aren't going right
  • Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Unexplained physical problems (e.g., back pain, headaches, stomachaches, etc.)

Symptoms of depression can be difficult to notice if your teenager is no longer living at home. Also, AS and HFA students may have difficulty seeking help for depression out of embarrassment or fear of not “fitting-in.”

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

What should parents do if they suspect that their older teen or young adult is experiencing college depression?

1. Helping your AS or HFA teenager become accustomed to the college campus before the start of the school year may prevent him from feeling overwhelmed later in the semester. Encourage him to visit the campus and talk to other classmates, peer counselors, and faculty about what to expect and where to turn for support.

2. Encourage your teenager to avoid making major decisions (e.g., changing majors, doing too many things at once, etc.). Instead, help her to break up large tasks into small ones.

3. Encourage your teenager to get to know people in her dorm and classes. Caring classmates can help her to feel more comfortable in a new environment.

4. If you suspect that your teenager is struggling with depression, talk to him about what's going on – and listen. Encourage him to talk about his feelings. Also, ask him to make an appointment with a therapist as soon as possible. Most colleges offer mental health services.

5. If your teenager has risk factors for - or a history of - depression, talk to her doctor about what kind of counseling options might best help her with the transition to college. Also, help her become familiar with campus counseling resources.

6. Remember, depression may not get better on its own. In fact, it often gets worse if it isn't treated. Feelings of depression can also increase the likelihood of substance abuse and the risk of suicide. So, parents must intervene! Untreated depression can lead to other mental and physical health issues in other areas of life.

7. Urge your teenager to get involved in activities that he enjoys, which can help to shift the focus away from his negative feelings. Physical activity can be particularly helpful as well.

Helping your AS or HFA teenager make the emotional transition to college can be a major undertaking. Know how to identify whether he or she is having trouble dealing with this new stage of life — and what you can do to help. Remember, getting treatment at the earliest sign of a problem can relieve symptoms, prevent depression from returning, and help “special needs” students succeed in college.

More resources for parents of children and teens with High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's:

==> Launching Adult Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Guide for Parents Who Want to Promote Self-Reliance

==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for April, 2016]

Do you need some assistance in parenting your Aspergers or HFA child? Click here to use Mark Hutten, M.A. as your personal parent coach.


Hi Mark,
  Great to hear from you.  When everyday is a struggle one feels alone in their parenting journey, glad to have found you.  I purchased 2 of your ebooks last week and have found them brilliant and supportive.  I am all about being in loving action everyday, I come with a life coaching background, so I am all about process, practice and action.  

I did start with assignment one over the weekend.  It definitely, gave me the guidance and confidence that I needed to parent our son over the weekend.  He seemed to be responsive towards the approach and it opened the door to communication for all of us.  I felt like this was a big step forward.  


Hello I just listened to your parenting strong willed defiant teens-
It's great advice/ but I need your help.
I love your ideas and I plan on putting it in affect to my 3 children - but I have a problem w my oldest who is almost out of the house and we're at our worst time.
To the point that my relationship w my partner is going in a bad direction - and if she doesn't stop or moves out - them he will - we set rules and she won't oblige /
And my child is at stage 5 yet again and has been at stage 6. And has been suicidal.
I had gave her a consequences. Which she violated it-& then I grounded her yet again took away her phone took away the car everything.. Then I told her if she gets grounded yet again then - I told her if she gets grounded yet again then she has to quit her job.  Since everything comes first in her world-
Well of course she got ground again - n now
I'm at a lost -  I don't want her to quit her job but yet I put that out there as a consequence. Now she is threatening to run away to her fathers house. She's also wanting to drop out of school because her father is in a different area where the schools are different. And I'm soon enough I can have any more control over because she's meeting. My partner is so overwhelmed and stressed and hurt and loss and feeling spiteful because of all the things that she has done and said.  And of course all the things that she said to me has been very hurtful very spiteful very rude very disrespectful. I don't know where to go with us anymore. I'm truly thinking about letting her just live with her father. Which in turn that means that she just may drop out of school. Along w So many other poor choices.
Please help –


Hi Mark,

My son (JT) has been diagnosed by a respected psychiatrist in the Salem, OR area about 3 - 4 years ago with Asperger's Syndrome (HFA).  Over the last 18 months, my 17 year old son's OCD has been getting worse & my wife & I are often at wits end & are very frustrated on how to deal with this.  Here's are some of the aspects of his behavior which are of concern:

1)  Fear of germs:  We are not allowed out of our room in the morning to go to work unless (JT) has done is ritualistic cleaning which includes spraying (usually with Febrees) one or both of our cars, hallway, kitchen, sometimes the door handles and sometimes new things we have bought.  He also uses soap or Febrees on his hands without washing the soap off which makes his hands red & knuckles split open.  Also, he has a ritual of vacuuming a certain part of the family room carpet before we can leave our room..  He sprays so much liquid from the chemical every day that the laminate flooring in our hallway is starting to buckle.  My wife is concerned the carpet in her car is getting moldy.  Also, every area where we step including the garage floor is sprayed.  The only exception is the carpet inside our house.

2)  Hoarding Objects:  He will not throw away empty hand soap, laundry soap, Febrees bottles, or drink cans.  All rooms in our house my son feels comfortable in have his clothes, food, objects I have touched he thinks are contaminated, etc. spread out on the counters and floor.  Apparently, not throwing away stuff is tied to good or bad memories he is not ready to release yet.  Or it may be he must accomplish a certain goal before he can clean.  Problem is, he doesn't always tell us what his goal(s) are.  If we as parents try to help him clean or touch objects which should be thrown away, this causes my son to freak out.

3) Excessive tardiness, absences from his first period:  Naturally, this is a byproduct of his OCD and stress he goes through every morning causes JT and my wife and I to be late to work.

4) Discipline:  When we as parents try to use various types of discipline or correction such as, Please don't spray the floor, it is damaging the wood, etc., he will usually respond with, "Stop, you are causing me more stress"  Or if I say, JT let's go now, he responds with something like, Dad, you are causing me more stress, stop talking or we are going to be later.

Do you have tools to help our son with these specific issues?  We believe getting him to see a counselor would cause more stress so this is not an option at this time.  Is there a online blog or support group to understand what other parents have done in similar circumstances with successful outcomes?  Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!



My name is Carmen and I am a pediatric neurologist. I have a very dear friend who has a 12 y/o with Aspergers. As you can imagine, he has been in stimulants for ADHD, antipsychotics for aggressive behavior, antidepressants, supplements and has been hospitalized twice in less than 6 months at a psych facility. He has been suspended from public school numerous times and now he cannot return until a psychiatrist says he can but the school will also consider placing him at a school for children with behavioral/conduct problems. He also has a diagnosis of ODD and intermittent explosive disorder. Every strategy recommended by therapists and psychiatrist have not worked. In this last school suspension he was also sent to the police to take a course. I fear the next thing that will happen is that he will go to jail one day. His mother is a single mom and she is at her wits end. Afraid to lose her job because of everything that happens with him and he had two nannies both he punched at some point and they obviously quit the job. I am writing to you to ask you if you could email her and give her words of wisdom or comfort in this process.


My husband and I have a question . We r having good results from buying and listening to your audio book " my out of control teen " for our daughter with all the signs of aspergers ( although she is too " high functioning " according to our therapist for official diagnosis)

I have decided that pure " fits " kicking , constant screaming , rants and family name calling will lose the phone for three days . She has been afraid of this and it has kept the fits at bay for over a week ( pretty good for us !) . This morning there was a irrational a fit about the " way" she was woken up , the  new 5 minute change in school day time ( 7:45/7:40) the drinks available in the morning and her brothers' breathing  ( with screaming kicking the car name calling and insults to everyone but me ) .   I said give me the phone , it's a fit and it's gone for three days . She reluctantly gave it to me , almost chased my car after school drop off as I drove away. Am I doing the right thing ? If this works out family will be changed for the better . I thought a Wednesday would be good to try this for the first time because she will be distracted by school and the phone will be back for most of the weekend ( but I didn't tell her that ! She's  not going to thank me !) What do u think ? I hope to learn from your experience .


Hello Mr. Hutten,  My nights are sleepless as I angst over my loving, bright grandson whose parents , thus far, have neither sought  diagnosis nor treatment for him that I am aware of.
HISTORY: bright, alert infant laughed at two months at uncle’s antics; at 6, 7 months mimicked sneezing and laughed “acha”, sang “la la la”, at 9 months completed ¾ piece puzzles. He was curious, bright, active.
After the triple vaccine I noticed changes. He could no longer complete the ¾ piece puzzles. He did some things repetitively. A for instance: at a putting green he tirelessly hit 82 golf balls at two yrs.
Well, years are going by. He’s been a good student. However getting him to do homework is a chore.
He’s a voracious reader; at 9 years reading high school level sci fi, novels.
Has played baseball since 4 yrs, taught himself to ride unicycle, is friendly, likes people.

ISSUES: has been his family’s scapegoat since 3, parents gush over brother two yrs younger who is consistently nasty towards older brother.
Seems to have food issues, eats neither fruits nor vegetables. Has not wanted to go to restaurants for almost a year. Since toddler does not make eye contact. Does not appear to pick up others’ expressions as cues. For at least three yrs appears depressed or perhaps tired. He once told me he can go to sleep at 6:30 pm and awaken at 6:30 am and still be tired.  Maybe sleep apnea?
Neither my husband nor I have been effective in trying to convince OUR son  to take action on behalf of HIS son. “Yes. I know he seems to be on the spectrum  but I don’t know where.” My son actually admitted on this past Sunday.

I’m rambling and you don’t even know me.. Apologies. Will your book be helpful to my son? Will you suggest some things I might do to help?


Hello Mr. Hutton,

So glad I found your show.  I am wondering on how to have my 27 year old son tested for Asperger's Syndrome?

My son was a very brilliant young baby and boy at an early age.  His memory skills were uber brilliant and his ability to speak a the ripe old age of 2.5-3 years of age was super unusual.  It was not normal baby talk it was highly articulate and he was a veracious young reader.  Everything regarding morning ritual had to be the same as well as bedtime.  I didn't realize what was going on at the time and yet I was a bit concerned that something was highly unusual.  So, I just chalked it up to the fact that he was a prodigy.  He could memorize all the countries in on the map, knew every single president and there sayings, knew all the flags for every single country, it goes on and on.  He truly loved geography and scientific studies.  I did finally take him in to a primary care physician when I noticed he was not able to walk freely at 3 and wash having issues with his feet.  He later had some growth issues and dental issues.  He is fine now but it was tough for the first part of his adolescence.

Today, my son is 27 years old, a college graduate from Oregon State University with BA in Business and has been working for Apple Inc. as a Mac Home Expert.  He has been independent and living in his wonderful apartment happy and just out of a relationship.  That was a good move for him.  Although, he is sort of seeing another young lady who I believe is a good fit for him.

Question: He has been having difficulty with his job these past 2 years because, for one, it is retail, a chat response position and sometimes the chats can come in triples which is highly stressful for him.  Well, his stress is at an all time high and he tells me that he feels as if he is headed for a nervous breakdown.  My son is highly emotional which is a very common trait with Aspy Adults.  He has always been my diva but I have always been able to settle him down and just love him down to normal.  My son is a sweet hardworking adult and would never ever speak badly towards me.  I actually feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful son and know his ways enough to be able to be his advocate.  In the beginning he wanted to prove he could be independent and he has had some bumps in the road during college but he did it and then lived with us for two years and then got his job and moved out.  Big milestone for any college student but even bigger for my son.

My question is this, Apple has just created a certain IPAD for Autistic kids/adults, to help them communicate and the story has just been released regarding Apple's creation and this huge contribution in assisting these very special people.  My son send the video to me and it was amazing.  He then shared with me since Apple is so open about making this effort to help people with Autism, he wondered if he could approach them about why he is having such difficulty with his job.  He has wanted to get out of being a Mac At Home Expert because he believes he is so much more then that and could offer various talents that he has studied along with his business expertise, but because his numbers regarding chats is so low, he is never considered.  Apple does not know that he has Asperger's but to be truthful, I we have never had our son tested. My son was the one who self-diagnosed himself, his freshman year in college.  He was having a difficult time making friends and was having issues in the whole campus experience.  He called me one night sharing his heart with me and was certain that he was an Aspy Adult.  I told him I had done some research on my end as well, and thought to myself, my son has Autism.  I am glad that he told me first though. Super mature and honest with both me and himself.

So were wondering, before Apple does their review of him this next month and he's worried he might get fired from the company because he's been warned about his numbers in the past,  we would like to have an official testing done on our son, then he would like to approach Apple in regard to his job and possibly finding him something else in the company that he could grown and bring something more to the company.  He is afraid to lose his job for it pays well and he has amazing benefits.  He is in a group/team of experts and when ones numbers are low, it effects the total team in that location.  He feels bad that he is bringing his team down and wants them to do good.  He just can't be at the level of intake like they can and it's truly making him nervous.

Your thoughts on how he should approach Apple (since they know of the problems of Autism) and have an Autism Awareness month within the company.  Here they have a brilliant man like my boy and maybe..just maybe, my son could open the doors for other adults that are highly intelligent but lack certain social inabilities.  I know of certain companies that hire Autistic Adults in high tech and they realize the gifts that this special individuals bring to the table. My son is on the super high spectrum Asperger end but is starting to ask for help because he realizes his job should not be this difficult for a normally healthy individual but for an Aspy adult, it is not the same.

I don't know if they will care because there are so many employees with Apple, your just a number but in my son's case, there might be something he can change with the company to bring these special adults in and in many cases see that they are a terrific asset to a company.  I know Microsoft is hiring Autistic Adults because of how they work and how they are focus driven.  Who knows, maybe Apple will learn from Microsoft and maybe my son could shine a light on this.  He just needs to be put in something that he is strong and confident in.  He is reaching out for help and I hope you can help me steer him in the right direction.  If he had to leave Apple that would be sad because he has stock and other benefits with the company and he loves his company but would like to be doing something more creative.  He is passionate about Graphic Design and also very technically savvy (he's an expert on anything Apple) right up his alley.


Hi my name is Amy Jones. I have a 13 year old son diagnosed with Ausberger's, sensory processing disorder, and general anxiety. I am a relatively new single mother. I have three Children Gabriel (Gabe) 13yrs and in 7th grade, almost 11 year old daughter Isabella (Belle), and an 8 year old son McGuire (Mac). I have so many questions. Since you are doing this out of the kindness of your heart, I will try to give you a brief overview of Gabe and our family. Maybe then you could point me in a direction so I can start to answer some of my many current and I am sure upcoming questions through other places that will help without bothering you.
My Gabe is a 13 year old  7th grader born in August of 2002, so will be 14 in August and obviously in 8th grade. I am 36 years old and his father is 47. We separated in December of 2013 due to Tony (his father's) severe physical abuse to only me. I now realize even though he did not hit the kid's he abused our entire family emotionally. (I think in the back of my mind I always knew, but my stubbornness wanted an intact family for my kids). I came to my senses and kicked him out in December 2011. Gabe was 9 and in 5th grade. I tell you this so you have an idea what he has been through. I have a B.S. in teaching music but another "hit" we took was when I had Mac my Gallbladder stopped working. I had it removed 2 months after he was born in December of 2007. The surgeon inadvertently severed my Vegas nerve causing complete paralysis of my stomach and many other issues. I tell you this because this also caused huge stress on our family. I became ill almost to the point of death because they couldn't figure out what was wrong. (I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried..ugh) I have an impending lawsuit (since 2008) I have a very high chance of getting compensated for the regular use of my body. I live with a feeding tube that bypasses my stomach, but the nerve damage causes a lot of issues. I tell you this because I have had to slowly return an be as healthy as possible to parent my babies who I put first and always have, but I live only on maintenance from my ex husband $1000.00/month which is obviously not enough to live on but too much for disability in Illinois! Hopefully the lawsuit does come through and the financial issue is gone. I took care of myself and my three children with outside help from my parent's until September of 2014. That is when our long custody battle finally was decided by the one and only backward judge in our little backward Illinois country county. I am not looking for sympathy, I have had to become a Wonder Woman I did not know I had in me due to all this, but I tell you this because Tony has custody of our three beautiful children. The backward judge did not listen to anything about the well documented severe abuse that is now being done to the children, not as bad but still abuse. I tell you this again, because another bad thing on all the kids but I am writing about Gabe. This was supposed to be brief but I guess their are So Many factors. Gabe's father (not my opinion) but two psychiatrists and three councilors, some because of marriage counseling other I actually got mandated. He is a sociopath that has a Master's degree in music. He basically led two lives. I knew about and was trying to get the abuse help, but he had many other relationships with two professors and several college students. (I knew nothing of these, I am not that crazy although reading this even I am thinking so.) He is able to appear very smart, calm, collected, and normal. He actually has borderline personality and narsacistic personality disorder. ( I told you, can't make this up!) I tell you this, because now Gabe has to live with that in a crazy environment Tony has behind closed doors. I do not have any mental issues, I had myself tested more than once! Tony his father married a 23 year old days after our divorce, which I only care because it really bothers Gabe she is so young. She also has two children from her marriage they broke up having an affair. I left to save my babies and the judge while stating I am an excellent parent because of health and income in the judge's words ( one of the hardest decisions he has made) chose Tony because of income and health concerns on my part. I have no restrictions but have the kids Wed nights for 4 hours and every other weekend. Because of Tony's abuse he only gives me the mandated time. Children's services in Illinois (DCFS) has been notified many times from school, myself, and others of the situation, but with Illinois being the "most broke" state in the United States they claim to be underfunded and are doing much to help the situation.

Before Gabe was born Tony used to refer to putting kids with disabilities in the main classroom as "intrusion" instead of inclusion. This gives you an idea of his empathy and attitude towards  Gabe's diagnosis. (Tony said this when he taught grade school and high school.) Tony was very proud of Gabe and would "show off" Gabe's intelligence until he was diagnosed in 1st grade. I knew something was "off" since Gabe was 2, but my Gabe was born with a birth defect called an imperforate anus, a congenital birth defect 1/5000 babies are born having. This means he has no anus or rectum when he was born. This caused Gace to have over 20 surgeries before 1st grade. When I would mention autism to the doctors I was told his body is just "catching up" from the surgeries.

With all of this craziness, all three of my children are bright, well behaved, good students and kids. I have focused on raising them as well as possible and primarily did most of their care until Tony got custody.

Gabe is an intelligent boy that faces all these problems and now being a teenager, middle school student, and full blown puberty. I wonder if his diagnosis are correct because he does not show a lot of "Ausberger's symptoms although he seems to be regressing in Tony's care. Myself and my mother are Gabe's rock's if you ask him. Not having us is hurting him tremendously. I worked very much with eye contact and he does so well people don't notice. (Again I do see this regressing, but I don't know if it is abuse or his disorder.) The "common" person tells me they would never have known Gabe had "anything" wrong. (Some of the quotes I write bother me.) At Tony's house he gets punished for typical Asbergers tics like, eye contact, not be aware of his self care, flapping hands if excited. Although I have told Tony, shown Tony articles, drug him to a class about autism when we are married, he basically acts like he can correct these things by punishment. I am crying now as I write because he does not have tics very often at all when with me. Finally, my questions
1. Should I get him "retested" because he usually has normal eye contact, understands sarcasm, jokes, did lack tics usually..although I still think something is wrong..I am not sure it is Ausberger's..??
2. It takes around two years to get tested in central Illinois...do you know where I could take him to get a faster but better diagnoses or conformation..I guess where is "the best" place to go?? I can sometimes be pretty resourceful about finding the money or help with money
3. I found you because I was looking for a good summer camp to look into for Ausbergers teens..do you have a suggestion on some of the best that I could at least research, he loves sports and is an excellent singer, also is thinking about wanting to be a pastor or missionary and I want to do all I can to help him achieve that goal (although living with Tony his school work is worrying me because Tony won't help him)
4. Does your book come already printed, I don't have the resources right now to print it, buying it may be easier
5. Can you point me toward the best "groups" to ask questions and get support
6. Is there anything else from this email, you think I need to look into to help him?
I am sorry for the not so brief e-mail
Thank you, Thank you Thank you



Is it OK that I'm the Grandma of the pre- teen with ODD? My daughter has 2 pre teen foster girls. The youngest is 12 and just got diagnosed with ODD and she's giving my daughter one heck of a time. I'm trying to advise my daughter because she calls me crying not knowing what else to do.

My granddaughter has been removed from school because she did horrible things to other kids as well as teachers. She got kicked off the bus more times then I can remember. By standing up and cussing to hitting the other students.

Therefore my daughter is home schooling her. She goes to a special school Tuesdays to turn in her homework. My daughter is very very upset how defiant she is with everything she tries to do with her.

When Jaide (my granddaughter) stays with me 3 days. She is good here and very helpful. She told the wrap around therapist that the atmosphere is different at my house. But she has started acting up the last few visits. She hurt my dog real bad with a stick. Tossed his toys on the roof and said she didn't.

I want to learn how to help her grow into the wonderful person I know she is. I also want to help my daughter manage her better.


Dear Mark,

I am sister to a 37-year-old with undiagnosed (but extremely likely) Asperger's.  He has never had treatment for this issue of any sort. Recently he has sought treatment for a panic disorder.  He has also developed enough insight to believe he has AS, but seems afraid to seek help. His relationships are all suffering now, he is becoming angry and depressed, and hopeless about his social life and future. He self-identifies also as "incel", or involuntarily celibate, and has despair about that.

Others in our family, myself included, show a few AS traits, too, but probably would not fit the diagnosis.

I wonder if you might be able to steer us toward any resources that might help someone in his position?  Or at least help us, his brothers, sister, and parents, to communicate more effectively with him... I feel I am losing touch with him, as his conversations with me are becoming more hostile and didactic... Any advice would be much appreciated.  He lives in California . I live in Utah.


Do you happen to know any neuropsychologists or the like in the Dallas/Ft Worth area of Texas?  I have 9 year old twins with Aspergers. I have a strong suspicion my husband has it as well. I recently joined some FB support groups and suspect it even more now. Last year we went to a University clinic to see if he had it, and the lady said he made eye contact too well and was able to carry on conversations to well. Obviously, she didn't understand high functioning ASD very well at all. It was very frustrating. So, now, we are looking for someone who understands adult ASD to formally assess him. I've run into too many people who claim to know but then don't really. I saw some of your workshops on YouTube and have really enjoyed them. Could you help point me in the right direction?
Thank you for your time!


I am looking up for information, support groups, therapies, etc. anything to help my teen nephew who was diagnosed with aspergers, bipolar disorder and autism. I am trying to find if anything is available in Spanish since my sister in law speaks more Spanish. If you could help I would appreaciate it. Desperate situation, he is becoming more aggressive and hard to calm down to realize his behavior.

Thanks in advance......


Hi, Mark,
My name is Amy and I just listened to several short youtube clips from your Living with an Aspergers Partner seminar.  I am the NT wife you describe in the segments on grief and resentment.  Thanks for telling my truth.

My son, age 9, and my husband, age 44 just got diagnosed with Aspergers a month ago.  In the diagnosis process, I found out that my husband's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were also probably on the spectrum as were my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, my sister, my aunt, my uncle, and my niece.
We are the first to get diagnosed and the first to seek help.
It's frightening looking back on the family history of decades and then looking forward to my future.
I'm at the end of my rope after 23 years and if we don't get some help, some step-by-step help that my husband can comprehend and follow, I will be divorcing him.
He says he's ready to try (now that I'm completely depleted after decades) and he's going to need a lot of support even to make the attempt.  He has tons of desire and not a clue what to do and, Lord knows, after 23 years I know I can't explain it to him.

Do you have an in-person seminar soon?
Or might you have a video?  That won't be enough but maybe it'll help.

And do you have a therapist you'd recommend in the Minneapolis/St Paul area?  One that specializes in NT partners and NT children of AS parents and/or one that specializes in NT/AS marriage counseling?


Hello Mark,
Can I ask something else please. I am hoping this book would be of benefit to help my 18 year old son. A while back he was diagnosed with Aspergers ( border line). We had done tests behind his back to come to this conclusion. When we told my son he had the option then to see this Psychologist we had been to and after a few visits the Psychologist said he didn't think there was need to say he had Aspergers and was going to treat his anxiety and that was the way forward. Unfortunately, the man was not well and couldn't continue with my sons visits. My son has suffered with depression in the past and social issues now.   I feel there is still help we need to give him. Do you think your book would be a help to me to help him without my son actually thinking about Aspergers? I feel he has a lot of issues that need addressing. He is currently undertaking his a-level exams so I'm hoping this will help :)

I believe I have mild or borderline aspergers. I cope mostly but sometimes notice my difficulties with things like eye contact, processing information quickly to discuss, and anxiety if I don't have things under control. I am about to move house and am having to be extremely organised to manage my tendency to panic. I am 55 and divorced.

One of my children is 18 and I believe she has aspergers/PDA. She is certainly very demand avoidant and anxious. She is home educated, but her anxiety often causes her to freeze and do nothing rather than face the possibility of doing less than perfectly. We have a number of issues with her. One is that she rants/monologues and gets very heated about some topic...which is usually not at all relevant to our lives...but she will not stop and winds herself up more and more, declaring us all stupid and morons if we do not agree/join in..  She seems unable to see that there might be any middle ground or any other opinion than her own.

My biggest problem though at the moment is that I have been divorced from her dad for several years and have since met a,lovely man who has moved to be near me, but she refuses to meet him. She says she does not want a step dad. She always jumps to the worst case scenario and she believes that step dad's are the cause of a lot of abuse. This is based on things she, has read on the internet.

She has refused to meet him and did not want him in the house. I have recently brought him to the house to help me pack and she still will not meet him. She is refusing to budge at all.

I understand she is anxious but there is no reason for this and I feel she is trying to control me. I am very gentle and do not want to ignore my daughter's feelings but do not feel it is reasonable for him to have to stay away from the house. I want to change this now I am moving into my own home. I feel that no amount of time will change my daughter's mind. And so am left wondering what I can do. I want to be able to let him integrate with the,family, and we want to get married but this seems very difficult at the moment.

Obviously I care about my daughter's feelings but it can't be right that she expects me to sacrifice my needs and wishes.

Do you have any suggestions for dealing with this problem.


I am a single mom of a 16 year old son with high functioning autism.  I just paid for your advise, he is very shy and uncomfortable around others, he is homeschooling, we live in the country, and the only friend his age he sees maybe every 4 months or so.  He has an older brother who is 21 and comes to visit each week, he lives a few miles away.  My son Evan has me worried because of his video game obsession.  He is on it so much he can barely think of eating or doing other things, i have to really push him to get some school done each day, which he is a little behind on now. Any suggestions are appreciated, also a friend of ours has a 28 year old child that is a lot like Evan, she just started medication, and is doing so much better now, the mother strongly thinks it would help Evan too.  I don't really see all the depression signs in him though,
Thanks for your help,

I have a very argumentative 13 year old. He has always been somewhat special. I am a counsellor in schools of teenagers myself so I think I imagine I should be able to manage this.  There are specific things which ring true about Aspergers spectrum and my son Zac.  He finds any conversation of any nuance very hard to manage, and gets incredibly angry.  He has always vered towards much older children and especially older girls rather than boys his age.  He gets frustrated, extreme in his language and threats and seems to want to push boundaries and express his power, yes as a teenager and younger brother of a very 'good' and 'concerned' (for concerned read infuriating and 'right') 18 year old older brother.  However the manner, language, energy, suddenness and power of his outbursts seem different. As though they come from a place of panic, displacement, incomprehension and as a result pure fury.....

At other times zac is sweet, open, sensitive. He is extremely, if not unusually and precociously good at getting on with adults and can get his own way by charm and fast talk.  He fixates on something and has real passions. He hatches a plan (ie to watch a programme during the evening and can go wild if this plan is interfered with in some way...to us on looking on this has always felt like controlling, bullying behaviour on his part..ie have a meltdown when he doesnt get his own way or someone says no.  I am beginning to see that is just part of how his world is constructed and our clamping down and confronting the 'bad behaviour' is making him more unhappy, on edge and that he is getting worse at managing the situations he finds especially tricky. 

The thing that got me thinking about all this again was a scene in a drama on UK TV at the moment called the A word with a young boy on the Autistic spectrum.  The mother was astounded at the difference in him when he had a fever and was ill. I see this in Zac, I have always seen another side of him, a very empathic, soft side of him when he is ill, away from school and friends.  He and I were away in Austria together last week and a whole different side of him emerges when he is just having to deal with one person and can be in control of what he does without interference.

Strangely or maybe not...Zac manages school ok. He is very clever and can fake the behaviours he thinks he needs to display to get on.  He finds friendships difficult and especially I think with other boys his age.  He is at a new school and is meeting new people and has found a couple of friends who are quirky and sensitive like him which I think makes him feel safer. He is especially threatened by groups. He plays football and just starred in his team and this meant a great deal to him, it was a particular kind of triumph to get some recognition by a group, but I also sense this all feels quite risky to him.  

I think we need some help with strategies to avoid flashpoints.  (eg he finds it much easier to talk in a car, or on email or FB messenger than face to face).  I think if we all understood a bit better how hard zac finds 'family conversations' and why he quickly sabotages them then we could find ways that would work better.  I think  Richard (my ex-husband), Noah (Zacs brother) and I are all struggling because we have such good times with Zac and he can be such a bright spark and loving, and at other times (more and more frequently)  he can be so angry and destructive and it leaves us shaken, and blaming one another and so incredibly frustrated and helpless. 

 I have not yet looked at your book but I think we need to do something, and it has helped to share off the top of my head what I see the issues are.  I feel so tired by al of this and as though the harder I work the worse I am treated by Zac.  You expalain so clearly the spectrum of pleading, arguing, screaming, negotiating, ignoring, understanding, sympathising, punishing.....it is so exhausting and leaves me with no energy for my wonderful older son and my friends, and at times for my own self care which I need for my own work. 

Maybe we can correspond when I have had a chance to look at this and maybe an initial acknowledgement might set us on our way to having a family conversation about this topic which I have never really pursued before.  I have suspected before that there are some things which zac displays which point to something on a spectrum (overwhelmed by loud noises, sensitivity to heat and cold, extreme reactions to certain smells and lack of empathy for certain types of people and reactions to places.....). I have not until now really reflected on what is going on in our arguments and why they always go a certain way. I suppose I have blamed myself for flying off the handle, for shouting, for being unsympathetic and for not being a good enough mum......I would like a chance and some support to be able to step back and look at the bigger picture and see how we can help each other better and I can learn to help zac and also as a result Noah.  I suppose I just want things to change and do not want things to get worse.


I am loosing my young adult functional Asperguer's daughter. She has moved out and refuses to talk to me .she moved away with a boyfriend to Orlando Fla. Her father died recently and she is doing worst than ever I am very worried can we talk please if I call you. Is your program good for young adults she is 22 going on 15. Please I am horrified of never seeing her again I am very distort over this.

She has severe Trauma also do to other things that happened in our lives. I would have to explain on the phone . I am so scared that she would end up on the street or that she would never speak to me again I cannot take it. I had to divorce her father. Today I realize that he had Aspergers

He refused help and took into drinking heavily became dangerously violent and tried to kill me in front of her. Wile my daughter and I has a close relationship she was very attached to me this ended when during the Divorce the Court send GDR to live with her father regardless of how mrst up he was. That did it for she was left to fetch for herself and he brainwashed her against me . We used to home school her since we realized she was not fitting in a classroom and all she wanted to do was scape and come  home. I had always worked with children and found the way she could learn. I belonged to a home schooling group a large one and she also was socialized. She was doing well until the Court forced her to live with him. She didn't want to she was afraid of him but they force the children. She got Stalkome syndrome from this. I am her enemy regardless she has told me she loves me. After turning 18 She came to live with me. I could not wait. She started College and soon I realized how bad off she was but at the time didn't know what to do with it. The courts three her back into Public schools during her earlier years put her in a program but her father true the Courts forbid me from getting her the help she needed about life skills and so on that a professional or a group or Asperger's Association could give her and us as parents .Today she lives in the Stolckom Syndrome  world and the rest and she is sleappinng away .please what can I do? I don't want to loose her She has a brother who is not so well either ,he is also turning her away from me he has anger problems he might also have a problem of some sort. How can I reestablish communication ?


Dear Mr Hutten,

For years my husband and I have felt that something was wrong with our son who is about to turn 15yrs old.
We refused to get him tested and labelled by institutional agencies fearing what affects it would have on him.
However, we have struggled with his attitude and behaviour both at school and in the home.
It has been a never ending battle to get him to comply with our requests and this has caused so much hurt and resentment to build up.

The home became a terrible place to be at times as the constant arguing and temper tantrums became a daily grind.
After lots of research it now seems clear that my son most likely has Aspergers.
I feel so guilty and heartbroken that we may have managed this so badly, blaming him for his belligerent and rude behaviour.
He has asked if there is something wrong with him and has displayed lots of the presenting symptoms over time.
We always told him that nothing was wrong and he just needed to be more organised, and give less back chat and improve his attitude.

He has improved however and has excelled in sport in particular, his academics has also improved but he does struggle at times but will not allow us to help him with homework.
Anyway, I feel that I am rambling so please forgive me, it's just so overwhelming right now with all the emotions I am experiencing. Guilt being the main one.

My question is what to do now that I have identified what I think is the problem.

Should I take him to the the Dr for a diagnosis, Should I sit him down and discuss what I think he already knows and we have denied for so long. Do I speak with the school who are always saying he is not focused enough in some classes?
So many questions, I really would appreciate your advice.


a friend of mine has a 28 year old daughter with aspergers who she says is doing so much better like a completely different person since she started taking zoloft last year. She very strongly thinks Evan needs to be on this, as according to her Evan seems a lot like her daughter was before the medication.  I am so afraid of the side effects, what is your thought on this?  I went through the list of questions for depression with him, and I don't think he was completely honest with them all, but they were negative.  Is there a way I could tell if he is in need of the medicine ?  She made me feel like i am a bad parent if i don't put him on it, she said i would be doing him an injustice.  But she only sees him at our religious gathering each week when he is more tense, and maybe he does need it, I just don't know, and as a single mom, i really appreciate your thoughts.


 I am thankful to G-d I have found you and your website. I know a lot of the stuff but I don't know it all. Please I really need some urgent help. If I wait too much longer to try to reestablish contact with her I can loose her for ever I am 62 years old and I'll I could not bare it. I know that if I am not guided right on this one it could make it worst .  She hardly is communicating with her brother that is not the usual. Remember her boyfriend and his family are Muslins in disguise . The fact that she wanted me to go to Orlando and they didn't allowed me tells me a lot. For years I worked with the Special Task Department of abuse women I specialized on horrid cases American young women who married this people and the abuse they and their children suffered and suffer from them .Must of them have ended up dead or taken overseas as sex slaves .Some where able to scape  but when they come back here to divorce Family Cort does not protect them. Believe it or not Shira
law is practice in Family Court and mother and children are given back to the Muslim husband. We could only give them moral support.
This is my daughter with Aspergers !!!!!


Hello Dr. Hutten, 

The preschool teacher of my 5 year old Grandson told me that she thinks he has Asperger.  She says he is "high functioning".
She has a an adult daughter who was diagnosed with Asperger many years ago.

I told the teacher that I would "go home and read up on Asperger".  Which I did, and now I believe that my 36 year old Daughter has Asperger and it may be that my Grandson is actually "mimicking" or acting out "what he lives with". 

My Daughter is rude/disrespectful and appears to have no empathy to the feelings of others.  She does not like to look directly at me and will "stomp off"  when I try to have a "meaningful" conversation with her.   I have seen her "throw items across the room  (cell phone/ or anything she can pick up).   She has no "friends" and finds something wrong with everyone she meets.  My Grandson is a witness to and lives with all of these actions.

Your online article "Coping With Adult Aspergers" exactly describes my 36 year old Daughter.  (thank you!)


How to approach my Daughter with this?  She is going to get angry with me and deny, deny, deny, and "leave in a huff"
Last week (prior to pre-school teacher's observation and before I saw your article) I told her that "we need counseling because our relationship was "like a battlefield".  She said she does not need counseling and will be "nicer to me". 


Good Morning,

My son who turns 6 on 9th July 2016, has just been diagnosed with Asperger’s. This is a relief for us because up to now, we knew there was something amiss. He saw an Occupational Therapist middle last year who said Herman has Sensory Processing Disorder and then he saw an Occupational Psychologist in November 2015 who diagnosed ADHD and also tested his IQ to be Highly intelligent . So this was quite a package already. We moved him in the beginning of April to a Grade R school and 1 weeks later he had an episode at school. He cannot remember anything. Doctors suggested brain tests (EEG) and a sleep study (he sleeps poorly). This was done on Friday 14th April. They confirmed that he does not have Epilepsy, but that it is definitely a Mild form of Asperger’s. He also suffers a mild Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. They are removing his adenoids in a week and there is fluid behind his eardrums. The specialist says this should help the Apnoea a lot. After this we can start on the correct therapy for him.

Herman has been a challenge from before he was born. I was 42 at his birth. He was a breech baby and there was complications in the last 2 months of pregnancy. From birth Herman was a strong baby. He could lift his head very early. He did not want his dummy from 6 months. He was bottle fed and enjoyed playing with my hair while feeding. He still plays with my hair at bed time. He is a very busy child and always on the go. His diagnosis of Asperger’s now makes sense. His teacher at school is very willing to work with us and the OT also visits him at school.


I have communicated with you regarding my HFA/Asperger son earlier. He would be most similar to Rule Oriented, Predominately OCD type teen with anxiety and inattention. He spent 12 years in public school. Earlier we discussed with you when we should put him in a residential school etc. Based on your recommendation and our own judgment and thinking we let him finish 12 grades in the local public school. He was not doing well there but also did not want to change schools due to his rigid thinking that he should be going there as his older siblings also went to same high school. 
So after completing 12 grades in local public school in Sep 2015 we put him in appropriate full time transition residential program named CAPS at Maplebrook School in Amenia, New York. This was done after he had spent one week evaluation period there. He was lacking a bit of basic independent living needed skills to fit there. But before going there we tried hard to work with him so he acquires minimum skills needed but he said he did not need to learn those skills as he will just develop those once he is there. But once there he did not survive there and had to be withdrawn after 3 weeks. As parents, our feeling is that he sort of sabotaged his experience there which is based partly on disability and partly intentional behavior. 
Once home he has developed a life mission that he wants to write some emails to some TV show to give suggestions to improve the TV show. He has sent some emails (1 email in 2 months) and some are pending. He has kind of paused all other life saying he will restart his learning life after finishing those emails with no deadline. Good amount of time is wasted on internet just browsing some Pokémon websites.  He basically shuns from any activity that can be termed as learning.  All our convincing or therapist explanations have not worked. So as a last resort we are thinking of more forceful action such as shutting down TV and Internet etc. Given the past experiences this will lead to more bad situations and police will need to be called etc. 
Over the last 5 years he has lost interest in many things. He lost last friend 5 years back, lost interest in video games, no tech stuff, no travel interest etc. He got a smart phone 2 years back but not using properly saying that he first needs to read cryptic legalese agreement from the phone manufacturer. For example he did not use the phone to answer calls in urgent situations when he was at CAPS program saying he had not learnt how to use phone yet! Now only remaining interests left are eating outside, one TV program and Pokémon. 
So given all that has happened, we request your opinion regarding whether force can bring positive changes in a teen with such profile. Or it will more likely to lead to some situation where he may give up in life and develop depression? He is 19 and we do have guardianship.


Hi  Mark ,

 i seen your  youtube ,..  about over protective parents ,..

 my boyfriend lives in England and i in USA ,..  i have  learning disability  and him he high functioning  autistic ..
    he is 26 and i am 45 years ,.. when i met  Adam  on FB ,.. we  have plains  we be married and  him moving here  with me ....
    we have so much in common  and  if Adam was older  then me i would still be in love with him  not about the age  its the  fact i love the person he is ,........

  his mum  never  wanted to meet me threw Skype,.. Adam  first told me she was way overprotective  and does not trust anyone  she was liek this to Adam ex girlfriend,.. she  would called the stockers ,..  if Adam mum would have it  he would have no brain , no penis, no heart ( feelings ) ,.. he would be  just a tool,.. for  his mum ,.. think he is vonerbale ,.. and weak,...  and does not want him to go to America ,..Adam is  very fusrtasied ,.. his parents  are both  nasty people ,.. they are  rude  and unkind to Adam ,.. in fact  his father abused him when he was lil and his mum then an even now  verbal abuse and put down in narcissistic way ,..   i hear how she yells at him ,. she is ful of rage and anger ,..... mostly  his mum ... Adam  buy his choice he loves me and his choice to live with me ,.. and i  have parent hat are overprotective  however  they encourage me to be best for myself  and iam a slow learner ,.. as advocate  for Adam and his girlfriend /fiance  ,..i help him to  become stronger person ,.. over eh year  Adam made more improvement  with  doing thing for himself independent ,.. yes  we have  learning disability  and him autistic  but we are not stupid or vanerbale ,..  we are strong  , Adams parents mostly his mum  just so mean and hurtful ,.. and iam a threat to his mother ,.... she is so mean ,..

 she wants  Adam to be a helpless baby ,..  and the only reason is that  she want his disability money or  that she  has  pay room taxes  when he moves out ,.... only for shallow reasons ,...

   you have to know that  people with LD and autistic  are not  sexless and loveless  we have wants and need and desires too,.. and  please  help me  how to deal with Adams  mum ,. because i see her as a narcissistic  parent  of all time ..
 and Adam hates it when sh eis try control  his life  and try lives threw him ..Adam can do a lot for him self  take long train rides by himself   go for 5 miles walks by himself   go shopping by himself  dress  bath  make food  ect ecet ect ,..     

 Adam mum  need to understand that Adam not a baby ,.. and her  not letting him go is  like agents  human rights and disability  right too,....
   all i can do for Adam  is support him   ,.. help him to think positive  and  encourage  him to be strong ,..
 because  his mother   and his father never  shows them that .....

  only i do ,.. show Adam  love , trust , patient, honest , praise , empowerment with him self  ,..
 and believe  in himself too and    he amazing man  in my heart .. i love him so much ....


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