Showing posts from April, 2017

School-Work Problems in Children on the Autism Spectrum

“My 10-year-old son, TJ, is in the 5th grade and has high functioning autism. Every night we get into arguments over schoolwork that causes him to have huge temper tantrum. Two afternoons a week, he has other activities, and by the time we get home, doing his assignments is the last thing he feels like doing. The other three days, we argue about whether he should do his homework right after school or if he should have some time to relax and play first. When TJ finally sits down to study, he wants me there helping all the time. I do want to help him, but I know at some point he is going to need to be able to do it on his own, and I have other things I need to be doing. Also, most of the time he doesn’t even remember what assignments he’s supposed to be working on. I’m really confused about this issue and what my role is. Got any ideas?” A major cause of anguish for children with High-Functioning Autism (HFA) – and their parents – is the substandard completion of school work. Thes

Parents with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Part 1

Many parents with Asperger's (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) experience significant difficulties in parenting -- especially if one their children is also on the autism spectrum. Even though the challenges experienced by moms and dads on the spectrum are significant, these challenges are not well understood in the child welfare community. This is in part due to the fact that the AS or HFA parent is able to parent adequately on many fronts, yet he or she is invisibly "disabled" (i.e., the disorder is not readily apparent to the observer).  Many AS and HFA parents are relatively high functioning in the workplace, but struggle raising their children due to social skills deficits. As any mother or father can tell you, parenting involves a great deal of social expertise, conflict-resolution skills, empathy, listening skills, stress-management, and effective disciplinary techniques -- just to name a few. Proper parenting is a monumental task that involves

Rett Syndrome and Asperger's in Girls

“What causes Rett syndrome, and is it a fairly common disorder that occurs alongside Asperger syndrome? Also, what are the treatment options?" Rett syndrome is relatively rare, affecting almost exclusively females, one out of 10,000 to 15,000. After a period of normal development (usually between 6 and 18 months), autism-like symptoms begin to appear. The little girl's mental and social development regresses. For example, she no longer responds to her mom or dad and pulls away from any social contact. If she has been talking, she stops. She can’t control her feet, and she wrings her hands. Some of the problems associated with Rett syndrome can be treated. Physical, occupational, and speech therapy can help with problems of coordination, movement, and speech. Scientists sponsored by the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development have discovered that a mutation in the sequence of a single gene can cause Rett syndrome. This discovery may help doctors slow or

Helping Kids on the Autism Spectrum to “Fit-In” with Their Peer Group

"My 10 year old HF Autistic/Aspie doesn't have many friends, and when he's home he doesn't have any at all. He likes to be by himself playing video games with his online friends, which is very few as well. This has been the most difficult part of raising a child with autism. It is not made easier by teachers that damage fragile self-esteem and school boards and clubs that are exclusivist. I've found it to be heartbreaking. I often have to remind my son to talk about what other kids want to talk about and to play games others want to play. He often forgets this give-and-take aspect of friendships. He recently lost his best friend. The friend couldn't take the screaming, crying, yelling, controlling, bossiness and lack of reciprocity. My son takes things very literally and thinks with his heart. It is difficult for him to focus on more than one friend. He simply speaks on and on obsessively about his video games. I don't know what to do." Young

The Struggles of Adolescence: Help for Young People on the Autism Spectrum

“My 18 y.o. with Asperger syndrome (high functioning) is on my last nerve. He has been on in-school detention all week. Now he’s getting into trouble there too and is about to receive an out-of-school suspension. He simply doesn’t care anymore, and honestly, I think he is trying to get kicked out of school. He comes home and goes straight to his room for the rest of the evening to play online gaming (he will come out occasionally to eat a snack, but won’t eat dinner with the rest of us). He’s rude and hateful to me and his younger brother. I am at my wits end. No idea where I went wrong with this child. He has no friends to speak of, seems depressed and moody all time, and has even said he wished he wasn’t alive. I really have doubts that he will make it in the adult world at this point. He has already said he will not go to college or trade school. And he has never had an interest in working a part-time job so far. Please help!” First of all, there is much more going on here t

COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for April, 2017]

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. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ After 3 years of frustrating school situations turning into home situations, I find myself at my wits end figuring out where to start. I started researching Asperger's without much direction. We came across a teacher for 2nd grade who used (the symptoms listed) to chastise and leave my son out of so many school activities making them so much harder than necessary and starting our snowball of an utter distaste for school all together (with the help of the principal...who is no longer there). (all the while coupled with enuresis both nocturnal and diurnal) I didn't think it could get worse but 3rd grade led to an even worse year and larger distaste for going to school all together and another teacher who made it her mission to be mean to him and she was not even his classroom teacher. After the horrible