COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for August, 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.


Good Afternoon Mark: 
An area where I struggle (there are many)  is feeling guilty that I seem to live a "better life" than my son.  I say that because my son has spoken to me in length and in great detail how he wants a long lasting romantic and loving relationship.  His dad, my husband, have been married for 32 years and have been empty nesters for since 2011.  We both work and when we can travel we do..  Matter of fact...My son recently made the comment...several times...that "my friends (most friends via he only has a handful of friends he associates with in person) ask "are you parent's retired?" and I comment  "no they just travel like they are."  My son loves to travel but when he travelled to NYC about 5 years ago, he and his behaviors upset my husband so much that he said "I will never travel with him on an overnight again!!" and he has only once a twice since then and only because I expressed how I really wanted to do a family event out of    town that necessitated an overnight in a hotel.  We got him his own room...which I even felt kind of bad about that because I wasn't sure if that would hurt my son's feelings.  I don't think it did and if it did he didn't share with me.  I wish I had a support group in my area that I and or I and my husband could go and get help with trying to communicate more effectively with our son or just accept the way he lives and thinks without taking it personal.  I should clarify that my son has lived on his own since 2011 and has a  dual diagnosis of Asperger's and depression/anxiety diagnosis, lives in HUD housing, and receives all of his income via Social Security Disability, he just graduated and received his associates degree from our local community college (So happy and proud of him for this achievement!) He is working with a case manager at this time as to whether he continues on with his bachelors degree or does an internship with a law firm (not sure what they would have him doing) but he has expressed quite an interest in becoming a lawyer so she thought he should be in that environment to see what he thinks of it.  In any case, any suggestions for me to help with my feelings.  Thank you


Hello Mark,
I am just realizing my 33-year-old daughter is showing some signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder.  Since high school she has been angry and disrespectful towards me.  She is now married with a 5-month old son, and she is still very short-tempered with me. 
She has disliked her supervisors at work, although she has obtained 2 Master's Degrees.
She barely speaks to me.  She gives me one-word answers when I ask how she is or how her husband is or how her work is, etc.  Her husband has told me she has vowed to remain angry at me.  She is very strong-willed.
She has said she is hurt and angry that I wanted to have another child after I had her.  She absolutely rales against my having tried to give her helpful suggestions in the past, considering this a criticism that I don't think she is smart enough to figure things out for herself.


I always seen when I watched your videos before I would purchase your e books and of course I get the daily newsletter to email with questions etc. I really never thought I would have to but here I am a basket case after my daughter's, that's 9yrs old, teacher sent me her 3rd email of the school year (been in school starting 3rd week here in Ga) about Ragan's crying.
I would rather call it her emotions getting the best of her. Ragan is in a regular class setting but has speech once a week for 30 mins. We have come so very far since kindergarten it's actually obscure, for the better of course. I have read and read until I finally pass out at night for the last several months since we got a diagnosis from school psychologist, but talking and preaching to Ragan about how she reacts to things just is not helping. I have helped with routine changes, making friends, the fire alarm that terrifies her, and more but I am at the ends when it comes to trying to explain to her how to respond to things when it don't go her way or turns out different than she might think it should.
The school system here in Paulding County made sure the kids did Eclipse activities all day as we got to see 97% of it, then went out 4 different times to view as it progressed.  Outer space, in general, is a very close interest we share with each other. From planets to stars to the moon and sun all of it we love and could talk forever about it (I do have a point and am going somewhere with all this) but we have been waiting for months for today. Ragan knew it was not going to be totality and we have looked at pics for weeks of just the difference 3% makes in the eclipse, total darkness and what we witnessed which was kinda like dusk.
Well when they said that was it today and started going back in, she lost it crying and mad that it "did not get dark as it was SUPPOSED to" as she put it.
We can go weeks and nothing happen and everything be ok and as I read in one of your books, we can't cure this but we can mask it. I'm sorry it was your words or Tony Atwood's because I did purchase one of his books (didn't want to quote the wrong person).
By far is this about me but  from the minute I drop her off in the morning to the time I get her from daycare, I am holding my breath. Then when the emails come I feel completely defeated every single time, like I am having to start over with her. When she is upset I'm upset I would assume that's a natural thing for a mother, it breaks my heart, I can't focus at work and I feel in a way I have isolated myself from people and no one even knows anything about this.
I have made excuses for years for Ragan and I now see it was me being defensive when teachers would complain about disruptive behavior but in a way I can see why she was upset today, which is why I went in to our interest in all of it.
Point is and question is, what else can I do to teach her or help "mask" her emotions?  While reading I did come across the incredible 5 point scale but have not even read it yet to know what it is I just printed it off before I left work today to read tonight. Any advise would truly be appreciated. I did print off the back to school thing for teachers, you sent out but figured I would meet with her teacher and give it to her, point is her teacher does not know we have this going on nor does she probably know what Aspergers is.  I know I might have went on and on but I was trying to give u all the information I could so maybe you could point me in the right direction.


I stumbled across your Online Parent Coaching website (  Is this help still available and could you help us to try to live with our 28 year old son Ryan? 

We've been at our wits end for years.  I told my husband today that if we don't evict him, I'm moving out. And my husband gets along with him worse than I do. I've said this many times before.  We've had the eviction paper notice for a while. I don't think he would be able to make it on his own or at least it would be very sloppy.  But I can't stand the nastiness, foul language, messiness of his room, clothing, surroundings, lack of chores, etc.  If I tell him he is wrong or rude, he will increase the nastiness and use of foul language, saying unbelievably nasty things about me and my husband, and it could go on for hours.  He is never ever wrong, not in the least.  Yesterday his younger brother took the car back to college with Ryan's drivers license and birth certificate in it.  Ryan had an important job interview today and really needed the documents.  He cannot reschedule and get in before the 1st group of candidates get evaluated, reducing his chances for the 13 week training program/job. He was ranting and raving about how wrong and selfish his brother was.  When we told him like we always have, that he needs to keep track of his own things, we both got yelled at about how wrong we were.  Then I said we could drive to the college and get the documents and get back in time for the interview.  When he finally agreed, I asked him to put a building address in GoogleMaps.  He said I talk too loud, and sound like a man and must be frustrated/unhappy, etc, and need help.  I had to put on the breaks and drive home, since I thought I might have a car accident if I had to listen to him yell at/criticize me for an hour and a half.  Ryan didn't want to drive by himself because his legs were too tired.  This is not unusual.  This type of event is common with Ryan. 

We've never had any assistance for him.  The signs were there, but somehow he made it through high school (actually we put him in Michigan Youth Challenge Academy so he could finish with a GED (since he was flunking his harder high school classes).  When in high school, I said there is something wrong and he is soooo immature. While testing, they said they weren't finding anything wrong with him, but gave him a IEP for immaturity (which I told them about).  We didn't hear the term Aspergers until he was 18 and he didn't want to get any diagnosis until he though it might benefit him at 26.  It doesn't seemed to have served any purpose to get the diagnosis, since he doesn't want counseling for himself (only we need counseling he says), and Michigan Works just helps you fill out a resume, etc.    We feel we've encouraged him and he's tried various things. He flunked out of freshman 4 yr college. He was a student pilot and solo'd (but failed his test, failed some classes in the program, didn't really check out the plane, etc). He went to 2 welding schools and got certificates, and got a job after persistent calling (which was good on his part). But he kept complaining that he didn't want to paint, only weld.  He said he didn't like the people or the job and got fired in 2 wks.  He was hired for a remote factory job, but got let go after 2 days.  It was a food plant and he told them he was going to bring food in his pocket anyway breaking the rules.   He only wants a high paying job and they require experience.  He then said welding isn't good for your eyes.  Then he got an associated degree in general studies (after struggling in a manufacturing techn associates prog), but then he got a certificate in Web development. He has supposedly been studying coding for like 2 years, but stopped applying for jobs and coding.


Hello there,
     I am a fifth grade teacher in a a public IB school in California.  I was doing some research online and I came across your parent program for working with children with Asperger's or high functioning Autism.  I have a new student in my class who was essentially kicked out of his former school because there were no longer willing to work with him and the mother.  I know I have an opportunity to make a difference in this young man's life and I want to do right by him, but I am grossly under-trained!  I was wondering if you had a program or tips that you would advise for teachers who are wanting and willing to put in the extra work to help these special, and at times challenging, kids succeed.
Thank you for your time and any advice.


Hi Mark,
Thing goes extremely hard for our family now. We moved out of our old high school zone, and Jeffrey can no longer go back to the high school he wants to go. Yesterday is his first day in school, today he refused to go to Green Hope high and stayed at home for the whole day. We contacted  North Carolina Wake county school board to appeal and explain why it is so important for us to transfer Jeffrey to Enloe high(Lottery Magnet School) or the Panther Creek high( Our old base school now capped, we still have our property in this school zone). Jeffrey said he will accept either of these two high school if he can go. Unfortunately, the school board decline our appeal. My husband and I are very disappointed. I don't know why they didn't approve our special case and what kind of hardship appeals they think they can approve.

We feel very stressful. I don't know whether it is a good time to tell Jeffrey that he is an Asperger child. Now he is more self-enclosed. We worry about him. We don't know where we can look for the help. 


Dear Sir,

I am disabled, despondent, desperate and asking for mercy from my beloved Abba.

Don't know why I never found your program before after decades in CR, ACA, Al-Anon, Aspires, Oasis, etc and multiple failed counseling attempts to cope with my autism marriage of 26+ years.

I just have one question -- do you ever provide financial aid for your ebook? We have only $10 to live on this week after my 61 yr old husband has repeatedly been unemployed or underemployed. We still have internet this week. I have health issues and had an MTBI in 2009 so I do not have income anymore. We have lived in our camper for 18 months after losing the ability to pay for standard housing --

All I want is to find a way to live through this with my belief in the Father intact and my sanity and health intact. I must make it through to continue caregiving for our 18 yr old Aspie son.

I would be grateful, so deeply grateful to read your book and access some fellowship and understanding of this insane life. Btw, I forgot to mention that I also was dx'd with Asperger's and anxiety. Who wouldn't have anxiety in my position? I raised six kids, three on the spectrum.

I have met the enemy, and the enemy is me.


My husband (family with aspergers, no diagnosis for him, but her psychologist sister is quite convinced about it) and I have been together for 15 years.
I was still a girl, very naive, an with low self-esteem when we met. He was/is 20 years older and with a god job. I am only now getting somewhere with my career, after 2 children and studying more.
We had problems 8-10 years back, then in therapy, but he never understood why and rejected any hints he should consider changing in his behaviour. I  moved out during his worktrip, because had no strength to do it when he was around. It was a shock. And then, I realised I was pregnant and we got back together. He has tried and made efforts for the marriage, but blamed on not trusting me. He also feels that I stay with him for money. I just want to avoid the fights as divorced couple, I know he can be very cruel on children at those times. I also have learned to love him again, though feeling I would deserve more, as living him him lacks affection and we never talk about the challenges we have, he does not trust on me and never talks about the bad stuff with anyone. He is social, but with no friends. people find him uncomfortable as he is quite dominant. We almost divorced 2 yeras ago, but hav ebeen able to build up a nice everyday-life since then and I have felt that things have gone a lot better. But then I decided to make some changes at home and he did not accept. I changed the place of 3 furniture, to make it easier to clean and to look nicer. I work from home mostly, and I have wanted to do many changes in the last years, he always says no. I know he liked the change, but got mad that I had not asked if it was ok with him. As a result, he has not spoken to me for 1 month. He thinks that we should change the places back before he will discuss. Yet, I cannot do that for not showing our daughters that this is how Mums always make what they husbands want. That is, he has bought a TV for kitchen without asking me, he decided that a sofa will be in a room I did not want to and he decided that he will have a TV room next to bedrooms although I wanted to get rid of an old TV of huge size. When I have tried to discuss about those changes, he refused to even talk. I tried to change things and he took my car keys away. So, he can make changes but I can not? I have a strong character and I have no problem being against him. But as children become always part of it, I have this far accepted to always “compromise” and do things his way. Now I said to daughters, I cannot make them see how I always give up.

For 1 month now, I have tried to find a solutions, I have not. My husband feels I hurt him very bad and he honestly thinks so. That I did not care of his opinion. That I have neglected him for a long time and now he´s done with it. I know he does not want to divorce and loves me, but he will not stop a fight unless he feels like winning it. How can I show him a way out so that he will win, but I will not loose? These things happen with us quite often, power struggles, but I need to find a way how it is not always me who adjusts for the sake of the children and peace.

I do research on systems thinking and co-creation and try to understand things from many perspectives.
With this, when the person is not willing to talk when somethings is wrong, I am confused. Adults talk and face problems, right? But not the asperger…
What I have already done different, is that I have not been shouting at him all the way, but have tried to be as if nothing was wrong and mainly succeed with it. I just have not accepted to put the furniture back, because there are so many people who have seen it and agree that they are a LOT better than before. And I did not do it to irritate him. Instead, I have told him that it is ok if he decides to stop talking for a few days if I have behaved in un-respectful ways, but that I love him and do not want to destroy the good we have in fighting. And that I am listening if he wants me to explain why he thinks there are good reasons I should not have made the changes. 

So, how can I change things at this point, when there is no connection to speak? How can I stop this nonsense and get back on tracks? How can I now make him choose peace over winning?


Hi Mark,
My oldest son Anders has Aspergers Syndrome. He is 15 years old and has completely isolated him self at home. It has gotten so bad that he is unable to go to a dentist appointment or even just a small dog park 20 feet from our apartment. My wife is exhausted and so am i. In addition to his isolation he has for 3-4 month now been hating me his dad to a degree where i have to leave the home for longer periods of time or hid out in our bedroom.
I am not sure how much more we can take.
In regards to school we are now working with a slew of people from wrap around services who comes to our apartment to help get him out to the assessment team to private ABA team.
He refuses to talk to anyone and act paranoid.
He has broken several of our doors in our apartment but is not hurting anyone nor a danger to him self.
My wife and i are pushing for having him move to a residential school but are at the same time extremely worried about his reaction as it will no be a voluntary move.
Do you have any wise dome or thoughts you can share that will help us move forward?

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