COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for Sept., 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.


Would you recommend this program to friends or family?

I wholeheartedly recommend this programme to EVERY parent. I am a single-parent and have found my son's out of control behaviour completely overwhelming.  I wish I'd learnt these strategies when my son was younger.  It's really worth sticking through and following Mark's advise to the letter. I was on the verge of a breakdown at home and unable to cope with my son's outbursts.  My son had punched holes in walls, broken furniture, stolen from me, and was physically intimidating i.e. not letting me leave the house by blocking me.

It's not all plain sailing and I've had a few setbacks, e.g. there was a huge backlash after I started initiating the discipline. However,  I stuck it out and it really paid off. The  intensity of my son's tempers have mellowed and are less frequent. He's started a new sport, is sleeping at night time (I now switch off the internet and night and he must give me his mobile before he goes to bed). We are eating together all the time and life is getting back to normal. 

Did you get a timely response to your emails?


What was the most helpful feature of Online Parent Support? 

I think the phrasing of how to approach situations also Mark correctly anticipated potential reactions to changes I was implementing and how to deal with those.

What was the least helpful? 
Nothing - everything was really helpful.

Additional Comments:

I wish the CD was available in downloadable format. I live in Europe and can't purchase it.


Hello Mark,

Thank you for taking the time to put your parenting programme together. I wanted to let you know that your advice and strategies have had a positive and transformative impact on our home life.

More importantly, I think it's benefited my son as he's learning boundaries and how to behave especially around women.  One of my biggest fears is that he'd grow up to a man who abuses his wife and family.  

I've submitted feedback on the feedback page which you are welcome to use (without identifying me).

I only wish I could buy the CD ( I'm in Europe) -  it would be great if this was downloadable so I could listen to it in the car.

Keep up the good work!
Many thanks and God bless



MARK!! I have just started reading!! OMG I can't believe it! Thank you so so so so so much! I am going to Staples to buy some paper (mine is always recycled and crappy!  - autism is expensive! lol) I am so very thankful to you!! Thank you so much! Seriously, thank you. I love your info and subscribe to your info and am excited when I get new info! Thanks again! Wish me luck with my son! He started Gr. 3 today. He knows he has autism and we think he knows what that means at a basic level, but we are wanting him to be as informed and involved as he can be. I am 45 and my husband ( very good daddy) is 47 and we know that we are not long for this world - he will need to know how to live his own life and we are (obv) terrified. Your articles help us feel like we/he is going to be ok.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Mark. Seriously. If you ever come to Canada, let me know - you can stay with us!!!

xoxoxoxo Blessings,



Thanks Mark!

I've been reading your FB posts and really appreciating them.

Our 5 yo son w/ AS/HFA started kindergarten last week and he's really struggling w/ unprovoked aggression towards his peers. Then when adult educational staff intervene, he has subsequent aggression towards them and some times he has meltdowns.  Some aggression is in response to predictable triggers (e.g., asked to do writing which evokes anxiety and embarrassment, bumped by other kid while waiting in line) and some aggression towards kids is seemingly out the blue.  When asked why, he says "I don't know."  My sense is that he is overwhelmed by anxiety and sensory processing challenges related to new environment.  We had IEP place before school started but doesn't seem to adequate based upon response first 2 weeks.

Where do you recommend that I start looking in the materials you sent for ideas about how to help him?


Good evening Mark!
Let me start by saying my name is Hope Cook and im the manager of the Crystal Coast Autism Center,Inc in Morehead city nc. I was wondering if you go to places and talk to parents,teachers ect. About Autism? The reason why im asking is because we are a small city but we have surrounding counties. There is a lot of teachers and parents that are in need of learning more about autism. I watch your video and it was very inspiring. I would love to see if I can have you come and talk to you the parents and teachers of Carteret County and surrounding counties. How much would it cost if you could do this? I am extremely interested in learning more. I have a 13 year old son that is on the Spectrum. It's extremely hard I am a single mother and I tried to learn as much as possible. I really think your videos and what you would have to say would be a tremendous help to a lot of people in Carteret County and surrounding counties. Please consider this and get back with me as soon as you can. Thank you for all you do! I look forward to hearing from you.


Your articles are amazing. I am the nana to a 19-year-old girl. She was diagnosed at around 5 years old and now is being tested for autism. Since my first text to you, it has been awful.  In the last couple months they have had to call the police to let them take her to the hospital several times.She seems to be calm there like their is nothing major and just keeps it in but will explod soon after being released. She makes a plan to herself and when she voices it and they say no it all starts. Her screams don't sound right and are scary and I fear for the families life at times because she is so aggressive and makes so many threats. It is very disturbing to see she her thrown things and hit her mama repeatedly and her daddy it goes between hitting biting slapping and throwing things.   They have a upstairs and I fear she may push someone down them.  We fear for them and the other little children. It is majorly affecting her 14-year-old brother who had a panic attack and had to go to the ER because of her. He has lived in this stuff for many a year. Maybe had she been handled differently younger as some of your stuff has been placed out there to read maybe it would have helped her I don't know. She has such serious meltdowns we're just at a loss and and the parents are totally exhausted. Removing the 14-year-old for a while to go to the grandmas and really do not know what's going to happen with Hailee. She seems to be a different person with friends but with her family especially her mom is very bad she supposedly test is only like a 12-year-old but is 19 and thinks she is an adult and anything can set her off She has ran away several times threaten to kill the family and herself and already packed a bag please just give me some hopeful and helpful information as a grandma I ended up going for counseling but I am at a loss. I am a Christian and I do trust God for his guidance 100% but I would like to have some information to read on and stuff you say I really really admire you and thank you for how you can help me and encourage me waiting for your response thank you Gail. Also she has guys she talks with and one particularly has had a hold on her. He lives out of town and that is a answer to prayer.  She wants a boyfriend and she is in a dangerous place. He is aggressively talking and very bad .  He says he will come get her.  Fearful if she did he would abuse her.   Just another area of scarienes. Thanks again.  I do pray Mark you do handle these text but how do you handle so many or you just have certain things you say for a situation.  Sorry just desperate and


last four years have been brutal. 5 grade with bulling, then a private school which ended in as refusal as they did not understand how to deal with our son and treated him more as will full.
The third school understood and tried to help which lead to the district supporting him being moved to a school for kids with learning disabilities.
This worked for a while and we thought it was the solution as the staff seemed in tune with autism.
Anders did well in the beginning but then started having issues with a kid then another one and after a third one he was done.
He spend a lot of time talking to teachers and the schools director but it was mostly a one way conversation. He demanded an action which was difficult for them to do and at the end he simply refused to go to school.
Now in response to the strategies we have been unable to make anything work and at them moment he is forcing me (his dad) out of our home but throwing fits and banging on walls and doors until my wife asks me to go somewhere else which means i am at the moment sitting in a parking lot writing to you. all whiles she has to deal with my aspergers son (Anders) and 12 year old twins and all the house work.
something has to change
 my wife and i no longer possess the energy to do it.
we are working with the school district, wrap around services, phycologists, aba team, ucsf specialists.
given all of the special help we are unable to function and Anders rejects the help by hiding or going crazy yelling and screaming.
i am currently with out job and find it hard to focus on getting one with all this going on.
my wife is stressed out and i am feeling more and more panic coming on inside if me.


I have two adopted children ages 9 and 10.  The eldest has been diagnosed with RAD and I believe he has SAD (Separation Anxiety Disorder) too.  He started school just before his 5th birthday having spent two terms at playschool and seemed ok, the odd day of resistance but nothing that registered as being abnormal.  But once he entered a more formal educational setting in Year 1 (England) the problems began.  He would refuse to listen in lessons preferring to be under the tables.  He was constantly in trouble, found it difficult to maintain friendships and was bullied.  We moved schools hoping a smaller school would be better but the problems continued until eventually he refused to even go to school or stay there if I had managed to get him through the door.  After many meetings with teachers, the head of school,  the post adoption service we gave up and at the end of Yr 2 we decided Home Education was the only option.  Clearly a school setting was not for him.  We have since removed our daughter too who  is also showing signs of attachment disorder.

My main difficulty is that we are now in our 4th year of Home Education and every day is a struggle to get him to learn anything.  He has been assessed for Autism and ADHD neither of which he has but the refusal to learn continues.  He says “if he does his learning then he will have to grow up and that means leaving Mummy”.  No amount of reassurance will change his mind.  He is an avid reader and learns a lot this way but won’t do anything formal. He disrupts his sisters learning time too.  He wakes me most nights with nightmares about us being separated in some way and follows me around the house which makes me feel a little smothered at times.  If he cannot be with me he bothers his sister and if she doesn’t want him around he hurts her.  The rejection is too much.  Even spending time with my husband so I can have some ‘me time’ is difficult for him.

I practice Therapeutic Parenting technicques and the bond between us has grown but I would not say it is secure although in the last few weeks he has started saying that he knows I care about him and always will so I feel we have made some progress.  While his sister was still at school I facilitated a year of regression to infancy and he had two years of playtherapy to help him explore his rather chaotic past.  My husband and I have in the last 10 months lost both remaining parents to cancer so the children are both grieving this loss on top of previous loss through adoption.

This is a brief synopsis of the last 7 years.  I have joined your mailing list as I have found some of the techniques on your website very useful.  Any words of advice you can offer would be gratefully recieved.  I admit I am struggling. 


You describe my partner completely. Unfortunately, he is now my ex partner as he ended our relationship only 4 weeks ago. I am devastated, not only because I am still very much in love with him but also because I have only just discovered that he has the condition.

Frank is a 48 year old man and has never been diagnosed. His marriage of 20 years ended 5 years ago and I am the only partner he has had since. His ex-wife (whom I know) became depressed and this is the official reason the marriage broke down.

Now Frank has finished our relationship of 18 months because he realises he cannot stop hurting me, unintentionally. And yes, I was hurt... because I too was unaware of the reasons behind his, often strange, behaviour. Now I understand it so much better but am at a loss as to what to do.

We ended nicely, as in nobody is angry. He is a very mild-mannered man and I am a kind NT woman. However, he says he is now totally ‘empty’. I have not seen or heard him in two weeks and it’s causing me a great deal of pain. Do you have any suggestions as to the best way forward?

Please realise that my love for him has always been, right from the beginning, genuine and committed. I have never given up on ‘us’. He tried to end our relationship twice before already but I convinced him not to.


Mr. Hutten,

I stumbled onto your site today in the early a.m. because I have chronic insomnia, and have been a collector of expert information for my son for nearly nineteen years.  Our stumbling block is that we have a young man with severe anxiety, depression, irritability, and self-loathing.  We have NEVER made him feel badly for his meltdowns and have always been positive about his diagnosis and all of the hard work that put into speech therapy, etc., when he was a young man.  We have always praised his desired behaviors and tended to re-direct and not draw attention to undesirable behaviors.

He was home-schooled from third grade as we started witnessing the effect that some minor bullying was having on him.  We had a team of professionals who studied him in a typical school setting and advised us, due to his extreme anxiety, and the bullying, that he would learn more effectively outside a typical classroom.  For a very long time, we attended classes and social events put on by our homeschool community.  When he was around age 12, he started refusing to participate and became very irritable.  He loathes his autism diagnosis and feels that he will never fit into society and that he is going to kill himself once something happens to his immediate family.

As you know, typical therapies do not work with an autism diagnosis.  When he was young, I was able to implement social stories and games and things to improve his life.  Now he refuses to accept his autism, doesn't want to talk about it or have any services or therapy to help him cope.  He says that autism, ocd and adhd, are all excuses for the idiot that he is.  He say he can't trust anybody, including us, because it makes him feel vulnerable. And, that he absolutely does not want or need friends  This is impacting every area in his life that needs to be improved on.  For example, he is diabetic and will not comply with the testing an insulin management when he eats.  He also has avoidant/restrictive eating disorder and we had to quit therapy because his behavior was so bad.  (The feeding clinic basically asked us to manage his treatment via email.)  His blood sugar is not being managed completely because as his parents, we do have to get some sleep and he is a night owl.  He says he deserves to die and he doesn't care about himself or how diabetes can impact his health and energy levels.

My question, how do I get him over this hump?  I have recently found a doctorate level therapist that only sees children with autism but we are stuck waiting until his SSI/Medicare kicks in because she doesn't take medicaid.  We also are now registered in our state for priority services here at home and in the community.  He doesn't want that either even though we are proceeding despite his refusal.   He graduated in May and is extremely bright, but refuses that notion too.  Have you had any young adult patients that are this difficult?  He has been through several therapists and pediatric psychiatrists that have patients with autism, and they can't seem to sort anything out.

Obviously, I could go on and on about our son and his difficulties. Any ideas you may have to get past this would be appreciated.


Good Evening,
I am in desperate need of some help with my 7 year old son. We are in the process of getting him diagnosed and it's a LONG process, but I am for sure after all the research and everything I have read, that he has Asperger's. His tantrums/meltdowns are escalating as well as disruptive behaviors in class. I am at my wits end and am wondering what I can do? What classes can I take? I was reading about do I sign up? I am feeling like a failure of a mom because I have lost my patience and have run out of tricks.
Please Help!


I read so much wonderful and thorough information on these topics but have such a hard time finding the help that we need (in Southern California) because our son's case is so very complicated. . If you have time to read this and have any suggestions, thank you and God bless.
At this point we are just finally trying to find a college or career counselor or life coach for my 15 years old son who is very smart but struggles with many issues. He was diagnosed in third grade by a neuropsychiatrist with: Asperger's Syndrome, auditory processing disorder, cognitive disorder, learning disabilities, ADD, and depressive symptoms. He appears COMPLETELY typical and the school district does not understand him even with his IEP. We have tried a charter and a private school and are back at the public school. No one understands him and they are basically pushing him through the system. He has so much potential and it's so sad.  We have tried so many things and he has several interests but he has such a hard time with so many different things that nothing has stuck. He is artistic and has an aptitude for several different things, i.e. golf, surfing, drawing. He starts all these things but doesn't get anywhere bc of his executive functioning issues. He is currently taking lessons to fly and the teacher is very impressed with his instincts but there is so much other work to becoming a pilot I'm not sure that will come to fruition. I am trying to find a life or career or college coach that understands his issues but am having a VERY difficult time finding one. He gets excited about the thoughts of a future but has no motivation bc it's all been so difficult. He hardly has friends and he plays computer and watches videos as much as we try to keep him involved. I simply want to find the right path and friends and direction for him so he can have a successful and happy life. I need to find someone who can help me hone in on his interests and aptitudes so we can figure out what the next step should be.
We live in Ventura County about 50 miles north of Los Angeles. I know I should be able to find some help here but I have not.  Any input or advice or referral would be appreciated.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this and I hope to hear back.


Hi Mark,

We had multiple communications among the board and Green Hope high school, there is no solution and impossible for Jeffrey to switch back to his old high school. They requested us to take care of Jeffrey's mental health firstly. I agree Jeffrey has mental problems.

 Fortunately, a small charter high school (Triangle Math and Science) offered to accept Jeffrey. We even consider this high school last year and we think this school will fit Jeffrey very well. 

Now Jeffrey's mindset is still to go back to Enloe high or Panther Creek and he wants to move back to our old property. My husband and I declined his request because we worry about he will get worse since he no longer can go back to the old high school even though he moves back to our old property.  We try to make a deal with him we can rent an apartment for him if he tries to go to Triangle Math and Science since he insists to move out of our new property.  Even though my husband is now homeschooling him, we are very stressful because my husband must work to afford the family.

Mark, do you have any suggestions on how to persuade Jeffrey to try the new high school Triangle Math and Science.

I am waiting for your responses ASAP.


do you have recommendations for a child that is now an adult who was not told of his diagnosis by his parents until 30 (when it was suggested to them and they admitted it had been previously diagnosed) and instead was told he was simply violent and had anger management issues due to ADHD?

How do you go about helping an adult with this? Suffering from problems in the workplace now (being continually let go due to social abnormalities), but is likely gifted so he did not struggle in school. The child was physically and mentally abused by the parents his whole childhood. The parents attempted to take the grandchild from him accusing him falsely in court of physical violence that did not actually occur as his outbursts are actually only verbally abusive and self destructive. Are there grounds to press charges for child abuse by the time you are 30 and figuring these things out on your own?

Thank you,
A wife that will stick by her husband through everything and simply wants to help

P.S. What are signs I should be looking for in my step daughter and my own son for similar situations? Both learn quickly and school is no problem. I believe my step daughter's acting out is due to the custody situation as it has been difficult, and she has bounced around A LOT as grandparents and aunts tried to keep her from her father by keeping her with her drug addict mother (who they supported for sometime but since they cut off support she is now homeless and has been completely absent for a year).


my son has A diagnosis of aspergers and has a iep and is in the tenth grade. (We have emailed before.)School only began on August 30th and yesterday and today  he walked out of class and yesterday he went to the jrotc room (junior military cadets) and helped out  he is apart of that program and likes it.  He used to walk out last year and go to the bathroom and just sit there and they would look for him and always know where to find him but obviously walking out of class isn't allowed. This year he is in regular classes per his request and they aren't going to be as leniant on him. So now he is not allowed out of class and walked out today and he says how he hates the school and wants to switch to the alternative school  he thinks it will be easier there but he wouldn't be able to do jrotc. I spoke with the principal there and it's more for kids who are credit deficinit. I guess what I am asking is. What advice would you give me to encourage him to not walk out of class and how do I encourage him enough to want to stay at the high school he is hard to get thru sometimes and   normally if he gets in trouble he isn't allowed his Xbox for that day  I tell him if u have a good day you get ur privileges so it's more of a positive affect.  I am not sure if u think when negative things happen at school what should be the consequences at home.


Hi Mark,

First I want to thank you for your eBook as it has been helpful and insightful.  I just realized that my husband of 21 years has Aspergers and I’m still trying to process all this information.  The way you described what the wife is feeling is right on point.  I basically ran out of the house after we dropped my last son off at college, I couldn’t catch my breath and looking at the future with my husband was just unbearable.  Of course he thinks I’ve lost my mind and can’t understand what I’m going thru. To make matters worse my father is in the hospital and we are not sure if he’s going to make it and all my husband wants to know is when I’m coming home, cause I’m disrupting his life.  I have been emailing him lots of information regarding Aspergers and I think he’s now accepting that he does have “bit” of Aspergers.  I sent him a quiz and he said he was borderline. I’ve asked him to find us a Therapist in Phoenix who specializes in this area for couples.  I know this would be a huge step for him to do this on his own and already he’s saying that “I don’t want to feel like a dog and perform to get a treat”.  I texted back “ If you care enough about me- PLEASE do this”.  Which leads me to ask you…… Can you recommend anyone in Phoenix who might be able to help us?  I’m not sure my husband will do this and I really want to make my marriage work.

Thank you again
God Bless!


My husband of almost 1 year is the (undiagnosed) Aspergers.

One of our current main issues is that when he has and 'incident' (he disputes the fact that it should be identified as a meltdown)
which involves extremely loud animated talking (he says he is not yelling) and 'language', he does not understand my reaction because
he is not hurting me.

My reaction to the incidents is to feel extreme anxiety and withdrawal. My chest hurts and I feel like I may have a heart attack. The following day
or two I feel like I may cry at any moment for no reason and I shut him out. He is infuriated that it takes me a couple of days or longer
to feel comfortable with him. He says he feels like I am punishing him. For some reason I feel the need to retreat to my 'bubble' where I
try to restore my sense of calm and peace. I don't believe I am intentionally punishing him, but obviously I am.

My question is: what recommendation do you give for people like me who are 'too sensitive' when being involved in these
'incidents'?  We have been trying to locate a counselor and have not been successful as yet.


Dear Mark Hutten,

I came upon your article on Parenting Teens with RAD after searching for some research on RAD which I am sure you know Is hard to find since it is a newly understood trauma.  My husband and I are struggling to parent our 18 year old son with multi-diagnosis including RAD.
He fits your classic description, has been in 5 different residential treatment environments and now that he is 18, he will need to decide if he wants anything to do with help therapeutically.  He walked out of his last Therapeutic boarding school this past June on his last day of High School.  He wants to live with us but fights us on every rule and boundary and is very abusive.  He does not want to do any work but wants to find others who he can depend on. We have had him leave 2 times already he is a great manipulator.

The questions I am looking for answers are:

When do parents decide that the home provides too much enabling and old trauma or shame…..and putting their child on the street would be better for them to  learn life’s lessons and start to do the work?

Where do these young adults go who have no life skills and have mental health issues?

Are there any resources or books that you can direct me too?     

What is your support group about and how does one get involved?


    My granddaughter is 13 with Asperger’s Syndrome – High Functioning Autism.  She has made some really offputting social errors about which I cannot be specific as she cannot accurately report them.  She projects blame onto others.  She is always trying to get attention, even to the point of creating drama.  She thinks that she can sing but does not have a pleasant singing voice.  She has lost parts in plays because of her inability to sing but still thinks that her voice is fine.  She does have some artistic ability but will not accept any criticism from instructors and will not attend art classes.
     Things at home are pretty bad with a chaotic room, inability to use time well enough to leave for school on time, and meltdowns.  Also, she does not turn in assignments.  Any coaching of ways to solve the problem of turning in assignments is met with “I can’t do that.”
    You know that any help is appreciated.



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