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COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for Oct., 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.


My grandaughter has ashbergers/autism. She is being tested for autism. The last year she has escalated continuously. Very aggressive. Has run away twice. Beats on her parents pulls hair and calls them hurtful names.  Her outbursts are awful. Screaming throwing things breaking things biting parents. Police have come so many things. Some time they take her to hospital then too a behavior place. Nothing is helping or changing.  The house has so much stress and anxiety in it.  Her brother is 14 and has some issues but he has lived with her doing stuff for years. But she is so bad and has threatened to kill them several time and the 14 year old had to go to emergency room with panic attack and anxiety cause she was coming home from hospital.  The cell phone and social media is the demon. She has had very bad contacts to the point of having restraining order on him. Was saying he was coming to get her. I am scared for my daughter and family. Please if you have some insight I would appreciate it. I am so scared for them all.


I am a Mum from the uk with two boys both diagnosed with autism not Asperger. My eldest also has ADHD and challenging behaviour and is under a psychiatry and psychology team. Would this program be suitable for my eldest child as I am at my wits end. He now refuses to go to school and when I do manage to get him there is goes into meltdown and I have to take him home. Although he is nine years old his mentality is that of a much younger child which makes him unable to express his emotion except through swearing and physical meltdowns and physical aggression towards myself and other. Meltdowns occur throughout the day and be because I looked at him or spoke to him. He is a very complex boy and I find it very hard to predict what might trigger him into a meltdown.


I found your website today and am interested in your program for my son. I finally have a answer for my son's behavior issues at that he presented from birth. He was always a very difficult child - angry, argumentative, biting, hitting. He started out as a very cranky "colicky" baby even though he was breast fed. We had a very successful nursing relationship for one year. The first mean thing he ever did he was 4 months old when he bit his older brother and then he turned to biting other children and it only got worse from there.

I'm writing today because my son is now 37 years old, and at least towards me, he still presents as an ODD teen. As you can imagine our relationship is a disaster. In addition to his serious acting out he became a drug addicted older teen after his father's death. After juvenile hall & foster homes I sent him to a 1 year long live in drug rehab center where he finally got clean, graduated from high school and has been clean ever since - 20 years now. As far as I know (he is married & doesn't live with me) he does not have a drug or alcohol problem.

Will your program be useful to he & I to get our relationship on track at his age? At this point in a relationship with him I feel disrespected, dismissed and belittled. Although I want a relationship with my son, I cannot continue a relationship with him feeling like this. I am desperate. I lost my oldest son to PTSD suicide after he returned home from his 3rd tour in Iraq in 2009. I don't want to lose another child.

I am 100% clear I cannot change another adult's behavior or make them willing to be in a healthy relationship with me or anybody else. Nor am I trying to control my son.In order for me to continue in a relationship with my son I have to be treated with the respect that is appropriate for one's loving Mother.

I am asking you believe your program can help ME change MY behavior  so that I might interrupt the negative relationship dance I am in with my son and by doing so, this may in turn influence his behavior in our our relationship to a more positive place.


Hi Mark,

I have a 6 yr old son who will be 7 on halloween this year who has been diagnosed with high functioning ASD.  He is struggling in school this year more so then ever before having frequent outbursts.  We have been trying to work with the school to identify interventions that will help lessen the behaviors as well as identify what might be proceeding his outbursts however have come up empty handed thus far with limited information to go off before things get out of control.  We received an email today from the special education teacher not his regular classroom teacher with the following.

My son and i typically review his day and highlight the positive and review what we could try to do differently.  We do this to encourage reflection, build on identifying feelings, and build conversation skills.  Today he was trying to say that he had a bad day because other kids were calling him names and when he tried to tell the teacher she would not listen to him.  He also told me that they made him a cool down corner, which i learned he interpreted as actual "cool" down not calm down as well as very uncomfortable ( i suppose is soliciting more negative sensory stimuli then helpful).  

I feel that i am working with professionals that are interpreting his behaviors as defiant and engage in a power struggle with negative consequences like loss of recess or lunch dentition which has no impact or influence on his behaviors.  I have tried to educate and provide suggestions of what has worked at home however it seems they will take the simplest thing and apply it minimally thinking it will work with no success and then revert back to interventions that work for neurotypical children. 


We have four boys, with our eldest the challenge.  He benefits from all the traits you list - smart, socially challenged, underperforming, increasingly disobedient and unhappy, and so on.   We have, perhaps mistakenly, avoided having him tested - it has been clear he is different since he was small. But it was all manageable.  Now it is not, and it is tearing our family apart.  He is refusing to go to school on any day he has a test or assignment due; he sneaks out to use the computers downstairs in our condos common area; he swears at us and calls me names; he threatens to hurt himself, or kill himself.  And so on.

We are wondering what to do, as we live in Bangkok, Thailand, and there are no suitable schools for really dealing with a child like this.  The teachers see it as a discipline problem, and have very limited understanding of his challenges. Could you tell me, are there any great schools in the States, where we could consider moving?  A place that has a fantastic reputation for taking particularly bright kids, not too far on the spectrum, great with math and writing, who just is starting to avoid doing his work, pushing back against his parents any time anything is required of him?  We would consider moving back home, if this were a good option.


Our 11-yr-old daughter (or will be on the 24th) was diagnosed, through her school, when she was 4/5 years old with Asperger's. Needless to say, it's been a long road for my husband and me. We have wonderful support at the school she attends, but life has been tough.

Without telling you our whole life story, we were married 18-years with no kids, and then we adopted Lydia. We took her straight home from the hospital. She is our only child.

Over a year ago, while she was in a very safe home environement for daycare, she learned the word, "penis." She actually was asked to leave the daycare because she would not stop saying it. She quickly learned to say, "Peanuts" so she wouldn't get in trouble. She is very clever in rhyming her words, and she has found this technique often with other words too.

She's in 5th grade, and this week she looked up "penis" on a school computer, and was caught. The school did not allow her to go on the field trip that same day with the rest of her class, as a consequence. We thought that was fair. However, on her way to the daycare that same day (on the bus), she used a pen and put it between her legs to make other kids laugh and said, "this is my penis." The other kids wrote some ugly words and drew a picture on a piece of paper. It was Lydia's pen/paper, so now the teachers are investigating who was involved. I don't doubt that the information Lydia gave me is incorrect. She is normally honest with me, because I confront her in such a way, that I already know the details.

With a little history, today she was suspended from the daycare for two days. I get it. School and daycares have to protect ALL of the kids, and they can't allow this kind of behavior tolerated.

Main question: How do we direct her mind away from "Penis?" She is so obsessed with this topic, it's driving me crazy.

What do we do with Lydia? She smirks a lot when she's in trouble, and yet, she can cry and act upset too. I say, "act" because sometimes I really think she is acting... it's a little too dramatic, and she can turn it off on a dime.

Is anything I'm telling you common with other Asperger's kids? It's always a challenge to pinpoint what is a "normal" fifth grade girl tendencies, and what is an exception (if it should be) labeled as Asperger's and then we should extend a little more grace.

Lydia is stimulated by sexual things. She started her period one week before her 10th birthday, so that is another dynamic to add to her hormones and puberty. I feel like she's a tiger in a kitten body. How do we control her desires, feelings, emotions? She has never been sexually abused, but she has always been curious.

I know you don't have all the answers, but it sure does feel good to vent and ask someone these questions and express my concerns.

In August Lydia started piano lessons. It's been fun seeing someone who has a natural passion for music learning how to play songs. She obviously has a long way to go, but we're trying to channel some of her energy.

We love her dearly, and only want the very best for our precious daughter. We are believer's in Jesus Christ, and we are confident that God created this human with a purpose and that He has a perfect design and plan for her life.


Hi, I am a paraprofessional,  recently started (about 2 weeks) working with a 5 year old boy. He hasn't been diagnosed as autistic. However he is receiving ABA in a center.

The boy is non compliant in his task, even if the therapist tries to cheer him up, reinforce him. Nothing works. He will keep saying or doing what he wants. Like when non compliant he is either singing or repeat the words/rhymes he learnt or stimming (sometimes high).

He has 4 ABA sessions and still not much help. (Reason: there are more adults in the room as Mother/Sister, Nanny, Therapist and me. All giving him instructions (recently started to attend) may be reason of non compliance.)

Recently, i came to know he was never been exposed to nurseries or any socialism. He was confined to a room, with TV watching all day, and whatever he wants were within the reach.

The boy overweighs at 5. He reflects laziness to completes his task. he walks but difficult to walk a little. He cannot run/jump/climb maybe due to his weight.

This is the insight, as i could gather this much data. His mother is not ready to share anything but expects me to deliver the results.

I will appreciate, if you can share your experience/knowledge to increase my insight on the subject.


Hi Mark, Your book is saving my mental & physical health!!

I need your advice about my boyfriend who will be seeing a Neurologist/Psychiatrist the end of this month. My boyfriend Brendan 'seems like' he is not open to considering AS/ASD or is simply disinterested in thinking about it. His uncle was diagnosed with ASD  a few years back. So it seems as if there is a stigma about it. I suspect his genius, computer engineer father might also be ASD from the stories I've heard. They are a Chinese American family so I'm not sure how their family's culture impacts their acceptance of this diagnosis. Although Brendan's mother has told me stories about Brendan's childhood and teenage years that fit so much with the info I've read through you ASD book on teenagers.

I will be with Brendan while he is meeting the Neurologist. The appointment is initially to address past concussions that Brendan suffered while skateboarding.  Is there anyway that I can gently suggest that he be accessed for AS/ASD? I don't want him to become defensive or put on the spot.  Brendan is 41, I am 10 years older. (And no my father was not Aspergers/HFA :))  It seems like Brendan has a lot of problems taking care of himself. Your book has helped me understand why.

He has a job at Trader Joes (grocery store), he's an extremely hard worker but he must constantly self medicate with alcohol to get through his day. At this point his body is addicted to the alcohol. I believe he uses it to cover his AS and allow him to be more social.  Just a bit of backstory---Brendan was a professional skateboarder for 20 years. He had a unique style that no one could imitate.  He broke 52 bones in his body at different times. His left knee 3 times. His pain threshold is so high that many times he didn't know he had broken anything. He now has arthritis in the knee and it pops out of place quite often and he ends up having to leave work.  I'm telling you this because I think it would be a good idea if Brendan were assessed so that he could at least have access to some possible services and also job accommodation.

Mark, thank you so very, very much again for your book. I'm a University Librarian and have access to a plethora of books about AS/APD and your book has been by far the best I have encountered!!


Hello, I am writing today due to the fact that I am doing a project about Asperger's Syndrome and after looking over your website after much research thought that somebody from the facility would be able to help.

I am a second year psychology student from Liverpool Hope University and at the moment we are focusing on clinical psychology. We are looking to see how psychological treatments can affect the quality of those with those in my case living with Asperger's Syndrome.

I was just writing to know that if somebody would be able to help me and just answering a couple of questions as I need a professional to help me within my research.
I would be very grateful if somebody would be able to help me. I look forward to a response.


Hi Mark

My wife and I have been struggling with our older son (14) who we believe has AS (I have it as well). We have gone through many of the suggested strategies for young people who are wired like him, but at the moment we are in a crisis, and the atmosphere in the house is becoming toxic and having a bad effect on all of us, including our younger son.

We are now working with the school and the CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental Health Team), but I'm not sure how much progress we're making. While he is doing ok at school, he is struggling with relationships, experimenting with cannabis and generally trying to control the house.

Tonight we're trying a behavioural contract, but again we're not sure whether it will make much difference, as it's hard to think of any sanctions he will accept of rewards that we can give him.

I was wondering if you had any thoughts regarding this.


Dear Mark,

Thank you so much for taking your time to help us parents with Asperger kids.  I was glad that I found your website because we are lost concerning our Asperger daughter. 

My 12 year old daughter was diagnosed with Asperger this Summer.  She always has a problem making friends.  Throughout her sixth grade, she was being bullied badly, but she would not tell us about it.  She was never a talker.  When she had a bad day, she would withdraw to herself even more.  I found out about the bullying because of the bruises on her arm or leg. I questioned her about it.  She would tell me that so and so kicked me or hit me.  I was furious and met with the principle.  I found out that this Christian school did not want to deal with bullies.  I transferred my child to a smaller Christian school this year and shared her Asperger syndrome with the principle and teachers so that they are aware of her situation.

My concern now is how to help her interact with us at home and at a group setting.  She would ignore us when we asked her about her day at school.  She only talks when she needs to.  She loved to attend the youth group at our church.  Once she gets there, she would go off to another room by herself.  The youth leader was concern about her and want to know how to help her.  The teachers tell me that she does not eat her lunch and goes off and pace by herself.  Any advice you can provide would be greatly appreciated.


Dr. Hutten
I am an INFJ with Aspergers. Recently diagnosed within the last month or so. I am 45 years old have two NT children and a NT wife and another daughter who has high functioning autism. My largest concern at this time is my relationship with my spouse and overcoming what I once believed to be anger management problems, and now know were actually Asperger's meltdowns. I have known for many years that these outbursts were not "me" and have been beating myself up with guilt and shame for years. The meltdowns with my spouse involve cursing and yelling occasionally name-calling. In most cases I am able to leave the situation and find a quiet place. 

At this point my wife has separated and is living with my in-laws with my children.  She doesn't feel I will ever be able to avoid these meltdowns.  She's a wonderful person who is looking out for herself and my children and I want to find a method to make her feel confident in my ability to manage my outbursts. I have purchased your program and look forward to implementing many of the strategies.  Late to the game but much relieved to have a diagnosis that explains so much about my mental health.  I am a social worker for a government agency, I am well liked by my coworkers, boss and claimants. In 15 years I have only had one or two meltdowns at work. The one was induced by jackhammering. At home the meltdowns occur several times a week. I've been reading multiple strategies teachers coping with children with Asperger's hoping to find techniques to stop these meltdowns. I have study meditation and in the past, as well as multiple relaxation techniques. Unfortunately the triggers bypass the Logical mind. Thank you for listening to my story and thank you for your program.


Hi Mark,

I have been reading bits about your offering and interested in finding out more however we are in the midst of our daughter (6.5years) undergoing testing for ASD Aspergers; ADHD, and other things to find out what's going on with her and gain a clearer picture. She was getting treated for anxiety through a child psychologist as she is highly anxious in some situations but it doesn't seem to be helping. Our Pediatrician (after observing her in the classroom and playground - both of which had 2 very different ob's) feels she needs to undergo the ADOS testing. We are so new to this and I don't want to jump the gun to buy your books in case we are not even dealing with ASD as we don't know yet.

Are you in Australia or abroad?

We don't even know if Ados tests will give us a clearer picture/diagnosis.  We would rather it be anxiety but we would rather know for sure what we are dealing with.

In a nutshell - would it be best to wait before coming on board with your products so that we are channelling our reading in the most relative area. We are very time poor as she also has encopresis which sparked this whole behavioural investigation.


Thank you very much for your welcoming message Mark, I truly appreciate it.  I will be reaching out to you, as I do have questions etc.  My son is 17 and high functioning Asperger's.  There are many groups in Orange County Calif., however, I've found they're not for us.  I've found that most people still want to fit the square peg into a round hole and not accept that people on the spectrum are different, and each individual case is different and for the most part, do not wish to fit into that round hole.  Which I feel is a good thing.  
I don't want my son to be a sheep following what is the so-called norm, I want him to make friends yes, but on his terms, but of course in accordance with social expectations and boundaries.  Which then makes it even more difficult for him to want to put himself into a social situation to attempt to make friends.  Which is my quandary.  His fear of rejection, no matter how much I reassure him etc, his fear of rejection prevents him from taking the risk of trying to make new friends, yet he is lonely and he does get depressed at times (which is heartbreaking for me to see).  I'm trying to get him to attend a teen church group, but he is on the fence about it for now.  What's a loving supportive Mom to do? 
I could go on and on, but I'm sure you've heard this story in varying ways, hundreds of times by now.  But any words of advice or recommendations, would be greatly appreciated.  Thank you for taking the time to listen.  I look forward to hearing from you.  Have a wonderful day!


I have been looking on the internet for help for my daughter as she has little time to look for resources.  I was impressed with some of your articles, sent her the info and want to get your advice.

Stacie and Andy pastor a large church in California and have 3 children:  Caedmon 11; Sammy 9 (adopted at 1 ½ from Ethiopia) ; and Karis 4.

After continual pursuit of answers for Caedmon’s behavior and lack of social skills, etc.,  Caedmon was finally tested and given a diagnosis of high functioning autism with ADHD and mood disorder.  He is a ‘negative’ child most of the time.  He is on a med (?) for anxiety.  He is becoming more physically aggressive in his behavior with younger children at school as well as his sister and brother.  (Strangle hold on brother; pushing down steps, etc.)   He is clever kid but is resistant to any help in that he sees no ‘need’ and has little empathy.  He is extremely picky about what he eats and will sneek granola bars, sugar drinks, etc. whenever possible. 

He is being bullied at school (which he likely aggravates) and then comes home to bully his brother and sister and other younger children.

They have a wonderful family counselor, a child psychiatrist, and have in the last few months gotten approved for  ABA therapy after school which Caedmon is not pleased about.  He asks ‘if the terrorist’ is coming today and declares everyone is just out to ruin his life.  He is a big, strong 11 year old and we are concerned about what to do next. His main ‘consequences’ at this time are removal of screen time, ipad, etc. – extra chores – no football on TV and ‘reasoning’ with him. 

My daughter is an early childhood educator, who has stayed home with the children.  Her husband is very supportive and ‘in the game.’  They are trying to avoid just throwing drugs at him and but  are finding it hard to get help that makes a difference.  He has long case studies that go way back….just trying to give  you a quick summary.
Is there hope for something better as they approach the teen years, which we have heard will only get worse.

Is there a point at which you remove him from the home and seek a ‘boot camp’?  Is there such a thing to  help train him?

Do you have connections with people in San Jose, CA that you could refer them to ….here again how do you prioritize what really helps and what is affordable?

Are you available to just talk with the parents on the phone and be able to better evaluate where they are? 

Thank-you for taking time to read this and offer your insights.


Dear Mr. Hutten,
I have tried unsuccessfully to find a life coach for my 24 3/4 year old son. He has Aspergers, ADHD,  chronic back pain and chronic foot pain making it difficult for him to stand for any significant length of time. He just had rhizotomy treatments which have improved the pain significantly. The plan is to start weaning him off pain medicine over the next couple of months. His doctor felt it would be cruel to start this process as we were just getting ready to go on vacation. He has never abused his medication. However, he has lived with back pain ruling his life for ten years. Now he needs help refocusing his life, setting goals and actually following his through on the steps needed to achieve them. He says he knows he needs a college degree to get a good job, but I can’t even get him to shower or maintain his room or perform simple household chores to contribute to family life. Will you please give me some info about life coaching as mentioned in your book? I got the impression that you provide these services yourself sometimes.  I would be very interested in your help and advice. We have tried a system of rewards there was no real effect on his behavior. I love my son but I’m losing hope that he will ever be independent and at his age, he will not be covered under our health insurance much longer. I am looking forward to hearing from you.


Mr. Hutten,

I’ve enjoyed listening some of your videos and podcasts in regards Aspergers. I’ve been married for almost 15 years with a man much older than me that happens to have Aspergers. He has never been diagnosed, but the more I learn about this condition, the more I’m certain he has it. It is the only explanation I can find to his uncaring and confused behavior. I am burnt out, depressed, frustrated, and I’ve lost my identity during all these years. I want to thank you for explaining this condition to the world, since  the community I live (family, friends, church) would never understand the strains and sufferings I have to experience every day. I can’t divorce because of my religion and family, but I’m so exhausted and stressed that sometimes I dream about dead. Feel free to contact me if you ever want to hear my story. 

No comments:

My child has been rejected by his peers, ridiculed and bullied !!!

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…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

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...

Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

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…

Older Teens and Young Adult Children with ASD Still Living At Home

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…

Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

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...

Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and HFA

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...