List of Aspergers Clinicians in the U.S.

Below is a list of professionals (e.g., clinicians, counselors, medical doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, etc.) who have stated that they are familiar with Aspergers (high-functioning autism) and are willing to evaluate children, teens and adults who have the disorder.

If you are a professional who specializes in Aspergers and other autism spectrum disorders and want to get listed, send me an email [mbhutten@gmail.com] with your request to be listed on MyAspergersChild.com. Provide information regarding your credentials as well as your contact information.

These Aspergers professionals are listed by the U.S. State they practice in and by their names in alphabetical order:

G. Michael Shehi, MD
Mountain View Hospital
3001 Scenic Highway
Gadsden, Alabama 35904
Phone: (256) 546-9265

G. Dean Bathel, LCSW, LISAC
5210 E Pima Suite 140
Tucson, AZ 85712
Phone: (520) 275-6780
Natasha Hill, LCSW
Hill Child Counseling
891 E. Warner Rd. #100-215
Gilbert, AZ 85296
Phone: (480) 612-4444

Linda Andron-Ostrow, LCSW
1637 Malcolm Ave. Ste. 2
Los Angeles, CA 90024
Phone: (310) 475-9620
E-Mail: linda@factfamily.org
Web Site: www.factfamily.org
Abbe Barron DMD, PhD
337 So. Beverly Dr. Suite #206
Beverly Hills, CA 90212
Phone: (310) 476-7810
E-Mail: abbebarron@gmail.com
Janet L. Bowden, MA, MFT
Marriage & Family Therapy, Inc.
3685 Motor Ave., Ste. 230
Los Angeles, CA 90034
Phone: (310) 559-1071
E-Mail: JanetLBowden@aol.com
Web Site: members.tripod.com/janetlbowden
Mara Bruckner, M.F.T.
4505 Las Virgenes Road
Suite 217
Calabasas, CA 91302
Phone: (818)725-7924
e-mail: mbrucknermft@gmail.com
website: www.marabrucknermft.com
Robin Burkholz M.A.CCC
973 S. Westlake Boulevard
Suite # 105
Westlake Village, California 91361
Voice/Fax: 805-374-7888
website: www.robinburkholz.com
email: robin@robinburkholz.com
Michael Cohn, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
Calif License # PSY6064
14025 Panay Way, Suite A
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: (213) 851-6481
Marian Lane Diamond, PhD
Diamond and Associates
250 Bel Marin Keys Blvd., Suite D-5
Novato, CA 94949
Phone: (415) 382-7927
E-Mail: mdiamond@sonic.net
Carrie N. Dilley, PhD
Synergy Psychological, Inc.
505 W. Sierra Madre Blvd.
Sierra Madre, CA 91024
Phone: (626) 539-2001
E-Mail: DrCarrieDilley@gmail.com
Web Site: www.SynergyPsychological.com
Carl E. Drake, MD, PhD
Diablo Behavioral HealthCare
4185 Blackhawk Plaza Circle
Suite 210
Danville, CA 94506
Phone: (925) 648-4800
Web Site: www.behaviorquest.com
Rita Eichenstein, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
California License #14536
Cedars-Sinai Medical Towers
8635 West Third Street, 685-W
Los Angeles, CA 90048
Phone: (310) 202-6301
Shawna Fishman, MFT
1460 7th Street, Suite #201
Santa Monica, CA 90404
Phone: (310) 339-9565
E-Mail: shabefi@aol.com
Sarita Freedman, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Adults & Children, Developmental Disabilities
Author, Developing College Skills in Students with Autism & Asperger’s Syndrome
26540 Agoura Road, Ste. 100
Calabasas, CA 91302
(818) 999-9330
Bruce M. Gale, PhD
16430 Ventura Blvd., Suite 107
Encino, CA 91436-2135
Phone: (818) 788-2100
E-Mail: bgale@behaviortech.net
Donald P. Gallo, Ph.D., ABPP
Board Certified Clinical Psychologist
21241 Ventura Blvd. Suite 180
Woodland Hills, Ca. 91364
Brian D. Halevie-Goldman, MD
Diablo Behavioral HealthCare
4185 Blackhawk Plaza Circle
Suite 210
Danville, CA 94506
Phone: (925) 648-4800
Web Site: www.behaviorquest.com
Leslie A. Hendrickson-Baral, MEd
3636 Fourth Avenue, Suite 210
San Diego, CA 92103
Phone: (619) 220-2458
E-Mail: neurobics2000@yahoo.com
Web Site: www.attention-training.com
Kenneth L. Herman, PhD
1137 Huntington Drive, Suite A-2
South Pasadena, CA 91030
Phone: (323) 344-0123
E-Mail: ken@docherman.com
Web Site: www.docherman.com
Bruce Hirsch, PhD
130 S. Euclid Ave., Ste. 1
Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone: (626) 395-7833
E-Mail: drbruce@sbcglobal.net
Web Site: www.brucehirschphd.com
Amy Keller, MFT
350 S. Lake Avenue, Suite 284A
Pasadena, CA 91101
Phone: (626) 396-9468
Lynn Kilroy, Ph.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
11340 W. Olympic Blvd., Suite 320
Los Angeles, CA 90064
Specializing in psychotherapy with children, teen, adults and
families impacted by Asperger's Syndrome
Jerry Lindquist, PhD, OTR
8699 Holder Street
Buena Park, CA 90620
Phone: (714) 563-6556
Debra Moore, PhD, Director
Fall Creek Attention and Behavior Centers
5900 Coyle Avenue, Suite D
Carmichael, CA 95608
Phone: (916) 344-0900
E-Mail: drdmoore@pacbell.net
Web Site: www.psychpages.com
David Morrison, Psy.D.
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
1337 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd. Suite 200
Thousand Oaks, Ca 91362
(805) 368-8376
Kyle D. Pontius, PhD
Adult & Child Psychology
License #PSY14186
23441 South Pointe Drive, Ste. 200
Laguna Hills, CA 92653
Phone: (949) 454-9016, x3
E-Mail: drkyle@um.att.com
Web Site: www.drkyle.net
Meredith Rimmer, Ph.D.
5363 Balboa Boulevard, Suite 436
Encino, CA 91316
Phone: 818.906.8151
Specializing in diagnosis, testing/assessment,
and treatment for ASD
Edward Ritvo, MD
10570 Rocca Way
Los Angeles, CA 90077
Phone: (310) 825-0220
Patricia Robinson, MA, MFT
2500 Old Crow Canyon Road, Ste. 218
San Ramon, CA 94583
Phone: (925) 915-0924
E-Mail: patricia@patriciarobinsonmft.com
Web Site: http://patriciarobinsonmft.com
Karen L. Schiltz, Ph.D.
Karen Schiltz Ph.D. and Associates
4764 Park Granada, Suite 109, Calabasas, California 91302
Phone: 805-379-4939; 818-518-1057
E-Mail: officemanager@karenschiltz.com
Web Site: www.karenschiltz.com
William J. Shryer, LCSW, BCD
Diablo Behavioral HealthCare
4185 Blackhawk Plaza Circle
Suite 210
Danville, CA 94506
Phone: (925) 648-4800
E-Mail: bahaviorquest@aol.com
Web Site: www.behaviorquest.com
Ilene Umen, M.A.CCC-SLP
Woodland Hills, California 91364
Phone: 818-906-0407
email: iumen@aol.com
Curt Widhalm, MA, LMFT
4519 Admiralty Way, Suite C
Marina del Rey, CA 90292
Phone: (424) 571-3557
E-Mail: curt.widhalm@gmail.com
Web: curtwidhalm.com
Eileen Zaroff, M.A. LMFT
17737 Ventura Blvd.,
Encino, Ca. 91316
818-886-9410 Extension 2
24509 Walnut Street,
Newhall, Calif. 91321
661-287-5996 Extension 2

Gary Macdonald, PhD
1175 Osage Street, Suite 201
Denver, CO 80204
Phone: (303) 573-0839 x107
E-Mail: garymac@lifelongaes.com
Web: www.lifelongaes.com
Tiffany Wind, PhD
3300 E. 1st Ave. Suite 650
Denver, CO 80206
Phone: (303) 829-9724
E-Mail: drtiffanywind@gmail.com

Michael S. Cohen, PhD, ABPP
CT and NY Licensed Psychologist
7 Whitney Street Extension
Westport, CT 06880
Phone: (203) 381-9396
E-Mail: michael.cohen.phd@post.harvard.edu
Web Site: www.michaelcohen.phd.com
Marcia Eckerd, PhD
Associates for Children and Families, P.C.
83 East Avenue Suite 217
Norwalk, CT 06880
Phone: (203) 299-1331
E-Mail : eckwestoff@aol.com
Eric B. Nicholson, MD, PhD
16 River Street
Norwalk, CT 06850
Phone: (203) 838-8168
Fred R. Volkmar, MD
Yale Child Study Center
230 South Frontage Road
P.O. Box 207900
New Haven, CT 06520-7900
Phone: (203) 785-2510

Caroline L. Bias, MS, CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
2000 Derby Glen Drive
Orlando, FL 32837
Phone: (321) 947-6282
Web: www.floridapediatrictherapy.com
Myles L. Cooley, PhD, ABPP
9121 N. Military Tr., Suite 218
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410
Phone: (561) 694-0001
Web Site: www.drmylescooley.com
Gary M. Eisenberg, PhD
Clinical and Child Psychologist
950 Glades Road, Suite 1A
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Phone: (561) 392-1414
Web: www.iser.com/eisenberg-FL.html
Gregg L. Friedman, MD
2500 East Hallandale Beach Blvd., Ste 702
Hallandale Beach, FL 33009
Phone: (954) 456-1996
George Kachmarik, MS, LMHC
FL 2199MH
Pasadena Villa Adult Residential Center
119 Pasadena Place
Orlando, FL 32803
Phone: (407) 246-5250
Timothy P. Kowalski, MA, CCC
Speech-Language Pathologist
Professional Communication Services, Inc.
1401-A Edgewater Dr.
Orlando, FL 32804
Phone: (407) 245-1026
Web Site: www.socialpragmatics.com
George Lindenfeld, PhD, ABPP
Frederick Avenue
Daytona Beach, FL
Phone: (904) 257-0780
Lynda Mance, LCSW
Mandarin Counseling
12058 San Jose Blvd., Ste 703
Jacksonville, FL 32223
Phone: (904) 260-0454
Web: www.mandarincounseling.com
Krista M. Marchman PhD
215 Celebration Place, Suite 500
Celebration, FL 34747
Phone: (321) 559-1222
David W. Peterson, EdD, LCSW
TeamWork, LLC
237 Lookout Place, Ste. 200
Maitland, FL 32751
Phone: (407) 252-5418
Marie T. Rogers, PhD, PA
Licensed Psychologist
Florida License #PY6312
3650 N. Federal Highway, Suite 209
Lighthouse Point, FL 33064
Phone: (954) 782-6461
Bonnie Slade, PhD
4951 Babcock Street Suite 3
Palm Bay, FL 32905
Phone: (321) 729-0870
E-Mail: drslade@digital.net

Candice L. Barnette, MA, CCC-S
6815 Forest Park Drive
Suite 124
Savannah, GA 31406
Phone: (912) 352-4045
E-Mail: BarnetteC@aol.com
Rees Chapman, Ph.D.
108 Mountain Drive
Dahlonega, GA 30533
Phone: (706) 864-0695
Website: www.DrChapman.org
Michael Johns, PsyD
3678 Vineville Avenue
Macon, GA 31204
Phone: (478) 477-2220
E-Mail: dr.johnsnvps@gmail.com
Drs. Melissa Lang & Dana Weinstein
Center for Psychological and Educational Assessment
6111 Peachtree Dunwoody Road
Building F Suite 103
Atlanta, GA 30328
Phone: (770) 352-9952
E-Mail: info@atlantachildpsych.com
Website: www.atlantachildpsych.com
Robert W. Montgomery, PhD, BCBA
Reinforcement Unlimited
PO Box 1572
Woodstock, GA 30188
Phone: (770) 591-9552
E-Mail: RWM@Behavior-Consultant.Com
Web: www.behavior-consultant.com
Michael Mueller, PhD, BCBA
Southern Behavioral Group
1950 Spectrum Circle, Suite 400
Marietta, GA 30067
E-Mail: mmueller@southernbehavioral.com
Web: www.southernbehavioral.com
M. Kevin Turner, PhD
Transitions of Augusta
103 Rossmore Pl.
Augusta, GA 30909-5769
Phone: (706) 364-7165
LaRonta M. Upson, PhD
913 Main Street, Suite H
Stone Mpountain, GA 30083
212 Arrowhead Boulevard
Jonesboro, GA 30236
Phone: (770) 375-8124
Web: www.healthyyoungminds.com

William M. Bolman, MD, FAPA
1600 Kapiolani Blvd., Suite 620
Honolulu, Hawaii 96816
Phone: (808) 944-2597
E-Mail: wmbolman@pixi.com
David E. Roth, MD, FAPA
Mind & Body Works, Inc.
3036 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96815
Phone: (808) 923-7684
E-Mail: mbwfrontdesk@gmail.com
Web: www.mind-bodyworks.com

Jack Alban, PhD
Idaho License # PSY 162
111 Palmer Drive
Nampa, ID 83686-8313
Phone: (208) 467-2741

Jerry L. Boyd, PhD
Licensed Clinical Psychologist
P.O. Box 406
1901 Eighteenth Street
Charleston, IL 61920
Phone: (217)348-7911
Fax: (217)348-3909
E-Mail: jlboyd@advant.com
Bryan Bugay, LCPC
550 Frontage Road, Suite 3515
Northfield, IL 60093
Phone: (773) 318-8959
E-Mail: b-r-y-a-n@comcast.net
Web: www.bryanbugay.com
Todd R. Lendvay, PsyD
1644 Colonial Parkway
Inverness, IL 60067
9113 Trinity Drive
Lake In The Hills, IL 60156
Phone: (847) 458-7442
E-Mail: t.lendvay@att.net
Aimee Micetic, MA, LCPC
13717 South Route 30, Unit 159
Plainfield, IL 60544
Phone: (815) 676-6535
E-Mail: aimee@encouragingchanges.com
Web: www.encouragingchanges.com
Anthony Rotatori, PhD
Sandra Burkhardt, PhD
Saint Xavier University
3700 W. 103rd St.
Chicago, IL 60655
Phone: (773)298-3476
E-Mail: burkhardt@mercy.sxu.edu
Dana Steiner, LCPC, BCPC
1800 Nations Drive, Suite 202
Gurnee, IL 60031
Phone: (847) 668-6290
E-Mail: dana@danasteiner.com
Web: www.danasteiner.com
Frederika C. Theus, PsyD
University of Illinois at Chicago
Institute on Disability and Human Development
1640 West Roosevelt Road
MC 626
Chicago, Illinois 60608
Phone: (312)413-1490
E-mail: ftheus@uic.edu
Elizabeth A. Zavodny, PsyD
The Institute for Family Development
15010 S. Ravinia Ave., Suite 19
Orland Park, IL 60462
Phone: (708) 403-3200
E-Mail: InstituteFamilyDevelopment@juno.com

Dick Socwell, MS, MSEd
Licensed Psychologist #529
ADHD Clinic of Eastern Iowa
3100 E Avenue NE, Suite 101
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52405
Phone: (319) 396-1066
E-Mail: rsocwell@mchsi.com

Dana K. Fitzer, LSCSW
ASAP Expert Counseling
8906 W 97th Street
Overland Park, KS 66212
Phone: (913) 952-6696
E-Mail: ASAPexpertcounseling@yahoo.com
Web: ASAPexpertcounseling.com

Ginger Walker, LCPC-C
836 Main St. (2nd Floor)
Westbrook, ME 04092
Phone: (207) 615-9692
E-Mail: integrativepsychotherapy100@gmail.com

Tom Holman, PhD
19642 Club House Road, Suite 610
Gaithersburg, Maryland 20879-3046
Phone: (301) 990-0792
E-Mail: tom@tomholman.com
Website: www.tomholman.com
Karen Kuell, MSW, PhD
4424 Montgomery Avenue, Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20814
Phone: (301) 951-1990
Jorge C. Srabstein, MD
20528 Boland Farm Road, Suite 207
Germantown, Maryland 20876
Phone: (301) 916-5300
Carol Watkins, MD
2360 W. Joppa Rd. Suite 223
Baltimore, MD 21093
Phone: (410) 329-2028
E-Mail: ncpa@qis.net
Website: http://www.ncpamd.com
Anthony B. Wolff, PhD
Spectrum Behavioral Health
1509 Ritchie Highway
Arnold, Maryland 21012
Phone: (410) 757-2077

Sangeeta Dey, PsyD
Pediatric Neuropsychologist
594 Marrett Road, Suite 22
Lexington, MA 02421
Phone: (781) 799-8585
E-Mail: dey.ccnc@gmail.com
Ann A. Helmus, PhD and 6 colleagues
NESCA Neuropsychology & Education Services for Children & Adolescents
90 Bridge Street
Newton, MA 02458
Phone: (617) 658-9800
E-Mail: ahelmus@nesca-newton.com
Web: www.nesca-newton.com
Wayne Klein, PhD
Family Neuropsychology
741 Pond Street
Franklin, MA 02038
Phone: (617) 512-9166
E-Mail: Klein@Family-Neuropsychology.com
Web: http://Family-Neuropsychology.com
Rehab Hospital of the Cape & Islands
RHCI for Children
280-D Route 140
Forestdale, MA 02644
Phone: (508) 833-4166
E-Mail: WKlein@Partners.org
Web: www.rhci.org
Margaret A. McPhee, PhD
Center for Neurointegrative Services
394 Lexington Street
Lexington, MA 02420-2825
Phone: (781) 862-2333
E-Mail: mmcphee@cns-consult.com
Cheryl Muzio, PsyD
Clinical Psychologist
40 Center Street, Suite A
Northampton, MA 01060
Phone: (413) 586-7123
E-Mail: cmuzio@aol.com
Liana Peňa Morgens, PhD
Clinical Neuropsychologist
298 Crescent Street
Waltham, MA 01453
Phone: (781) 899-1160
E-Mail: lmorgens@hms.harvard.edu
Web Site: www.psychsteps.com
Fran Peterson, MEd, CAGS, LMHC
Family Works
51 Union Street, Suite 304
Worcester, MA 01609
Phone: (508) 791-9340
Helene Pniewski, MD
Timothy Martin, PhD
89 Access Road, Unit 24
Norwood, MA 02062
Phone: (781) 551-0999
E-Mail: info@cfpsych.org
Web Site: www.cfpsych.org
Allan J. Rooney, PsyD
Clinical Neuropsychology
418 Main Street, 3rd Floor
Worcester, MA 01608
Phone: (508) 757-5694
Web Site: www.allanjrooney.com
Jeff Turley, MD
475 School Street
Suite 17
Marshfield, MA 02050
Phone: (781) 934-9325
Stephen J. Wieder, MD
155 Low Street
Newburyport, MA 01950
Phone: (978) 462-3496
E-Mail: swieder@comcast.net
Web Site: www.wieder.yourmd.com

Richard Howlin, PhD
114 North Main Street
Chelsea, MI 48118
Phone: (734)475-6070
E-Mail: rhowlin@aspergersmichigan.com
Jed Magen, DO
College of Osteopathic Medicine
Michigan State University
Phone: (517) 355-4456

Andrea Bieberich, PhD, LP
11900 Wayzata Blvd., Suite 132
Minnetonka, MN 55305
Phone: (952) 835-6776
Anne J. Ford, LICSW, LLC
17819 Hutchins Drive
Minnetonka, MN 55345
Phone: (952) 470-1186
Web Site: www.ajfordtherapy.com
Mitch Leppicello, LICSW
1789 Woodlane Dr. Suite C
Woodbury, MN 55125
Phone: (651) 739-7539
E-Mail: mleppicello@usfamily.net
Robin McLeod, PhD
Counseling Psychologists of Woodbury
1789 Woodlane Drive, Suite C
Woodbury, MN 55125
Phone: (651) 739-7539
E-Mail: mcleod@cpwmn.com
Web: www.cpwmn.com
Steven J. Ruff, MA, LAMFT
Nystrom & Associates, LTD
Merchants Bank Building
7300 West 147th Street, Suite 204
Apple Valley, MN 55124
Phone: (952) 997-3020
Sandy K. Sondell, PhD, LP
Pediatric Consultation Specialists, PLLC
3021 Harbor Lane North, Suite 210
Plymouth, MN 55447
Susan Storti, PhD, CCC
Jennifer Bennett, MS
Learning & Language Specialists
1405 Lilac Drive
Golden Valley, MN 55422
Phone: (763) 545-7708
E-Mail: learnlang@aol.com

William G. Collins, PhD
Reintegrative Health Institute
1610 Des Peres Road, Suite 340
Saint Louis, MO 63131
Phone: (314) 984-8412
Web Site: www.rhistl.com
Kathy Harms, PhD
Kathy Harms & Associates
851 N.W. 45th Street - Suite 110
Kansas City, MO 64116
Phone: (816) 452-7775
E-Mail: drharmsassociates@sbcglobal.net

James W. Irby Jr., PhD, ABPP
4500 I-55 North
Highland Village, Suite 234
Jackson, MS 39211
Phone: (601) 982-8531

Lynn Carlson, LCSW
100 Second Street East
Whitefish, MT 59937
Phone: (406) 863-4810

Lorrie E. Bryant, PhD
Licensed Psychologist
Nebraska License #469
Behavioral Pediatric and Family Therapy Program
4501 South 70th Street, Suite 120
Lincoln, NE 68516
Phone: (402) 483-1936
(Children and Adolescents Only)
Diane C. Marti, PhD
Williamsburg Behavioral Psychology, LLC
3801 Union Drive, Suite 206
Lincoln, Nebraska 68516
Phone: (402) 489-2218
E-Mail: dcmarti@wpblincoln.org
(Children, Adolescents, Adults, Families, & School/Employer Consultation)
Caryll Palmer Wilson, PhD
Williamsburg Behavioral Psychology, LLC
3801 Union Drive, Suite 206
Lincoln, Nebraska 68516
Phone: (402) 489-2218
E-Mail: behavioralpediatrics@gmail.com
(Children, Adolescents, Adults, Families, & School/Employer Consultation)

Katherine Z. Souza, PhD
Community Chest, Inc.
991 South "C" St.
Virginia City, Nevada 89440
Phone: (775) 847-9311
E-Mail: Katherine@communitychestnevada.net

Larry Welkowitz, PhD
Asperger Resource Group
Keene State College
Keene, NH 03435-3400
Phone: (603) 358-2517
E-Mail: lwelkowi@keene.edu

Michael J. Asher, PhD
Behavior Therapy Associates, P.A.
35 Clyde Road, Suite 101
Somerset, NJ 08854
Phone: (732) 873-1212
E-Mail: behaviortherapy@aol.com
Web Site: www.behaviortherapyassociates.com
Ronald Barabas, MD
3350 Highway 138W
Bldg. 1, Suite 117
Wall, NJ 07719
Phone: (732) 556-0200
Holly L. Blumenstyk, MEd, LDTC
20 Community Place, Ste. 8
Morristown, NJ 07960
Phone: (973) 540-0995
Web Site: www.learningassoc.com
Annette L. Becklund, MSW, LCSW & Associates
Valley Park Office Complex
2517 Highway 35 G-103
Manasquan, NJ 08736
Phone: (732) 292-2929
E-Mail: AnnetteLBecklund@gmail.com
Thomas D. Boyle, Ph.D.
675 Morris Avenue
Suite 202
Springfield, New Jersey
Phone: (973) 467-9422
Nevine Fahmy, MD
Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatrist
50 Bridge St.
Metuchen, NJ 08840
Phone: (732) 754-4354
E-Mail: NKFAHMY@cs.com
Steven B. Gordon, PhD, ABPP
Behavior Therapy Associates, P.A.
11 Clyde Rd., Suite 103
Somerset, NJ 08873
Phone: (908) 873-1212
Elliot A. Grossman, MD
205 Ridgedale Ave.
Florham Park, NJ 07932
Phone:(973) 966-6333
Daniel B. LeGoff, PhD
1001 Laurel Oak Rd., Suite E-2
Vorhees, NJ 08043
E-Mail: dlegoff@thecnnh.org
Web Site: www.thecnnh.org
Mark Mintz, MD
1001 Laurel Oak Rd., Suite E-2
Vorhees, NJ 08043
E-Mail: mmintz@thecnnh.org
Web Site: www.thecnnh.org
David P.Osterhout, LCSW, BCD
Elmwood Business Center
Building #3, Suite 303
733 State Highway #70, East
Marlton, NJ 08053
Phone: (856) 782-8383
Mark Pesner, PhD
Fairfield Commons
271 Route 46 West
Suite G101
Fairfield, NJ 07004
Phone: (973) 276-9040
E-Mail: markpesner@yahoo.com
Gilda D. Rivera, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapy Associates of Princeton
219 Wall Street
Princeton, NJ 08540
Phone: (609) 921-1555
E-Mail: grivera@otap.net
Web: www.otap.net
Howard Rudominer, MD
59 Springbook Road
Livingston, NJ 07039
Phone: (201) 716-9500
Kai-ping Wang, MD
Adult, Adolescent & Child Psychiatrist
Hudson Psychiatric Associates, LLC
79 Hudson St., Suite 203
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone: (201) 222-8808
Web: hudsonpsych.com

Robert Annett, PhD
Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic
Department of Pediatrics
University of New Mexico - Health Sciences Center
Albuquerque, NM
Phone: (505) 272-2345
Jim Jenson, MD
Department of Psychiatry
University of New Mexico
Phone: (505) 272-6130
Mary LeCaptain, EdD, ABPP
2741 Indian School Road
Albuquerque NM 87106
Phone: (505) 255-8682
Kim A. Rubin, MA, LMSW, NCSP
Rubin Educational Resources
1800 Old Pecos Trail, Suite J
Santa Fe, NM 87505
Phone: (505) 989-8910
Web Site: www.rubinedu.com

Candice Baugh, MA, LMHC
26 Court St., Ste. 1210
Brooklyn, NY 11242
Phone: (917) 604-3578
E-Mail: Candice.Baugh@gmail.com
Kenneth A. Bonnet, PhD, ABPN
114 East 32nd Street
Mezzanine Floor
New York, New York 10016
Phone: (212) 889-6540
Joseph Coppolo Jr, PsyD
3 William Avenue
Staten Island, NY 10308-3142
Phone: (718) 967-5404
E-Mail: DrCoppolo@aol.com
Jennifer Daily, LCSW
276 5th Ave. Ste. 507A
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (917) 727-3163
E-Mail: Jennifer@jenniferdailycounseling.com
Web: www.JenniferDailyCounseling.com
Andy DeBaun, CSW
52 Booth Street
Pleasantville, NY 10570
Phone: (914) 773-0770
Lynda Geller, PhD
Spectrum Services
303 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1003
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 686-3535 x205 or (718) 406-3848
E- Mail: lynda.geller@aspergercenter.com
Web: aspergercenter.com or spectrumservicesnyc.com
Greg Hannahs, MD
49 West 24th Street, Suite 610
New York, NY 10010
Phone: (646) 369-4797
Glenn S. Hirsch, MD
NYU Medical Center
Child Study Center
550 First Ave, NB 21E7
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 263-8704
Nursel Kahya, PhD, BCBA
8 Beaver Hollow Lane
Airmont, NY 10952
Phone: (845) 290-0365
E-Mail: drnurselkahya@yahoo.com
Jeffrey I. Kassinove, PhD
124 West 79th Street, Suite 1E
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 580-0080 or (516) 592-7404
E-Mail: Jkassinove@yahoo.com
Website: www.nypsychological.com
Robert Katz, MD
Affiliated: Sagamore Children's Psychiatric Center
Private Practice: Syosset, NY
Phone: (516) 364-6545
Amy Keller, MS CCC-SLP
Speech-Language Pathologist
100 West 26th St. Apt. 11C
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (516) 782-8804
E-Mail: amy.keller@gmail.com
Martin L. Kutscher, MD
Pediatric Neurological Associates
125 South Broadway
White Plains, NY 10605
Phone: (914) 997-1692
Web Site: www.PediatricNeurology.Com
Steven Marcal, PsyD
Center for Disability Services
314 South Manning Blvd.
Albany, NY 12208
Phone: (518) 437-5732
Ruth Nass, MD
NYU Medical Center
400 East 34th Street, RR 311
New York, NY 10016
Phone: (212) 263-7753
Richard R. Pleak, MD
Schneider Children's Hospital, Suite 135
New Hyde Park, NY 11040
Phone: (718) 470-3517
June Rousso, PhD
15 West 72nd Street Apt. 16N
New York, NY 10023
Phone: (212) 496-4111
E-Mail: enuj49@aol.com
Lisa Salvato, PhD
19 West 34th Street, Penthouse
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (646) 530-8536
E-Mail: nycchildpsychology@yahoo.com
Web Site: www.drlisasalvato.com
James Snyder, MD
Long Island Psychiatric, PLLC
2 Main Street, Suite 8
Roslyn, NY 11576
Phone: (516) 626-2182
Web Site: www.lipsychiatric.com
Alan V. Tepp, PhD
800 Cross River Rd.
Katonah, NY 10536
Phone: (914) 232-1000
E-Mail: aadrtepp@optonline.net
Web Site: www.drtepp.com

Lisa C. Brewer, MA
Licensed Psychological Associate, NC License #1234
665 A Israel St.
Hendersonville, NC 28739
Phone: (828) 693-3338
Steven R. Edelman, MA, LPA
Behavioral Counseling and Psychological Services, PA
916A Hay Street
Fayetteville, NC 28305
Phone: (910) 485-1703
Michael L. Reed, EdD, PhD, NCSP
Psychological/Therapeutic Resources, LLC
504 Pollock Street
New Bern, NC 28562
E-Mail: ptr@embarqmail.com
Web: ptrnewbern.com
Hal Shigley, PhD
3717 National Drive, Suite 220
Raleigh, NC 27612
Phone: (919) 909-2288
Web: www.shigleycounselingcenter.com
Seth E. Tabb, MD
Family Psychiatry & Psychology Associates, P.A.
104-A. Fountainbrook Circle
Cary, North Carolina 27511
Phone: (919) 233-4131
Fax: (919) 233-4168
E-Mail: STabb@fppa.com
Web Site: www.fppa.com
David A. Verhaagen, PhD
Trey Ishee, PsyD
Frank W. Gaskill, PhD
Southeast Psychological Services
2701 Coltsgate Road, Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28211
Phone: (704) 365-6262
Web Site: www.southeastpsych.com

Carol A. Bline, PhD
Developmental Associates
2386 Parkview Drive
Grove City, OH 43123-1858
Phone: (614) 578-1185
Daniel L. Davis, PhD
Tennenbaum and Associates
5151 Reed Road
Columbus, Ohio 43220
E-Mail: drdandavis7@yahoo.com
C. Christopher Fiumera, PhD, BCFE
204 South Gay Street
Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050
Phone and Fax (740) 392-5399
E-Mail: Fiumera@aol.com

Jay Edwards, PhD
Emanuel Medical Office Building
501 North Graham, Suite 365
Portland, Oregon 97227
Phone: (503) 219-9992
Darryn M. Sikora, PhD
Oregon Health Sciences University
Child Development and Rehabilitation Center
707 SW Gaines Rd./P.O. Box 754
Portland, Oregon 97207
Phone: (503) 494-2749

Michael P. Freidman, EdD
15 Presidential Blvd. Suite 202
Bala Cynwyd, PA 19004
Phone: (610) 667-6269
E-Mail: mfreidman@mindspring.com
Linda M. Gourash, MD
Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics
Fort Couch Towers
180 Fort Couch Road
Pittsburgh, PA 15241
Phone: (412) 831-0355 x1 (appts) or x534 (voice)
Margaret J. Kay, EdD
Licensed Psychologist
Nationally Certified School Psychologist
2818 Lititz Pike
Lancaster, PA 17601-3322
Phone: (717) 569-6223
E-mail: MJK@MargaretKay.com
Web Site: http://www.margaretkay.com
Robert Sherry, PhD
302 Castle Shannon Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15234-1404
Phone: (412) 344-5554
E-Mail: rs413@aol.com
Cynthia Stauffer, MS
Licensed Psychologist
New Passages
3235 North Third St.
Harrisburg, PA 17110
Phone: (717) 579-6715
E-Mail: Psychocin@comcast.net
Robert Elden Wilson, MD, PhD
Saint Vincent Health Center
232 W 25th Street
Erie, PA 16544
Phone: (814) 452-5490

Laurence M. Hirsberg, PhD
One Regency Plaza, Suite 2
Providence, RI 02903
Phone: (401) 351-7779
Lori L. McKinsey, PsyD
Developmental Disabilities Program
Emma Pendleton Bradley Hospital
1011 Veterans Memorial Parkway
East Providence, Rhode Island 02915
Phone: (401) 434-3400 ext. 158

Private Practice:
44 Love Lane
Warwick, Rhode Island 02886
Phone: (401) 885-0462
E-Mail: lmckinsey@edgenet.net

Idalyn S. Brown, PhD
Suite 115
222 West Coleman Boulevard
Mount Pleasant, SC 29464
Phone (843) 216-6400
E-mail: ibrown1@bellsouth.net

Janis G. Neece, PhD
Cherokee Health Systems
7714 Corner Road, Ste. 105
Powell, TN 37849
Phone: (865) 947-6220
Cherokee Health Systems
6350 West Andrew Johnson Highway
Talbott, TN 37877
Phone: (423) 317-9344, ext. 3
Karen L. Weigle, PhD
The TEAM Centers, Inc.
Director of Clinical Services and The Chattanooga Autism Center
Medical Towers, Suite 102
1000 East Third Street
Chattanooga, TN 37404
Phone: (423) 622-0500

Alex Alexander, PhD
1220 Ector Street
Denton, TX 76201
Phone: (469) 446-1588
E-Mail: alexanderai@verizon.net
Web Site: www.iser.com/alexander-TX.html
Christopher J. Anagnostis, PhD
Clinical Psychologist (Child and Adolescent)
6410 Southwest Blvd., Suite 105
Fort Worth, TX 76109
Phone: (817) 732-6767
E-Mail: DrChris@FortWorthPsychology.com
Woody C. Childress, PhD
5658 Westcreek, Suite 400
Fort Worth, TX 76131
Phone: (817) 731-2468
E-Mail: w_childress@yahoo.com
Pilarita Cortez, MD
Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics
125 West Hague Suite 320
El Paso, Texas 79902
Phone: (915) 532-1005
Paul T. Elliott, MD
600 University Village Center
Richardson, TX 75081
Phone: (972) 234-0352
David L. Falkstein, PhD, LSSP
101 W. McDermott, Suite 109
Allen, TX 75013
Phone: (214) 727-0250
302 E. Brockett St.
Sherman, TX 75090
Phone: (903) 891-0506
E-Mail: DFalksteinphdllc@aol.com
Bruce Feltrup-Exum, MDiv, LMFT
3840 Hulen Street, Ste. 602
Fort Worth, TX 76107
Phone: (817) 735-4165
Maria Fishel, PhD, LSSP
4534 Westgate Blvd., Suite 230
Austin, TX 78745
Phone: (512) 748-6373
E-Mail: DrFishel@russianpsychologist.com
Steven Gutstein, PhD
The Connections Center
4120 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77025
Phone: (713) 838-1362
E-Mail: gutstein@connectionscenter.com
James R. Harrison, PhD
402 West Lamar, Suite 102
Sherman, Texas 75090
Phone: (903) 868-2961
Ethel W. Hetrick, PhD
Oak Forest Psychological Services
2834 Bill Owens Parkway
Longview, TX 75605
Phone: (903) 759-6588
Greg Hupp, PhD
Hill Country Behavioral Medicine
1001 Ave. E
Marble Falls, TX 78654
Phone: (830) 265-4554
E-Mail: dochupp@texasbmed.com
Dr. Melinda Lang and Jamie Thomas
737 Oakwood Trail
Fort Worth, TX 76112
Phone: (817) 994-8040
E-Mail: docscudder@ev1.net
Beth Lusby, PhD
Cornerstone Assessment and Guidance Center, LP
1213 Hall Johnson, Suite 200
Colleyville, TX 76034
Phone: (817) 428-9810
E-Mail: drbeth@cagclp.com
Robert Mandell, PhD
AAA Mental Health
2007 N. Collins Blvd., Suite 503
Richardson, TX 75080
Phone: (972) 690-6700
E-Mail: aaamentalhealth@aol.com
Web: www.aaamentalhealth.org
Denise McCallon, PhD
Clinical Child Psychologist
Children's Medical Center of Dallas
Department of Psychiatry
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
1935 Motor Street
Dallas, TX 75235
Phone: (214) 456-5912
Rachelle K. Sheely, PhD
The Connections Center
4120 Bellaire Blvd.
Houston, Texas 77025
Phone: (713) 838-1362
Sarah L. Sirbasku, PhD
595 Round Rock West Drive, Suite 303
Round Rock, TX 78681
Phone: (512) 279-8353
E-Mail: drsarah@drsarahs.com
Alicia Snow, PhD
The Learning Assistance Center
28301 Tomball Parkway, Ste. 400
Tomball, TX 77375
Phone: (713) 240-8609
E-Mail: alisnow@prodigy.net
Alice R. Wiedenhoff, PhD
Clinical Psychologist
Child Study Center
1300 West Lancaster
Fort Worth, TX 76102
Phone: (817) 336-8611
Fax: (817) 870-4860
6040 Camp Bowie, Suite 58
Fort Worth, TX 76116
Phone: (817) 732-7748
Fax: (817) 370-8504
H. Denise Wooten, PsyD
1422 W. Main, Ste. 206
Lewisville, Texas 75067
Phone: (972) 436-6158

C. Rick Ellis, EdD
Spectrum Psychological Services
1020 Independence Blvd., Ste. 204
Virginia Beach, VA 23455
Phone: (757) 640-1882
E-Mail: crickellis@cox.net
Robert S. Falk, PhD
Dominion Behavioral Healthcare
703 N. Courthouse Rd., Suite 101
Richmond, VA 23236
Phone: (804) 794-4482
Michael Oberschneider, PsyD
Ashburn Psychological Services
44110 Ashburn Shopping Plz., Suite 251
Ashburn, VA 20147
Phone: (703) 723-2999
Web: www.ashburnpsych.com
Christina Ralph, PhD
MindWell Psychology
4455 Brookfield Corporate Drive, Suite 101
Chantilly, VA 20151
Phone: (703) 568-2045
Web Site: www.mindwellpsychology.com
Jorge C. Srabstein, MD
5201 Leesburge Pike, Suite # 1002
Falls Church, Virginia 22041
Phone: (703) 578-3900
Patricia Velkoff, PhD
243 Church Street, N.W., Suite 300-A
Vienna, Virginia 22180-4434
Phone: (703) 938-6100

Darrow A. Chan, PhD
Northwest Psychological Services
1104 Market Street
Kirkland, Washington 98033
Phone: (425) 827-3019
Judith E. Gorman, MSW, DCSW
Biofield Healing Arts
5275 S. April Drive
Langley, WA 98260
Phone: (360) 321-7226
E-Mail: jgorman@whidbey.com
Christopher Nelson, PhD
Wilburton Ridge Office Park
365 118th Avenue SE, Suite 110
Bellevue, WA 98005
Phone: (206) 459-4817
E-Mail: drchrisnelson@comcast.net
Thomas M. Stallone, PsyD, PC
Attention Disorders Clinic of Vancouver
100 East 13th Street
Vancouver, WA 98660
Phone: (360) 696-1646
Cary Louise Terra, MA, LMFT
Terra Therapy
600 1st Avenue, Suite 526
Seattle, WA 98104
Phone: (206) 890-4858
E-Mail: Cary@terratherapy.org
Web: www.terratherapy.org
Blog: http://aspiestrategy.blogspot.com

Chris Nelson, PhD
American Foundation of Counseling Services
130 E. Walnut Street Suite 700
Green Bay, WI 54301
Phone: (920) 437-8256
E-Mail: cnelson@afcscounseling.org

Aspergers professionals in other countries:


Anthony Attwood, PhD
The Macgregor Specialist Centre
568, Kessels Road
Queensland 4109
Phone: (61) 73349 7683

Janine Manjiviona, PhD
PO Box 2121
Lower Templestowe, 3107, Melbourne
Phone: (03) 9891 6835
E-Mail: janine.m007@optushome.com.au

Julie Peterson, Clinical Psychologist
Embracing the Other Half Psychology Clinic
43 Livingstone Ave.
Pymble NSW
Australia 2073
Phone: (02) 9988 0760
E-Mail: julie@otherhalf.com.au



Sharon H. Blott, BSW, MEd
Registered Psychologist # 2612
745 - 37th Street NW
Calgary, Alberta T2N 4T1
Phone: (403) 270-9400 #110

Joel Jeffries, MB, FRCPC
Clarke Institute
250 College Street
Toronto ON M5T 1R8
Phone: (416) 979-6863

Shawn Reynolds, PhD
6770 - 129 Ave.
Edmonton, Alberta T5C 1V7
Phone: (780) 440-0708
E-Mail: shawnrab@hotmail.com

Kevin Stoddart, PhD
180 Bloor Street West, Suite 601
Toronto ON M5S 2V6
Phone: (416) 920-4999


Hong Kong

Caleb Knight EdD
Child and Family Centre
15F The Strand
49 Bonham Strand East
Sheung Wan,
Hong Kong
Phone: 852 2543 0993
E-Mail: cknight77hk@yahoo.com



Julian Martinez Carbonell, MD
Cayetano Rodriguez # 49 Colonia Centro.
Xalapa, Veracruz Mexico
Telefono: 18-84- 12

J. Gomez-Plascencia, MD
Eclipse 2745 J. del Bosque
CP 44520 Guadalajara
Phone: (3) 647-0328

Jose Eduardo San-Esteban, MD
San Francisco 2-101
Col.Del Valle
Mexico City
Phone: (525) 669-3879

Jorge Trevino-Welsh, MD
Ave.Hospital #106
Col. Sertoma
Monterrey, Nuevo Leon
Phone: 528 3464535
E-Mail: neurojtw@mail.giga.com


United Kingdom

Tim Williams
Department of Psychology
University of Reading
Earley Gate
Reading RG6 2AL
Phone: 0118 949 5008
E-Mail: sxswiams@rdg.ac.uk

More Aspergers clinicians are listed below in the comments section...


Children on the Autism Spectrum and Bed-wetting

Nocturnal enuresis (bed-wetting) is one of many issues Aspergers (AS) and High-Functioning Autistic (HFA) kids face. In comparison, it is likely a less important problem, but a problem nonetheless. Many of these young people have trouble with nocturnal enuresis, because they have difficulty in toilet training.

Why the difficulty in toilet training? A number of factors are involved:
  • Kids on the autism spectrum are not good at imitation, which makes the process of potty training more difficult.
  • Some do not even feel the wetness of the bed, which can complicate the training methods to help them overcome nighttime bed-wetting.
  • Many of these children are also hypotonic, which is a condition that includes a lax form of muscle control as well as a failure to respond or recognize stimuli (e.g., the need to urinate).

By age 5, nocturnal enuresis remains a problem for about 15 percent of AS and HFA kids.


No one knows for sure what causes nocturnal enuresis, but various factors may play a role:
  • Hormone imbalance. During childhood, some children don't produce enough anti-diuretic hormones (ADH) to slow nighttime urine production.
  • Small bladder. Your youngster's bladder may not be developed enough to hold urine produced during the night.
  • Structural problem in the urinary tract or nervous system. Rarely, nocturnal enuresis is related to a defect in the youngster's neurological system or urinary system.
  • Chronic constipation. A lack of regular bowel movements may make it so your youngster's bladder can't hold much urine, which can cause nocturnal enuresis at night.
  • Diabetes. For a youngster who's usually dry at night, nocturnal enuresis may be the first sign of diabetes. Other signs and symptoms may include passing large amounts of urine at once, increased thirst, and fatigue and weight loss in spite of a good appetite.
  • Inability to recognize a full bladder. If the nerves that control the bladder are slow to mature, a full bladder may not wake your youngster — especially if your youngster is a deep sleeper.
  • Sleep apnea. Sometimes nocturnal enuresis is a sign of obstructive sleep apnea, a condition in which the youngster's breathing is interrupted during sleep — often because of inflamed or enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Other signs and symptoms may include snoring, frequent ear and sinus infections, sore throat, and daytime drowsiness.
  • Stress. Stressful events — such as becoming a big brother or sister, starting a new school, or sleeping away from home — may trigger bed-wetting.
  • Urinary tract infection. A urinary tract infection can make it difficult for your youngster to control urination. Signs and symptoms may include bed-wetting, daytime accidents, frequent urination, bloody urine and pain during urination.

Risk factors—

Several factors have been associated with an increased risk of nocturnal enuresis, including:
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Nocturnal enuresis is more common in kids who have ADHD.
  • Family history. If both of a youngster's parents wet the bed as kids, their youngster has an 80 percent chance of wetting the bed, too.
  • Sex. Nocturnal enuresis can affect anyone, but it's twice as common in boys as girls.

  • Although frustrating, nocturnal enuresis without a physical cause doesn't pose any health risks. The guilt and embarrassment a youngster feels about wetting the bed can lead to low self-esteem, however.
  • Rashes on the bottom and genital area may be an issue as well — especially if your youngster sleeps in wet underwear. To prevent a rash, help your youngster rinse his or her bottom and genital area every morning. It also may help to cover the affected area with a petroleum ointment at bedtime.

When to Call the Doctor—

Nocturnal enuresis that begins abruptly or is accompanied by other symptoms can be a sign of another medical condition, so talk with your doctor. The doctor may check for signs of a urinary tract infection (UTI), constipation, bladder problems, diabetes, or severe stress. Call the doctor if your youngster:
  • begins to wet his or her pants during the day
  • complains of a burning sensation or pain when urinating
  • has swelling of the feet or ankles
  • has to urinate frequently
  • is drinking or eating much more than usual
  • starts misbehaving at school or at home
  • suddenly starts wetting the bed after being consistently dry for at least 6 months
  • your youngster is still wetting the bed at age 7 years

Also let the doctor know if you're feeling frustrated with the situation or could use some help. In the meantime, your support and patience can go a long way in helping your youngster feel better about the bedwetting.

Preparing for a doctor’s appointment—

You're likely to start by seeing your family doctor or your youngster's pediatrician. However, he or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in urinary disorders (pediatric urologist or nephrologist). Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor:

1. Make a list of all medications, vitamins and supplements that your youngster is taking.

2. Write down any symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated. It can also be helpful to keep a diary of your youngster's bathroom visits. Write down when your youngster goes to the toilet, as well as whether or not he or she felt a sense of urgency to urinate. Also make note of how much your youngster has had to drink, especially after dinner.

3. Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.

4. Write down questions to ask your youngster's doctor. For example:
  • Are there any alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me?
  • Are there any drinking or dietary restrictions that my youngster needs to follow?
  • Are there any side effects to medications?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing?
  • What treatments are available, and which do you recommend?
  • What websites do you recommend visiting?
  • What's causing my youngster to wet the bed?
  • When might he or she outgrow wetting the bed?

Your time with your youngster's doctor may be limited, so preparing a list of questions can help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out.

Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
  • Does the nocturnal enuresis seem to be triggered by certain foods, drinks or activities?
  • Does your youngster complain of pain or other symptoms when urinating?
  • Has your youngster always wet the bed, or did it begin recently?
  • How often does your youngster wet the bed?
  • If you're divorced, does your youngster live in each parent's home and does the nocturnal enuresis occur in both homes?
  • Is there a family history of bed-wetting?
  • Is your youngster dry during the day?
  • Is your youngster facing any major life changes or other stresses?

Try to be patient and understanding with your youngster. Nocturnal enuresis is a source of anxiety and frustration for your youngster. He or she isn't wetting the bed on purpose. While you're waiting to see the doctor, try limiting the amount your youngster drinks in the evening.

Tests and diagnosis—

Your youngster will need a physical exam. Depending on the circumstances, urine tests may be done to check for signs of an infection or diabetes. If the doctor suspects a structural problem with your youngster's urinary tract or another health concern, your youngster may need X-rays or other imaging tests of the kidneys or bladder.

Treatments and drugs—

Most kids outgrow nocturnal enuresis on their own. If there's a family history of bed-wetting, your youngster will probably stop nocturnal enuresis around the age the parent stopped bed-wetting. Generally, your youngster will be your doctor's guide to the level of necessary treatment. If your youngster isn't especially bothered or embarrassed by an occasional wet night, home remedies may be the ideal treatment. However, if your grade school youngster is terrified about wetting the bed during a sleepover, he or she may be more motivated to try additional treatments.

• Calm the bladder. If your youngster has a small bladder, an anticholinergic drug such as oxybutynin (Ditropan) or hyoscyamine (Levsin) may help reduce bladder contractions and increase bladder capacity. Side effects may include dry mouth and facial flushing.

• Change a youngster's sleeping and waking pattern. The antidepressant imipramine (Tofranil) may provide nocturnal enuresis relief by changing a youngster's sleeping and waking pattern. The medication may also increase the amount of time a youngster can hold urine or reduce the amount of urine produced. Imipramine has been associated with mood changes and sleep problems. Caution is essential when using this medication, because an overdose could be fatal. Because of the serious nature of these side effects, this medication is generally recommended only when other treatments have failed.

• Medication. Your youngster's doctor may prescribe medication to stop bed-wetting. Sometimes a combination of medications is most effective. There are no guarantees, however, and medication doesn't cure the problem. Nocturnal enuresis typically resumes when the medication is stopped.

• Moisture alarms. These small, battery-operated devices — available without a prescription at most pharmacies — connect to a moisture-sensitive pad on your youngster's pajamas or bedding. When the pad senses wetness, the alarm goes off. Ideally, the moisture alarm sounds just as your youngster begins to urinate — in time to help your youngster wake, stop the urine stream and get to the toilet. If your youngster is a heavy sleeper, another person may need to listen for the alarm. If you try a moisture alarm, give it plenty of time. It often takes at least two weeks to see any type of response and up to 12 weeks to enjoy dry nights. Moisture alarms are highly effective, carry a low risk of relapse or side effects, and may provide a better long-term solution than medication does.

• Slow nighttime urine production. The drug desmopressin acetate (DDAVP) boosts levels of a natural hormone (anti-diuretic hormone, or ADH) that forces the body to make less urine at night. Although DDAVP has few side effects, the most serious is the potential for seizures. This can happen if your youngster drinks too much when taking the medication. For this reason, don't use this medication on nights when your youngster drinks a lot of fluids. Additionally, don't give your youngster this medication if he or she has a headache, has vomited or feels nauseous.

Lifestyle and home remedies—

Here are changes you can make at home that may help:

• Adjust the child's diet. AS and HFA children commonly have a poor immune system and resulting food allergies. Because this may be one of the causes of bed wetting, perform an allergy test on the child, with a physician's permission, to rule this possibility out. Common allergies among children on the spectrum are dairy, grain and strawberries or citrus fruit. To test the child, take one of these categories of food at a time out of her diet completely for two weeks. At the end of the two-week period, give her the food item on an empty stomach. If she is allergic, she will react within 15 to 60 minutes. Continue on to a different category every two weeks until you have tested all three food categories.

• Avoid beverages and foods with caffeine in the evening. Caffeine may increase the need to urinate, so don't give your youngster drinks, such as cola, or snacks that have caffeine, such as chocolate, in the evening.

• Consider a bed-wetting alarm. A common problem among bed wetting in AS and HFA children is that they can't recognize the feeling of moisture. Also, some of these children are not bothered by wetting their bed. Bed-wetting alarms are waterproof censors that attach to bed sheets. When moisture occurs, a beeping alarm goes off. This wakes them up and prompts them to finish going to the bathroom in the restroom. It seems to be very effective for many children on the spectrum, but there are exceptions. Some children get very frightened by the sound, so it is important to consider the child's personality and consult a physician before attempting to use a bed-wetting alarm.

• Encourage double voiding before bed. Double voiding is urinating at the beginning of the bedtime routine and then again just before falling asleep. Remind your youngster that it's OK to use the toilet during the night if needed. Use small night lights, so your youngster can easily find the way between the bedroom and bathroom.

• Encourage regular toilet use throughout the day. During the day and evening, suggest that your youngster urinate once every two hours, or at least enough to avoid a feeling of urgency.

• Limit how much your youngster drinks in the evening. Having around 8 ounces of liquid to drink (about .25 liter) in the evening is generally enough, but check with your doctor to find out what's right for your youngster. There's no need to limit how much your youngster drinks, but some experts feel a good rule of thumb is for kids to have 40 percent of their liquids between 7 a.m. and noon, another 40 percent between noon and 5 p.m., and just 20 percent of their daily fluids after 5 p.m. However, don't limit fluids if your youngster is participating in sports practice or games in the evenings.

• Observe the child's bathroom behavior during the day. It is important to be aware of the level of his current potty training capability. Not being potty trained during the day can point to a developmental problem of not being able to imitate the concept of going to the bathroom in the first place. In this case, you should be patient and potty train the child in the same fashion you would most children. AS and HFA children may take longer to understand the concept as a whole. If they go to the bathroom with no problem during the day, you can assure yourself that they are able to grasp the concept. If this is the case, you need to explore other options of what the problem might be during the night.

• Take advantage of dry protection. For the comfort of the child as well as creating an easier clean up for you, use plastic mattress liners. In addition, have the child wear adult disposable moisture-locking underpants to bed. If needed, she may also wear them throughout the day. This will help contain most of the moisture from her pajamas and the bed sheets. Use these dry protection methods while you are working with the child's bed wetting situation to allow more comfort for both of you.

• Treat constipation. If constipation is a problem for your youngster, your doctor may recommend an over-the-counter stool softener.

• Wake the child up every few hours in the middle of the night and explain to him that he needs to go to the bathroom. Take him to the restroom. If you do this consistently every few hours for a few weeks, it will help implant the idea in his head to get up when he has to go to the bathroom.

Alternative medicine—

Many people are interested in trying alternative therapies to treat bed-wetting, and several therapies, such as hypnosis and acupuncture, appear to be somewhat effective. However, other therapies currently don't have evidence to support their use.
  • Acupuncture. This treatment involves the insertion of fine needles in specific parts of the body. Acupuncture may be effective for some kids.
  • Chiropractic therapy. The idea behind chiropractic therapy is that if the spine is out of alignment, normal bodily functions will be affected. However, there's little evidence regarding the use of chiropractic therapy for the treatment of bed-wetting.
  • Diet. Some people believe that certain foods affect bladder function and that removing these foods from the diet could help decrease bed-wetting. More study is needed.
  • Homeopathy and herbs. Although some people are interested in homeopathic remedies and herbal products, none of these has been proven effective in clinical trials.
  • Hypnosis. Small trials of hypnosis coupled with suggestions of waking up in a dry bed or visiting the toilet in the night found that this therapy may help some kids stay dry throughout the night.

Be sure to talk to your youngster's doctor before starting any alternative therapy. Some treatments can be just as powerful as prescription medications or surgeries. Make sure the alternative therapies you choose are safe for your youngster and won't interact with other medications your youngster may take.

Coping and support—

Kids don't wet the bed to irritate their moms and dads. Try to be patient as you and your youngster work through the problem together.
  • Be sensitive to your youngster's feelings. If your youngster is stressed or anxious, encourage him or her to express those feelings. When your youngster feels calm and secure, nocturnal enuresis may become a thing of the past.
  • Celebrate effort. Don't punish or tease your youngster for wetting the bed. Instead, praise your youngster for following the bedtime routine and helping clean up after accidents.
  • Enlist your youngster's help. Perhaps your youngster can rinse his or her wet underwear and pajamas or place these items in a specific container for washing. Taking responsibility for nocturnal enuresis may help your youngster feel more control over the situation.
  • Plan for easy cleanup. Cover your youngster's mattress with a plastic cover. Use thick, absorbent underwear at night to help contain the urine. Keep extra bedding and pajamas handy.

With reassurance, support and understanding, your youngster can look forward to the dry nights ahead.

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

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

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

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.


Children on the Autism Spectrum and Social Phobia

The diagnosis of social phobia in Aspergers and high-functioning autistic (HFA) kids emphasizes the following:
  1. A youngster with social phobia must show the capacity for age-appropriate social relationships with familiar people, and his/her anxiety must occur in peer contexts, not just with grown-ups.
  2. Due to limitations of cognitive and perceptual skills, Aspergers and HFA kids with social phobia need not recognize that their fear in social situations is excessive or unreasonable.
  3. The anxiety brought on by social situations may be evidenced by crying, tantrums, meltdowns, freezing, shutdowns, or shrinking from social situations with unfamiliar people.
  4. There must be evidence of the social fears existing for a minimum of six months.

Developmental Pathways to Social Phobia—

1. Genetic factors: Taken as a whole, studies using twins to determine whether genetics play a significant part in the development of social phobia are inconclusive. Some twin studies have examined the heritability of shyness and social fears rather than the clinical disorder social phobia. Overall, these studies suggest that genetics play a modest to moderate role in the development of symptoms and temperamental traits associated with social phobia.

Studies examining the rates of social phobia in the offspring or in other first-degree relatives of socially phobic people show that social phobia rates in relatives are higher than in the relatives of people with other anxiety disorders or no disorder. Overall, these studies suggest that social phobia is at least moderately familial and possibly specific in its transmission. However, family studies cannot specifically sort-out the relative contributions of genetic influences and family environmental influences on the development of a disorder. Thus, the mechanisms behind this familial connection in social phobia still need clarification.

2. Normative developmental factors: Kids as young as 6 months through 3 years of age commonly show anxiety in the forms of stranger and separation anxiety. Some young kids, when confronted with a new social situation, throw tantrums, cling to a familiar person, avoid contact, refuse to take part in group play, and become overly vigilant. By late childhood and early adolescence, kid's fears of social evaluation of academic and social performance are forefront. Although at some point during their adolescence all youth will experience some level of anxiety about being judged in school or social situations, obviously not everyone goes on to develop pathological levels of social anxiety (i.e., social phobia).

3. Parenting/family environment factors: Research indicates that parent characteristics and family environment (through such mechanisms as modeling of avoidant responses and restricted exposure to social situations) are likely to have at least a moderate effect on the development of social phobia in kids and adolescents. It appears likely that if the parent's own anxiety is communicated to the youngster, a cycle is established in which parent and youngster reinforce each other's anxiety.

Controlling/overprotecting and less affectionate parenting styles have been found to be associated with social phobia in adult offspring, although the cause and effect relationship between these characteristics and social phobia is unclear. A major gap in this area is research that uses kids with social phobia or kids at high risk for social phobia, and this needs to be filled before the developmental impact of parental and family factors can be specified.

4. Physiological factors: Researchers have just begun to explore the physiology of social phobia, and studies have been primarily conducted with grown-ups. When facing phobic situations, socially phobic people commonly experience such symptoms as blushing, racing heart, sweating, and increased respiration, all of which are reactions associated with the autonomic nervous system (ANS). However, the few studies that have examined ANS functioning in socially phobic people have provided mixed results.

Other research has examined the function of the amygdala, a small region in the forebrain involved in the output of conditioned fear responses, e.g., freezing up behavior, blood pressure changes, stress hormone release, and the startle reflex. Hypersensitivity in the neural circuitry that centers on the amygdala may be responsible for behavioral inhibition in kids. The application of currently developing neuroimaging technologies to kids and adolescents may prove to be especially useful in elucidating the continuities and differences between social phobia in youngsters and in grown-ups.

5. Temperamental factors: A predisposition to timidity and nervousness has been believed to be a matter of inborn temperament. The majority of recent research in the role of temperamental factors in the development of social phobia focuses upon behavioral inhibition (BI). BI refers to a temperamental style that is characterized by reluctance to interact with and withdrawal from unfamiliar settings, people or objects. In infants, BI is typically manifest as irritability, in toddlers as shyness and fearfulness, and in school age kids as cautiousness, reticence and introversion. BI includes reactions that can be seen in behavior, such as interrupting of ongoing behavior, ceasing vocalization, comfort seeking from familiar persons, and retreat from and avoidance of unfamiliarity.

BI also includes reactions that are physiological, such as stable high heart rate, acceleration of heart rate to mild stress, pupillary dilation, and increased salivary cortisol. Overall, evidence to date suggests that a behaviorally inhibited temperament may predispose a youngster to the development of high social anxiety, although BI has yet to be definitively identified as a necessary precursor to the development of the clinical syndrome social phobia.

Treatment of Social Phobia—

1. Cognitive Behavioral Treatment (CBT): Treatment from the cognitive-behavioral perspective assumes that social anxiety is a normal and expected emotion. Social anxiety becomes problematic when it exceeds expected developmental levels and results in significant distress and impairment at home, school, and in social contexts. Anxiety is assumed to be comprised of physiological, cognitive, and behavioral components.

Cognitive behavioral treatment involves specific psycho-education, skills training, exposure methods, and relapse prevention plans for addressing the nature of anxiety and its components. Psycho-education provides corrective information about anxiety and feared stimuli; somatic management techniques target autonomic arousal and related physiological responses; developmentally appropriate cognitive restructuring skills are focused on identifying maladaptive thoughts and teaching realistic, coping-focused thinking; exposure techniques involve graduated, systematic, and controlled exposure to feared situations and stimuli; and, relapse prevention methods focus on consolidating and generalizing treatment gains over the long term.

2. Social Effectiveness Therapy for Children (SET-C): This treatment is appropriate for youth ages 8 through 12 and involves 24 treatment sessions held over a 12-week period. Each youngster participates in one group social skills training session and one individual exposure session each week, with structured homework assignments serving to promote generalization of the within session experience to the youngster's real life.

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

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

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

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

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


Do you need the advice of a professional who specializes in parenting children and teens with Autism Spectrum Disorders?  Sign-up for Online Parent Coaching today.


Helping Kids on the Spectrum with Transitions: Moving to a New Home

The logistics of a move can - and will - influence your Aspergers or high functioning autistic (HFA) child's adjustment. For many "neurotypical" (i.e., non-autistic) kids, moving can be a positive experience, as it brings the opportunity to develop new friendships, pursue new interests, increase social confidence, and learn important lessons about adapting to change.

However, as parents of Aspergers and HFA children know, “change” is extremely difficult for them. Transitions of any kind, especially those that are unpredictable, are unsettling and can cause the youngster to become totally undone.

Knowing how to support your youngster through change in order to make a successful transition is crucial. Helping with transitions is especially important during childhood “life event” changes (e.g., attending a new school, death in the family, divorce, going to college, moving, etc.).

Here are some tips to help transition your child to a new home:

1. Access religious and community organizations. They can provide a ready structure of activities, contacts, and resources for the whole family. If the family was involved with similar groups before, participating in such activities in the new location can increase feelings of familiarity.

2. Adolescents with Aspergers and HFA will be able to understand the nuances of the decision to move, but may be resistant to change. At a time when they are establishing important relationships outside of the family, they may feel the move threatens their evolving identity. The move can be disruptive to the stability they have already established with a core group of friends or with an athletic or academic path they are pursuing.

3. Allow your youngster to accompany you when viewing potential new homes. Encourage him to ask questions of the Realtor related to areas of interest or importance for him. This will help quell his anxieties, and you may be surprised to hear him ask questions you hadn't thought to ask yourself.

4. Be patient, some kids on the autism spectrum will dive in, develop a support network of friends, and become involved with school and activities without missing a beat. Others may need more time and help to feel acclimated and at ease. Providing your youngster with new experiences in new places will help him in the future when he makes decisions for himself about where to live.

5. During a walk-through of a potential home, give your youngster the chance to speculate with you about room designations, potential location of furniture, changes in décor, etc.

6. For young kids on the spectrum, put their furniture on the moving van last so that it is first to unload. This will help orient them quickly to the new surroundings.

7. Upon arrival to the new home, try to get the youngster’s room in order before the rest of the house.

8. Have your child pack a bag of essential, favorite, "can't live without" things to keep with them at all times.

9. If possible, have your child invite a friend from his old neighborhood for a visit. This can help the youngster make decisions about what is new and fun, and also helps him get a much-needed dose of validation from an old friend.

10. If you are building a new home, it will be beneficial to you and your youngster to document the building process with your child manning the camera.

11. It can be tempting to literally "clean house" and discard old toys and unused articles. But this should be done gingerly. The loss of material things will most likely overwhelm some Aspergers kids. Better to help them sort out the bulk of their things once they've moved in when they can feel more in control of their new environment.

12. Know that your youngster may experience resistance, denial, and emotional upset when you break the news of the move to another house. Be wary of your youngster's potential to dip into a depressed state at this time as well.

13. Moving day will be very emotional for you all, but maintaining a positive attitude about a new beginning and a fresh start will be of great value.

14. Once the initial shock and heartbreak of the news subsides, share with your youngster thoughts about all the impending unknowns that face you and your family.

15. Once you've narrowed your choices of location to a select few, plan to document the final decision-making visits by taking photos or videos. Not only will this be an aid to your youngster, it will be as equally helpful to you as well in recalling certain details.

16. Partner with your youngster in as many facets of the moving process as possible.

17. Preschoolers with Aspergers and HFA are not able to understand the meaning of the move or complex explanations. They are affected more by the reactions and availability of their parents. Little children do best when things are predictable, so keeping to a routine with familiar things and people eases the transition for them. Avoid making other changes at the same time as the move (e.g., toilet training, transfer to a new bed, etc.) so as not to overwhelm and confuse a young Aspie.

18. Scheduling some trips away from the new home may actually help establish the new base. It becomes the place to "come home to" and enhances the sense of a familiar place.

19. School-age kids on the autism spectrum are likely to be concerned about fitting in with new friends and dealing with different academic demands. Their general personality and social style may influence their ease in adjustment. They may also be better able to tolerate the “new kid jitters” if a brother or sister will be at the same school.

20. Some Aspergers and HFA kids will actually thrive in the new environment depending on the circumstances of the move, an accepting peer group, and a supportive mentoring adult network.

21. Stay in contact with the school and other areas in which your youngster is involved to monitor his progress in making the transition. Kids who are still sullen or angry at the parents about the move at home may have anger management issues at school as well.

22. The Internet and cell phone text messaging are a mixed blessing for kids who have recently moved. Contact with old friends helps a youngster stay connected to a support system and provides an outlet for talking about the new home and experiences. But, when a youngster spends long periods of time chatting with friends "back home," it can decrease the motivation to become involved with the new community and interfere with the adjustment to new friends.

23. Timing the move is important. Moms and dads should carefully consider their options. Certain moves may be inevitable (e.g., when a parent loses a job, when finances are strained, etc.) or impossible to predict (e.g., when a parent dies). But when circumstances allow for flexibility, it is often better to postpone or avoid a move at certain transitional times (e.g., when the Aspergers adolescent is a junior in high school, immediately following a divorce, etc.). When timing is not ideal, options may be possible to ease the strain (e.g., having a high school student remain in town with a friend or relative to finish out the year).

24. When moms and dads are sensitive to the impact of moving on their "special needs" youngster, they can make moving a positive experience, enhancing the child's emotional growth, adaptability, self-confidence and social skills.

25. If your youngster is the oldest sibling, let him assist you in breaking the news to younger siblings, cousins, neighbors, or other family members. This type of “grown-up” responsibility can empower him to shift his perspective of the move to a more selfless position. Think of some of the other responsibilities you can share with your youngster to make the move more palatable and less threatening. Some of the things he or she can do include:
  • Begin to inventory household and personal belongings
  • Determine data involving the geographic location of the move, mileage to and from the destination, and other pertinent logistics
  • Fill out change-of-address cards
  • Help arrange showings of your current home
  • Help you to schedule dates and times to meet with Realtors to view prospective homes
  • Identify all utility companies that require notification of the move
  • Plan a garage sale or designate items for drop-off donation
  • Scan the Internet to locate Realtors, new home listings, and other related information
  • Start to prioritize packing and labeling moving boxes

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

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

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

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

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


Mourning the Loss of a Loved One: Helping Children on the Spectrum through the Grieving Process

As a parent, consider the range of emotions you have experienced after the loss of a loved one (e.g., grief, guilt, shock, loneliness, compassion, etc.), and think of how that might reflect in your ASD or high-functioning autistic (HFA) youngster during his first loss. 

The difference may be that while you outwardly show a variety of feelings associated with loss, you may not see similar emotions in your "special needs" youngster.

Just like you, comprehending the loss of a loved one – even a beloved pet – may take time for your youngster to completely process. Just because he doesn’t grieve in “typical” ways (e.g., openly sobbing, wanting to be with family members, talking to close friends, etc.) doesn't mean he is emotionless or unaffected. In fact, the opposite could be true.

Tips for helping HFA children through the grieving process:

1. An HFA youngster's capacity to understand death — and your approach to discussing it — will vary according to the youngster's age.

2. As children mature into teenagers, they start to understand that every human being eventually dies, regardless of grades, behavior, wishes, or anything they try to do. As your HFA teenager's understanding about death evolves, questions may naturally come up about mortality and vulnerability. These young people also tend to search more for meaning in the death of someone close to them. A teenager who asks why someone had to die probably isn't looking for literal answers, but starting to explore the idea of the meaning of life. They also tend to experience some guilt, particularly if one of their friends died. Whatever your teen is experiencing, the best thing you can do is to encourage the expression and sharing of grief.

3. Children from the ages of about 6 to 10 start to grasp the finality of death, even if they don't understand that it will happen to every living thing one day. A 9-year-old might think, for example, that by behaving or making a wish, grandma won't die. Often, children this age personify death and think of it as the "boogeyman" or a ghost or a skeleton. They deal best with death when given accurate, simple, clear, and honest explanations about what happened.

4. Don't be quick to scold if your youngster's emotions seem inappropriate (e.g., laughing during a solemn discussion). He may be on the verge of meltdown and is distracting himself by playing a mind movie.

5. Don't be surprised if your youngster reports that he has seen, talked with, smelled, or otherwise interacted with the loved one who has recently passed. Remember that your youngster may be very sensitive to many things, seen and unseen. Instead, validate what your youngster tells you by listening carefully, requesting further information, asking clarifying questions, and providing assurances.

6. Don't get angry if your youngster catches you off-guard with seemingly insensitive questions (e.g., about the mechanics of embalming, cremation, burial, body decomposition, etc.). These are honest inquiries designed to contribute to your youngster's understanding and comfort level.

7. Encourage questions. This can be hard because you may not have all of the answers. But it's important to create an atmosphere of comfort and openness, and send the message that there's no one right or wrong way to feel.

8. Follow your youngster's lead. It’s not helpful to exclude him from participating in any of the subsequent formalities (i.e., the funeral or other rituals) if he expresses a desire to attend.

9. If possible, assign your youngster a responsibility. This may help him to maintain focus during what may be a chaotic and upsetting time (especially helpful for preteens and teens).

10. If you need help, many resources — from books to counselors to community organizations — can provide guidance. Your efforts will go a long way in helping your youngster get through this difficult time — and through the inevitable losses and tough times that come later in life.

11. If you think your own grief might prevent you from helping your "special needs" youngster during this difficult time, ask a friend or family member to care for - and focus on - your youngster during the funeral service. Choose someone you both like and trust who won't mind leaving the funeral if your youngster needs to go.

12. Many moms and dads worry about letting their children witness their own grief, pain, and tears about a death. Don't! Allowing your youngster to see your pain shows that crying is a natural reaction to emotional pain and loss. And it can make children more comfortable sharing their feelings. But, it's also important to convey that - no matter how sad you may feel - you'll still be able to care for your family and make your youngster feel safe.

13. Moms and dads can't always shield children from sadness and losses. But helping them learn to cope with them builds emotional resources they can rely on throughout life.

14. Remember that the questions you get may sound much deeper than they actually are. For example, a 5-year-old who asks where someone who died is now probably isn't asking whether there's an afterlife. Rather, children might be satisfied hearing that someone who died is now in the cemetery. This may also be a time to share your beliefs about an afterlife or heaven if that is part of your belief system.

15. Remember that honesty is the best policy. You may be pressured by well-meaning friends or relatives to offer some alternate explanation for the loss of a loved one (e.g., “Grandpa is resting in the ground now”). At some point, your sugar-coated explanation may be exposed, and the cover-up (despite your good intentions) might upset the trust between you and your youngster.

16. Remember that learning how to deal with grief is like coping with other physical, mental, and emotional tasks — it's a process.

17. Until children are about 5 or 6 years old, their view of the world is very literal. So explain death in basic and concrete terms. If the loved one was ill or elderly, for example, you might explain that the person's body wasn't working anymore and the doctors couldn't fix it. If someone dies suddenly, like in an accident, you might explain what happened — that because of this very sad event, the person's body stopped working. You may have to explain that "dying" or "dead" means that the body stopped working.

18. Watch for any signs that children need help coping with a loss. If a youngster's behavior changes radically — for example, a gregarious and easygoing youngster becomes angry, withdrawn, or extremely anxious; or goes from having straight A's to D's in school — then be sure to seek help.

19. What do you tell an HFA youngster about the funeral? You may want to explain that the body of the person who died is going to be in a casket, and that the person won't be able to talk or see or hear anything. Explain that others may speak about the person who died and that some mourners may be crying.

20. Younger children often have a hard time understanding that all people and living things eventually die, and that it is final and they won't come back. So, even after you've explained this, children may continue to ask where the loved one is or when the person is returning. As frustrating as this can be, continue to calmly reiterate that the person has died and can't come back. 

Note: The child who is having serious problems with grief and loss may show one or more of these signs:
  • acting much younger than his age for an extended period of time
  • an extended period of depression in which the youngster loses interest in daily activities and events
  • excessively imitating the dead person
  • inability to sleep
  • loss of appetite
  • prolonged fear of being alone
  • refusal to attend school
  • repeated statements of wanting to join the dead person
  • sharp drop in school performance
  • withdrawal from friends

If these signs persist, professional help may be needed. A qualified mental health professional can help the youngster accept the death and assist the others in helping him or her through the mourning process.

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

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

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

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

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management to Children and Teens with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism

==> Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism: Comprehensive Handbook

==> Unraveling The Mystery Behind Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism: Audio Book

==> Highly Effective Research-Based Parenting Strategies for Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


•    Anonymous said... I had to handle this with my son through the loss if two grand fathers and a dog all in two years. It was traumatic for him but he has handled himself well. I agree with all the suggestions. For my son, I had him pick a few special pictures to have in his room, had him help put together scrapbooks for him so he can revisit them whenever he feels the need. And we are a family that talks about of feelings so we talk about all of them often but happy and sad times.
•    Anonymous said... pretty much be honest with them and let them ask questions in a safe loving environment. My son was there they whole time my Dad was sick and dying. I think it helped that he knew what was happening and that Papa was not in pain and loved greatly. I never pushed him to do anything he didn't want to do. He did, however, disappear at the funeral. I got SO scared but found him hiding behind a couch-the noise/people were just too much for him (he also had sensory processing disorder). We still talk about Papa often and how he misses him. But I assure him that he is watching over us and hopefully one day we will all be together. Let them know their feelings are normal and they can talk about things anytime.
•    Anonymous said... This looks to be a marvelous opportunity for all family members involved. Fortunately, I am very interested in the many complexities of the psychy and it's challenges to those diagnosed with any mental "dis-eases" causing various stresses and difficulties growing up & continuing on through adulthood, if this is the case (and usually is). I only wish I were closer to my grandson, so I could be there in the moments, and not just be "out there somewhere"! He is growing up so fast, and I'm not even a part of his life. It all makes me want to cry. I am going to follow this group and try to learn as much as I can, hoping in the process, I can seriously reach out to him. I really have to get a handle on this issue and the part I want to play, literally/emotionally, in his life from now on.

Please post your comment below…


Helping Teens on the Autism Spectrum to Transition to College

A major life challenge for young people with Aspergers and high-functioning autism (HFA) is attending college after high school graduation. Here are some crucial guidelines to follow as you help your "special needs" teen transition to college:

1. If your youngster's diagnosis has been identified and supported in your school district, a transition plan to support him from graduation to higher education should be implemented by age fourteen with specific resources and contacts identified.

2. Some high schools partner with local colleges to offer higher-education opportunities while the teenager is still attending high school. Inquire about such opportunities well in advance of your teen’s senior year of high school since there may be a waiting list, limited availability, or sign-up procedures.

3. Hopefully at some point in your youngster's school career, a guidance counselor completed an inventory of his aptitudes (i.e., strengths and talents). The results of such an assessment can provide a valuable starting point in weighing future educational paths for your youngster to pursue.

4. Your youngster's school should be able to assist you in matching your youngster's strengths and skills with schools known for their expertise in those select areas (e.g., the college with a strong science program, the university known for its music department, etc.). Literature and other resources can be obtained with the support of your youngster's guidance counselor or other staff. 

5. Just prior to graduating high school, encourage your youngster to make an appointment to meet with the guidance counselor to gather information and tips on filling out applications. If your youngster procrastinates, set deadlines by which you expect him to follow through. (Note: His apprehension and resultant procrastination may be misinterpreted as laziness or lack of motivation.)

6. At some point prior to starting college, your child will have to deal with the difficult distinction between “What I want to take with me” vs. “What I have room for and what the college will allow in a dorm.” Usually the two are very different. Advise your child that dormitories are usually tiny, cramped spaces – and he will have to share it with at least one other person.

7. Be sure that your child’s medications are up-to-date. It’s a good idea to have her get a physical just to make sure that everything is working well and that there are no physical limitations that have to be addressed.

8. Be sure to run through the basics of car maintenance at some point. Show how to check the air pressure in the tires, the oil level, the radiator fluid level, etc. Point out the dial or icon on the dashboard that shows whether the car is about to overheat, and discuss what the child should do if that indicator moves toward the dangerous zone. Also, review how to deal with a flat tire (e.g., change it, use a fix-a-flat product, call AAA, etc.).

9. Ensure that you are maintaining the literature, directions, contacts and references, and campus maps as organized as possible. Keep notes cataloged well - and in writing. Carefully photograph or videotape everything, marked clearly, to review as often as needed in order to make a final decision or just familiarize your youngster with the surroundings.

10. If your teenager will be using a credit or debit card, get that established before leaving for college. Be adamant that she is not to sign up for a new credit card. Also, explain how to balance a checkbook and how that must be done each month in order to avoid overdrawing her account and racking up fees for bad checks. Let her know that you are not going to foot the bill for bank fees that she could have avoided.

11. Make sure that all vaccinations are updated — measles, mumps and rubella vaccines should have been given at one and five years of age for entrance into all public schools.

12. Also, make sure that your child has had the hepatitis B vaccine, as well as Menactra — a newer vaccine for meningitis that is specific to the strain that appears to haunt the halls of college dormitories.

13. Make sure that your child has a cell phone with an updated calling plan. Be sure to check to see if it works well on the road to and from school as well as at the college — in the dorm room and on the walkways between classes. Decide whether it would be best for the cell phone’s home area to be based in your hometown, or whether it should be purchased at school, depending upon what would be more convenient for the student. Also discuss what you expect in terms of calls home per week, minutes to be used on a monthly basis or whether e-mail will be the primary communication device.

14. Many teens on the autism spectrum have fears about not being able to fit in, making friends, leaving old friends, and how they’ll fare without parents to talk to on a daily basis. Some teens, of course, are raring to go and won’t give it a second thought, but many fresh high school graduates are fearful of the unknown. Some may even be depressed about leaving home or their old friends. Consider engaging in counseling if you and your teenager can’t figure out the feelings and resolve them. A good counselor can let you know what will help your teenager to feel more comfortable with the move. Thinking and talking about fears and concerns ahead of time will make the transition much more successful and pleasant.

15. Parents should frame this time as a maturing “rite of passage” and not something to be filled with dread.

16. Set a budget. Unless you’ve had an older child recently in residence at the same college by which to gauge expenses, you’ll do a lot of guessing at first. A good place to start is to purchase the school’s meal plan. Also, consider funds needed for books, fees, video nights, shooting pool at the student union, etc. Then, depending upon your child’s responsibility level and nature, decide whether she can handle being given the entire spending money for the semester at one time, or whether it should be deposited into her account on a monthly or weekly basis.

17. Take into account the location of classes and the time allotted between classes, in addition to the distance from your youngster's residence (or the parking lot, if commuting) to classes. Some students with Aspergers and HFA find it physically depleting to spend a lot of time walking long distances, especially in inclement weather. On the other hand, if your youngster has too much time between classes, it can be socially awkward to find ways to fill such downtime, especially if he is a commuter.

18. The "special needs" student would do well to develop a checklist that includes not only “academic milestones desired” but social objectives as well (e.g., joining a student organization, attending an athletic event, participating in other on-campus social events, etc.).

19. Many colleges offer support programs to students on the spectrum. On-site coordinators meet weekly with identified students. Upon admission, any such student meets with a coordinator to whom he is assigned and completes a participant agreement that defines the obligation of the support program as well as expectations of the student's participation in the program. By signing a participant agreement, the student gives permission for a release of information so that test scores, grades, and other assessments are shared with his coordinator. This allows the coordinator to access student grades and provide feedback early on in each semester so that any action needed to improve grades can be planned well in advance of failing a course.

20. Another aid provided to students with Aspergers and HFA by some college support programs is a study schedule that is filled out by each student and visually maps how to get organized, use time wisely, and plan when and where to devote time to studying. A calendar, maintained by both the coordinator and the student, records test dates and assignment and project due dates. When the Aspergers student comes in to meet with his coordinator, the coordinator can, at a glance, get a sense of where the student should be in his class management and can ask how he is progressing.

21. Yet another aid provided to these special needs students by some college support programs is a learning style inventory, which is a simple, easy-to-read questionnaire that helps the student’s coordinator to determine the type of learning style unique to each student (e.g., visual learner, auditory learner, kinesthetic learner, someone who learns best through moving and doing, etc.). Supporting the student to identify his learning style and adapt study habits to some helpful techniques is another of the coordinator's responsibilities. This may, in turn, lead to accommodations necessary to achieve success in certain classes (e.g., a professor's flexibility in how graded notebooks are submitted if the student reinforces certain concepts with illustrations).

22. Determining the type and degree of available support may be a decision-making factor in your youngster's college selection. Making a connection with someone who will function as an ally is crucial to your youngster's ability to assimilate successfully. But college is also about broadening one's social contacts as well. An ally may be gained informally, or the relationship may be prearranged through a student mentorship program on campus. Most forward-thinking, progressive universities have programs established to aid students with disabilities, but finding those that have expertise in the subtleties of autism spectrum disorder may prove challenging.

23. Discuss your expectations with your child. The following issues should be covered:
  • Underage drinking is an all-too-common and socially acceptable college practice, but underage drinking is illegal, stupid, and can quickly get out of hand. A frank discussion of substance use will probably meet with eye-rolling, but it can’t hurt to delve, again, into that area.
  • Lots of freshmen register for 12 or 15 hours but drop to six or nine by the end of the semester. The expectation of the minimum number of credits completed per semester is an issue that should be addressed and agreed upon by both the parents and the student before the semester begins so that there are no ambiguities. Statistically, more college students take four and one-half to five years to complete their studies than the traditional four-year program — partly due to legitimate changes in the major area of study, but also due to too many wasted semesters when only six or nine hours of course work were actually completed.
  • What are your expectations about going to class and not lazing around the dorm room, sleeping in and hoping to catch the information from the roommate’s notes or via video classes?
  • What grade point average needs to be maintained before the new student matures at the community college for a few semesters or years until he’s ready to venture out again? Keep in mind that community colleges offer excellent educations and are usually less expensive. In addition, parents can offer more guidance and supervision if the teen is not ready to “do it on their own.”
  • What should the student do if he or she finds that they are in over their head — either academically (grade or credit problems), socially (too many friends or parties), or emotionally (homesick, not enough friends, lonely)? The college counseling center is usually an excellent resource if the college student doesn’t feel comfortable talking to parents about these issues.

24. In partnership with your youngster, explore all that “going off to college” can mean, including:
  • Attending a branch campus before relocating to the main campus
  • Attending college in another part of your current state (living on campus)
  • Attending college in another state (living on campus)
  • Considering how to transfer schools (and credits) if things aren't working out, or as part of a plan
  • Starting out slowly by living at home but commuting to a local college
  • Starting out slowly by taking fewer classes (on campus or living at home)
  • Taking classes online over the Internet
  • Taking correspondence courses
  • Working part-time and attending night classes (on campus or living at home)

25. By following these guidelines, you and your teen will be better prepared for a pleasant and successful college experience. This should be one of the most exciting, challenging, and stimulating times of his life. By avoiding problems such as poor grades, financial disasters or emotional meltdowns, your young adult will have a much greater chance of success in this new life chapter.

==> Launching Adult Children With Aspergers: How To Promote Self-Reliance

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