Aspergers in Adulthood: Live Q & A with Mark Hutten, M.A.

The Connection Between "Leaky Gut Syndrome" and Autism Spectrum Disorders

“We are concerned that our son with autism (high functioning) may have a leaky gut. How can we know for sure? Is this part of the disorder? What can be done to help with this problem?”

RE: “How can we know for sure?”  

The only way to know for sure is to do an intestinal permeability test, which is the most common test for Leaky Gut Syndrome (LGS). Your child will ingest a specified amount of a solution containing lactulose and mannitol (water-soluble sugar molecules). Over a period of six hours, you will test your son’s urine for elevated levels of lactulose and mannitol.

Read the results. Mannitol is absorbed quite easily, while lactulose has larger molecules and is usually only partially absorbed by the intestines. Leaky gut syndrome is very likely if the levels of both sugars in the collected urine are high.

Part of the problems inherent in LGS is that the body is naturally designed to fight off foreign particles. Food particles that leak into the gut are “foreign” and cause the body to put the immune system into overdrive. Here are a few of the specific symptoms that indicate there may be a problem with a permeable intestinal tract:
  • skin rashes
  • shortness of breath
  • recurrent infections
  • bed-wetting
  • asthma
  • poor immunity
  • nervousness
  • diarrhea
  • discomfort in the abdominal area
  • disorientation
  • fatigue
  • gas
  • heartburn
  • indigestion
  • memory problems
  • mood swings
  • constipation
  • confusion
  • chronic pain
  • bloating
  • anxiety
  • aggressive behavior

RE: “Is it part of the disorder?”  

Some researcher suggests that LGS is a contributing factor to Asperger’s (AS) and High Functioning Autism (HFA). The digestive tract lining becomes irritated and permeable. Thus, undigested food particles leak into the blood stream, which can lead to disturbances in brain function.

RE: “What can help with this problem?”  

Here are some important tips for your son:
  1. Start a gluten- and casein-free diet.
  2. Avoid spicy foods.
  3. Avoid a diet that is high in carbohydrates, caffeine content, and drugs such as ibuprofen and antacids – all of which work to reduce the impermeable nature of the intestinal walls. 
  4. Vitamins and minerals that can be used in the treatment of LGS include: vitamins A, C, and E; selenium; methyl sulfonyl Mmethane (MSM); glutamine; digestive enzymes; co-enzyme Q10; and beta carotene.
  5. Other dietary supplements to treat LGS include: virgin coconut oil; olive leaf extract; lactoferrin; lactobacillus; Kolorex Intenstical Care capsules; garlic; bovine colostrums; Barley grass powder; and aloe vera juice.
  6. Shark liver oil often tops the lists of supplements that can be used to treat LGS.

Lastly, frequently track your son’s progress, and make sure to use a systematic approach for introducing different elements. After you dial-in the best diet to treat his LGS, the results can be dramatic. However, consult with your pediatrician before starting any new diet plan.

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

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


Promoting Social Reciprocity in Younger Children with ASD

"Are there techniques that therapists use for teaching children on the autism spectrum how to socialize properly that can also be used at home by parents?"

A significant issue for children on the autism spectrum is a lack of social or emotional reciprocity, which includes such problems as inappropriate or limited responses to the approaches of others, and limited offers of comfort shown towards others. Let's look at two examples:

Kaci enjoyed going to the hardware store with her father. She could easily locate the items on the shelves, loved to sample the free snacks often available, and figured out the correct change while in the check-out line. However, when the cashier spoke to Kaci and tried to make small talk, Kaci generally did not look at him, did not answer his questions, and sometimes made a remark completely off the topic, but one that was of interest to her.  

Similarly, Sarah was walking outside with her grandfather on a cold winter day when her grandfather slipped and fell on the ice. Sarah clearly was aware something was not quite right, as she immediately began to scream. But, she did not ask her grandfather if he was okay or offer to help him as a “typical” youngster her age probably would have done.

From infancy on, “typical” kids show the motivation to engage in joint actions with others (e.g., sharing, playing, talking, etc.). The ability to successfully interact with a peer develops from basic to more advanced levels during the course of early childhood. The first signs of parallel activity emerge at around 2 years of age when groups of toddlers can be seen playing in each other’s proximity and involved in the same type of activity. Gradually, “typical” kids develop the ability to behave in a complementary manner with their playmates. Basic reciprocal behavior can be observed when kids start equal turn-taking and object-sharing.

At about 3 years of age, shared themes (e.g., collaboratively building a house with Legos) among peers emerge. “Typical” kids also begin to understand that playmates have rights as well as intentions to consider. During middle childhood, more advanced, collaborative reciprocity emerges. By then, “typical” children fully understand other’s individual goals and intentions. In addition, they have gained the skills and motivation to share emotional states with one another (e.g., joy, sadness). 
This sharing of intentions involves the structure for basic and complex reciprocity. It enables these young people to play in more complicated ways (e.g., building a sandcastle together, making a joint drawing) with each youngster participating to achieve a common goal. Collaboration not only depends on the youngster’s increasing cognitive skills, but also on his or her emotional functioning. The willingness to interact, to negotiate, and to emotionally connect with peers are important facilitators for collaboration.

While typically developing kids are attentive to others and show social behaviors at a very early age, children with Asperger’s (AS) and High-Functioning Autism (HFA) often exhibit difficulty engaging in social interactions throughout their lifetime. 
Many researchers consider “social-interaction deficits” to be the core deficit of AS and HFA.

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

Impairments in social interaction associated with AS and HFA may include:
  • absence of or limited imitation skills

  • absence of or limited use of gestures (e.g., pointing to share enjoyment with others)
  • deficits in nonverbal behaviors (e.g., eye-to-eye gaze, facial expression, gestures) to regulate social interaction
  • deficits in showing (i.e., directing attention) 
  • difficulties understanding the facial expressions of others
  • difficulties with or complete lack of initiating social interactions with others

  • failure to develop peer relationships appropriate to developmental level
  • lack of friendship-seeking behavior

  • lack of interest in peers
  • lack of responding to social initiations made by others
  • lack of responding to the emotions of others 
  • lack of social or emotional reciprocity 
  • lack of spontaneous seeking to share enjoyment and interests (e.g., a lack of showing, bringing, or pointing out objects of interest)

Research has also shown that the social interactions of AS and HFA children are significantly different from those with other developmental disabilities (e.g., Down syndrome). Some children on the autism spectrum have been found to be less likely than those with other developmental disabilities to orient to social stimuli, to respond to the social bids of others, and to initiate social interactions with others (e.g., same-aged peers and adults).

In order to help children on the autism spectrum to better connect and collaborate with others, social skills must be taught. Unlike typically developing children, these skills do not develop instinctively in AS and HFA children.

Methods to promote social reciprocity:

1. Balanced Turn Taking:  Balanced turn-taking entails the youngster and parent participating in a balanced, back and forth interaction to increase the length of attention and engagement.  This can include the following:
  • Playful Construction— Example: The youngster is exhibiting a repetitive behavior of spinning the wheels on a car. The parent can ask for a turn to spin the wheels, suggest the youngster spin the wheels fast or slow, or use a pretend play scenario like spinning the wheels during a car wash.  In this scenario, the parent constructs a repetitive behavior into a reciprocal interaction. The main goal here is to turn something the youngster is doing in solitude into a social interaction. 
  • Playful Negotiation— Example: If the youngster asks for juice, the parent will not simply give the child juice.  The parent will try to stretch the interaction as long as possible by (a) making comments or questions with expectations for a response (e.g., “I don’t know where the juice is – do you?”), (b) having the youngster follow directions (e.g., “Show me where to get the juice”), and (c) asking for clarification (e.g., “What kind of juice do you want?”). Here the parent is trying to encouraging back and forth interactions during problem-solving situations.  
  • Playful Obstruction— Example: The youngster is heading towards the back door to go outside.  The mother runs to the door to get there first and block the doorway.  In this way, the youngster must go through the mother to go outside.  The mother may use playful obstruction by moving from one side of the doorway to another turning it into a game, or may simply lock the door to encourage the youngster to communicate with words or gestures to tell her to open the door.  In this scenario, the mother obstructs the youngster’s activity to promote a reciprocal interaction.

2. Behavioral Momentum: Motivation is maintained as easy activities or responses are embedded within more difficult or challenging tasks.  Easier activities create more opportunities for reinforcement.  Varying the difficulty allows the youngster to experience success while also being challenged.  Interspersing difficult or new activities with relatively easy components promotes successful interactions, creates more opportunities to get reinforcers, and limits frustration.

  • A boy is learning shapes.  While playing with a shape sorter, the mother has the youngster say the name of each shape before putting it in the sorter. After every few shapes, the mother has the youngster just find a particular shape rather than have to say the name.
  • The youngster is beginning to use the phrase “I want” when requesting.  She and her father are playing with Legos.  The father places the Legos out of reach (environmental arrangement) and when the youngster tries to get them, the father models “I want the Legos.”  The youngster says, “I want the Legos” and receives them.  A moment later, the youngster reaches for more Legos and says, “More Legos.” The father reinforces her request and hands her more Legos.

3. Contextual Support:  This strategy involves the parent positioning herself to maximize face-to-face interactions with the youngster, following his lead to enhance engagement, and identifying materials, actions, and objects that are interesting to him and at his developmental level.


Ronnie: Playing with his toy cars.
Mom:  "Wow, I want to play too" (following Ronnie’s lead).
Ronnie:  Shows one of his toy cars to his mother.
Mother: "Yes, you have a car." Mother gets face-to-face and asks, "Which car can I have?"
Ronnie:  Gives his mother a blue car.
Mother:  "Thank you.  I like this one, but I want to have 2 cars."
Ronnie:  Gives his mother another car.

4. Contingent Imitation: This involves imitating the youngster to promote reciprocal interactions.

  • The youngster is spinning the wheels on a toy truck. The mother spins the wheels on the truck too. Once the youngster engages with the mother as a response to the mother imitating the youngster, the mother initiates balanced turn-taking by taking turns spinning the wheels, or uses modeling imitation by changing from spinning the wheels to pushing the truck and encouraging the youngster to imitate.
  • The youngster is opening and closing the doors to a pretend house. The father opens and closes the door to encourage the youngster to engage. Once the youngster is engaged in some back and forth interactions with opening and closing the door, the father can use modeling imitation to encourage the youngster to display other play skills with the pretend house.
  • The youngster is banging a toy on the table. The parent takes another toy and bangs it on the table to encourage the youngster to attend and respond. Once reciprocal interactions are taking place, the parent begins lining up the toys and uses modeling imitation.

==> Teaching Social Skills and Emotion Management

5. Environmental Arrangements:  Environmental arrangements increase the frequency and type of opportunities for the youngster to communicate by doing things like placing desired items out of reach to encourage social communication, interrupting a sequence of activities, giving only a small amount of a desired item, or doing something unexpected or different when interacting with the youngster. Arranging the environment can also refer to adjusting the amount of visual, auditory, or sensory stimuli in the environment to enable the youngster to function without getting overloaded.

  • If the youngster is used to a routine in which dad helps her put pajamas on and then tucks her into bed, the dad may tuck the child into bed without first having her put pajamas on to encourage interaction opportunities.
  • The parent puts the youngster’s favorite videos on the top shelf of the cabinet (but still visible to the youngster) to encourage him to interact with the parent to get the desired video.
  • The parent clears all of the toys away from the play area on the carpet except one or two toys to enable the youngster to focus and attend to the toys and interact with the parent while playing.
  • The youngster is eating crackers.  The dad only gives the youngster one at a time to encourage her to ask for more in various ways.

6. Modeling Imitation: Model imitation involves demonstrating words, phrases, or gestures about objects and activities the youngster is interested in, and specifically requesting him or her to imitate.

  • Parent and youngster are reading a book.  The youngster likes the part when the train is huffing and puffing to climb a mountain. The parent huffs and puffs heavily like the train and encourages the youngster to do it too.
  • Father and daughter are playing with a dollhouse.  The father says, “The mommy is tired” and puts her in the bed.  The father then gives the mommy to the youngster and says something like, “The mommy is still tired” to encourage the youngster to imitate what the father did.
  • Mother and youngster are playing in the sandbox.  The mother begins fill her bucket with a shovel.  She then gives the youngster a different shovel and encourages him to do the same thing she is doing.
  • The youngster wants to eat some crackers, but he needs help opening the box.  His mother models how to ask for help and says, “Open.”  The boy imitates, “Open,” and the mother opens the box.
  • A girl wants to play with the teddy bear that her father is holding. The father places a picture of the teddy bear available to the youngster and shows her how to give the picture in order to receive the teddy bear. The father also models vocally to repeat the word, “teddy bear.”

7. Prompting and Fading:  The parent helps the youngster interact or communicate by using extra cues and supports. The parent then gradually reduces the level of support to allow the youngster to be more independent in routines and social interactions.  The support can be in the form of gestures, physical, or verbal.

  • The parent is giving the youngster a bath.  The parent says, “Wash your feet.”  The youngster doesn’t respond, so the parent says it again and points to the youngster’s feet (and touches them). The youngster then washes his feet.  Then the parent says, “Wash your legs.”  The youngster doesn’t respond, so the parents says it again and points to the youngster’s legs (without touching them).  The youngster washes his legs.  The parent then says, “Wash your tummy” (without pointing or touching). The youngster washes his tummy. 
  • Father and daughter are reading a book.  The father says, “Can you find the monkey in the bush?”  The youngster doesn’t respond, so the father says it again and points to the monkey.  The youngster then says “monkey” and points to the monkey.  On the next page, the father says, “Can you find the bear in the tree?”  The child says “bear” and points to the bear.

8. Repetition: Here the parent is providing multiple opportunities for the youngster to practice a skill that is being learned.  This repetition may be back-to-back when initially learning a skill, and later becomes dispersed throughout the day to promote independence.

  • The youngster is beginning to use ‘yes’ and ‘no’ to respond to questions.  To practice, the parent holds up a stuffed toy and says, “Do you want the toy?” The youngster requires a prompt to respond initially, so the parents models, “Yes.” The youngster imitates by saying, “Yes,” and the parent gives the youngster the toy. A moment later, the parent takes the toy back and repeats, “Do you want the toy?” The youngster says, “Yes,” and resumes playing.  A few minutes later, the parent says, “It’s my turn.” The parent takes the toy, plays with it for a minute, and then repeats, “Do you want the toy?” The child responds, “Yes.”

9. Time Delay:  With this technique, after making an initiation or a request, the parent waits for a response using an expectant look.  An expectant look may involve symbolic gestures (e.g., putting arms up to indicate confusion), body language, high levels of affect, or exaggerated facial expressions.


Father:  “Michelle, look what I have!”  The father uses time delay with an expectant look showing a piece of candy to his daughter.
Michelle:  “It’s candy.”
Father:  “Who wants this candy?” Father uses time delay with an expectant look.
Michelle:  “I do.”
Father:  “Oh!  This is for you?” Father uses time delay again.
Michelle:  “Uh huh.”
Father:  “O.K. It’s yours.”

Social reciprocity is critical for the long-term success of children on the autism spectrum. Sometimes referred to as “emotional intelligence,” it is a combination of the ability to (a) understand and manage your own emotional state, and (b) understand and respond to others. Although social reciprocity includes understanding and using social conventions, it also includes the ability to (a) understand the ways in which peers communicate and interact, and (b) build interpersonal relationships.

Kids with AS and HFA do not have extensive understanding of social conventions, and often need instruction in:
  • taking turns
  • sharing
  • shaking hands
  • appropriate greetings depending on relationships (e.g., peer-to-peer, or youngster to grown-up)
  • cooperation
  • smiling
  • giving positive feedback (e.g., praise) to peers
  • appropriate and polite ways to make requests (e.g., please) and express gratitude (e.g., thanks)
  • addressing teachers and other adults

Difficulty managing emotions, especially tantrums or aggression in response to frustration, is common in kids with AS and HFA. These young people commonly have difficulty with emotional self-regulation and understanding emotion. Difficulty with social situations is a component of the disorder, which reflects deficits in understanding and expression their own emotional states.

Social reciprocity needs to be explicitly taught to AS and HFA children. This requires teaching the ability to (a) identify emotions by looking at faces, (b) identify cause and effect for emotions and scenarios, and (c) deal effectively with personal emotional states.

Resources for parents of children and teens on the autism spectrum:

Should You Disclose Your Child's Diagnosis To Others?

When a youngster has Asperger's (AS) or High Functioning Autism (HFA), parents walk a fine line. Often times under certain circumstances, the youngster is perfectly capable of behaving typically. Other times, not so much. And it's not easy to predict when things will suddenly become overwhelming.

If parents say something like "my son has a disorder called Asperger syndrome" or "HFA" to a scout master, coach, or a neighbor, they may set their youngster up to be excluded or treated differently. But if they don't tell, there's the possibility that a sensory issue or misunderstanding could lead to some real problems.

Most parents with children on the autism spectrum want to know: "Should I disclose to others that my child has Asperger's or HFA? If so, who should I tell, and how much information should I give them?"

The answer is threefold: 
  1. There are times when full disclosure is needed.
  2. There are other times when only partial disclosure will suffice.
  3. There will be occasions when you should not disclose at all.

Let's look at each of these in turn...

1. Full disclosure: In those cases where an adult will be working closely - and frequently - with your child (e.g., babysitters, teachers, therapists), full disclosure would be necessary. Also, for those who will be having an ongoing relationship with your child over the years (e.g., siblings, grandparents and other close family members), full disclosure is needed. In both of these scenarios, certain people will be having a lot of contact with your child, so it is vital that they know as much as possible about the disorder and how it affects your child particularly. In this way, these individuals will know what to expect, how to help prevent issues before they arise, and how to intervene when problems do arise.

2. Partial disclosure: In those cases where an adult will be working with your child in a group context rather than one-on-one (e.g., a karate coach), or the relationship will be temporary (e.g., staff at summer camp), partial disclosure will usually suffice. For example, if your Asperger's or HFA daughter is taking karate lessons, she may do well most of the time. So, a partial disclosure could be: "Sarah is someone who really needs structure, so if you're going to make a change, it would help if you tell her before class. When things are unpredictable, she gets anxious and could have a problem." In this way, you are giving the coach a "heads-up" about a potential issue without divulging your child's actual diagnosis.

3. No disclosure: In cases where the information could be used against your child (e.g., telling your child's neighborhood friends or classmates), no disclosure is advised. Children can be cruel, and a child on the autism spectrum is often a sitting duck for the bullies. So, with the exception of siblings, your child's peers (i.e., those about the same age) are best left in the dark about his or her disorder.

One parent stated, "I made the mistake of telling my neighbor that my son was 'a little autistic'. Ever since then, her children have started fights with my son on the bus and in the neighborhood. It got so bad that my husband and I would keep our son in the house. Since then we have moved. Now I don’t tell our neighbors who my son is (i.e., someone with Asperger's), but I have said to them 'he is a loner at times'."

Here's one exception to #3: In some cases, it may be appropriate to educate your child's class or school about AS and HFA. If you decide to disclose to a class, be sure to do some planning and preparation. Also, involve the school and your youngster's teacher.  Some moms and dads choose to go to the school and make the presentation.  Whether or not your child is in the room at the time is up to him or her.  See how your youngster feels about it.  Some will want to be there, and some won't.

Some AS and HFA children even may choose to make the presentation themselves.  If making a presentation like this is not a strong point for you or your youngster, you may be able to get a teacher, school counselor, or an outside professional to talk to the class. In any event, it may be in your child's best interest if people at the school -- students and staff -- learned a few things about autism spectrum disorders.

On another note, it is not recommended that parents give their AS or HFA child instructions to be silent about his or her disorder. In other words, if the child wants to self-disclose this (e.g., "I have high functioning autism") to a friend, neighbor or classmate, he or she should be permitted to do so.

As one mother stated: "I have had a neighbor who has been relying on me for ongoing childcare and my 10 year old as a 'therapeutic friend'. 'Don't ask - don't tell' just does not work. How can my son, who is just a child himself, interpret the slaps, kicks, temper tantrums, screams and rude behavior. Is this emotional instability, bi-polar disorder, autism - or just a spoiled kid? Who knows? I finally kicked the boy out of my house because if he is going to be presented as a 'normal' child, he had better act like a normal child in my home. Leaning on neighbors and their children to socialize mentally disabled children is simply using other people - expecting others to understand YOU without any information to assist other adults (or kids) in making fair conclusions. I hold the kid blameless. I hold the his mother responsible for using me and my son for the benefit of her child's adjustments. Parents, just be upfront. Anyone who can not accommodate you and your family simply does not belong in your life. Even 'normal' children experience bullies in life. Stop the pretend game and let your child just be who they are. The right people will come into your life who will be a great support for you and them!"

Having said all of the above, the bottom line is this: The disclosure decision is up to you and your youngster.  What's right for one family may not be right for another.

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

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


SSRI's To Treat High-Functioning Autism?

“Our doctor wants to start my son who has high functioning autism on an SSRI. I have told the doc that I need to discuss this with my husband first. At this point, I am not feeling comfortable with my son being on drugs, but will be open to the idea if the advantages appear to outweigh the disadvantages. Not sure about the disadvantages though. Any insight will be wonderful. Thanks in advance.”

Medication can be an important part of treatment for some kids and teens on the autism spectrum.  However, medication should only be used as one part of a total treatment plan.  

Ongoing evaluation and monitoring by your doctor is crucial.  Moms and dads should be provided with complete information when medication is recommended, and the child should be included in the discussion about medications, using words he understands. 

By getting answers to the following questions, you should be able to make an informed decision about whether or not to start your son on an SSRI:
  1. Are there any activities that my son should avoid while taking the medication? Are any precautions recommended for other activities?
  2. Are there any laboratory tests (e.g. heart tests, blood test, etc.) that will need to be done before my son begins taking the medication?  Will any tests need to be done while he is taking the medication?
  3. Are there any other medications or foods, which my son should avoid while taking the medication?
  4. Are there interactions between this medication and other medications (prescription and/or over-the-counter) my son is taking?
  5. Does my son's school nurse need to be informed about this medication?
  6. How long will my son need to take this medication?  How will the decision be made to stop this medication?
  7. How will the medication help my son?  How long before I see improvement? When will it work?
  8. Is this medication addictive?  Can it be abused?
  9. What are the side effects which commonly occur with this medication?
  10. What do I do if a problem develops (e.g., my son becomes ill, doses are missed, or side effects develop)?
  11. What is known about its helpfulness with other kids who have a similar disorder to my son?
  12. What is the cost of the medication (generic vs. brand name)?
  13. What is the name of the medication?  Is it known by other names?
  14. What is the recommended dosage?  How often will the medication be taken?
  15. Will you (the doctor) be monitoring my son's response to this medication and make dosage changes if necessary?  How often will progress be checked?

FYI: Research has shown that SSRI medications can treat certain symptoms of ASD. The notion is that an imbalance of neurotransmitters may lead to problems with mood and behavior in some children on the spectrum. However, the FDA reported that an extensive analysis of clinical trials showed that antidepressants may cause or worsen suicidal thinking or behavior in a small number of kids and teens.

The analysis showed that 4 percent of those taking antidepressants had an increase in suicidal thoughts, compared with 2 percent of those taking a sugar pill (placebo). None of the young people in any of the studies actually followed through with suicide. 

Nonetheless, the FDA considered the findings of enough concern that it issued a public health advisory and began requiring manufacturers to label antidepressants with strong warnings about the link to suicidal thinking and behavior in kids and teens.

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

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism


D Marcotte said...
I would use caution when using drugs for any child and particularly for one on the spectrum. We tried stimulus drugs to treat our daughters ADHD and the results were disastrous - however we know children that benefited tremendously. I guess I am saying don't be afraid to say no and if you do try it pay attention to side effects and stop if you see something you don't like.
Unknown said...
I just want to say that I was very resistant to giving my daughter anti depressants, at the at of 16. It has changed her world, all for the better, and I could not be more grateful. She has improved by leaps and bounds, and it has enabled her to get the most from her counseling, and learn to embrace her Asperger's and fulfill her potential. I would certainly keep a close eye, but if the child needs help, try everything.

Aspie Mom said...
We were offered drugs also, but were in the middle of going Naturopathic. Did you know they still don't know how it SSRI effect the growing brain of a child. Naturopathic say's if you are nutrient deprived (like in Low Folate)the side effects of SSRI are more common to occur, especially suicide. Come to find out the O.A.T - Organic Acid test showed 2 bad bacteria's in his gut, low in Serration & dopamine the sleep and feel good chemicals(depression). And many other nutrients that needed to be balanced so that his body and him could start feeling better. It took 10 weeks before we, family, teachers noticed he was better. It has been two months after the 10 weeks, we have seen no depression, anxiety, anger issues. We invested $1400.00 it was worth every penny. We have been cleared by his physiologist as a when needed patient.

Unknown said...
I am in the 4%. I was on SSRIs for many years, and recently stopped taking them. Since I discontinued the meds, about 2 weeks ago, my depression and anxiety have vanished, I have lost about 30 pounds, my hair has stopped falling out, my mental fog is gone, my vision has improved, and my memory is now not only functioning properly, it is perfect. I was on various SSRIs over the past 15 years (since I was 10), and never felt that they helped me in the slightest. I never thought to question their effect on me until very recently. However, I am not only a person with asperger syndrome, I am also a savant (which I discovered only after discontinuing the medications), which could reasonably explain why I had such adverse reactions.

LRose said...
What did you do to address the gut issues??


Disclosing Your Child's ASD Diagnosis to Others

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

==> Parenting System that Reduces Problematic Behavior in Children with Asperger's and High-Functioning Autism 


•    Anonymous said… I am not so quick to fully disclose the Aspergers/ADHD with teachers in grades higher than elementary school. Partial, yes, when needed. Why? Because in the hands of the right teacher, a disclosure is helpful and gives them information that helps the teacher support the weak areas of an HFA child. However, in the hands of the wrong teacher, the disclosure is used to belittle, berate, and bully the HFA child instead of providing the requested support.
•    Anonymous said… I agree with you but have seen the stigmatizing and bullying over and over again. The other thing I've seen is that with a "diagnosis" there is labeling. All this makes it tough to figure out the actual individual potential.
•    Anonymous said… Speaking as an elementary teacher with a lot of background and experience in cognitive impairment and learning disabilities and some with ASD, it is helpful to get information up front. Then I don't have to waste time reinventing the wheel, so to speak. I appreciate getting that insight from parents so that our partnership can begin immediately. And anyone who would berate, belittle, or bully ANY child has no right to call themselves a teacher.
•    Anonymous said… I have struggled with labeling my whole career and also as the sister of a developmentally disabled woman. I have made peace with it if the "label" allows the child to receive appropriate support.
•    Anonymous said… I've been a psychiatric professional for 35 years and watched my clients and their families struggle with labels. 3rd party payments demand labels but treatment and forward movement demand knowing the uniqueness of the needs of the individual.  It helps when teachers and friends understand that the label isn't the person.


Understanding Your “Difficult” Asperger’s and HFA Students: Advice to Teachers

Most kids with Asperger’s and High Functioning Autism are impaired socially. They often do not detect social clues and are frequently unaware when they irritate others. Since they miss these social clues, they miss the lesson associated with the experience. As a result, they tend to repeat the irritating behavior since they are unaware of its effects.

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Raising Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Parents' Grief and Guilt

Some parents grieve for the loss of the youngster they   imagined  they had. Moms and dads have their own particular way of dealing with the...