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COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for April, 2016]

Do you need some assistance in parenting your Aspergers or HFA child? Click here to use Mark Hutten, M.A. as your personal parent coach.


Hi Mark,
  Great to hear from you.  When everyday is a struggle one feels alone in their parenting journey, glad to have found you.  I purchased 2 of your ebooks last week and have found them brilliant and supportive.  I am all about being in loving action everyday, I come with a life coaching background, so I am all about process, practice and action.  

I did start with assignment one over the weekend.  It definitely, gave me the guidance and confidence that I needed to parent our son over the weekend.  He seemed to be responsive towards the approach and it opened the door to communication for all of us.  I felt like this was a big step forward.  


Hello I just listened to your parenting strong willed defiant teens-
It's great advice/ but I need your help.
I love your ideas and I plan on putting it in affect to my 3 children - but I have a problem w my oldest who is almost out of the house and we're at our worst time.
To the point that my relationship w my partner is going in a bad direction - and if she doesn't stop or moves out - them he will - we set rules and she won't oblige /
And my child is at stage 5 yet again and has been at stage 6. And has been suicidal.
I had gave her a consequences. Which she violated it-& then I grounded her yet again took away her phone took away the car everything.. Then I told her if she gets grounded yet again then - I told her if she gets grounded yet again then she has to quit her job.  Since everything comes first in her world-
Well of course she got ground again - n now
I'm at a lost -  I don't want her to quit her job but yet I put that out there as a consequence. Now she is threatening to run away to her fathers house. She's also wanting to drop out of school because her father is in a different area where the schools are different. And I'm soon enough I can have any more control over because she's meeting. My partner is so overwhelmed and stressed and hurt and loss and feeling spiteful because of all the things that she has done and said.  And of course all the things that she said to me has been very hurtful very spiteful very rude very disrespectful. I don't know where to go with us anymore. I'm truly thinking about letting her just live with her father. Which in turn that means that she just may drop out of school. Along w So many other poor choices.
Please help –


Hi Mark,

My son (JT) has been diagnosed by a respected psychiatrist in the Salem, OR area about 3 - 4 years ago with Asperger's Syndrome (HFA).  Over the last 18 months, my 17 year old son's OCD has been getting worse & my wife & I are often at wits end & are very frustrated on how to deal with this.  Here's are some of the aspects of his behavior which are of concern:

1)  Fear of germs:  We are not allowed out of our room in the morning to go to work unless (JT) has done is ritualistic cleaning which includes spraying (usually with Febrees) one or both of our cars, hallway, kitchen, sometimes the door handles and sometimes new things we have bought.  He also uses soap or Febrees on his hands without washing the soap off which makes his hands red & knuckles split open.  Also, he has a ritual of vacuuming a certain part of the family room carpet before we can leave our room..  He sprays so much liquid from the chemical every day that the laminate flooring in our hallway is starting to buckle.  My wife is concerned the carpet in her car is getting moldy.  Also, every area where we step including the garage floor is sprayed.  The only exception is the carpet inside our house.

2)  Hoarding Objects:  He will not throw away empty hand soap, laundry soap, Febrees bottles, or drink cans.  All rooms in our house my son feels comfortable in have his clothes, food, objects I have touched he thinks are contaminated, etc. spread out on the counters and floor.  Apparently, not throwing away stuff is tied to good or bad memories he is not ready to release yet.  Or it may be he must accomplish a certain goal before he can clean.  Problem is, he doesn't always tell us what his goal(s) are.  If we as parents try to help him clean or touch objects which should be thrown away, this causes my son to freak out.

3) Excessive tardiness, absences from his first period:  Naturally, this is a byproduct of his OCD and stress he goes through every morning causes JT and my wife and I to be late to work.

4) Discipline:  When we as parents try to use various types of discipline or correction such as, Please don't spray the floor, it is damaging the wood, etc., he will usually respond with, "Stop, you are causing me more stress"  Or if I say, JT let's go now, he responds with something like, Dad, you are causing me more stress, stop talking or we are going to be later.

Do you have tools to help our son with these specific issues?  We believe getting him to see a counselor would cause more stress so this is not an option at this time.  Is there a online blog or support group to understand what other parents have done in similar circumstances with successful outcomes?  Your suggestions are greatly appreciated!



My name is Carmen and I am a pediatric neurologist. I have a very dear friend who has a 12 y/o with Aspergers. As you can imagine, he has been in stimulants for ADHD, antipsychotics for aggressive behavior, antidepressants, supplements and has been hospitalized twice in less than 6 months at a psych facility. He has been suspended from public school numerous times and now he cannot return until a psychiatrist says he can but the school will also consider placing him at a school for children with behavioral/conduct problems. He also has a diagnosis of ODD and intermittent explosive disorder. Every strategy recommended by therapists and psychiatrist have not worked. In this last school suspension he was also sent to the police to take a course. I fear the next thing that will happen is that he will go to jail one day. His mother is a single mom and she is at her wits end. Afraid to lose her job because of everything that happens with him and he had two nannies both he punched at some point and they obviously quit the job. I am writing to you to ask you if you could email her and give her words of wisdom or comfort in this process.


My husband and I have a question . We r having good results from buying and listening to your audio book " my out of control teen " for our daughter with all the signs of aspergers ( although she is too " high functioning " according to our therapist for official diagnosis)

I have decided that pure " fits " kicking , constant screaming , rants and family name calling will lose the phone for three days . She has been afraid of this and it has kept the fits at bay for over a week ( pretty good for us !) . This morning there was a irrational a fit about the " way" she was woken up , the  new 5 minute change in school day time ( 7:45/7:40) the drinks available in the morning and her brothers' breathing  ( with screaming kicking the car name calling and insults to everyone but me ) .   I said give me the phone , it's a fit and it's gone for three days . She reluctantly gave it to me , almost chased my car after school drop off as I drove away. Am I doing the right thing ? If this works out family will be changed for the better . I thought a Wednesday would be good to try this for the first time because she will be distracted by school and the phone will be back for most of the weekend ( but I didn't tell her that ! She's  not going to thank me !) What do u think ? I hope to learn from your experience .


Hello Mr. Hutten,  My nights are sleepless as I angst over my loving, bright grandson whose parents , thus far, have neither sought  diagnosis nor treatment for him that I am aware of.
HISTORY: bright, alert infant laughed at two months at uncle’s antics; at 6, 7 months mimicked sneezing and laughed “acha”, sang “la la la”, at 9 months completed ¾ piece puzzles. He was curious, bright, active.
After the triple vaccine I noticed changes. He could no longer complete the ¾ piece puzzles. He did some things repetitively. A for instance: at a putting green he tirelessly hit 82 golf balls at two yrs.
Well, years are going by. He’s been a good student. However getting him to do homework is a chore.
He’s a voracious reader; at 9 years reading high school level sci fi, novels.
Has played baseball since 4 yrs, taught himself to ride unicycle, is friendly, likes people.

ISSUES: has been his family’s scapegoat since 3, parents gush over brother two yrs younger who is consistently nasty towards older brother.
Seems to have food issues, eats neither fruits nor vegetables. Has not wanted to go to restaurants for almost a year. Since toddler does not make eye contact. Does not appear to pick up others’ expressions as cues. For at least three yrs appears depressed or perhaps tired. He once told me he can go to sleep at 6:30 pm and awaken at 6:30 am and still be tired.  Maybe sleep apnea?
Neither my husband nor I have been effective in trying to convince OUR son  to take action on behalf of HIS son. “Yes. I know he seems to be on the spectrum  but I don’t know where.” My son actually admitted on this past Sunday.

I’m rambling and you don’t even know me.. Apologies. Will your book be helpful to my son? Will you suggest some things I might do to help?


Hello Mr. Hutton,

So glad I found your show.  I am wondering on how to have my 27 year old son tested for Asperger's Syndrome?

My son was a very brilliant young baby and boy at an early age.  His memory skills were uber brilliant and his ability to speak a the ripe old age of 2.5-3 years of age was super unusual.  It was not normal baby talk it was highly articulate and he was a veracious young reader.  Everything regarding morning ritual had to be the same as well as bedtime.  I didn't realize what was going on at the time and yet I was a bit concerned that something was highly unusual.  So, I just chalked it up to the fact that he was a prodigy.  He could memorize all the countries in on the map, knew every single president and there sayings, knew all the flags for every single country, it goes on and on.  He truly loved geography and scientific studies.  I did finally take him in to a primary care physician when I noticed he was not able to walk freely at 3 and wash having issues with his feet.  He later had some growth issues and dental issues.  He is fine now but it was tough for the first part of his adolescence.

Today, my son is 27 years old, a college graduate from Oregon State University with BA in Business and has been working for Apple Inc. as a Mac Home Expert.  He has been independent and living in his wonderful apartment happy and just out of a relationship.  That was a good move for him.  Although, he is sort of seeing another young lady who I believe is a good fit for him.

Question: He has been having difficulty with his job these past 2 years because, for one, it is retail, a chat response position and sometimes the chats can come in triples which is highly stressful for him.  Well, his stress is at an all time high and he tells me that he feels as if he is headed for a nervous breakdown.  My son is highly emotional which is a very common trait with Aspy Adults.  He has always been my diva but I have always been able to settle him down and just love him down to normal.  My son is a sweet hardworking adult and would never ever speak badly towards me.  I actually feel truly blessed to have such a wonderful son and know his ways enough to be able to be his advocate.  In the beginning he wanted to prove he could be independent and he has had some bumps in the road during college but he did it and then lived with us for two years and then got his job and moved out.  Big milestone for any college student but even bigger for my son.

My question is this, Apple has just created a certain IPAD for Autistic kids/adults, to help them communicate and the story has just been released regarding Apple's creation and this huge contribution in assisting these very special people.  My son send the video to me and it was amazing.  He then shared with me since Apple is so open about making this effort to help people with Autism, he wondered if he could approach them about why he is having such difficulty with his job.  He has wanted to get out of being a Mac At Home Expert because he believes he is so much more then that and could offer various talents that he has studied along with his business expertise, but because his numbers regarding chats is so low, he is never considered.  Apple does not know that he has Asperger's but to be truthful, I we have never had our son tested. My son was the one who self-diagnosed himself, his freshman year in college.  He was having a difficult time making friends and was having issues in the whole campus experience.  He called me one night sharing his heart with me and was certain that he was an Aspy Adult.  I told him I had done some research on my end as well, and thought to myself, my son has Autism.  I am glad that he told me first though. Super mature and honest with both me and himself.

So were wondering, before Apple does their review of him this next month and he's worried he might get fired from the company because he's been warned about his numbers in the past,  we would like to have an official testing done on our son, then he would like to approach Apple in regard to his job and possibly finding him something else in the company that he could grown and bring something more to the company.  He is afraid to lose his job for it pays well and he has amazing benefits.  He is in a group/team of experts and when ones numbers are low, it effects the total team in that location.  He feels bad that he is bringing his team down and wants them to do good.  He just can't be at the level of intake like they can and it's truly making him nervous.

Your thoughts on how he should approach Apple (since they know of the problems of Autism) and have an Autism Awareness month within the company.  Here they have a brilliant man like my boy and maybe..just maybe, my son could open the doors for other adults that are highly intelligent but lack certain social inabilities.  I know of certain companies that hire Autistic Adults in high tech and they realize the gifts that this special individuals bring to the table. My son is on the super high spectrum Asperger end but is starting to ask for help because he realizes his job should not be this difficult for a normally healthy individual but for an Aspy adult, it is not the same.

I don't know if they will care because there are so many employees with Apple, your just a number but in my son's case, there might be something he can change with the company to bring these special adults in and in many cases see that they are a terrific asset to a company.  I know Microsoft is hiring Autistic Adults because of how they work and how they are focus driven.  Who knows, maybe Apple will learn from Microsoft and maybe my son could shine a light on this.  He just needs to be put in something that he is strong and confident in.  He is reaching out for help and I hope you can help me steer him in the right direction.  If he had to leave Apple that would be sad because he has stock and other benefits with the company and he loves his company but would like to be doing something more creative.  He is passionate about Graphic Design and also very technically savvy (he's an expert on anything Apple) right up his alley.


Hi my name is Amy Jones. I have a 13 year old son diagnosed with Ausberger's, sensory processing disorder, and general anxiety. I am a relatively new single mother. I have three Children Gabriel (Gabe) 13yrs and in 7th grade, almost 11 year old daughter Isabella (Belle), and an 8 year old son McGuire (Mac). I have so many questions. Since you are doing this out of the kindness of your heart, I will try to give you a brief overview of Gabe and our family. Maybe then you could point me in a direction so I can start to answer some of my many current and I am sure upcoming questions through other places that will help without bothering you.
My Gabe is a 13 year old  7th grader born in August of 2002, so will be 14 in August and obviously in 8th grade. I am 36 years old and his father is 47. We separated in December of 2013 due to Tony (his father's) severe physical abuse to only me. I now realize even though he did not hit the kid's he abused our entire family emotionally. (I think in the back of my mind I always knew, but my stubbornness wanted an intact family for my kids). I came to my senses and kicked him out in December 2011. Gabe was 9 and in 5th grade. I tell you this so you have an idea what he has been through. I have a B.S. in teaching music but another "hit" we took was when I had Mac my Gallbladder stopped working. I had it removed 2 months after he was born in December of 2007. The surgeon inadvertently severed my Vegas nerve causing complete paralysis of my stomach and many other issues. I tell you this because this also caused huge stress on our family. I became ill almost to the point of death because they couldn't figure out what was wrong. (I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried..ugh) I have an impending lawsuit (since 2008) I have a very high chance of getting compensated for the regular use of my body. I live with a feeding tube that bypasses my stomach, but the nerve damage causes a lot of issues. I tell you this because I have had to slowly return an be as healthy as possible to parent my babies who I put first and always have, but I live only on maintenance from my ex husband $1000.00/month which is obviously not enough to live on but too much for disability in Illinois! Hopefully the lawsuit does come through and the financial issue is gone. I took care of myself and my three children with outside help from my parent's until September of 2014. That is when our long custody battle finally was decided by the one and only backward judge in our little backward Illinois country county. I am not looking for sympathy, I have had to become a Wonder Woman I did not know I had in me due to all this, but I tell you this because Tony has custody of our three beautiful children. The backward judge did not listen to anything about the well documented severe abuse that is now being done to the children, not as bad but still abuse. I tell you this again, because another bad thing on all the kids but I am writing about Gabe. This was supposed to be brief but I guess their are So Many factors. Gabe's father (not my opinion) but two psychiatrists and three councilors, some because of marriage counseling other I actually got mandated. He is a sociopath that has a Master's degree in music. He basically led two lives. I knew about and was trying to get the abuse help, but he had many other relationships with two professors and several college students. (I knew nothing of these, I am not that crazy although reading this even I am thinking so.) He is able to appear very smart, calm, collected, and normal. He actually has borderline personality and narsacistic personality disorder. ( I told you, can't make this up!) I tell you this, because now Gabe has to live with that in a crazy environment Tony has behind closed doors. I do not have any mental issues, I had myself tested more than once! Tony his father married a 23 year old days after our divorce, which I only care because it really bothers Gabe she is so young. She also has two children from her marriage they broke up having an affair. I left to save my babies and the judge while stating I am an excellent parent because of health and income in the judge's words ( one of the hardest decisions he has made) chose Tony because of income and health concerns on my part. I have no restrictions but have the kids Wed nights for 4 hours and every other weekend. Because of Tony's abuse he only gives me the mandated time. Children's services in Illinois (DCFS) has been notified many times from school, myself, and others of the situation, but with Illinois being the "most broke" state in the United States they claim to be underfunded and are doing much to help the situation.

Before Gabe was born Tony used to refer to putting kids with disabilities in the main classroom as "intrusion" instead of inclusion. This gives you an idea of his empathy and attitude towards  Gabe's diagnosis. (Tony said this when he taught grade school and high school.) Tony was very proud of Gabe and would "show off" Gabe's intelligence until he was diagnosed in 1st grade. I knew something was "off" since Gabe was 2, but my Gabe was born with a birth defect called an imperforate anus, a congenital birth defect 1/5000 babies are born having. This means he has no anus or rectum when he was born. This caused Gace to have over 20 surgeries before 1st grade. When I would mention autism to the doctors I was told his body is just "catching up" from the surgeries.

With all of this craziness, all three of my children are bright, well behaved, good students and kids. I have focused on raising them as well as possible and primarily did most of their care until Tony got custody.

Gabe is an intelligent boy that faces all these problems and now being a teenager, middle school student, and full blown puberty. I wonder if his diagnosis are correct because he does not show a lot of "Ausberger's symptoms although he seems to be regressing in Tony's care. Myself and my mother are Gabe's rock's if you ask him. Not having us is hurting him tremendously. I worked very much with eye contact and he does so well people don't notice. (Again I do see this regressing, but I don't know if it is abuse or his disorder.) The "common" person tells me they would never have known Gabe had "anything" wrong. (Some of the quotes I write bother me.) At Tony's house he gets punished for typical Asbergers tics like, eye contact, not be aware of his self care, flapping hands if excited. Although I have told Tony, shown Tony articles, drug him to a class about autism when we are married, he basically acts like he can correct these things by punishment. I am crying now as I write because he does not have tics very often at all when with me. Finally, my questions
1. Should I get him "retested" because he usually has normal eye contact, understands sarcasm, jokes, did lack tics usually..although I still think something is wrong..I am not sure it is Ausberger's..??
2. It takes around two years to get tested in central you know where I could take him to get a faster but better diagnoses or conformation..I guess where is "the best" place to go?? I can sometimes be pretty resourceful about finding the money or help with money
3. I found you because I was looking for a good summer camp to look into for Ausbergers you have a suggestion on some of the best that I could at least research, he loves sports and is an excellent singer, also is thinking about wanting to be a pastor or missionary and I want to do all I can to help him achieve that goal (although living with Tony his school work is worrying me because Tony won't help him)
4. Does your book come already printed, I don't have the resources right now to print it, buying it may be easier
5. Can you point me toward the best "groups" to ask questions and get support
6. Is there anything else from this email, you think I need to look into to help him?
I am sorry for the not so brief e-mail
Thank you, Thank you Thank you



Is it OK that I'm the Grandma of the pre- teen with ODD? My daughter has 2 pre teen foster girls. The youngest is 12 and just got diagnosed with ODD and she's giving my daughter one heck of a time. I'm trying to advise my daughter because she calls me crying not knowing what else to do.

My granddaughter has been removed from school because she did horrible things to other kids as well as teachers. She got kicked off the bus more times then I can remember. By standing up and cussing to hitting the other students.

Therefore my daughter is home schooling her. She goes to a special school Tuesdays to turn in her homework. My daughter is very very upset how defiant she is with everything she tries to do with her.

When Jaide (my granddaughter) stays with me 3 days. She is good here and very helpful. She told the wrap around therapist that the atmosphere is different at my house. But she has started acting up the last few visits. She hurt my dog real bad with a stick. Tossed his toys on the roof and said she didn't.

I want to learn how to help her grow into the wonderful person I know she is. I also want to help my daughter manage her better.


Dear Mark,

I am sister to a 37-year-old with undiagnosed (but extremely likely) Asperger's.  He has never had treatment for this issue of any sort. Recently he has sought treatment for a panic disorder.  He has also developed enough insight to believe he has AS, but seems afraid to seek help. His relationships are all suffering now, he is becoming angry and depressed, and hopeless about his social life and future. He self-identifies also as "incel", or involuntarily celibate, and has despair about that.

Others in our family, myself included, show a few AS traits, too, but probably would not fit the diagnosis.

I wonder if you might be able to steer us toward any resources that might help someone in his position?  Or at least help us, his brothers, sister, and parents, to communicate more effectively with him... I feel I am losing touch with him, as his conversations with me are becoming more hostile and didactic... Any advice would be much appreciated.  He lives in California . I live in Utah.


Do you happen to know any neuropsychologists or the like in the Dallas/Ft Worth area of Texas?  I have 9 year old twins with Aspergers. I have a strong suspicion my husband has it as well. I recently joined some FB support groups and suspect it even more now. Last year we went to a University clinic to see if he had it, and the lady said he made eye contact too well and was able to carry on conversations to well. Obviously, she didn't understand high functioning ASD very well at all. It was very frustrating. So, now, we are looking for someone who understands adult ASD to formally assess him. I've run into too many people who claim to know but then don't really. I saw some of your workshops on YouTube and have really enjoyed them. Could you help point me in the right direction?
Thank you for your time!


I am looking up for information, support groups, therapies, etc. anything to help my teen nephew who was diagnosed with aspergers, bipolar disorder and autism. I am trying to find if anything is available in Spanish since my sister in law speaks more Spanish. If you could help I would appreaciate it. Desperate situation, he is becoming more aggressive and hard to calm down to realize his behavior.

Thanks in advance......


Hi, Mark,
My name is Amy and I just listened to several short youtube clips from your Living with an Aspergers Partner seminar.  I am the NT wife you describe in the segments on grief and resentment.  Thanks for telling my truth.

My son, age 9, and my husband, age 44 just got diagnosed with Aspergers a month ago.  In the diagnosis process, I found out that my husband's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were also probably on the spectrum as were my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, my sister, my aunt, my uncle, and my niece.
We are the first to get diagnosed and the first to seek help.
It's frightening looking back on the family history of decades and then looking forward to my future.
I'm at the end of my rope after 23 years and if we don't get some help, some step-by-step help that my husband can comprehend and follow, I will be divorcing him.
He says he's ready to try (now that I'm completely depleted after decades) and he's going to need a lot of support even to make the attempt.  He has tons of desire and not a clue what to do and, Lord knows, after 23 years I know I can't explain it to him.

Do you have an in-person seminar soon?
Or might you have a video?  That won't be enough but maybe it'll help.

And do you have a therapist you'd recommend in the Minneapolis/St Paul area?  One that specializes in NT partners and NT children of AS parents and/or one that specializes in NT/AS marriage counseling?


Hello Mark,
Can I ask something else please. I am hoping this book would be of benefit to help my 18 year old son. A while back he was diagnosed with Aspergers ( border line). We had done tests behind his back to come to this conclusion. When we told my son he had the option then to see this Psychologist we had been to and after a few visits the Psychologist said he didn't think there was need to say he had Aspergers and was going to treat his anxiety and that was the way forward. Unfortunately, the man was not well and couldn't continue with my sons visits. My son has suffered with depression in the past and social issues now.   I feel there is still help we need to give him. Do you think your book would be a help to me to help him without my son actually thinking about Aspergers? I feel he has a lot of issues that need addressing. He is currently undertaking his a-level exams so I'm hoping this will help :)

I believe I have mild or borderline aspergers. I cope mostly but sometimes notice my difficulties with things like eye contact, processing information quickly to discuss, and anxiety if I don't have things under control. I am about to move house and am having to be extremely organised to manage my tendency to panic. I am 55 and divorced.

One of my children is 18 and I believe she has aspergers/PDA. She is certainly very demand avoidant and anxious. She is home educated, but her anxiety often causes her to freeze and do nothing rather than face the possibility of doing less than perfectly. We have a number of issues with her. One is that she rants/monologues and gets very heated about some topic...which is usually not at all relevant to our lives...but she will not stop and winds herself up more and more, declaring us all stupid and morons if we do not agree/join in..  She seems unable to see that there might be any middle ground or any other opinion than her own.

My biggest problem though at the moment is that I have been divorced from her dad for several years and have since met a,lovely man who has moved to be near me, but she refuses to meet him. She says she does not want a step dad. She always jumps to the worst case scenario and she believes that step dad's are the cause of a lot of abuse. This is based on things she, has read on the internet.

She has refused to meet him and did not want him in the house. I have recently brought him to the house to help me pack and she still will not meet him. She is refusing to budge at all.

I understand she is anxious but there is no reason for this and I feel she is trying to control me. I am very gentle and do not want to ignore my daughter's feelings but do not feel it is reasonable for him to have to stay away from the house. I want to change this now I am moving into my own home. I feel that no amount of time will change my daughter's mind. And so am left wondering what I can do. I want to be able to let him integrate with the,family, and we want to get married but this seems very difficult at the moment.

Obviously I care about my daughter's feelings but it can't be right that she expects me to sacrifice my needs and wishes.

Do you have any suggestions for dealing with this problem.


I am a single mom of a 16 year old son with high functioning autism.  I just paid for your advise, he is very shy and uncomfortable around others, he is homeschooling, we live in the country, and the only friend his age he sees maybe every 4 months or so.  He has an older brother who is 21 and comes to visit each week, he lives a few miles away.  My son Evan has me worried because of his video game obsession.  He is on it so much he can barely think of eating or doing other things, i have to really push him to get some school done each day, which he is a little behind on now. Any suggestions are appreciated, also a friend of ours has a 28 year old child that is a lot like Evan, she just started medication, and is doing so much better now, the mother strongly thinks it would help Evan too.  I don't really see all the depression signs in him though,
Thanks for your help,

I have a very argumentative 13 year old. He has always been somewhat special. I am a counsellor in schools of teenagers myself so I think I imagine I should be able to manage this.  There are specific things which ring true about Aspergers spectrum and my son Zac.  He finds any conversation of any nuance very hard to manage, and gets incredibly angry.  He has always vered towards much older children and especially older girls rather than boys his age.  He gets frustrated, extreme in his language and threats and seems to want to push boundaries and express his power, yes as a teenager and younger brother of a very 'good' and 'concerned' (for concerned read infuriating and 'right') 18 year old older brother.  However the manner, language, energy, suddenness and power of his outbursts seem different. As though they come from a place of panic, displacement, incomprehension and as a result pure fury.....

At other times zac is sweet, open, sensitive. He is extremely, if not unusually and precociously good at getting on with adults and can get his own way by charm and fast talk.  He fixates on something and has real passions. He hatches a plan (ie to watch a programme during the evening and can go wild if this plan is interfered with in some us on looking on this has always felt like controlling, bullying behaviour on his have a meltdown when he doesnt get his own way or someone says no.  I am beginning to see that is just part of how his world is constructed and our clamping down and confronting the 'bad behaviour' is making him more unhappy, on edge and that he is getting worse at managing the situations he finds especially tricky. 

The thing that got me thinking about all this again was a scene in a drama on UK TV at the moment called the A word with a young boy on the Autistic spectrum.  The mother was astounded at the difference in him when he had a fever and was ill. I see this in Zac, I have always seen another side of him, a very empathic, soft side of him when he is ill, away from school and friends.  He and I were away in Austria together last week and a whole different side of him emerges when he is just having to deal with one person and can be in control of what he does without interference.

Strangely or maybe not...Zac manages school ok. He is very clever and can fake the behaviours he thinks he needs to display to get on.  He finds friendships difficult and especially I think with other boys his age.  He is at a new school and is meeting new people and has found a couple of friends who are quirky and sensitive like him which I think makes him feel safer. He is especially threatened by groups. He plays football and just starred in his team and this meant a great deal to him, it was a particular kind of triumph to get some recognition by a group, but I also sense this all feels quite risky to him.  

I think we need some help with strategies to avoid flashpoints.  (eg he finds it much easier to talk in a car, or on email or FB messenger than face to face).  I think if we all understood a bit better how hard zac finds 'family conversations' and why he quickly sabotages them then we could find ways that would work better.  I think  Richard (my ex-husband), Noah (Zacs brother) and I are all struggling because we have such good times with Zac and he can be such a bright spark and loving, and at other times (more and more frequently)  he can be so angry and destructive and it leaves us shaken, and blaming one another and so incredibly frustrated and helpless. 

 I have not yet looked at your book but I think we need to do something, and it has helped to share off the top of my head what I see the issues are.  I feel so tired by al of this and as though the harder I work the worse I am treated by Zac.  You expalain so clearly the spectrum of pleading, arguing, screaming, negotiating, ignoring, understanding, sympathising, is so exhausting and leaves me with no energy for my wonderful older son and my friends, and at times for my own self care which I need for my own work. 

Maybe we can correspond when I have had a chance to look at this and maybe an initial acknowledgement might set us on our way to having a family conversation about this topic which I have never really pursued before.  I have suspected before that there are some things which zac displays which point to something on a spectrum (overwhelmed by loud noises, sensitivity to heat and cold, extreme reactions to certain smells and lack of empathy for certain types of people and reactions to places.....). I have not until now really reflected on what is going on in our arguments and why they always go a certain way. I suppose I have blamed myself for flying off the handle, for shouting, for being unsympathetic and for not being a good enough mum......I would like a chance and some support to be able to step back and look at the bigger picture and see how we can help each other better and I can learn to help zac and also as a result Noah.  I suppose I just want things to change and do not want things to get worse.


I am loosing my young adult functional Asperguer's daughter. She has moved out and refuses to talk to me .she moved away with a boyfriend to Orlando Fla. Her father died recently and she is doing worst than ever I am very worried can we talk please if I call you. Is your program good for young adults she is 22 going on 15. Please I am horrified of never seeing her again I am very distort over this.

She has severe Trauma also do to other things that happened in our lives. I would have to explain on the phone . I am so scared that she would end up on the street or that she would never speak to me again I cannot take it. I had to divorce her father. Today I realize that he had Aspergers

He refused help and took into drinking heavily became dangerously violent and tried to kill me in front of her. Wile my daughter and I has a close relationship she was very attached to me this ended when during the Divorce the Court send GDR to live with her father regardless of how mrst up he was. That did it for she was left to fetch for herself and he brainwashed her against me . We used to home school her since we realized she was not fitting in a classroom and all she wanted to do was scape and come  home. I had always worked with children and found the way she could learn. I belonged to a home schooling group a large one and she also was socialized. She was doing well until the Court forced her to live with him. She didn't want to she was afraid of him but they force the children. She got Stalkome syndrome from this. I am her enemy regardless she has told me she loves me. After turning 18 She came to live with me. I could not wait. She started College and soon I realized how bad off she was but at the time didn't know what to do with it. The courts three her back into Public schools during her earlier years put her in a program but her father true the Courts forbid me from getting her the help she needed about life skills and so on that a professional or a group or Asperger's Association could give her and us as parents .Today she lives in the Stolckom Syndrome  world and the rest and she is sleappinng away .please what can I do? I don't want to loose her She has a brother who is not so well either ,he is also turning her away from me he has anger problems he might also have a problem of some sort. How can I reestablish communication ?


Dear Mr Hutten,

For years my husband and I have felt that something was wrong with our son who is about to turn 15yrs old.
We refused to get him tested and labelled by institutional agencies fearing what affects it would have on him.
However, we have struggled with his attitude and behaviour both at school and in the home.
It has been a never ending battle to get him to comply with our requests and this has caused so much hurt and resentment to build up.

The home became a terrible place to be at times as the constant arguing and temper tantrums became a daily grind.
After lots of research it now seems clear that my son most likely has Aspergers.
I feel so guilty and heartbroken that we may have managed this so badly, blaming him for his belligerent and rude behaviour.
He has asked if there is something wrong with him and has displayed lots of the presenting symptoms over time.
We always told him that nothing was wrong and he just needed to be more organised, and give less back chat and improve his attitude.

He has improved however and has excelled in sport in particular, his academics has also improved but he does struggle at times but will not allow us to help him with homework.
Anyway, I feel that I am rambling so please forgive me, it's just so overwhelming right now with all the emotions I am experiencing. Guilt being the main one.

My question is what to do now that I have identified what I think is the problem.

Should I take him to the the Dr for a diagnosis, Should I sit him down and discuss what I think he already knows and we have denied for so long. Do I speak with the school who are always saying he is not focused enough in some classes?
So many questions, I really would appreciate your advice.


a friend of mine has a 28 year old daughter with aspergers who she says is doing so much better like a completely different person since she started taking zoloft last year. She very strongly thinks Evan needs to be on this, as according to her Evan seems a lot like her daughter was before the medication.  I am so afraid of the side effects, what is your thought on this?  I went through the list of questions for depression with him, and I don't think he was completely honest with them all, but they were negative.  Is there a way I could tell if he is in need of the medicine ?  She made me feel like i am a bad parent if i don't put him on it, she said i would be doing him an injustice.  But she only sees him at our religious gathering each week when he is more tense, and maybe he does need it, I just don't know, and as a single mom, i really appreciate your thoughts.


 I am thankful to G-d I have found you and your website. I know a lot of the stuff but I don't know it all. Please I really need some urgent help. If I wait too much longer to try to reestablish contact with her I can loose her for ever I am 62 years old and I'll I could not bare it. I know that if I am not guided right on this one it could make it worst .  She hardly is communicating with her brother that is not the usual. Remember her boyfriend and his family are Muslins in disguise . The fact that she wanted me to go to Orlando and they didn't allowed me tells me a lot. For years I worked with the Special Task Department of abuse women I specialized on horrid cases American young women who married this people and the abuse they and their children suffered and suffer from them .Must of them have ended up dead or taken overseas as sex slaves .Some where able to scape  but when they come back here to divorce Family Cort does not protect them. Believe it or not Shira
law is practice in Family Court and mother and children are given back to the Muslim husband. We could only give them moral support.
This is my daughter with Aspergers !!!!!


Hello Dr. Hutten, 

The preschool teacher of my 5 year old Grandson told me that she thinks he has Asperger.  She says he is "high functioning".
She has a an adult daughter who was diagnosed with Asperger many years ago.

I told the teacher that I would "go home and read up on Asperger".  Which I did, and now I believe that my 36 year old Daughter has Asperger and it may be that my Grandson is actually "mimicking" or acting out "what he lives with". 

My Daughter is rude/disrespectful and appears to have no empathy to the feelings of others.  She does not like to look directly at me and will "stomp off"  when I try to have a "meaningful" conversation with her.   I have seen her "throw items across the room  (cell phone/ or anything she can pick up).   She has no "friends" and finds something wrong with everyone she meets.  My Grandson is a witness to and lives with all of these actions.

Your online article "Coping With Adult Aspergers" exactly describes my 36 year old Daughter.  (thank you!)


How to approach my Daughter with this?  She is going to get angry with me and deny, deny, deny, and "leave in a huff"
Last week (prior to pre-school teacher's observation and before I saw your article) I told her that "we need counseling because our relationship was "like a battlefield".  She said she does not need counseling and will be "nicer to me". 


Good Morning,

My son who turns 6 on 9th July 2016, has just been diagnosed with Asperger’s. This is a relief for us because up to now, we knew there was something amiss. He saw an Occupational Therapist middle last year who said Herman has Sensory Processing Disorder and then he saw an Occupational Psychologist in November 2015 who diagnosed ADHD and also tested his IQ to be Highly intelligent . So this was quite a package already. We moved him in the beginning of April to a Grade R school and 1 weeks later he had an episode at school. He cannot remember anything. Doctors suggested brain tests (EEG) and a sleep study (he sleeps poorly). This was done on Friday 14th April. They confirmed that he does not have Epilepsy, but that it is definitely a Mild form of Asperger’s. He also suffers a mild Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. They are removing his adenoids in a week and there is fluid behind his eardrums. The specialist says this should help the Apnoea a lot. After this we can start on the correct therapy for him.

Herman has been a challenge from before he was born. I was 42 at his birth. He was a breech baby and there was complications in the last 2 months of pregnancy. From birth Herman was a strong baby. He could lift his head very early. He did not want his dummy from 6 months. He was bottle fed and enjoyed playing with my hair while feeding. He still plays with my hair at bed time. He is a very busy child and always on the go. His diagnosis of Asperger’s now makes sense. His teacher at school is very willing to work with us and the OT also visits him at school.


I have communicated with you regarding my HFA/Asperger son earlier. He would be most similar to Rule Oriented, Predominately OCD type teen with anxiety and inattention. He spent 12 years in public school. Earlier we discussed with you when we should put him in a residential school etc. Based on your recommendation and our own judgment and thinking we let him finish 12 grades in the local public school. He was not doing well there but also did not want to change schools due to his rigid thinking that he should be going there as his older siblings also went to same high school. 
So after completing 12 grades in local public school in Sep 2015 we put him in appropriate full time transition residential program named CAPS at Maplebrook School in Amenia, New York. This was done after he had spent one week evaluation period there. He was lacking a bit of basic independent living needed skills to fit there. But before going there we tried hard to work with him so he acquires minimum skills needed but he said he did not need to learn those skills as he will just develop those once he is there. But once there he did not survive there and had to be withdrawn after 3 weeks. As parents, our feeling is that he sort of sabotaged his experience there which is based partly on disability and partly intentional behavior. 
Once home he has developed a life mission that he wants to write some emails to some TV show to give suggestions to improve the TV show. He has sent some emails (1 email in 2 months) and some are pending. He has kind of paused all other life saying he will restart his learning life after finishing those emails with no deadline. Good amount of time is wasted on internet just browsing some Pokémon websites.  He basically shuns from any activity that can be termed as learning.  All our convincing or therapist explanations have not worked. So as a last resort we are thinking of more forceful action such as shutting down TV and Internet etc. Given the past experiences this will lead to more bad situations and police will need to be called etc. 
Over the last 5 years he has lost interest in many things. He lost last friend 5 years back, lost interest in video games, no tech stuff, no travel interest etc. He got a smart phone 2 years back but not using properly saying that he first needs to read cryptic legalese agreement from the phone manufacturer. For example he did not use the phone to answer calls in urgent situations when he was at CAPS program saying he had not learnt how to use phone yet! Now only remaining interests left are eating outside, one TV program and Pokémon. 
So given all that has happened, we request your opinion regarding whether force can bring positive changes in a teen with such profile. Or it will more likely to lead to some situation where he may give up in life and develop depression? He is 19 and we do have guardianship.


Hi  Mark ,

 i seen your  youtube ,..  about over protective parents ,..

 my boyfriend lives in England and i in USA ,..  i have  learning disability  and him he high functioning  autistic ..
    he is 26 and i am 45 years ,.. when i met  Adam  on FB ,.. we  have plains  we be married and  him moving here  with me ....
    we have so much in common  and  if Adam was older  then me i would still be in love with him  not about the age  its the  fact i love the person he is ,........

  his mum  never  wanted to meet me threw Skype,.. Adam  first told me she was way overprotective  and does not trust anyone  she was liek this to Adam ex girlfriend,.. she  would called the stockers ,..  if Adam mum would have it  he would have no brain , no penis, no heart ( feelings ) ,.. he would be  just a tool,.. for  his mum ,.. think he is vonerbale ,.. and weak,...  and does not want him to go to America ,..Adam is  very fusrtasied ,.. his parents  are both  nasty people ,.. they are  rude  and unkind to Adam ,.. in fact  his father abused him when he was lil and his mum then an even now  verbal abuse and put down in narcissistic way ,..   i hear how she yells at him ,. she is ful of rage and anger ,..... mostly  his mum ... Adam  buy his choice he loves me and his choice to live with me ,.. and i  have parent hat are overprotective  however  they encourage me to be best for myself  and iam a slow learner ,.. as advocate  for Adam and his girlfriend /fiance  ,..i help him to  become stronger person ,.. over eh year  Adam made more improvement  with  doing thing for himself independent ,.. yes  we have  learning disability  and him autistic  but we are not stupid or vanerbale ,..  we are strong  , Adams parents mostly his mum  just so mean and hurtful ,.. and iam a threat to his mother ,.... she is so mean ,..

 she wants  Adam to be a helpless baby ,..  and the only reason is that  she want his disability money or  that she  has  pay room taxes  when he moves out ,.... only for shallow reasons ,...

   you have to know that  people with LD and autistic  are not  sexless and loveless  we have wants and need and desires too,.. and  please  help me  how to deal with Adams  mum ,. because i see her as a narcissistic  parent  of all time ..
 and Adam hates it when sh eis try control  his life  and try lives threw him ..Adam can do a lot for him self  take long train rides by himself   go for 5 miles walks by himself   go shopping by himself  dress  bath  make food  ect ecet ect ,..     

 Adam mum  need to understand that Adam not a baby ,.. and her  not letting him go is  like agents  human rights and disability  right too,....
   all i can do for Adam  is support him   ,.. help him to think positive  and  encourage  him to be strong ,..
 because  his mother   and his father never  shows them that .....

  only i do ,.. show Adam  love , trust , patient, honest , praise , empowerment with him self  ,..
 and believe  in himself too and    he amazing man  in my heart .. i love him so much ....


Imagine What It's Like To Not Be Able To Read Facial Expressions

Without the ability to read facial expressions, you would have no clue what people are really saying and feeling. Put yourself in the shoes of a child with ASD (high-functioning autism) for just a minute...

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

==> Videos for Parents of Children and Teens with ASD

Raising Children on the Autism Spectrum: The “Best-of” Techniques

"Our son was recently diagnosed with autism (high functioning). What would be the best course of action/parenting changes we need to consider/focus on at this point?"

You may have just discovered that your youngster has a diagnosis of Asperger’s (AS) or High-Functioning Autism (HFA), and you are thinking “What now?” …or you may have a youngster who you know is different …or a health professional has said that he or she has some traits of autism, but is still considered in the normal range. You may be feeling overwhelmed, and it may seem like you are the only person or family going through these issues.

Is your child intolerant to certain types of food? Have you noticed that she doesn’t like loud noises, bright lights, tight or loose fitting clothes – and reacts inappropriately to any of these particular things? Does your youngster crave fast movement, or is he almost impossible to get moving in the morning? Does your youngster’s specific behavioral problems seem worse after lunch or a party? Do you find routines hard to establish and maintain?

All these issues may seem very daunting at the moment. However, with experience and help, you can teach your youngster to rule his AS or HFA traits rather than have his traits rule him. There are many things you can do to help your youngster better understand the world – and function successfully in it. Below are some crucial ideas that you may find helpful.

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's
Raising Children on the Autism Spectrum: The “Best-of” Techniques—

1. A common complaint of moms and dads with AS and HFA kids is the obsessive nature that they can have with a certain object or action. Repeated words, a fixation on a collection, or the obsession with a character or television show is an indicator of AS or HFA. As a parent, you have the power to limit the interest so that your youngster can experience other things. Make time each day for your youngster to indulge in his interest, but introduce other things to him as well.

2. As a mother or father, you may find yourself constantly explaining the condition to other parents, teachers and friends. It is your duty to clear the path for your youngster's interactions by letting others know about the disorder and explaining how it might affect their relationship with your youngster. Creating awareness makes it easier for your youngster to interact with others who understand why she is different. Awareness also helps others to not take offense to the things she says and does.

3. Children with AS and HFA tend to enjoy being isolated, because it is less stressful for them – and they do not have to socialize with others. So, when parents use a “time-out” as a form of punishment for misbehavior, it can actually be a positive experience for these “special needs” kids, which makes the consequence ineffective. Removing them from something fun is a better alternative. For example, if your youngster loves to play with blocks, perhaps the blocks should go in the time-out area. A timer can be used, which will help parents be more consistent when applying time-outs. Kids prone to destructive tantrums may be placed in a room that contains no breakable items, or one that has pillows they can use to get out their frustrations.

4. Choose your battles carefully. Teach your AS or HFA youngster how to make a request without a meltdown, and then honor the request. For example, say, “Try asking for that toy nicely, and I’ll get it for you.”

5. Cognitive-behavioral therapies are often used to help a child with AS or HFA unlearn his undesirable behaviors and replace them with more positive behaviors. Through this therapeutic technique, the child will learn to recognize the behaviors that need to be discontinued and come up with strategies to change his behaviors in the moment, until the change becomes permanent.

6. Create a list of behaviors and actions your youngster can’t control due to her diagnosis. These may include repetitive behaviors, along with poor peer relations and easy distractibility. Your youngster may require help and guidance to overcome these issues. However, she should not be punished for behaviors related directly to the disorder.

7. Determine preventative instructions to help your youngster learn the appropriate way to handle difficult situations. Through role play, discussion and stories, you can provide your youngster with alternatives to hitting, yelling and throwing. Social stories (developed to help AS and HFA kids understand difficult situations) may be particularly helpful for teaching about appropriate and inappropriate behaviors. Because kids on the autism spectrum often process information slowly, repeat your preventative instructions numerous times.

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's
8. Develop an appropriate format for instructing your youngster about behaviors that are unacceptable and that will result in a negative consequence. Because the symptoms of the disorder often include difficulty processing information, the list may need to be verbalized, written down and displayed in picture format. Copying the list and placing it throughout the house may also be helpful.

9. Do not reward your AS or HFA child after a meltdown for calming down. Some kids will learn that a meltdown is a good way to get a treat later.

10. Don't expect your child to “act his age.” Children on the spectrum are usually emotionally immature compared to their same-age peers, so parents should make some allowances for this.

11. Establish routines and traditions that add structure. AS and HFA children LOVE – and even crave – structure.

12. Give your AS or HFA youngster control over little things whenever possible by giving choices. A little bit of power given to the child can stave-off the big power struggles later (e.g., “Which do you want to do first, brush your teeth or put on your pajamas?”).

13. Implement a consequence plan. For each negative behavior you have identified as inappropriate from your youngster, decide the consequence. Discipline needs to be clear, concise, consistent and calm. If your youngster misbehaves, tell him in a few words what he did wrong and tell him the consequence (e.g., "Hitting your brother is inappropriate. Go sit in the timeout chair for 5 minutes").

14. In some younger AS and HFA kids who appear not to listen, the act of “singing” your words can have a beneficial effect.

15. Increase your tolerance level. Are you available to meet your child’s reasonable needs? Evaluate how many times you say, “No.” Avoid fighting over minor things.

16. Keep a sense of humor to divert your youngster’s attention and surprise him or her out of the meltdown.

17. Kids with AS and HFA often have trouble both understanding communication and comprehending tone of voice. Sometimes a visual instruction is more effective than a verbal one, since your youngster can review the action as often as needed. Visuals can be used to suggest schedules, chores, and even processes (e.g., the correct way to use public restrooms). Use pictures, photographs and cartoons to help your AS or HFA youngster understand what is expected.

18. Kids with AS and HFA thrive on clear rules, therefore posting a list of unacceptable behaviors and their consequences can be immensely helpful. For younger kids who can’t read yet, the rules should be reviewed periodically, and the list could also have visual illustrations to demonstrate the bad behaviors and consequences associated.

19. Make sure your child “understands” what he is doing wrong! For example, do you talk back to him? Why, then, is it inappropriate for him to talk back to you? Maybe he has an issue with the other person's mind. This lack of “other awareness” or “Theory of Mind” is common in AS and HFA. Maybe he said something that was insulting, but didn't realize it. At that point, try and explain why it is that he said something wrong. Make sure you have explained to him what it is that he did, and why you are angry. It's not always easy, but sometimes reasoning it out in a logical way will help you vocalize what's wrong and will help your child realize what “the rule” is and what he has to do to follow it.

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's
20. Moms and dads need time-outs too. If one parent is home with an AS or HFA youngster all day long, that parent may need a break later. Moms and dads should pay attention to one another and give each other time to decompress when necessary. Develop a hand signal or other visual clue that lets the other know when these moments arise.

21. Moms and dads need to be in agreement when applying discipline to any youngster, but especially for kids with AS and HFA. If one parent thinks spanking is the appropriate punishment while the other feels that time-outs will be more effective, this will be confusing for the youngster. Time-outs, loss of privileges (e.g., video games, TV, weekly allowances), a fair-fining structure (as in police ticketing) with a cost associated with each offending behavior, or additional chores can all be used effectively.

22. Moms and dads should list the behaviors that they feel are most deserving of attention. This is an important step because some behaviors may need intervention or therapy in order to be eliminated rather than simple disciplinary tactics. For example, running in circles or humming may be habits that the youngster is using to self-soothe, even though these behaviors might drive moms and dads crazy. Odd self-soothing behaviors are common in kids on the autism spectrum with sensory processing (integration) issues, and they can be easily replaced with more appropriate ones (e.g., swinging on a swing, chewing on a healthy snack).

23. Pre-warn your child of any changes, and give warning prompts if you want her to finish a task (e.g., “when you have colored that in, we are going shopping”).

24. Promises and threats you make will have to be kept – so try not to make them too lightly.

25. Remain calm and do not argue with your AS or HFA youngster. Before you manage her, you must manage your own behavior. Punishing or yelling at the child during a meltdown will make it worse.

26. Review your discipline plan regularly. Consider your consistency regarding implementation of the plan. Evaluate your youngster's behavior and determine if the plan needs revisions based on her age, development, or behavioral changes.

27. Reward AS and HFA kids for positive attention rather than negative attention. During situations when they are prone to meltdowns (e.g., interacting with peers), catch them when they are being good and say things like, “Nice job sharing with your friend.”

28. Signal AS and HFA kids before you reach the end of an activity so that they can get prepared for the transition. For example, say, “When the timer goes off 5 minutes from now, it will be time to turn off the TV and get ready for bed.”

29. Social skills and the ability to communicate are often lost when a child has to deal with his disorder. He may have trouble observing the way others behave. In addition, he will have trouble reading and reacting correctly to another person's emotions, which could lead to a lack of relationship success. Despite this, the AS or HFA child can be taught social skills and effective communication techniques. He can learn how to read nonverbal communication techniques and properly socialize if his learning occurs in an explicit and rote manner through social skills training.

30. Talk with your child after he has calmed down from a meltdown. When he stops acting-out, talk about the frustration the he has experienced. Try to help solve the problem if possible. For the future, teach the child new skills to help avoid meltdowns (e.g., how to ask appropriately for help, how to signal an adult that he needs to go to “time away” to “stop, think, and make a plan” ...and so on). Teach your AS or HFA youngster how to try a more successful way of interacting with a peer or sibling, how to express his feelings with words, and recognize the feelings of others without hitting and screaming.

==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's
31. Teach AS and HFA kid that anger is a feeling that we all have, and then teach them ways to express anger constructively.

32. Teach them some strategies for coping (e.g., telling peers who are teasing perhaps to “go away,” or to breathe deeply and count to 20 if they feel the urge to act-out in public).

33. Think before you act. Count to 10, and then think about the source of your youngster’s frustration, her characteristic temperamental response to stress (e.g., hyperactivity, distractibility, moodiness, etc.), and the predictable steps in the escalation of the meltdown.

34. Trouble can arise from friends who take advantage of your AS or HFA youngster. While your youngster may enjoy friendships, his unique situation may become a cause for concern when he is not able to properly communicate with friends or allows friends to take advantage of him. Only allow your youngster to spend time with other kids that you know and trust, under a parent's supervision. Once you become more comfortable with his friends and social situations, you can slowly allow him more freedom.

35. Try to build in some flexibility in their routine. If they learn early that things do change – and often without warning – it can help.

36. Try to get confirmation that they understand what you are talking about/or asking. Don't rely on a stock “yes” or “no” that they like to answer with.

37. Try to identify stress triggers. Avoid them if possible, and be ready to distract with some alternative. For example, if your youngster thrives on a schedule, but you need to change it for some reason, let your youngster know – and watch for signs of a meltdown during the change. You can then bring along a favorite item to distract your youngster from becoming upset.

38. Try to intervene before your AS or HFA youngster is out of control. Get down at her eye level and say, “You are starting to get revved up, so let's slow down.” Now you have several choices of intervention.

39. Use turn-taking activities as much as possible, not only in games but at home too.

40. When visiting new places or unfamiliar people, explain to the child beforehand what to expect. For example, say, “Stay with your assigned buddy in the museum.”

Remember, AS and HFA children are kids just like the rest, they have their own personalities, abilities, likes and dislikes. They just need extra support, patience and understanding from everyone around them. 

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

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

Social rejection has devastating effects in many areas of functioning. Because the ASD child tends to internalize how others treat him, rejection damages self-esteem and often causes anxiety and depression. As the child feels worse about himself and becomes more anxious and depressed – he performs worse, socially and intellectually.

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

Meltdowns are not a pretty sight. They are somewhat like overblown temper tantrums, but unlike tantrums, meltdowns can last anywhere from ten minutes to over an hour. When it starts, the Asperger's or HFA child is totally out-of-control. When it ends, both you and your child are totally exhausted. But... don’t breathe a sigh of relief yet. At the least provocation, for the remainder of that day -- and sometimes into the next - the meltdown can return in full force.

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

Although Aspergers [high-functioning autism] is at the milder end of the autism spectrum, the challenges parents face when disciplining a teenager on the spectrum are more difficult than they would be with an average teen. Complicated by defiant behavior, the teen is at risk for even greater difficulties on multiple levels – unless the parents’ disciplinary techniques are tailored to their child's special needs.

Click here to read the full article…

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

Your older teenager or young “adult child” isn’t sure what to do, and he is asking you for money every few days. How do you cut the purse strings and teach him to be independent? Parents of teens with ASD face many problems that other parents do not. Time is running out for teaching their adolescent how to become an independent adult. As one mother put it, "There's so little time, yet so much left to do."

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Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

Two traits often found in kids with High-Functioning Autism are “mind-blindness” (i.e., the inability to predict the beliefs and intentions of others) and “alexithymia” (i.e., the inability to identify and interpret emotional signals in others). These two traits reduce the youngster’s ability to empathize with peers. As a result, he or she may be perceived by adults and other children as selfish, insensitive and uncaring.

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

Become an expert in helping your child cope with his or her “out-of-control” emotions, inability to make and keep friends, stress, anger, thinking errors, and resistance to change.

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