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COMMENTS & QUESTIONS [for September, October and November - 2018]

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Hello Mark, I just wanted to take the time to tell you how much your short, yet precise and to the point, your YouTube videos have helped me to get others to understand my 11 year old son. He has HFA and OCD and is basically a loner. It hurts my soul that he has never experienced a sleep over, invites to parties or having any friends in general. I believe that his (and countless others) complete oblivion as to how the world truly operates is both a curse and a gift. Anyway, I think you are an amazing person and I wanted to make certain that you are aware of how your videos help people to understand the misunderstood. May God bless you for your time here on earth and beyond!


My son is a second child. He gave us some trouble growing up, like failed all his classes at once in 8th grade and 10th grade, stole money once to buy an airgun, was addicted to gaming and pornography. We worked very hard to keep him on the right track, using anything we could think of.

We thought he is over that as he started college. We had two uneventful years, except in second year he  placed swastika on someone's door and got on probation. He started getting really good grades, got to a professional athlete level in Karate and trained with the national team, with his father as his coach.

However, he fell in love for the first time last fall with the sister of his best friend, and wanted more freedom than we were willing to give due to his past misbehaviors, like going out all the time, staying out all night, etc. To fight us, with her support and guidance, he started creating the narrative of a victim, the imprisoned man with overbearing insufferable parents. When we saw him slipping in grades and behavior, we tried to redirect him, to argue, to reason, to isolate. Nothing worked.

He run away on 2/6/2018 taking many valuable items with him. His girlfriend took him to her church where he claimed we would kill him if he is not hidden or protected. He invented a story where he was an abused, starved child whose parents stole his identity and opened credit accounts in his name, including mortgage accounts. He accused us of abusing our minor children as well. He spread his victim story to anyone who would listen, including police and banks where he had his accounts. We were devastated.

He refused any contact with any member of the family or our friends, except his older sister until she refused to listen to his victim story calling him on his lies. Then he cut her off too. He found a graveyard shift job but quit within weeks. He sold all the items he took from home and blasted all of his money on hydroponic gardening toys. The church and his friends are paying for his bills and he has taken no financial responsibility for himself.

In July, after a lot of emotional messages sent to him from his mother, he agreed to talk to his sister and us, but only if we pay his bills. We agreed that we would, as long as he would communicate to us. He agreed to visit his sister. However, this lasted for only a week or two. Very quickly, his messages to us turned hateful, containing the same accusations that he spread to others. He lied, bullied, exaggerated and exonerated himself. He refused counseling of any sort. After a month of that, we gave up and stopped paying the bills. He stopped communicating to anyone again.

That is where we are now. I recognize that I should have been using your strategies much much earlier. Is all hope lost for this child now?


Hi.  SO my 14 year old daughter has anxiety, low self esteem and now her therapist thinks she has ODD.  I've only met with her once on this so I know there is a ton to learn. I'm reading just about everything I can but have a question about homework, specifically. I do not want to post this on the FB page because of who can see it.

How do you help them with their attitude/effort towards school and homework?  As in, they think everything is stupid, they really don't read/work/study but just do what it takes to finish the homework without actually LEARNING.  Does that make sense? Like she refuses to actually READ the material and just skims it looking for main words to help answer questions over the material.

Although her grades are As and Bs it's not a pretty sight and as a whole, I feel like she's getting dumber each school year. Like although she's doing the works she's not being reached.

Thank you so much for reading this email.  I'm sure you get tons of questions so I absolutely understand if you can't respond.


Hi Mark -
My name is Lynette Papp and I subscribed to your "My Asperger's Child," this year. I  found it extremely helpful particularly for my step-grandson who struggles with Asperger's.

I just wanted to let you know that Balboa Press (Australian Division of Hay House) has published my first book entitled "Being with Asperger's."  I have made reference to you and your website in a couple of places and I thought you might be interested in checking the book out. 

My long-term partner Walter, who died four years ago, had Asperger's syndrome and struggled to find a balance for many years until he discovered what the problem was.  The book began its incarnation three years ago and gradually came to fruition in early August this year.

The book is written in the form of a posthumous conversation interacting with cartoons, doodles and writing found in a diary which my partner called "Walter's Secret Diary." It was discovered amongst his papers in a wooden box in our attic.  Walter's cartoons are quirky and quite brilliant and some of the anecdotes are both humorous and sad.  The memoir represents a glimpse into Walter's Asperger's mind.  It also provides insights into how life was for me as his partner of thirty-four years and ways that we dealt with Walter's issues.

I hope you might read it.  At present, I am awaiting my author's bulk order but the book is already available both in paperback, kindle and e-Book on many websites including Amazon, Google and Balboa.


I'm interested in purchasing your ebook, however, I do know that more than likely it will be only me that would read it.  My partner, although he is aware he's on the spectrum, probably will not.  My question would be, would this book be of any benefit just to me as the NT partner?

I realize each person on the spectrum is different and I'm more than sure that whatever someone has experienced in childhood or in early years, helps form how they are now. My partner is in his early 50's and had a rough childhood.  There are many times he's fine, but he is prone to meltdowns along with unreasonable outbursts that I'm never prepared for.  He always says he ponders things a long time before acting. 

The 90% that he's enjoyable to be around is worth my staying, but the other 10% I have huge difficulty living with.  I've been trying to read all that I possibly can on the subject, for it helps my sanity. 


Hi Mark,

My name is Heidi and I'm the parent of Carson. An 11 year old with Asperger's. To give you some background, Carson has had several learning development issues. He was diagnosed with severe dyslexia, dysgraphia, fine motor skill delay of 4-5 years, gross motor delays of 4-5 years, and ADD. He has never been a child with any sort of ticks or obsessive compulsions (although recently he has started mouthing inaudible words after he finishes what he is saying. He has started doing this when he is upset). Rather he is very quiet and generally my child who was the happiest and never acted out (until recently). He was born 5 1/2 weeks premature but never spent a night in the NICU.

We did not realize Carson was on the autism spectrum until quite recently although last year the developmental MD he sees mentioned she suspected Asperger's. I've always known Carson was really smart, but saw an issue in the start of K5 (Carson was 6) when I was trying to play a game using letter sounds with he and his younger brother. When I brought it to the school's attention is when we were instructed to seek a specialist to diagnose Carson. That is when we learned of all of the issues with the learning delays, etc. We immediately sought therapy for all of the above. And, literally we were seeing a therapist every day for different conditions. At the beginning of first grade, his teacher stated that she couldn't teach Carson and that he should be in special ed.

This was at a very expensive private school. And, knowing how bright Carson was. I immediately withdrew both of my children. I started Oliver (Carson's younger brother) at a different private school who had an Orton Gillingham reading program (he was in K5), and I home schooled Carson during first grade and taught him to read, etc. I also had him see one on one a dyslexia therapist every day for an hour. We continued with fine/gross motor school therapy and ended up getting on prescriptions for ADD. The next year Carson could read considerably better than most of his peers. He has always been excellent in Math so that was not an issue.

I needed to get back to full time work (my husband and I own a small company). The new private school wanted Carson to repeat first grade. They were concerned with all of the other issues that he would feel more successful in first than second where the peer group was much more mature than they felt Carson was. We agreed knowing that it would later be difficult for Carson since that would be put he and Oliver in the same grade (not the same class). But, both boys would be in 1st grade. It was then that Shawn and I started noticing issues with social skills. He never had an interest as a young child to do what the other kids where doing. He played with other children as we had lots of play dates sometimes 2-3 times a week (at the time I was not working). But, he was always very passive and typically this with the same group of kids (mostly girls which he definitely prefers).

Since 1st grade, Carson is now in 4th. Carson has yet to develop a friend. He plays with other kids when they come over for Oliver, but he would rather be playing Fort Nite. Not realizing Carson had Asperger's or even what that was we've tended to be very hard on Carson for not wanting to socialize with other kids. This summer and past few months has been really bad for that. I do not let my kids have electronics during the week. We reserve it for only the weekend. But, if allowed Carson would play Fort Nite from the time he wakes up till the time he goes to sleep (I obviously don't allow this). But, lately getting him to do anything else is cause for a screaming match (way out of character for him).

He lies or exaggerates any interactions with other kids his age. For instance, at a recent luncheon with other kids in his class where they had board games. Oliver and a group of 2 other boys went into a corner to play a board game. Carson came back to my table where I was sitting with adults and asked for me to play Yahtzee with him. I explained that he needed to go into the corner and play with Oliver as they needed a fourth player. With tears in his eyes, he said no they are being mean to me. They don't want me over there. They hate me. Angry, I said Carson you haven't even tried. Go over there and try to play what they are playing. He walked over and stayed maybe 2 minutes came back and said that Oliver called him stupid. Again, starting to cry he refused to go back over. I played Yahtzee with him and later, spoke with Oliver. He honestly didn't know what Carson was even talking about.

Basically, I think he has given up on any friends at school. He will speak with boys about Fort Nite and they'll call for a couple of days over the weekend to play Fort Nite. But, for the most part, he's never had a real friend.

This school year has become especially stressful. Just getting him to do his homework is now a struggle (he's a straight A student). He just wants to watch TV from the moment he walks in the door. I've really tried to be hesitant about taking away Fort Nite during the couple of hours over the weekend since I realize it's the only thing he seems to enjoy. But, if this was Oliver screaming at me about homework the loss of Fort Nite would have been an immediate consequence. Of course, Oliver loves other things like fishing, bike riding, swimming, etc. Losing Fort Nite is not something he's thrilled about, but it's certainly not the end of the world. With Carson, it is.

During the week, the boys generally go to either karate or swim (this has been our schedule since Carson was 4). We mix in other activities that the boys "want" to do. For instance, Oliver also plays soccer and football. Carson wanted to play tag football so we signed him up. Every practice, every game is a constant battle. He doesn't want to run. He doesn't want to play. Basically, he sulks the entire game. It hasn't helped that they put Oliver on the same team as Carson this year. Carson definitely has set himself for failure when he tries to compare himself to Oliver.

Oliver his younger brother is pretty much better than Carson at everything! Swimming, soccer, making friends, and even school work. But, Carson has always been the "good" child. Never screaming, always coming home and doing his school work. Getting dressed in the morning, etc. I could always count on very little push back from Carson. He knew our routine and definitely thrived on it. He absolutely hates to do be punished or have me upset in any way. Oliver my other son who is always punished for one reason or the next because he's yelled/screamed at one of us or, maybe he pushed his baby sister (Pippa is 3). But lately or since school started back for us, Carson has been coming home from school extremely sad/depressed or angry. He explodes screaming at me with the just the slightest questions like 'hey please don't turn on the tv until you've completed your homework'.

Yesterday, it was. Get dressed we've got to get ready for your football game. He didn't yell about the football game, but rather he cried. Dad is going to scream at me because I"m not going to do anything good. This is not true at all. His Dad has a very passive personality and does yell at him (but, not for football). When he got home, I said well how did you do. And, he said I don't know just ask Dad he knows. Shawn later told me he didn't put ANY effort in the game at all. He walked down the field while the other kids ran.

Last night, he asked me if he could be home schooled again.  I asked specifically if he felt left out at school? Are any kids being mean? Do you like your teacher (he said yes to this one)? Is it stressful for you being in a large group when you've been in a small group last year? Do you find the school work overwhelming? Is it stressful having a new teacher when last year you already knew Ms. Tori? The answer to all of those questions were just no or some variation. He sees a therapist at his school, but I think it's only a few minutes per week. This was her comments to me when I emailed her last night:

"I have been seeing Carson each week. I did not see him Monday because I believe he was tardy.  (I called for him, and he wasn't here yet.).  I have not seen a change with Carson as far as his interactions with me and his affect.  However, as we have talked before it is really a challenge to get Carson to express his thoughts and feelings.  He often responds with one word answers, and says what he thinks I want to hear or what he thinks he should say.  He has a lot of trouble considering other people's feelings or perspectives.  We continue to work on this, but it is definitely a struggle. Because he has a hard time expressing himself, you may be getting the "explosion" when he gets home.  Sometimes kids hold it together and regulate themselves all day, but then once they get home they lose it.  When he said he wanted to be homeschooled, could he tell you why?  I might revisit this, and see if he can give you any explanation."

My understanding is that there are no real resources for kids like Carson in Jackson, Mississippi as far as social groups, etc. Most of them focus on kids who have extreme behavior issues like head banging or slamming things, etc. Most people don't have a clue that Carson is Asperger's and think I'm actually making this up. He is really high functioning.

I need help! I've called his developmental MD to see if she has a counseling recommendation, but right now, Shawn and I are at a loss on how to help Carson succeed. My worst fear is that he becomes seriously depressed. Carson was the happiest child in the world. Always in his own world, but really really happy. If I need to take him out of school then we will. We are willing to do anything to help Carson. I just don't know how.


I’ve been hearing your audios in the web and I wonder if you can give some advise on my particular situation. I’m currently in a relationship with a woman that I believe is facing AS, that deduction arises from her behavior (Lack of emotions; obsessions with her work, order of things and cleaning; routines; sensory issues, extremely self interest; very extreme difficulties to express her emotions). In addition her son who is 24 years old and living in same house, was AS or autism diagnosed.

After my believing that she is as well in the spectrum, I already invite her to consult a specialist, however her reaction was to deny a possible consultation by saying that she already went to one specialist many years ago and any mind disorder or disfunction was diagnosed, nevertheless observing her daily behavior she seems to meet the particular conditions of AS.

I kindly request your advise on how to proceed with her and lead her to be aware that she is probably facing the appearing of AS common issues, so I might convince her to see a specialist.


After having separated from my husband after 30 yrs, including 4 years of his newly found sobriety , my daughter whom is an educator hinted that I should read up and research this topic. A year ago, I informed my husband to discuss this with his " anger management" therapist who by the way believes my husband is on the spectrum, but has told my husband he will not let him use the disorder as an excuse, which will him help. I am committed to using your information to help open dialouge with my husband so that we can salvage some relationship for the sake of our daughters 28 & 23 years old. I have also been helping my older daughter deal with her emotions and have always challenged my daughters to find respectable outlets for any anger issues.

From one who is also in the field of education and social service and in co dependent recoveryI applaud you for writing so well.


Hello Mr Hutten,
A counselor recommended your my-out-of-control-teen to me and I have found this very helpful.
I hope you would be able to help me on the below issues.

Short history
I have a 14 year old daughter [adopted from a traumatized country at 4yrs 10 months].
Extremely hyperactive and excitable since childhood. But also compassionate towards her orphanage kids; sick people, the homeless and helps out at our local gospel mission and animal shelter with good commendations. Has been subject to physical and verbal bullying in Grades 2,3 and 7 needing school changes.

About 2 years back there was a chain of events including changes in grandma's health; change in neighbors from a christian family to a 'live life full' family, and severe problems at a friends older sister.
My daughter responded with anger; distress; suicidal ideation [at being made to stay away from troubled home] followed by acting out in school in Grade 8 [i was told depressed teens act out].
She did make good friends at her new Grade 8 school, active in sports [Volleyball and then Track], music, math honors, volunteering and goes to a church youth group.
In the latter half of Grade 8- she was diagnosed with ADHD [with lack of impulse control] by her pediatrician and did well on Concerta. Behaviour settled.

I am a physician and have spoken to her both from a spiritual standpoint; from responsibility to less fortunate kids and from the scientific standpoint on the negative effects of Etoh/ cannabis [which is going to be legalized soon in our province]/ vaping/drugs/ early immature sexual activity.

After Grade 9- there is an automatic change to high school [Grade 10-12].
At this summer time her pediatrician requested a holding off on Concerta -  to give her a break and see how she does. The plan was to restart in the new school year.
While she did well in sports and volunteering over summer- towards the last weeks, it came to my attention that she was indulging in unwanted teen behaviour.
because of this- she lost several privileges [both at sports] and at home- cell phone and vacation travel. [cell phone will be earned back early October if good behaviour continues]

I do hope that she realizes the consequences.
She continues with some of her old good friends, Track, music, youth club at church and attends school [started Sept 4th] regularly and gets ready in time.
I do have wifi-control at home now beyond 9:30 pm or 11 pm [depending on day]

I do feel that once she gets her cell phone back [we will discuss guidelines before this] that she will start stretching her hang-outs and activities.

My Concerns and questions
How do I have her stay away from negative peer groups [she seeks endless friendships with all types]and negative social media stuff?
How do I prevent further suicidal approaches by her?
How do I respond if at further events should she be suicidal?
How can I get her to take her Vitamins and Concerta [she has stopped these since having her cell phone taken away.]
How can I help her get her school grades up again ?
[she has always been an A to C student; upgraded to A and B mostly- in Grade 9] [ now did well in short math quizzes scoring over 100%- but in full class math honors test - got an F;] [in socials which is her least fave- got good scores in small quizzes but just a Pass in class test]


Hi Mark,

I am guilty of not trying to know more about Aspergers the stressors, triggers and her emotional being at all those times. It was also so stressful for me as well as overwhelming because I did not know how to manage my daughter or even help her. I had my family members asking me why was she so defiant in certain situations and that I did not discipline my daughter accordingly. Coming from an overbearing Asian family that is very free with so-called advice is tough.  Being a first-time mom who was trying to do right, many times I had failed my daughter by not wanting to find out more about her diagnosis.

Only last year when she was bullied and I noticed stark changes in my daughter's behavior that I realized that this was something bigger what I had previously understood. Thus, I was really blessed when I came across an experienced clinical psychologist that had experience with Aspie girls back in the USA. I owe her my sanity and my daughter's path to managing her anxiety and all her challenges. I have attached my daughter's Mind Map, an exercise that was done by Dr. Julia Goolsby, her therapist.  This was done by Asie in her first class. Truth be told it was very depressing to me to think my daughter thought of herself. I also recognize some of the words used was words that her grandma has used on her. Since Dr. Julia managed to teach Asie breathing exercises to calm herself down as well as many other concepts like empathy, the concept of taking turns, sharing, how to play in a group, personal space and types of different touch by other people. I am hoping that this current therapist will be able to teach her about puberty and more about her body and eventually the reproductive system, sex and how to protect herself. Malaysian schools do not do this properly. 

Asie totally loved the Disney movie Inside Out. In that cartoon movie, the concept of trying and attempting at least once was something that was discussed in the show and because she loved this movie. I use the concept in the movie, her love of Pokemon and now she is fixating on a particular type of Japanese dog breed (Shiba Inu). She has let me know that she wants to learn Japanese and want to visit Japan soon. She knows that the creator of Pokemon has Aspergers as well and she sort of connects with this. She refuses to wear dresses unless she really has to for some traditional and cultural occasions even then she tries as much as possible to try and get away from doing so. She does not want to be known as a girly girl. Goes for a class where she is thought woodwork and engineering and is the only girl in the class, opted for Drum lessons instead of Piano, hates pink but loves art and clay work and is pretty good and artistic as well. I am going to try and follow the steps that you have suggested and let you know how it goes.

Until my next issue, which definitely will be how I tell her about her father and when.  My story is rather complicated.


Please pardon me for taking the audacity to write to you.  I'm a 64-year-old female who suddenly had an epiphany after my employer noticed my lack of social skill after repeated complaints from others at my workplace.  Previous to this, I remember receiving a report from 23andme about 4-5 years ago showing a graph of autism spectrum disorder, and my autism category was located on the far left corner of the graph under Aspergers.  At the time I didn't know what aspergers was and thought I was just slightly autistic.  I've contacted 23andme to send me again the graph, but now it looks like they've purged their files due to some restrictions from the government.  Is there someone you know here in the Bay Area who might be able to help me whether I'm autistic, or is the genetic report sufficient for me to accept that I am an aspie? Thank you so much for your help.  I've read your articles and find them very helpful in giving me insight into myself.


Dear M.A. Mark Hutten,

I am an Aspie. I realize that coexisting with me can be a real challenge (I already went through a divorce) and now, as I am in a new relationship, the complaints regarding my behavior are being repeated. I signed up for the social skills training but I am afraid that it does not concern some key issues that make our relationship hard for my partner. Can you tell me if your book could help me in this situation, or is it only a solution for my partner? Is there some other source that you could recommend for me?

Daily interactions with people really exhaust me. Additionally dealing with the same complains that I cannot even fully understand is very hard. I would be grateful for any help.


We have a 26 year old son who, although living in a self contained suite above our garage and paying rent, is not finding his way to employment and self sufficency.

He was raised as a NT and only was DX 2 years ago.   He moved out when he was 20 and went through hell (and told us NOTHING)  After the second home invasion where he got beat up, we brought him home.

We have worked hard to help him feel safe, get out of defense mode and calm down.  That  has been somewhat successful.

However he has had some bad service providers who have not taken the time to know him and headed him down dead end paths as far as employment is concerned.  So he is still trying to work with a (new) service provider to find employment.

He plays video game and smokes pot to cope with the anxiety and boredom.

Dad and I are retired , we have some financial resources but not alot. 

Dad started a garden this year just to get him out of the house and into doing something, which is having some positive effect, when there isn't tension or a blow up between him and his dad.  Dad also is ASD.

Son is so frustrated with the 'system' that promises to help and doesn't.   He has behaviors that affect his sociability (loud, opinionated)  We are working on getting him to be easier to be around.   He is coming along very slowly.

He also has ADHD, developmental delayed and a possible hypoxia brain injury from birth.

He is capable of working and wants to work but the world is not a friendly or even safe place for him.


Hi Mark,

I just read your article "Parents with Aspergers Syndrome" on the Neurotypical site, and wanted to say thank you for writing that.

I completed a Bachelor of Psychology (2014), and have since studied a few counselling subjects, as well as Mindfulness and Hypnosis.

Part of my journey has been to try and find out what is wrong with me. I'm 58 years and have had a lifetime of low self-esteem, and am very sensitive to rejection. 

In the past month my research has taken me to Aspergers and how it is a condition that has been missed in women. After reading about it I am certain this is what my mother suffered from, and gives me an explanation for why I never felt loved by her. Also, why her comments at times were incredibly hurtful, and how she could be totally oblivious to the hurt I felt. If I could describe my childhood it would be where I had to walk on eggshells to avoid creating a anger outburst from her, where my feelings were never considered, and where I was not encouraged in anyway by my mother. She was in the era of the state at home mother, so some of that lack of encourage was cultural I would think. My adult life with her has mainly been one where she has abused me, but mostly she has chosen not to speak to me or other members of her family. She is 80 now, and I have considered getting back in touch with her to check that she has what she needs. Having a better understanding of what her condition is tells me that should I get in touch with her not expect any warmth.

I am a mother myself of a beautiful 15 year old girl. Having had a mother like mine presents me with parenting challenges, in that I did not have the modelling. I try my best. Hopefully, my daughter will feel the love that I didn't, and will know she is valuable.

In the meantime, I am still trying to find ways to increase my self-esteem, and wonder if having not received that attunement growing up whether it is possible. 


My 14 year old son has been put in the middle of a custody battle that his 
father has started. He and his father have more in common so he tends to 
gravitate more towards him. However, he has begun to be defiant, rude, 
argumentative, belligerent, etc. towards me.  If he does not get what he 
wants he starts to argue with me and winds up embellishing/exaggerating the 
facts. Unfortunately, his father has told my son that I am a liar and has 
put him in the position of making a choice, which I believe is destructive 
(we have joint custody and have had that arrangement for 5 years). My son 
sees a therapist weekly and I meet with him as well.  My son's behavior is 
getting worse and I don't know how to deal with it.  Everything you 
mentioned above (walking on eggshells, etc.) I have experienced.  The sweet 
loving little boy that I raised has become someone else (cold, distant, 
nasty, hurtful), and I am heartbroken.  I don't know how much is Aspergers 
and how much is him being a typical teenager.


thank you mark.  I was actually on page 33 of 69 of your ebook when this email came through. I am reading it all first and then plan to go back and start the process from the beginning.   You are correct (in your video in session #1) , I am at the helpless hopeless stage.  We have a 16 yr old son with Aspergers' and he is doing his schooling online with the Centre for Distance Learning ( here in Newfoundland, Canada.  In fact,  I am a math teacher with CDLI. My son has no motivation to do anything and the start to this school year has been very difficult.  My son is totally isolated from any peers and its so painful to witness.  We have a psychiatrist  for my son who has said she can do nothing for us.  My wife and I are at odds now and and  things in general are not well.  I am hoping this will give us a framework.  But we are at the end of our rope.  But we intend to invest in your approach.


I’m looking to see if you have a quick tip guide to help me right the track of my relationship, that seems to be finding its way to a breakup, while I read the book. The love for one another in this relationship is extremely strong however it’s the day to day challenges that separate us the most.

I want this relationship to work, I know deep down she does too. She recently gave me a book called Understand Asperger’s- I’ll be reading it as well.

Back story:
My gf, Kayla, has Asperger’s, we moved in with each other around 1 1/2 month ago and as of right now we have many symptoms of what you spoke of in the tutorial. We went to the same high school growing up, she took me to my senior prom, to be honest it was a magical night. In all reality, our relationship didn’t blossom there as I was a senior and graduating. I didn’t pursue the relationship due to an agreement I had with my parents regarding No GF, we’ll buy you a car. Away from that we started talking early 2018 again, something fierce was building. In July, we saw one another for the first time in 15 years, It was love at first sight for me and I could almost say it was for her as well, but I’m not going to put those words in her mouth. We started dating and the universe seemed to align everything for me to relocate and be with Kayla. August 31st 2018, I moved in with Kayla. My whole life came with me, my dogs and several items from my previous house. I was so excited and happy that I really never paid attention to the impact that all these changes had on Kayla and have impacted our relationship. As of this moment, we struggle with the day to day communication and personal space that Kayla needs. We also might have a surprise pregnancy that has added to the struggles of our day. It pains me to know that she doesn’t want to have this child, if in fact we are pregnant, with me due to the short comings of not understanding Asperger’s or Kayla to a full extent. It’s easy to say we rushed into this relationship, we were engaged after a beautiful drunken night of guitar hero and my beautiful gf. As of right now, our struggles have pushed Kayla to request that I move to my own place, I can’t confirm if our relationship will continue or not. I want to fix and work on being a better partner for Kayla, hoping that I do not have to move out and that we can make progress, grow, and have a healthy relationship. I would love to be a father, and at one point in our relationship we wanted to have 2 boys.

I’m sorry for the bunny trail story, I’m tearfully writing this because this is me wanting to save the relationship that God and the Universe put on our plate, it’s so fierce and has so much love, it’s absolutely beautiful.

Kayla is tagged on this email as well, I’d love for her to see and understand how important she is to me and how much I’m willing to work at understanding her.


Hi Mark,

I'm seeking some help, possibly parent management training and therapy for my son and I.  Here's the situation: my 9-year old son was diagnosed several years ago as having Asperger's Syndrome/being high functioning on the mild side of Autism Spectrum disorders (ASD), with ADHD (hyperactivity and inattention) and ODD as co-morbidities.

Developmentally, he hit all of his early year milestones early or on schedule (crawling, walking, talking, learning to read, etc.). He's also been tested as having a higher IQ (around 125 - 136 on the standard Wexler scale), and doesn't appear to have learning disabilities. He can be extremely sensitive to sound (sensory issues), at times, he gets migraines, and has some fine motor coordination issues (especially around writing, and he has not yet learned to tie shoe laces).

He has had a lot of difficulty with organization, breaking down steps to complete a task (executive function), appropriate behavior and understanding social context, social cues and others' social intentions.

He sometimes has had difficulty with asking for basic needs as well, such as asking for a drink of water when he's thirsty, or following basic rules such as remembering to raise his hand and ask for permission to leave the classroom to use the restroom at school. As well as some hygiene issues, especially related to toileting.

Rarely, my child has also had difficulties with his vision, such as temporary, random changes in color vision where greens and yellows suddenly appear brown and vice versa, but only for a short period of time.

He also sometimes has issues with short term memory loss, when for example, he has an aggressive rage outburst (that currently people think are ASD melt-downs/tantrums), where he doesn't remember any of the incident afterwards. He has also remembered things that didn't happen according to other people that were there and directly observed the same incidents, including myself and school staff, though this false memory situation has only occurred twice to my knowledge throughout his entire lifetime.

I should also mention that his birth process was long and complicated, so I'm also looking into exploring the possibility of imaging his brain to ensure there is no brain damage related to birth trauma, or anything else that we may have missed.

Oh and I've also observed him having years of issues with vivid nightmares when he was younger, and sudden intense fear for no apparent reason, which I think may be anxiety? Thus, I'm starting to become concerned that more so than just ASD/ADHD/ODD, these other issues I mentioned above may be related to some other issues, which I understand children with ASD can be prone to.

Please let me know what, if any other information you may require so we could discuss therapeutic options. Please provide me with a list of pricing for online parent management training, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy for my son, and any other options you may provide that you think would be helpful as well.


Hi Mark,

I read your "Parents with Asperger's, The Asperger's compressive handbook" and appreciate your insight and concern for child welfare with a HFA parent.

I am in a horrible situation with my ex and we have a 2 year old child. I was able to get out of our abusive relationship(have protection order) and recieved custody of our child, yet he has visitation. We have attorneys involved and my ex is court ordered to do 1 year Domestic Violence program and we just recieved his mental evualation stating he has HFA level 1, anxiety disorder, and ADD. The evaluator stated his diagonosis should not effect his ability to parent and should not effect his visitation. I know and have experienced the effects of his HFA, abuse, rage, and manupliation and need help advocating for my child in court and wonder if you can help or know anyone who can?

All of the points you touched on in your handbook are concerns I have and I fear for my childs safety not only physical, but emotional and mental. Do you have any material, studies, research, or a letter that I could present to the court to educate them about the reality of the developmental effects an HFA parent has on a 2 year old.

Thanks for your time! I do not know where to turn, locally there seems to be little understanding, resources, and support for court relating to HFA parent/Child relationship.


Hello Mark

I have a question about my 9 year old with Aspergers.
His school told me that since the beginning of the school year in September he runs off the playground when really upset and tries to run into the school or off of school property.  It is hard for him to go out for recess anyways because playing with other kids is really hard and he’d rather be by himself.  Teachers and his aide try to help him play with kids outside- sometimes this a successful but other times not especially when the teacher or an aide is not available.  I know he wants friends and has a couple ok relationships but often at recess they are engaging in activities he doesn’t want to do.  Like sports for instance.
He attends a progressive, private school so there are no consequences in place so to speak of for this behavior.  The school is turning to me for answers as this behavior is a safety risk.


Good morning, I am considering purchasing your program because both my husband and I are at our wits’ ends of how to handle our 13 year old.  We are in the “depression” stage.  Last year our son won the respect reward at school and made straight A’s.  This year, he had a fall out with a girl, sunk into a deep depression, and had to be committed to the hospital for a week for suicide ideology.  Since then (and showing signs before the fall out with the girl) he has been rebellious, reckless, defiant, apathetic about school, and mean.  We are afraid to set too many boundaries or push him because we know that a lot of this stems from depression and anxiety and we fear for his life.  Yet now he walks all over us! Would your tactics help an out of control teen with the suicidal thoughts?  Thank you for your consideration.


Hi Mark,
Hope you don't mind me writing to you. I found your myaspergersteen page 
after researching some (lack of empathy) trates that my daughter has been 
showing. She's 13 now and has recently been exhibiting increasingly 
difficult behavior. She has very little empathy for my wife and I and her 
younger sister. At school she has always done really well, been ultra 
independent but has recently started to act very disinterested and just do 
the bare minimum. Her general behavior when out of the house is usually 
good although she can be very socially awkward when with us. During 
arguments or rages she f's and blinds at us and has punched me in the face. 
Even when fairly calm she tells us she doesn't like us and she wants to 
live somewhere else. Yet all her primary school teachers described her as a 
model pupil. She has shown some anxious traits when growing up and had a 
period around the age of 7 or 8 where she'd pull out all her eyebrows and 
some patches of hair on her head. Do you think we are dealing with a 
hormonal teenager or do you think she could be showing some signs of being 
HFA. Thanks for your time.


My son is 13,  5'10, 190 pds and aggressive.  He has impulse control issues, inappropriate touching of me and his sister. I'm afraid I'll hurt him or wind up sending him away because if he doesn't stop and continues to hit,  poke or grab,  I cannot handle him.  He's a gifted,  smart,  kind,  considerate,  compassionate child sometimes,  but with the ADHD,  he's driving me crazy.  I'm trying to get him into ABA therapy e.t.c but it's expensive and I'm exhausted from filling out grants and scholarships to get assistance so he can get the help he needs.  What advice do you have for me?

Dual Diagnosis in Kids on the Autism Spectrum

“Is it common for children with asperger’s or high functioning autism to also have oppositional defiant disorder?”

While it is common for many children and teens on the autism spectrum to exhibit some of the traits of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD), only about 10% of these young people actually have an ODD diagnosis.

ODD often occurs with other behavioral and mental health conditions (e.g., Autism and ADHD). In fact, it has been estimated that over 50% of the kids suffering from ODD are also suffers of some other disorder. There are plenty of other conditions that are more common in kids suffering from ODD with the majority of these centering around pronounced learning difficulties.

ODD is often diagnosed when the youngster with Asperger's (AS) or High-Functioning Autism (HFA) is in his or her teenage years. The symptoms, which vary in severity, include being irritated and annoyed by authority figures, which in turn leads to them becoming uncooperative and generally defiant.

Experts suggest that ODD affects around 10% of kids on the autism spectrum. ODD will be diagnosed by a specialist when the youngster has displayed a persistent pattern of disobedience towards authority figures (i.e., parents, teachers, etc.).
==> How To Prevent Meltdowns and Tantrums In Children With High-Functioning Autism and Asperger's

Diagnosing conditions like ODD is actually quite difficult. However, you can use the list of symptoms below as a starting point. The ODD child:
  • speaks to others in a hateful manner
  • refuses to do anything when asked
  • is argumentative with adults
  • displays touchy, or irritable tendencies
  • displays persistent and prolonged tantrums
  • displays of defiance
  • deliberately tries to upset his or her peers
  • blames others for his or her own mistakes
  • appears to often be angry or irritable

Just because a youngster with AS or HFA is acting up doesn’t necessarily mean that he or she has ODD. It’s perfectly normal for all young people – including those on the spectrum – to test the boundaries, especially at the ages of 2 to 3, and during the teenage years. This is normally nothing to worry about as most of these children will grow out of it eventually.

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

There are a number of things that parents can do to successfully parent a youngster diagnosed with both AS or HFA - and ODD. Here are just a few tips:

1. You have to show that you are in control. Although kids with ODD have a lack of respect for authority figures, you must retain control. Create a "rules contract" to help with this. Write down your expectations on paper. This works because it is a more “formal system,” which the youngster may respond to since it is similar to the way he or she is managed at school. This contract will also help these young people realize that they are responsible for what they do. They need to learn that there are consequences for their actions. Once ODD is diagnosed, at least you know the reason behind the defiant behavior. You can also look into treatment options and therapy with your doctor’s advice.

2. If you are particularly concerned about your youngster, then you might want to take him or her to see
your family doctor. If the doctor is concerned that your youngster is presenting significant symptoms of ODD, then he will refer you to a psychiatrist who is familiar with young people that have such behavioral problems.

3. Too many moms and dads do not have the necessary tools to deal with ODD. They will normally react (rather than respond) when their youngster starts showing defiance by (a) giving in, (b) threatening, (c) yelling, or (d) negotiating. This isn’t the ideal thing to do, because you are showing your son or daughter that he or she can get what they want by behaving in an unacceptable manner.

4. Always deal with your youngster in a calm manner – no matter how frustrated you may be at the time.

5. Introduce rules, rewards and consequences to create wanted behaviors and reduce unwanted ones. A strongly defined structured environment will go a long way in preventing defiant behavior, or managing it if it should appear.
==> Parenting System that Significantly Reduces Defiant Behavior in Teens with Aspergers and High-Functioning Autism

6. When the youngster does something right, praise that behavior and reinforce what he or she has done. Whenever your youngster does something for you, be sure to let him or her know that you are grateful.

7. You no doubt know that kids on the spectrum need structure. The problem is that it can be difficult to decide on the right type of structure. Regular parenting techniques (e.g., time-outs, grounding) often don’t work with Asperger/ODD kids, because they will often simply use the time to plot some sort of revenge.

8. Carefully pick your battles – you can’t possibly win every one! Make sure that you pick the ones you can win, and then make sure that you DO win them.

9. ONLY talk over problems when your defiant youngster when he or she is calm.

10. NEVER give in to temptation and join in with the shouting. A "shouting match" always puts the ODD child in a one-up position relative to the parent.

11. Don't offer "false rewards" that are just intended to make your youngster feel better. Rewards that are given for the sole purpose of getting the child to calm down and act right will have worse repercussions in the long run – guaranteed!

12. Even though I mentioned “rewards” earlier, understand that rewards for observed positive behavior are the best way to deal with the ODD child.

==> More parenting methods for dealing with oppositional, defiant behavior in kids on the autism spectrum...

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... My 10 year old daughter has both, but as she ages, her temper gets calmer and she hasn't slammed a door in two years!!
* Anonymous said... We switched to gluten free diet. Her fits are almost none!

•    Anonymous said...Sometimes these discussions drive me crazy. especially when very revelvant age appropriate behaviours are blamed on our kids DX. Our kids might not proces all things the same but they can be taught. My 9 boy is mouthing off at present, thinks he is 16 and the boss and is pretty disrespectful. so are most of the 9 yo NT boys at his school. the only difference is that its taking jax and myself a very pain staking process to get to understand what is his business and what isnt and what is called disrespectful. many dx to do with behavioural issues that dont have specific proving (ADHD does) are more for the parent then the child. I dont mind if you have a go at me. lets just look at behaviours according to were a child is at, what they might be able to process or express.
•    Anonymous said...Yes Mine sure has ODD!
•    Anonymous said...Yes My son is ADHD, Aspergers, Mood Disorder NOS, ODD and insomnia. Recently his psychiatrist removed the ODD because he believe's that my son is not "defiant". He believes that my son's "defiance" is triggered by things that bother him because of his Aspergers such as, change in routine, over stimulation and from being so tired from his insomnia.
•    Anonymous said...Yes My son was diagnosed at 4 with ADHD and ODD and at 9 he got the Asperger diagnosis.
•    Anonymous said...Yes The Autism Discussion Page on FB is a wealth of information as well. I love the Parenting Asperger's Children page too.
•    Anonymous said...Yes The more I dealt with all of this with my own daughter, the more I realized all these labels are just that; fancy designations slapped onto observed behaviors. They don't necessarily indicate there's a specific "cure" (such as a medication) for the issue, or even a single "right" way to deal with it. In that sense, I agree that ODD is a "B.S. diagnosis". The opposition and/or the defiance is observable and real ... but those are just normal human responses to what happens around them and to them. Why does ANYONE behave this way? Usually, it's a defense mechanism of some sort.
•    Anonymous said...Yes V.S. Ramachandran and other prominent neuroscientists say that ODD is a b.s. diagnosis: look for the processing and/or anxiety issue underlying the behavior, rather than claiming opposition and defiance constitute a disorder in themselves.
•    Anonymous said...Yes We talk it out also when situations come up Lori. We try to 1) see if the situation really warranted the reaction. 2) What could we do differently the next time the situation arises. 3) What kind of outcome do we expect with our behavior? Do we want a positive reaction or a negative one? I try to get my son to see that everything he does has a consequence, be it positive or negative(That is what our therapist has suggested.) We role play to show the positive and negative solutions of certain behaviors ie anger/rage usually will have a negative reaction with people whereas if we can be calm and deal with the situation without yelling we can have a positive resolution. It is a slow process though.
•    Anonymous said...Yes Yes our Boy has a combo of everything!
•    Anonymous said...Yes YES! I just recently figured out that this is what my 9 year old daughter has, in addition to AS. We are having a lot of issues with her rage, and violence. ANY suggestions?? I would LOVE to hear. She is so smart, it makes it difficult to discipline her. Nothing seems to matter to her.
•    Anonymous said...Yes Yes. ASD in general has many other things that occur - ODD, ADD, ADHD, OCD, etc. It's different for every child. My 13 yr old is a rager as well Monica. He has gotten better as he matures but still struggles with things that us NTs could care less about. What I have read and heard from other Psychologists is that Their brains are so emotionally centered (especially in the heat of the moment) that their rational side doesn't work until after the meltdown/rage. They can train their brain to work more rationally but it takes work. My son is working with his Psychologist using role play to 1) Figure out if the situation is Fight or Flight (worth the energy to fight with words/fists or not) 2) Figure out the consequences of the first decision. 3) Act - which sometimes means going back to #1. NTs do this figuring unconsciously, ASD brains do not. At home, we talk through situations as they come up with the same 1, 2, 3 idea as he is getting agitated. The more you help guide them to the more accepted response, the better they will behave when not around you (School, etc). The most important thing I think is to make sure they understand that their emotions are valid, even if you personally don't agree with their feelings at the time. They need to feel understood, appreciated, and SAFE. Listen to their reasoning and then guide them to the more acceptable response.
•    Anonymous said...Yes, I have 2 with Aspies and ODD

Post your comment below…

Rage-Control for Children on the Autism Spectrum

"Any tips for dealing with a high functioning autistic child who flips into a rage at the most inopportune times for no apparent reason whatsoever? This erratic behavior occurs at school as well."

Advice for Parents—

All of us exhibit some "signs" just as we begin to act-out our anger in the form of rage. Thus, it is possible to identify the rage signs in a child with ASD level 1, High-Functioning Autism (HFA). For example, you may detect a certain look in the eye, the tone of voice, or the tightness in the body. Parents need to help their youngster observe these signs right at the onset of rage. Once the child can identify the early signs, he or she can also learn to diffuse it by such methods as walking away or taking deep, vigorous breaths.

Teach your child to respond to your "signal" (e.g., your hand motion) to stay calm. Give that signal as soon as he or she starts "stewing" about something. If your child is too young for such self-control techniques, use distraction as soon as you notice him or her exhibiting a rage sign. A distraction, in order to be effective, has to be of interest to the youngster (e.g., suggest to your youngster, "Let's ride a bike" or, "Let's play a game").

It’s important to teach HFA kids to talk about how they feel. Give them a language to express their feelings. For example, ask them how they feel. If they are too angry to talk or don't have the vocabulary to express their feelings, ask about the feelings relevant to the specific situation. For example, "Do you feel embarrassed?" "Humiliated?" "Let down?" or, "Is your pride hurt?" When your child expresses the feeling behind his or her rage, such as embarrassment or humiliation, suggest some other ways to look at the same event that might not be embarrassing or humiliating.
==> My Aspergers Child: Preventing Meltdowns and Tantrums in Children on the Autism Spectrum

The thought, "It's not fair," is a big rage-arouser for many kids on the autism spectrum. If that is the case, ask them, "Do you feel you are being treated unfairly?" When your child answers the question, listen and don't rush to negate his or her feelings.

If the child refuses to be distracted or engaged in dialoguing about his or her rage and starts yelling, stomping or breaking an object, impose appropriate consequences. It's better to have these consequences in place to serve as a guideline. That means that you have discussed them with your child beforehand and have written them out for future reference. Armed with a list of consequences (which preferably consist of withdrawing privileges or charging the child a "penalty"), moms and dads should encourage their child to choose such alternatives as doing something else, walking away, or talking about the rage rather than acting it out.

How about your own rage in response to your child's rage? You can set an example of “rage control” for your youngster. No teaching technique is as effective as a parent "modeling" for the youngster with his or her own example.

One thing that makes many moms and dads angry is to see their own child challenging their authority and defying them. Sometimes, it may appear so, but that may not be the intention of the child. For example, he or she may be too unhappy to be told “no” because he or she wants it so badly. Of course, you shouldn't give in to the wishes of the child, but try to understand what might really be the intention behind the behavior.

Some HFA kids get upset when they know they made a mistake. Instead of admitting their mistake, they act-out in rage to deflect the attention off them. If you realize that this may be the case, it's helpful to say to your child, "Everyone makes mistakes. I am okay with it. Don't feel so bad about it."

Advice for Teachers—

Kids on the spectrum, who in a rage lash out at others, should be often reminded of such consequences as going to the Principal's office, being detained and losing privileges at home. If the rage outbursts occur in relation to classmates and you didn't observe the whole interaction from the very beginning, it's better to impose a penalty on all parties involved.

Some HFA kids get angry because they don't have appropriate peer-interaction skills. For example, some don't know how to join in a conversation or a game. They abruptly try to get in. When resisted or rejected by peers, they explode. Teaching appropriate social skills can go a long way to avoid such negative encounters. We can establish a culture that reduces rage and teaches tolerance. For example, we can set a personal example for these "special needs" kids that "big people" do apologize and it's graceful to loose and try again.

Rage is believed to have three components (Lewis & Michalson, 1983):

1. The Emotional State of Rage. The first component is the emotion itself, defined as an affective or arousal state, or a feeling experienced when a goal is blocked or needs are frustrated. Fabes and Eisenberg (1992) describe several types of provocations that young Aspergers kids face daily in classroom interactions:
  • Conflict over possessions, which involves someone taking the kid's property or invading their space.
  • Issues of compliance, which often involve asking or insisting that HFA kids do something that they do not want to do--for instance, wash their hands.
  • Physical assault, which involves one child doing something to another child, such as pushing or hitting.
  • Rejection, which involves a youngster being ignored or not allowed to play with peers.
  • Verbal conflict, for example, a tease or a taunt.

2. Expression of Rage. The second component of rage is its expression. Some HFA kids vent or express rage through crying, but do little to try to solve a problem or confront the provocateur. Others actively resist by physically or verbally defending their positions, self-esteem, or possessions in non-aggressive ways. Still others express rage with aggressive revenge by physically or verbally retaliating against the provocateur. Some HFA kids express dislike by telling the offender that he or she cannot play or is not liked. Others express rage through avoidance or attempts to escape from or evade the provocateur. And some use adult seeking, looking for comfort or solutions from a teacher, or telling the teacher about an incident.

Educators can use child guidance strategies to help HFA kids express angry feelings in socially constructive ways. These young people develop ideas about how to express emotions (Michalson & Lewis, 1985; Russel, 1989) primarily through social interaction in their families and later by watching television or movies, playing video games, and reading books (Honig & Wittmer, 1992). Some kids on the spectrum have learned a negative, aggressive approach to expressing anger (Cummings, 1987; Hennessy et al., 1994) and, when confronted with everyday conflicts, resort to using aggression in the classroom (Huesmann, 1988). A major challenge for educators is to encourage AS and HFA kids to acknowledge angry feelings and to help them learn to express them in positive and effective ways before they escalate into rage.

3. An Understanding of Rage. The third component of the rage experience is understanding--interpreting and evaluating--the emotion. Because the ability to regulate the expression of rage is linked to an understanding of the emotion (Zeman & Shipman, 1996), and because the HFA kid's ability to reflect on their rage is somewhat limited, they need guidance from educators and moms and dads in understanding and managing their feelings.
Understanding and managing rage:

The development of basic cognitive processes undergirds HFA kid's gradual development of the understanding of rage (Lewis & Saarni, 1985):

1. Memory. Memory improves substantially during early childhood (Perlmutter, 1986), enabling young HFA kids to better remember aspects of rage-arousing interactions. Children who have developed unhelpful ideas of how to express anger (Miller & Sperry, 1987) may retrieve the early unhelpful strategy even after educators help them gain a more helpful perspective. This finding implies that educators may have to remind some "special needs" kids, sometimes more than once or twice, about the less aggressive ways of expressing anger.

2. Language. Talking about emotions helps young kids on the spectrum understand their feelings  (Brown & Dunn, 1996). The understanding of emotion is predicted by overall language ability (Denham, Zoller, & Couchoud, 1994). Educators can expect individual differences in the ability to identify and label angry feelings, because HFA kid's families model a variety of approaches in talking about emotions.

3. Self-Referential and Self-Regulatory Behaviors. Self-referential behaviors include viewing the self as separate from others and as an active, independent, causal agent. Self-regulation refers to controlling impulses, tolerating frustration, and postponing immediate gratification. Initial self-regulation in young HFA kids provides a base for early childhood educators who can develop strategies to nurture the  emerging ability to regulate the expression of rage.

Guiding the expressions of rage:

Educators can help kids on the autism spectrum deal with rage by guiding their understanding and management of this emotion. The ideas described below can help these young people understand and manage angry feelings in a direct and non-aggressive so they don’t escalate into rage outbursts:

1. Create a Safe Emotional Climate. A healthy environment permits these children to acknowledge all feelings, pleasant and unpleasant, and does not shame rage. Healthy classroom systems have clear, firm, and flexible boundaries.

2. Model Responsible Rage-management. HFA kids have an impaired ability to understand emotion when grown-ups have anger issues themselves (Denham, Zoller, & Couchoud, 1994). Grown-ups who are most effective in helping these young people model responsible rage-management by acknowledging, accepting, and taking responsibility for their own angry feelings and by expressing them in direct and non-aggressive ways.

3. Help HFA kids Develop Self-Regulatory Skills. Educators do a lot of self-regulation "work," realizing that the these students in their classroom have a very limited ability to regulate their own emotions. As these kids get older, grown-ups can gradually transfer control of the self to the children, so that they can develop self-regulatory skills.

4. Encourage them to Label Feelings of Rage. Educators and moms and dads can help young kids on the spectrum to produce a label for their rage by teaching them that they are having a feeling and that they can use a word to describe it. A permanent record (a book or chart) can be made of lists of labels for anger (e.g., mad, irritated, annoyed), and the class can refer to it when discussing angry feelings.

5. Encourage them to Talk About Rage-Arousing Interactions. HFA kids better understand rage and other emotions when grown-ups explain emotions (Denham, Zoller, &Couchoud, 1994). When these kids are embroiled in a rage-arousing interaction, educators can help by listening without judging, evaluating, or ordering them to feel differently.

6. Use Books and Stories about Rage to Help HFA Children to Understand and Manage Rage. Well-presented stories about rage and other emotions validate the kid's feelings and give information about rage (Jalongo, 1986; Marion, 1995). It is important to preview all books about anger, because some stories teach irresponsible “rage-management.”

7. Communicate with other moms and dads. Some of the same strategies employed to talk with moms and dads about other areas of the curriculum can be used to enlist their assistance in helping these kids learn to express emotions. For example, articles about learning to use words to label rage can be included in a newsletter to moms and dads.

Children on the spectrum guided toward responsible rage-management are more likely to understand and manage angry feelings directly and non-aggressively and to avoid the stress often accompanying poor anger-control (Eisenberg et al., 1991). Educators can take some of the bumps out of understanding and managing rage by adopting positive guidance strategies.

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

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

Excessive Sleeplessness in Kids on the Autism Spectrum

"We've been getting complaints from our high functioning autistic daughter's teacher that she doses off during 'study time'. It's becoming a real problem. She seems wide awake and full of energy at home though. What would you suggest?"

According to studies on sleeplessness in children with ASD level 1, or High-Functioning Autism (HFA):

• 50% feel un-refreshed when waking up in the morning
• 50% are disinclined to go to bed
• 75% fall asleep sweating
• 75% have a need for a light or television in the bedroom
• 87% feel sleepy during the day
• 87% have difficulty getting to sleep at night
• 87% have difficulty waking up in the morning

The incidence of sleep difficulties in this population seems to be extremely high. Many parents of kids with HFA complain that this problem is one of the most serious they face. Unfortunately, when these young people are unable to sleep, they do not usually remain quietly in bed. They are often up and out of bed, making noise, interfering with their parents’ sleep and requiring adult supervision.

Identifying the child’s particular issues will help you make a plan to provide a soothing and inviting atmosphere for sleep. Establishing a bedtime routine is essential especially with sleep problems associated with the disorder.

Look into the following suggestions that could help you identify what will work best:

1. Identify foods that should be avoided before bedtime. There are also many foods that you can find in an online search that naturally help with the sleep cycles of your body as well.

2. Identify if noise is a problem. Is there a need for a rhythmic noise like a fan in the background? White noise provides a steady monotone sound that helps filter out distracting noises. Maybe on the flip side there is noise that is a sensory problem that could be removed such as a ticking clock? Ear plugs may also help in this situation.

3. If they are fidgety or need to be physically calmed down often a “weighted blanket” can be used. This is simply a custom made cushion or blanket filled with a heavier filler material like poly-pellets, sand, or even beads. The deep pressure of the blanket helps calm and promote sleep.

4. Is light an issue? Do they need a nightlight? Do they need complete darkness to help settle their brain as there will be no visual stimuli available?
5. Is their brain still on overdrive? Do they have something on their mind that will not allow it to slow down until they resolve it? Often turning off the television, music, electronic devices and other outside stimuli can help them wind down. Reading often is a good replacement as it helps them relax and focus. Often soft flowing music set low can help them relax.

6. Is there something to the touch that is bothering them? Certain fabrics can be texturally sensitive and annoying. Pillows not piled up correctly, or a bed not made correctly can be a distraction. Are they itching all the time and focusing only on that?

7. Medications have been used as well. Melatonin is an over the counter supplement found near most Vitamins in stores. Melatonin is a natural substance that the human body makes to induce sleep. Discuss ANY use of medication for sleeplessness with a doctor!

8. Taking a hot shower or bath can help some kids relax, however may have the opposite effect on others. Often scents like lavender used with a bath helps with relaxation.

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

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


*   Anonymous said... my child falls asleep sweating, needs a light, but doesn't have a problem going to bed or waking up...
*   Anonymous said...  Yeah, that sweating thing is weird--never attributed it to the Aspergers before. Good to know.
•    Anonymous said... Dom was on melatonin and it worked for a good while but he now has real problems either getting to sleep or getting up but not sure how much is down to being a teenager
•    Anonymous said... Dr put Mine on clonidine. Only thing that works for him.
•    Anonymous said... Exactly like my little aspie!!!
•    Anonymous said... I have to ring mine every morning at Uni to help him wake up otherwise he will sleep through until 3-4 pm. He's tried everything but just simply can't make himself go to sleep
•    Anonymous said... I read that tart cherry juice helps with sleep. I have not tried yet
•    Anonymous said... I wish everyone understood this about Aspergers kids. A combination of ADHD and Anxiety can cause restlessness and the sleep patterns aren't consistent.
•    Anonymous said... ive tried every remedy listed and none of it works,melatonin did for a few weeks,,hes now 14 and seems to function quite well on little sleep so im not sure about other medication
•    Anonymous said... Meditation & melatonin work wonders for our little guy. Lack of sleep is awful for Aspies since they have trouble paying attention at school & keeping their emotions in check as it is.
•    Anonymous said... My 14 yr old aspie also has melatonin at night. She falls asleep with her beloved movie running in the background on the portable DVD player with the lid shut. Her problem is staying asleep - any hints to help her stay asleep?
•    Anonymous said... My eight year old reads himself to sleep every night. Part of my nightly routine is to go in and turn off the light, remove his reading glasses and put his book on his nightstand. He's so cute because he holds the book upright and still looks awake unless you look closely.
•    Anonymous said... My son is almost 16. He has been like this for so many years....
•    Anonymous said... My son just turned 5 and has been exactly this way for over a year with the sleep problems, we are currently still dealing with an ADHD combined type with ODD and a mood disorder for a diagnosis for him, however I still don't fee that is accurate, he is on respirdal twice a day for seeing "things or people" and vyvanse in the morning and trazadone at night to help put him to sleep in which it does not do its job, the other two meds work great though, any suggestions? We're also still struggling with potty training and he's already halfway through his 2nd year of school with peers his age
•    Anonymous said... My son to a tee ! Melatonin stopped working a loooong time ago it's horrid for them x
•    Anonymous said... My son took a combination of melatonin and clonadin for several years. Worked sell up until recently. His insomnia is horrible.
•    Anonymous said... My son's healthcare provider recommended GABA in the evening. Taken around dinner time, and following a strict routine (shower, snack, brushing, reading together while he is in bed) has resolved the problem in the evening.
•    Anonymous said... oh my, i thought it was only my son who had this problem
•    Anonymous said... This is my son as well. He takes melatonin, but it doesn't work all that well.
•    Anonymous said... This is our daughter to a tee.
•    Anonymous said... to top it off with the sleep issues, he's been waking up every night between 1 and 3 am and stays up till about 5:30, only 30 minutes before he has to go to school so he's extremely wore out
•    Anonymous said... What's GABA? My son takes melatonin but is now having trouble getting to sleep on it (not as bad though when he doesn't take it). He is starting high school next year too. He goes to sleep with music (eventually!). I have stopped any electronic games including iPod and computer at 7pm or sometimes earlier depending on his day. Does not have soft drink after 6:30pm nor chocolate. I check on him every night at intervals until he goes to sleep just to make sure he is not using anything electronic too.
•    Anonymous said... Ya, I have tried everything on this list except the weighted blanket (I already know he would hate that, he thinks some normal blankets are too heavy), and the Melatonin... The doctor ok'd the use of Melatonin, but I am still wishing I could get his sleep on track without medicine...
•    Anonymous said... yep.. my son... but what can we do to help our children... I've even tried melatonin, but it only works sometimes.

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

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

Click here to read the full article…

How to Prevent Meltdowns in Children on the Spectrum

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

Click here for the full article...

Parenting Defiant Teens on the Spectrum

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

Click here to read the full article…

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

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

Click here to read the full article…

Parenting Children and Teens with High-Functioning Autism

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

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to read the full article...

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

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

Click here for the full article...