Meet a Blogger – Beth McHugh!

Today we are joined by awesome blogger Beth McHugh. Beth, thanks for being here with us today! How long have you blogged for Since the beginning…..December 2005. What topics do you blog about? I blog on Mental Health. I could use some mental health right about now. What is your favorite thing about blogging for I like to bring what is largely a taboo subject out of the closet where it can be discussed in a friendly and comfortable environment. Mental illness affects most people, either directly or indirectly, yet it still remains something that many people do … Continue reading

Coping with an adult with Asperger’s (4)

In the final blog in this present series on Asperger’s Disorder, we look at further behavioral markers as well as treatment options for this condition. Being partnered to an Asperger’s sufferer comes with its own set of marital difficulties. Of primary concern is the lack of intimacy and reciprocation of emotion. This is the most common reason for marriage breakdown associated with this disorder. As discussed previously in Coping with an adult Asperger (1), (2) and (3), this neurological disorder makes it extremely difficult for the sufferer to interact emotionally in an appropriate way with others. In a marriage situation, … Continue reading

Adults with Asperger’s Disorder

In What is Asperger’s Disorder? we looked at an overview of this condition which forms one of the autistic spectrum disorders, a developmental disorder that influences how the brain processes information, particularly in the area of social cues. Much of the available literature on Asperger’s deals with the diagnosis and treatment of children with the disorder. Similar material can often be difficult to find on adult sufferers. This is largely due to the fact that the DSM-IV criteria for the diagnosis of Asperger’s is of relatively recent origin. The disorder was only distinguished as a condition in its own right … Continue reading

Parents of Kids With Autism Want Less Judgement

No one wants to get “that look” from the other parents in the room. It is the look that implies that you are a failure as a parent because your child is misbehaving. Parents of kids who have autism want less judgement, and more understanding. What others see as “acting up” could be nothing more than a coping mechanism, and there isn’t anything wrong with that. The other day, I opened up a bottle of tea, and found writing on the inside of the lid. It was one of those “6-Word Memoirs”. This one said: “I have Aspergers. What’s your … Continue reading

How Do Teens With Asperger’s Syndrome Cope?

Parents of children who have become teenagers quickly discover that they are going to face some new challenges with parenting. In general, most typical teens cope in somewhat predictable ways. Those coping mechanisms may not be in place for teens and young adults who have Asperger’s Syndrome. Asperger’s Syndrome has been described as a high functioning form of autism. People who have it tend to be highly intelligent, (sometimes to the point of being described as a “genius”). They are obviously bright individuals, and this can sometimes make teachers and employers expect them to handle situations that they really might … Continue reading

Asperger’s or not Asperger’s?

We’ve all heard of common mental conditions such as depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. We may also have knowledge of less mainstream disorders such as body dysmorphic disorder, borderline personality disorder and Tourette’s syndrome. Yet there are many other conditions that affect humans that do not fall into such clear- cut categories but which nevertheless are indicative of problems in the sufferer. We discussed one such case in the article on Munchausen’s by Proxy. Many more strange and puzzling afflictions affect the general population and today’s blog describes one of them. It involves the diagnosis of … Continue reading

Where’s “IT” at? Keeping your Child’s Anxiety Out of the Bag and on the Chain.

If you’ve ever had to enter into hand-to-hand combat with the witch under the bed or the bearded baddie at the window, then you already know that children’s anxiety can be disturbingly real to them. Just like adults, children can also suffer from free-floating and generalized anxiety or panic attacks. One in nine children are affected to the extent that it constipates their daily functioning and our nightly sleep. The witch or monster doesn’t just appear every now and then as part of normal chronological or problem solving development, they rarely leave and they will taunt the child at any … Continue reading

What is Asperger’s Disorder?

The first time Elise met her mother-in-law she was struck by the fact that the woman seldom made eye contact with her. Instead she looked slightly over her shoulder into the distance, even when she was talking to her. The first time she hugged her mother-in-law, after receiving a Christmas gift from her, the mother-in-law became perfectly rigid and did not return the hug. Looking around at the rest of the family, Elise noticed that they were all holding their breath. Apparently no-one ever hugged Mom. Elise was at a loss to know what she was dealing with. Over time, … Continue reading

What is Autism?

Cameron is an angelic four-year-old with tumbling black curls and gorgeous blue eyes. Because of his striking looks he attracts more than his fair share of attention from passers-by, but the majority of them come away from an encounter with Cameron with a sense of frustration. He refuses to make eye-contact, shies away from conversation, and seldom responds even to the requests of his mother. His language skills are below par and he appears to lack the usual broad emotional range characteristic of his age. He avoids first-person pronouns in his speech: if asked does he want a cookie, Cameron … Continue reading