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  • Danny Raede

    I was a picky eater until age 25... here's what changed

    By Danny Raede

    At school I ate a peanut butter & jelly sandwich for lunch almost every single day from 1st grade - 10th grade. When I say almost every single day, I mean that I can literally count on both hands the number of days I didn’t eat PB&J. I was one of the pickiest eaters you can imagine. Everything had to be a certain way. EVERYTHING. I had to have a specific brand of bread. I had to have a certain type of jelly. And if you used the same knife to cut my sandwich that touched anything gre
    • 3 comments
    • 521 views
  • Danny Raede

    The 9 Most Important Things To Remember When Raising Someone With Asperger's

    By Danny Raede

    You read a book. Or listen to a doctor or therapist and think "That's a great idea!"... but when it is time to finally IMPLEMENT that advice, you easily forget to actually use your new found wisdom. Sound familiar? It's something I've done time and time again. So as a reminder, here are the top 9 things to remember when raising someone with Asperger's. You might want to print this one out and hang it somewhere to remind you. If you'd like more reminders, inspiration, and hope, you can join
    • 1 comment
    • 2,031 views
  • Danny Raede

    You are an awesome parent. Here's how we know

    By Danny Raede

    Stop berating yourself. Seriously. Stop, right now. You’re an awesome parent. Do you want to know how I know that? I’ll tell you. At this very moment you’re reading an article trying to learn how you can better help your child. Bad parents don’t do that. In fact, bad parents are often the ones that think they they already know everything there is to know about parenting. Having occasional doubts about your child’s capability doesn’t make you a terrible mother or father. It only makes you hu
    • 0 comments
    • 222 views
  • Danny Raede

    This is going to suck

    By Danny Raede

    This is going to suck. A lot. I’m not talking about this article. I’m talking about your journey with Asperger’s. There are times when you are going to be frustrated. There are times when you are going to want to give up. There are going to be times when you just can’t. At all. You have 0 left to give. There are times when you are going to be confused. There are times when you are going to feel like the weight of the world rests squarely on your shoulders. And there are going
    • 0 comments
    • 267 views
  • Danny Raede

    The day I finally believed I could

    By Danny Raede

    It was the Spring of 2013. I was sitting in a chair on day 3 of a 4 day seminar on spreading your message as an expert. At that time, Asperger Experts had really only reached about 100 people or so (mainly my mom’s friends) and I WANTED to do great things in the world, but I really didn’t believe I could. Then that day, I “got it”. Finally I was in a place where people could see I was doing great work, I felt appreciated, and more than that, I had guidance. The speaker on stage was tel
    • 0 comments
    • 181 views
 

Force Doesn't Work Here!

I sometimes feel like dealing with people with Asperger's is like playing Dungeons & Dragons as a Gnome Wizard and then stumbling into a non-magic zone.  "Haha! Your tricks won't work here!"  The "normal" tactics that we reach for as a society tend not to work well with folks on the spectrum. In other words: people with Asperger's tend to not respond well to force. I was on a train last night coming back from Los Angeles and the guy behind me was talking about his experiences

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Give, Not Get

Give, Not Get

This is a paradigm shift that changed my life, so I'd like to share it with you: When we want to change something about a person, place or thing, it is very common in our society to ask "How can I get X to...?" "How can I get my daughter to do her homework?" "How can I get my husband to finally pick up his socks?" "How can I get my computer to stop freezing on me?" Yet when we ask "How can I get?" there are some hidden assumptions there that can be very dangerous and damaging

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

New Years Resolution Revolution

New Years Resolution Revolution

Every year between 2014 and 2019 I told myself that I was going to go the gym. Every year, I was going to get healthy…. I’m going to get healthy, I’m going to get healthy, I’m going to get healthy. But come the first week of January, or any time really, I would be in that gym for 10 minutes max. Sensory overload is the loud noises of weights dropping. The massive amounts of people. Someone engaging me in a conversation that I really don’t care about. It's uncomfortably bypassing a group of ex

Wirtjo Leonard

Wirtjo Leonard

 

That Damn Diagnosis

“James has autism,” I typed the next day. I was sending an email to our family and friends. I couldn’t imagine talking to them all, saying the words again and again on the phone. I knew some people would be mad that I was putting such big news in an email, but I also knew that some people would be relieved that I wasn’t telling them face-to-face.   “The psychiatrist at Dayton Children’s diagnosed him, and we will, of course, seek a second opinion, but it looks like the diagnosis is correct.

Kristina Lakes

Kristina Lakes

 

Falling into Numb

It starts with a little push.  Life, it screws me over.  Standing on the Edge And I've fallen sober.  As I plunge into the Darkness below- I feel numb.  I feel nothing.  I feel so  Empty.  All emotion is void  And there's nothing I can do.  But fall endlessly.  Fall into Numb.  Where nothing is feeling.  And feeling is nothing.  Where I am nonetheless  Dead Inside Dead in all ways except physical.  I am numb.  And I've fallen deeper into

Jon Duer

Jon Duer

 

Vital Signs

My heart beats normal, My eyes see the same world, But my brain doesn't meet there... My mind is gone.  My emotions are dead.  My feelings are left at  Nothing but physical.  My heart keeps beating, But my emotions have  Flatlined.  I'm dead inside,  I feel disconnected.  You could call me A robot, of sorts.  I'm aware.  I'm concious.  I'm emotionless. I've lost touch with Life.  My Vital Signs Failed. 

Jon Duer

Jon Duer

 

Christmas and My Child With Asperger's

“I feel like I’m shielding our son from having a Christmas,” I said to Sean. “I know. Not very merry, is it?” he answered. He was untangling the lights that we were going to put on the tree.  “His counselor actually said that we should try to keep things normal.” “Well, that’s fun,” Sean said. He yanked too hard at one of the knots, and two little bulbs popped out, extinguishing all the lights. “Your sister is still coming next week?” “Yeah,” Sean said. “I’ll write

Kristina Lakes

Kristina Lakes

 

Asperger's Means Afraid

In September, my son James started at his new school. I decided not to tell his teachers about his autism diagnosis. I was determined that he not be labeled. As a teacher myself, I knew what labeling did to a child -- it hurt them, it stunted them. Even though I worked hard not to categorize my special needs’ students, I still sighed when I saw the words “learning disabled” on a student’s file at the beginning of the year. To put it simply, it meant more work for me.  I was determined that

Kristina Lakes

Kristina Lakes

 

My Picky Eater

I was often concerned about Danny’s eating habits. He wasn’t willing to try pizza or pasta until he was 9, and has never tried red meat, fish, or most vegetables. He would have a meltdown if we cooked anything involving fish or olives that he claimed “smelled up the house and caused him pain,” and would be agitated if any prepared meal had anything green on it.  As for school lunches, he ate the same thing - a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and apple sauce - every single day for 7 years!

Ellen Raede

Ellen Raede

We're returning to Los Angeles for our flagship workshop!

We're returning to Los Angeles for our flagship workshop!

We're returning to Los Angeles for our flagship workshop, Deep Into Defense Mode Live! We'll be in Pasadena, CA on March 21st & 22nd, 2020 with 40 awesome individuals ready to get out of Defense Mode, gain some clarity & know what to do when it comes to motivation, relationships & more. In this workshop, we focus on 4 major areas: Understanding Defense Mode - What goes on inside the mind & body of someone with Asperger's when they are in Defense Mode? Stop Wal

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Celebrating Differently with Danny!

Celebrating Differently with Danny!

By Ellen Raede (Danny's mom) Raising a son with Asperger's, we often had to celebrate in a different way. Here are three examples: 1) When Danny turned 12, we were on vacation in Seattle.  To celebrate his actual birthday, Danny didn't want a party or special dinner, but instead requested a tour of Microsoft Headquarters.  Fortunately, we had a business acquaintance whose son coordinated a fabulous tour of the campus.  I really didn't understand all of the technical terms or descriptio

Ellen Raede

Ellen Raede

 

After the Diagnosis

After James' diagnosis of Asperger's, Syndrome, I read hundreds of articles on autism, sensory processing disorder, and oppositional behavior defiance disorder. I signed up for a conference given by Tony Atwood, sat in on "chats" in discussion rooms online, and attended a parenting class at the local YMCA. I joined a Mother's group too. I knew I needed to talk about it all -- but instead, the mothers talked to me.  Mostly about diets. Good Lord, the diets that were recommended to me! No dai

Kristina Lakes

Kristina Lakes

 

How I Learned to Love my Younger, Weirder Self

Since I can remember, I have hated looking back at the child I was. I look at my childhood and I cringe, and for the longest time I have had the resounding thought that I was a stupid kid. I was stupid, weird, and ugly, and that's why other people made fun of me. That's what I thought, for years. But it wasn't the truth. Because when I was seventeen, I was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. And while I hate to say it, that explained everything.  For instance, I have never understood s

Ren Hoggard

Ren Hoggard

How Emotional and Somatic Balancing Technique helped my Autism

How Emotional and Somatic Balancing Technique helped my Autism

Throughout my life I have not been able to relate to people on a level where I feel connected, understood, or accepted, and even more painful . . . in a way I feel loved. There was always a missing piece, a sense of being different, excluded, isolated, and just not part of. I used to love rolling myself up in a rug and feel the tightness around me. I loved my grandmother’s heavy comforter. I could barely slip under it, and as I lied there with this heavy weight from the comforter on my ches

Eva Angvert Harren

Eva Angvert Harren

When My Son Was Diagnosed

When My Son Was Diagnosed

Right after James’ diagnosis of autism, his preschool had an end -of -the -year party. Parents talked about their vacation plans while little ones played on the swings and slides. I sat on the curb, away from everyone and glared at them.  I glared at his teachers, who had first referred James for testing. I glared at the kids, who had refused to play with him all year and even now, were avoiding him. I glared at the other parents, especially the woman who had said upon hearing our news, “Oh, we

Kristina Lakes

Kristina Lakes

Are The Holidays Something You Dread?

Are The Holidays Something You Dread?

Are the holidays something you dread?  Maybe it’s too many people, high expectation placed upon you or even worse low expectations?  You’re not alone. I can tell you that I approach holidays from a very different place now that I know better.  What do I mean by know better?  I mean listening to my own body and being honest about the capacity I have for celebrations, as well as listening to my twins Lillian & Chloe. Before I understood what Asperger’s/Autism was, I took my daughters

Gail Carrier

Gail Carrier

Coming Out with Autism

Coming Out with Autism

Coming Out with Autism By Eva Angvert Harren, Core Coach and Educator Often when we get into recovery we think, “Oh, THAT’s what’s wrong with me! Now that I know what’s wrong with me, I know how to fix it.” If I use the 12 steps and do what they tell me, I’ll become a better wife, mom, daughter, friend…a better whatever! That great awakening happened for me in 1990. The support in the 12-step programs is incredible, and many participants of these programs create a life beyond

Eva Angvert Harren

Eva Angvert Harren

We're Coming To San Jose, CA!

We're Coming To San Jose, CA!

In just about a week and a half we'll be headed to San Jose, CA for "Understanding Asperger's" where we will take you on a 2 day deep dive into what it feels like to live with Asperger's. You'll learn what goes on in our heads, how we think, as well as whats happening on the physiological side too. We tend to go all over the country, and its rare that we repeat an area for at least a year and a half, so if you are interested in coming, see this page ASAP. Tickets are limited.

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

My Experience With AE: I'm Impressed

My Experience With AE: I'm Impressed

Note: This letter was emailed in to us, so, with permission, we're posting it on the behalf of the author here. I attended one of Danny’s seminars early this year on Getting Unstuck. I want to share my impressions with you. I was so impressed with the quality of the work he and his partners are doing, the resources they offer, and their international reach…and with the brilliant, courageous participants. I am a psychotherapist specializing in trauma treatment and an executive coac

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

He did what I asked without reminders, and it's only day 2!

He did what I asked without reminders, and it's only day 2!

Note: This author of this letter has asked to remain anonymous, so we are posting this for them. Guys. Yesterday C and I discussed mandatory non-electronic down time after school (and what qualifies), then the importance of doing homework and chores before electronics. He rolled around on the floor and moaned for a short time when it came time to do chores, and then he suddenly sat up and with pursed eyebrows said, "I'm feeling overwhelmed." I asked him if he would like me to help

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Three years ago I was depressed. Then I came across AE

Three years ago I was depressed. Then I came across AE

Note: The author of this letter has asked to remain anonymous, so we're posting this on their behalf. Three years ago I came across you in a state of acute desperation. My 11 year old eldest daughter had been diagnosed with aspergers, and our life was in chaos. She was decidedly unhappy and angry and we all tip-toed around her sensitivities and tantrums. She would squeeze her head to stop unwelcome thoughts, throw things and destroy her possessions in her anger, and I lived in trepidat

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

I have never been impacted by any experience as much as I was at an Asperger Experts seminar

I have never been impacted by any experience as much as I was at an Asperger Experts seminar

Note: The author of this letter has asked to remain semi-anonymous, so we're posting this on their behalf. Dear Asperger Experts; I recently flew from New Jersey, to Seattle, to attend your two day seminar with my 15 year old son who is on the autistic spectrum. I am a physician and have practiced for 16 years, at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country..  I have attended countless seminars and conferences watching presentations of the most innovative advancements

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

  • Latest Featured Articles

    Give, Not Get

    Give, Not Get

    This is a paradigm shift that changed my life, so I'd like to share it with you: When we want to change something about a person, place or thing, it is very common in our society to ask "How can I get X to...?" "How can I get my daughter to do her homework?" "How can I get my husband to finally pick up his socks?" "How can I get my computer to stop freezing on me?" Yet when we ask "How can I get?" there are some hidden assumptions there that can be very dangerous and damaging

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    New Years Resolution Revolution

    New Years Resolution Revolution

    Every year between 2014 and 2019 I told myself that I was going to go the gym. Every year, I was going to get healthy…. I’m going to get healthy, I’m going to get healthy, I’m going to get healthy. But come the first week of January, or any time really, I would be in that gym for 10 minutes max. Sensory overload is the loud noises of weights dropping. The massive amounts of people. Someone engaging me in a conversation that I really don’t care about. It's uncomfortably bypassing a group of ex

    Wirtjo Leonard

    Wirtjo Leonard

     

    Asperger's Means Afraid

    In September, my son James started at his new school. I decided not to tell his teachers about his autism diagnosis. I was determined that he not be labeled. As a teacher myself, I knew what labeling did to a child -- it hurt them, it stunted them. Even though I worked hard not to categorize my special needs’ students, I still sighed when I saw the words “learning disabled” on a student’s file at the beginning of the year. To put it simply, it meant more work for me.  I was determined that

    Kristina Lakes

    Kristina Lakes

    We're returning to Los Angeles for our flagship workshop!

    We're returning to Los Angeles for our flagship workshop!

    We're returning to Los Angeles for our flagship workshop, Deep Into Defense Mode Live! We'll be in Pasadena, CA on March 21st & 22nd, 2020 with 40 awesome individuals ready to get out of Defense Mode, gain some clarity & know what to do when it comes to motivation, relationships & more. In this workshop, we focus on 4 major areas: Understanding Defense Mode - What goes on inside the mind & body of someone with Asperger's when they are in Defense Mode? Stop Wal

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    Celebrating Differently with Danny!

    Celebrating Differently with Danny!

    By Ellen Raede (Danny's mom) Raising a son with Asperger's, we often had to celebrate in a different way. Here are three examples: 1) When Danny turned 12, we were on vacation in Seattle.  To celebrate his actual birthday, Danny didn't want a party or special dinner, but instead requested a tour of Microsoft Headquarters.  Fortunately, we had a business acquaintance whose son coordinated a fabulous tour of the campus.  I really didn't understand all of the technical terms or descriptio

    Ellen Raede

    Ellen Raede

    How Emotional and Somatic Balancing Technique helped my Autism

    How Emotional and Somatic Balancing Technique helped my Autism

    Throughout my life I have not been able to relate to people on a level where I feel connected, understood, or accepted, and even more painful . . . in a way I feel loved. There was always a missing piece, a sense of being different, excluded, isolated, and just not part of. I used to love rolling myself up in a rug and feel the tightness around me. I loved my grandmother’s heavy comforter. I could barely slip under it, and as I lied there with this heavy weight from the comforter on my ches

    Eva Angvert Harren

    Eva Angvert Harren

    When My Son Was Diagnosed

    When My Son Was Diagnosed

    Right after James’ diagnosis of autism, his preschool had an end -of -the -year party. Parents talked about their vacation plans while little ones played on the swings and slides. I sat on the curb, away from everyone and glared at them.  I glared at his teachers, who had first referred James for testing. I glared at the kids, who had refused to play with him all year and even now, were avoiding him. I glared at the other parents, especially the woman who had said upon hearing our news, “Oh, we

    Kristina Lakes

    Kristina Lakes

    Are The Holidays Something You Dread?

    Are The Holidays Something You Dread?

    Are the holidays something you dread?  Maybe it’s too many people, high expectation placed upon you or even worse low expectations?  You’re not alone. I can tell you that I approach holidays from a very different place now that I know better.  What do I mean by know better?  I mean listening to my own body and being honest about the capacity I have for celebrations, as well as listening to my twins Lillian & Chloe. Before I understood what Asperger’s/Autism was, I took my daughters

    Gail Carrier

    Gail Carrier

    Coming Out with Autism

    Coming Out with Autism

    Coming Out with Autism By Eva Angvert Harren, Core Coach and Educator Often when we get into recovery we think, “Oh, THAT’s what’s wrong with me! Now that I know what’s wrong with me, I know how to fix it.” If I use the 12 steps and do what they tell me, I’ll become a better wife, mom, daughter, friend…a better whatever! That great awakening happened for me in 1990. The support in the 12-step programs is incredible, and many participants of these programs create a life beyond

    Eva Angvert Harren

    Eva Angvert Harren

    My Experience With AE: I'm Impressed

    My Experience With AE: I'm Impressed

    Note: This letter was emailed in to us, so, with permission, we're posting it on the behalf of the author here. I attended one of Danny’s seminars early this year on Getting Unstuck. I want to share my impressions with you. I was so impressed with the quality of the work he and his partners are doing, the resources they offer, and their international reach…and with the brilliant, courageous participants. I am a psychotherapist specializing in trauma treatment and an executive coac

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    He did what I asked without reminders, and it's only day 2!

    He did what I asked without reminders, and it's only day 2!

    Note: This author of this letter has asked to remain anonymous, so we are posting this for them. Guys. Yesterday C and I discussed mandatory non-electronic down time after school (and what qualifies), then the importance of doing homework and chores before electronics. He rolled around on the floor and moaned for a short time when it came time to do chores, and then he suddenly sat up and with pursed eyebrows said, "I'm feeling overwhelmed." I asked him if he would like me to help

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    Three years ago I was depressed. Then I came across AE

    Three years ago I was depressed. Then I came across AE

    Note: The author of this letter has asked to remain anonymous, so we're posting this on their behalf. Three years ago I came across you in a state of acute desperation. My 11 year old eldest daughter had been diagnosed with aspergers, and our life was in chaos. She was decidedly unhappy and angry and we all tip-toed around her sensitivities and tantrums. She would squeeze her head to stop unwelcome thoughts, throw things and destroy her possessions in her anger, and I lived in trepidat

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    I have never been impacted by any experience as much as I was at an Asperger Experts seminar

    I have never been impacted by any experience as much as I was at an Asperger Experts seminar

    Note: The author of this letter has asked to remain semi-anonymous, so we're posting this on their behalf. Dear Asperger Experts; I recently flew from New Jersey, to Seattle, to attend your two day seminar with my 15 year old son who is on the autistic spectrum. I am a physician and have practiced for 16 years, at some of the most prestigious institutions in the country..  I have attended countless seminars and conferences watching presentations of the most innovative advancements

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    It's only been a few days and... wow

    It's only been a few days and... wow

    Note: The author of this letter has asked to remain anonymous, so we're posting this on their behalf. I have 5 children 2 of which have aspergers, We have struggled for the last few years with my now 14yr old son who is aspergers.  He has been (as we now know) in full defence mode. His school anxiety became so bad 2 years ago that he developed emetaphobia and refused to eat which resulted in dangerous weight loss and him being signed out of school on medical grounds, after a long battl

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    How to motivate by adding direction

    How to motivate by adding direction

    How To Motivate by Adding Direction: There’s a famous scene in Alice in Wonderland where Alice encounters the Cheshire Cat in a tree and asks him for directions. The interchange went something like this: Alice: “I just wanted to ask you about which way I should go.” Cat: “Well, that depends on where you want to get to.” Alice: “Oh, it really doesn’t matter so long as I get somewhere.” Cat: “Then it really doesn’t matter which way you go...” See, your child doesn’t j

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    On bed time arguments & assuming you are right

    On bed time arguments & assuming you are right

    Once upon a time I was coaching a mother and her daughter who was diagnosed with Asperger’s (we’ll call her Sarah). In one particular session, they were having some disagreement about what constituted an appropriate bedtime for a ten year-old. Sarah insisted that she wanted to stay up reading an additional thirty minutes and that she could still wake up on time. Mom was principally opposed to the idea. She said that she frequently had to nag Sarah all the way out of bed and through her morn

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    Is it a motivation issue, or a capability issue?

    Is it a motivation issue, or a capability issue?

    Folks, here’s the meat and potatoes: When you’re trying to change or encourage a particular behavior, “capability” is the first and most important place to start. Many people believe that if someone doesn’t appear to be motivated, it’s because they don’t want it. People hardly ever look deeper to find that someone actually does want something, they just don’t have the capacity and capability. As a coach, I see this every day when talking to parents. They tell me they’ve been trying for years to

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    Belief, enabling & an electric wheelchair

    Belief, enabling & an electric wheelchair

    I was once working with a mother who had a twenty-something year-old son living in her basement. She complained to me that he never did anything except play video games. I asked her to describe what approaches she had tried so far, and what a typical day looked like. What she said next genuinely surprised me. It turned out that her son had no regard for cleanliness and self-care. So, bless her heart, mom would go down to the basement every day to clean and organize his room. She also said h

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    Spoon theory & capacity issues

    Spoon theory & capacity issues

    In 2003 a brilliant woman by the name of Christine Miserandino published an essay entitled “The Spoon Theory” which went on to change the way people think about mental and physical challenges. Here’s the short and sweet version: “Spoons” is a metaphor, a code word, to describe and measure how much physical and emotional capacity each of us has to get through the day. Imagine you start the day bright and early with ten Spoons. You use up one Spoon getting out of bed and getting ready, then a

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    The frustration of not being heard

    The frustration of not being heard

    Imagine this.... Dad comes home from work and tells little Johnny to take out the trash. So Johnny disappears for about 10 minutes and then says “I did it!’. When the dad checks, the trash is literally just sitting outside the door. So dad gets frustrated. Meanwhile Johnny still thinks he fulfills his end, and this devolves into a fight. The problem here is unclear expectations AHEAD of time about what “take out the trash” means. In other words, if you are speaking German and

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

    Holding space: How to help someone process their emotions

    Holding space: How to help someone process their emotions

    Holding space is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do to help someone with Asperger’s emotionally process the day. Simply put, holding space is acceptance without judgement. It often, but not always, involves sitting with someone, practicing Deep Listening, and being a mirror to help them become aware of themselves (their feelings, emotions, and physical sensations). Holding space helps people with Asperger’s (or really anyone) process their emotions, feel safe, and be a

    Danny Raede

    Danny Raede

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