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Hope & Inspiration

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Contributors to this blog

  • Danny Raede 19
  • Wirtjo Leonard 2

About this blog

It isn't too late. There is hope. You can do this. Get inspired & gain hope through reading the stories of others going through similar struggles.

Articles in this blog

Co-Dependency & The Rope

Co-Dependency & The Rope

Imagine the following. Once upon a time on a beautiful sunny day, you were hiking through the mountains. You had been going for miles when suddenly you come across a deep ravine with a long steep drop and a river far below glittering in the sunshine. Long ago, someone had cut down a large single tree and placed it as a bridge across the expanse of the canyon - from one side to the other, a single narrow log bridge. The narrow log was strong and sturdy. However, with the passage of time it h

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

My Parents Tried Everything. I Was A Nightmare Child.

My Parents Tried Everything. I Was A Nightmare Child.

"The snow fell in a glittering silent curtain all around me. I pressed the phone closer to my ear with cold trembling hands as I listened for the sound of my friend's voice. "Where are you right now?" Hesitating and not hearing a response, my friend Charlie repeated the question. "Where are you?" " "Mmm, I'm at the school." "Okay, good. I'm going to come pick you up. Which school are you at? Can you describe it?" "It's the, um, it's the one close to downtown, Washington elementary

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

What It Feels Like To Be In Defense Mode

What It Feels Like To Be In Defense Mode

When I was deep in Defense Mode, it felt like I was constantly overwhelmed. It felt like I was constantly being attacked. Every single little thing, whether or not it actually had a logical, rational basis for being threatening, changed and colored my entire perspective. So for example: A pen could be threatening in Defense Mode, not because somebody is throwing it at you, but just because it is there, and seeing it triggers you in some way. In Defense Mode, I often felt the need to control

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

I'm Done Grieving What's Not, Now Let's See What Is

I'm Done Grieving What's Not, Now Let's See What Is

The Professionals Know Best, Right? My name is Emma. I live in Northern Colorado and have a son and a daughter. We started with Asperger Experts about five years ago. At the time we had just gotten my son Oliver's diagnosis of Asperger's, so I said to myself "Alright. Well, first thing you do is you get ABA and you listen to what all the doctors and the teachers say." I was also a teacher, I have a a Master's in education so I thought I knew everything about kids and was approaching this fr

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Teenage Girls & Late Diagnosis

Teenage Girls & Late Diagnosis

Hi. My name is Kim. I have 2 girls, Sophia and Madison who were officially diagnosed at 16.   In high school, Sophia would have these bouts of meltdowns. Normally she would get out of them, but one in particular, she was 15, and she was in her bed acting like a two year old. Literally, not just figuratively, pulling the covers over her head, not talking. So I said, "Sophia, what's going on? What's bothering you? Is it your stomach? Is it this?" And she just said, "ehhh, ehhh". Just screamin

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

You Aren't A Bad Parent. Here's How We Know

You Aren't A Bad Parent. Here's How We Know

Seriously. Take a moment. Breathe. Sit and absorb this message: You are an amazing parent. You know how much you have to put up with that most parents never do? They would probably crack after 1 day in your shoes.  I would say that I don’t know how you do it, but I do (and you do too!). And if you are doubting yourself remember this: We work with over 400,000 people in over 89 countries, so we’ve seen some patterns develop. The so called “bad parents” aren’t the ones reading about Asperger’

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Struggling At School And Finally Getting A Diagnosis

Struggling At School And Finally Getting A Diagnosis

Note: This is from our upcoming book of school stories, written by fellow parents. My name is Katrina. I am a mom of a fourteen-year-old son named David who is diagnosed with ASD at age nine and we live in the UK. When he was in nursery he was very hard to keep in a group and would get very distressed if things changed quickly. So if a nursery nurse didn't give him advanced warning of something changing or if he didn't think something was fair, he'd get very upset and would have a tant

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

My Story: Getting Stuck & Not Fitting In

My Story: Getting Stuck & Not Fitting In

Let me ask you a question: Do you ever feel like you don't fit in? I felt that way when I was a kid. I was the twelve year old that was happy browsing a forum about a video game. That was my idea of a fun time. Obviously, I didn't have many friends. I didn't go out and do many things. I stayed in and was on the computer.  My world was the computer, and if you took me away from what I knew, I was really sad and really depressed. As I said, I was diagnosed with Asperger's when I was twel

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Sometimes You Need To Connect The Dots For Them

Sometimes You Need To Connect The Dots For Them

The Story of the Time I Flipped Off Antarctica When I was in high school I found Geography to be an exceptionally boring class. My teacher was awesome, and he did his best to make it interesting, but, sometimes, there’s only so much you can do when it comes to memorizing countries and capitals. On one fateful Thursday I was sitting there, wriggling around in my tan plastic chair trying to get comfortable, when the assignment of the day slid onto the desk in front of me. Apparently, I was ex

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

My Anxiety As A Parent Prevented Me From Seeing This

My Anxiety As A Parent Prevented Me From Seeing This

Note: This is an excerpt from our book "Navigating The System: Big Mistakes & New Perspectives". My name is Sarah, I have a 23 year old and a 15 year old. My 15 year old was diagnosed with ASD and in the beginning, we were pretty desperate. It got really bad. We're talking about near-hospitalization, therapeutic schools, lots of trauma. Day to day life was just nearly impossible.  When my daughter was 11, It was really bad. There were lots of meltdowns and frustration and I was in

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

We should talk about Covid 19

We should talk about Covid 19

I’m freaking out. You’re freaking out. We are all losing our marbles. We are in a scary time, there’s a lot of uncertainty, a lot of change in routine, and a lot of chaos. At Asperger Experts we aren’t denying that and we don’t want you to deny it either. It is of the utmost importance that for the health of ourselves, our loved ones, our neighbors, and complete strangers that we stringently practice empathy, social distancing, washing hands, and if need be social isolation. But in addition t

Wirtjo Leonard

Wirtjo Leonard

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

4 steps to building trust

4 steps to building trust

Adrian took another bite of her hamburger and as soon as she finished chewing, she immediately resumed her excited chatter about her latest obsession, anime cartoons. Her mother Margaret continued to listen, politely thrilling in the fact that her daughter was actually talking openly. Finally, a real conversation! For the past few weeks Adrian rarely, if ever left her room. She often refused to join the family for dinner, preferring to spend most of her time alone on her computer. As a result, M

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

My Asperger's + early emotional trauma = need to control

My Asperger's + early emotional trauma = need to control

To be honest, when I was diagnosed with Asperger’s (High-Functioning Autism) at age twelve, it didn’t have much of an impact on me. My parents, the therapist, and I sat on the couch as the good doctor took a few minutes to explain the particulars of my diagnosis while I listened politely. He asked if I had any questions. I didn’t. I remember thinking it was a funny word, but, at the time, I didn’t comprehend its full meaning. To me, it was just a word like any other. And that was it. In fac

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

The one thing I needed most: Perspective

The one thing I needed most: Perspective

Back in the early days of Asperger Experts, when we were first learning how to help everyone in the best way possible, I attended a seminar called “Experts Academy”. There I was taught how to create courses, market those materials, work with coaching clients, etc. The music was loud. There were a lot of people. It was hectic. And yet, because it was my current “special interest”, I enjoyed it. I didn’t get overwhelmed. Funny how that works, isn’t it? Anyway, there was 1 thing that Bren

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

One of the main reasons I got motivated was this

One of the main reasons I got motivated was this

A lot of people ask me, “Danny, what was the “thing” that changed you and got you motivated? How did you become independent and start thriving in life?” Today I’m going to answer that question. Our story begins with a boat. And not just any boat. I'm talking about Oasis of The Seas, currently the one of the largest cruise ships in the world. Back in 2009, I had just gotten out of high school and I moved to Denver, Colorado to attend College Living Experience. College was nice, but the

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Video games.. or high school graduation?

Video games.. or high school graduation?

If it came down to video games, or going to your High School Graduation ceremony, which would you choose? Can you guess which one I did? If you choose video games, you are correct! (Sorta). In May 2009 I was graduating High School (FINALLY!). I helped my video production teacher setup for filming graduation, got my graduation pictures taken, yearbook signed, etc. Then promptly ignored the graduation ceremony entirely and went to a video game orchestra concert with my parents

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

The day I finally believed I could

The day I finally believed I could

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

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

This is going to suck

This is going to suck

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

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

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

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

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

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

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

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

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

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

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