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Contributors to this blog

  • Danny Raede 21

About this blog

Learn best practices, next steps & deeper insight from people who've walked in your shoes and experienced it first hand.

Articles in this blog

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

Moving out: What to do when you don't know how to get started

Moving out: What to do when you don't know how to get started

When your child is of moving out age and you’ve tried everything you know to light a fire under them and get them motivated.. And nothing seems to work, make sure your actions are informed by these 2 guidelines: #1 - Your job is to create calm, not join their chaos If they are struggling to be motivated to move out, 99% of the time it is a capacity issue, rather than a motivation issue. They are probably deep in Defense Mode, so make sure to hold some space for them, and help them proc

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Defense Mode: Why people with Asperger's seem stuck & shutdown so often

Defense Mode: Why people with Asperger's seem stuck & shutdown so often

Defense Mode is one of the 4 core pillars of the AE Model. This is a state in which someone with Asperger’s is scared, frustrated, or angry, as well as shut down and & withdrawn. In Defense Mode, everything is harder because you are constantly trying to protect against an imminent, perceived, but extremely vague threat. The perceived threat creates the same anxiety as a true life threatening situation. Fortunately, the vast majority are not actual threats, but merely signals that the brain p

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Stress: It's only bad if you think it is

Stress: It's only bad if you think it is

You have never felt more powerful than you do in this moment. You are conscious of your muscles warming up as blood flows into them preparing to handle whatever is about to happen next. You feel the familiar tightening in your chest and neck. The tingle of sweat beginning to form on your skin. Your focus sharpens. You feel awake and alive. What is this amazing feeling? The answer may surprise you: stress. For those of you that have somehow avoided feeling stress this far into your life

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Why won't they just listen: The 3 essentials of communication

Why won't they just listen: The 3 essentials of communication

Ah that is the age old question, isn’t it? Why won’t they just listen? You daydream about a perfect world where the beds are always made, homework is swiftly done, teeth are frequently brushed, your viewpoints are clearly expressed and understood, and there’s not an argument to be had. Sadly, that is not the world in which we live. It sucks, I know. So what do you about it? Are you doomed to wallow in misery as these problems remained unsolved? Sure, if you want to. But there’s a

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Influence Circles: The hidden side of motivating yourself & others

Influence Circles: The hidden side of motivating yourself & others

When you look at the etymology of the word “Influence”, it means “any outpouring of energy that produces effect.” Without this idea, we wouldn’t be able to change or shape our internal world, the world of others, or our relationships. In our work at Asperger Experts, questions regarding Influence are the most asked type of question. Things like “How do I get my child to do their homework?” or “How do I stop myself from having anxious thoughts?” A parent will try to get their kid to do

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Why people with Asperger's wont shower (and insight into other hygiene issues)

Why people with Asperger's wont shower (and insight into other hygiene issues)

Why do people with Asperger’s sometimes smell like the inside of an onion that has been rotting in a graveyard for a century? Or to put it another way, why do people with Asperger’s often struggle with hygiene issues? It’s not that they aren’t motivated. It’s not that they don’t care. Often, it’s just that they are so deep into Defense Mode that they don’t have enough energy to care. Their energy is completely spent just getting through the day, and defending against the world in general.

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

When to tell them: Should I talk to my child about their Asperger's diagnosis?

When to tell them: Should I talk to my child about their Asperger's diagnosis?

So your child has just gotten their very own Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) diagnosis, or at very least, you strongly suspect that they’re on the spectrum somewhere. Congratulations! As a proud Aspie myself it is my honor and pleasure to welcome you and your family to our little community. I really think you’re going to love it here. Many times when I’m speaking to parents who are just getting introduced to this new world I’m often asked the same question. Whether the child is 4 or 44, pare

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Failure: The unseen benefits

Failure: The unseen benefits

Well…. #$@&%*. You screwed up again, didn’t you? And you know what that means. It means you’re a failure. Well my friend, let me be the first to congratulate you! I’m a failure too, and I couldn’t be prouder. Oh man, I’ve failed loads of times. More than I could ever possibly count. Some of my mistakes, both conscious and accidental, have been small and mostly inconsequential. Others have been so monumentally, unfathomably stupid that they are still impacting my life today. And of cours

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Why rewards & punishment don't work

Why rewards & punishment don't work

Note: This was written by a parent in our AE+ Support community who wished to remain anonymous. Learn more about AE+ here Why rewards and punishments don't work with neuro atypical people who suffer from anxiety. I am prompted to expound on this topic because I am frequently in frustrating positions trying to explain to others why their well intentioned suggestions of a rewards and punishments model will not work with my neuro atypical daughter. I try hard to not be offended at their d

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

Building in an emotional buffer so you have a solid foundation

Building in an emotional buffer so you have a solid foundation

I’ve noticed the theme of my personal life over the past 6 months has been building a solid foundation, so I’d like to share some thoughts that may help you: I’ve observed that most people’s problem solving strategy is “Oh crap! There’s a problem! How do I fix it now? Hurry!” As you’ve probably noticed, that doesn’t work all that well. It is extremely stressful and doesn’t actually do much to solve a problem, because inevitably you end up making decisions out of fear, and as one AE+ member

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

The emotional capacity to feel another's pain

The emotional capacity to feel another's pain

Today I’d like to share with you a story of something that impacted me deeply during our event we held in Los Angeles last year. On the second day we try to go deep into the feelings of hurt that usually manifest on both sides of a family struggling with Defense Mode: Oftentimes the kids feel powerless,manipulated, and invalidated… meanwhile, the parents feel like they are never given any respect or gratitude. That was shown clear as crystal when one of the moms stood up and said

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

2 things to remember when seeking independence for your Asperger's child

2 things to remember when seeking independence for your Asperger's child

We’ve unfortunately heard this story thousands of times. School ends, the services dry up, and a wonderful young person with Asperger’s and all the potential in the world ends up playing video games in their room all day, refusing to get a job and move forward with their life. It sucks. So whether you are in this situation, or worried about what will happen to your child when that time finally comes, here are 3 things to remember: #1 - It’s rarely a willingness issue We’ve talked

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

You don't need to fix your emotions

You don't need to fix your emotions

I remember when I first discovered that the body had an innate ability to resolve its own issues. And what I mean by that is any time that you are uncomfortable, anxious, depressed, scared, or just plain a new sensation that you don't like, the idea is that you need to stuff it down. You need to force it. You need to manipulate it. You need to change it. You need to fix it. You need to heal it. You need to do something about it. And I was of the same idea. I need to take some medicatio

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

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

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

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

Danny Raede

Danny Raede

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