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Kathy Marshack News

Partners & Family of Adults with Asperger Syndrome - Spread The Word

Friday, February 12, 2010


 
I continue to hear from many who wish that there were more avenues to spread the word about relationships with loved ones who have Asperger’s. I have also felt this way which prompted me to write my book, "Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge?I recognize that many are unable to write a book to express their thoughts and feelings on the subject, but there are other ways to share.


There has been an amazing response after establishing the Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD support group. The Meetup.com message board has become a place for many around the world, not just in the Portland area, to come and share their thoughts, stories, and essays. One particular article stirred up over 200 views. I would like to continue encouraging you to use this incredible resource to spread the word about ASD relationships.

Slowly but surely this topic is getting more attention. Take a look at a recent book review on "Going Over the Edge?" on About.com - http://learningdisabilities.about.com/od/parentsandfamilyissues/gr/Marshack.htm. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your continued support. As a united front, we can spread the word about living with and loving our family members with Asperger Syndrome.

Help and Healing for Victims of Verbal Abuse

Monday, February 08, 2010


What is emotional abuse? According to the United Stated Department of Justice, emotional abuse is defined as, "Undermining an individual's sense of self-worth and/or self-esteem. This may include, but is not limited to constant criticism, diminishing one's abilities, name-calling, or damaging one's relationship with his or her children."

Being a victim of emotional or verbal abuse can cause serious side effects such as depression, post traumatic stress, and anxiety. What can you do if you have been a victim to heal and move forward? What about reformed abusers, how can they move on to a healthier life?

Patricia Evans, author of The Verbally Abusive Relationship, and Mack at MEVAC, founder of Men Ending Verbal Abuse and Control, have teamed up to develop Survivors Empowered. This program is designed to help victims and reformed abusers heal from their past and transform their physical and emotional lives. For more information on this fantastic program, visit www.Survivorsempowered.com.

If you live in the Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR area, and have been a victim of verbal abuse or are a reformed abuser, please feel free to contact my office to set up an appointment for one-on-one therapy. Therapy will give you personal empowerment – heal your body and mind and open up a whole new world of choices.

What’s Behind Recent Trend of Sleep Deprivation

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


Waking up feeling refreshed and alert is a rarity for many today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 41 percent of Americans have not had adequate sleep for two weeks in the past month and one third of adults are not getting the right amount of sleep every night. What is behind sleep deprivation these days?

There was a great article on this topic on psychcentral.com -  Sleep-Deprived Nation - which examined a number of factors that can cause or contribute to sleep deprivation. With the recent troubles in the economy, many are working overtime or taking on a second or even third job in order to make ends meet. What gets cut is time to sleep. Then the added stress of working extra can make the time you have to sleep not restful.

Technology can also play a role with sleep problems. Our cell phones have become personal hand held computers that stay by our nightstand, but are constantly blinking from an incoming text message or email. Watching television before bed keeps the mind stimulated and active which makes it hard to shut down at bedtime. Then there’s the time drain of surfing the Internet instead of going to bed! The list could go on and on.

As a psychologist, one of my major concerns about sleep deprivation is the long terms affects it can have on a person. Sleep deprivation can easily escalate into more severe sleep related illnesses as well as psychological disorders like depression and anxiety.

If you find yourself relating to this information, I recommending speaking to a mental health care professional who can help you identify the cause of your sleep deprivation and give you the proper guidance to deal with it. Sleep is a necessity for humans and it is the body’s way of healing. Also visit my this page on my site for a discussion on Overcoming Depression.

How Autistic Traits Can Benefit the Workplace

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Asperger Syndrome (AS) is known as high functioning autism. Since AS itself shows a range or spectrum of symptom severity, many individuals who might meet criteria for that diagnosis are viewed as "unusual" or "just different." A few of the typical traits of Asperger Syndrome are (1)impaired use of nonverbal behaviors to regulate social interaction, (2) restricted, repetitive, and stereotyped patterns of behavior, interests, and activities, and (3) preoccupation with parts of objects.

Some may view these as negative traits, and granted they do make life more challenging, but someone with Asperger Syndrome can't just shy away from the world because of their disorder. They still have to face the "normal" things in life – like work. The question is, how can someone with Asperger Syndrome turn their autistic traits into something positive in the workplace?

There are many job opportunities that really do suit someone with Asperger Syndrome. The key is to find what the AS individual is passionate about and what their talents are, then look for job opportunities that would support that. For instance, someone with AS is usually socially challenged, but there are many jobs that require solitude. About.com posted an excellent article, Autisitic Traits: A Plus for Many Careers, that mentions different autistic traits and jobs that might work out well for these individuals.

Living life with Asperger Syndrome is full of challenges, but by making the right choices and using the talents that you have available to you, you will continue to get the most out of life. Visit my webpage Asperger Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

Entrepreneurial Couples - Can Competition At Work Cost You Your Marriage?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


When a couple works together both at home and at work, they can become confused about the roles they should play in both of these worlds. Often the aggressive pull of success and the push of competition eradicate the more subtle pull of love.

Bringing competition home is probably the worst thing you can do for a marriage. Keep competition and achievement needs at work. When you work with your spouse in your own enterprise, keep in mind that you will be crossing the competition barrier daily. It is hard to stay kind and loving with the one you are competing with. We tend to take competition personally.

The following are some ways to diffuse the tension of competition between spouses:

· Set up separate work areas within the business.

· Reward each other often for your individual successes.

· Take breaks from each other often.

· Make a clean break from work at the end of the day.

This latter recommendation is vital. Do not discuss work at all at home if your business requires that both spouses be leaders and you are both highly independent and headstrong (sound like anyone you know?).

The most important thing to remember when you work together is why you chose your spouse in the first place. This is someone you love and trust and want to spend the rest of your life with. These qualities aren’t bad either for the kind of person you want to help you build your dream business.

For a more detailed discussion on this topic, read my article, Can Competition At Work Cost You Your Marriage? If you are an entrepreneurial couple, please sign up for my free monthly Entrepreneurial Couples Newsletter for sound business and relationship tips to show you how to make it work at work and at home.

Sixty Things To Do When You Turn Sixty – It’s About Your Attitude

Monday, January 18, 2010


The idea of entering your sixties is often accompanied with dismay. For some though, turning sixty is welcomed. The difference boils down to your attitude, making the conscious decision to age gracefully.

It’s never too late to start your life over no matter how old you are. Turning sixty can be the perfect age to start over and do what you have always wanted to do with your life. With retirement and grown children, perhaps you’ve been allotted with the gift of time so take advantage of it. Don't take things too seriously, make sure to laugh along the way. Get moving and get involved. Find something you have always wanted to accomplish and do it!

I had the privilege of having one of my essays published in a wonderful book entitled, Sixty Things To Do When You Turn Sixty. Published in September 2006, this book of essays captures the imaginations of those Baby Boomers out there who are rounding the bend into their sixties. It is a positive and enlightening look at what turning sixty can be for those who choose to make something out of it.

I just learned that the Corvallis Public Library has Sixty Things To Do When You Turn Sixty available and it’s checked out regularly. If you are interesting in purchasing your own personal copy, please visit this page.

Chronic Worrying – When Controlling Gets Out of Control

Monday, January 11, 2010


We all worry. Sometimes it’s good to worry because it helps us to problem solve or avoid trouble in the first place. But when does worrying become unhealthy?  It’s a good question because according to leading experts 19 million Americans are “chronic worriers”.

 

Dr. Borkovec who developed the Penn State Worry Questionnaire defines unhealthy worrying by three main components: overthinking, avoidance of negative outcomes and inhibition of emotions. Basically chronic worrying stems from a craving for a sense of control, yet that is something worriers can never really find.

 

Sadly, by trying to be ready for the worst, worriers are actually compromising their body’s ability to react to a real crisis. Too much time worrying undermines the body’s ability to react to stress. Not only that, it also weakens the cardiovascular system and disrupts normal emotional functioning.

 

So what’s a worrier to do? The first step is identifying whether your worry is really productive.  Will worrying help you find a practical solution to your problem? If the answer is no, then you’re damaging your emotional and physical health if you continue fretting.

 

More insight can help you manage your worries and cope with the stresses of everyday life. Follow these links for more advice on coping with stress and anxiety. One more note, cognitive-behavior therapy can be a very effective treatment. If you’re having difficulty getting worries under control talk to a mental health professional and get some help.

Going Over the Edge? is Going Worldwide

Wednesday, January 06, 2010


My book, "Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge?" has been gaining more international attention recently. This doesn’t surprise me because when I posted the first chapter on my website three years ago I received emails from readers around the world. I am thrilled to see that my book is more readily available to those outside the US.

For Europeans, Eurospan Bookstore has made Going Over the Edge? available for purchase on their website. The website includes the book forward by Stephen Shore, the introduction, the first three chapters, and the front and back cover.

If you live in India, Flipkart.com has added my book to their inventory. They ship throughout India, but you must pay in rupees.

I have added these links to the Asperger Syndrome Recommended Links on my website for future reference. I will continue to keep you posted on any more exciting updates!

Adjust your attitude about the upcoming New Year

Wednesday, December 30, 2009


The New Year is in just a few days! The arrival of the New Year can bring additional stress to overachievers. Instead of thinking about the negative, think of January as time to recoup and restore your energy and peace of mind. January is also a time to build a foundation for the goals you want to accomplish this year.

Because January brings us the opportunity to make New Year's Resolutions, I think it is about time to start a new tradition, that of appreciating ourselves for who we are. As one bumper sticker proclaims, "God doesn't make junk." Let your New Year's Resolution this year be - "I will accept myself totally and unconditionally and be the best I can be this year."

If you can appreciate who you are, that each and every day you are making a valuable contribution to your community by just doing your everyday thing (not overachieving), then you will have a much more prosperous New Year.

You will notice your talents more and strengthen them. You will notice your flaws more too, but you can build a plan to correct them. If you have been successful accomplishing other people's goals, think how much you can really accomplish if you lead your own life.

This year focus on self acceptance and you will benefit. For suggestions on how to change your paradigm for the year, read my article - Entrepreneurs should tackle the New Year with new priorities.

Autism Numbers Are Skyrocketing

Tuesday, December 29, 2009


According to the latest CDC (Center for Disease Control) report, autism numbers are rising. There has been a 57% increase in autism cases in the last four years and it has been stated that 1% of American 8 year old children are being diagnosed with autism. With these kind of numbers, the CDC is recognizing autism to be a major health issue. Many are hoping that this type of information will spark more national attention and additional funding.

Numbers and figures like these are very important for parents and the medical community. Parents need to be alert to the signs and symptoms of autism. They should not be shy to investigate their concerns. The sooner a parents knows if their child has autism, the sooner proper care can be administered. With statistics on the rise, it is very likely that concerned parents have a reason to be worried and are not just paranoid. It is my hope that doctors will continue to be proactive and investigate on an individual and national level.

Please click here to read more about this new research. If you are interested in speaking to a health care professional about autism or Asperger Syndrome, contact my office for more information or visit Therapy FAQ on my website.


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