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Kathy Marshack News

Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD New Group in Lake Oswego, OR

Thursday, September 09, 2010


Good news! The Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Support Group now has a sister group meeting in Lake Oswego, Oregon. The hope is to offer a different time and location for people to meet. The group will be facilitated by two wonderful members from the Portland group. Here are the details for the next meeting:

What: Asperger Syndrome:Partners & Family of Adults with ASD

When: Saturday, September 25, 2010 1:00 PM

Where: Terrace Kitchen - 485 2nd Street (corner of 2nd & B Ave.), Lake Oswego, OR 97034

This group is available for Portland members as well as newcomers. We hope you come and join us for our discussions. Click here to join and RSVP.

High Divorce Rates for Parents Raising a Child with Autism

Thursday, September 02, 2010


Will the marriage survive once an autistic child grows up? Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Madison's Waisman Center decided to focus their attention on this particular subject. According to their research, couples are more likely to divorce when their autistic child becomes a teen or adult than couples who have children with no disabilities. Sigan Hartley, a UW-Madison assistant professor explains, "Typically, if couples can survive the early child-rearing years, parenting demands decrease and there is often less strain on the marriage. However, parents of children with autism often continue to live with and experience high parenting demands into their child's adulthood, and thus marital strain may remain high in these later years." For more information on this study, please read Study Details Autism's Heavy Toll Beyond Childhood on Marriages.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, it is vital that you seek help for your marriage as well as help to cope with your autistic loved one. There are many different avenues that one can take to get support. Find a mental health care professional that can offer guidance in the marriage as well as dealing with an autistic child. You may want to look for a local support group that focuses on relationships with a ASD family member. If you live the in the Portland, Oregon area check out Asperger Syndrome: Partners or Family of Adults with ASD. If you do not live nearby, you can join us online where we have many group discussions on our forum.

If you are parenting with an Asperger spouse, please download a free sample chapter of my upcoming book - Parenting with a Spouse or Partner with Asperger Syndrome: Out of Sight, Out of Mind.”

Depression is Common with Adult ADHD

Sunday, August 29, 2010


If you have been diagnosed with Adult ADHD, studies show you are more likely to also suffer from depression than adults without ADHD. Depression could be rooted in a variety of different factors, but sometimes it’s because you are frustrated by living with ADHD. Someone may slip into depression because they have just recently been diagnosed or maybe they are tired of being perceived as lazy, flighty, or unsuccessful. Regardless of the reasons, depression can hit very hard.

It is important if you have Adult ADHD that you get proper therapy with or without symptoms of depression. Psychotherapy is especially helpful for people with ADHD who also deal with depression and anxiety. It can also help adults deal with the frustration and anger they feel because their ADHD was never addressed in childhood. In addition, psychotherapists can help improve social skills and the ability to deal with ADHD-unfriendly situations. A specific type of psychotherapy is called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy which has proven to be highly beneficial.

In addition to your psychotherapy treatments, you can also try meditation, exercise, or a hobby when you are feeling depressed. Remember that both ADHD and depression are treatable. Visit my website for more information about Adult ADHD and Depression.

Be an Optimist - It's Good for Business

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


Dictionary.com defines optimism as "a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome." For some, optimism comes naturally, but for others it is something that has to be cultivated. The question is, can optimism help your business? We hear that attitude is everything . . . is that true?

Yes it is true. Optimism can greatly impact your business. Optimism helps you to be solution-oriented. When you encounter a bump in the road, instead of throwing your hands up, you continue to search for a way around the problem, convinced that there is a solution. You will also be willing to try new things because you recognize that there is no failure rather everything is a learning experience.

Dr. Marin Seligam, Director of the University of Pennsylvania Positive Psychology Center, has conducted hundreds of studies proving that optimism is a key to success. In one study, he found that "optimistic salespeople sold 88 percent more than the most pessimistic ones." (Entrepreneur.com The Successful Optimist)

If you are not naturally optimistic, do not despair! Work to cultivate a more positive way of speaking. Be aware of the way you describe certain situations and make a conscious effort to turn those comments into something more optimistic. This takes time and lots of practice! In a sense, you are rewiring your brain. Choose to surround yourself with things that promote a positive message. There are many wonderful self-help books that can help you develop an optimistic outlook. The issue really boils down to choice. Will you CHOOSE to be optimistic? It's up to you. In the words of Winston Churchill, "I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else."

Visit Entrepreneurial Life for additional information.

A Happy Marriage Contributes to Your Health

Monday, August 23, 2010


Can marriage contribute to your health? According to recent studies, the answer is YES! Recent studies from the University of Chicago and Northwestern University came to the conclusion that those who are married or in long-term relationships have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

University of Chicago professor Dario Maestripieri stated “These results suggest that single and unpaired individuals are more responsive to psychological stress than married individuals, a finding consistent with a growing body of evidence showing that marriage and social support can buffer against stress.” For more details on this study, read Marriage Lowers Stress Hormones.

It is no easy task to maintain a strong and healthy marriage, but it can be done! It takes hard work, dedication, and the proper tools to make a marriage work. You might also need to seek the guidance of a marriage counselor for help. Don’t delay because unfortunately unresolved problems in marriage can have a very negative impact on your health. I encourage you to visit my website - Maintaining a Strong Marriage - where you will learn nine critical psychological tasks that must be applied to keep a lasting and happy marriage. 

New Brain Scan for Diagnosing Adult Autism

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Experts have been searching for easier methods to diagnose adult autism. Current methods can be lengthy and expensive. Scientists at King's College London are in the process of developing a brain scan to diagnose autism.

The Medical Research Counsel performed a study on 40 different individuals – 20 with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) and 20 without ASD. They first diagnosed their patients using previously known methods and then performed a 15 minute MRI. Small differences in the brain were identified. They had a success rate of 90% according to the Journal of Neuroscience. For more detailed information on this study, read BBC News - New Brain Scan To Diagnose Autism.

These experts are hopeful that this test will become a widely used method for diagnosing ASD. Then the patient will be able to get immediate attention from a professional who can assist them with coping techniques. This is also exciting information because it may help us learn more about brain abnormalities and ASD.  

For more information on adult Autism Spectrum Disorder, visit Asperger Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions.

Help Your Special Needs Child Prepare for the New School Year

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Summer is flying by and before you know it you’re kids will be back to school. For parents who have children with special needs such ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder) or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) it can be stressful preparing your child for the new school year. I have put together a few tips to help make the transition from summer to school a little easier for you and your child.

Be Positive
It is only natural for your child to feel apprehensive about the new school year. You can help ease their worries by speaking positively about what they are going to experience this year. Get them excited about that they are going to learn. Recall to their minds the thing they enjoyed from previous years.

Get into a Routine
Even though school hasn't started yet, it’s a good idea to start getting into a good routine that will ease them into their school schedule. Set a wake up time and bedtime for your child. This may need to be done gradually for them to adjust. Also start with a few academic games/projects to refresh their memories and get them to prepared for what to expect when school starts. Consistency is key for both ADD and ASD.

Get Prepared
Include your child when you are getting prepared for the school year. Take them with you when you do their school shopping and let them pick out things that they like. Help them put together their backpacks, discuss lunch and snack options, and help them lay out their clothes for school the night before. Make the preparation a joint effort.

One other thing I really recommend doing – once you find out who your child's teacher will be – is to put together a packet about your child for the teacher. Take a look at the article How to Assemble a Teacher Information Packet for some helpful tips.

For additional back to school and safety tips, visit the American Academy of Pediatrics - Back To School Tips. My website also has information about Parenting a Child with ADD.

Partners & Family of Adults With ASD Support Group Goes International

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I wanted to share some of the exciting news about the Asperger Syndrome: Partner's & Family of Adults with ASD Support Group. Our small group has grown tremendously and now has 187 members. The members are not only those local to the Portland/Vancouver area, but we now have members from around the world from Europe, Great Britain, Dubai, East Africa, Canada, New Zealand and Australia.

The message boards have become a place where members can discuss their concerns and gain support. Here is what one of our new members wrote:

"Kathy, I just wanted to let you know how much this group is helping me. I have found a wealth of information and understanding. The shame and guilt that have been so present for so long is lifting because of the stunning similarities other woman are walking in and willing to share so honestly and openly. I'm glad you started this group (I only wish I lived in Portland lol) but good things are happening on the message board.”

The message boards are private and for members only and I screen new members. It is important to me that this support group is maintained as a place of support and security.

Our next meeting is scheduled for August 14, 2010. The topic for discussion is "Aspie by Nature or Exposure?" I hope that you can join us – if not in person, then on the message boards!

Benefits of Eating Together as a Family

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Family dinner has become a lost tradition. Nowadays family members eat when they want and whatever they want or they may eat dinner around the television or in their separate bedrooms. Studies show that eating one meal a day together as a family can be highly beneficial.

First, it can help the family to eat a healthy and balanced diet. It is a great way to incorporate fruits, vegetables, and whole grains into your family's diet. This will also help you to promote the concept of a healthy body image especially if you have a teenage daughter. You will be able to observe any unhealthy habits that your children may be developing.

Second, it will improve the family communication. This time is ideal for positive parental influence. Parents, use this time to talk to your children about what is happening in their life. Try to ascertain problems that they may be encountering like peer pressure. Do not use this time for disciplining. It will turn this enjoyable time into a time of dread.

I highly encourage you to take this counsel to heart and add it to your family schedule. You will be happy you did. It may take time to make it happen, so don't give up if it is taking time to coordinate. For more tips on parenting, visit the Parenting page on my website. Happy eating! 

7 Questions to Ask If You’re Interested In Working From Home

Thursday, July 29, 2010


For some, working from home sounds ideal. No morning/evening commute, no boss breathing down your neck, no dress code. . . These are just a few reasons why it may sound appealing. It is very important to weigh the pros and cons before making such a big decision as moving your office to the home.

 

I have worked from home for over 25 years so I’ve given this topic a lot of thought. I also work as a consultant for family businesses that are run from a home office. Some people thrive in that environment but for others it quickly becomes a nightmare!

 

I’ve compiled a list of 7 questions that I recommend asking yourself before making such a decision. Be sure to answer each question honestly.

1. Does your neighborhood allow home-based businesses? Are there any zoning restrictions?

2. Is your neighborhood a suitable location for your business?

3. Is your property well maintained with adequate parking for your clients/customers?

4. Does your house have a business office area suitable to your business' needs? Can visitors get to your business office without going through your entire house?

5. Does your family understand your plans and are they supportive?

6. Do you work well without supervision? Are you self-disciplined?

7. Do you mind being alone for long stretches of time?

For more information about the Entrepreneurial Life and making it work for you, click here.



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