(503) 222-6678 - Portland, Oregon
(360) 256-0448 Vancouver, Washington


ADD in Adults
Parenting a Child with ADD
Coping with Anxiety Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Overcoming Depression
Managing Stress
Conquering Fears & Phobias
Overcoming Social Phobia
Couples at Work & Home
Dual Career Couples
Families in Business
Recognizing High Conflict Divorce
Conflict & Communication
Couples at Work & Home
Love, Sex & Intimacy
Maintaining Strong Marriage
Dual Career Couples
Advice for Singles Only
Alcoholism Recovery
Stop Smoking
Weight Control
Headache Relief
Holistic Health
Managing Blood Pressure
Releasing Unresolved Stress
Am I a Good Parent
Blended Families
Gifted Child
Coping with ADD/ADHD
Adoptive Families
Gifted Adults
When to Seek Help
Psychotherapy Options
Laid-Off from Work
Calendar of Events
Media Coverage
Press Center
Related New Stories
Enriching Your Live Archive
Entrepreneurial Couples Archive

Enriching Your Life!

Sign up for my FREE newsletter! Get practical tips for you and your family.

Kathy Marshack News

Interview About Asperger’s Relationships on Portland's KXL News Radio

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

I was recently interviewed about my new book, Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge?, on Portland's KXL 750 News Radio Weekend Morning News. I enjoyed the interview and the opportunity to share what life is like for those who love someone with Asperger Syndrome. If you would like to hear my interview, visit and click on the first audio clip. Enjoy! Don’t forget if you would like a sample chapter of my new book, a FREE download of Chapter One is available. Thank you for your continued support.

New Study Shows Huge Increase in Antidepressants

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A new study published in the August edition of General Archives of General Psychiatry highlighted a startling fact. Apparently the use of antidepressants have increased by 75% when looking at the years 1996 to 2005 in the US. That is a considerable increase! Another worrisome statistic is that less 32% of those taking an antidepressant have visited a mental health care professional for treatment. Most received their medication from a general practitioner. With increasing difficult times, it is realistic to expect an increase in depression. What concerns me is the how people are going about treating their depression. If you are dealing with depression or know someone who is, I strongly encourage treatment from a mental health care professional. Therapy is a highly effective way to treat depression and can be used in combination with antidepressants. I also recommend lifestyle changes when coping with depression. A healthy diet and regular exercise promotes mental and emotional health. A strong network of positive and healthy support from family and friends is important for prevention and recovery from depression. For more tips and important information, visit Overcoming Depression on my website. If you would like to set up an appointment with me, please contact my office for more information.

More on Gary McKinnon

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Herald British Press, recently published more on Gary McKinnon, the computer hacker. For more information on the story behind Gary McKinnon please read my earlier blogs about him: Should a computer hacker with Asperger Syndrome go to prison? and Should Asperger Syndrome be used as a defense? The Herald seems to be very supportive of Mr. McKinnon and believes that he should not be extradited to the US to stand trial. However, the British Courts have upheld the extradition order as legal. In 2003 Mr. McKinnon was offered a plea bargain of about three years in prison and after six months of jail time in the US  he could return home. He refused the deal. I suspect that he hoped he would not have to leave England and never serve any time. Do you really think Mr. McKinnon was just innocently searching for information on little green space men? This is just one of the personal messages he left when he hacked into the Pentagon computers: "US foreign policy is akin to government-sponsored terrorism these days . . . It was not a mistake that there was a huge security stand-down on September 11 last year . . . I am SOLO. I will continue to disrupt at the highest levels . . ." After reading this message, I doubt you will think McKinnon is just an innocent prankster. Does it sound to you like this man was only seeking information on extraterrestrials? Mr. McKinnon needs to stand trial for his admitted crimes, but I also maintain that he needs to receive evaluation and treatment for his developmental disorder.

Hollywood Experiencing an Explosion of Interest in Asperger Syndrome

Saturday, August 08, 2009

In one of my earlier blogs, I wrote about how excited I was to hear that Hollywood had taken an interest in Asperger Syndrome with the new movie, ADAM. Amazingly, that was just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to ADAM, there are two other movies - one this summer and one next summer - that are also based on Asperger Syndrome. The other movie out this summer is an animated film entitled, Mary and Max. Like ADAM, it premiered at the Sundance film festival. Mary and Max is based on a true story of a relationship between a middle aged man from New York with Asperger's and his unlikely pen pal, a little girl from Australia. The original idea for the movie came from Adam Elliot who was the young pen pal to the man with Asperger's. He wanted to share his 20 year friendship with the film world. The second film is still untitled and will debut on HBO in 2010. The story is based on the life of Temple Grandin, a woman with Asperger's who became a professor at Colorado State University. Temple Grandin has written books on autism. In the past I have recommended her book , The Unwritten Rules of Social Relationships: Decoding Social Mysteries Through the Unique Perspective of Autism. I look forward to seeing her story played out onscreen especially since it is from the perspective of a woman which is different from the other two films. For more information on these films, I recommend the New York Times article Asperger's Syndrome, on Screen and in Life. Continue to check my blog for my "reviews" once I have seen these movies. Unfortunately, they are not currently available in my area.

Is Stress on the Rise for Parents with Autistic Children?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Raising children today is extremely challenging, but how does it compare to raising a child with autism? The New York Times recently interviewed, Annette Estes, about this very subject. Annette Estes is the assistant director of the University of Washington Autism Center. Their recent study focused in on the stress levels of mothers with autistic children verses mothers with children who have developmental disabilities. Of course, both groups of mothers are dealing with very stressful situations and that can't be underestimated. The study did show that mothers with autistic children showed higher stress levels and psychological distress than the other group. As a psychologist and as a parent, I recognize the incredible amounts of stress that are on these parents. Finding solutions for managing this kind of stress is a continual process, but there are useful tools available. If you are a parent with an autistic child, visit my website for more information about managing stress. I also recommend my new book, Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Sydrome: Going Over the Edge? Even though I didn't specifically write it with these parents in mind, there are many basic principles that still apply. If you have found any useful tools to help deal with stress as a parent with an ASD child, I would love to hear what you have learned.

Update from the Autism Society of America Conference in Chicago

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

My recent trip to Chicago to attend the Autism Society of America Conference was incredibly rewarding. It appears that the medical community has finally started listening to parents and other family members as we describe what is really going on in our homes, living with loved ones with Autism. As a result the research is demonstrating that there is a genetic, biological, immunological and environmental interaction that produces Autism Spectrum Disorders. I was happy to hear that there is interest in doing research about living the stress of this life, but it is still in its infancy stages. My publisher, AAPC, has expressed an interest in having me write another book. I truly feel that this is the time for us to be heard and do what we can to get as much information out there as possible. There was some good news and some bad news that was shared with us at the conference. The bad news is that CDC will soon be announcing that the incidence of ASDs has increased to one child in 100 in 2009. That is a 1200% increase over 20 years. The good news is that there are very good treatments and even evidence of recovery in some individuals. In fact a new website was unveiled at the conference; It is not yet operational but will soon be. The website will house data and resources from all directions, including a database of parents who would like to submit information on their own families. It's free to access and all confidential. Amazing! I still have much to share, so please continue to read my blog for more updates. If you live in the Portland/Vancouver area and are living with a family member that has Asperger Syndrome, I invite you to join our next Meetup on August 1st at the Old Wives Tale. We will be discussing the conference in full detail.

Speaking about Asperger Syndrome for AAPC

Friday, July 24, 2009

My book publisher AAPC, Autism Asperger Publishing Company, has set in motion a new program entitled Professional Development. This program was created with the intent to connect school districts with qualified professionals who present information on all things related to autism. I was recently asked to be a speaker and presenter for AAPC. In my presentations, I will be focusing on the topics Transition to Adulthood and Family/Home. I am looking forward to being part of this new program. Through these speaking engagements, I hope to share the knowledge I have learned about the challenges of loving and caring for someone with Asperger's. For more information, visit my profile for AAPC Professional Development. Other organizations interested in a presentation related to Asperger Syndrome can contact me directly.

New Study Links 27 Genes to Asperger Syndrome, Autism, and Empathy

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scientists from the Autism Research Centre, University of Cambridge have identified 27 genes that are associated with either Asperger Syndrome, autistic traits, and/or empathy. The research is published July 16, 2009 issue of the Journal Autism Research. Asperger Syndrome (AS) is considered a subgroup on the autistic spectrum. Autism Spectrum Conditions occur in about 1% of the population. They are diagnosed on the basis of difficulties in social relationships, communication, and adjusting to change, alongside unusually narrow interests. The team looked at these genes in 349 adults in the general population, all of whom had filled in the Autism Spectrum Quotient (AQ) as a measure of autistic traits, and the Empathy Quotient (EQ) as a measure of empathy. Then, they looked at 174 adults with a formal diagnosis of Asperger Syndrome only and compared them to controls. The resulting research found that single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 27 out of the 68 genes were nominally associated with either AS and/or with autistic traits/empathy. According to the researchers, 5 of the genes found have been previously reported in autism, but the other 22 have never before been reported in association with AS, autistic traits or empathy. Click here to learn more about this fascinating research.

Autism SuperConference July 23-24, 2009 in Portland, Oregon

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Future Horizons, an autism publishing company, has put together a series of two day nationwide SuperConferences on autism and Asperger Syndrome. I was excited to see that Tony Attwood, Temple Grandin, and Maria Wheeler will be leading the discussion on a variety of topics at the Portland, Oregon SuperConference. EVENT DETAILS: Date: July 23-24, 2009 Conference Location: Crowne Plaza Portland Downtown Convention Center Registration Number: 1.800.489.0727 Website: During this event, I will be in St. Charles, Illinois attending the Autism Society of America's National Conference on Autism Spectrum Disorders. However, if you live in the Portland/Vancouver area, I recommend registering if you're interested in learning more about autism and Asperger Syndrome. I would also love to hear your thoughts about the information presented.

A Healthy Brain Equals Healthy Relationships

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

A strong marriage or relationship requires constant and loving attention, which can be hard work under the best circumstances. Lately I’ve focused on the impact of Asperger Syndrome on relationships. But the truth is there are many things such as ADD, anxiety, depression, obsessive tendencies, brain trauma, toxic exposure, and early Alzheimer’s disease  that can seriously sabotage your relationships. I greatly respect the work of Dr. Daniel Amen, who I have spoken of in past blogs. In his recent "Brain in the News" newsletter, he spoke of how brain function has an incredible affect on our relationships. When the brain is functioning properly, things are good, but when it is not, you exhibit traits that could have a negative impact on your relationships.  For example, Dr. Amen mentioned that if you have low activity in the front part of your brain, you will often speak before you think. This type of speech can be hurtful and harmful to your relationship. If this type of behavior sounds familiar, you may need marital counseling and more. You may also need to examine your mental health as individuals. If you are interested in other tips for maintaining a relationship, visit Marriage Counseling - Maintaining a Strong Marriage.

Recent Posts RSS