CONTACT MY OFFICE:
(503) 222-6678 - Portland, Oregon
(360) 256-0448 Vancouver, Washington
   info@kmarshack.com

Therapy

ADD & ADHD
ADOPTIVE FAMILIES
ASPERGER & MARRIAGE
COUPLES IN BUSINESS
DEPRESSION & STRESS
ENTREPRENEURIAL LIFE
EXPAT ONLINE THERAPY
HIGH CONFLICT DIVORCE
MARRIAGE COUNSELING
MIND & BODY HEALTH
PARENTING
PERSONAL GROWTH
RECOMMENDED LINKS
NEWS CENTER
ONLINE STORE
Overview
ADD in Adults
Parenting a Child with ADD
Overview
Articles
Overview
Coping with Anxiety Disorders
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Overcoming Depression
Managing Stress
Conquering Fears & Phobias
Overcoming Social Phobia
Overview
Couples at Work & Home
Dual Career Couples
Families in Business
Overview
Recognizing High Conflict Divorce
Overview
Conflict & Communication
Infidelity
Couples at Work & Home
Love, Sex & Intimacy
Maintaining Strong Marriage
Dual Career Couples
Codependence
Advice for Singles Only
Overview
Alcoholism Recovery
Stop Smoking
Weight Control
Headache Relief
Holistic Health
Managing Blood Pressure
Releasing Unresolved Stress
Overview
Am I a Good Parent
Blended Families
Gifted Child
Coping with ADD/ADHD
Adoptive Families
Overview
Gifted Adults
When to Seek Help
Psychotherapy Options
Laid-Off from Work
Overview
Calendar of Events
Media Coverage
Newsletter
Press Center
Seminars
Related New Stories
Subscribe
Sample
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

How to Support Friends who Live with Aspie Family Members

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Asperger Syndrome: Partner's & Family of Adults with ASD Support Group has been growing by leaps and bounds. Our meetings and Meetup page has become a place of comfort and support for those who have loved ones with ASD. So many times the focus is put on the one with ASD and with no support for their family, but that is now changing.

I recently received an post from a new member who joined to support her friend who is married to someone with ASD. Here is what she said, "Thank you for your welcome. I was happy to find this group as I was very much helped by your book, which I've passed on to my friends. They found it tremendously helpful. I am glad to find any discussion on these issues as those outside the situation find it pretty nigh impossible to understand the pain involved. I'm not married to an AS but my friend is."

The support group is not limited to those with family/partners of ASD, but also those who are friends to Neuro-typicals with Asperger partners. Many times the NT's feels like no one understands the pain that they are experiencing. This new member set a wonderful example of a supportive friend. I encourage anyone else in this situation to please join our support group meetings or Meetup page if you live outside of the Portland/Vancouver area.

My book Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge is available for purchase on my website or feel free to download the first chapter for free. This is also an excellent resource for friends to read to gain a greater appreciation for what their friends may be experiencing. Thank you to all of you who are taking the lead to help spread the word about Asperger Syndrome.

Can You Forgive Your Asperger Partner?

Thursday, June 10, 2010


In a relationship, forgiveness is one of the keys to success. When you are in a relationship with someone with Asperger Syndrome, whether they are a partner or family member, forgiveness is a struggle. Even though you may have a forgiving nature, somehow forgiving our AS adults may not feel healing. There is still something missing.

In May, I had the pleasure of hearing Dr. Janis Abrahms Spring speak at the Oregon Psychological Association meeting. She brought up an interesting point about the issue of forgiveness stating that there cannot be genuine forgiveness in a relationship unless there is full cooperation of the "offending" party. You can come to some acceptance and that is healing for you but there is still that hole that can only be filled when both parties process the hurt.

Dr. Abrahms Spring wrote a fantastic book entitled, How Can I Forgive You? The Courage to Forgive and the Freedom to Not. I highly recommend reading it especially if forgiveness is an issue in your life.

On June 19th, our Asperger Syndrome: Partners and Family of Adults with ASD, held in Portland, Oregon, will be discussing this very troubling concept of reclaiming our lives when there is no apology, no empathic request for forgiveness, no acceptance of our offers of apology and no connecting over the shared hurt. There are answers and in our group sharing we will discover them. Visit our Meetup page for more information.

New Partners & Family of Adults with Asperger Syndrome Support Group in Lake Oswego, Oregon

Thursday, April 15, 2010


It’s been one year since the Asperger Syndrome: Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Support Group was formed in Portland. Thanks to all who have been a part of the group and helped it to develop into a productive and upbuilding environment.

Since the support group has been so successful, we have decided to form a new group in the Lake Oswego area. Two members from the Portland group will be facilitating the new group. The group will meet on alternate Saturdays to the Portland group. If you currently attend the Portland group, you are welcome to join the Lake Oswego meetings as well. The location and exact start-up date have not been confirmed. I will be sure to include all details in a blog as soon as they have been decided upon.

This Saturday April 17, the Portland group will be meeting in at 1 pm. The theme of this month’s discussion is "Learning to laugh again." Come join us to begin the process of reclaiming your life. If you are already laughing, share the laughter. If you are still numb and in survivor mode come along and see what is possible by hearing the stories of others. If you are somewhere in between then you know that you are growing toward freedom and that feels so good.

Our goal is to start a group in the Vancouver, Washington area in the near future. For more information, please visit Meetup.com.

Autism Awareness is Growing in Canada

Thursday, April 01, 2010


The Autism Society Canada has proudly announced that April 2nd, 2010 will be designated as the World Autism Awareness Day (WAAD) in Canada. Their goal is to spread awareness about autism and lend assistance to those living with ASD. It has been estimated that 1 in 150 Canadians have some form of ASD. Since Canada is without national surveillance, those numbers can only be viewed as an estimate.

Michael Lewis, President of the Autism Society Canada is hoping for a change in how autism is monitored in Canada. He said, “All autism stakeholder organizations agree that Canada must establish accurate surveillance and reporting on ASDs. This information will help us to determine the prevalence of autism to help develop policies needed regarding treatments and services for all Canadians living with an ASD."

For more information about the Autism Society of Canada and WAAD, visit their website or join their Facebook page. Let us all continue to work towards more awareness of ASD in whatever country we live in!

The Autism Society of Washington Conference

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


The Autism Society of Washington is hosting the Best in the Northwest Conference – Bridge to Adulthood: Promoting Competence through Comprehensive Transition Planning for Learners with Autism and Related Disorders. This is a one-day workshop in my hometown, Vancouver, Washington and it will be held on April 16, 2010.

The workshop will be directed by Dr. Peter Gerhardt, President of the Organization for Autism Research. With over 25 years of experience of working with autism related disorders, Dr. Gerhardt will be focusing on the transition process beyond classroom academics and promoting life competence for ones with ASD.

I have signed up to attend this workshop. Click here for more information or to register. Maybe I’ll see you there!

New TV Drama Adds a Character with Asperger Syndrome

Thursday, March 18, 2010


NBC has developed a new sitcom called "Parenthood". It is based around the challenges of raising children and starting life over. What I found interesting about this new show is that one of the main characters, Adam Braverman, has a young son with Asperger Syndrome. Yes, it looks like Hollywood's interest in Asperger's continues to grow.

Jason Katmin's, Parenthood's writer and executive producer, has a 13 year old son with Asperger Syndrome and wanted to use this opportunity to raise public awareness about the disorder and reduce the stigma around it. Wednesday morning after the second episode aired, "Asperger Syndrome" was one of the top Google searches. It looks like Jason Katmin's hope is becoming a reality.

If you would like more information on Asperger Syndrome, please visit Asperger Syndrome Frequently Asked Questions on my website.

Update on Partners & Family of Adults with ASD Meetings

Thursday, March 04, 2010


Asperger Syndrome: Partner and Family of Adults with ASD Meetup Support Group was established in Portland, Oregon back in April 2009 and I am happy to say that it is growing by leaps and bounds. The discussions we have are honest and candid. They have proven to be beneficial no matter what stage of life you are in with your partner or adult Asperger family member.

Our group also consists of extremely talented people with a wealth of information to share. The next Meetup is scheduled for March 20, 2010 at the Old Wives Tales Restaurant in Portland, Oregon at 1 p.m. It is very heartwarming for me to see that members are willing to give of themselves to each other. Even though the Meetup lasts but two hours, many members choose to stay for another hour or two because the friendships are growing. If you are interested in attending, please click here for more information.

Another amazing experience is that members that live in different states, even different continents, join in. Through our message boards members from afar can reach out and be touched. For instance, we have had over 350 posts to the message board on the subject “Patients Not Believed About The Difficulty Of Their Lives” written by Bronwyn Wilson.

Please visit our message boards to read the discussions on a whole host of subjects from increased meltdowns on the weekends, to learning patience and acceptance, to the latest science and genetic research, to fatigue and self-care, and more. Sharing is what it is all about.

A New Review of Going Over the Edge?

Tuesday, March 02, 2010


Oren Shtayermman, a professor from the Department of Interdisciplinary Health Sciences at the New York Institute of Technology, recently wrote a book review of Life with a Partner for Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge? His review was published by the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders. I was very pleased with the review and wanted to share it.

I was particularly impressed about how supportive it was of NT's living in these types of relationships. For example, Shatyermman writes,  "The author reveals in a sensitive and emotional manner, the encounters and endeavors women (and few men) are faced with while living in a world where spontaneity, empathy and social cues rarely appear."

The book review concludes with this statement, "This is an exceptional book which sheds light on a population often left out of the focus of treatment and in need of further exploration vis-a-vis issues they encounter as well as the possible ways to deal with those."

Please click here to view the book review in its entirety.

New Research About the Hormone Oxytocin and High-Functioning Autism

Thursday, February 25, 2010


A new study performed by the Neuropsychology Group, Institute of Cognitive Science in France suggests that inhaling Oxytocin may be beneficial for people who have high function autism (HF-ASD). Oxytocin is a hormone that acts as a neurotransmitter in the brain and is thought to have an impact on emotions and behavior. Oxytocin is also referred to as "the love hormone."

The study was centered around a virtual ball toss with 13 adults with HF-ASD or Asperger Syndrome between the ages 17-39. The patients were randomly given either the Oxytocin nasal spray or a placebo spray. Those who inhaled Oxytocin improved in their ability to differentiate "good" players versus "bad" players by responding to more social cues. They also saw an improvement in gazing at the other players in the face and eyes.

This study is still in the beginning stages of research. There is much to be discovered in how much Oxytocin should be given and how often. Long-term effects of this hormone are also unknown at this time. For a complete look at this recent study, I recommend reading - Oxytocin Improves Social Interaction in High-Functioning Adults With Autism.

Controversy Stirring Over Possible Changes to Asperger Syndrome Diagnosis

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Asperger Syndrome (AS) was officially recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) for the first time in 1994. The DSM is published by the American Psychiatric Association and is used by mental health care professionals to identify specific disorders. The DSM-V (fifth edition) has proposed to eliminate Asperger Syndrome as a specific disorder (which it currently is) and categorize it under general Autism Spectrum Disorder.

What is good about the revisions is that the new DSM will view Autism disorders on a spectrum from mild to severe, rather than specific and distinct disorders such as Asperger Syndrome.  AS doesn't go away.  It is just refined as an Autism disorder on the milder end of the continuum.

Many Aspies and their loved ones are worried by this adjustment. Since they do not view themselves as autistic, they feel like it would label them as something different than they are. This revision has the potential to impact their future especially since Asperger's has recently been accepted and understood on a greater level. The rather controversial question is, will changing the diagnosis change the way someone with Asperger's is viewed?

The American Psychiatric Association is open to hear the public opinion of their proposed revisions. This window of opportunity will be open through April 20, 2010. Updates to the 2013 DSM-V will be based off of these comments and field trials. So now’s your chance to do the research on these proposed changes and make your opinions known! I would love to hear what your thoughts are on this matter as well. Please feel free to leave me a comment.

Click here to read the DSM-V proposed revisions. If you would like to participate in giving your comment to the American Psychiatric Association, click here. For more information, CNN Health posted a great article on this topic - Revised psychiatry manual targets autism, substance disorders.



Recent Posts RSS


Tags


Archive