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Kathy Marshack News

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.

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 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 - 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.

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, 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!

Dating, Love, and Asperger Syndrome

Friday, November 06, 2009

Can people with Asperger Syndrome love? Yes, they can, but the quality in which they love will be different. If you are a parent with an Asperger child, the topics of dating, love, and marriage will come up. Or you may have felt concerned about your child's future relationships. Well, there are things you can do now to help your child grow to be more successful in these areas.

First and foremost, it is important that you are very familiar with Asperger Syndrome and the type of issues your child will face in social situations. By understanding what is happening to them, you will be able to identify opportunities that you can use to teach and train them to interact with others. Encourage social activities and talk to them about how they can connect with people.

For more suggestions, I recommend Dating, Marriage & Autism by Stephen Shore. I appreciate Stephen's expertise both as a professional and as a person with Asperger Syndrome himself. Stephen was kind enough to write the forward to my book about adult Asperger relations, Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge?.

Take the time for your child now. Yes, there will be struggles in his or her life, but with support and guidance it is possible for them to grow up and love.

Help Your Child Cope with Their Asperger Sibling

Thursday, October 22, 2009

I have written a lot about the impact of Asperger Syndrome (AS) on a marriage – particularly from the perspective of the spouse of someone with Asperger's. It's very clear that the spouse will be affected and self-care is vital. (See previous blog - Self Care Vital When You Live With A Partner With Asperger Syndrome.) You may be wondering if the same principle applies when it comes to a child with an Asperger sibling. The answer is YES! It can be especially challenging for a child to deal with their AS sibling. With the AS child’s limited social interactions, lack of emotional reciprocity, and preoccupation with him or herself or a particular task, can make playing with siblings extremely difficult. This could lead the non AS child to feel confused and frustrated . . . even depressed. As always though, there are practical steps that parents can take to help both children. Here are some helpful tips: 1. Spend one-on-one time with your child. The AS child can suck a lot of your time and energy possibly making the other child feel neglected. Make sure you give them special time and attention. This is beneficial for both parent and child. Also, make sure that NT child has a well-rounded group of playmates. It is important that they have balance when it comes to fun and recreation. 2. Educate yourself and your child about Asperger Syndrome. This will help you both understand where the Asperger child is coming from. It will also help the NT child to develop compassion for their AS sibling rather than grow resentful. My book, Life with a Partner or Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: Going Over the Edge?, was written to assist the spouse of someone with Asperger's, but I also recommend it for parents with Asperger children. I have received positive feedback from parents who have read it and found principles that apply also to dealing with their children. (See previous blog - Unexpected Feedback on My New Book - Going Over the Edge?) Another good resource is The Parenting Aspergers Blog - 3. Counseling from a mental health care professional. There is nothing negative about taking your child to receive extra assistance to help them cope with their sibling. In psychotherapy they can learn specific tools, build self confidence, and also have a safe environment to share their thoughts and feelings. If you live in the Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA area, feel free to contact my office for more information.

Tips to Experiencing Happiness on a Daily Basis

Friday, October 16, 2009

Happiness…we all want it, but it sure is hard to find sometimes.  Some even call happiness elusive.  Maybe, however, we are just not looking at the problem from the right perspective.  Could it be that we are happy but just don’t know it?

Research is now discovering (yes, they had to do a study to find this out) that most people are so focused on their future, the “big picture”, that they are often blinded to small moments of happiness, such as the goodness in kind things that people are doing for them, as well as the beauty that surrounds them right outside their window.  It is an easy pitfall for entrepreneurs who seem naturally to look at the “big picture” in order to move forward with their goals.


Here are some suggestions to help experience happiness on a daily basis:

  • Focus on small moments during the day that give pleasure 
  • Cultivate positive emotions 
  • Build resources that help you rebound
  • Be open and flexible 
  • Savor the good, regardless of how small it may seem

As one practices these suggestions in their lives, they will discover that their overall mood is elevated and there is more resilience to negative events.  In turn, such appreciation for small moments will enhance our “big picture” by promoting success in jobs, relationships, and even health outcomes.   It seems that happiness isn’t all that hard to find after all.

For more information, access the study in the journal Emotion, or read the book written by Barbara Fredrickson, the lead author of the study, entitled Positivity:  Groundbreaking Research Reveals How to Embrace the Hidden Strength of Positive Emotions, Overcome Negativity and Thrive, published by Crown Publishing, 2009.

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.

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.

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.

Scheduled Television Appearance on June 16, 2009

Friday, June 12, 2009

Exciting news! I will be appearing on Portland’s KATU morning show, AM Northwest. I will be discussing my new book, Life with a Partner for Spouse with Asperger Syndrome: GOING OVER THE EDGE? Here are the details: When: Tuesday, June 16th, 2009 Show:  KATU AM Northwest Local Channel: Channel 2 Scheduled Time: 9-10 am Link for viewing online: I hope you can tune in!

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