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Topic : 01/17 Extreme Disorders

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Created on : Friday, January 13, 2006, 02:18:32 pm
Author : DrPhilBoard1

Does your child rage, scream and kick doors? Is his or her behavior the typical brattiness of a spoiled child, or involuntary behavior beyond the child's control? Dr. Phil sheds light on a pair of widely misunderstood extreme neurological disorders. First, he looks at Asperger's syndrome, a high-functioning form of autism which can cause a person to lack control over his or her emotions, including anger. Rich and Karen's 15-year-old son, Alex, was diagnosed with Asperger's at age 6. His sudden fits of rage and erratic behavior have put a strain on his whole family. Should his parents be afraid of Alex, or is there something they can do to bring his behavior under control? Plus, Craig, 37, can't control his physical tics, nor can he keep from constantly uttering obscenities, literally hundreds of times a day. Craig suffers from Tourette syndrome, an affliction that's gotten so bad, he won't go into grocery stores, movie theatres or any public place for fear he'll be kicked out. What will the disorder mean for his plans to start a family? Talk about the show here.


Find out what happened on the show.


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January 16, 2006, 8:20 pm CST


Quote From: karen_kiki

I hear your story and you are one of the lucky ones.  Although our Alex is extremely bright, talented, sings well and loves to perform!  He is a sports fanatic and has been since age 4, so we can relate.  However his form of Asperger's also includes a mood swing disorder and that is what has pulled us apart and takes a toll  on the family.  We love him so much, and that is why we reached out to Dr. Phil.  Dr. Phil and his staff have been WONDERFUL and the resources they have provided are amazing. 


We hope that people will understand ASPERGER SYNDROME is a huge spectrum and that not all ASPERGER Children are like Alex but those that are need more help and need to be understood.  Parents such and myself and my husband need some respite as well. 


We aren't complaining we are blessed to have Alex, but we want to provide the best life for him and hopefully others will benefit as well. 


Corey has not always had the kind of year he has had this year. What makes this year so much better is the wonderful support network of teachers, family and friends. He does not like it much when things do not go his way but takes the consequences much better than in years past. The frequency of meltdowns are less likely than years past but still they come at times. Early intervention is the key. Corey has never had another babysitter besides myself as my daughter is reluctant to leave him with anyone but myself because of safety issues and he does not want to be alone. My daughter feels very lonely because there are not many men who could compete with the attention Corey requires. He can entertain himself but want you closeby to cheer him on. His father cannot comprehend his son not being NORMAL so he basically has nothing to do with him and only sees him about once every month or two.. maybe... and then for only one to two hours. Our family tries to compensate for this distant man. His dad would love him if only he would try to get to know him. I actually believe his dad could be AS also but never diagnosed. Corey has challenges with social situations and sometimes will do things that he thinks makes people laugh as he associates this with friendship. Although, all seem to know and like Corey he does not have friends who will spend the night or come over to play. We initiate play dates and opportunities for Corey to interact daily with children outside of school. It seems to work well and we can mediate the social issues by close monitoring and interaction to show him how to properly act in certain situations.  He is my heart.   


January 17, 2006, 4:53 am CST

My 8 year old daughter has Aspergers

I am glad to see the Dr. Phil show discussing this disorder, however it seems to be an extreme case. Our daughter is still young, but she is very agumentive with us-her parents. I hope that is not an indicater of her being more violent in the future. Our house is very stressful at times due to her behaviors, she also has ADD. I will be watching and hoping Dr. Phil talks about solutions even for milder cases.
January 17, 2006, 5:52 am CST


My son who is 7 was diagnosed with Tourettes Syndrome a year ago.  It was a very difficult for our family to come to terms with this.  We had a lot of researching to do and once we saw the doctor we were able to deal with it much better.  Tourettes has many different levels.  There are also a lot of different things that go hand and hand with Tourettes, ex.  adhd.  It has been a difficult road for our family but I thank God everyday that it isn't life threatening.  This is something we can deal with.  My son has adjusted well and has his good days and bad but it's amazing that he has handled this better than his father and I.  I am very proud of him.
January 17, 2006, 6:05 am CST

My daughter has Tourettes

 My daughter was diagnosed with Tourettes at 7 (the most common age for diagnosis).  She also has symptoms of ADD, but now, at 12, she is not using any ADD medication.  We are lucky, in that her Tourettes is mild to medium in severity.  She can control most ticcing (the proper spelling) outside of the house, which is great for her.  The only verbal tics she has is at home, when she argues (usually with me) , she'll say "what an idiot!"  We just joke that Mom is an idiot, which makes it funny.  Over time we have found, without exception, that the way to deal with her is to STAY CALM!  Obviously, it took us some time to catch on to this, and her doctor has gotten impatient with us at times, but it does work.  What happens is that she gets all raged out, then we calmly say what she is doing wrong, and what the consequences are, then she calls me an idiot (ha!), and then suddenly she calms down, and she is a totally different person.  She has handled this burden extremely well, considering she did nothing to deserve it!   She has grown enormously socially, and has good friends, and takes part in many things - the only trouble spot now is organization, which means homework and grades.  That is an ongoing challenge which her parents are committed to.

My two cents?  We are being poisoned daily with all the things that "improve" life.  Chemicals for cheaper food, medicine to stop any and all symptoms of illness, air pollution, stress about everything from our lawns to our kids SAT scores, and so on.  Many parents have reported huge turnarounds after eating organic and non-processed foods, and although money is a little tight right now, we are committed to converting our diet more and more as time goes on.   We were not meant to eat processed sugar and stripped grains!

January 17, 2006, 6:48 am CST

Is he getting help

My 17 year old son has Aspergers and what I am seeing with this individual on this show is an uncontrolled case. We have managed our sons Aspergers with counseling, Medications and patience. All parties involved in his care including his primary care doctor, psychologist, counselor, teachers, principals, brothers and especially his mother and I have worked very hard to make his life as normal as possible. He is finally developing some social skills and I believe he is finally enjoying life a little. The thing I am seeing on this show that is disturbing to me is the yelling and cursing by his father at him, that is not helpful to a child with Aspergers because they kind of live in their own world and when they are in a bout no amount of yelling will get through to them. We have done tremendous amounts of research and have been instrumental in making our School district being made aware of the needs of Aspergers sufferers. 

The fear of our son injuring someone has subsided alot however we still focus with him about controlling his temper which he is capable of controlling as a of these discussions we have and his medications. 

The real key in managing this disorder is finding a subject or subjects that interest the individual and allowing them the freedom to pursue those interests. My son loves to read and can go through about 4 to 5 books a week and many more if he finds interesting ones to read. these books have also helped him to cope at school in the crowd by essentially hiding in the books between classes. 

The bottom line is with the proper help and support the Asperger sufferer can lead a very normal life. However it is true that uncontrolled they could be very physical and could possibly hurt someone because when they lash out at what they perceive as an intrusion to their private world they have a physiological reaction that dumps adrenaline into their system which is the fight or flight mechanism. this gives them the strength to injure someone if pushed. 

bottom line medicationused in conjuction with therapy and making them understand the medication is only their to help but not control them it is still their responsibility to control themselves. 

My son is a wonderful kid who has very few friends but functions essentially normal in most situations and it interferes minimally on our family life, his brothers have been very supportive and include him in activities as much as he is willing. 


Craig S. Wolfe 

January 17, 2006, 6:51 am CST

Asperger's, autism, adhd people - read this!

There is hope!  It does not cost money.  You do not need to take drugs.  My 2 sons had unexplained behavior problems.  The youngest would surely be diagnosed as having Asperger's - exactly like Alex.  I found the solution thanks to a '60 Minutes' broadcast that described my son exactly.  It was about MSG in food.  There are a lot of different names for MSG.  It is not just in oriental food!  It is everywhere!  Once you learn how to read labels, YOUR LIFE WILL CHANGE.  It is dynamic.  It is immediate.  I want the world to know...



I am currently working on a PhD with a focus on behavior and neurological disorders caused by MSG. 

January 17, 2006, 7:10 am CST


My 17 year old stepson has been experienced a great deal of Asperger's symptoms.  His psychologist is still testing for it, but it seems to be the only answer.  Watching today's show was eye-opening.  He has so many similarities to your guest.  For many years, he was diagnosed as ADHD and it has only been a few months since we learned that he is, in fact, not ADHD.  I am very interested in the brain mapping, but I have been unable to find anywhere in or near Michigan that offers this technology.  We so desperately want to help him.  If anyone has any information, I would be very grateful.
January 17, 2006, 7:11 am CST

Disappointed in the lack of information

I was looking forward to this show because I have two sons with Asperger syndrome.  What a letdown. 


Brain imaging only helps in the diagnosis of  Asperger syndrome.  It has nothing to do with medication or treatment.  Dr. Phil should have at least given the parents advice on how to help alleviate their son's stress, accommodations that could be made in school, etc.   


No child wants to rage or act out.  It isn't for attention.  It's an indicator that something is wrong.  When they rage, it means they have emotions that they need help coping with.  That in itself is difficult for someone with Asperger's because they have a difficult time recognizing when they are getting stressed or what is causing the stress in the first place. 


The parents need to find ways to help their son cope with his stress, recognize ahead of time what situations may cause stress, and come up with coping skills ahead of time that he can use to get it under control.  Just telling him to control it is not going to work.  Part of Asperger's is the fact that emotions are so overwhelming that the person cannot control them.  Sometimes therapy and training help them to recognize when stress is getting overwhelming and how to cope with it, but sometimes not.  Yelling at him is definitely not going to help.  That's the first thing that has to stop. 


This young man is at a critical age for someone with Asperger's.  I hope he is able to get the help he needs in order to cope with the stress of high school.  Some kids with Asperger's drop out of high school because of the stress level.  One of my sons already has dropped out.  The other is struggling in his freshman year, but with accommodations he is doing okay. 


I guess the biggest point I would like to make for other parents of Asperger's is that you cannot change someone with Asperger's into a "normal" person.  It doesn't work that way.  Put their emotional wellbeing FIRST.  You have to learn the best way to help them deal with the overwhelming emotions and help them learn coping skills.  Medication for anxiety and depression are also important.   


If your child has Asperger's and can no longer cope with school, that IS okay.  You're not a bad parent.  Approx. 1/3 of children with Asperger's do not graduate high school.  I learned the hard way that you cannot force them to do something that is uncomfortable for them.  It will backfire.  Listen to what your children tell you.  When they are about to rage or get really stressed, try to sit them down and talk quietly with them.   


Since so little is understood about Asperger syndrome in the medical community, I would suggest that all parents arm themselves with information about Asperger's.  There are some great books out there by Tony Attwood on the subject.  He is an expert on Asperger's. 


I would also like to offer these websites to other parents of children with Asperger's.  They have a wealth of information: 







January 17, 2006, 7:11 am CST

Everyone thinks they have answers

Quote From: ingrid322



Last year my 7 yr old son was diagnosed with Aspergers. I can relate to the issue of rage which in our case is often due to sensory issues.  


 The unknowing public can be very judgmental. I can't tell you how many times Ive been given unsolicited advice from strangers when my son has gotten mouthy in the grocery store or post office.  


Thank you for doing this show. I hope this show will shed light on disablities that cant be seen. 



Isn't it amazing how many people think they know how we should parent our children.  Our special needs children are unique in that they may show symptoms of the syndrome and yet at other times look and appear as TYPICAL as any other child/person. 


We too have been at outings where people have commented on Alex's behavior and I want to shake them and scream at them and tell them not to judge.  Until you have lived in my home and see what day to day life is all about you will never understand. 


Keep doing what you think is best for your child.  Keep reaching out to others for help and don't give up.  I will continue to search even beyond what Dr. Phil and his staff may be able to provide.  I want Alex to have the best life he can have and I want to see him make a difference for others as well. 


I look forward to the day when I don't have to panic every time I see the Mood SWINGS. 


With prayers to you and yours....I look forward to working with you and others to make AS a household name so we can find the answers for our children and ourselves. 



January 17, 2006, 7:17 am CST

Our Story

Quote From: bigblue7

I am glad to see the Dr. Phil show discussing this disorder, however it seems to be an extreme case. Our daughter is still young, but she is very agumentive with us-her parents. I hope that is not an indicater of her being more violent in the future. Our house is very stressful at times due to her behaviors, she also has ADD. I will be watching and hoping Dr. Phil talks about solutions even for milder cases.

Even our case is not as extreme as some.  However we had hoped that with medication and behavior therapy that Alex would have learned over the years and this EXTREME Mood Disorder would not have gotten progressively worse.  Please note Alex is not always extreme, however when he is it destroys the whole family dynamics.  My relationship with my husband is strained because we spend 24/7 living for Alex and his meltdowns.  I take no time for me and no time for our relationship.  I work 3 jobs (because we financially need me to) and my husband works 2 (for the same reason). 


We are living in a pressure cooker and even when things are calm I am still living the last episode over and over and wondering what will trigger the next one. 


Dr. Phil and his staff have provided us a path of wellness and I am running down the path to get well.  I look forward to being able to help others, whether they match Alex or not it makes no difference.  AS, ADHD and Mood Disorders need to be addressed and we all need to learn how to live with this on a daily basis.  We need each other to reach out to and we need the support of trained medical individuals. 


God Bless you and your family, please stay in touch....Karen 

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