welcome image

Some hope their children will be like sponges soaking up the truth and wisdom imparted by their parents. However appealing this philosophy might be, it seldom seems to catch on with their children.

Children do not develop on their own - they only develop within relationships.

If it  was going to be easy to raise kids, it never would have started with something called "labour".

A tantruming toddler is a little ball of writhing muscle and incredible strength. It's like trying to carry a greased pig past a slop bucket.

Adolescence can be the cruelest place on earth. It can really be heartless.  ( Tori Amos)

We should not medicate the boys so they fit the school; we should change the school to fit the boy. (Leonard Sax, M.D. Ph.D)

The teenage years require a delicate balance between the young person's need to gain independence, and the parent's need to retain authority.

Don't wait for him to turn 10 before you reveal that you are not in fact the hired help whose job it is to clean up after him.

Children today are under enormous pressures rarely experienced by their parents or grandparents. Many of today's children are being enticed to grow up too quickly and are encountering challenges for which they are totally unprepared.

It is what we say and do when we're angry that creates the very model our children will follow when dealing with their own frustrations.

Learn more.


  Asperger’s Syndrome
What is it?
            Asperger’s Syndrome is a neurobiological disorder that results in behavioural  characteristics that are best described as “odd” or “eccentric”. The cause is not
 known although there appears to be a strong genetic component as it has a high heritability rate. There is no cure. There are, however interventions that can yield
positive results.
Dr. Hans Asperger (Austrian pediatrician and psychiatrist) observed 4 children in his practice in 1944 who had difficulty integrating socially. The intelligence of these       children appeared to be normal, however they lacked nonverbal communication  skills. Dr. Asperger described it as a “condition primarily marked by social isolation”.
            – average to superior intelligence
            – perceived by others as being “odd”,” eccentric”
            – socially naive – often taken advantage of, rejected or bullied
            – unaware of other’s thoughts, feelings or perceptions resulting in appearing rude or inconsiderate
           – difficulty in initiating & maintaining close relationships & friends despite desiring to do so
            -problems reading non verbal or social cues and understanding social rules
            – inappropriate or insensitive social behaviours
            – will play with others but “on their terms” or not at all
            – literal interpretation of communication from others -eg. “I have a splitting headache”
            – speech is used primarily for delivering information or requesting something (not as a way of interacting socially)
            – inability to small talk – one sided conversations (centered on self)
            – long winded about their favourite interests
            – may sound like a “little professor”
            – uses repetitive phrases
            – detail oriented – may miss the “big picture”
            – superior ability to focus on favoured areas of interests
            – difficulty using language in a social context
            – exaggerated emotional response to situations (eg. temper tantrums, crying)
            – hyper sensitive to sensory input ( sound, sight, smells, touch)
            – difficulty “connecting the dots” of social life
            – rigid, inflexible & rule bound behaviours
            – often anxious and/or depressed
            – poor organizational skills
           – clumsy or awkward motor skills
            – dyslexia, writing problems
            Asperger’s Syndrome as described by the mother of a child with the   disorder:
            “These kids are not unconnected. They’re not unemotional. They just   don’t have the innate ability to pick up cues from the environment      
               like  most children. They have a hard time reading voice tones, facial  expressions and abstract language.”
            There are no “hard” diagnostic tests for Asperger’s. The diagnosis is made through observation and reports from parents, teachers, etc. The majority of children with Asperger’s are diagnosed between the ages of 5 and 11 although a diagnosis may not be made until adulthood.
            There is no cure for AS, however there are interventions that can yield positive  results:           
                                                – parental education
                                                – teacher education
                                                – behavioural approaches
                                                – training of social skills (IBI, ABA)
                                                – medications for hyperactivity, irritability, aggression, compulsions, anxiety, depression
What Can a Parent Do?
            1. have your child evaluated by a qualified medical doctor
            2. develop an Individual Education Plan (IEP) with your child’s school
            3. ensure ALL adults working with your child are educated about Asperger’s  Syndrome
            4. think about “where do you want your child to be in the next 5, 10, 15 years”
                        and plan and teach him/her the required skills
Individuals with Asperger’s Syndrome perceive the world differently and many behaviours that seem odd, unusual or inappropriate are due to neurological differences and are NOT the result of intentional rudeness or bad behaviour and are most certainly not the result of bad parenting


Back to Top


+ Behaviour Management (now available online)

This full day or 2 evening workshop will introduce you […]

Learn more

+ Lick Your Kids

  “Lick Your Kids” (figuratively not literally) (2 hours) First […]

Learn more

+ A Parent’s Guide to the Teenage Brain

  A teenager’s brain is not just an adult brain […]

Learn more

+ Reading Rescue

A program for children with reading problems

Learn more

+ Taming a Toddler

Many parents wonder what hit them when their sweet little baby turns into an unreasonable toddler – ideas for dealing with mealtime, bedtime, temper tanturms, toilet training, noncompliance, etc.

Learn more

See more of our workshops


2720 Rath Street, Putnam, Ontario

Phone: (519) 485-4678
Fax: (519) 485-0281

Email: info@rickharper.ca


Parents' Comments

“Implementing Rick’s techniques and adhering to them is exhausting, but it is a healthy exhaustion rather than the detrimental exhaustion I used to experience.”

(B.F. – Woodstock)