New parent in the Bay with Autistic child


I recently moved to Berkeley with my 2 kids. My 11-year old boy is on the Autism spectrum (Asperger). I am looking for any information, support group, contact for a good therapist.

Basically anything that would make our life easier.

I would love to get tips from people who are in the same situation as us.

many thanks


Parent Replies

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My younger son is somewhere on the spectrum, and a resource I find helpful is Asperger Experts in Seattle, WA 98122  (google for coordinates).  It is run by a 30 something with Asperger's and has lots of resources, discussion groups and workshops.  My son finds Danny too much of a salesman (he's pretty relentless) but I have spent 20 years trying to figure out effective parenting, and a lot of how Danny (and his parents) approach it makes sense to me.

Helmut Relinger is a clinical psychologist who runs social skills/therapy groups for teens and young adults mostly with ASD at his office near Alta Bates.   My son did that for several years--some good aspects, but ultimately I think my son needed something different, as his anxiety and depression became more primary.  Moral of the story--you are raising an individual not a diagnosis -- parenting effectively is HARD.  Take care of yourself too.

We are very happy with Think Social in Oakland!  Shelly Hansen is a wonderful speech therapist who runs small social skills groups for same-aged children, teens and adults, and my son with Asperger is benefiting greatly after only a few weekly sessions.

YES! Dave Macarchick worked with my Asperger's son for 10 years while he was going through school and all the associated behaviorial and social challenges he faced. My son is now in the honors program in college in the midwest (he still loves to see Dave when he comes home). Dave has a unique knack and instinct to meet kids where they are at - and they love him for it. He got my son through all sorts of phobias - and they had fun in the process (!). I highly recommend him.  The best thing of all is that he comes right to your house (no driving to an appointment) and works directly with your child in the home environment.  This was great for us as my son had 2 younger siblings at home and Dave was able to work on the family dynamics as well.

This is his info:

Dave Macarchick 415-828-0864 (415 number but he lives in Berkeley)  

Here's a page from his website:

Feel free to contact me with questions.