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My adorable nephew has just been diagnosed with autism...

(12 Posts)
aldiconvert Mon 24-Feb-14 10:18:02

My 4 yr old nephew has just been diagnosed with autism ... We had all noticed he was about a year behind developmentally and also still in nappies ...
He has also been having lots of seizures and that was the trigger for further investigation...
His dad ( my brother) is absolutely devastated and sent us a very emotional email ( out of character )
I want to send him and his wife a supportive email back ( he does not want to speak or meet yet as too upset)
I have no idea what to put !
I have little understanding of autism although I am guessing it is fairly mild as I have seen more severe autistic behaviour ie children rocking quite violently ..
Please could you help me with what to put ????
I need to get it right because we are the only family support network on this side of family ...

Could you tell them that you love them all, that you think DN is adorable and you are proud to be his aunt, and that you will be supporting them all now as always.

NewBlueCoat Mon 24-Feb-14 10:29:29

Your nephew is still your nephew (I know you know this)

He is the same gorgeous adorable little boy he was before those words were spoken y the doctor.
Your brother will be feeling all kinds of things. And all of them are ok - sadness and grief (loss of the child they thought they had) anger (why them?) confusion (what now?) and so on. I know, because I felt it all.
Even if the diagnosis was partially expected, it can still hit you like a train when the words are finally said.

Tell your brother and SIL you will be there when they need to offload. Don't tell them your nephew will catch up in the end, or endless anecdotes about eg Einstein not talking until he was 5, or similar developmental tales.

Listen if they want to talk, and give them space if they need it. And tell them about MNSN boards - without them, I wod have been lost years ago when dd1 was diagnosed, and she would not be where she is now.

aldiconvert Mon 24-Feb-14 13:26:36

Thank you so much .... Perfect ! X x x x really helped me to be able to help them .....

cestlavielife Mon 24-Feb-14 16:15:06

you could say that you "hope the diagnosis will enable him to access more help at school and other services".

many children with autism (like my ds ) are sociable and cuddly and very responsive especially to people they know. autism covers a broad spectrum - the main issues in common are repetitive behaviours (soemtimes it may be just subtly more than any other child) , problems with communication; and imagination - including theory of mind eg seeing things in black and white . but the child may ahve spiky profile and be above average in some things... (my son could read at age five, he still doesnt talk)

you could offer to have your nephew over at yours whenever they need as sometimes the parent believes or feels the diagnosis comes with a warning to other people to reject that child....you could just ask what does nephew need when he comes to my place? (whether its specific toy, tv, same dvd over and over; space to be himself; or whatever) . let them know it doesnt change who your nephew is but hopefully will help steer educaiton and services for him .

you could buy them a family membership to NAS www.autism.org.uk/ which comes with quarterly magazine

you could call NAS and ask what services there are locally and give them that information eg local support groups etc

For us we suspected something was wrong for a long time, in one way it was a relief to know that it wasn't our imagination and that we would be able to get support and help for him...in another way it was devastating as it wiped out all hopes that he would be "normal".

I think you are a lovely sister to want to support them through this.

aldiconvert Mon 24-Feb-14 20:50:55

Membership sounds like a lovely idea .....

Mckenngp1 Wed 26-Feb-14 21:09:26

There is a poem welcome to holland I think it is called, not sure how to do links sorry but I'm sure it will come up on google. It is very suitable x

lougle Wed 26-Feb-14 21:43:37

Welcome to Holland is not suitable, IMO. Interestingly, before I had a child with SN, I came across it as a student nurse and found it profound and inspiring. Once I had a child with SN I recognised it as I now see it - patronising platitudes.

LeonardWentToTheOffice Wed 26-Feb-14 22:29:09

The doctor told ds that the world would be like everybody were grey flowers if everybody was the same. It is the people that have autism who make the world interesting, that they are the colourful flowers. :-)

(I'm sure she worded it more beautifully than that)

aldiconvert Wed 26-Feb-14 23:21:29

Thank you ... I will google poem and see .... I like anything that will encourage positive thoughts so that poem and philosophical thoughts about seeing the world might help them or other family members x ...

amistillsexy Wed 26-Feb-14 23:39:26

Please don't send Welcome to Holland. When ds was diagnosed, lots of people sent it or told me about it (They all seemed to think they'd discovered it themselves!), and it was not helpful at all. I found it trite and depressing.

I agree that it would be helpful to say you adore him, that he's still the same wonderful little boy he was before dx, and the dx will enable him to access support.

It's lovely that you are wanting to support your db. My sister had no interest whatsoever when ds was diagnosed, and whenever anything happens, she texts the sane thing: that her friend's son has asd and struggled at primary school and he's fine Now confused

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