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Does this phrase mean anything to you?

(21 Posts)
coff33pot Thu 24-Jan-13 11:15:00

Sorry but in your main post you say
* It's quite an awkward situation as almost every occasion now results in some incident with him leaving us all silent and almost embarrassed, but don't want to ask SIL if there are problems because surely they'd have explained to us if that was the case?*

Then in your next you state that they are a family that doesnt talk openly confused

I dont mean to be awkward but its a little bit contradictory as if they are a reserved family then she wouldnt have disclosed anything would she.

And it does say that it is HIM that is leaving you all silent and almost embarrassed.

I would still approach her by the way of help as in breaking the ice before the silence comes. Laughing it off and carrying on with conversation as if nothing had happened. Build a trusting relationship with your SIL so that in turn she may just confide in you if she needs support.

Maybe choose different forms of meet up rather than big family dos something you know he would enjoy that relaxes him. A lot of kids SN or NT hate crowds, chaos and busy places.

But others are right you dont need to KNOW anything to be supportive. smile

MareeyaDolores Thu 24-Jan-13 11:08:11

The practical suggestions about how to handle family gatherings are great. I think you were doomed from the start with the latest outing. Pizza parlour + grandparents + any minor hitch = complete meltdown, ime

MareeyaDolores Thu 24-Jan-13 11:05:53

I dunno. My gut feeling is the same as coff, I'm confused, why not just ask SIL?

Yes, there's a role for
-allowing privacy
-respecting people's right to be in denial
-accepting that parental responsibility includes the 'right' to do it your own way
-reinterpreting public "tantrums" as an adult unreasonable-expectations issue

But you're the little lad's auntie, and yes, it does look to me like there's probably some sort of issue. Though not necessarily one with a "name" wink. It also looks like you're one of the few people who isn't going to say this difficulty is all due to "naughtiness" or a "parenting problem". Plus, based on my own family and in-laws grin, multi-generation 'quirky' families can make for slightly difficult communication about this type of thing, so your SIL might welcome (tactful) straight talking wink.

Knowledge doesn't affect ability to help. Honestly. My DS' teachers knew everything and they were as much use as a chocolate teapot.

Catsdontcare Thu 24-Jan-13 10:59:10

I agree you really don't need to "know" anything to be able to help. Just be kind, sensitive and inclusive. I can assure that I don't feel that things would be better all round for the extended family to have a big discussion about my child and I would resent being forced into a discussion. I do discuss his diagnosis with close friends but I don't feel obliged to share it with everyone.

troutsprout Thu 24-Jan-13 10:32:13

Cptart you don't need to have 'the conversation' ... Really you don't . They may not even be able to have it themselves yet.
You obviously want to help . He is one of your people... Just roll up you sleeves and get in there. :-)

1..Distraction.... You may be able to stop it escalating...someone he doesn't see too often may be able pull this off easily. Ask him something about a subject he is really into.
2.See if you can solve the problem for him
3.Ask your sil / bil if she needs a hand
4.Make it your absolute mission to fill the silences at the table

Even if you failed miserably at all of the above ... I would probably love you forever that you cared enough to try.

inappropriatelyemployed Thu 24-Jan-13 10:28:31

I think they have decided what is best for them and you need to respect that. I am sure you are trying to help and it is very kind of you to think of them, but families need their privacy. If their son has got special needs, they might have entered a very stressful world of trying to assessment and battling for provision. They might just want to live as normally as they can without talking about it.

As zzzzz says you can offer help and be a good friends whether they confide in you or not (if there is anything to confide)

zzzzz Thu 24-Jan-13 09:50:18

Your personal feelings about how they deal with their child's possible medical diagnosis and its disclosure are really immaterial. Your husband is quite right it is up to them how to handle it and who to tell what.

Ask yourself why you feel your help is dependent on them telling you anything? Because frankly it isn't.

CPtart Thu 24-Jan-13 08:13:04

Thanks for your insight.
Just to clarify, my DH is SIL sister and although I would be more than willing to ask them if there are any problems, they are a family that doesn't talk openly and my DH is adamant we just leave things be and don't interfere.
It is awful for then to have this silence and personally I feel things things would be better all round if we could have the conversation and offer to help in some way. I didn't mean to insinuate I was embarrassed by him, just that I really feel for their obvious discomfort when situations arise.

Catchingmockingbirds Wed 23-Jan-13 22:04:10

Why is it a given that they would they explain to you any problems they're having?

I don't say that to DS but if we're out somewhere and he's not coping I'll take him somewhere quiet like the bathroom to help him calm down and reorganise his thoughts so he can explain what's wrong and will properly listen to me explaining situations to him. I suppose it's him focussing in a way, it sounds like it's just a word your SIL has chosen to use for going to help him calm down.

Cornsyilk99 Wed 23-Jan-13 21:59:53

it was probably the only quiet place for him to go in the restaurant
what did his dad do to help - why don't you ask him about it?
(I assume his dad is your brother)

troutsprout Wed 23-Jan-13 21:56:33

Just ask her if there is anything you can do to help at get togethers to make it easier for him.
How horrible for her to have to contend with the silence and embarrassment of others at these occasions. That's a tough gig ( not one I'd be up to tbh)
I think it's less important what he 'has' or whether or not they have decided to share ( who cares?).... More important that he and his parents have the support of his family.

coff33pot Wed 23-Jan-13 21:19:35

sorry should read I am confused as to why you just cant ask your SIL outright smile

coff33pot Wed 23-Jan-13 21:18:55

as to why to just cant ask your SIL outright.....

Kids SN or NT can need chill out time. It could well be a "code" between them when out that his behaviour is awry and its a hint to go calm it.

Why get embarrassed child is upset and all children can get upset. Maybe there is something going on and she doesnt wish to disclose or.......due to embarrassed reactions from others has felt impelled to keep quiet?

DS is sometimes removed from the classroom to get 'ready to learn' if he's a bit off the wall.

Are you worried that 'to focus' means some kind of punishment?

TheLightPassenger Wed 23-Jan-13 18:14:35

sounds no more and no less like she hoped going somewhere quieter with his dad would help him calm down. you can't read any sort of diagnosis into it tbh. rather than ask SIL if he has any "problems" it would be more helpful for you to ask whether certain types of outings tend to work better with him - e.g. would a buffet where he sees the food be less stressful all round.

zzzzz Wed 23-Jan-13 17:26:11

Are you trying to work out what is up with him by watching your sil parenting techniques? hmm

If you don't have the kind of relationship where you can ask or she can confide, my gut feeling is this is really underhand way of snooping.

Talk to the child's parents when he is not there. You might offer some help. How awkward for you that her child embarrasses you! angry.

Catsdontcare Wed 23-Jan-13 17:04:30

Not a phrase I would use it might just be her way of giving him a warning.

It doesn't necessarily follow they would discuss his issues with you. No one in our family is aware of ds's diagnosis.

coppertop Wed 23-Jan-13 16:59:20

It sounds as though SIL was trying to think of a quiet place where he could go to calm down and chose the men's toilets.

I don't ask mine if they need to focus, but might ask them if they needed to go somewhere quieter for a break or to calm down. Presumably "focus" is the word that your SIL uses for this.

bjkmummy Wed 23-Jan-13 14:11:55

It's not a phrase I would use personally but if my son was becoming overwhelmed I would take him out for a short while to help him to calm

CPtart Wed 23-Jan-13 14:09:58

I have a 9 year old nephew who has always been slightly "different". He is an extremely bright boy and apparently on the gifted and talented register at school but has always seemed slightly awkward in social circumstances and is often the one on the perimeter when we get together as a family and all the cousins play.
It is becoming increasingly apparent as he gets older that there may be issues, wanting to go home early from days out, school refusal, separation anxiety etc, and often completely over the top reactions when things don't go as he wants, often over seemingly ridiculous things.
At a recent gathering he moaned, whined and got completely over wrought for nearly two hours over the fact that the pizza house had no pineapple to put on his pizza! My poor SIL who spent the whole night trying to cajole and pacify him was overheard to say "do you need to go into the toilets with dad to focus?"

To parents of children with ASD/Aspergers does that phrase mean anything to you? It's quite an awkward situation as almost every occasion now results in some incident with him leaving us all silent and almost embarrassed, but don't want to ask SIL if there are problems because surely they'd have explained to us if that was the case?

Grateful for any suggestions and advice.

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