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Dear MIL, Please don't say...

(45 Posts)

My very well intentioned, but persistently misunderstanding (and possibly still in denial) MIL has just said, I'm sure you'll find he'll catch up once he gets to school with the others...

No, I'm afraid he won't. The gap between him and his peers is likely to widen. I have an excellent Ed Psych report specifying the complex and life long difficulties which his learning disability is responsible for. This is great evidence for our SA which we believe is progressing towards a statement being issued.

I have high, but realistic expectations for my son, your grandson, but today, I'm so tired, I have just put the phone down and wept. It is not in the least helpful for you to pretend that he is just the same as the other NT children.

Thanks for letting me let that out here. I know you will understand. I shall probably be back to my more positive self soon xx

hazeyjane Fri 25-Apr-14 10:57:23

Glittery , there is hope and there is refusing to see someone as they are. We all want the best for our children. We all hope they will make progress and live full healthy lives, but belittling their problems and areas where they struggle isn't about helping them, it about making you feel better.

Yes, Hazey!! That's just it, beautifully articulated, thank you x

Runesigil Mon 28-Apr-14 02:56:30

Hi Glittery, optimism is one thing, dealing with someone in denial is extremely hard work. My SIL 'hopefully' suggested my dd would grow out of her condition. Part of it involves neurological damage as evidenced on a CT scan, how is dd supposed to grow out of that? She is disabled and that impacts her daily living in so many ways and will do every day of her life. SIL refuses to see that, talking to SIL is like talking to someone who has their fingers in their ears and shouts lalala loudly because they don't want to hear what you're saying.

My Dad was very strange when I told him ds had ASD. His response was 'Good for him!' hmm

He then went into a raving rant about uniformity stifling human progression, and about eye contact not being normal these days anyway as everyone talks either via a screen or whilst looking at one.

I really miss him.

I'm probably talking nonsense here (DS not even been assessed yet) but is it possible there's a part of these people who are saying these things because they really don't know the 'right' thing to say? I already know that if DS gets a dx there's some family members who'll say "ah he's fine just give him time" and others who will tell me he's 'just' badly behaved. I'm hoping to come up with some gems IF we even decide to tell people but I'm wondering if perhaps these relatives would benefit from a frank discussion of how things really are, maybe backed up with some evidence and examples of what's so different for us as parents/our DC in day-to-day life, what their possible/likely future might look like and what the relatives can say/do that would help?? like I say I'm at the very beginning of the journey but I'm not sure I'd know what to say to me if I wasn't in my position grin

autumnsmum Mon 28-Apr-14 19:44:56

I think what's difficult with my mil is whenever I mention dd2s issues which are pretty clear in that she attends a sp sch she automatically declares another child is worse . I know deep down for her dd2 isn't the granddaughter she wAnted but her attitude isn't helpful

BallyGoBackwards Tue 29-Apr-14 11:00:48

Starlight......Your dads comment "Good for him" is hilarious. I am so sorry but the tears are running down my face. smile

Only last week my sister told me that I make out that my DS is worse than he actually is.......................She doesnt have children and loves my two more than anything so I think it is coming from a (kind of) good place hmm

Glittery7 Tue 29-Apr-14 11:13:57

Perspective, I'm sorry if you thought my post was rude. I also have a parent who is to an extent in denial when it comes to acknowledging my dd really does have autism.
I let it go as I know my mother is coping in her own way and the denial helps her deal with the grief.
I'd rather have my dd and granny have a happy, loving relationship than get angry with her for "facing up to it"
Just my thoughts.
For what it's worth I didn't realise your son had DS. I apologise for that.

duckyneedsaclean Tue 29-Apr-14 16:49:37

My MIL is convinced I just need to vigorously wobble DS's limbs. This will sort him right out apparently... Oh, and 'DH was just like him'.

No. No he wasn't was he. He could walk and talk.


quirkychick Tue 29-Apr-14 17:07:02

Hi perspective21. My mil says lots of inappropriate things about dd2. She also has ds. Mil told dp that it will be very difficult to potty train her. She is 4, I would never have guessed... she has only just put up a photo of her, I think she was ashamed to have a child with ds in the family.

How old is your ds? We are (tomorrow) having our statement review for transition to school in Sept. Best of luck with your SA.

Thank you Glittery, I haven't ever said anything, it's all unspoken, in my head.

ducky, yes a bit of limb wobbling should work wonders!!!!

quirky thanks, this waiting stage is a bit nerve wracking...good luck to you too x

elliejjtiny Tue 29-Apr-14 19:29:52

Limb wobbling? The mind boggles! MIL likes to give examples of children who she thinks have "worse" disabilities than mine but who live in very tidy houses. "Just look at Steve and Lorraine, their DD has a terrible disease, she might die at any moment. Their house is immaculate though and they never complain". Argh. I thought it would be easier with DS4 as he has a diagnosis rather than a vague "hypotonia, development delay" that DS2 has. But people seem to focus on the thing that was most obvious (his cleft lip) and ignore the rest.

autumnsmum Tue 29-Apr-14 20:04:35

Ellie dp is always being td by his mum that we live in a tip

ellie that is so crap about the tidy house comments!!

Just one misunderstanding after another....

Good job we don't all take (too much) offence wink

hazeyjane Tue 29-Apr-14 20:36:18

Aah, there is nothing a good limb wobble can't sort out.

We get the ...'could be so much worse' stories too, along with tales of ...'and he started walking/talking at 5 and is now a renowned hill walker/ after dinner speaker etc etc'

Not having a confirmed diagnosis lends itself to a whole other area of bizarre comments and theories.

duckyneedsaclean Tue 29-Apr-14 22:21:19

hazey yes to the bizarre theories! MIL would like to actually use some sort of electric wobbling device but I don't let her. So she settles for manual wobbling instead. smile

Also the reason behind his GDD and hypotonia and speech delay is.... he had antibiotics for pneumonia. Of course!

autumnsmum Wed 30-Apr-14 05:52:59

Ah ducky electronic wobbling like hazey my mind is wobbling ! At one point dp was telling the portage worker mil latest theory that squash was causing dd2s behaviour , learning and interaction difficulties and she turned round and she does realise dd is autistic I could hVe hugged her

elliejjtiny Wed 30-Apr-14 11:09:23

I loved DS2's portage worker. She still sends cards to all 4 boys on their birthdays and DS2 finished portage 4 years ago.

DH's Grandad likes to tell me about "research" he's done and when DS2 was failure to thrive and fed by tube he said "well, short people can have normal lives too, you know".

My elderly neighbours just sniff when we see them with DS2 in his wheelchair and say "there was none of that in our day" when I remind them about all the people my age and older who have SN they just say "they're not disabled, they're not right in the head and need locking up". Nice.

MIL calls my DN her "normal grandchild". DN has colic and screams whenever she's awake. If that's what a normal baby does I think I prefer my DS4 who is always smiling and has never woken more than once at night.

ellie that is awful shock xx

The limb wobbling reminds me of the terrible nurse in Secret Garden who wants to keep the boy an invalid (as they say)

duckyneedsaclean Wed 30-Apr-14 13:31:54

perspective she's no terrible nurse, she means well! Her youngest (my BIL) has ds and she devotes all her time to him. She's just eternally optimistic. Which is where the mad theories come in!

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