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AIBU to ask How can I help my son - teachers suggest autism? Am I a bad mother?

(11 Posts)
SinnerSaint Tue 02-Feb-16 19:50:37

can anyone help me? What or where should I look next.
I have always suspected, even argued that my son needs some support in social skills, but I was admittedly really upset when his teacher told me this evening they want to get some support in who specialise in autism and suspect my 5 yr old son is autistic. I've suggested this in the past with nursery etc and always was basically told he was badly behaved. I don't disagree with the teachers suggestion and seeking of support but I instantly feel guilty; have I caused this? am I a bad parent? what have I done wrong?
My child is struggling to engage with friends and make good 'choices', he displays so many classic symptoms; hates loud noise, struggles with change, avoids eye contact, etc but equally he is the most loving, wonderful little boy. He is creative, intelligent, loyal, kind, thoughtful, etc. The teachers, supported by their SEN advisor, comments rang true and weren't a surprise but it has knocked me sideways, I don't disagree with them but struggling to engage with what this means.
On the hand and really ridiculously my mind keeps saying they are trying to tell me something is 'wrong' with my child but in my heart I know this isn't the case and they are trying to support us and support him to thrive.
I'm sorry - my ramblings are not meant to upset or offend anyone just struggling with this tonight.
Anywhere I can look for further info how to support and understand this?

itsbegginingtolook Tue 02-Feb-16 19:55:19

You havnt done anything wrong nobody can cause autism. Yes that first shock is hard but he will benefit in the long run with proper support. Try looking on the autism website. I've also found a lot of support on the Sen boards on here 😀

Fairylea Tue 02-Feb-16 19:56:18

First of all, this is not your fault. Autism is not caused by bad parenting or anything to do with parenting actually. It is a condition an estimated 1 in 100 people have and varies wildly from person to person.

My son is 3.8 and has fairly severe autism and social communication problems. He is expected to start special school in September.

It's really good that the school is so on the ball and making paths to get help for your child, so many people fight so hard for that so that alone is fantastic.

I would start by visiting the national autistic society website and having a read of their pages, they have all kinds of information from what causes autism to living with autism and benefits as well (claiming dla and carers allowance etc etc).

There is also a great special needs section on here with lots of support and helpful posters. You are not alone. flowers

JaWellNoFine Tue 02-Feb-16 19:56:59

No. You have not caused it. Don't blame yourself and take all the help and support you can get. You are very lucky they are picking it up early.

I am sure you're a great mom with a loving wonderful little boy

JJXM Tue 02-Feb-16 19:58:24

It means you still have the same child you had yesterday - but now you should get some support to help him if he has autism. He will still be a wonderful little boy - just one who also has autism.

My DS was diagnosed just after his third birthday and had no language, no eye contact or any kind of engagement. With targeted early intervention, he is now speaking has achieved a lot.

There is a special needs board on mumsnet which can provide invaluable signposting.

Wolpertinger Tue 02-Feb-16 19:58:37

If he is autistic, and many many many people are, including a lot of mumsnetters, then you haven't done anything wrong. It's very common, it's nothing you did and nothing to do with how you parent him. And it definitely doesn't stop him being a wonderful little boy.

However it does sound like he needs help and support to be as wonderful as you know he can be. I would rip the teacher's arms off to accept their support and anything they offer. It will make his life much much easier in the long run.

FWIW I'm in my 40s, in a highly successful career despite being plagued by problems like your DS all my life. Nowadays I'd have got diagnosed at school and my life would have been much better - but it still hasn't stopped me achieving what I wanted and getting married.

SinnerSaint Tue 02-Feb-16 20:02:33

Thank you - on the way home from the meeting I was telling dh exactly this -that we should be so grateful for a school that are fighting for him, recognising his wonderful traits and his struggles and helping him. DH seemingly wants to dismiss it for now and not discuss it, I know this is his way of processing, he needs that space, but I need to research it more, find out more and understand how I can best support ds.

TheSconeOfStone Tue 02-Feb-16 20:09:46

YABU to think you're a bad mother. if you are I must be. My DD aged 8 just got ASD diagnosis. She is all the things you describe your DS as. It came as a shock as my DD makes friends and is very articulate. That doesn't stop he having melt downs though.

A couple of weeks in and the diagnosis has been a relief to all of us. DD is calmer knowing it's not her fault and there's a name for the feeling of being different.

Wolpertinger so glad to hear you have achieved so much. I hope my DD is able to fulfil her wonderful potential.

Catgotyourbrain Tue 02-Feb-16 20:35:33

I would post on the SEN boards here too- lots of very knowledgeable women on there who can help you.

It's not your fault in any way!

Accept help wherever offered is a mantra to follow here wink

junebirthdaygirl Tue 02-Feb-16 20:53:30

You need time to process all this so don't be hard on yourself. I think our mothers instinct immediately snaps into action and we don't want anyone to say one word about our babies. Seeing something yourself and then having others say it are completely different things. Children with asd are the most beautiful wonderful children and he is still that. He needs help with certain areas which can now be accessed. So take time to process it all. You are no more responsibile for this than for him being a boy or having blonde hair. This is him. This is who he is. Try to deal with what's presenting right now and now let your mind run away either backwards or forwards. It will be lovely to see him blossom with help and support.

Kleinzeit Tue 02-Feb-16 21:14:59

Just wanted to say, if your DS has autism it definitely isn't anything you've done wrong, it's just the way he is. And you'll be able to help him grow and develop into a happy successful person and find ways to make friends as he grows up. He is still the same loyal kind person as ever.

Give yourself as much time as you need to take this in. You can let the school take the lead to begin with, or if you prefer you can go see your GP and ask for a referral for assessment. It's usually the NHS who diagnose rather than the school, though they will ask for information from the school. There is usually a waiting list for assessment so it does no harm to get the process started.

After his diagnosis (with Asperger') my DS was referred to a social skills group which helped him make friends, and it also improved his behaviour in school because it helped him understand how the teachers wanted him to behave.


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