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To tell my daughter why we are seeing a pyscologist?

(20 Posts)
suchafuss Fri 26-Aug-16 08:55:59

I have long suspected my child has ASD and following a lecture at Uni on autism have arranged for her to see someone. My husband however is not convinced and is accusing me of 'trying to make things fit'. So far I have told my daughter that its to help with her anxiety and sleep problems but I know that when we visit i will have to explain other behaviour and that she will want to know why. DH has said he never wants to hear her say she has autism and thinks we should not tell her our thoughts. She is 9 and from my perspective should know about our thoughts in an age apprpriate way and if she is diagnosed she should definatley be told as it would explain a lot of things to her. I have had Type 1 diabetes from the age of 9 and know that if I had not been told the whole truth it would have been awful for me. In addition I think not telling her may seem as if we are ashamed of her and I wouldn't want this in a million years.
My DH is a fantastic father but I am really struggling with his attitude over this. So AIBU or is DH?

myownprivateidaho Fri 26-Aug-16 09:04:55

Of course if she gets a diagnosis you must tell her. Your DH is an idiot for saying that "he never wants to hear her say she has autism"; hopefully he's just anxious at the moment and was not speaking from the heart. However, I don't see what the point is in suggesting to her that she may have autism before you have seen the psychologist. Especially since you can't really explain ASD without explaining how it can present, and this might in turn affect how she presents to the psychologist. I think I'd wait and see. At 9, if she knows she is seeing someone about anxiety, I don't think she will question why she is being asked about her life and behaviour in general.

Birdsgottafly Fri 26-Aug-16 09:10:43

""My DH is a fantastic father ""

Well no, he isn't, if he makes your DD deny a condition that she has, or silences her I've it.

She's growing up and there may be other topics that your DH doesn't want to hear, but Parents should support their children, even Adult ones.

I've got two DDs with SN/AD and my other DD has anxiety after her Dads illness/death. It's important for anyone to aknowledge what the 'issue' is, to find strategies to achieve what they want to do.

MrsJayy Fri 26-Aug-16 09:10:49

Your Dh sounds scared and this is making him defensive and really arsey. Just tell your Dd in stages what is happening and she will be fine if she gets any DX then of course tell her I think what you are telling her is fine. Your dh needs to get a grip though it's not about him

LearningHowToFly Fri 26-Aug-16 09:15:31

Hi, I'm with you, my DS was diagnosed with developmental verbal dyspraxia at an early age and has had to attend a special school as well as countless hospital appointments. We have always kept him informed in an age appropriate way, it's his body and he's the one who has to live with the dyspraxia. As he's got older (he's 9 now) we've told him more but tried to do it in a matter of fact way, I don't want the diagnosis to become an excuse for not doing things and so far he's doing brilliantly.

Tell your DD that you're going to see a doctor about her sleep and anxiety and that the doctor will want to know all about her including lots of things that she might think strange. I wouldn't mention autism yet, see what the doctor has to say first, whatever the diagnosis though don't keep it from her. A child I know recently received a diagnosis of ADHD and he was a different child after because everything suddenly made sense and he could stop worrying about why he was different and what was wrong with him. Children aren't daft, keep her informed, I hope it all works out for you all xx

MrsJayy Fri 26-Aug-16 09:22:46

Dd2 also has a developmental delay DX at 7 and we just did what you and Learning did just a bit at a time that she could understand.

PigPigTrotters Fri 26-Aug-16 09:27:08

If your dd is autistic, she needs to know regardless of your dh's feelings on the matter.

If she's autistic she's autistic, she will feel different, and not understanding the reasons why can make for a very unhappy childhood (and beyond).

There is a stigma for some people, but the sooner they realise this is wrong the better.

Wonderpants Fri 26-Aug-16 09:28:00

My DD aged 10 has just had an asd diagnosis. We didn't mention ASD until after diagnosis, as once it is said, it can't be taken back. We didn't feel it was our place to diagnose.
The only appointment she was aware of was the ados, which we told her was a check up which she didn't query!
We then told her at the start of the holidays, but she has actually really struggled with the diagnosis.

I certainly wouldn't tell her you think she has ASD before you know she has, and you and DH have had time to process it.

PigPigTrotters Fri 26-Aug-16 09:28:49

Telling her it's about anxiety and sleep problems for now is a good start, and taking it slowly is a good idea, but don't deny her knowledge about herself.

PigPigTrotters Fri 26-Aug-16 09:31:13

Wonder, ds was diagnosed last year, at first he really struggled with it, but now he's pleased he knows. She will get there.

MrsJayy Fri 26-Aug-16 09:33:49

Did is a young adult and she knows more about her dyspraxia than I do now I do think knowledge is power for them

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 26-Aug-16 09:36:02

DS2 was diagnosed at 9. When we took him for the assessment, we went for an explanation along these lines: "Everyone's brain works in a different way. Each person is good at some things but has difficulty with other things. You are exceptionally good at memory, Maths and Science, but you find other things difficult, like social situations and coping with change. We're going to visit an expert who can help you make the best of how your brain works."

JenBehavingBadly Fri 26-Aug-16 09:37:16

My DN only discovered she had ASD when she read a letter that had been sent to her parents. She was furious as she had in her hands something that would help her understand why she struggled so much, and her parents had kept it from her.

Knowing will help her. Being open with her is the best way to go. I understand your DH's misguided attempt to protect her, but I think that's more to do with how he feels about it, rather than what's right for her.

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 26-Aug-16 09:37:39

They then gave the diagnosis in front of him, which removed the dilemma of whether or not to tell him, but did mean that we faced a great number of questions from him!

TheSecondOfHerName Fri 26-Aug-16 09:38:44

After the initial questions, he adjusted extremely well, and is happy with who he is, autism and all.

outofsightoutofmind Fri 26-Aug-16 09:43:17

Your dh is definitely scared (understandably) and is in denial. It's the adult equivalent of putting your hands over your eyes so that the big bad monster won't be able to see you!

I work with teenagers and I have seen so much damage done by parents who refuse to accept reality because it doesn't fit with their vision of perfection that they hold in their heads for their children (eg LGBT, Gender issues, psychiatric disorders of all varieties and more). It doesn't mean that they love them any less but if they are unable to process an unpalatable truth, they are making trouble for themselves and their child and it will affect their relationship further down the line and possibly for ever.

Your dh needs to realise that this is not about him and his views: it is about doing your best to help your child live a fulfilling life. Man up mate!

Jakadaal Fri 26-Aug-16 09:44:27

My ds (13) is about to start CBT for anxiety. He isn't keen but I explained that it's to help him and that he might meet other children who feel as he does. My dd (14) has complex additional needs including autism related issues and I have always been up front and honest with both children about her issues. For us it helps normalise things.

Serialweightwatcher Fri 26-Aug-16 09:44:59

A family member's daughter is autistic and I had inklings from her being very small but her mother wouldn't accept it may be true and did nothing - by the time she was 12, she was really OCD, badly behaved for them and schools etc and finally they got a diagnosis - they told her and she went mad with them that she could have had more help sooner and now they were telling her and it was too late. You do need to tell her so she understands she is a little different maybe to friends her own age but she is very special .... the diagnosis will never change so don't leave it too late for her to know.

WhooooAmI24601 Fri 26-Aug-16 10:00:15

DS1 was diagnosed with ASD in April of this year. We've known since he was tiny that he was most likely on the spectrum but haven't made it common knowledge.

Not long after his diagnosis he asked "what's an Aspie?" (I've got books all over the house on ASD and all sorts of developmental stuff as I work in a reception class and like genning up on those subjects). I told him the truth, and he asked "Do I have Autism, then?" and I told him the truth about that, too. He went "Oh, alright, that's a bit cool" and hasn't mentioned it since.

Hiding stuff from children, or asking them to hide who they are is almost encouraging low-self esteem and could lead to so many long-term issues. There's nothing 'wrong' with children on the spectrum. There's nothing shameful. A DH who asks a child to hide who they are is absolutely BU.

Dawndonnaagain Fri 26-Aug-16 10:24:36

I have an ASC as do three of my four children. We have always been open and honest with them, in an age appropriate way. Your dh can be in denial as much as he chooses, but if she does have an ASC a diagnosis will put into place all the coping and enabling strategies at school that will help your dd achieve her full potential.
Mine are all adults now but having received diagnoses at two(dd) and seven (dd2 and ds2) we have been able to help them lead relatively independent lives. They are all either at uni, or starting uni and happy.

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