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Do I need to be tougher on DD?

(67 Posts)
lightsandresistance Tue 25-Oct-16 12:55:40

Ok, dd (13) has aspergers, processing problems, dyspraxia and related anxiety, she is easily worked up and has also just started her periods so hormones added to the mix.

DD is very literal and often comes out with very literal comments to my parents, I do pick her up on this but she usually doesn't understand what she has done wrong. I do however correct her and explain why they might be upset. i.e My parents had been talking about dd inheriting the house when they die repeatedly and one day not long after dd came out with a 'when you have died and it is my house I am going to have blah in the garden' comment. I off course told her she could not say that and why but she was basically repeating what they had said.

DD and my Mum seem to be butting heads continually at the moment. She is a lovely girl and kind and helpful but she is very rigid in her rules. Again I do punish her or pick her up on any inappropriate behaviour.

She finds new situations difficult and can become quite anxious but my Dad makes jokes he thinks are funny which make dd more anxious i.e if she asks if we will get to somewhere on time he will make comments such as 'we will if the car doesn't break down/car starts/plane doesn't crash' etc. He loves her dearly but his 'jokes' wind her up. Then she gets told off for reacting.

We went out to a show at the weekend and dd had expected my Dad to be outside in the car when we got out but he had been held up, it was late at night and dd didn't know the area so she was a bit anxious, when my Dad rang to say he was here my Mum was trying to talk to him to see where he was parked as we couldn't see him but dd was talking over her asking if he was coming and was he here and was he flashing his lights (she could see a car which was) again I told her off but my Mum was still going on about it the next day.

DD is currently obsessed about us now trying to wash her dry clean only blazer, I was going to try it on a cold wash but she got very upset it would be damaged as someones had been at school so I left it in front of her only for my Mum who knew this to repeat that I should just go ahead and wash it while in front of dd, obviously dd got upset and commented that 'she can pay for another if she makes you wash it and it gets ruined'. Again dd was told off for being rude.

If something isn't 'right' she will comment (again I pick her up on this when it is inappropriate) i.e if my parents have said she can do something on a certain day and time and they don't she will comment. At the same time though if my parents forget to give her her weekly pocket money she never ever comments or asks for it or even mentions it to me.
She was recently told she could have any toy from a shop (within reason) by them and she picked something small and inexpensive so as not to be greedy and had to be persuaded to pick something bigger so she isn't spoilt.

I know it sounds awful but she is punished and told off and loses privilages but I am a bit stuck as to what to do, my Mum thinks dd is a brat who uses her SN as an excuse and I just feel completely stuck in the middle.

Dd doesn't go out anymore (damn clowns) and has just stopped the only hobby she has and doesn't really bother much with consoles etc so she doesn't really have much meaningful to remove as punishment and she spends loads of time in her room anyway so grounding doesn't work so other than removal of pocket money which I do and telling off but I often feel like I am telling her off for being aspergers.

Greyponcho Tue 25-Oct-16 13:00:30

Your parents need educating in what AS means so they can stop winding her up unnecessarily for a start.
It doesn't make sense to your DD for being told off for only saying things she's heard or for processing things in the only way she knows how. It's not fair to be punished for saying something logical, instead it's better to explain why it isn't considered to be polite so she can remember and not say it next time.

Pisssssedofff Tue 25-Oct-16 13:01:54

Well you are tbh.
I'd leave the poor girl alone.
If your parents can't deal with her, see less of them

Gottagetmoving Tue 25-Oct-16 13:01:56

I think you are over worrying about your DD. Every little thing seems to stress you out.
Could you not have a word with a health professional dealing with SN to express your concerns and to give you advice?
If she makes comments that you think are rude then just explain as you have been doing. Your DD shouldn't be told off, she just needs guidance.
Your parents may not appreciate or fully understand your daughter's SN but you could ask them to make sure they stick to things they have promised her or not to make promises that they may not be able to keep.

cansu Tue 25-Oct-16 13:02:27

I think you may need to spend some more time educating your parents. You are managing it all v well according to your Op. Explaining stuff to your dd, showing why some of her comments are unhelpful without blaming her for getting it wrong. She will get it wrong as this is part of her condition.

dementedpixie Tue 25-Oct-16 13:04:07

Your poor Dd. Your parents sound like they wind her up on purpose and then she gets in trouble for reacting to it which is unkind.

mouldycheesefan Tue 25-Oct-16 13:06:56

I can see no reason here to punish your dd. Stick up for her in front of your parents "dad, dd doesn't like jokes about being late so please stop". Get the blazer dry cleaned.
Don't understand why the poor girl is being punished, must be very confusing for her.
Educate your parents about her needs.
You need to advocate in behalf of dd.

StiginaGrump Tue 25-Oct-16 13:07:02

I don't understand why there is any need to punish dd at all. Your parents think they can change her by pretending she has no extra needs. They think it's appropriate to wind her up and distress her by pushing her buttons? I would work on educating the grandparents and if that doesn't work I would remove their privileges.

Kmxxx14 Tue 25-Oct-16 13:07:23

I don't see what needs to be punished... She isn't being naughty or telling lies she's just not too aware of what is socially acceptable in terms of what to say and what not. If it were me there would be no way I would punish her especially if she was just doing it to family. I'd expect them to understand & rather try to educate her.

cosmicglittergirl Tue 25-Oct-16 13:08:59

It's your parents who need to lay off her. I hate that sort of 'joking' that just results in a child being anxious whether they have sn or not. I'm surprised they haven't got the gist of how to interact with her. I think you need to deal with them- would they be receptive?

Littlefluffyclouds81 Tue 25-Oct-16 13:10:51

Your parents sound way too over involved in your dd's upbringing. Do you live with them? If not I would probably spend more time doing things with dd without them, problem solved.

ToujeoQueen Tue 25-Oct-16 13:11:28

It's not your dd, your parents are the issue. Your mum going on about washing the blazer in front of your dd, when she knew your dd was anxious about it is a prime example. Very poor behaviour sad

BarbarianMum Tue 25-Oct-16 13:12:34

It sounds to me as though your dd needs ongoing guidance (not punishment) to help her communicate in an acceptable way and to help her manage her anxiety when stuff doesn't go to plan. That's to be expected - autism is s life long condition. If she is inadvertently rude to someone then its certainly worth making her aware and encouraging an apology when appropriate.

Your parents - where to start? A crash course on understanding autism perhaps. Tell your dad to knock the "jokes" on the head and tell your mum to give her head a wobble - it's time they understood what your dd is dealing with.

Penfold007 Tue 25-Oct-16 13:12:51

Why are you allowing your parents to wind her up?

yellowfrog Tue 25-Oct-16 13:15:08

She sounds like a nice kid doing her best in response to her grandparents being a bit twatty to her! I'd cut right back on (ie stop) the punishments and loss of privileges and just keep on with explaining things to her as you are doing.

lightsandresistance Tue 25-Oct-16 13:17:35

Just to add I do repeatedly tell them that the 'jokes' work dd up

And I do repeatedly comment that she has aspergers and finds x, y, z difficult

And I do tell them her literal comments are aspergers related.

And that when they come on a certain day and are due at 9 but come at 11 how difficult she finds it.

They do a lot for both of us , masses in fact but this is causing tension and upset.

Don't get me wrong dd isn't perfect. She can be a madam. Six months ago we went through an horrendous stage were she was being aggressive at home just to me.

But I'm sick of the brat comments

CheshireChat Tue 25-Oct-16 13:18:48

Actually I think the blazer comment was justified albeit a tad blunt. But if I tell you something might be damaged if you do x and you insist on doing it, yeah, you replace it.

Could you try and have a firm chat with your parents? Would they be receptive?

ExcuseMyEyebrows Tue 25-Oct-16 13:18:49

I agree your parents are the issue not your daughter. Have a word and let them know that you won't tolerate them winding her up like this. They need to understand why it's not acceptable - tbh they sound quite horrible.

RhodaBorrocks Tue 25-Oct-16 13:20:23

I totally understand you. My DS is 9 and ASD and has clashed with my DM at times, less so with DF who maybe slightly aspie himself. My DM is very keen for him to also not use his ASD as an excuse. He doesn't have classic meltdowns, but will cry and whine when he is anxious. DM has told him he's a big boy now and mustn't cry. When he does this on my watch I tell him to try to stay calm, take a deep breath and explain how he is feeling if he can manage it. This usually stops the crying much faster than just telling him not to.

He does make comments and we tell him when they are rude and inappropriate. Thankfully my parents have followed my lead with this - tell him it's inappropriate then explain why. But he then takes it too far and worries that if he makes any kind of comment it will be rude. He's taken to prefacing things with "I'm not trying to be rude, but I didn't like XYZ today." Unless he knowingly says something mean we don't discipline him for his comments. So far he's not said anything outright nasty for several years.

We tread a very fine line between appropriate discipline and causing them more anxiety.

I think you should feel confident in your parenting and if you think an explanation would be better than discipline then go ahead and say so. The thing with aspies is they are blunt and they do say what they think and pull you up on things you've forgotten about. I just don't see how it is possible to discipline something so fundamental to their condition out of them, any more than we can discipline cancerous cells out of someone with cancer. The lack of awareness of social rules, particularly around communication is one of the defining criteria of the condition. If our DCs didn't have that they'd not have been diagnosed. So not, she's not a brat and discipline isn't going to help her in the slightest, it's only going to make her more anxious.

If anything, your DPs need to realise they must moderate what they say in front of her. Talking about their deaths and inheritance is giving her a green light that it can be talked about because she doesn't understand that social rules dictate they can tell her but she mustn't mention it.

They can learn something socially acceptable responses, but they are limited and they will trot them out repeatedly. My DS has learnt to say "You're not old!" Whenever someone says they are old or feel old etc. It doesn't always work in context, but it's sweet when he is trying to join in socially.

From what you've said here I genuinely believe it's your parents who need to understand more. You can't keep disciplining her because it's not like she's going to gain any long term understanding from it. Far better to just explain to her why that wasn't appropriate, ask her to apologise and move on.

Sorry for length.

SporkLife Tue 25-Oct-16 13:21:56

I think you need to be tougher on your parents! They need to be told everytime that them winding her up is incredibly unhelpful and twattish.

DementedUnicorn Tue 25-Oct-16 13:24:40

This makes me so sad. Sometimes I can come across as rude because I'm so literal about things and so can be really blunt. It's unintentional and I never be trying to cause offence but subtlety goes over my head. I then can't understand why I've upset people when I was just stating facts. As an adult I still find it really upsetting so my heart goes out to your daughter.

I have no idea how to fix it, I'm just slowly learning to say less and less.

RandomMess Tue 25-Oct-16 13:27:26

I think your parents need their behaviour picking up.

Start being incredibly literal with them - "That comment is upsetting and cruel to DD, if she was blind you wouldn't expect to know what colour something is would you?"

Start picking them up EVERY time and show them their ignorance.

SoTheySentMeA Tue 25-Oct-16 13:28:34

its your parents you need to be harder on, not DD.

GasLightShining Tue 25-Oct-16 13:29:51

You have a parent problem not a daughter problem. If they are not prepared to change you need to restrict contact time.

You know her best and will know when punishments are deserved but do not punish her to pacify your parents.

YelloDraw Tue 25-Oct-16 13:32:22

Um, sounds like your parents are winding her up and not being very sensitive.

Your DD has difficulties communication in a way that other people consider 'normal'. You parents as fully NT people should be able to understand that and adapt their communication to her!

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