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To want to scream "A rabbit is not like a fish!!!"

(23 Posts)
MrsSnape Sat 13-Sep-08 09:13:28

My sister has aspergers syndrome so has no friends (and I mean NO friends), she doesn't socialise at all. Her life consists of going to school (a very lonely place when you're completely different to everyone else) and coming home and sitting in her bedroom.

My mum has been advised to get her a pet (she's 14 btw). My mum said their house is not big enough for a dog (funnily enough their house is the only house in the entire terrace that doesn't have a dog!).
They can't get a cat because "barry doesn't like cats" (thats her husband).

So we came down to the smaller animals....rabits, guinea pigs, hamsters etc...and my mum said

"I'm not buying her a rabbit or a guinea pig, I know she won't bother with it! she never bothered with the fish that she had!"

????????? so I say "and what exactly did you expect her to do with the fish? she couldn't play with it, touch it or anything! a rabbit is totally different!"

It makes me so cross, they never put her first in anything that might inconvienience them slightly.

cornsilk Sat 13-Sep-08 09:16:55

That's a a shame. We have a house rabbit and while the ds's don't bother with him a great deal they care about it and he entertains them when he's in the mood. He has made a positive differnece to their lives.

cornsilk Sat 13-Sep-08 09:17:47

My sister's teenagers always had rats btw. Don't fancy them myself but they said they were good pets.

northernrefugee39 Sat 13-Sep-08 14:06:42

Oh that's a real shame.. pets are brilliant for people with problems.. who can respond to them with no bias. It would help your sister so much to have a creature who relies on her rather than the other way round.....

Guineapigs are brilliant- easier than rabbits imo- less scrabbly, very accomodating, put up with being brushed and cuddled... ( but you have to get two as they need company of another- live in colonies in the wild)
Can't you just buy her a couple as a present?

CarGirl Sat 13-Sep-08 14:11:55

I agree guinea-pigs are much more sociable than rabbits by nature.

Give your mum a slap and get your sis some g-pigs.

Portofino Sat 13-Sep-08 14:17:14

Oh - I thought this was one of Rhubarb's posts <<shut's door quietly>>

BecauseImWorthIt Sat 13-Sep-08 14:18:15

Sorry - thought this was going to be a post about LittleLapin and Cod!

Reallytired Sat 13-Sep-08 14:19:42

It is true that animals do help with people with autism, but you do have to think of the animal as well.

It is Ok, not to want pets. I object more to people who get animals and then don't look after them properly. I imagine that MrsSnape's mum is thinking about the animal welfare as well as her daughters. It is possible to get the benefit of being with animals without owning a pet.

I would suggest that MrsSnape's mum arranges for her daughter to do something like horse riding, or maybe muck out stables, prehaps some volentary work with an RSPCA rescue centre.

"Guineapigs are brilliant- easier than rabbits imo- less scrabbly, very accomodating, put up with being brushed and cuddled... ( but you have to get two as they need company of another- live in colonies in the wild)
Can't you just buy her a couple as a present? "

fgs, I really have to disagree. Surely you heard a the slogan "A dog is for life not just for Christmas".

If someone doesn't want pets why can't it be respected.

northernrefugee39 Sat 13-Sep-08 14:35:17

But Reallytired- it's mrs snape's daughter who would benefit, not her Mum fgs. Surely the mum can put herself out a tiny bit to help her daughter? Mrs snape seems to think so- and it's her sister she's talking about.

I don't understand your reaction tbh, when it comes to a very lonely girl- who's 14- not 4- who could get a huge boost from caring for something.

The idea of the stables and RSPCA is good, though I doubt charities would be willing to take on responsibility for child volunteers.

wannaBe Sat 13-Sep-08 14:42:34

the question is, does your sister want a pet?

I'm afraid I agree with mrssnape here - it's all very well saying that she should have a pet, but if she doesn't bother with it and her mum isn't bothered with it then what happens to it?

And I certainly wouldn't impulsively go out and buy someone a pet as a present when the parent has expressed that she doesn't want one.

To the op, is there a rescue centre nearby? Could you arrange to take your sister down there to help out? They're always looking for people to groom dogs/take them for walks/brush cats/handle rabbits/guinea pigs, it would give a good indication as to whether your sister really is cut out to look after a pet of her own, and if not, would give her the interaction but without the added responsibility.

TheHedgeWitch Sat 13-Sep-08 14:55:41

Message withdrawn

Twiglett Sat 13-Sep-08 15:01:00

Sorry but you can't force an animal on someone who patently doesn't want one ... your mother doesn't want an animal and it will be her who will have to look after it

Can't say I blame her to be honest .. an animal is not going to fix anything really ..

I don't know who advised her to get a pet, sounds odd if not coming from the girl .. it could go either way really... does she want a pet?

MrsSnape Sat 13-Sep-08 15:24:16

Yes she is obsessed with cats. You know how people with autism tend to have HUGE obssessions over certain things? well her's is cats. She would love it to pieces but "barry doesn't like cats" hmm

She is also obsessed with movies, logos, disney etc so after 14 years of holidaying in boring cottages in the middle of nowhere because "barry likes it" I suggested they take her to Universal Studios in Florida. They have the money for it and it would be a dream come true for her but guess what...."barry doesn't fancy Florida" hmm

sarah293 Sat 13-Sep-08 15:27:00

Message withdrawn

combustiblemelon Sat 13-Sep-08 15:44:40

Barry needs a slap. Is there a cat's protection league type place nearby? They might take on volunteers?

combustiblemelon Sat 13-Sep-08 15:47:08

Shit, I just checked and they can't have volunteers under 16 sad Child Protection Legislation would mean everyone would have to have CRB checks.

northernrefugee39 Sat 13-Sep-08 15:49:20

riven- I have a friend whose kid relates incredibly well to his dog; sometimes he will tell the dog something, (but not his mum-) it's a way of communicating. I think animals are brilliant for people with difficulties; and for kids.
TBH- it sounds like the problem here is her mum and the delightful sounding Barry.
Many parents of children with special needs go out of their way to improve the quality of their children's lives.
Who says it will be the mum who has to look after it? Mrssnape's sister is 14- it might well be the making of her. I can't understand this negative "jobs worth" stuff.

wannaBe Sat 13-Sep-08 17:26:59

Barry sounds like a charmer. hmm

MrsSnape Sat 13-Sep-08 17:32:04

Barry is very manipulative. He puts on this persona of being really quiet and shy...wouldn't say boo to a goose sort of bloke but if you see past it, like I do...you can see how he manipulates to get his own way ALL THE TIME. All the holidays are his choice, their days out are his choice, where they live is his choice (even though my mum and sister are desperately unhappy there, he doesn't care and actually CRIES when my mum says she wants to move and starts saying stuff like "I know I don't make you happy, I'm so scared you're going to leave...boo hoo" so my naive mum says "now now Barry, don't go getting upset, you do make me happy, we don't HAVE to move..." hmm it makes me SO MAD.

MrsSnape Sat 13-Sep-08 17:33:54

Oh, the animal shelters... (resists urge to slag off barry some more...)

We tried CPL and they can't take on under 16's, RSPCA was the same and to be honest, my sister would never go anyway, she'd be scared to death of having to talk to the people that went in looking at animals. sad

Reallytired Sat 13-Sep-08 20:40:37

"But Reallytired- it's mrs snape's daughter who would benefit, not her Mum fgs. Surely the mum can put herself out a tiny bit to help her daughter? Mrs snape seems to think so- and it's her sister she's talking about."

A child does not own a pet. It is really the parents' pet. If a 14 year old child decided not to look after a rabbit and it starved to death it would be the parents who would be criminally liable.

Having a pet does not cure autism. Its not going to be a mircle. Any if MrsSnape's mum neighbours all have dogs then why can't the daughter offer to walk someone's dog once a week. It might help your sister make friends with human beings as well as animals.

Anyway MrsSnape, do you have any pets could you not lend your sister a pet once a week?

northernrefugee39 Sun 14-Sep-08 11:56:11

Reallytired- you're right.smile An animal neglected by a child does fall to the parent to take care of.
It is a sad situation that Mrssnape's mum and step dad can't be assed to help their challenged daughter take care of something.

Do they just not like any pets? Or the mess? Bother?
My sil hates any animal- just can't see the point of pets- animals are food, end of story. My kids have loads of pets. Their cousins are longing for one, but are not allowed. Messy, smelly bla bla bla. I think their lives are less rich because of this- but i'm not them.

No- it wouldn't cure her- did anyone/I say that? It would though improve the quality of he life.
BTW- aspergers sufferers find contact/communication with people very difficult- it's the nature of the condition- hence contact with another living thing.

northernrefugee39 Sun 14-Sep-08 11:57:14

Who advised the pet in the first place? Was it a professional, or someone else? Just interestedsmile

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