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Help... Family members (who see DS once a year) decided to tell me they think DS is autistic

(39 Posts)
BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 00:57:35

I'll try to keep it short.... DS is almost 7 and is a little "different" from all his cousins - shy, not sporty, not too keen on physical contact with people he's not close to. He also has major issues with food (eats very few things, all bland) and gets anxious if alone, can't go to sleep by himself.
He has always had lots of praise from school, and as we recently moved abroad, I went to see the school counselor - child psychologist who looks after new kids and kids with issues - to ask if they think he settled OK and to talk about the anxiety and food issues. I was told DS is doing really well, he doesn't have any issues at all and that I should relax and stop worrying.
We are now visiting family members that we only got to see once a year in the last three years.
Step MIL tells me that she and the rest of the family are talking a lot about DS and they came to the conclusion that he must have autism.
I don't know how to react, I don't know what to do.
Help!...

LadyPlumpington Wed 29-Jul-15 01:26:30

Say 'Oh, thanks for telling us how you feel, we'll definitely have him checked when we get back' <concerned face>

Then go back, ask the child psychologist and grin sheepishly as she laughs at you. Honestly, don't give it more thought than that.

I do get it as my dad said something similar about DS2. My DBro had autism and died v.young, so I took DF seriously. A friend who works with autistic children watched DS2 for about an hour and went 'Nah', which reassured me greatly grin

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 01:58:45

I'm afraid in our case, I've been told that one family member who works with children with special needs (including autism) agrees with the theory about DS.
I am yet to speak to that person and find out exactly what they did or did not say... But I'm now worried and upset

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 02:01:15

I mean, is it me or it's not nice to learn that your family are talking loads behind your back - and it must have been for a while now - and then you get served this completely unexpectedly, while you're on holiday trying to have a nice time with them?....

LadyPlumpington Wed 29-Jul-15 02:13:31

It's not pleasant to hear, I grant you. In my family though, we talk about each other regardless of whether the others are present and it is almost always non-malicious and from a good place. So, I tend to forgive it and accept in the spirit intended.

You don't have to actually give their theories any credence, though!

teacher54321 Wed 29-Jul-15 10:32:56

Did she say it in a kind way or in a malicious way? Seeing him once a year is not enough to make an armchair diagnosis. (And this is speaking as a teacher with 15 years experience of working with children with a variety of SEN).

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 10:49:44

My SIL and 'kind' are two very different notions...
I think it was meant to be kind and helpful, to be fair. They also think my parenting is crap and I indulge DS too much, been told that before, more or less directly...

aginghippy Wed 29-Jul-15 10:50:13

Just ignore them. None of them are qualified to make that diagnosis. Even the person who 'works with children with SEN' has not spent enough time with him to say one way or the other.

Follow the school psychologist's advice, relax and stop worrying.

aginghippy Wed 29-Jul-15 10:54:58

I am shy, not at all sporty and I dislike physical contact with people I am not close to. That's part of my personality, I have always been this way. Maybe your ds is a bit like me. I have no disability of any kind.

teacher54321 Wed 29-Jul-15 10:58:50

Ignore ignore ignore. People are allowed to be different! if his school are happy with him and you are then those are the important things smile

MarchelineWhatNot Wed 29-Jul-15 11:04:39

Ignore. If something was amiss, somebody professional would have flagged it up before now. IMO people are not allowed to be 'different', 'ecentric' or 'odd' anymore, society has to put a label on them. And I think that's a real shame. Sorry, not suggesting your DS is any of those things, just trying to make a point.

Also, their comments about your parenting… do you think they see you as fair game for criticism? Are you a younger mom or single?

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 11:12:51

I am an Eastern Europen in a middle class all- British family in Surrey....

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 11:13:12

European sorry

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 11:16:22

Oh and just realized I made a mistake, I meant MIL (not SIL) and 'kind' are two very different notions.

MythicalKings Wed 29-Jul-15 11:27:13

I'm from a family of teachers and I worked with DCs with SNs. I was pretty sure DN had autism from what I'd seen and from what her mum had said. I talked about it to other family members with some experience of SNs before mentioning it to DN's mum.

DN was already being assessed as she had not been reaching milestones but I was sure it was more than learning difficulties. I don't think we were "talking behind her back" in a nasty way. I didn't want to upset her without gathering other informed opinions.

Others thought the same so I did talk to her mum. Her GP and Paed said it wasn't so but the more I saw, the more I was sure. And so was her mum, after reading up on autism. This was the early 80s when autism was less known.

It was a battle but eventually DN did get the diagnosis and the help she needed. If we family members hadn't mentioned it, it could have taken even more years before diagnosis.

I think the mention of autism was well meant.

Stubbed Wed 29-Jul-15 11:36:25

Does he have other indicators? Problems with talking etc when young? Wants to walk on the lines only? Doesn't like certain noises or colours etc? I don't know much about autism but a friend's son has these and her son's teachers have mentioned potential autism

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 12:18:03

DS has no learning difficulties whatsoever, reached all developmental milestones OK and none of his teachers (all at very good schools) ever expressed any concerns, just praised both his behavior and academic achievements.

The family 'diagnosis' is based on his food issues, which they say are part of his need to be controlling, and based on him being "different" - see my OP. Nothing else, as far as I know...

stillstandingatthebusstop Wed 29-Jul-15 12:28:06

I think you'd know Brain. My son has autism and, although he had a very complicated start in life, I knew something wasn't right with him. I wouldn't worry about what your in-laws have said.

And . . DS3 has autism but he's a brilliant kid (teenager these days). grin

DayLillie Wed 29-Jul-15 12:32:23

My DS had no obvious learning difficulties and everyone said he was fine, and just a boy, lazy, etc. (and of course, was told I need to be more assertive with him and parent properly. ) But he did have problems later in school and did not get any of the results that we were lead to believe he would. It is a complicated thing, and I would only trust the judgement of an expert, if you can get to see one.

GingerDoodle Wed 29-Jul-15 17:18:37

My father helpfully suggested DD had issues after i had to cart her out of a restaurant screaming.

She's not yet 3, had drunk 2 glasses of neat lemonade (which I know she is sensitive too), and not napped. Hell of course she was hyper. Not pleasant and not a good moment.

He didn't mean it maliciously but that did not stop me feeling very hurt by it.

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 17:57:07

That sounds scary DayLillie.... So has your DS been diagnosed with ASD?
If you look retrospectively do you think there were signs you didn't recognize?
If you don't mind can we maybe have a chat on pm?

CordeliaFoxx Wed 29-Jul-15 18:18:44

I raised concerns about my DN having autism a couple years ago and DSis instantly dismissed it, he's now going through the system and has been diagnosed.

I'm not saying your family are right, but sometimes someone who's not so close can see things differently.

BrainSurgeon Wed 29-Jul-15 18:28:43

How did you figure it out Cornelia, if I may ask?

OopNorth Wed 29-Jul-15 19:00:04

DS 12 is in the process of being diagnosed with Aspergers. With hindsight there were lots of signs there when he was younger, but nothing really till he was Y5/6. CAMHS have said that younger children are more forgiving of lack of social skills (with DS it was talking at you rather than with you, talking at length about certain few subjects, not having any friends), but then as he got older children didn't "get" him and want to be around him.
then when he moved to senior school he really couldn't cope with the transition so it all came to light.
He's intelligent and got all 5s in SATs so I didn't think there could be a "problem".

With hindsight I was just too close to him and thought he was my lovely quirky son (still do obvs!) but I wish someone had said something to me, because he's had a really tough time in Y7 and so much could have been done to help him.

Sorry that doesn't really answer your OP, but if someone not a close to your son may have seen something that you are too close to I guess I'm trying to say.

OopNorth Wed 29-Jul-15 19:04:06

Someone not as close to your son may have seen something that you are too close to see

I meant to say!

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