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ds doesn't want to play with his autistic cousin anymore

(87 Posts)
kiki22 Tue 12-Apr-16 09:47:41

DS is 4 and has become his cousins only friend due to his laid back nature he's the only child that his cousin can play with without tears and tantrums. The cousin is 5 and is on the spectrum he doesn't share and often hits or decides other children can no longer play so his mum finds I hard to find children who are understanding if this which ds has been so far.

DS is due to go over tomorrow but has just said he doesn't want to go anymore, his reasons for this are that he's not allows to pet his cousins dog or speak to him because its not his dog (cousins rule not parents), he is only allowed to touch some of the toys in the play room and his cousin sends him out of play play room if he doesn't do as hes told so he has to take a toy to the kitchen to play alone while cousins mum talks cousin down. He says its just not fun, ive told him that his cousin has autism and that's why hes not good at sharing and gets moody, his words were I know but it's not fair to be mean to me sad

I don't really know what to do, I think ds has been as understanding as a 4 year old can be I don't know if its fair to send him somewhere he's unhappy to make someone else happy. I don't really have much experience with autism the only other person I know with an autistic has 2 children so her son is more used to sharing etc I'm really at a loss at what is normal and how much I should expect from ds. I want him to be understanding and sensitive to his cousins needs but not to be unhappy.

kiki22 Tue 12-Apr-16 09:49:14

An autistic child not an autistic

UmbongoUnchained Tue 12-Apr-16 09:51:29

I wouldn't force him.
Yes it's sad that kids have autism but it's so unfair the way people expect everyone else to bend over backwards. I got hate from other mums at play group for not inviting a girl with autism to my daughters party. She hits and bites and my daughter can't stand to be around her. Why would I invite her?
Just do what's right for your son.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 12-Apr-16 09:54:00

I think you're going to get slaughtered, OP.

I hope I'm wrong...

BetweenTwoLungs Tue 12-Apr-16 09:55:26

That is tough - really difficult. The thing is, the cousin will be getting so much out of that relationship but equally it's unfair to make your son feel uncomfortable or unhappy.

I would be supervising things to try and help the cousin interact in an appropriate way. E.g if the dog is mentioned, you'd be there to say 'well yes it's your dog but he likes attention from everyone so we can all stroke him'.

Also might be worth taking them outside somewhere so it's more neutral territory, even just to the park, and again supervise continuously and model positive behaviour for the cousin. Point out how your son is feeling explicitly - at 5 the cousin may not be able to interpret your sons emotions.

I'd try and keep the relationship going - I think it would be terribly isolating already for both the child and your sister/SIL too. I'd just say that your son isn't feeling confident at the minute so you want to keep an eye on him playing with friends.

Didiusfalco Tue 12-Apr-16 09:55:30

You say he is going over? I think you need to go with him and you and cousin facilitate the play. Doesnt sound like its working to treat it as a standard play date? Obviously not fair to leave him to it, but with a bit if help from adults the friendship could be nurtured.

Alfieisnoisy Tue 12-Apr-16 09:55:30

Do you go with him? It might be easier for him if Mum is there.

My son has autism and at that age he still hadn't got the idea of 13 sharing is no problem.

As a parent I used to go with DS to playdates in order to help him cope with it all.

DixieNormas Tue 12-Apr-16 09:56:21

if he doesn't want to he doesn't want, maybe arrange to meet at a park or somewhere more nutural in a few weeks ?

twinkletoedelephant Tue 12-Apr-16 09:56:40

It may be easier to meet in a more neutral place for a bit where nothing belongs to anyone.
I have at least one child with autism (2 more awaiting assessment) they get on best with their cousins when they are out at the farm/soft/play or at the cousins house not ours.
But your lad is only 5 so you need to listen to him and agree that yes xxx can be hard/difficult not friendly sometimes and that's because of his ASD and that trying to change that is not going to work.
I do get annoyed with my sil when she just expects her children to deal with mines behaviour.... There feelings are just as important!!

If the kids are playing at home maybe try a game where there are set turns (Wii games are good bowling/team games etc). Lego also works well for us.
Its great that you are trying to help along this friendship but you can't force it.

Copperspider Tue 12-Apr-16 09:57:16

Could you go with him? If your DS is playing with his Mum, Aunty and cousin, he may see it as a more positive experience? And he'll still have you to play with even if his Aunty needs to concentrate on his cousin for any reason? That way you aren't ignoring DS feelings, but are still supporting your wider family.

DixieNormas Tue 12-Apr-16 09:57:19

and there should be more supervision

Alfieisnoisy Tue 12-Apr-16 09:58:04

umbongo your post is fucking horrible and is the reason parents and children become isolated.

"Expect people to bend over backwards for them".

Can you hear how offensive you sound?

kiki22 Tue 12-Apr-16 10:00:06

I hope your wrong too this is not an aibu to refuse to send him. Its I have no idea what to do for the best I don't want to upset anyone especially his cousin hes only little and struggles with having friends but at the same time ds is not the type to moan so if hes saying he doesn't want to go how do I say tough luck.

I have offered to meet elsewhere and have them here and go for an hour but she wants ds all afternoon I'm not really invited so I cant just leave when ds has had enough, I don't know if I should just tell his mum ds has said this to see if she has a better solution I don't want to upset her she's found it hard no one wants to play with him and I feel awful.

UmbongoUnchained Tue 12-Apr-16 10:00:47

I don't really care. My child is my priority and I won't have her around any child who hits and bites her, autism or not.

Claraoswald36 Tue 12-Apr-16 10:00:51

its not fair on your boy. Don't do it. Focus on socialising with kids he gets on with.
I would try and support his mum with finding a local autism support group - maybe he can engage in social stuff/activities they provide.

Being inclusive is important but not to the detriment of your little boy.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 12-Apr-16 10:01:12

Is your sister supervising enough? Doesn't sound like it.

Your son is only 4. It's not fair for him to be miserable.

I would explain that he doesn't want to come for play days anymore but suggest park/soft play and maybe less frequently?

I hate the thought of your nephew being totally shut off from friends but on the other hand, your little boy is so small and clearly unhappy. He's not responsible for the emotional well being of another child.

Branleuse Tue 12-Apr-16 10:01:46

you and your sister/brother need to find a way of facilitating their play on neutral territory before it completely ruins their relationship, as its obviously not working at the moment. The boy is having meltdowns and severe anxiety over his stuff, and your child is taking the brunt of this. You all need to get past the nicey nicey idea of them getting together to play like neurotypical children, and you dont need to feel sorry for him because he has ASD and yet still be part of these arranged sessions which sound like hell for both children

Claraoswald36 Tue 12-Apr-16 10:03:12

Agree with Walter.

Lancelottie Tue 12-Apr-16 10:03:52

Parent of autistic offspring here. Your son is doing the best he can -- he sounds eminently more sensitive than most 4-5 year olds - and his cousin's parents need to work on this with their own child. Talk to them, because this isn't now helping either child.

Your nephew/cousin(?) is probably trying to make his environment and your son's visits more predictable, hence all his 'rules', but the problem with child-defined 'rules' is that they can tend to get gradually extended until the autistic child is genuinely distraught when any number of random rules are broken.

His parents might try rehearsing him for a visit with social stories - 'When Alex comes over, we'll sit in here. We'll play with Lego/cars/bears. Alex will pat the dog. Then we'll eat tea. Alex will go home.' Keep visits too short for explosions if possible (easier if you're the ones visiting and can leave)!

(Actually DS hated social stories - but other parents have found them very useful.)

PerspicaciaTick Tue 12-Apr-16 10:05:07

No matter what a wonderful opportunity it is for your DN, it simply isn't fair for your 4yo to be having to cope with this. So something needs to change and I think the first thing is for you to go there and support them in their play so that both children get something positive out of their time together.

Lancelottie Tue 12-Apr-16 10:06:25

I've just seen that you 'aren't really invited'. Tough, tell his parents you're coming or your son isn't, as he's not happy to be there without you.

soapboxqueen Tue 12-Apr-16 10:06:55

I wouldn't be sending your ds in that situation. As others have suggested I would be part of the play session, or on neutral ground etc. To expect you to drop your ds off in such an environment without you is unreasonable.

You need to have a word with the mum (who I assume is either your sister or sil). Just explain that you want to create a positive relationship between your ds and his cousin but that you feel that isn't going to happen under the current arrangement. They need space, the pressure needs to be taken off and they need support to understand each other.

DixieNormas Tue 12-Apr-16 10:07:34

I think you should talk to her, as others have said the cousin is obviously struggling with it all too

MrsJayy Tue 12-Apr-16 10:08:31

I think you need to be honest with mum tell her your son finds it difficult when cousin tells him not to pet dog etc and you would rather be there or go out to the park or something if the boys are going to grow up together they will come to an understanding but at 4 &5 they are to young to have playdates like mum wants.

Waltermittythesequel Tue 12-Apr-16 10:09:10

Your priority here needs to be your ds, whilst being sympathetic to the needs of your dn.

So I'm afraid you'll have to toughen up and be honest.

If your sister/SIL is sensible, she'll accept the opportunity to make this work for both of the children.

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