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I know she's old, but really...

(20 Posts)
sphil Mon 20-Jun-11 23:11:04

My 80 year old aunt has been staying with us. This afternoon she said to me:
" Is there anything that Ds2 is really good at?". I bristled inwardly a bit, thinking she was going to ask the 'special skill' question - and then she added
" You know, anything you could train him up for later?"

I dont really know why this has pissed me off so much, but it has. I wanted to say ' yes, he's good at lots of things - smiling and bouncing and hugging and coping bloody well with a confusing world thank you very much ' but instead I just muttered feebly 'well I think its too soon to tell'.

cansu Tue 21-Jun-11 08:18:40

I know exactly what you mean. My gran often makes little comments which drive me insane like 'isn't it a shame she can't talk' and 'however does she manage in a normal school'. I just gloss over it but it does hurt. It's mainly a total lack of understanding really.

chuckeyegg Tue 21-Jun-11 08:50:26

My MIL is very insensitive and tells me all the time what a shame it is. I've told her now just because he doesn't speak much doesn't mean he doesn't understand a lot of what we say, so button it

I extra sad really because they are not appreciating them for the people they are.

purplepidjin Tue 21-Jun-11 09:11:36

I'm a carer for people with adults with learning difficulties and people who smile and are cheerful are what keep me in my job.

How many people make another (unrelated) person happy simply by existing? That's your child's skill smile

unpa1dcar3r Tue 21-Jun-11 10:08:28

My MIL has got to beat the lot; she once said to me after I was describing a particularly traumatic tantrum from younger DS that we should seriously think about putting him into care where he would be looked after properly, loved and understood because we obviously weren't doing those things!!!!

I love that she takes great delight in (made up) stories of how so and so has really got it hard cos they have 3,6, 8, 10 (pick a number any number) disabled children so we should count ourselves lucky we only have 2!

I let it go over my head now cos I know what lies she tells but it used to really hurt.

chuckeyegg Tue 21-Jun-11 10:19:29

shock unpa1dcar3r

zzzzz Tue 21-Jun-11 11:34:23

I think take a deep breath because she is probably not trying to hurt but help. Funnily enough in some ways she is not so far off the mark. I read somewhere [this is some years ago and I can't remember the source so probably garbled by sleepless brain] that the children with HFA who did the best long term were those who were able to harness there particular talents for economic gain. I don't think they were meaning did the best financially because that would be obvious. I think it was on social, emotional happiness type scales, the premise being that if you could work to support yourself you were forced to work on your other life skills and they were sort of dragged along to keep up.

I actually tend to find older people easier even if they are less PC. But then no-one has ever had the cheek to suggest my ds would be better off in care shock!!!!!!!

I do think people tend to underestimate how hard it is day on day and that few of them really 'get' how worried we all are about the future. So there idle chat is actually the source of sleepless nights and huge anxiety.

purplepidjin Tue 21-Jun-11 11:39:25

There is only one reason children are better off in a residential setting and that is because the staff get to go home and sleep. Parents are always best (although I've met some who take it a bit far wink)

mumgoingcrazy Tue 21-Jun-11 20:06:02

I think older people are just not as PC. My gran adores DD2 and takes a genuine interest in her but has said a few times things like "such a shame about the retardation", or "shame she is so retarded". It hurts, but I know she doesn't mean it badly.

sphil Tue 21-Jun-11 22:31:38

Oh yes, I know she didnt mean it badly. It was just insensitive - and it got to me particularly because I hate thinking about DS2's future. I can't really imagine him doing a job at all - he has SLD as well as being severely autistic. Just after that comment we went to a school concert and the choir sang a song with lyrics that went something like 'you can be whatever you want to be....just believe' and I found myself with tears running down my cheeks. Good job it was dark....

zzzz - your last paragraph is spot on. And purplepidjin - thanks so much for your comment about his skill being making people happy. That is so truesmile.

purplepidjin Wed 22-Jun-11 06:58:37

We're not all abusive dickheads worthy of a panorama programme wink

Would it help to think of him as an "providing employment" rather than "needing care"? With the current Direct Payment scheme, that's pretty much what it feels like to me grin

sphil Wed 22-Jun-11 13:27:50

OH yes that's true - I'd never thought of that! smile

mumoftwolittlerugrats Wed 22-Jun-11 13:49:53

Well my MIL, likes to point out how our 14 month old is so ahead, and will be over taking our 4yo, developmentally, very soon. She beams with pride over our youngest, and then loudly questions our 4yo on why he is doing a, b, and c ('naughty' things) knowing full well he cannot hold a conversation and that her doing that will cause him to act worse. She thinks we just need to discipline him more and stop babying him.
I'm not taking my boys round to grandmas all so much these days.

My 4 yo may not talk, or know his age and needs a lot of care, but me and him spent a good hour rolling around playing this morning, not necessarily speaking English, but having a real good laugh, over the silliest things.
I think he's delightful, brings a lot more sunshine to our lives than that sour old cow.

signandsmile Wed 22-Jun-11 18:25:35

I'm struggling with my dad a bit at the moment, he loves ds to bits, but keeps forgetting how to speak to him, and so says he is being naughty and won't take him our any more cos he heads off up the street to launch himself into the bushes at the end....

I keep saying did you say 'DS STOP' ? did you say 'DS come here' ?

It's not rocket science is it?????!!!

( Sorry I know I am lucky they love him, even if they don't always 'get' him, but it does wind me up, as ds doesn't 'hear' complex instructions...)

MedusaIsHavingABadHairDay Wed 22-Jun-11 23:23:38

I've never forgotten the day I took DS2 to feed the ducks...
I turned round to get more bread and he had sat ON the lap of an elderly lady and was babbling away at her (semi speech at 8 years old!) I apologised (he was a very tall 8 year old so not s small person to sit on a stranger) and she replied..

'That's alright dear I can see he's retarded...'


But she was kind and meant well... just using the langage of her generation..

cory Thu 23-Jun-11 07:51:36

Medusa, in that case I expect the old lady was still stuck in the time when retarded was as inoffensive as developmental delay today (after all, they mean the same thing). If she was a nice old lady, perhaps surrounded by other nice people all her life, she may have been totally unaware of the offensive uses the word has been put to since.

I expect we will get into trouble when we are old for using the words that are considered the most appropriate today (what??? you mean you actually said the word 'spectrum'??? I won't have you round my children if you use language like that!!).

bochead Thu 23-Jun-11 10:25:34

I prefer the older generation tbh! Much less politically correct so more likely to tell DS to his face he's said something rude - gives him the chance to apologise and try again. They are more inclined to tell me to stick at it re trying to get him support, less likely to disaprove cos he's got himself covered in mud on the veg patch, and more inclined to take the time to explain how things work/talk about his dog/listen to his dr who monologue.

Younger adults smile to your face, do their best to shoo their kids away from yours and are generally much more likely to be incredibly 2 faced about his behavior - which hurts him far more as he always overhears the comments he shouldn't. Oh and I'm sick of the "bad mother" label. Older people generally can see he's "a bit odd" and that I'm doing my bloody best!

zzzzz Thu 23-Jun-11 14:55:25

Just had a lovely time reading the first chapter of Thomas Sowells "Late Talking Children", he is so good at saying what my muddled brain mummbles over but never manages to get out. Fabulous rant about how perhaps our children weren't meant to sit in circles and basically how unrelated some "school" skills are to learning and how much more they are to do with classrooms running smoothly for the teachers. YAY!

Bochead been there done it and still living it. I hate the fact most of my ds's son woudl really prefer to be in the other half of his years class. sad, though they do of course say he is "sweet" all the time.....actually he is good at being bored with a smiley face and is frankly baffled by a lot of things.

unpa1dcar3r Thu 23-Jun-11 15:36:46

Agreed ZZZZZZ I've said for years that often it is the teaching methods and not the child which is the pronblem. I mean I learn in a certain way, others learn differently. I cannot work out an instruction manuel for example but if someone shows me what to do I'm fine. Kids are the same but are meant to fit into teachable boxes.

MIL today; well it's not like they're that bad, they don't need lifting do they and as long as they can dress, feed themselves and walk they'll be alright, won't need residential care like disabled people do!!!!!!

OK so when 12 yr old got up at 5am and tried to cook fried egg by cracking one into pan of water and turning on the oven (not the stove) at the highest temp???? Well, what was i doing not being up with him...erm maybe cos I'd had 3 hrs sleep and didn't hear him (for once) get up, well you should have...
and so it goes on.
But it's my birthday so i don't care today!!!! I'm 47teen wink

budgieshell Thu 23-Jun-11 21:56:45

Older family members can be insensative but they also can bring you a few home truths.

I just see my dd not her disability some times I need reminding of the bigger picture.

The older generation tell it like it is, like it or not.

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