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how long where your family in denial for?

(14 Posts)
jjgirl Sun 14-Aug-11 13:07:07

just had an earbashing from my DM after i had emailed her saying DS has now been refered for assesment for possible ASD. She is going for the head in the sand approach telling me not to do it and that he will be ok.

its not me pushing for anything on a vauge whim. every medical professional my DS has been in contact with since age 2 has suggested ASD as a possibility for his challenging ways and non talking etc etc etc.

DH is in denial as well. i think next in the phase it will be blame me as of course its all my fault for having a baby in the first place.

how long does this last for most people with very dominating parents?

TooJung Sun 14-Aug-11 14:16:14

How long is a piece of string? Each person sees sense at their own pace. How you interact with them is for you to decide. One more burden or rather opportunity smile

Remember justifying yourself to someone who is not seeing clearly is a pointless task. Informing them and being polite and firm about how they speak to you is a great skill if you are up to it at the moment.

I find this very hard still btw. I prefer to keep my distance emotionally. There are lots of topics I do not discuss with my relatives yet. I prefer to be able to be open and share what I'm worried about, but only to someone who has the confidence to listen and not make it worse by trying to fix it for me.

EllenJaneisnotmyname Sun 14-Aug-11 18:26:02

There are stages that seem to have to be gone through. I think mums get through most of them the quickest as they spend the most time with their DC. Anyone else, like dads, GPs, aunts, uncles, anyone with an emotional attachment, takes longer.

Would your mum understand if you explained to her that of course you don't want there to be anything 'wrong' with your DS, but in the meantime you have to check it out and you need her emotional support, not her denial? This is affecting you (and your DH) the most and she needs to be supporting you through this, not making it harder for you.

As for DH? Men seem to find it much harder to come to terms with any problems. You will both need each other, so I hope you can get through the denial and blame game quickly. Children with SEN can put a strain on relationships, but they can also make you stronger. (Eventually) smile

nenevomito Sun 14-Aug-11 19:00:16

I'm still holding the piece of string as everyone apart from me and DH are still in denial.

I think DM is getting there since she came in to see the paed at the end of my appt. Being told by a paed that there's a problem seemed to work better than anything I could say.

Thats probably not much help, but the reaction you've got is not uncommon - which is why I'm so grateful for mumsnet!!

auntevil Sun 14-Aug-11 20:35:58

I think Ellen is right when saying that often the main care giver - who is on the receiving end most, is the most aware and then it filters down from there.
I find that the more DH spends time alone with DS that he is more and more aware of him 'not growing out of' behaviour. PIL had the opportunity of spending a whole day on their own with DS not that long back - and have now admitted defeat in being able to cope with him and his brothers together. They will either take DS1 on his own, or the other 2 without DS. I like to think of that as their own kind of acceptance grin .
Perhaps your DM needs to spend some quality 1-1 time to fully appreciated the challenges?

Lougle Sun 14-Aug-11 20:43:34

I was quite lucky, I think. There was a short period of outrage, followed by a bit of 'mmm...she does walk a bit funny doesn't, she?', then swift acceptance.

I do think that being the eldest of 3 girls in a 5 year period was helpful, tbh. Nothing like siblings overtaking you to point out to family that really, there is something seriously adrift sad

I think also, the fact that she got 1:1 straight away at pre-school, then went to Special school, and the fact that when my parents see her with her SS peers, she really doesn't look at all out of place, is the biggest thing. It's lovely to see, tbh...flapping away with her mates gringrin

We went to the zoo the other day, and bumped into one of her best SS friends - it took us ages to separate them grin

coff33pot Sun 14-Aug-11 21:46:28

My Dad listens to me and is angry with the school for the way they treated DS in the beginning. He is still of the belief that he is ok and he will grow out of what it is (poss AS) That said he does listen and he supports me in all the help I am trying to get without passing judgment. My Mum was brill she was abroad at the time but secretly read up on the net and watched a few programmes about autism and openly talks about it when she came home. She is my rock when everytime I go for an assessment appointment and its me in tears asking if I am doing the right thing. She backs me up.

The inlaws?.........dont even go there because I dont unless I have to grin

DH..........is in a battle with himself. He goes to every meeting at school and cahms and will listen and support me so he is great. I think his battle is a man not wanting something wrong with their boy and sometimes he is patient with DS and others he gets frustrated. He is human and it hurts and men just dont know how to show it.

BsDad Sun 14-Aug-11 22:34:48

Without wanting it to look like shameless self promotion, I'd invite you to read something I posted last week about this on my blog:

autisticson.wordpress.com/2011/08/02/a-pinch-of-salt/

My parents, in-laws and other relatives have all been a cause of frustration to a greater or lesser degree! For me, the most difficult one has been my dad, who had quite a close relationship with my son and is the one who has embraced it the least really. This fits what has been said on this thread and, as a man, I also recognise myself in that last post on this thread.

Toffeefudgecake Sun 14-Aug-11 22:36:33

Several years ago, when I rang my Mum to tell her about a difficult meeting with a teacher about DS1's challenging behaviour at school, I was in tears. I said: They think it's all my fault!" She said: "Well, maybe it is." Not exactly what I wanted to hear. Luckily, I had lots of supportive friends and friends, I think, can often be more supportive than family at times like this.

However, as the years have passed and my mother has seen DS1 visibly struggling with life, she has softened. It took a long time to get a diagnosis and she has been on that journey with us. She has witnessed my son's behaviour and has no idea how to deal with it. Last time we all went on holiday together, she said she was full of admiration in how we dealt with DS and didn't know how we did it.

MIL has been told DS's diagnosis (Tourettes, OCD), but keeps saying he seems much better now confused, as if he'll grow out of it. She doesn't want to see it and, to her, he is the same wonderful grandson he's always been (which, of course, he is).

I agree with those who suggest that looking after the child in question is the easiest way to convince sceptics, provided this is a safe option for the child.

You must feel very alone if your DH is also in denial. I'm very sorry. It must be hard. He will get there in his own time.

saintlyjimjams Sun 14-Aug-11 23:09:02

Some still haven't grin ds1 is 12, non-verbal and severely autistic grin

I do think it's quite common to be the only one in the early days. I remember having to hide all my autism books under the bed or I would get a real ear bashing. Most of my friends had the same issues with their families.

DH came round very quickly once the assessment process began, my parents too. It used to matter a great deal to me if people didn't get it/understand, now it doesn't really.

Hang on in there. I wouldn't bother trying to explain, you just get forced to be very negative if you do that which feels horrible. I have told people to tune into Reality FM and explained that there' a difference between being realistic and being negative. And yes you probably will be blamed.

After diagnosis some of the people who had been in denial tried to tell me I had not wanted to accept that there was anything up. I found this laughable tbh (although not enough to have forgotten 10 years later - ha!) - but it does go to show people hear what they want to hear.

lisad123 Mon 15-Aug-11 08:33:41

with dd1, it took dh alot longer than me but he came to all assessments with me so came round in the end. My mum, Im not sure, she asked question now and then but we dont really discuss it. With my sisters, when I rang to say we were starting a assessment as concerns about ASD, they said they had noticed something about dd1 but didnt know how to tell me sad
DD2 seemed easier, I think because outwardly she is more obivious. Family have been great and no real problem the second time round.
However, friends are very different and even now some dont believe it sad my husbands family dont know other than his brother and his girlfriend.

hellsbells76 Mon 15-Aug-11 08:41:59

My ex is still in denial. Despite DS having had a diagnosis of Asperger's for two years, and even though the diagnosis was made incredibly quickly because he's 'textbook' apparently, and even though the ex only sees him in school holidays...he knows better than me, all his teachers, the ed psych and the paed. Grrr. I have a strong suspicion he's undiagnosed AS himself though, and it's all a bit close to home.

hellsbells76 Mon 15-Aug-11 08:46:21

My mother, on the other hand, has 'accepted' it rather too enthusiastically and it's a bugbear that she seems to mention it to everyone she meets as if it's the most important thing about him. so when one of her friends met DS she was astonished by how 'sociable' he turned out to be. I think mum had gone on about her 'autistic' grandson to the point she was expecting bloody Rain Man or something. Grr.

jjgirl Mon 15-Aug-11 14:57:05

i think my mother still thinks its something to be ashamed of having a SN grandchild, he is also the first grandchild. It is very obvious now that his cousin who is 18 months younger is getting ahead on most things.

they have had him a couple of times for the day, they will not take him at their house as it has no fence and they do not have the stamina to watch him every minute. They coped fine at my house as i would not be living here if it was not safe for my son. bolt the front door and back yard fully fenced so its not a problem with escaping. plus its his house so he is comfortable here.

SIL is great as she is studying to be a SALT, i shall have to get her to support me more against DM.

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