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Anyone either been the one denying there's a problem, or had a partner who's denying there's a problem?

(17 Posts)
Financialworryontop Sat 24-Sep-11 18:15:07

My dh accepts that our dc's behaviour is not "normal", but denies it is a problem.

He wants them to be treated, and be seen, but can't accept that this will most like result in a dx.

We are most likely going to get an ASD dx.

I think I've realised this for about the last 4 years, that this day will come, but dh is in denial sad.

coff33pot Sat 24-Sep-11 23:14:48

DH and my whole family were initially in denial. Myself included for a while. In the end after watching and diaries and school reporting on his struggles I just went ahead and got on with it and took DS to a GP and CAHMS. DH is supportive now in every appointment and has fought DS corner several times but even now he still lapses into the "he is just playing up" mode.

At least your dh is willing to get your dcs checked over hmmm? why not leave it at that and see how it progressess. Maybe your dh is only able to deal with things one step at a time.

It harder I think for men to come to terms that there could be something wrong with their children.

There are plenty of things you can research and use to help your dcs in the meantime and I think you dont actually have to accept a dx if you dont want to smile

bochead Sun 25-Sep-11 10:10:53

Both times in our family it seems to have been the "professionals" in denial lol!

I think some men require "external proof" (eg from professionals) that there's a problem whereas Mum's trust their OWN instincts more in the early stages. Men also seem to suffer far more guilt and self-blame if their offspring is less than perfect (friends men have spent far more time wallowing and blaming themselves rather than getting on with it.) Sadly this sometimes mean men take off leaving the women holding the baby as the hard work involved in caring for an seen kid reduces the time available for the couple.

Let your DH see/read examples of good outcomes for kids like yours - men's enthusiasm once they see a "solution" can sweep through the professional delays etc for treatment like a knife through butter. My Dad's faith that with the RIGHT help my lil sister's dire diagnositic outlook could be "overcome" (they said she'd never pass a single exam, would spend adulthood instiutionalised) sustained the family even AFTER his death and at 30 she had a degree, was running her own business etc just as he confidentently predicted she would. The SEN profession in the UK suffers from a female "caring acceptance" of disability sometimes and a man's thrusting "get it sorted" attitude can be SO valuable in cutting through the culture of low expectations. Mums who behave like this with the pros risk being seen as mentally ill shrews.

He'd made damn sure he expected everyone involved in her care to put the hours in before he died. He also communicated to her she needed to develop a steel stubborn core and lots of determination to overcome her difficulties from an early age. If she had to work 20 times harder than the norm to acheive basic stuff so what - that's how hard she had to work. He led by example on the parenting front - working SO hard to help her. Yes we have to work MUCH harder than the average parent but sometimes, I think our rewards are so much greater IF we adopt the right mindset to it all.

TalesOfTheUnexpected Sun 25-Sep-11 10:25:36

I was never in denial, but I was shocked that my boys had problems (noticed by HV at 7 weeks old).

My (now) ex-husband was in total denial from that day that anything could be wrong at all. It's ended up that both boys have multiple difficulties and attend a SN school. We also have a NT daughter.

We divorced 2 years ago (we had a LOT of other issues). Given the choice, he would only see our daughter, but I don't allow that. We have 3 children, not 1.

Good luck. It can be hard for a father or a mother for that matter, to realise their child is not NT, but many work through it and are ok in the end. It's a learning curve.

Good luck.

tabulahrasa Sun 25-Sep-11 12:01:34

DP was very much in denial, for years...he saw the issues, but didn't see why there were a problem - if that makes sense.

We had a few arguments about it, he thought we should just let DS be DS and he'd work out fine - that I was looking for problems and picking on perceived flaws, I saw it as me trying to get DS the support he needed.

The older DS got, the harder it was for DP to deny there was something there and by the time we got to the point that DS was aware of it DP was in the same place I was.

chickensaresafehere Sun 25-Sep-11 15:58:03

DH is still slightly in denial,I think.
He is very supportive in attending appointments & dealing with school but its very difficult to have a decent conversation about dd's problems,he sort of buries his head in the sand a bit!!
And as for the future,well that conversation tends to be avoided at all costs!!
I think he thinks that one day she will just wake up & talk & not have any other problems,and all that we have gone through will be a horrible dream!!
But I don't hold that against him to some degree,as I think men react differently to it than women,but it would be nice to sit down & discuss her problems in depth IYSWIM,like me & Mum do.Don't know what I'll do when I haven't got her anymore.

MangoMonster Sun 25-Sep-11 18:48:29

All my family and oh family are in denial. So is oh sometimes and so am I... Not sure when, when or how it finally sinks in. Guess it's different for everyone. Just wanted to let you know you're not alone in this denial problem. I guess it's part and parcel of it all. Something I never expected though, but makes sense.

Triggles Sun 25-Sep-11 19:36:39

DH is in denial. He is at a stupid stage right now where he thinks that he just needs discipline. DH has other issues as well, so spend lots of time shouting and being stroppy. It's going to come to a head very very soon, as I cannot continue like this. It's not fair on DS2 or DS3 (or me for that matter).

Becaroooo Sun 25-Sep-11 20:03:40


Just had dx of dyslexia which I have been telling everyone that ds1 had for the last 3 years. Still awaiting the asd dx from paed but it will come eventually.

Think dh will accept it once he sees it in black and white. He still hasnt read the EP Report yet though sad

Triggles Sun 25-Sep-11 23:24:31

I think sometimes because it's often exhibited through behaviour, rather than say diabetes or heart problems, we tend to second guess it ourselves.

I asked DH "if it was juvenile diabetes or heart disease, would you run it around in your head so much or have difficulties coping? Or would you (of necessity) just get on with it and deal with it?" He admitted that things like diabetes and heart disease are more straightforward and clearer to the general public. So people are familiar with it and you know what you're dealing with. ASD and ADHD are huge grey areas.

nickminiink Mon 26-Sep-11 13:20:58

As a Dad, I am going change the norm of the DH or DP in denial comments. As in our case its my partner (mother) that's in denial, I attend most if not all the appointments, I am the one chasing all the professionals, I spend hours on the internet researching why my son is different to his peers. Only recently we have just received a dx of dyslexia, so once again it is me that follows this up with the SEN head teacher. I am currently pursuing a referal to GOSH for APD. The whole thing is exhausting, I work full time long hours, whereas his mother works part time so has much more time on her hands than me. I try to talk to her about our son but she thinks I am looking for a problem in our son, her opinion is he will be ok and then gets very emotional when I say he won't without our help. Don't get me wrong she is a great mother to our 2 children, its just the denial that is driving me mad and lack of support. It was hard at first to acccept my son was different but I love him too much to see him suffer at school as he falls further and further behind, just wish I had more support.

swanriver Mon 26-Sep-11 13:49:36

yes, dh was in denial till ds2 was 8. Tbh, diagnosis followed soon after. When I first tried to make referral, dh went to Dr's appt (due to family emergency) instead of me, and said to Dr, My wife thinks there's a problem, but I don't. Not surprisingly our first referral was thrown back by CAMHS hmm

I think point about "behaviour" tipping balance is good one. Dh had no problem with ds's mindset (what was eventually determined to be ASD) or attitude, and thought he was no trouble, and everyone else had the "problem" (including the response of our other dcs). I think it suddenly clicked when we went on a short trip to York that ds2 was not just being "naughty" or "lively" when he ran off, or exhibited other bizarre forms of behaviour in hotel restaurant (like reciting This Is The Night Mail Crossing The Border" at top speed) He was actually anxious and reacting to stress i the way that ASD children do. He was so great 1:1, that we didn't notice really that he wasn't so good socialising en masse. And dh spent a lot of time 1:1 with him, in which situations ds2 appears entirely normal, and charming.

And one child spent a lot of time not playing by herself (his twin sister) so the fact that ds2 DID, was seen as a good thing not in any way a defect.

Triggles Mon 26-Sep-11 16:30:54

nick - I would have to say you are probably not the norm in this regard. Seems that it's mostly mums on here that are doing all the legwork, research, and dealing with school and appointments. It's nice to see a dad here - I think it's fairly rare for the SN board. (although I could be wrong)

Financialworryontop Mon 26-Sep-11 17:46:06

Thank you all for your responses, sorry haven't come back recently.

So nice to know I'm not alone.

This last week has been eyeopener for my dh, as prior to our referral on Friday, we have had to keep a diary for the week of our son's behaviour.

I always think that my dh thinks I exaggerate our ds' condition.

I've asked him to read what I have recorded in the diary, as I want the diary to be factual and not objective of what I think, but of what is observed.

As the week's gone on, he's read every entry, and agreed that is exactly what happened, and then has thought about it.

I think the comment about it being in black & white for men to accept is appearing to be very true in this instance.

Hopefully, it will lead to my dh being able to discuss it with me. Not there yet, but things are moving along.

Nick - I hope that your wife comes round like my dh is very slowly appearing to do so.

akaemmafrost Tue 27-Sep-11 12:15:11

My ex told me I had "Munchausens by proxy and that you want ds to have autism so YOU can get attention from doctors". I would be called into school because ds had melted down and when ex H found out he would yell and scream at me and say "right your way of bringing him up hasn't worked, now we are doing it MY way and I am coming down on him like a ton of bricks". His family all said I was being a drama queen and there was nothing wrong with ds. They would "test" him by trying to get him into barbers to get his hair cut, he was terrified of clippers and getting his hair cut and then be shocked when he melted down and started screaming and swearing at them, which they took very personally and labelled as shockingly naughty behaviour.

Ex is on board now, after being repeatedly told by the "experts" that ds has the conditions that he has ASD, dyspraxia, hypermobility and sensory processing disorder. I cant forget the cruelty towards me of his response though and can't forgive him for it.

swanriver Tue 27-Sep-11 13:15:25

I found that dh was extremely good at managing ds2 to the extent that they were in tune so much that ds2 DID behave most of the time. So he was careful never to expose him to things that would have caused meltdowns, not because he thought he had ASD just because he seemed to know by instinct that ds2 didn't like things like haircuts, rough sports, too many changes.
If ds didn't like something he was very accepting rather than pushing him to enjoy things that he didn't.

I would say the two things that made dh see things in different light were: toileting problems and strange table manners even at 9, also screaming reactions to bad stimuli, like being teased or accidentally bumped.

But ironically we had less problems as a result of dh's sympathetic approach, delaying diagnosis.

But that sounds very upsetting Akaema to be told it was all your fault, and that you were attention seeking. Even my Dh said I was attention seeking when I sought to have Ds2 diagnosed. I think it is a common problem.

There are people who do exaggerate their children's problems to get sympathy and attention. But I suspect this is in a very small minority of cases. (And in a way they probably need help from the professionals too albeit for different reasons). Tbh, it takes such a long time to get referred/dxed that I doubt any bogus cases would really get through.

yuckythingsonthefloor Tue 27-Sep-11 21:08:17

Oh dear, my DH is very in denial most of the time. He realises there is a problem by virtue of the very fact that our DS is in a special school. But he also thinks DS is 'just acting up' a lot of the time and doesn't accept that he needs a different approach in discipline. It's an ongoing struggle. but as a very kind MNer pointed out to me on this board, the best thing you can give a child is a good relationship with its father, and I bear that constantly in mind. It is so difficult for some people to take on board. It requires a lot of imagination and empathy and patience and people don't always have their fair share of that. I find it helps to get third parties to say things; sadly DH takes on information better this way. The Male of the Species... shock

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