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Just been to THE most unsupportive support group EVER!!!

(27 Posts)
Willmouse Wed 10-Oct-12 13:03:27

My local branch of the National Autistic Society were holding a daytime support group for new parents in a local child friendly pub.

I am new to all this and close to the edge most days so decide to go.

A bunch of women look at me from the bar as I walk in and then make their way to a table without acknowledging me. One woman is left there and looks at me. I said "are you X" . "Yes" she says then looks at me and then says "you've bought children. We don't bring children". I said "Shall I go then?" to which she says nothing and I turn and leave in tears feeling like shit.

AIBU to think that during a daytime group they wouldn't mind if I took children? I had taken toys, they would've been no bother.

It has now completely put me off anything like that sad

LateDeveloper Wed 10-Oct-12 13:13:17

Aw Willmouse that really sucks. Even if they do have a no kids "rule" they should have welcomed you, got you a coffee, introduced you to everyone and at the end of the session someone could have very gently asked if you could find childcare for next session.

It was in a public pub rather than someone's house so imposing a blanket ban on kids is really unreasonable anyway - someone at the next table could have brought in triplets!!

LateDeveloper Wed 10-Oct-12 13:15:53

Anyway -you're now at the mumsnet support group!! tell me about your child with ASD. How is it going? What things are you trying? Are your parents and in-laws on-side or being a PITA?

ds is six and has delays and asd as well as a few other bits and bobs. We have just got him into a fantastic school and I'm feeling a bit less stressed

bochead Wed 10-Oct-12 13:22:30

That's just horrid!

got me nervous now as I'm due to go to my 1st ever tomorrow.

Cynical moi says I hope they aren't using public/charities funds for a stiff G&T & a natter with their playground clique as there's no law says you can't be a nasty person/crap Mum just cos your kid has SN. I'd write to who ever is in charge and describe your experience, cos noone should ever be treated like that.

Most people assume that if an event is day time & informal that kids are allowed, I know I do & DS is unusual for not having siblings. Nor do most non-working SN parents have spare cash for needless childcare given the costs of disability. These things are normally stated on the event flyer.

SallyBear Wed 10-Oct-12 13:27:19

Willmouse, I went to a Mums and Tots group when my twins were toddlers. DD had a tracheostomy and is deaf. We were met with harsh stares and people turning their backs and even saying hello. I never went back. A couple of years later these same biatches turned up at the twins pre-school. They were notoriously cliquey and quite thick as it turned out. Their kids were all badly behaved and not the little angels that their mums portrayed them as.

My local NAS group felt that my quiet, deaf, non verbal ASD DS wasn't "autistic enough", as he didn't fit into their idea of ASD. Well he is, and we do other things to help him and enable him to socialise. I have found the friends that I have made through MN, more invaluable than any local support group.

Chundle Wed 10-Oct-12 13:33:52

What a load of bitches! Kids always welcome in mumsnet support group ;) find a better group and sorry you're feeling so low xx

StarlightMcKenzie Wed 10-Oct-12 13:35:32

That's absolutely unacceptable behaviour.

I have always found members of the NAS quite aloof but suspected that had something to do with the particular charity they were representing grin.

No need for blatant rudeness though.

starfishmummy Wed 10-Oct-12 13:42:54

That is awful Willmouse. They should know that a daytime meet up without kids is impossible for a lot of us as we can't get childcare!

Willmouse Wed 10-Oct-12 14:12:12

I am over it now.

I have better things to do on a Wednesday morning than sit in a pub with a bunch of po faced women.

There is another local group I can try.

I am so glad that I have Mumsnet for support smile

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 10-Oct-12 14:18:53

Sorry to read that Wilmouse. In your case I would complain to the NAS about their conduct and lack of towards you.

Do try the other support group you mentioned, not all people out there are horrid.

Dev9aug Wed 10-Oct-12 19:50:59

Really sorry to hear that willmouse, but not surprised. I went to see somebody at our Local NAS branch when we first had the dx and was describing DS1. her reply was, "Gosh, he sounds very severe, I have got a child who is autistic, but he is HFA". I had to use every ounce of will power I had to restrain myself from punching her in the face.
Needless to say, I don't do support groups any more.

Ineedalife Wed 10-Oct-12 19:54:35

What a shame willmouse that sounds horrid!

I go to a lovely support group set up by someone who had a similar experience. We are growing all the time and are very easy going.

Dont give up, try another group, they are not all cliquey.

BeeMom Wed 10-Oct-12 20:00:23

Early on, I sought out support groups, now I avoid them. I have found that, in many cases, the support groups are not populated by those seeking or offering support, but instead, by braggarts.

When you go to Mums & Tots for typically developing kids, all you hear is what exceptional things all the little perfect angels are doing, but in the SN groups, it seems to be a competition about whose child is sickest, most disabled, most involved, most difficult, or what mum is struggling the most, poorest, in greatest crisis (or, it is just a bitchfest about medical care or schools). While dd was inpatient, I turned down 4 "parent social hours" in a row - finally, at the 4th, the co-ordinator asked why. I told her honestly - I am sure she regretted asking.

Not my cuppa... I would rather hang around with the ladies here who "get it", support or are supported as the need arises, and don't need to compete.

Plus... we have wine

inappropriatelyemployed Wed 10-Oct-12 20:32:22

You poor thing. If you lived near me, I would buy you a coffee and cake for being so brave and trying a new group!

Beemom - you might be right about the braggarts. Ours was run by a very competent chair whose HFA son was a Young Campaigner and every week was another update on his exploits, while us wimmin were directed to 'make the sandwiches'!

Can you imagine how long I lasted?

It is frustrating that there are no other organisations out there. The NAS are now running a new campaign for 'Ambassadors' and 'Champions' (see here

Don't get me wrong, I can see the purpose of it, but please queue nicely autism prima donnas, your 'Ambassador' badge and audience for endless self-gratifying stories awaits..........

lisad123 Wed 10-Oct-12 21:12:36

Are you in Herts???
There is a support group that every professional I come across recommends. I have been once, it was the most depressing clicky group I have ever been too sad

bialystockandbloom Wed 10-Oct-12 21:22:05

Oh poor you, that sounds shit. Never understand how grown women (and men too, but generally women) can behave like this. I would definitely consider sending feedback to the NAS about this.

appropriately Champions and Ambassadors. Jeez. Perhaps I should put forward our school's autism support person who I might take more seriously if she ever came up with anything other than now and next boards has introduced herself as "the autism guru" hmm

moosemama Wed 10-Oct-12 21:30:57

Willmouse that is horrible, what a nasty bunch.

I was warned about our local NAS group and haven't bothered.

We do however have one set up by a group of parents and from what I hear they are lovely. Dh has been to one of their meetings and found them very welcoming and helpful. Apparently they set it up after similar experiences to you at the NAS group.

I've also recently got together with a group of other mums who have children with SNs that attend my dcs school. Nothing formal, just the occasional drink in the local pub, but it's lovely to meet each other and see some friendly faces in the playground. We don't tend to mix at the school, but it definitely helps to know we aren't alone. It's been quite an eye opener in terms of finding out what the SENCO etc are up to and what their standard 'tricks' are. Such a relief to find out it's not just me that gets treated like public enemy no1!

It's such a shame we are all spread out across the country. I reckon us MNSNers would be the most welcoming support group ever.

moosemama Wed 10-Oct-12 21:32:16

Of course there's always the MNSN Friday Night chocolate and wine support group. Now that's definitely worth bothering with. wink grin

saintlyjimjams Wed 10-Oct-12 23:06:45

God that's awful.

I found NAS groups are difficult to make work really. Autism is such a spectrum that unless it gets very big it either ends up being biased towards HFA or the severe end of the spectrum. And the two extremes don't always have that much in common. Mine ended up making me feel 100 times worse so I stopped going.

zzzzz Wed 10-Oct-12 23:17:04

They are idiots.

If you live in the SW there is a mn sn meet up......we are definitely welcoming (especially I you bring cake).

I really am sorry that happened to you....it's hard enough.

Don't give up.

Willmouse Wed 10-Oct-12 23:18:52

Thank you for all your lovely replies.

I will drop by on Friday night smile

ouryve Wed 10-Oct-12 23:37:36

That's awful, Willmouse? Who is it who is supposed to be lacking in social skills, again?

We don't even have a NAS branch here. There's a county wide independent support group. I was a member for a whole year because I live in the biggest county in the country and neither of the meetings are near me - plus all the kids events are aimed at kids who can stay up long after 8-9pm, which is when my two (both ASD) crash out. I did have someone suggest I start up a group for our locality. I no doubt could do it, but I'm too shy and I'm frequently too lacking in spoons.

coff33pot Wed 10-Oct-12 23:48:26

The more I read about nas groups the more I am glad I haven't driven the 15 miles to the not so local "local" branch drop in. You have just saved me the fuel going to this months too grin

maybe that's why I can't find a single mum with children with sn because they have gone to these meetings and decided to become recluse!

Stick around with us mad lot you will have fun and friends smile

PedanticPanda Wed 10-Oct-12 23:54:24

I was going to go to my local NAS support group but am having doubts now after reading this thread.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 11-Oct-12 07:51:45

I avoid most support groups but there was one that I thought very highly of.

It was run by evangelical christians and they had no patience for the slow wheels of the LA in terms of funding and paperwork so became totally independent.

They had very high expectations of the kids in terms of behaviour, as well as being able to accept the disability. They were amazing.

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