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Help! How to talk to family who "don't believe in" diagnosis?

(5 Posts)
Woolyboots Thu 15-Nov-12 19:01:47

My DD has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), which we have suspected for quite some time. It has come as a bit of a relief to us to finally be able to understand how things are for her, and be able to do something proactive to help her. Obviously up until now we have been sensitive to her needs but haven't understood what has been behind her behaviour (which DM has often been disapproving of and I have just ignored her)

I have waited for the full report before talking to my DM about this, mainly as I am fairly certain she will be dismissive, even hostile when I tell her, and instead will probably insist DD is being deliberately naughty, awkward, difficult, attention seeking etc etc. She has previously said she "doesn't believe in ADHD, kids are just naughty and in her day a slap would sort them out" shock Obviously I despair of this and have tried to argue with her in the past but she just goes grumpy and stops talking. As much as I brace myself for such a reaction (at the moment I am just going to counteract that by saying the OT that assessed her has years of training and experience etc) but I'm not sure I'll be able to keep my cool or explain it very well.

I just wondered if anyone else had a similar experience they could share, or ideas of what to say etc. I feel DD deserves understanding from all the family, my DM often makes a big deal out of her difficulties and if I can make her see that they are out of DD's control and she's not being deliberately naughty it would make a difference. However maybe I will have to accept the worse case scenario of very little support sad

mummyme82 Thu 15-Nov-12 19:41:00

I went through something quite similar, unfortunately you cannot false someone into changing there views all you can do is talk to her and if you feel you are not getting anywhere walk away as an argument on the subject is not going to help you and I am sure you have enough to deal with, the other option is to bring her some reading material on the subject and just before you are about to leave explain you have been given a diagnosis for DD and leave her the paperwork. If DM is that interested in holding any kind of relationship she is going to have to read up or she will get nowhere! wink

Lougle Thu 15-Nov-12 19:47:22

Woolyboots, I think there are two things you can do:

1) Wait until you have a quiet moment, then bring up <insert annoying thing that your DD finds difficult> and mention that you saw someone who told you about <insert useful technique for management of annoying thing> and you've been trying it. WOW, what a difference! DD is tantrumming much less and is more able to cope when <annoying thing> happens.

If you can present it as 'this has made life soo much easier'...rather than 'this is a real problem and to fix it we have to do x', then you might get her thinking.

2) Be blunt about the diagnosis, but express it as 'just a name for the type of issues DD has been struggling with' and that x, y, z should help.

Woolyboots Thu 15-Nov-12 20:42:45

Thanks so much for your replies. I think I could do a mixture of both those approaches, giving examples as you suggest Lougle so she can see it "in action", and then leaving her some reading material too. I think she will read info about it (but then may be dismissive of this afterwards?). If that doesn't work I think I will just have to make it clear when I am with her that I do believe the way we are handling DD is the best for her.

Thanks for your support, it is nice to feel less alone smile

peekyboo Fri 16-Nov-12 16:46:32

I had a similar situation, also with my mother, but for me rather than my son. She was always open to my son having aspergers, but as time went on and I realised I was probably aspie too, I brought it up with her and she wouldn't hear of it. She just dismissed the fact that I might be an aspie, when my own 'symptoms' were actually far worse than my son - BUT I was better at hiding them.
It's taken years for it to sink in with her. I didn't bother bringing it up again, but did present different situations on their own - as Lougle suggests. Funny how this works, but it does.
It's somehow easier for dismissive people to accept a specific, life-related event by itself, than a reason why such a thing may have happened in the first place.

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