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DS 8yrs ASD, do 'pre-diagnosis' friends really fall by the wayside?(8 Posts)
My DS was diagnosed with aspergers a few months ago and I have immersed myself in reading about it, including parents' blogs and mumsnet threads, etc etc. So often I read that 'pre-diagnosis' friendships tend to break down and I'm really troubled by this. I'm feeling pretty blue and isolated and feel I'm going to need my friends more than ever. However, I have the impression that most of the friends that I've told about the diagnosis have no idea how low I feel, how much I would love someone to say 'can I help in any way?', 'is there anything I can do that would support xx when he next comes over to play?'. I'm wondering whether it will be me pushing them away for not understanding (perhaps cutting off my nose to spite my face), or whether people just find it awkward and will unconsciously give me a bit of a wide berth. Sorry, all a bit incoherent but I'm feeling pretty lonely today- partner away and all the friends I mooted getting together with over the bank hol, or whose kids I invited over, haven't got back to me. Admittedly I asked pretty casually... If this sounds a little 'sorry for myself' I'm afraid it probably is - having a 15 minute downer maybe. But I have no family in the UK and my friends have always meant a lot to me. I'd so love to hear from anyone the unvarnished truth about their experiences of how friendships fare in the wake of an ASD diagnosis.
I found the friends with 'normal' children around my DS age disappeared. It started with us not being invited to social events which I then heard about later. Some people have treated me and DS as if we have an infectious disease that their children might get. I have to say though that the friends that have stuck with us have really shown their worth and I am thankful for the love they have shown DS and us as a family. Some people are very selfish and are fairweather friends, that is the only thing you can say.
They don't always. I think that lots of friendships will end, but ime, plenty continued because there are actually quite a lot of people with ASD and many of my friends had nieces, nephew or cousins etc, even if not their own children.
But I think sometimes the friendships end because you start saying no to invitations, rather than because people stop asking you. If you say no often enough (for good reasons) then people do stop asking and the relationship disolves.
thanks Sunnymeg and Starlight. It does sound like there will be changes, friend-ship wise, in the coming months. Phew, as if the emotional roller coaster of diagnosis and slowly learning to cope wasn't enough. Your second point, Starlight, was interesting. It's just hard sometimes to feel like hooking up with friends when you're feeling so troubled and exhausted, but I can see the value of making the effort. With no nearby family for DS to build relationships with, I really wanted him to have a community of friends/family friends in our neighbourhood and we have had that, but I am terrified of losing it.
Tbh you might even find you have to dump a few friends off yourself. I had a heck of a time with my DS when he was 3 and had a neighbour who was trying to be friends but frankly she was a pain in the bum. She would try to engage my son in lengthy discussions about why it was good to share when in fact he wasn't even comprehending the most basic instructions. She would turn up unexpectedly on my doorstep to show my kids her son's latest expensive toy, cue meltdowns and pandemonium. Not to mention being a narrow minded, judgemental bore. Our kids are in the same class at school now but the gap is so wide and I am just not interested. Just praying for his statement and hopefully transition to special school to be finalised! So it can cut both ways! It has changed other friendships too though, even the good ones where the lack of understanding is very much there. I think the point at which you get diagnosis is a good one to stop, take stock and move forward.
Ps I sound bitchy there lol it's the hot weather and reading another thread has riled me. Some friends will go but new ones will come along.
Dinky hasn't got a dx yet, but already, with the gap widening between dinky and her old NT friends, I find my old friends fading away, and being replaced little by little with other parents of children with SN.
Thanks Daily and Dinkysmummy. Btw, I don't think you're being bitchy at all Daily, that situation sounds a nightmare! I'm just feeling so lost at the moment and already let down a bit by my friends to be honest, but I also worry that it's actually me rather than them who's being a bit harsh. I kind of feel I need to fess up about feeling so down and explain that I'd love a bit of support (even just emotional support over a bottle of wine!), and then if folk want to back off I'll know- that's it, they definitely don't want to stick around. I'd be gutted, but there you go...
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