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DS being assessed for ASD, DH thinks it is a'discipline issue'(23 Posts)
I am hoping for some advice if possible. Our DS is aged 4 and his pre-school have raised concerns and suggested that he is assessed. We are currently waiting for this, and am not sure yet how long it may take. Concerns have been raised before by his previous nursery and his child minder.
However DH is dismissing it all and saying that the issue is one of discipline and as I am the primary carer (DH works abroad and is home about 2 weekends in every 6) that this is all down to me being too soft on DS. He thinks the need for assessment is hokum, and that it is all down to expectations. I work quite hard to manage DS's behaviours (particularly tantrums) and feel run ragged trying to keep things on an even keel.
Tonight I exploded and told DH that if he does not want to be a parent then he does not have to. He is also home for the next week on a break, and I told him that he can bloody take over and parent his way.
But, what I really want is for support, understanding. I have already suggested couples counselling. I feel all at sea and have no idea where ti go. I know that many will have been through this- any advice? Do I 'manage' DH also and his expectations? I work pretty hard to shield DH from the day to day difficulties.
Stop shielding him.
Let him do it his way next week.
Have you thought about keeping a diary to record behaviours? Even filming to show your H how these situations play out.
Your husband has no idea.
I recognise this situation from my own experience, including the working away. IME once H was sitting in front of a psychiatrist telling us that DS had ASD he accepted it and the blame stopped, so press ahead with the assessment. For your own self-preservation you could say "You are not in a position to fully understand the situation, and therefore I am not going to discuss it with you any further", and then don't discuss it with him.
Thank you all... I am reading, but am possibly too overwrought to reply with any coherence just now.
So what is your DH doing in the way of discipline that turns your DS into a "perfect" little boy around him? I'm reading into your post that he actually isn't doing anything and is in fact full of shit, but quite happy to blame you for your child's behaviour as seen by everyone who cares for him.
I have no idea whether or not to pity your DH for being genuinely ignorant and struggling to adjust to the idea (though surely he's had chance to visit a few book retailers and websites and educate himself, by now). I do think that you shouldn't try to shield him from anything, but if you are doing it because you are concerned about his reaction to you, then there might be more to question about the emotional balance of your relationship. The sort of managing he does need is being honest with the facts. If, when he's home, he (for example) sits with the TV on loud, on his choice of viewing, right at the time your DS has his daily ritual of watching Tree Fu Tom (for example) then tell him and explain to him why (loud TV overstimulating, routine needed for security etc)
If he's still stubbornly, rather than innocently ignorant, when you're upfront with him, then I have no pity for him at all.
And now, I don't have to deal with the blame issue with DH and he understands the boys quite well, but he puts his hands in the air with horror at all the form filling and other admin our boys create.
Delegate. If he won't listen to you, let him do it his way for a day completely unaided, whilst loading with nursery etc so they tell him about the problems
and then watch him begging for your help
If I had a pound for every DH who was in denial, I would be morbidly obese.
Ever so common - no idea why. Maybe they feel their manhood is challenged if their DC's have something 'wrong' but that is nonsense.
Their DCs are 'wrong'. Sure, they are not like the majority, they are not bog-standard learners. So they need education that is not bog standard. (as lots of others have seen me post before). If every child was like DC there would be nothing to solve. If all the educators were better trained and more accepting there would be no issue, but we are not there yet.
Why not give yourself a well earned break and be out all the time? Holiday is what you need. Sea air, blow out the cobwebs?
And make sure DH gets to see DC in context. It is cheating to stay 1 to 1.
So before you go off set out a diary of all the clubs etc that he has to go to, and line up the educators to chat to him at drop off or pick up.
I can really say that you are in a club of many, and most DHs seem to get dragged to reality sooner or later.
Thank you so much everyone for posting. I feel less alone, and much more positive.
I think DH IS struggling to come to the idea that anything could be wrong with his son. He is in denial..... for example, I bought DS some ear defenders as he can only cope with the tv being on so low that I cannot hear it. DH thought that was just ridiciulous, although he 'gets' it now. DH is also very stubborn..... he gets an idea in his head and that is mostly the end of it. I have also learned how to deal with that. I raise an idea once, then leave it. Some months later DH has come round to it.
I have developed just naturally so many strategies to deal with things. I can see in advance what is likely to cause an issue or tantrum and can deflect it. DH can't and winds DS right up.
We are going out to lunch today and I want to try and talk about things..... DH's contract abroad is coming to an end in the near future, and he was going to take another one. But I am going to advocate that he returns home full time. If he wants to be a part of the family then he needs to be a part of it, especially as I need help, support and assistance. I will look into getting DS assessed privately too if at all economically possible..... we could still be waiting for months as we are, and I think we need to know what the situation is and then move on with it.
CornChips, hugs to you, its hard! My DH was (and indeed sometimes still can be) just the same.
In the end I just pressed on with diagnosis myself (my mum and sister agreed with me so I had their support).
DH didn't come with me to assessment sessions, but did attend the 'verdict' and has been a bit better since then. We still disagree on approaches and he often says I'm too soft but he's away a lot too so I just do it my way.
He has admitted DS reminds him of himself when he was younger so I think that played a part in his denial - and he parents were old school and probably used tough methods on him to get him to where he is today - so he probably thinks - well that worked for me (yes, but with what effect? He didn't speak to his dad for 2 years after he left home).
It's a really hard time for you at the moment and you need lots of support - this board is a lifeline. We know what it's like exactly.
And even if you do get a diagnosis and you're fully expecting it, it can still be very hard and upsetting to hear and come to terms with.
Thanks Flook. Actually..... tbh DS reminds me a bit of DH. DH's parents were also old school and last night when we were arguing and he said that discipline never did him any harm I pointed out that he has a very remote relationship with his parents and can barely talk to them beyond small talk as he is too uncomfortable around them.
He was not too happy to have that pointed out to him at all, not least because it is something we have never discussed.
I am so grateful to have fund this board, and so grateful that you have all replied.
Very usual behaviour, but that doesn't help you!
I suspect that most DH's in denial are spectrummy themselves. Your point about telling your DH something then leaving it for a while to sink in - that's Classic AS response! My DH was exactly that way.
Any change is scary for DHs.
That made me laugh noprizes. It has occurred to me that DH might be spectrummy. He is not good at all with social cues for example and I find I have to 'translate' him in social settings as he offends people desperately and quite unwittingly.
We had a good lunch out. We agreed that he can discipline as he wishes for a week, and in return I got his undertaking that he does not just shout and yell, which is what he resorts to. We had a very restful evening, actually. We also agreed that he would read the information and books that I am getting and to not be so head in the sand about it.
Good luck. Same here. It did help a bit when we got dx for dd as ASD.
Dh had to admit it then. BUT, he still expects dd to behave in a more "normal" way than she does. I have come round to the idea that certain things are always going to problematic - going to bed, getting up, leaving the house…….. The worst thing dh does to wind her up is shout. it. just. doesn't. help.
keep calm and push ahead with the appointments. ime they always ask for a diary, so get one going before your first app.
anothe one signing in as crap and ineffectual... in appearance at least... get bitten less often that way. quiet discipline=less meltdowns.
Good Luck corn - you sound like you are making great progress. A man with his heart in the right place is worth two in the (actually that would be crude, but you know what I mean)
Thanks everyone. That made me laugh senvet.
We have had a pretty quiet few days actually. Oddly, DH seems to be slightly more tolerant. I am reading my way through a Tony Atwood book and have a parents toolkit and DH has promised me he will read through them but that will take some persuading. He is muttering about 'all these syndromes never existed 20 years ago' so I am countering with 'Isn't it great that we know so much more now'.
Joining the club. H is crap with things he perceives as naughty, doesn't get it at all and triggers loads of shouting and meltdowns by being an arse.
Otoh he gets the other bits.
Maybe in another 20 years we won't have syndromes, just a much better understanding of the interesting and unique ways each of our brains operate...
I'm not surprised that your son and husband are much alike! Often it does turn out "like father, like son" with AS.
Actually, to my complete and utter surprise, DH has been gentle, tolerant and patient with DS since being given the role of taking over. There have been no arguments, no fights, nothing. Maybe it is because I have gotten out of the way and not jumped in all the time. So, hopefully we can build on that.
If he thinks there is nothing wrong, why is he worried about assessment?
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