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Relatives who don't understand your child's ASD...(10 Posts)
How do you deal with it? My DS is 6 and has Autism. His biological father and his family don't believe he has Autism and he's just a bit 'naughty'. My mum tries to understand but she doesn't get how hard it is every single day. As for my MIL. She thinks she knows best when she only sees DS every so often. She once made a comment that if she had brought my son up he wouldn't be the way he is...
Also, 2yo DD is being referred for an assessment because she is speech delayed and has physical problems walking. MIl cannot accept that there might be something not quite right with DD too. It's like she wants her granddaughter to be 'perfect'.
This drains me. Has others been through his and how do you deal with it?
This all sounds horribly familiar-DH's family are completely in denial and my mum tries her best but seems to say all the wrong things!
Over the years, I have told PIL less and less and,to be honest, I think they prefer it that way. I stopped looking to them for any kind of support a long time ago and that has been liberating.
Do you have any reports etc from specialists that you would be willing to show them? I'm not suggesting that you have anything to prove to them, but I've found that family take more notice of 'professional' opinions
One thing I have found is that time helps -my DC are teens now. I know that doesn't help you right now,but I am guessing that you have very little mental or emotional energy left after dealing with your DC.
You shouldn't have to waste it on educating family who aren't meeting you half way.
Ah yes. When my DS2 couldn't hold his head up, or smile by 10 months of age 'he was bored' according to my MIL. When he didn't walk til nearly 3 or talk til he was 5... 'he's just a boy'
On the other hand my Mum was full of doom and gloom ... predictions that he would never be able to do anything.
Smile and wave, smile and wave... sometimes it's not worth the argument. My Ds2 is 20 now (autism, mild LDs, muscle hypotonia, etc etc) and fabulous in his own unique way. My Mum is staggered by how far he has come. My MIL still doesn't have a clue...!
For ages my mother insisted issues with my DS were purely due to lack of discipline on my part. I sometimes wonder, does she feel guilty now that it's incredibly obvious that he is learning disabled with meltdown problems that 'permissive' parenting couldn't have caused to an appreciable extent. Not a bit of it, now that more and more things surface with my DD her constant refrain is 'do you think it's because your life is so busy?'. Busy with them! You can only ignore it. They'll never change, or at least not because of anything you did to change them.
Thanks all for the kind replies. It's so hard. I feel lonely at times. I'm the type of person who says hello to everyone but doesn't form close friendships so I have no friends to talk to either and I feel like my family don't. really listen to me. My mother in law, my ex and his mum are never really interested in finding about his autism. They just change the subject. My mother tries to understand. She sees him for maybe a few hours a week where his behaviour usually isn't too bad so when I say how hard everything can be on a day to day basis she doesn't really believe and drops the whole 'he behaves when he is here'. Arghhh...
Not easy is it... 😕
Yes, I know what you mean. Despite some cordial conversations I've made no friends at my children's school. I've always been a bit as you describe but having children is a whole new layer of social complexity. Instead of thinking 'what is it about me?' you think 'is it me, or is it him?' or is it working or being single. Lately I've been thinking, ah I'm probably just a bit autistic too. It's actually the most relaxing option ...
I believe I might be on the spectrum too. I definitely have several traits!
I started a similar thread about a month ago and got some equally good responses. My favourite was get yourself a teflon coat. Its my dm whO just doesnt get it. I basically try and avoid any conversation where autism might come up, and sometimes I just lie because its easier.
I was criticised by my sis for getting my DS a tablet. When he is anxious he goes into tablet land and calms down but she just doesn't get it. Also makes humming noises as a calming measure and my sis says how hwe is ten and her GC who is three doesn't do that! she is always comparing to GC and how much more socially mature thay re despite being three and four.
It is so socially isolating when you can't join in and do what NT kids do
I am lucky in the respect that my Mum (like OP said,) tries to understand and does take on board the things I say ie 'he's not being rude on purpose Mum, he just can't help it.' Or 'DS can't let it go because he hasn't achieved what he had in his head Mum.'
My Mum In Law is lovely and certainly sees my Son's differences and is non judgemental (and adores him) however she see's him once a fortnight and as she gives him her full attention (no chores etc just plays,) she never particularly sees how challenging things can be at home when my Son isn't fully stimulated and Mummy has to get on with jobs!
My Sister in Law just stereotypes my Son as Rain Man and tells me how he will achieve highly in the Maths or the Sciences! She relies heavily on our Mum in Law for help with her girls yet my husband and I just get on with it. I say very little to her about my Son and the impact of some of his rigidities on my girls because she once knew somebody with Autism so my Son must be his/her double of course! I think if my mouth started it wouldn't stop and there would be a family fall out.
My own Sister. I love her but she has no clue! It's not through nastiness, she just knows nothing about the Autistic Spectrum and has even talked about my Son being 'backwards.' I didn't even get cross when she said it, of course I explained the point but in all honesty she's just daft. (She thought Xmas was celebrated 6 months later in Australia when she was neatly 20! Haha!)