Here are some suggested organisations that offer expert advice on special needs.
This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
Could he justbe naughty because of me and not autistic(7 Posts)
How easy too tell if your childs bad behaviour is due to autism or just plain naughty. I am really struggling as no one in my family beleives in autism. He rarely misbehaves with me but put him with his grandparents dad or uncle and his behaviour is off the scale. I actually think he is being naughty on purpose as he seems to love the reactions he gets. Sometimes it is 8 against one. Maybe the professionals got it wrong and I am not parenting him correctly.
Sounds like he has a diagnosis? Seems much more likely that (a) he is more comfortable with you and (b) you accommodate him, so he's less anxious and less likely to express that anxiety through whatever he's doing.
What kind of behaviours are we talking about in what kind of situations? Can you identify the triggers? Some of the "behaviour is communication" stuff on the Stuart Shanker site is quite useful I think (like the iceberg diagram of all the things going on under the surface).
I do think it's difficult as our kids are still kids, so they will still be naughty and do still need boundaries to feel secure and do well, and it can be hard to know if you're parenting right. I'm sure I get it wrong in both directions (too accommodating sometimes of what is normal 5 year old desire to get her own way, and sometimes not accommodating enough of sensory and social needs, or just exhaustion).
We will all get it wrong some of the time (maybe a lot of the time!) But if your relatives aren't understanding of his autism it's very likely that they are pushing buttons that they just don't need to, for no benefit to anybody, triggering him into difficult behaviour.
It's hard to respond to your post because you don't seem to know the difference between "naughtiness" and autistic behaviour, which usually parents with autistic kids are pretty well on the ball with. Your post comes across as goady which I'm sure wasn't your intention. The views that you are expressing about autism are decades out of date.
I've asked a lot of questions but they are rhetorical, designed for you to work things out for yourself. Apologies in advance if it comes across as quite blunt in places, it's not meant to be, but it's not the usual type of questions that a parent of an autistic child would ask.
How easy to tell if your childs bad behaviour is due to autism or just plain naughty
It's really hard to believe a parent of an autistic child would ask that. What sort of "bad behaviour" or "naughtiness"
If it's sensory overload then no, it's not naughtiness. If it's anything to do with how his autism affects him, then no, it's not naughtiness, he's distressed and his behaviour is letting you know he has a problem but not the ability to help himself.
Don't punish him for his disability and don't let anyone else do that either.
no one in my family beleives in autism
Do they have the medical qualifications and the expertise to diagnose autism?
If not, then why on earth are you listening to their uninformed opinions?
Change the word Autism in your sentence to Epilepsy or Diabetes and see how ridiculous it looks.Would you give credence to the opinions of anyone who said they don't believe in Epilepsy or Diabetes? Then why are you listening to their opinions about Autism?
He rarely misbehaves with me but put him with his grandparents dad or uncle and his behaviour is off the scale
Do you treat him as an autistic child and they don't? What actually causes that?
I actually think he is being naughty on purpose as he seems to love the reactions he gets
Maybe he's sensory-seeking?
Maybe the professionals got it wrong and I am not parenting him correctly
As if the professionals can't tell the difference between autism and naughtiness?
Have you any idea how difficult it can be to get a diagnosis, how much work goes into it often by a multidisciplinary team of medical professionals?
To be diagnosed, this is from the NAS website
"Is it autism?
The characteristics of autism vary from one person to another, but in order for a diagnosis to be made, a person will usually be assessed as having had persistent difficulties with social communication and social interaction and restricted and repetitive patterns of behaviours, activities or interests since early childhood, to the extent that these "limit and impair everyday functioning" "
What does his diagnosis say about his strengths and weaknesses, how does it suggest he can be helped at home as well as at school?
Is he getting all the help he needs?
I looked through some of your previous posts and would say that from your descriptions of both your kids' behaviour, your knowledge of autism seems to be fairly scant, either that or you just don't get it across in your posts. Based on what you've written, I'd suggest you really need to read up on the condition and all its co-morbids and its differences in presentation between boys and girls, particularly the ability (called masking) to hold it all together at school all day then let all the bottled-up overwhelm go when they get home. That alone is a big red flag.
Ross Greene's The Explosive Child and his website Lives in the Balance
See websites and youtube for SPD, PDA, Executive Function and the differences in the presentation of autism between boys and girls.
The more you can understand your child's condition, the more you can help them to achieve their potential. You need to be their advocate when they can't cope.
Above all, stop listening to opinions from people who know nothing about autism.
Thanks for the replies there are some useful tips. I work as an SEN TA and have attended a few autism courses which I use in my work but the strategies you use in school are very different to those at home. A little bit of background - my son was diagnosed at 8 much to the horror of my parents and husband. Ever since my kids were little I have almost parented alone as I think my husband is probably autistic too so he found the whole transition to a parenting really hard and he can't deal with mess or noise so when there is mess after a meal time or when the kids have been drawing he has to walk away and will return when the house is neat and tidy. I had a great childhood and my parents always spent lots of time with us but I remember my mum telling me about 20 years ago when her contemporaries were becoming grandparents -that they would not be hands on grandparents - they had put their life on hold for 20 years and now was their time - they would visit and we could visit but that is where there involvement would end.
When my son was about 2 at pre school he was different to other children he could tell the time by 2.5 and we couldn't attend any unstructured toddler groups as he would just run round pushing children or his favourite pulling their hair. However take him to a structured music group or baby gym and he was a different child. In reception he had speech therapy and the speech therapist noticed his quirks and referred him. These quirks according to my family are due to my pandering, his need for structure is because I always follow a routine, his meltdowns if plans change are because I always tell him what we are doing. He is a fussy eater because I only cook him what he likes whereas he should eat what he is given. I have asked them to attend appointments with me and read literature but they have no interest. Most of the time I can cope with it as with me on my own he is fine because I do adapt things so he can cope but if my husband and parents are about they will not adapt at all - for example he has 2 cups at home that he drinks out of - he refuses to drink out of any other cup and they purposefully make him drink out of a different cup which obviously gets him cross and then it escalates.
He thrives at school because of his need for timekeeping and routine he loves every minute of the school day and he is head prefect for year 6 and he is a member of school council and he has started up a reading group for the reception children with 2 of his friends. The school teachers love him because he is such a good role model and my dad actually said to me they are only saying that to make me feel better because if he can behave at at school he can behave for them. When I have a bad day and I have people telling me he is a naughty boy I start believing it!! I just wish they understood him more and would listen to and follow my way but because they do it a different way it is sort of causing the bad behavior. I just wanted reassurance really that I am doing things right or as right as can be because when I am really down and they are nagging me I feel that it is my pandering that has made him the way he is.
You are doing nothing wrong, you are a great Mum and helping and supporting your son in every way you can.
These quirks according to my family are due to my pandering
Think I said before, that attitude is decades out of date and it comes from a place of ignorance.
Is there any way you could have someone they respect (doctor?) tell them about autism, to explain to them it's a neuro-developmental disability, he was born with it and will have it all his life.
and tell them their treatment of your son is abuse
Other threads on here have mentioned the 'hearing it from a respected figure' has worked for fathers who have been similar in attitude.
my dad actually said to me they are only saying that to make me feel better because if he can behave at at school he can behave for them
But it's not a question of him "behaving" is it, they are deliberately setting off all his triggers and punishing him for his disability, it's abuse.
If they refuse to listen to professionals, then I'd cut his contact right down to almost nothing with your family, it must be hell for your son and you. Their attitude is beyond disgusting but their actions can only be damaging for him.
He sounds like a lovely lad, doing the reading group for the littlies is a fabulous thing.
I just wanted reassurance really that I am doing things right or as right as can be because when I am really down and they are nagging me I feel that it is my pandering that has made him the way he is
Your son has a neurodevelopmental condition called autism. He was born with it and it will be lifelong. There is no treatment and there is no cure.
Nothing in the way you parent him has caused this, your parenting is fine, you identify and lessen his triggers and you do the best you can for him.
They on the other hand are frankly vile and for your sons mental health you need to stop exposing him to their dreadful attitudes.
He is NOT misbehaving, he has autism and they are beyond contempt for the way that they deliberately ignore his disability.
your family are dick heads.
it is easy to be swayed by famly going on and on about the same thing, you beginn to believe them... but they are wrong.
I have also had the you are pandering to him and when it comes from one of your own parents who you have trusted for years with advice. it can realoly shakes your confidence
Exactly this: "But it's not a question of him "behaving" is it, they are deliberately setting off all his triggers and punishing him for his disability, it's abuse."
This sounds awful. Can you distance yourself from them? Is your husband also doing things like forcing him to drink from another cup?
That's exactly what I meant by "pushing buttons that they just don't need to, for nobody's benefit" ... why on earth does it matter what cup he drinks from? Who benefits?
I do sometimes find myself that I set rules for my DD that actually don't make sense. There is an ingrained sense that as parents we can never back down, but I think if our gut tells us to do the wrong thing and then we think better of it our kids can learn a lot from seeing us think more and take a different view. I think there is a strong belief in some people that kids learn resilience and flexibility from being thrown in at the deep end and "sinking or swimming", but with our autistic kids I think they actually learn from observing, thinking, using logic to work things out. My daughter will learn more about resilience and flexibility by seeing me rethink a badly thought out and needless "rule" or deadline that I have set her than by me sticking rigidly to it.
If your parents (and even your husband) are being so rigid about your DS must drink out of X or Y cup, how do they expect him to be flexible? And I would bet that he has some very logical reasons why those are the only two cups that work for your DS, whereas they are just needling him for the sake of it.... so who exactly is the problem here?
It sounds like your DS is doing brilliantly when he's in an environment that works for him (school, with you). In his adult life he will be able to find or build those environments and continue to thrive - but only if he has the confidence to believe he is a good person who deserves to thrive, and to understand that those environments are out there to be found/built, with help from you and his friends. That is what you are giving him, and what school are giving him. Your husband and parents need to wake up and start to support you in that.