Grandparents won't even discuss ASD

(10 Posts)
letsgooutstiiiiiiide Sun 02-Jun-19 00:59:42

I guess this is fairly common. DS is 2.5 and on the diagnostic pathway for ASD. We should get a diagnosis at his psych evaluation in July.

He recently started at nursery, and while it hasn't been terrible it also shows up social defecits. I had seen them for a long time in the preceding 18 months attending playgroup but had never been sure how much of that was because I was there too.

I started paving the way for telling grandparents about ASD by saying DS was a bit behind with social skills, and giving specific details when DH's mum picked up on the tone and fished for more detail.

She then phoned DH to "get the full story" and DH gave her brief reassurance and said more detail forthcoming from me - but she has blanked me completely since then - despite me sending her emails containing the full details of what we had seen and where it was all heading. She doesn't answer her phone to me (FIL never has).

On reflection, MIL and FIL have always been very judgemental and disparaging about disability. They quite like blaming mothers, and have in the past made pretty judgemental comments about the fact I was hopeless at getting DS to eat or sleep properly. This was accompanied by comments that they didn't see why DH should disrupt his routine to help just because I am incompetent.

So I guess the ASD is all my fault. Couldn't possibly come from their side too (DH and FIL both have a lot of traits; I have a diagnosis, my parents also have traits).

Has anyone ever had things improve from this kind of standoff?

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letsgooutstiiiiiiide Sun 02-Jun-19 01:00:41


OP’s posts: |
letsgooutstiiiiiiide Sun 02-Jun-19 08:08:50

Also - my parents are sufficiently unempathetic that I haven't even thought about telling my family.

Which means we have few friends and now zero family who will be supportive in this.

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MontStMichel Sun 02-Jun-19 08:39:18

It probably has been a big shock to them and they are in denial. It’s impossible to say how far they will come round!

I’d say ime unsympathetic grandparents are the norm; autistic traits or not! One of my friends said, with a son with HFA:

“I will remember it, when I get to choose their care home!”

Look for support from the NAS and parent carer groups of people who do get it!

Punxsutawney Sun 02-Jun-19 11:29:15

Yes I think they are probably in denial. My Ds is 14 and I have told all his grandparents in the last year that he is being assessed for ASD. None of them seem bothered by it.

I do agree though, finding parents going through similar would be good support. Ds is going through a difficult time at the moment and apart from DH and a couple of friends nobody really knows how I'm feeling. Some days I feel just awful but put on a face for work colleagues. I have noticed though that the stress is starting to have an impact on my health. Unfortunately with a horrendously long nhs waiting list and a struggling teenager I don't see much getting better anytime soon.

I do hope they come round a bit and can become part of a support network for you. If not, I hope you can find support in other places.

letsgooutstiiiiiiide Mon 03-Jun-19 08:06:17

Thanks for the thoughts.

The people we know with kids with ASD have far-older children/teens, but you're right that they are the ones to be talking to here. Also just organizing 1:1 playdates for DS with the few kids we know his age who have mothers who get it.

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jackparlabane Mon 03-Jun-19 08:17:15

What would a diagnosis actually mean to them? Are they able and willing to play with or look after your ds and keep him happy and safe? For example my ds is a quiet lad who gets overwhelmed with noise, likes reading, doesn't like getting dirty, won't eat most food. GPs and I agree that time with grandparents should be happy and it's my job to teach the hard stuff, so he goes to them, eats little but pancakes and cake, but they get on very well now I've made clear they need to butt out of dealing with his eating/sensory issues.
So after a few years we now have 'I don't know why anyone things he has a problem - he's just like Granddad' - which is also true. If I try talking about the hard stuff, then I don't get anything useful from them so no point, but it doesn't stop them being very supportive in other ways.

Inniu Mon 03-Jun-19 08:26:42

Try to join some support groups for parents with kids with ASD.

My MILs original reaction was very skeptical about ASD. She is great with DS and absolutely accepts him as he is. As far as she is concerned this is his personality.

I would take a loving, accepting grandparent any day.

letsgooutstiiiiiiide Mon 03-Jun-19 08:40:53

They blanked our suggestions of a phonecall yesterday, too. We normally speak every week - last week they were "busy", yesterday they didn't even bother replying. From DH's sister we know they're ok.

We rarely see them more than once a year - we live in a different country. Never asked them to babysit and probably never will now. But they have a sense of ownership over the extended family that has until now meant they have been very supportive. This seems to be where any sense of support stops, and retribution begins (directed at me).

What makes it particularly hard is that MIL is a retired clinical psychologist, so this is hardly unfamiliar territory for her. FIL is also highly intelligent/educated/privileged so it's not like he'd see it as "this removes all choices to a point where things are impossible" - it is much more likely to be embarrassment.

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AngelaScandal Thu 27-Jun-19 10:38:25

OP that sounds rough. 💐 for you

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