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Examples of ds'behaviors ...yet dh is in denial!?

(28 Posts)
mysonben Mon 01-Jun-09 11:48:39

A long winded post i am about to write but i need to get it off my chest.
My ds (3and1/2) gets upset at certain noises , his reactions varies according to the noise level and wether he has heard the noise before or not. It's weird , he will cover his ears when i flush the loo, or if a car reves its engine near him,... yet he doesn't when we go watch the trains go pass (he is mad about trains wink !
Ds is particular to the extreme when he goes to the toilet, for about 3 months he would lock himself in the loo and scream if we tried to get in, now he has relaxed a bit and allow the door to be ajar, he insists the stair gates be open or closed according to his mood before going up to the loo, no bits of paper must be present in the toilet bowl before he uses it or he refuses to even sit, we must put the lid down before we flush , he takes agessss to do his business and goes through phases of asking for the loo when he doesn't need it, it's a mightmare before bedtime we have to allow 10-15 mins for his toilet routine.
DS will insists to take cars, train books , puzzles, ...to bed which he puts in the gap between the matress and the safety gate of the bed, he doesn't do much with them but they have to be there or he creates and won't go to sleep.(it's a pain if we can't find a particular book or else)
DS is obssessed with noises like car alarms, ice cream van, lorries, motorbikes, sirens, planes,...and will ask a billion time a day 'what's that noise ?' (his first proper sentence btw!)
Ds is sensitive to heat and cold, he has cried while eating an ice cream , or won't sit in the bath because it's too hot (even when his baby sis has been sat in it for 5 mins)
Ds likes to use the words 'this way' , he insists we do things this way or that way when playing, or walking ,...
DS has an exagerated laugh , he laughs very loudly when there are no reason for it, we went to a bbq on saturday and he was laughing constantly ,every time someone else laughed he had to as well. Several times people commented on this. sad
At the party there was no other kids, ds was given some bricks to play with , all he did was separate the different colours and built tall towers with same colour bricks.
Ds when in contact with other kids , either ignore them ,shouts 'go away' at them and plays alone, or tries to join in but is awkward and doesn't quite understand what the games are or what they are saying (ex: ds at the park , 2 kids approach him and ask him to play 'hit' ,ds ponts at the nearby ice cream van and says 'look ice cream van' so the kids walk away.sad
In general daily living with ds such as 'eating, getting dressed , bath, bedtime , going shopping,..' is difficult because he doesn't want to comply , or gets upset because something bothers him.
DS doesn't like to share toys or food.
We had to stop his daytime naps long ago as he was always so mega grumpy when he woke up sometimes for 1 or 2 hours. Then he was awake creating in his bed at night until 1 or 2 am.
Well this is just a few of ds' particularities, he is by far the most difficult of all my 3 children, but he is a sunny child, who smiles lots, and is endearing and we love him to bits.
My dh won't admit there is something else wrong other than his speech dealy , he keeps saying 'evetry thing will be fine once he starts talking /understanding better!'
I so wish ! hmm and lately we are at logger heads about how to handle ds because dh wants to treat him like any other child even with all his difficulties.
I' m sorry about this longggg rant but i needed to get it out because i feel so depressed with it all at the moment.
Thanks for reading.

mysonben Mon 01-Jun-09 11:56:56

I forgot to say ds is suspected to have some mild ASD on top of his speech delay , but dh won't agree with the ASD verdict of the paed.

MannyMoeAndJack Mon 01-Jun-09 12:02:37

You sound as though you have several concerns - has your ds been formally assessed by anybody? For example, a community paed. or even his HV (who are not always that clued up about ASDs)? If not, then I would suggest you take your ds along to have a chat with your doctor - take a list of your concerns and talk about the difficulties that your ds seems to have. Don't allow yourself to be fobbed off with, 'he'll catch up' or 'he's a boy, they take longer', etc. because if your ds does need some help then you want to be on those waiting lists asap. Does you ds attend nursery/pre-school? If so, do they have any concerns? The good thing is that your ds does seem to be learning some speech, which is a great start!

Your dh may just need longer to accept that your ds may have some difficulties...my dh still believed that our ds would 'catch up' when ds was about 2yrs old!!! He is now 6yrs, SLD, non-verbal, etc.

becaroo Mon 01-Jun-09 12:05:07

My ds1 (nearly 6) did some of the things your ds is doing at that age. In fact he is still very wary of loud noises (unless he is making them himself of course!) He also had speech delay. He still likes certain things in certain places and gets very upset when they are moved - like when I am cleaning for example.

However, I can understand your concern....especially with the antisocial and obsessive compulsive side to his beahviour - can you ask the GP for his opinion or speak to your HV?

That being said, many children at his age go through similar likes and dislikes and want things a certain way which seems illogical to anyone but themselves!....good luck x

magso Mon 01-Jun-09 12:20:30

Hi Bensmum! I am so sorry you feel exhausted down and unsupported.
I think it is not uncommon for dads and other family members to be in denial. Its as if they fear that acknowledging something is not right or looking for a label for their beloved child is disloyal or somehow rejecting and I can understand that feeling. Thinking positive may work in other life situations but it can be very unsupportive! (and it feels as if it leaves all the worrieing, appointment and chasing negativity to us!)
My Dh still will not acknowledge the autism Dx for our 9 year old but he does do all sorts of positive things to support him like teaching him to ride his bike - painstakingly - month after month until he got it! Or finding the things he can do well -like running and hill walking.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 01-Jun-09 12:24:33

"but dh won't agree with the ASD verdict of the paed"

Common problem that but he will need to and sometimes this takes time. Have you talked with the NAS (National Autistic Society)?.

Its probably too painful for him to accept; he sounds like he is also in denial. He may also feel like he has in some way "failed" his son; not at all. A "label" should be seen as a signpost to getting more help. He is still your son regardless of any additional needs that he has and a label won't change him. That is what your H needs to realise.

What help is he getting with his speech delays?.

Have nursery suggested a Statement of special needs for him; this may be particualrly useful for him to have when he starts school.

mysonben Mon 01-Jun-09 12:46:47

Thanks for your replies.
Yes , ds has some SALT although the waiting list between sessions is very long.
He attends nursery 3 afternnons a week and they have had concerns over ds 'behaviors , won't play easily with other kids, refuses to do shared activities, won't listen, easily distracted ... the list goes on but he has improved a bit the last 3 months.
The HV susgested he sees a paed, so he did 7 weeks ago and the paed suspects ASD ,but she wants to wait and see him again when he is 4 to review the need of an autistic assessment. In the meantime she contacted a SENCO who has started to help at nursery with some of ds'problems.
I admit all young children have some phases of being difficult , and certain oddities ( i know i have a 16 y old ds ) but with ds2 it's more than that , we struggle for so many things, and this from an early age , he has had some 'odd 'ways (very little imagination for playing), he used to lines things up, now he is better but has limited interests for toys( always cars, trains,..) ,he insists on some peculiar rituals , he is very very shy with strangers and gets upset when meeting them, he is obssessed with noises , closing doors, he doesn't understand a lot of what is said to him ,has no concept of time (other than in 1 min), well to me or my sis or my mum he is clearly a bit different. Bless his cotton socks! wink
But dh simply will not accept or see it.

amberlight Mon 01-Jun-09 12:50:11

I might be wrong, but I think you're mostly worried about how to handle DH's responses at the moment, as it's possibly going to affect how your ds manages life if he can't get access to the right stuff through DH blocking it?

Try DH with this:

Some people might imagine that an ASD is simply a fault, a problem, a sign of failure of some sort. If it's very severe, it can certainly seem that way, yes, but it is a very broad spectrum. What you describe about your son makes me want to think about him like this:

Suppose you went outside into the street and watched the cars going past.

Along comes a family hatchback. Easy to start and stop, fairly quiet, few kids in the back, bit of shopping in the boot, it can easily get over the road bumps. Just what the family needs. smile

Behind it, to your astonishment, a Formula One racecar shock. Very difficult to start and stop, bloomin' noisy, only room for one person at a time, no room for anything more than a packet of pasta or a toothbrush. Faced with a road bump, it has to grind to a halt as it's only an inch off the ground and can't get its nose up high enough to get over the top.

So is it a broken hatchback car, something that no-one will ever want, an embarrassment to its driver?

Nope. Put it on a track with an experienced team and you can win races with it. It's not meant to be on the public road, though.

So it is with many individuals with an ASD.
We need a bit of specialist handling, it can take ages to start and stop us, we might be completely baffled by an everyday obstacle, we can only concentrate on one person at a time, and can't handle lots of things at once. But put some of us to a task that allows us to show what our brains can do, and be prepared to be absolutely astonished. We might need a hand to get over everyday obstacles from time to time, but that doesn't mean we're all just broken.

He should be proud of his ds - as proud as if someone had handed him the keys to a Formula One car.

If ds needs that extra specialist team, then it's no shame. It'll give him the advantage he needs to make the best of himself.

mysonben Mon 01-Jun-09 12:54:47

That 's a very good way of putting things across Amberlight, quite refreshing actually . Thank you. smile

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 01-Jun-09 13:43:36

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mysonben Mon 01-Jun-09 14:07:10

StarlightM- No my Dh works a lot and when he is home he doesn't play or pay too much attention to what ds is doing unless ds is noisy and bothering him!
DH will not read anything on autism , i have tried reading articles or bits from various books but he gets angry with me and says he doesn't want to hear it ! My dh is more than in denial ,he has his head buried in the sand.
He was fuming when he read the paed 's report on ds , didn't agree with it at all , but i thought her report made a lot of sense.
I'm very sad at my dh 's attitude. Last time he spoke to ds'speech therapist office he said he doesn't want to hear anymore about autism, that there will be nothing wrong with ds anymore once his speech improves.

mysonben Mon 01-Jun-09 14:22:15

I think part of dh 's denial is that he compares the 13 y old son (of 1 of his mates) this boy is severely autistic so of course our ds who has only mild ASD traits doesn't appear to have any problems when compared to his friend's son. KWIM?
I have tried explaining to dh that the spectrum is very broad and that all ASD kids are different somewhat apart from having various degrees of problems within the triad, he just won't have it. Might as well talk to a brick wall.
Yet dh does agree that ds 'development and behaviors were quite different to his older bro and litlle sis. He always says about dd that she appears more 'with it' than ds did at the same age.

amberlight Mon 01-Jun-09 14:48:30

Einstein, Leonard da Vinci, Mozart. All believed by modern psychological experts to have been high functioning autistic spectrum.

HFA/Asperger syndrome isn't the same as Classic Autism and no-one is suggesting to him that it is, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Very illogical thinking from your dh. Not quite sure what else to suggest.

jabberwocky Mon 01-Jun-09 14:58:15

The thing is, with the proper therapies MANY of these things can be made better. And that will make everyone's lives better. There is tons of research out there now proving that intensive, early intervention is key. Occupational therapy, changes in diet, supplements, visual processing evaluation, all are so important.

One example, wouldn't it be wonderful if he could have therapy to desensitize him to loud noises? At an older age he might be able to learn coping skills but that is not the same as being truly desensitized so that it doesn't bother him in that way.

Your dh may come around eventually. Hopefully so. In the meantime, I suggest you keep reading and looking at what can be done to help your ds to have a fuller, happier life.

magso Mon 01-Jun-09 14:59:47

I do feel for you - I felt very alone in the early years! Dh had very little contact with other children ds age and indeed little contact with ds when he was small and in bed by the time Dh got home. So I really think he was a lot less aware of differences and concerns and just thought I was a poor mum! But Dh really came into his own when he attended a couple of appointments - including the big appointment when ds got his autism Dx (after I had battled alone for years). In fact I think he probably came to make sure I did not mislead them grin! He remains very positive always picking up on the things ds can do and rather not noticing the rest! He has become more involved as ds has got older and more into boy things!

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 01-Jun-09 17:42:12

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StarlightMcKenzie Mon 01-Jun-09 17:45:49

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mysonben Mon 01-Jun-09 17:53:37

Magso- Yes my dh does that too he will notice all the things ds will do ( which is nice ) but dismiss the rest. In fact a lot of people like neighbours or friends who don't have to put up with some of ds' odd ways on a daily basis , always say stuff like' he'll grow out of it' or 'my cousin was just like that , now he's fine',... it is so annoying because i wish they were right and i know they mean well but i am his mum and i know deep down that something isn't quite right.
People can have some stereotyped ideas about ASD like if you can talk a bit, or accept cuddles then all is fine you 're not autistic! hmm If only it was that simple, hey?
The paed who saw ds explained a little about the spectrum, and how the 'symptoms' can varie from person to person, and that the milder cases are the hardest because the signs are more subtle and can be easily missed or even dismissed (ie: he'll grow out of it syndrome!!!)

amberlight Mon 01-Jun-09 18:08:33

I have lost count of how many older friends and acquaintances with a less 'visible' ASD get zero help, support or understanding from anyone, ever, under any circumstances.

Relationship problems? Hey, they should try harder. Work or school problems? Hey they should learn to co-operate more. Problems joining in with anything social? Hey they're just being manipulative or antisocial deliberately, so let's give them hell! Day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, decade after decade. Not a lot different to saying to someone who's got no legs "hey, just try harder to walk, will you!" or "Don't worry, you'll grow new ones soon if you try hard enough" Yes we can adapt, learn, get therapies, etc. But it doesn't just go away.

I'm so pleased that society is starting to take this seriously as a range of disabilities/differences.

mysonben Mon 01-Jun-09 18:13:29

Amberlight- When we go out with ds and he starts creating, he doesn't want to join in and hides somewhere, i have been told that he does it only for attention seeking !!! What the heck !??? we just normally leave him be in his corner until he agrees to join us of his own accord , because if we try to force him then hell breaks loose! wink

StarlightMcKenzie Mon 01-Jun-09 18:31:21

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amberlight Mon 01-Jun-09 19:14:48

The one thing we generally don't do is "attention seek" for the sake of it. It brings us into scary eye contact, and scary amounts of arm-waving and face-jiggling from others (well, that's what it looks like if you can't 'read' people's body language), and unexpected questioning from people where we've often no clue what they need us to say back.

Many of us are highly reclusive, highly introverted (er, not me), or may become very quickly overloaded in any setting where attention is focused on us from more than one person at once.

We might need reassurance from a trusted person, and need it often (since our brain keeps kindly dumping the answer somewhere we can't find it - grr), or we may repeat ourselves a lot to find out whether an answer remains the same each time, but that's another 'reassurance' thing. We might share too much information with people, because we don't know how much is enough, but that's not attention-seeking either. That's "I have no clue when to shut up! blush "

You're doing the right thing in assuming he might need a quiet 'calm down' space. If he's ASD, he will. First thing I find out in any new environment is where that safe space is.

becaroo Tue 02-Jun-09 16:09:21

starlight sad People can be so offensive when it comes to children and parenting styles different from theirs, cant they? I can recall countless times I have actually left places...church, baby clinic, supermarkets etc etc due to some interfering old busybody making hurtful remarks about ds1 when he was younger sad

mysonben He is your son, you know him best and despite what I or any other poster says if you, as his mother, are concerned then that is enough to warrant more understanding from your dh and more help from HCP.

Good luck x

tiredmummyoftwo Wed 03-Jun-09 06:01:39

Mysonben, I was in complete denial when we got the diagnosis for our son, I always considered him as difficult, not different. DH accepted it immediately but I argued with the professionals. He was 2.5 when he was diagnosed, I remember swearing at DH for no apparent reason all the time ( I never used to swear), being very depressed. He is 3.11 and only now I am coming into terms with the diagnosis and accepting that he will not grow out of these symptoms unless we help him out.

So please hang in there, he will come round. As long as he does not stop you getting extra help for your son, ie, getting therapy, I would say some of us need a bit of extra time to get used to the label, especially if DH has only seen children who are severe.

lingle Wed 03-Jun-09 09:47:36

mysonben,

Hi, I am lingle. If you look at my posts you will see that our kids have many, many similarities.

Can you try to get DH to accept that your DS has sensitive hearing without saying he has sensitive hearing "because of his ASD"? Perhaps he needs to see an occupational therapist?

Can you get him to read "It Takes Two to Talk" which is a marvellous book that never mentions ASD or any other label for that matter. And is very well written, by the way. Can you ask him to spend 20 minutes hanging out with his son each day following his lead using the techniques described in "It Takes Two?"

It's things like this that matter most at this age I think. If you could get your DH tuned in like this, it wouldn't matter what he thought about the ASD label so much perhaps?

I recommend reading Greenspan's "The Child with Special Needs". My DH and I have declined to enter a diagnostic process for our DS2 and we are both finding it terrific.

Best wishes

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