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Parents who give up on their children with SN

(23 Posts)
moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 19:17:06

I am very worried about a friend of mine. She has two dss, both with SN and seems to have become totally detached from them. We had a long chat yesterday and she said she feels that she has given up on them and has no expectations from them. She herself is a very high achiever and I think this may be colouring her feelings.

She says it is too painful seeing them around NT children and she has just shut off her feelings for them. I feel very sorry for her but more so for the children, and am not sure if she will get over this.

HelensMelons Sun 12-Jul-09 19:37:07

Hi Moffat

Sometimes dissociating yourself from something can be a defence mechanism when things are very painful.

Could your friend be depressed? Would a visit to the GP help or at least some counselling?

You dont' say what age her ds's are, but there is, for some parents,a grieving process when faced with a child who has sn (loss of the child you thought you would have, etc).

Does she have much family support?

marmoset Sun 12-Jul-09 19:46:04

poor thing - i think helensmelons is spot on. It might also be that neither of them has made much progress in a while which can be very wearing - even tiny steps forward can lift the spirits. Does she know any other parents in the same boat?

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 19:46:16

Thanks HelensMelons, yes I also thought that fear of getting more hurt was preventing her from really engaging with them. I have suggested to her that she might be depressed (she works in counselling, ironically) and says she is not yet but could be close to depression. The dss are 7 and 11 and were diagnosed several years ago. She does have family support, but next to nothing from her dh who she has now come to realise is also on the Autistic spectrum. She just seems so utterly hopeless and has now decided that she will focus on her career. Her mother looks after the children most of the time and gives her a lot of support.

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 19:52:47

marmoset I don't think she knows anyone else in a similar position, and I'm not sure if she would be open to the idea of getting to know any TBH.

PipinJo Sun 12-Jul-09 20:02:03

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

reducedfatkettlechip Sun 12-Jul-09 20:02:18

moffat, could you gently point her in the direction of this board? It might help her to realise she isn't on her own, and vent anonymously. I value my privacy on here but have recommended this board to a few people who I've thought it would really help..

She is lucky to have you around!

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:12:17

Thank you so much for your replies. I guess her feelings are very normal. I do read the SN board a fair bit and I always get the impression that people are doing so much for their dcs and really feeling that they have to fight for them and I wanted to see that kind of attitude in my friend. I do worry about her dcs but I feel that they would get so much out of her input. She does not believe it would make any difference to them though.

Pipinjo yes eldest has autism, youngest dx is gdd and speech delay. I did suggest counselling but she rejected it and said it wouldn't change things. I know there is a grieving stage but I hoped she would get through it.

reducedfat I have also mentioned this board - she was not interested then - but I think I will suggest it again.

Onlyjoking Sun 12-Jul-09 20:12:48

sounds like she maybe protecting herself from feeling rejected by her sons or by other people because of her sons.
My three have autism and in some ways they distance themselves, i try not to take it personally but it is hard.
what support does she have in place?

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:14:11

onlyjoking she has a lot of practical support from her mum. In many ways her mum is better at dealing with the dcs and relating to them.

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:15:06

that is an interesting point about feeling rejected by her dss, I hadn't thought of that.

Onlyjoking Sun 12-Jul-09 20:18:41

it can feel like you are being rejected or not needed by children with autism, my girls tend to access me when they want something and ignore me the rest of the time.
i found it very helpful to meet other people who aslo had children with ASD as we understood without having to explain things.

Onlyjoking Sun 12-Jul-09 20:20:26

its the emotional support she may need, it is often very isolating having children that are different to other peoples children, does she have a partner?

PipinJo Sun 12-Jul-09 20:21:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:31:19

thanks Pipinjo, onlyjoking not much emotional support I don't think. She tends to be quite orivate. Her dh is also on the spectrum and she is very unhappy in her marriage.

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:31:50

that should say "private".

Onlyjoking Sun 12-Jul-09 20:36:26

must be hard for her, my DH had AS and found it difficult with the kids, sadly he died of cancer last year so now it is just me and the kids with no extended family, we do get some respite care throu social services, does she get anything like that?
do her children go to a SN school?

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:40:49

so sorry about your dh onlyjoking, it must be very hard sad.

She doesn't actually need respite care as her mum does pretty much everything - cooking, cleaning, shopping, childcare. The dcs are in mainstream school and behaviour-wise are doing well, but not making much progress otherwise,

troutpout Sun 12-Jul-09 20:42:12

It's a very lonely life
It would really help her if she could come on this board.
You are a good friend moffat smile

Onlyjoking Sun 12-Jul-09 20:44:44

my girls have always been at SN school and that has been great, DS was at mainstream but i had to move him when his dad was ill, i always felt the odd one out at the mainstream school gates, it is much better now and less isolating.
i think the best thing you can do for your mate is just to be there for her emotionally.

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:47:37

thanks troutpout, it's very hard to see her so down and considering her situation I can't see how she will get back to finding some enjoyment in life. I am also very concerned about her dss and can't help feeling that their mother's lack of attention must be affecting them.

moffat Sun 12-Jul-09 20:50:25

I do try onlyjoking and I hope it helps, I will just try to keep letting her know she is not alone.

Onlyjoking Sun 12-Jul-09 20:56:32

i think that as much as you can do. my 3 have managed ok over the last three years of their dad being ill and dying which took up a lot of my time and to be fair my three don't want my attention unless there is something they need.

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