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Family won't accept DS1 has ASD.

(18 Posts)
frazzledazzle Fri 16-Oct-09 10:32:59

DS1 was diagnosed with asd last week up until then I thought my mum was trying to be understanding.On Weds she brought me an article by Miriam Stoppard entitled,'Why we're too ready to call people autistic'.

At the time I thought oh she's just read the word 'autism' and thought I might find it interesting but yesterday she visited and said ,"My friend says DS1 doesn't have autism because autistic people don't give eye contact".But my mum watched him with me and he was giving me eye contact.I just snapped that he does give me eye contact cos I'm his mum but he doesn't with others.

MIL is a pain too.Whenever DS1 does something she rolls her eyes and tuts at him and never interacts with him only to show disapproval.

My dad never mentions anything to do with ds' asd it's as if he doesn't know about it (deep denial).

How do you all cope with such attitudes.It's getting me down I would like family support instead of being seen as a neurotic mother who just wants to put a label on her child.

linglette Fri 16-Oct-09 11:44:37

This is why I tell my mother nothing.......

OK, thinking positively, what do you need her to accept for DS1's sake?

You need her to accept his sensory preferences and processing difficulties
You need to accept his indivual learning style.
You need her to accept that his unusual behaviours can be traced back to the sensory/processing/learning stuff.
You need her to accept that he needs the family, including her, to help him with all the above.

If she accepts that and helps him, she can think what she likes about autism.

MIL? Hmmm, convert mum into helper-in-chief first then get mum to slap MIL? She sounds more rigid - at least mum is trying to explore it all in her own way and Stoppard's article is probably just reinforcing mum's instinct that DS1 is capable of great things.

debs40 Fri 16-Oct-09 11:53:29

How annoying for you! What a silly article. I have just posted a comment back on it.

I think the thing is people don't see these things unless they live them. They also don't want to see that there is anything 'wrong' with their grandchild.

You know the truth of it. Find something basic from the NAS site to give them to read to see if that helps. There is alot of good information on it for all types of audiences

Jo5677 Fri 16-Oct-09 11:58:35

Hi frazzledazzle, my parents are seperated,my mum has been great about my son's asd but my dad has always been in deep denial about it,preffering to tell me that my son/his grandson is just a bit slow and will catch up with the other kids in time.
I pointed out all the differences etc to my dad and he just brushed them of saying 'well everyones different aren't they,doesn't mean he's autistic'.
Only recently,as recent as last week my Dads gf got him to watch 'autistic me' and a few days later i spoke to my Dad on the fone and he actually asked about my son and said after watching this programme he understands about autism a bit more now. First time my Dad has mentioned my sons name and autism in the same sentance...only taken him til my son is 8 !
But its progress none the less.
Re how i've coped with his denial,well i have a hole in my tounge from the years i've spent having to bite it !
I haven't any words of wisdom but i hope things improve in time for you and your family start to realise they should be supporting you,take care, Jo xx

pagwatch Fri 16-Oct-09 12:08:03

The trouble is that a lot of us have to deal with this.
It is just often a reflection of their distress and their sense of impotence.
They don't want it to be autism because that feels big and scarey and they don't know what to do. So they try to minimise and end up make US feel as if we are incredibly negative about our own children.

I gave up on several relatives but I needed my mum to at least try to get it so I sat her down and explained. I told her that this was a huge thing for me to try and come to terms with but I had to focus now on helping DS2 and I needed her to trust that I knew my own child - and to help me. I gave her some sensible sites to look at and DS2 diagnostic report.
It still took a while but she did stop trying to argue with me

busybeingmum Fri 16-Oct-09 12:08:10

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busybeingmum Fri 16-Oct-09 12:15:56

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MumOfThreeMonkeys Fri 16-Oct-09 12:28:16

OMG! my daughter was dx with asd last month, my father was away on a holiday so we only saw him last week (mother is dead). I told him dd has autism, he said hmmm, few minutes later dd was having a small tantrum, my dad says "leave her with me for a week and i'll soon get that out of her". I walked out before I said something I would later regret. so so so angry, took me days to calm down, dunno when im gonna visit him again.

logi Fri 16-Oct-09 12:57:39

I give up trying to explain i usually get "he looks alright to me" or "my son/daughter does that".

MumOfThreeMonkeys Fri 16-Oct-09 13:49:54

i totally agree with you logi, other people even close family do not understand what it is to deal with ASD, to be honest i didnt have a clue a couple of years back. If someone said my dd had autism my answer would have been " she's not like rain man" hmm

logi Fri 16-Oct-09 15:08:23

I was talking to the staff who dx my son and i asked what they seen in my son because ive become so used to doing and saying things a certain way you almost get used to the "odd" behaviours.
They said within 5 minutes of being with my son they couldnt believe he hadnt been dx with autism,and as they said they are tuned in to autistic behaviours so know what they are looking for.
Strange but nice to hear that other people(proffessional people )can see it.
Its hard enough getting negative comments off strangers but when its family its more hurtful but i just distanced myself..i realise you cant do that with close family its such a shame they dont offer support.

frazzledazzle Fri 16-Oct-09 15:55:35

I'm just gonna have to bite my tongue aren't I? I could try to educate them I suppose but I don't think I'd be very successful.

I'll keep things to myself in future,it's less stressful.I want them to understand about autism because a lot of asd behaviour (in my DS anyway) can appear as immaturity and selfishness and I don't want them to think of him like that.

Thanks BBM I'll have a look at the guide for grandparents.

Debs isn't that article awful? Just what I don't need right now! Seeing all the comments under the article cheered me up though grin

Mumof3 you must have been angry when you're father said that.Sorry you're facing ignorance too.

logi I've had them comments too along with "He'll grow out of it"

Seems like insensitive comments are par for the course doesn't it? Anyone know where I can order a thicker skin from grin

janess404 Fri 16-Oct-09 16:35:11

In time they will be more accepting of this i have this with my family and friends its as if they think my son will be better and not have the illness if they pretend it doesnt exist.

Eventually they will accept it as children get older and their behaviour remains "different".

I dont think people do it in a bad way i think its similar to people laughing when they are nervous iyswim.

Tessofthedinnerbells Fri 16-Oct-09 16:47:45

Frazzle, Me Too!

In the end I had to just stay away from mine because they were so ignorant and had this autism stigma so far ingrained that I just couldn't undo it and neither could my DS.

Where was this Miriam Stoppard article published? Needs putting out there on MN & shaming.

Only way I can suggest around this, so that you avoid my drastic withdrawl, is to speak to them all and say how you are facing the most difficult challenge they, as parents, could possibly imagine. Say that you really need their support & understading and so does your DS. Ask them to read whatever you choose to put their way so that they can better inform themselves. Then finish with a sort of Put Up or Shut Up statement.

And, if they at any time come out with some genetic mumble about it not coming from their side of the family, tell them that you'll gladly forward their informed and scientific response on to all the scientists so it'll save them all that time and money. Thanks.

Sorry Frazzle. These are the hardest ones to deal with because you care so much about what they think and it hurts too. Things will get better but takes a very long time.

ICANDOTHAT Fri 16-Oct-09 17:56:33

My in-laws were similar over ds2 ADHD dx .... I simply let them all look after him at theirs for the weekend, and hey presto ... he's got it !!

busybeingmum Fri 16-Oct-09 19:28:33

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RaggedRobin Fri 16-Oct-09 20:52:11

sorry i'm always late! here's the link if you don't already have it.

we don't have a dx, and are still very up in the air about the whole thing. but when my mum couldn't accept that ds had any difficulties, i eventually told her that although i realised that she was trying to be positive, it upset me to constantly have to try to persuade her of ds's difficulties because it made me feel as though i wanted ds to have problems that didn't exist. she has always been very supportive since.

frazzledazzle Sat 17-Oct-09 10:32:50

Thanks RaggedRobin some of that made me go hmmbut most of it is really useful.It's like whoever wrote it has been a fly on the wall in my house smile

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