We think the time has come to tell....

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovelyboy, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    We haven't seen my mother in law for almost 6 weeks...so we were looking forward to her afternoon visit.
    All went well...she brought nice goodies for the kids......only problem started when difficult child ate all his chocolate eggs at once and then started taking his little brothers....with some struggling.....then not wanting to listen to me when I told him to stop....so my stress started building up....together with the headache....
    His Grandmom kept on giving all the hugs and attention to his little brother, this made him sad, bot obviously didnt show any emottion....he also, because of the Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) doesnt show his affection towards her...so its easy to not invest in a relationship with him....
    He and his little brother then started playing at the pool and slippy sliding....so my difficult child tried to impress us with a move that made him fall and hurt his shoulder...so I said he must be carefull, he can brake his color bone....he misinterpreted it as critisism and gave me the middle finger infront of his grandmother...I said he must behave...this escalated...he became misrable...saying bad words here and there....By this time I felt like running away......!
    He later, when repremanted spit twice infront of him....my mother in law said this wasnt nice to do....when realizing she has hurt his feelings, she tried to make a joke...he turned around and became quiet....
    I couldn't be myself anymore....I became withdrawn...my head felt like bursting....I still tried to be nice but by this time my voice was monotone...something I do automaticly to calm difficult child down....
    She then said it was time for her to leave......I could see she also felt bad and when leaving said she is sorry she bothered us...she feels like a burden and as if she isnt welcome! Oh..no!!!!
    I told her my difficult child behaviour is stressfull to me...she just said agh it will pass.....
    Me and hubby havent told her that difficult child was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the rest...we think he needs to tell phone her and tell her what's going on??!!!
    We are just so afraid of being told again that its nothing, will pass soon, or that they will gossip about how bad parents we are and its because we have been spoiling him when he was young! The whole family will know about this juicy story within 30 minutes!
  2. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Lovely, my difficult child has created issues with my own parents as well.
    At what one it was so horrible, I did not know if I was going to see them again...
    I had to do 2 things to make it work: open discolsure by educating them about V's issues. It was not about just tell them the diagnosis, but explaining how it impacts his life and our lives. I still explain to them and I know they don't grasp everything. Not because they are stupid, but simply because they don't live with V on a full time basis.
    The second thing: stand my grounds and make it really clear that I do things a certain for a reason and that is not up for discussion. When I handle a situation they are to back off and not get involved even if they don't understand or don't agree.
    Like I said, it was really hard but I believed it was best for the long term. I still have to remind them but their visits (the last 2 ) have been more pleasant.
    In my case, they visit 2x a year for about 1 month.
    Family situations with a difficult child are never easy. And you need to be realistic: in your case, it seems to be a given that mother in law will talk around. Are you ready to accept that a lot of people will know about your son's diagnosis? Will it bring more positive than negative?
    Only you can make that decision, but your husband needs to be on board with you. You need to be united.
  3. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Ktllc...I honestly cant say if it will be more positive than negative!!!!! :(
    Well at the moment she must be thinking the worse of us and difficult child anyway!!!! I can just imagine all the stuff she can say behind our backs anyway regarding our sons behaviour!
    Shame...my son doesnt have much insight why we are so upset about his behaviour.....this is so frustrating...so I tell him that he was really rude and that I dont know how we will be able to have visits in the future....all he says: I am really sorry and will really try harder next time...I must just give him another chance....shame I could see he was trying hard...but it just went downhill after about an hour...he said it just made him so tired! :(
  4. keista

    keista New Member

    But, isn't this pretty much what's happening now?

    If you disclose and educate, you'll have the opportunity to explain how you react to difficult child (becoming monotone and withdrawn). It's a reaction to difficult child NOT mother in law. Sounds like she's perceiving your reaction as against her.

    Yes, disclosing to the family can open a can of worms, but if they are even the tiniest bit receptive, life will get easier.

  5. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Maybe, just maybe......she might surprise me!?
  6. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    From experience, once you talk, it gets worst before it gets better.
    I let my parents see V's true colors. Not in a mean way, but I just let V have some negative behaviors towards my parents without putting myself in the middle to mnimize the impact. I pretended I did not see it (assuming I was a few feet away, etc...). As a parent of a difficult child, I am hyper aware in order to avoid tantrums. Well, when my parents were visiting, I was trying not to be hyper aware. I let them say and do things that I KNEW would trigger V and I let them see the consequences. Once they got their fill and could not deny that something was wrong, I explained to them how to handle certain situations. It is not easy and it is a matter of finding the right balance.
    It is still a learning process for all of us, but I believe it has helped a lot.
    I would advise you have a conversation with mother in law face to face with your husband and without your kids around. A phone conversation might create some distance and it might create some misunderstandings.
    It is hard, but it seems you reached the point where something has to change/happen.
  7. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    in my opinion you should tell her the truth. Then it is up to her to decide to believe it or not to believe it. Why should you care either way? You KNOW you have the truth and you are generously sharing it. If she chooses to disregard the knowledge that you pass along, it is her problem, not yours. You can not control her, how she thinks or how she behaves. If she causes you angst even after you tell her, I suggest easing away from her. Let your husband talk to her and don't ask what she said to him.

    Sometimes we even need to detach from family. It's not what we like to do, but what else CAN we do if they won't listen? Is she the type who may hurt your child's feelings? If so, she needs distance from them.
  8. Mama Raygun

    Mama Raygun New Member

    I've gone thru similiar situations, When J was diagnosed and put on medications my mother in law who is a nurse was very against it! She thinks hes fine which is easy to think when you only see him maybe once every 2 - 3 months. anyway a couple weekends ago she decided to take him for an overnight visit.... low and behold she called me the next morning and said she sees what we mean and he does need the medications!!!! My mom who sees J very often def thinks there are issues but cant comprehend that its an actual disorder and not something he will grow out of! In my opinion i think you should tell her... you would tell her if he had diabetes or asthma. people judge nomatter what, there are people in my family who know about J's diagnosis and still think hes just a spoiled brat. They can think what they want, im not going to hide his disorder cause its a part of him and i dont want him to think its something to be ashamed of.
  9. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    ABSOLUTELY, tell her!
    Goodness, that would explain everything to her!
    You never know, she may get into some of the teaching things with-him, saying please and thank you and all that ...
    Not only would I tell her, but I would emphasize that I need her help ... since she is so sensitive and doesn't want to be a bother, this would bring her into the circle.
    I am so sorry it all worked out that way. It's pretty typical, actually. Family dynamics hoover sometimes.
    I agree with-Ktlc, that it may get worse b4 it gets better, but as long as you expect that, it should work. Lower your expectations of her, but put a time limit on it. Maybe something relative short, like a wk or 2. Then meet up with-her in person and say something like, 'Now that you've had time to think it over, I wonder what your thoughts are on the topic? Does that explain any of his behaviors to you? Does it help make you feel any better about some of the things that have happened over the yrs? Make more sense? Can I count on you to help us teach him social skills, but not treat him like a baby (a fine line to walk for everyone!)?"
    Okay, not all in one sentence ... :)
  10. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    You need to tell her. She will need time to understand and digest the information. Let her know you really want her there and you need her support. It can go either way but it will only go one way if she continues to see his behavior and assume it is your "bad parenting". You have nothing to lose. I'm hoping for the best for you.
  11. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    I think the BIG thing that keeps sticking in my own mind is that I am not sure what behaviour is caused by 'illness' and what is just him being the rudest child I have ever seen! Sorry, but this is how I feel at the moment! I dont know if spitting on the ground towards a mom or swearing, or burping after being asked politely to stop or showing inappropriate middle finger signs can be part of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)! BUT.....I also dont know of any other NT child that will KEEP on doing this even after punishments, talking and asking nicely to stop...threatening, NOTHING can make him stop! Surely this cant be 'normal'....BUT unfortunatly the neuro's opinion that he can see nothing wrong with my son except terrible rude manipulative behaviour and that its all our fault for allowing this behaviour to develope, cant seem to go away.....All this is having such a bad influence on our relationship with difficult child...I tell him he is rude, that we will not be able to let him visit his grandma if he cant behave....that his behaviour embaresses me exct. All the ugliest things in the world....and he just say he is sorry.....this makes him feel terrible....but I can see he doesnt have ANY clue how to behave differently and if so he finds it extreamly difficult to apply! I feel like running away.....like taking my kids and hide from the world!
  12. buddy

    buddy New Member

    I know there is a letter from a grandparent somewhere on that site but I can't find it. If anyone has seen it, it is beautiful... it helps explain the confusion and hurt and wanting to help a grandparent feels for their grandchild with autism.

    I one hundred percent believe that your son is wired differently. Remember, kids with autism see everyone as equals so his doing those rude things that kids often do to each other is just as likely to happen to you and any other adult.

    It is something that will have to be specifically trained through direct teaching, kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) dont learn it through watching others or being punished. Each behavior and word has to be taught directly, when were how you can use them.

    YES, kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) can appear to be the most rude kids ever. They are just behaving from their perspective and lack of being able to deal with situations in a better way.

    Your whole story could once again have been replaced with Q. Eerily similar in fact.
  13. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) will dish back the same behaviour that is shown to them. Not that you're spitting or giving him the finger, but somewhere someone has been.

    You need to avoid making yourself the buffer between mother in law and difficult child because it will only look to her like you are spoiling him, being inconsistent and making excuses.

    By all means tell her, but be prepared for limited understanding. It is harder to accept that someone you love is hurting or is emotionally damaged, than to believe it's just something that will pass with good discipline.

    My mother in law has had a long time to learn about difficult child 3 (and difficult child 1 before him) but sometimes she still doesn't get it, she tries to handle things her way (directly against what we have shown her is correct) and makes a mess of it. Luckily as difficult child 3 has gotten older, he has also learned tolerance.

  14. keista

    keista New Member

    Here's a 'DUH' question and it may have a 'DUH' answer, but here I go: Are you giving/teaching him substitute reactions? I promise you, I forget this all the time and have to remind myself to give my kids a correct or better response.

    One thing I've always tried to do is use positive language when I correct them. Instead of saying "That was rude" - a negative reprimand with no opening for correction - I strive to say "That was an inappropriate response. Try saying ______" That way I'm not trying to kibosh negativity with more negativity.
  15. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I also dont know of any other NT child that will KEEP on doing this even after punishments, talking and asking nicely to stop...threatening, NOTHING can make him stop! Surely this cant be 'normal'....

    Precisely. It's the repetition and inability to care what others think. He's got to be shown alternative behaviors, such as how to keep his hands at his sides, and he's got to be told that he will lose points, money, games, whatever system you use, if he does not obey.
    Repetition is your mantra. Also, saying "That was rude," doesn't mean anything to him. "That was rude; to use your finger like that makes people mad and hurts their feelings and I know you want to be a good boy. Let's play a game together" is an alternative phrase, and also gives him another, more positive way to get attention.

    I understand how you feel. Sigh.
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I also make my son repeat things over and over until he gets the right tone of voice. Sometimes I actually hold the TV cord behind me where he can see it so he knows I won't give it back until he's got the cadence and volume correct. It is sooooo hard!
    When these kids are middle aged, they'll appreciate it. At least, that's my plan. :)
  17. exhausted

    exhausted Active Member

    I have taught many kids with varing degrees of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). And yes they come off as quite rude (this is something most of them have in common in my experience) until you understand that they just don't read social cues and they pick up the sensational things that often come at them from other kids who do not understand. It's the old negative feedback loop-they say or do something that others find horrid and they often get horrid reactions. I don't find that there is "bad" intent inherit in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The trick is coming out of the loop.

    As others have said, labeling the behavior and teaching what to do instead over and over usually works-takes longer for ingrained behaviors. As for mother in law, she will also need your support when you are ready.

    I am not the mother of one of these children, but I know it is a tough road to haul by coming to this board and watching the parents of my students over the many years. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family. It's very hard work parenting our difficult children. (And on a lighter note, if I were to run away-no way I'm taking my kids with me!)
  18. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    have found that if I assume (and please note - it is MY assumption because I am NT) that my Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child is choosing to be rude, then I am setting us both up for failure. But if, instead, I take the approach that he needs to be shown the right way to respond simply because he doesn't realise, then we are doing better.

    difficult child will often be apparently rude. I stop him and say, "That was inappropriate. You may not have meant that to sound rude, but it did. Try it this way."
    If he says, "I'm angry. I meant it to sound rude!" then I go in with, "What were you hoping to achieve? Were you simply trying to let me know, by your behaviour, that you are angry? There are better ways of getting your message across. You can say, 'I am angry,' and have a better chance of getting what you want, than you would get by trying to make ME angry too. Always try to communicate, without actually trying to impose how you feel on the other person. That way you have the best chance of the outcome you want."

    Keep your voice calm and teach him. Use each opportunity you get, to gently and politely teach him. B y doing this you are also setting him the example of how to behave. Even if you are angry - show him by your behaviour, the right way to behave even when angry.

    I do not believe in taking things as a rule, especially if it doesn't 'fit the crime'. Remember, that these kids really do want to please you. Let them win. Help them win. That for the most part is generally enough motivation.

    When you need to take stuff, is when it is directly relevant to the problem. For example, the TV remote if the kids are fighting over it. Or if the kid won't turn off the TV and do chores. However, a warning - even then, it is better to negotiate and have a better chance of getting what YOU want sooner with less fighting, than to simply march in and grab. Because you will then teach your Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child to confiscate stuff from you! They really do not know the boundaries of what is appropriate... but if you can negotiate, you can teach your Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) child to self-monitor and self-control - the ultimate goal of any parent.