What to do when parents don't believe diagnosis!!!?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by lovelyboy, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    I think I have been posting about this before.....not sure.....
    Me and my mom has this terrible dynamics where I keep trying to explain behaviour of my son to confirm his diagnosis of Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD).....while she keeps on telling me it"s just him being manipulative!
    So this morning she just said it straight out that she will never believe he has this illness!
    They stay 2 days drive from us, so we talk everyday on the phone.....but we are going to visit in a weeks time....staying in our own house(will never survive staying with them).
    She got stuck with the normal MRI saying if the neuro couldnt find anything wrong...there is nothing wrong with him!
    According to her he is just a very clever, manipulative, spoiled child that is selfish and throws tantrums everytime things doesnt go his way!!!!agh!!!! Oh and VERY rude with no respect for others....oh and a drama queen, and, and and! He already said he doesnt want to go and visit her because she is rude to him....she says she is not...he just knows that he cant get away with his nonsense with her! :(
    It brakes my heart because I am the model child, phoning her every day, supporting her, listening to all her moans, sending gifts and flowers.....but when I need support she critisizes me: Telling me that I am trying to be a "to good parent".....or contradicting herself saying I need to give more attention to them...exct.
    I really dont know how to just "switch of" from her remarks and opinions....I dont know how to grow a thick skin!
    Any suggestions?
  2. JJJ

    JJJ Active Member

    Could you handle (emotionally) pulling back from her for a bit? Cancelling the visit, stop calling every day?
  3. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    JJJ.....I dont want to cancel the trip....we have n't seen my parents for 4 months! And believe it or not, I miss my parents, especially my dad. My mom also had a big operation 3 weeks ago, she is very depressed at the moment.....and getting very old.....I am also the only child. So me, hubby and 2 boys has already booked our flights, rent a car and paid deposit on house....we are also looking forward to going to the beach!
    And to make things worse...I have seperation anxiety...it causes more stress for me not to talk to her than to talk to her....also she becomes misrable and "funny" if I dont phone her that often, but my husband keeps on telling me I must stop sharing personal stuff with her, but for some reason I still want her acceptance even though I know I might not get it!
  4. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    First of all, ((((Hugs)))). It's not hard when you know that there is something going on with your child, but you have no support from the people in your life that you look to for that same support.

    If your mom is complaining that you're givng your son more attention that you are giving her, then I think that SHE is the one being manipulative. He's your son and he's a child. OF course you're going to give him more attention that you give your mom! She's an adult and can take care of her herself.

    This may sound harsh, but if your mom is only bringing negativity to the picture, I think that you need to cut down on your contact with her. It sounds like she's increasing everyone's anxiety about having to visit her, and that isn't going to help anyone. If you can't grow a thick skin (which can be very hard to do. Believe me, I know!) then you need to back away from her and take care of your son. He's the most important thing and he needs you more than your mom does.
  5. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Bunny....no she doesnt say I must give her more attention than my son...she says I must give my children more attention....but then on the other hand she says its because I am always giving in to them, allowing them to manipulate me...this is not true at all....Sometimes I think that she might feel bad because I accept my kids for who they are...give them plenty of love and support...I am a very involved mom......she wasnt a very affectionate mother....I cant remember once during my childhood years that she ever told me she loved me! Only lately she would mention it indirectly....
  6. keista

    keista New Member

    Let me preface that I am in a very negative cranky place so my response may sound rude and cold hearted, but I decided to post anyway because sometimes such a perspective is useful. If not, please ignore me.

    Why do you consider yourself a "model child"? in my opinion the child isn't the one that's supposed to do the supporting of the parents - that's the parent's job for the children. When children grow up to be awesome ppl, they most certainly reciprocate this support to their parents, but daily phone calls? Really? Is this your need or your mom's need/demand? Either way, it's too much. WAY too much.

    This is your child, not your mom's second chance. What difference does it make if your mom believes the diagnosis or not? Is she babysitting on a regular basis? No? then what's the problem? If difficult child's diagnosis were diabetes or leukemia and she didn't believe it, would that affect what YOU did with difficult child? Ah NO. Why are her thoughts on the matter so important?

    You need to detach from the need/desire to be right in her eyes. You need to realize that you are raising your own family and NO ONE else's opinion on the matter matters. You need to be strong enough to tell her this too. She has more than spoken her opinion. You don't need to hear it anymore, so she can now keep quiet on the topic.

    It's not easy for children to transition into adulthood, especially when their parents or other family members don't let them (my big problem is my aunts) BUT that does not mean that you are not entitled to that transition. You are an adult with a family of your own. As such you deserve to be treated like an adult, and if the ppl in your life can't manage that, then you have to demand it.
  7. Bunny

    Bunny Guest

    I'm sorry. I misunderstood your post. But your kids need your attention and if your mom is not supportive of the way that you parent them, then she either needs to keep her opinions to herself, or she needs to be told to keep her opinion to herself. This is your child and you need to do for him what you, as his mom, feel is best.
  8. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I think your husband is spot on... your son's diagnosis and behavior should be off limits for discussion. Gently put, your parents had their turn at raising children and now it is your turn. I understand your desire for emotional support, and it is sad that your mother is unable to be supportive. You will need to find your support elsewhere.

    If it's any consolation, I went through a very similar thing with my aunt. So I stopped talking to her regarding Duckie's issues and development. She asked her daughter one day why I stopped and was told that she criticized me way too much. She called and apologized.
  9. keista

    keista New Member

    Sweetie, this is your problem. You're not going to get what you're looking for. At least when it comes to your difficult child. You must find a way to let this go so you can be the most effective parent possible for difficult child.
  10. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Lovelyboy, I am going to share my personal experience. I have always been the dutiful child. Like you, my mother and I talked on the phone pretty much every day (she lives in the same town). We were almost friends. BUT, my mother had this very nasty habit of telling me her every opinion, especially about how I was raising MY children. I spoiled one and was hard on the other. difficult child 1 was the way he was because I never disciplined him (my children had told her otherwise but she never SAW it so it didn't happen). There were many times she'd try to discipline HER way with me sitting right there. When I told her about his diagnosis, she wanted proof fromt he psychiatrist. Heck, she insisted she was going to the psychiatrist WITH us. She didn't believe me and continued to tell me that even disabled kids get disciplined and that's all difficult child 1 needed. I finally told her that I will not discuss difficult child 1 with her and that her opinions are not wanted. She pushed her opinion again and I cut off ALL contact with her. She needed to learn the hard way that this boundary was not negotiable. A couple months later difficult child 1 ended up in the psychiatric hospital and my mother had NO clue because I wasn't talking to her. She had to hear it from my sister. THAT'S when she realized SHE needed to change. Now, she bites her tongue when we talk or are together. We don't talk as much but when we are together, she is kind to my children. For my sons' sakes, I had to put that boundary in place. YOUR job is to protect your children, even if it means from their grandparents. YOU need to put YOUR children first. When difficult child 1 asked, "Are we ever going to be good enough for Grandma?" is when I decided her negativity was starting to affect him and I didn't want that for him. He deserved better. Now, he has better!
  11. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    I feel for you! And, as most of us here, I can relate. I am quite close to my parents despite the Atlantic ocean between us. I talk to them through Skype on a regular basis and we see them 2 or 3 times a year (extented stay). For some out reason, I sometimes have that "verbal diahrea" and share TOO much. I don't know why, I can't help it. I want my parents to have my back and know what we are going through. Then I get annoyed when they don't get it or argue with me about V's issues.
    Now, I try to filter more and, several times, I had to be very clear: I am telling you to keep you informed but it is not up for debate. If I tell them certain situations are to be handled a certain way, tha's the way it WILL happen. It is not a request, it is a demand. A little harsh to say to your own parents... but it is for the greater good. I even had to tell my mother that I heard her opinion (at the time she was telling me I was the problem) but now she needs to keep quiet and I was the one to make decisions about my son and she had no more to say even if she does not agree. I even added that I would protect V against her at ANY cost.
    I have also diminished the frequency of our conversations. And I try to watch myself: try to have other topics of conversation and not always talk about V's issues.
    It is hard for me, as V's issues are so central to our life. But it is not healthy for anyone. And bottom line: my parents will NEVER fully understand. Not because they don't want to (although there were times they were most certainly in denial), but because it is not part of their everyday lives. And I think it is something important to acknowledge: grand-parents are not walking in our shoes, they cannot really get it even when/if they want to.
  12. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Thanx for all your honest feedback!
    I agree...and I know I must apply all you said.....Just sometimes wished she could see what I see....
    But the other day, when my son was having verbal diahree...sitting there talking all nonsense to himself...being his anxious self....I just smiled at hubby and said, yeah right...so how is this manipulation!!!?
    I do think I am getting at an emotional place where I am starting to move on....I am so tired of fighting and reasoning that I am getting to a point where I will just tell her: You know what...I dont care what the dr says what the diagnosis is....all I know is that his behaviour is not whats expected......If it was as simple as propper parenting, his issues would have been solved long ago! We are moving in the right direction...his behaviour is still far from perfect, but its getting little better...at least he gets tantrums now, not meltdowns....and his once in a week meltdowns last 10 minutes and not 40-60 minutes! So what I am doing is right!!!! Ba-wa!
    Isnt it rediculous! Now that his behaviour is improving from plenty of Occupational Therapist (OT), ST and different parenting style, she will say see I told you there is nothing wrong with the child!!!!! You guys are right.....maybe I must call it a day! :(
    It's just so painfull even if she doesnt say anything that she will give that totally disapproving, disgusted look in my sons direction when she doesnt approve......
  13. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Maybe she measures her own success or failure not by the way YOU turned out, but by how her grandkids are "turning out"... She doesn't get bragging rights for kids who behave like V. So SHE looks bad in the eyes of her friends. She "needs" you to make HER look good.

    Of course, that's not how real life works. But some parents really DO feel that way. And it makes it impossible for them to be supportive, or to even be neutral.

    We had to cut our parents (both sets) out of the child-raising loop - which essentially destroyed the relationship. But we had to choose between giving our kids what they really needed, or trying to give our parents what they wanted (i.e. what they think they needed). We couldn't have done the latter, anyway - what the two sets of parents "needed" was at polar opposite sides of the scale... made the decision a bit easier, but the fallout is still huge, and the result is definitely isolation.

    Which means... there are no easy answers.
  14. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Sorry you have to deal with this....you have enough with your boys. My parents always believed the diagnosis but my dad and his wife don't act understanding when things get hard. They would defend him to the death if anyone said anything but their emotions take over when he does things that hurt feelings or physical stuff and they will never let smaller stuff go .. running in the house to go from one room to another etc. So stress builds. Funny. In first grade I worked with a rude team. I wanted someone to come to the IEP and dad said sure. I told him just act as if and be a witness. I was treated with respect and he heard all the concerns. After that youd have thought HE was the expert on autism. I let him be the know it all. So funny. He even told off a guy in a hardware store who tried to lecture q on being nice to his mom. I have this gut instinct to educate your parents on Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and let them know the MRI was to rule out other things. Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) doesn't show up in medical tests. And would love to share some simple Tony attwood books on aspergers / autism which are uber good.
    BUT I really think it would cause frustration. Mom especially isn't ready. That would mean he is disabled! Many grands can't handle that (along with other issues you guys have ) and would rather think it was a fixable parenting issue. Could be a part of it anyway. Face it ....most people do not get Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) anyway and I even hear people say it is a way to be selfish and get away with it. ....crazy

    You are right and doing what's best for the boys. I agree that the conversation needs to be off limits. Mom I love you but this is too challenging to explain and right now we need to put that energy into listening to the experts and helping the boys ........end of discussion.
    Yeah I know, easier said than done. xxoo. Dee
  15. lovelyboy

    lovelyboy Member

    Buddy I gave them info.....she even thinks the psychiatrist is silly and dangerous and that she only wants to make money out of us!!!! LOL we only see the psychiatrist every 3-6 months now!!!!
    My mother read somewhere in a magazine in a dr room that they can start detecting autism with abnormalities on the MRI.....what she doesnt understand is that they did a MRI of a part of his brain to rule out any tumors or something physical! I agree...so far as I know Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD) not otherwise specified cant be detected on a MRI, neither anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) ......agh....it makes me so tired!
  16. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    I agree with this: I think your husband is spot on... your son's diagnosis and behavior should be off limits for discussion. Gently put, your parents had their turn at raising children and now it is your turn.
    Tell your mom and dad that from now on, there is no discussion. If they want to know how school is going, they can ask the kids themselves.
    I see the need for separation and individuation.

    Sorry, I'm in a rush and I also can't type a lot with-this poison ivy all over.
  17. CrazyinVA

    CrazyinVA Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm sorry. I didn't have this challenge with my own parents, but I do face it with my brother. He used to tell me that it wasn't possible for children to be bipolar. During one of Youngest's hospital stays when she was a teenager, he called me and said, "so how's the little mental patient?" I learned to divulge fewer and fewer facts to him over the years. I'm at the point now where I'm debating cutting him off for awhile, after an email I recently received from him regarding my Youngest getting married. He said, "I wish them the best of course, but know that you just can't cure stupid." Nice.

    It hurts when you can't have the kind of relationship you'd like with a family member. It's hard to accept that you just can't change their attitude, no matter how carefully you try to explain something to them. It hurts that you just want unconditional love and support, but you get judgment and criticism instead. But to me it's about self-preservation. Family or not, if they're causing you additional stress, you sometimes just have to back off for awhile. You would never put up with such comments from a friend, so why would you put up with them from a family member?

  18. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    "so how's the little mental patient?" and "you know you just can't cure stupid."
    Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgghhh! I'd be tempted to respond, "Takes one to know one."
    But just cutting him off is more reasonable and mature. :)
  19. buddy

    buddy New Member

    Exactly why I said I'd be tempted to do that, but in reality it probably does no good...she does not want to hear it. She misread the article and twisted it to her way of thinking (they have found things that trend in kids with autism but there is no way to detect autism on MRI....NO FORM of it except for the diseases that cause autistic symptoms like RETT's syndrome and Turbous Sclerosis (SP?) etc. But primary autism, not able to do it yet. (if they could then our kids would all get the definitive diagnosis really early, right?)
    for example I read an article that they are seeing a general trend (statistically, but not ALL kids have it) that the hippocampus is smaller in kids with autism. OK, well it also is in other issues so...??? not definitive. To come up with that many arguments....really makes me think she just can't face the reality that they may have a life long disability....maybe it is just her personality, but I think on OASIS (that autism site) there are grandparent articles that talk about this kind of thing. I remember a letter from a grandma there that said how helpless they felt and how at first they didn't want to believe. They questioned everything then felt the need to stay out, etc....the whole journey was really interesting to read about.

    My family is sometimes too close. We have gone to therapy in the past to work on becoming unmeshed (is that a word? lol. we were too enmeshed, so maybe unenmeshed??? I'm brain dead).

    IT was super hard to start to not ask as many questions, not share opinions unless specifically asked for, not try to solve problems for eachother, not to call the others when concerned over one of us etc. We are much healthier now, We dont talk daily and really do only talk about problems if specifically asked about.

    Hope you can start the process of doing what husband says and just limit what you discuss. Only your children matter in this situation. You and husband have just about too much to handle as it is, so that is one problem you can actually solve by setting boundaries.

    HUGS to you as always, Dee
  20. somerset

    somerset Member

    I had the same problem, with my mother criticizing my parenting almost from the moment difficult child was born. The last few years, she would say,"She's not going to school? Send her to me - I'LL make her go!" Sure mom, and I know just how you'll do it. I'm really going to subject an already sensitive, depressed child to the constant criticism and cruel tongue-lashings I suffered as a child! She is so controlling, she couldn't stand the fact that she could not make me do it her way, and could'nt control the situation. I finally started saying "I don't want to talk about it". THen I finally, at the age of 50, accepted the fact that I was NEVER going to be good enough for her and I had to give up on ever achieving that goal. I actually felt like I mourned the loss for a few weeks. It did make me mad enough to finally tell her, when she began her broken-record comments on the situation, "I don't want to hear it anymore." I would just cut her off when she started in. Now that the new psychiatrist and the school are taking difficult child seriously, she is starting to realize difficult child's not just being a spoiled, lazy child. But it's still hard for her to stop criticizing.