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Old 05-18-2005, 10:12 AM   #1
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fightorflight HB User
Advice urgently needed

I have been upset for days since this incident, please, I need all the advice I can get. Oh, and thanks in advance.

What would you do if......

You had an educator sister in law who on the surface appears to have the perfect life, marriage, personality, but for years has belittled me because I never finished college, said I would never amount to anything and has mocked and made fun of me and my ridiculous overprotectiveness.

We had a recent incident with my high functioning autistic child who is 5 years old when my sil's husband yelled at my child. This sent my son into a frenzy since he cannot take loud noises. He had done nothing to warrant being yelled at. It was a misunderstanding when he went to get a drink and accidentily grabbed the wrong cup.

I had my husband call my brother in law tell him that due to my son's autism to try not to yell at him, and that he responds better to being calmy talked to, as he is even overly eager to please. There was nothing hostile or accusatory about the way he did that. Well, my husband's sister called back in a rage saying "BS, so now we have to 'walk on eggshells because of your sons disability?" and went on the insinuate that I was a bad parent and that she yells at her kids all the time and has tons of friends and yells at their freind's kids and their friends kids parents yell and yelling is okay and what is wrong with me. I'm a bad parent. I'm too overprotective. Her husband is a wonderful guy blah blah blah.

By the way, she also leaves her kids home alone unattended and the oldest is only 7. I have never said anything to her about this, but she attacks everything I do as a parent as being too overprotective, well, yes I am protective and it is because kids with autism generally need more protection because they are not as aware with their surroundings and not as intuative as other kids. I want my son to be as independent as possible, but I am not going to let him do something when he is clearly not ready for it.

I am at my wits end because she is now giving me the silent treatment, but I feel that this is all a bad misunderstanding. I want to explain myself, that we were not attacking her or her husband, just wanted them to be more aware of what we are dealing with.

The worst part of this and the reason I even care what she thinks is that she also has a 5 year old son, who is a typical child and the two cousins love each other. I would love to have some peace between us for their sake. What shoud I do?

 
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Old 05-18-2005, 05:01 PM   #2
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Kolby HB User
Re: Advice urgently needed

I think your sister-in-law doesn't understand autism as much as she may think she does. If she did she may understand that she doesn't have to blow the loud noises out of proportion here. Would you make your grandmother in a wheel chair push her chair up a flight of stairs? Would you smoke in the same room as your lung cancer father? Would you move furniture around in a blind persons home? NO!!! So why your sister-in-law can't understand that loud noises could effect your son is just ignorance on her part. Help her by educating her. Maybe you and her should go out to dinner one night and talk about it. Tell her how hard life for you and your son is sometimes. Share things with her. Maybe you are getting a lot of attention from her mother and it hurts her. There could be so many things but I think you need to just sit with her alone and share with her. Good Luck!
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Michelle

 
Old 05-22-2005, 11:58 PM   #3
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Beautifulchild HB User
Re: Advice urgently needed

Unfortunately we cannot change other people. I also have inlaws who are not very understanding and do not want to be educated about autism. I have learned to bite my tongue when family occasions arise, however, for my own peace of mind I have to cut down the amount of time I spend with these people. I know that I am a good parent and that my child just needs a little more understanding and if others aren't willing to understand that then the only solution is to minimise the time spend with them. It is hard to do, but sometimes we have to cut negative people out of our lives.
Good luck and I hope you can find a better solution to your problem
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Debbie

 
Old 06-01-2005, 07:01 AM   #4
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Re: Advice urgently needed

I have a 12yr old son w/severe autism. He is also non-verbal. It has taken my inlaws 11yrs to finally "get it". Your sis-in-law is probably seeing your son as having more behavioral problems than the Autism. That's probably because he is high functioning. If my son gets yelled at he automatically gets upset. It doesn't matter what he did, even if it warranted being yelled at, he still gets upset, which sends him into a frenzy, which leads to outbursts, self abusive behaviors,etc.. Both her and her husband need to understand that he has Autism. I'm sure there are many things that upset him other than the yelling. As far as him grabbing the wrong cup, he probably wanted a drink and just grabbed the cup. (I'm just guessing) He's not able to understand that it was wrong to take the cup, he just wanted a drink. Sure she yells at her kids, and she knows alot of people who yell at their kids, but do they have Autism? That's not how you handle a child with Autism regardless of how high functioning he may be. She can't compare your child with any other child. You are not a bad parent, you are not overprotective, and you know what's best for him and just continue to do that. I wish I could tell you how to rememdy the situation, I know I hate when I'm not getting along with my family, especially when it has to do with my son. Things somehow always seem to work out and hopefully they will soon. Take care, ~Bunny

 
Old 06-01-2005, 10:43 AM   #5
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glsmom HB User
Re: Advice urgently needed

My heart goes out to you I think alot of us parents already feel like we are being judged by people that are strangers, it is really difficult when the people who do not understand are those closest to us. I agree that the best thing to do is surround yourself with people who are willing to try to understand what you and your son are experiencing having a support system is really important. And limiting contact with negative influences is so important for you and your son. You are a great mom and we can not have someone making you doubt it in any way. Good Luck

Last edited by glsmom; 06-01-2005 at 10:45 AM.

 
Old 06-01-2005, 05:45 PM   #6
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vo-5 HB User
Re: Advice urgently needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightorflight
I have been upset for days since this incident, please, I need all the advice I can get. Oh, and thanks in advance.

What would you do if......

You had an educator sister in law who on the surface appears to have the perfect life, marriage, personality, but for years has belittled me because I never finished college, said I would never amount to anything and has mocked and made fun of me and my ridiculous overprotectiveness.
Just because she's an "educator" does NOT mean her life is perfect or that she is perfect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightorflight
We had a recent incident with my high functioning autistic child who is 5 years old when my sil's husband yelled at my child. This sent my son into a frenzy since he cannot take loud noises. He had done nothing to warrant being yelled at. It was a misunderstanding when he went to get a drink and accidentily grabbed the wrong cup.
My son cannot take loud noises either, most autistic children cannot.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightorflight
I had my husband call my brother in law tell him that due to my son's autism to try not to yell at him, and that he responds better to being calmy talked to, as he is even overly eager to please. There was nothing hostile or accusatory about the way he did that. Well, my husband's sister called back in a rage saying "BS, so now we have to 'walk on eggshells because of your sons disability?" and went on the insinuate that I was a bad parent and that she yells at her kids all the time and has tons of friends and yells at their freind's kids and their friends kids parents yell and yelling is okay and what is wrong with me. I'm a bad parent. I'm too overprotective. Her husband is a wonderful guy blah blah blah.
Yelling is not OK. Neither is her abuse of you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightorflight
By the way, she also leaves her kids home alone unattended and the oldest is only 7.
That is not OK either.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightorflight
I have never said anything to her about this, but she attacks everything I do as a parent as being too overprotective, well, yes I am protective and it is because kids with autism generally need more protection because they are not as aware with their surroundings and not as intuative as other kids. I want my son to be as independent as possible, but I am not going to let him do something when he is clearly not ready for it.
Yes, they do need more protection. They are also more often bullied and taken advantage of by other kids, and/or adults because they don't know how to defend themselves. Also, they do not realize when they are in danger, so yes, they need more protection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightorflight
I am at my wits end because she is now giving me the silent treatment,
And this may be a blessing. Enjoy it while it lasts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fightorflight
but I feel that this is all a bad misunderstanding. I want to explain myself, that we were not attacking her or her husband, just wanted them to be more aware of what we are dealing with. The worst part of this and the reason I even care what she thinks is that she also has a 5 year old son, who is a typical child and the two cousins love each other. I would love to have some peace between us for their sake. What shoud I do?
Perhaps you could write her a letter or send an email explaining all this, if you truly think you need to. If you send a letter I would put in articles by doctors referencing your points and highlight them.

Last edited by vo-5; 06-01-2005 at 05:46 PM.

 
Old 06-02-2005, 02:42 PM   #7
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drasdma HB User
Re: Advice urgently needed

No one person knows the right thing to do, only you know in your heart. Yelling is not good for children period. Yelling does not teach anything except fear, which some parents mistake for respect. Leaving your children alone and the oldest is only 7 is illegal in any state in the US. The fact that she has an education background only compounds things for you. She may think that she knows more than you. Sorry to say you may have lost this friendship but given the parenting skills the 5 year old cousin will not be typical for very long. Best wishes in whatever decision you make.

 
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