ASD mommies - in-law help — The Bump
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ASD mommies - in-law help

My DH is Australian and his family still lives there.  We lived there for a year when older DS (who has autism) was 2-3 yo.  My MIL is having a VERY hard time accepting that DS has autism and thinks all of his issues are just related to all of the moving we've done and the fact he is "shy".  She is the type that can't see anything wrong with children or grandchildren, so she chooses to think I'm insane, overdramatic, or just generally American.  Whatever.

I was speaking with her tonight on the phone and she was probably more open than she's ever been on the issue.  I tell her about the great therapies that we are doing with DS and how much progress he is making.  She seems very accepting and even mentions that she was listening to a program on the radio and there was a mother that's written this book talking about her son with autism and his therapies, etc.  I'm thinking great, maybe she's finally getting it.

So I google the book so I can read it too.  Its called "Raindrops on Roman" and its one of those I-cured-my-son's-autism books.  Sigh.   So now what do I say to continue the great interest, but to politely explain that we aren't going to be "curing" anything?  I did let her know that the Australian Autism Society does some wonderful workshops on support networks and wouldn't she love to attend one of those, because I'm sure they could explain it better than me (i.e. she might actually believe them).  Any other suggestions?

To make this story even better I just notice a recommendation by the medical director of neonatology of one of the only hospitals in my area on this website:


Re: ASD mommies - in-law help

  • Its been a long road (ok, laugh if you'd like.... ds is only 3.5) so far. Im sure the 'understanding' will take a lot longer. My mom didn't get it AT ALL until she saw it. We went to the beach for a week and all DS wanted to do was write in the sand...... since then we've had some MORE productive conversations, but for the most part... I just let her think what she's going to think. 
  • Auntie - As usual I think you've hit the nail on the head.  In this particular case I think the issue has a lot to do with my younger BIL.  I'm convinced he has Aspergers or some sort of ASD.  He is a poster child right down to his inability to read social cues, lack of eye contact, etc.  He has suffered with depression his whole life and struggles to maintain all sort of relationships, due in a large part to his inability to empathize.  MIL claims he's too sensitive and lacks confidence.  He had to have inpatient treatment 2 times for the depression and has been on several cocktails of medication.  She says he was just going through a rough patch and is "perfectly fine now".  Indifferent  

    I knew she would have a hard time with the diagnosis and I was anticipating issues if decided to use medication later - she is very anti-drug (i.e. thinks people are too quick to take that gateway drug tylenol).  I was just so excited about our conversation I got ahead of myself.  I guess acceptance is going to be a marathon not a sprint too.

    My main problem with her visits is because of the distance she normally stays with us for 2-3 weeks.  You can imagine how well the normal grandparent hoovering and forced cuddling go down with DS.  Since he also gets very little reprieve from her the whole time she's here, its very hard.  Last time he would literally hid behind furniture if at all possible when she was here.  I just need to work out a plan before next visit.  I did encourage her to sit in on his OT and ST last time and she refused, because she "didn't want to be in the way". 

    On the breeding note, the younger BIL is expecting his first child in Feb.  Its a boy and I'm praying he's as typical as they come.   I think the only thing harder than dealing with this would be fighting with others about the diagnosis every day.


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  • A little late in replying. Sorry, I was home with the kids for a week and half and I have not had much time to get on here and reply.

    My mil was the primary one that has a hard time accepting it. After a month or so, she finally admitted to us, that yeah, he was different. She even apologized to us for her denial. I think what helped was her seeing, ds twin cousins, who are just a few months younger than my ds, and seeing how much further along they were developmentally.

    Now, my great-grandmother-in-law, 90 next month, still denies anything is wrong. But she is from that other generation.

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