Friday, January 7, 2011

A question to the masses...

Okay. I have to ask this.
Because I am at the end of my rope.

What do you do when someone close to you just doesn't "get it"?

You know the type.
"It's not Autism...your kid is just a freakin' brat".
"You are too lax. Your kid needs stricter boundaries".
"Just force him to eat those foods". -or- "He'll eat when he's hungry".
"Don't give in to his 'shenanigans' ".
"He's very good at manipulating you".
Or the best ever... "He's faking it".

I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

So what do you say?
How can you help these people to see that this is very real?
My heart breaks when I face this, because I just don't know what to do.
I'm talking about people who love me. People whom I love.
People who really do think that they know better, think they are doing the right thing, and in Jaysen's best interest. People who believe I am coddling and defending Jaysen, and my parenting is full of suckitude.

I know what to say to a stranger, friend, or even acquaintance- but not to someone this close. Someone whose feelings are way fragile, and takes everything personally.


I know I'm not the first to experience this, so I am asking for any advice or help that anyone has. Violence is not an option.


Apples and Autobots said...

It is so hard when someone you love doesn't understand. There's not anything you can really say, and they will probably keep their shitty opinion anyway. If they spend A LoT of time with your child, they might eventually see, but there's not a lot you can say to change their mind. So sorry--hugs to you.

Alicia D said...

this is beyond a tough situation. but the fact that you are close with this person/people CAN make it easier. I found, just in general, that when you talk about YOUR feelings... careful only to use "I" and "my" words and not "you do this, you do that, you you you" stuff, that helps get people's defenses down. HOnesty, speaking from your heart, and owning your feelings and intentions is all you can do. Then, as all relationships are, THEY have to meet you half way. The key is to open up the dialog and do so in a way that neither of you come in with defenses. I'll be honest, sometimes nothing changes. BUT, at least you will feel better putting it in the open :)

good luck. follow your heart. :)

Dana said...

Sorry to hear that you're having to deal with something like that.

One thing I know for sure is that you definitely have a way with words, and if that person doesn't seem to be hearing or understanding or "listening" to you when you're speaking to them, maybe writing them a letter might get that person to understand the situation better. That way you can get everything out without interruption, and he/she can really take the time to absorb what's actually going on.

I've done this sort of thing myself in the past when I felt I wasn't be heard or when someone was refusing to listen, and it usually has worked out well for me.

You are so good with writing, I'm sure you could get your point across to this person and hopefully resolve the situation or at least improve it.

Hope you can work it out.

mamafog said...

In these situations with people close to us, I found that having them read actual reports from professionals helped them to see it wasn't me or my husband making these things up.

Hope you can resolve this easily.

Joeymom said...

Depends on how close. Is this a person who can be taken to appointment and talk with the doctor? Can they see the assessments, the reports from your therapists and professionals? Have they already seen these things and still don't get it?

Talancer said...

I am sure I would love to understand...Just I am not seeing it as you describe it. Everything you said there...yes I said all of that. But I did not say it to hurt your feelings or make you feel bad. You are an amazing mother, and an amazing person, I have no doubts. I have looked at some online stuff about autism but I am not around J all the time as others have noted. I am always attempting to learn and understand, however Alicia D put it the best...Letters do work as well, but open and clear ones. Perhaps I am not understanding because things work out a certain way for me, the sun rises and sets, The moon passes through phases. There is order in life. I am not understanding how when I watch things and having been through the "rebellious" phases with one, you can discount my opinion. However, we are moving forward, and perhaps in time I will "see" as you do.

Anonymous said...

Hi There. I face the same issues, and even when I do try to "gingerly" address it with I statements and speak from my perspective to try to, um enlighten?? the family member(s), it seems to only have temporary impact. I have also tried sharing progress reports (i.e. when my in-laws were in town and the IEP meetings coincided), work that my guy has done that shows his fine motor delays, etc., but that too does not have a lasting impact. They continue to blindly hold on to the notion that my little guy is just peculiar and that he will grow out of this.

I know that they do this because they love my little guy so much, and they are hoping that autism is not the real deal, but they are wrong. Unfortunately, my husband falls into this category as well even though he would never say it out loud to me. I know how he really thinks/feels about it...

You just have to keep giving J all the opportunities in the world to succeed to his potential, and shrug off the people who will not get it. Stay positive, and accept that their view-point is different from yours. Who cares if they judge you or your parenting skills? Don't let that bother you. You have to get over that, or you will drive yourself nuts. You are the mom, you know what is best for your kid better than any one else could even hope to. Don't know if this helps, but it's how I deal with it.

Anonymous said...

This wouldn't be a problem if you did not care what 'someone' says. Can you shrug-off your own feelings from what this 'someone' says? Certainly not easy, and especially if you are with this person for a lot of time or daily.

Don't defend, distract.

Look! Up in the sky! A flock of flying turtles! Or some such.