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How to explain this?

My son is supsected as having autism (we will be seeing a specialist in a few months). We are trying to explain to family why we sometimes can't go to family functions. For example, we missed a birthday party recently because are son was very upset and crying for no reason. It took a long time to settle him down, and then we were uncomfortable taking him because he still seemed out of sorts. He doesn't have tantrums.. he just will cry for no reason that I can tell. What should we do when family just doesn't seem to get it.

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CSJMommy3

Asked by CSJMommy3 at 5:04 PM on Aug. 1, 2010 in General Parenting

Level 8 (209 Credits)
Answers (7)
  • All you can do is explain it the best you can. If they don't understand, thats not your fault. If its close,immediate family...maybe give them some pamphlets of information from the hospital about his condition so that they can educate themselves a little bit about it and maybe that will help them to understand a little better.
    Good Luck..and don't feel bad when you can't follow through with plans! Sometimes changes are necessary! :)
    kimberlyinberea

    Answer by kimberlyinberea at 5:09 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • I would just set them down and tell them there are times where you dont feel comfortable going when your son gets upset.
    prego_jessi

    Answer by prego_jessi at 5:09 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • Direct and honest communication and educate them about the situation. Let them know how it makes you feel when you can't go to family functions and then when they say it would be ok to go let them know how much worse you would feel if you did go. Explain that they may not understand how or why you feel the way that you do but that you really need their support right now and that if they can't give it then you will call them when you feel more confident about your situation and are better equipt to handle it. Side note: my son has aspergers. We've struggled with a lot of things depsite this being a very functional form of autism. The key to maintaining a normal life is to stop caring what others think and do what you need to for your son no matter where you are. Easier said than done, but it gets easier as you go. Autistic children need social situations to learn, get support for you and your SO
    Cassarah

    Answer by Cassarah at 5:27 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • Be honest. Tell them how it is. They'll either understand or they won't, but that's all you can do.
    JazzlikeMraz

    Answer by JazzlikeMraz at 5:33 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • How old is he? What behaviors make you suspect he's ASD? I'm an HR Director for a private special ed school in CT and I have access to "the best in the biz". If you'd like, contact me privately and I will get you as much info and help as I can. Good luck!
    FeelinYummy

    Answer by FeelinYummy at 5:46 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • We go thru this ALL OF THE TIME!! Let me tell you it gets better!! Just try and explain to the best of your ability and walk away, they will either accept it nicely or they won't. Sometimes they will just feel the need to make snarky remarks or well meaning suggestions,its up to you on how you handle this. After the first year I finally had enough and told them all to back off and that we would no longer be explaining our childrens issues to them yet again. Be gracious and apologize when you cant attend, drop off a gift when warrented. Its about all you can do really. HUGS!!
    mamallamaof2

    Answer by mamallamaof2 at 10:50 PM on Aug. 1, 2010

  • As someone with three kids on the autism spectrum (first diagnosed a couple years ago), I have told people up front, and explained some of the things that give them the most trouble. Not all family members believe it (they've never seen the obsessive behaviors or big meltdowns!), but most have been understanding and accepted our limits.
    mamahobbit

    Answer by mamahobbit at 1:02 PM on Aug. 2, 2010

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