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Gotta problem with another Autism mom...Any ideas?

My four year old son is autistic but pretty high functioning. We have an "autism mom" group at his school and there are about ten members. We go out for coffee and discuss the problems of raising a child with autism and sometimes do outings to local parks and the like. One of the other moms has been working her way through the group, attaching to a different mom every other week, driving them crazy. We don't want to exclude her from the group, because we all know how hard it is to parent a child with autism and want to give moral support to each other.
What she does is basically monopolize every conversation with talk of how "autism is becoming so normal that pretty much every kid will have it some day." and talking about "the spectrum" as if it is a cool hangout spot like a nightclub. She tells us all about how her sister's kid is autistic and her sister won't believe her and get him tested. We have met her sister and her son and there is no way he is autistic. She sees autism in every person she sees. I was talking about my husbands eating habits and she cut in and said he must be autistic. It is driving us all INSANE to deal with this woman. Oh, and her own autistic kid was diagnosed only after she was in school for about two hours. They called this woman and asked her "Can your daughter speak ?" and she said "Not really." How do you not think that a four year old NOT BEING ABLE TO SPEAK is normal and not get them tested for SOMETHING? They also found out at school that her daughter is completely blind in one eye. Every picture this woman has shown us of her daughter, back to when she was less than a year old, her daughter is squinting that eye shut! Apparently that was normal to her too.
We all have autistic kids in this group, one of us had twin girls that are non vocal and severely autistic to the point where they will probably have to be institutionalized later in life. NOT ONE of us spends half as much time complaining about every last detail of our lives like she does. Its hard most of the time to get a word in edgewise, never mind tell our own stories. Our last coffee day she interrupted another mom who was telling us proudly about an award her son got to say that she was pretty sure the lady that checked out her groceries last week was autistic.
We would all fell bad black balling her, since it is soooo hard to be an autism mom :( Anybody have any ideas to help? Thanks :)


Asked by Anonymous at 3:26 PM on Mar. 17, 2011 in General Parenting

This question is closed.
Answers (7)
  • It is very hard to be a mom with a child with special needs. Maybe you can all get together and let her know that she needs to share the time you all have together as a group. Just let her know that you want to hear what she has to say, but that the rest of you need to talk sometimes too.

    Answer by TARARENEE at 3:33 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • Honesly, I had a completely different answer typed about maybe everyone doing a group "intervention" and pointing out to her how she "sees" autism in everyone and it's disturbing the harmony of the group but honestly why should you add another "component" to your life to deal with? Support Groups are support groups for a reason - it is a group with like minded, issued people gathering together - EVERY person isn't always going to fit into your group socially and I think in order to remain supportive to each other as a cohesive unit it's okay to be selective. If you truly want to be open and anyone can participate then I think you just have to take the sane moms with the kookoo birds because you are not going to change her behavior. I think this is a take it or leave it situation unfortunately for you ladies.

    Answer by 8Tinkerboo8 at 3:34 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • Perhaps she to is Autistic? Her current obsession being Autism. ;0)

    Seriously though. I have no idea. I can understand how that would be annoying but I can't think of a good and polite way to exclude her or get her to stop. Worse comes to worse you be blunt. 'While we are all here to support each other this is also our break and we would appreciate it is every subject wasn't about Autism. I understand this is all new to you and we would be happy to help you but you need to stop bringing it up constantly.'

    Answer by But_Mommie at 3:33 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • It sounds like there has been alot of talking about it "behind the scenes" and not enough while it is happening. Make a pact with the other girls to not discuss it after the fact, and to address it during the group. When she is monopolizing, someone can say, "I really need to talk right now, so I would like to have some time to discuss my issue." If she cuts someone off, you can say, "I'm sorry, I really need to finish. Then, I will give you a turn." Many monopolizers really don't know that they are doing it. They haven't learned about the rules of communication. You guys can help her learn that by setting appropriste boundaries through these types of process comments. You will probably be surprised at how receptive she will be to the boundaries . . . they are good for her, as well.

    Answer by ImaginationMama at 3:34 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • Yikes! It may come down to telling her that its really hard to get a word in edgewise when she keeps interrupting everyone. If she can't give everyone equal time to speak,then you will no longer be interesting in her being in the group.
    That would annoy the hell out of me as well.
    BTW,I have a moderately autistic son who's 9

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 3:31 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • interested*

    Answer by butterflyblue19 at 3:31 PM on Mar. 17, 2011

  • erm...munchausen by proxy?

    Answer by do_me22 at 4:15 PM on Mar. 17, 2011