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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

I need a little advice

Posted by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM
  • 8 Replies

 Good morning ladies!

I have been in an on going battle with my brother and sister in law about my four year old niece and the possibility she may have Autism.

I don't know much about the disease and they know even less but it is very evident that my niece has a special need of some sort. My reading, researching and discussions with other parents have lead me to believe she should be tested for Autism. I love my nieces, my brother, his wife very much and I know how scarey it must be to watch your child not be like other children. I can only assume that fear and ignorance is the main reason why they won't take her to be looked at and tested.

I fear that the longer they ignore the problem the taller the deck gets stacked against her and I do not believe that to be fair. She should have the best care and support they are able to give her and they don't give her any.

I have a two part question; first if a four year old child displays behaviour such as not knowing how to communicate, not playing or engaging with other children, not making eye contact, not knowing how to properly express pain, hurt, happines, hunger, having abnormal attachments to particular toys (for her they have to be "matching" and if one goes missing she FREAKS for HOURS), she also at this age couldn't tell you who she was, who everyday people in her life are and even people like my mother who sees her everyday can't get a hug or aknowledgement when she is around, are these indicative of a child who has Autism or am I just overreacting? And if she should be tested how do I get her parenst to understand "the sooner, the better?"? Are there books? Videos? Pamphlets? Something that can help them feel comfortable knowing it's okay if she is diagnosed and she has the potential to leave a functionng life if they are willing to put in the effort?

If I am putting way too much into this and need to back off, please tell me, otherwise I really need some input. Thanks in advance!

 

by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:07 PM
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Replies (1-8):
BarrettsMom0729
by on Oct. 9, 2012 at 1:23 PM

I can relate to your brother and sister-in-law, I've had an extremely hard time accepting from what others see in my son thats 2. He doesn't talk at all, is very clingy to certain toys, and doesn't play with other children- like he's in his own little world. Its hard for people to let in the idea that there may be something different about there children from others. Honestly it would make me livid for someone to say anything to me about it, but as some time has past now its getting a little easier to understand what others are seeing (good days and bad days come with the thought of it for me, as his mother). 

As parents you never want to believe something is out of the norm, and it is a very scarey feeling and thought... It may just take time to get your brother and his wife to see it too. Tossing the idea out to them every so often may get their minds rolling on the idea, but talking to them about it every time you see them may not be the best idea (like some of my family and friends did to me). Just give it some time and see what happens. Of course at the same time the earlier its realized the more positive the results of theropy and support will be.

Don't worry your neice will be fine, she is very obviously loved and cared for by you and your family.

JTMOM422
by Brenda on Oct. 9, 2012 at 3:54 PM

I do not think you are putting too much into this. You love your niece very much that is clear. At the age of 4 she needs to be evaluated by the school system. My ds is 2 1/2 and has PDD-NOS. I am a firm believer in therapy. I am his biggest advocate. I question everyone who does therapy with him. From the type of degree they hold to how long they have been working with children with Autism. Does she talk at all? If so maybe you could convince her parents to see a speech therapist at the local school. If the therapist sees more than she can always bring it up to your brother and sister in law. That way there is an outsider who thinks there might be more than just speech. There is a website called Autism Speaks. I would check that out. They may answer alot of questions for you. Now to be on your brother and sister in laws side. No parent wants to hear that someone thinks something is wrong with their child. Even though I knew that something was up with my ds I didn't like the idea of anyone bringing up things to me. I thought it was just their way of telling me that I wasn't a good parent. But once I started looking at it not being about me as a parent and about my son I was able to go and get him the help he needed. I wish you the best of luck.

jennykory
by Member on Oct. 9, 2012 at 7:15 PM
I had several people tell me they suspected what was wrong with my son prior to his diagnosis. I think for me it was just who he was and I was so use to it I didn't see it as anything different I look back now and shake my head. Who else has a dent in their toddler bed from having to hold their child in bed till he fell asleep so he wouldn't hurt himself climbing and jumping off things.
Rachelle11503
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 10:45 AM

hmm...that's a tough one. I wish someone would have encouraged me to get my daughter evaluated a lot sooner (She got dx'd at 8 years) but it was the opposite in my case, everyone said it was "okay". On the other hand, it is their child so you can't push too hard. Oh and you can't rely on the school to pick up on these things, as they didn't with my daughter because she had good grades and hid her issues fairly well, or it was disguised as just innattention. She did suffer from not getting earlier treatment. She has severe anxiety now.
I would find a pretty basic printout of Autism symptoms and casually give it to the parents and just say something like "hey I was browsing the internet the other day and found this and it reminded me of "child's name"...what do you think?" That way it doesn't feel like you are telling them what to do and your putting the ball in their court.

amonkeymom
by Amy on Oct. 10, 2012 at 1:46 PM

I agree.  

Welcome to the group.

Quoting JTMOM422:

I do not think you are putting too much into this. You love your niece very much that is clear. At the age of 4 she needs to be evaluated by the school system. My ds is 2 1/2 and has PDD-NOS. I am a firm believer in therapy. I am his biggest advocate. I question everyone who does therapy with him. From the type of degree they hold to how long they have been working with children with Autism. Does she talk at all? If so maybe you could convince her parents to see a speech therapist at the local school. If the therapist sees more than she can always bring it up to your brother and sister in law. That way there is an outsider who thinks there might be more than just speech. There is a website called Autism Speaks. I would check that out. They may answer alot of questions for you. Now to be on your brother and sister in laws side. No parent wants to hear that someone thinks something is wrong with their child. Even though I knew that something was up with my ds I didn't like the idea of anyone bringing up things to me. I thought it was just their way of telling me that I wasn't a good parent. But once I started looking at it not being about me as a parent and about my son I was able to go and get him the help he needed. I wish you the best of luck.


Basherte
by Silver Member on Oct. 10, 2012 at 2:22 PM

The sooner a dignosis is done the better for the child. The easier life will be. The longer they wait the taller the deck gets stacked against her being able to have a fully functioning life. 


I look at it this way. My son being diagnosed as early as he was is a blessing. All kids have challenges in life. My sons challenges are just a little different. He's a bright, loving, wonderful little boy. He just needs some help in certain areas. The sooner that they and she can learn to deal with the challenges the better chance she has of being able to deal with every day life, and not having a meltdown at the smallest things. She will learn how to better control her reactions to things and those things will be easier to deal with as well. 

Every child no matter what, has the right to have the best care that is available to them. If the parents of said child refuse to make sure that their child has the best care, then maybe it's time to bring in a third party. Not necessarily CPS. Yet. Although that is an option.

Good luck.

XSummersXmommyX
by on Oct. 10, 2012 at 3:01 PM

 I went through the reverse...everyone around me said "Oh stop being dramatic, just wait and see...Summer'll talk sooner then later!"...."Summers just picky about who she talks too, and associates with"..."She likes watching her bottle spin on the floor for hours at the time,...ALL kids do that! "....but i KNEW somthing was off...and i went against what EVERYONE was saying and got my daughter evaluated...

even when the Dx came back as PDD-NOS, OCD, and SPD...my inlaws and daughters father INSISTED on a second, and THIRD opinion!!! Can you say DENIAL?! Even after all 3 dr.s agreed on the dx's they all STILL have a hard time seeing,accepting, and understanding....

  Whats VERY difficult in your case is that the kid isn't YOURS....its your sisters...so you have VERY LITTLE input or control of what can be done. All you can do is continue to TRY and get them to see what you're seeing...and YES the longer you wait to get the eval, and the LATER you get the dx, the more difficult it is. Kids with ASD tend to regress if not properly treated. It's even MORE difficult to get the services/therapies the child will need....if the child is over 4 you can kiss EI goodbye..since i believe each state has  a diff age requirment for "aging out" i could be wrong on that...but i know had i waited my daughter wouldnt of gotten the year and a half of ABA.......and i can't bare to think of where and how she would have been if she didnt get what she did, cause OMFG it made a TREMENDOUS difference for/with her!

   Look things up online, and try to educate your sister in an open minded, helpful way (even tho it sounds like you have already been trying to do that)....(((((((((((((HUGS)))))))))))))) hopefully she will open her eyes, and stop looking through her rose tinted glasses to see whats really going on.

  Best of luck to you, and your family.

magickbaby
by on Oct. 11, 2012 at 12:13 AM
Wow that's so touchy. Parrents don't want to be told somethings wrong with ttheir kid from doctor , let alone from a family member. She definitly sounds like she's on the spectrum. I don't know what to tell you except good luck and keep us updated. ((((Hugs))))
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