See what CafeMoms are saying about saving time this holiday season..
DS is 15 and diagnosed with Aspergers. He's been in therapy about 4yrs and while he's been working on learning acceptable social behaviors, I've been working on understanding how his brain's wired. Some days I think I've figured it out but I can't figure out how he processes things emotionally-things that would really upset most people (or at least me) don't seem to faze him, unless he's internalizing everything which really freaks me out because that what I do a lot and I'm pretty sure that helped contribute to my depression.
His father and I divorced when he was 3 and he's lived with me but visits there frequently (Tues and Thurs afternoons and spends the night every other weekend). I've asked his father to go with him to therapy numerous times to try to understand DS but he always had an excuse to I quit asking. I see his treatment of DS as neglectful, possibly emotionally abusive but don't know if I'm overreacting because I'm his mom and his father isn't doing what I think he should or if his behavior could really be considered abusive. And I have no clue what to do.
He expects A/B from DS and while I think he's capable, I can understand why it didn't happen last semester. He had very difficult classes: Academic Earth Science, Honors Geometry, and Spanish. He passed everything with an 89, 84, and 77 respectively (Spanish went from a 68 to 77 in 5 weeks when I took him to a tutor). This year was the first year he was on swim team, something he LOVES! And his dad kept threatening that he wouldn't be allowed to swim if his grades weren't up. They have a mandatory grade requirement for participation but his dad's requirement was higher.
Tuesday was his last swim practice before Conference meet yesterday. If they're late or don't show, they can't swim in the next meet. DS was committed to the team. it's the first time he committed to ANYTHING other than video games! At 405 he texted and asked if I would tell his dad to take him to practice (his dad knew it was at 430 and told him the night before he would take/pick up since it was "his day"). I called, very angry, and told him he needed to take him right then! His dad was angry that DS told me they hadn't left yet and told him "don't tell you mom what happens here or it will make things worse for you" I perceive that as a threat and don't know what he plans to do to make things "worse".
DS was barely on time but I had already left the coach a vm so she would know what was going on and she told DS he was ok and would still swim. His dad didn't come to the meet, and didn't even ask how he did but did tell him he needed to apologize for "disrespecting" him by telling me he hadn't taken him to practice and w hen DS said he disrespected him too, he said "you're my son, I didn't disrespect you. I told you to do you homework until I was ready to take you". DS's stepsisters aren't required or expected to finish all homework before practice/games nor are they told to "wait until I'm ready to take you". Usually DS's father is coaching their sports, which began 4yrs ago he told me he couldn't help with DS with basketball because work was busy. And when DS told him he's coming here today instead of going there he said "no you're not. it's my day".
This wasn't' an isolated incident. His father always plays the "my day" card when DS has something else to do but has no problem giving up his day when he has something to do with/for his stepdaughters. Our custody agreement isn't even legal! It's filed with the divorce but not signed by a judge and he doesn't care that DS is 15 and developing his own mind so he should be given a chance to express what HE wants. He obviously treats DS differently and I think DS has to see that on some level. I'm just not sure what level or if Aspergers really is like a defense mechanism that shields him from the rejections that would really upset others. I know it's still his father and no matter how bad he treats him, DS will still love him. But, I'm honestly worried how his dad's behavior is affecting his mental health.
DS is supposed to go there this weekend and I really don't want him to. Since his dad was already mad that he was "disrespected" because DS asked me to tell his dad to take him to practice, he's probably going to be fuming when DS rides the bus here after school instead of there. This is the first time DS has chosen not to go to his dad's and I don't think it was an easy decision for him to make so I'm pretty sure he won't decide not to go this weekend, also. I don't think DS should be punished for anything because he did absolutely nothing wrong and I DO NOT think ANY child should be encouraged or specifically told to keep anything from anyone, especially their parent and be threatened that things would be "made worse" if they do tell.
I don't know what to do! My instinct tells me to call his dad and cuss him out but I know that wouldn't fix anything and would make things worse for DS since he "told me" what he's dad has said. But, I also want to CPS and file a report of emotional abuse because, to me, that's what his dad's doing. I'm just not sure if anyone else will see it like that. I feel if I say anything at all, DS will suffer the consequences of his dad's anger, but if I keep quiet things will never change. :(