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

how to explain it to the family??

Posted by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM
  • 19 Replies
I was wondering how you all have told your family, the ones that don't know yet, that your child has autism??

That and how to explain to children that are family (her brother, 5, her cousins range from ages 2-13).

Most of my DD's family knows (the adults) but I haven't really discussed it with the children & I think it will help them understand her better if they knew she had ASD.

Also, she was just Dx-ed & we are still going through the beginning motions & processes.
But I would love to hear all of your stories & advice! :)
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 12:57 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Noahs-Mom
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 1:15 PM
1 mom liked this

Yes I told our families.

My Dad was the easiest to talk to. I called my MIL was a bit harder but yes. I also tell the people that live near us. My youngest is a escape artist. Also my kids can have behaviors that people find unsettling. Verbal ticks so on.

I think honesty is the best polocy.

KatyTylersMom
by on Jun. 21, 2013 at 2:42 PM
2 moms liked this

There are great books for kids about autism.  You can go on amazon and search "kids autism books" and most will let you pretty much read the entire book online before you buy it.  That way you can just sit down with the kids, read the book, and answer their questions as best you can. 

kajira
by Emma on Jun. 21, 2013 at 4:56 PM
2 moms liked this

I told our family he was diagnosed -they had a harder time seeing him as autistic, then *me* when I was diagnosed at the same time. In our case, he's so mildly autistic, it doesn't really cause him any problems - it's his OTHER disorders that cause most of his behavior issues... I just kind of bluntly told them what the doctors said, since we live 1000 miles away, I don't really have to deal with them and we don't talk much about it. When my mom in law comes to visit, she has an extremely hard time being around our family though. She feels sad for my son, and gets frustrated with me because I don't react/talk like an average adult and she doesn't know how to handle being around either one of us. I try to adapt myself to make it as easy as possible for her - but it's very mentally and emotionally exhausting to be around her for more than a few days..... Sometimes, less is more. LOL

I would probably just write down a list of behaviors, how they manifest, and why it makes him autistic and then give that list to the people who want to be around you guys. I would maybe break it down in a simpler fashion for younger children, explaining social and speech difficulities and how to help or play with him and how to ask you for help if it's not working when they try to interact with him. I think it's okay to ask for help when dealing with a special needs child as a kid and it's not "working' - it doesn't mean they aren't a good kid, just a little adult intervention and guidance can sometimes keep playtime going smoothly.

mommyto3121405
by Member on Jun. 21, 2013 at 7:39 PM
1 mom liked this

good luck

JTMOM422
by Brenda on Jun. 21, 2013 at 9:46 PM
1 mom liked this

For my ds we have told all the adults. My older nieces and nephews know my son has ASD but they have friends that have it. The younger ones are too young to explain it to. They just wouldn't understand. My dd will be 5 in Sept and my son just turned 3. She knows that he goes to therapies and that his "teacher" comes to the house everyday but that is all she understands. I think as she gets older she will ask more questions and we will explain it the best we can then

Charizma77
by Carissa on Jun. 21, 2013 at 10:18 PM
1 mom liked this

We told close famy before he got dx that he was on a waiting list to be evaluated. Other family and friends we told shortly after. We didn't beat around the bush, we just mentioned his dx and told them a little about it. I started puting things aobut autism on Facebook and would get a lot of comments and found friends and family of mine how also had a child on the spectrum that I had no idea..l

Rosebud27aj
by Amanda on Jun. 21, 2013 at 11:38 PM

Honestly, we just came out and told everybody, my side and dh's side. We didn't really have to explain anything about autism because dh's side already has autistic family members and my side, my mom knows about autism because she worked with autistic kids before. Everyone else was very understanding and supportive to our boys. My boys don't have cousins, so we didn't have to explain it to any kids. 

coliemamiof2
by on Jun. 22, 2013 at 10:43 AM
Omg, I know what you mean! My MIL is the same way! She was in total denial about my DD being autistic & always said "oh, she's just running slower than some kids, she's just fine" - she, originally, was the reason I didn't get my daughter evaluated sooner. But when two & half came around & she still wasn't talking, I knew I had to go get her evaluated. Now she doesn't want to talk to us...maybe bc she was wrong?? But I've decided to give her her space, I think we both need it :p it truly does get exhausting...

Quoting kajira:

I told our family he was diagnosed -they had a harder time seeing him as autistic, then *me* when I was diagnosed at the same time. In our case, he's so mildly autistic, it doesn't really cause him any problems - it's his OTHER disorders that cause most of his behavior issues... I just kind of bluntly told them what the doctors said, since we live 1000 miles away, I don't really have to deal with them and we don't talk much about it. When my mom in law comes to visit, she has an extremely hard time being around our family though. She feels sad for my son, and gets frustrated with me because I don't react/talk like an average adult and she doesn't know how to handle being around either one of us. I try to adapt myself to make it as easy as possible for her - but it's very mentally and emotionally exhausting to be around her for more than a few days..... Sometimes, less is more. LOL

I would probably just write down a list of behaviors, how they manifest, and why it makes him autistic and then give that list to the people who want to be around you guys. I would maybe break it down in a simpler fashion for younger children, explaining social and speech difficulities and how to help or play with him and how to ask you for help if it's not working when they try to interact with him. I think it's okay to ask for help when dealing with a special needs child as a kid and it's not "working' - it doesn't mean they aren't a good kid, just a little adult intervention and guidance can sometimes keep playtime going smoothly.

coliemamiof2
by on Jun. 22, 2013 at 10:49 AM
Yea, we did the same...but have put off telling the kids bc we thought it would be harder for them to understand. But then their are things that my DD doesn't like...like getting hugs from other kids, getting touched, patted on the head, & playing with them - she might give them 10 minutes tops of her time & then when she's really into something by herself & someone interrupts her, she starts screaming...& they don't understand this. & I have a hard time explaining her autism to them bc they are so young.

Quoting Charizma77:

We told close famy before he got dx that he was on a waiting list to be evaluated. Other family and friends we told shortly after. We didn't beat around the bush, we just mentioned his dx and told them a little about it. I started puting things aobut autism on Facebook and would get a lot of comments and found friends and family of mine how also had a child on the spectrum that I had no idea..l

Koltie6
by on Jun. 22, 2013 at 10:47 PM
1 mom liked this
The older kids have probably heard of World of Jenks. It's a new documentary that follows the lives of 3 teenagers. Chad has Autism. Some High Schools are even watching it in class. Younger kids are usually easy and want to be the child's helper. My son is 6 and my nephew 5 wants to be his caretaker. He warns us when he thinks my son might be in danger. He helps him with difficult tasks. I think most people want to learn how they can help. The ones that don't we spend very little time with .
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