Our expert says:
This is a complex field getting steadily more complex. This often happens over the history of a disorder. First it isn;t recognized, but puzzles some parents or individuals ; then a diagnosis is proposed, then many receive the diagnosis. But especially if it isn;'t clear what the causes and best treatments are, experts start to pick at it, and describe a broader range of related conditions ( a spectrum ) and we accumulate a number of different but related diagnoses, without necessarily gaining a great deal from doing so. But then somewhere along that path, something gets noticed that makes sense of the patterns we have been noticing and describing, and this often leads to clearer diagnoses and better treatments.
It sounds as though you and your husband and kids have been managin g very well to get tyhings under useful control. But yes, it is really hard for the older generation ( and those who haven't lived with the problems daily ) to understand both a new-fangled diagnosis, especially when it just seems to be providing excuses for old-fashioned bad behaviour.
And your son would probably be disturbed by the new environment and new people, and become a bit harder for them to understand.
You may need to reconsider the wisdom of such visits ; and recognize that its unkind to yourself to expect too much of your son or parents under such circumstances.
Her highly unhelpful responses seem a part of her double-binding and other unhelpful character traits lifelong, rather than being special to this situation. And there is some evidence in a number of conditions, including this, that there may be even vaguer disorders within the spectrum to be seen in relatives. So she may have a degree of your son's problems, and insensitivity to verbal and non-verbal cues from others, and she is displaying this.
Maybe you can keep the relationship going, but with less prolonged and close contacts.
In an odd way, "naughty" was a spectrum disorder in your mom's day - it covered a multitude of bad or inconvenient behaviours, for a wide range of reasons
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