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Question
Posted by: Linka | 2011-08-30

Relationship with mom

Hi doc...my son 8 yr old has recently been diagnosed with autism spectrum dysorder, very high functioning...., some ocd traits , and anxiety dysorder...with some SI stuff, low self esteem exct.
Me , hubby and 2 kiddos really went through a terrible time the last 3-4 months with meltdowns, oppositional behavior, exct, untill he has been put on meds, better parenting skills....much less verbal abusive behaviour from son, no meltdowns, exct.
Me and the kids went to visit my parents for the holidays...I tried to explain to them why he is being so difficult...they, especially my mom just " don''t get it" ...being very rude towards my son...who doesn''t understand all the non verbal stuff anyway! I was in a terrible stress and emotional state when I came back home. Now when I talk to her over the phone she keeps on being sarcastic....saying it''s my bad parenting that caused it....that when I try and avoid meltdowns or prevent sensory overload, I''m being manipulated by my son, that I''m afraid of him (I''m not)...he is only being rude and will cause me terrible heartache in the future (according to her)!!!! I told her over the phone today that if she keeps on being so rude I''m not going to talk to her anymore....she said that''s fine, then I can hang up the phone...What I didn''t do, because I''ve been in a dubble binding my whole live and so desperately seeks her exceptance!
Must I ignore her, have less contact or just keep a relationship going where I never share things about hubby and the kids...for the sake of having a relationship with her...I''m an only child and at the end they will become my responsibility.....

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

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

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

2
Our users say:
Posted by: Maria | 2011-08-31

Linka I would back off and give your mom some time to process what you''ve told her. Older people don''t understand the new medical diagnoses... in their frame of reference any child acting out is just being naughty. Do what you know is right for your son, with or without your parents'' approval. You are in a much better position than your mom is to judge what the correct response to your sons behaviour is.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: cybershrink | 2011-08-31

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

Reply to cybershrink

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