We're back! I thought this was an extremely important subject to write on because so many special needs parents end up battling their own families. A few things I heard:
"He's just a boy"
"He'll outgrow it"
"He doesn't look autistic"
" There's nothing wrong with him "
" Boys, please don't act like HIM"
" Why does he chew on a pacifier (this was a therapeutic oral input device, not a pacifier)?
"Just spank him"
These were things my very own family and friends have said about my children.
So how do we deal with family members (mom, grandparents, aunts, uncles, close friends) when it hurts. I lost a lot of people who I thought were my friends. Unfortunately sometimes that's the sad reality.
Grow thick skin. They are uneducated and uniformed. YOU know your child best.
Give them books to read. I suggest this book that is a "quick read". It's called "uniquely human"
Try to explain why your child is behaving as they are. (Sensory, meltdowns, etc.) Explain WHY your child uses a chewie, compression clothing, weighted blankets, or aac devices. Who knows??! They may want to know!
Explain sensory input and avoidance (check out my previous blog or share with a family member)
If you're not invited to family functions with your child, while other children will be there, decline the invite. Your child is your family.
Find your people! I have three very close girlfriends and between the 4 of us we have 9 kids on the spectrum. We get each other. We love each child in our little group for the unique children they are.
If your family won't accept your child.. byyyyyyye.
Lastly, father's tend to be a bit more resistant to accepting a diagnosis. Let them process and grieve. If they are open to it, give them some articles and websites to check out. I'll post links below
As previously mentioned, "uniquely human" is my go to. I've read 50-75 books on special needs and he breaks it down quickly.
2. A friend named Simon - https://a.co/d/8UktXht
3. Uniquely wired : https://a.co/d/4BsAnlS
4. A longer book - "The Challenging Child" https://a.co/d/42bqvyE
This is longer, however it does break down the different types of children on the spectrum and have to cope with some of their behaviors.
Lastly, I hate to say this but it is very possible that the people closest to you will not respect the diagnosis. Keep in mind, you know your child best. Stay strong and advocate for your children! As always please reach out if you need any help with navigating the process is a special needs parent.
Xoxo. Stay strong mama and papa bears!