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Continue caring for my nephew, or stop? (UPDATE post #75) - Page 2

post #21 of 115
In all honesty, a lot of how you describe your nephew sounds a lot like my son at that age. My son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) just after his 3rd birthday. So I think you are right to be concerned.

I heard it all too. Relatives said that DS's speech problems were due to the way I talked to him (too adult-like). They told me that boys are just slower in these things. Parents of typical kids said things like, "oh, mine was just like that at that age", when they really had no idea what daily life was like for us. Even now, years after the offical diagnosis, some family members refuse to understand it and think DS's difficulties are a bad reflection on us as parents. It angers me and is why I limit interaction with many of our relatives.

Personally, I think you should do everything you can to encourage this child's parents to get an eval. But in the end, they are the only ones who can follow through with that.

There are things you can do, if you want to choose to continuing watching your nephew. But that may mean changing your methods of communication and discipline as well as altering the types of activities you do and the places you go. Whether or not you have the time and energy to do that is a decision you and your DH will have to make together.
post #22 of 115
Oh gosh.

I'm just so sorry that you are facing this.

No advice here. I have no idea what I'd do but I do really respect you for taking on what you have thus far.
post #23 of 115
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lollybrat View Post
In all honesty, a lot of how you describe your nephew sounds a lot like my son at that age. My son was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) just after his 3rd birthday. So I think you are right to be concerned.

I heard it all too. Relatives said that DS's speech problems were due to the way I talked to him (too adult-like). They told me that boys are just slower in these things. Parents of typical kids said things like, "oh, mine was just like that at that age", when they really had no idea what daily life was like for us. Even now, years after the offical diagnosis, some family members refuse to understand it and think DS's difficulties are a bad reflection on us as parents. It angers me and is why I limit interaction with many of our relatives.

Personally, I think you should do everything you can to encourage this child's parents to get an eval. But in the end, they are the only ones who can follow through with that.

There are things you can do, if you want to choose to continuing watching your nephew. But that may mean changing your methods of communication and discipline as well as altering the types of activities you do and the places you go. Whether or not you have the time and energy to do that is a decision you and your DH will have to make together.
Oh thank you for this! I just don't know how to communicate to him, kwim? I don't want to go as far as to say he might have autism or other SN, because I don't exactly know that territory, kwim? I'd feel strange posting on the SN board because I don't have a diagnosis for him, you know? What if it's nothing?

*I* am not ashamed of my nephew. I understand kids are different- my post is not about his differences, it's about how to deal with them and help him (really whether to to so). I really want to continue caring for him- I want to be a positive figure in his life. I want him to have someone to count on when he is older, because I know that his current support system is flawed.

My DH told me that his aunt was like this with her first daughter (now 13yo). He said that she was always partying, and would always bring her daughter along to the clubs and such. Her husband is a musician and they live the life of drugs, alcohol, etc. (though I don't think she participates.. they're just around it) If her daughter wasn't brought along to the clubs, she was left home with her grandma for days at a time. Currently the 13yo spends her free time partying, drinking, smoking, hanging out with gang affiliated people.. her mother knows this and only allows her to go if my SIL (16yo) goes along so they can keep eachother safe. (My MIL has the same rationale about the situation). Not "all star" parents imo.

DHs family isn't the most attentive family. I truly don't understand their rationale for many things and many more things strike me as completely bizarre. I dont fully blame them for DN but I wish theyd open their eyes to the sweet little boy who needs help, love, and someone to be there for him when he needs it most.
post #24 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
Oh thank you for this! I just don't know how to communicate to him, kwim? I don't want to go as far as to say he might have autism or other SN, because I don't exactly know that territory, kwim? I'd feel strange posting on the SN board because I don't have a diagnosis for him, you know? What if it's nothing?
I know what you mean. I am certainly not saying that your nephew has autism (or anything else), just that you describe some things that are very concerning in that regard. That's why he really need to have a full eval done.

Right now it sounds like his mean forms of communication are screaming, acting out, and physical aggression. Obviously these are not acceptable. But no one has provided him other tools to communicate, so he must be a very frustrated litttle boy. Even if he does not have a SN and is just delayed, you can still draw upon methods that are used with children who do have autism or communication disorders. They can still be helpful.

One idea is to try introducing some signs. Another is to try a very basic picture communication system. Start with pictures for a few objects (photos or cut out from magazines) and glue them to index cards. Teach him to give you the card for the object he wants. For either signs or pictures, ues favorite toys or snacks as a good start. If he is able to imitate actions, you can use your DD to demonstrate what he shoudl do. If he is not able to imitate, you will need to hand-over-hand teach him. It may take a while for him to catch on.

If he is having a hard time processing verbal language, you will need to break it down for him. Choose one langauge (English or Spanish) and use it with him consistatntly. Be prepared to state things simply and repeat them. You may need to teach him how to follow simple one-step commands by gently walking him through the action while repeating the words.

It's a daunting task to try to teach language in this way and it takes a lot of time and energy. And to be honest, I can't say how effective these methods will be if they are not reinforced at home.
post #25 of 115
I think your DH needs to grow up.
post #26 of 115
[QUOTE=Lollybrat;15924799]Even if he does not have a SN and is just delayed, you can still draw upon methods that are used with children who do have autism or communication disorders. They can still be helpful.


This, i have a 4 year old with autism and a 6 year old who is NT (so far) and the tools I have learned for the younger have been so valuable with the older. The older is currently being screened for aspergers, but I also use these tools with the other children I care for. They work
post #27 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by EarthMamaToBe View Post
I think your DH needs to grow up.
I honestly don't get the hostile responses toward the OP's husband. I'm not saying I agree with his stated rationale for not wanting to take care of this child anymore, but don't the people who are actually in the OP's immediate family have any say about how their time as a family is spent?

I mean, if your child felt sorry for one of her friends, or even a cousin, who was in a bad home situation, and was always wanting to bring this child along to stay at your house and go on family outings -- but you felt this child was negatively affecting your family-time and your family dynamics, wouldn't you have a right to draw the line on how much time this other child spent in your home and with your family?

I'm guessing that if the husband weren't using "embarrassment" as his reason for not wanting to include the other child, those of you who are criticizing might be more sympathetic? Maybe you're not so much thinking it's wrong for him to want it to be just the family -- you just don't like his reasoning?

It IS possible that his reasoning goes deeper than what he's actually said. People don't always self-examine enough to even understand themselves why they feel the way they do about certain things. I really recommend that the OP take some time to talk with her husband and ask him whether this is "just" about embarrassment -- or if he has some other reasons for feeling like this is not a good situation for their family.

I really don't think it's ever a good idea to just ignore the feelings of those in our immediate families in order to go on a mission to help others, no matter how needy those others are.
post #28 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I honestly don't get the hostile responses toward the OP's husband. I'm not saying I agree with his stated rationale for not wanting to take care of this child anymore, but don't the people who are actually in the OP's immediate family have any say about how their time as a family is spent?
I agree with this.

The OPer's first obligation is to her own kids, and to herself and her spouse. Not to other people's children.

I see red flags all over the place for the child (I also have a child on the spectrum) but I couldn't try to *fix* a child who wasn't getting help else where. It's OK to set boundaries in a family, and a married couple need to figure out what will work for them.

I think that you need to be realistic about what you can and cannot do for your nephew, and find a way to make peace with that.
post #29 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I honestly don't get the hostile responses toward the OP's husband. I'm not saying I agree with his stated rationale for not wanting to take care of this child anymore, but don't the people who are actually in the OP's immediate family have any say about how their time as a family is spent?

I mean, if your child felt sorry for one of her friends, or even a cousin, who was in a bad home situation, and was always wanting to bring this child along to stay at your house and go on family outings -- but you felt this child was negatively affecting your family-time and your family dynamics, wouldn't you have a right to draw the line on how much time this other child spent in your home and with your family?

I'm guessing that if the husband weren't using "embarrassment" as his reason for not wanting to include the other child, those of you who are criticizing might be more sympathetic? Maybe you're not so much thinking it's wrong for him to want it to be just the family -- you just don't like his reasoning?

It IS possible that his reasoning goes deeper than what he's actually said. People don't always self-examine enough to even understand themselves why they feel the way they do about certain things. I really recommend that the OP take some time to talk with her husband and ask him whether this is "just" about embarrassment -- or if he has some other reasons for feeling like this is not a good situation for their family.

I really don't think it's ever a good idea to just ignore the feelings of those in our immediate families in order to go on a mission to help others, no matter how needy those others are.
I think his rational, as stated, is really immature, and unkind; I suspect that is why people are saying he needs to grow up. Most said that if there are other reasons that he is not giving, that is a different story. In that case, he needs to express that. Husbands sometimes need to be told to grow up, just like the rest of us.

I also don't think that there is no obligation in these kinds of situations. We have a human obligation, here there is a family obligation, and also, I think, an obligation because there is love. These things bring responsibilities, even if they cause stress. Yes, it can be hard for other kids, but that is how they learn about compassion and also duty.

Now, there is a point where one has to weigh obligations to one's own family, and that can really only be done by the people in the situation, but to say there are no obligations, as some have, is totally wrong IMO.
post #30 of 115
I didn't read all of the the responses, but wanted to say that speech delays are common in children from bilingual homes. They are processing two languages and while they often understand both languages, speaking them comes later than for kids learning only one. I was one of those kids. My mother only spoke German to me and my father spoke English. Needless to say, my English took a long time to develop as I was not around him as much (my mom was home with me until I started kindergarten) and growing up in Georgia not too many other people including my father's family, spoke or understood German. There were quite a few years where communicating with certain adults in my life was frustrating when I trying to find the right English words.

-Astrid
post #31 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluegoat View Post
Now, there is a point where one has to weigh obligations to one's own family, and that can really only be done by the people in the situation, but to say there are no obligations, as some have, is totally wrong IMO.
I guess I didn't see where anyone was saying that human beings don't have any obligations to help those outside their immediate families. I just honestly think that the OP and her husband need to get together and determine what their obligations are in this case.

True, if the OP's husband has valid reasons for thinking that they need to pull back a bit and focus on their own family more, then he needs to express these feelings.

The OP herself seems to be seeing the current situation as a bit of a drain. I must admit, I'd find it near impossible to do all she's doing if I didn't have a supportive husband.

It just makes sense for the two of them to talk more about this and reach a point where they can agree on a level of involvement that's liveable for both of them.
post #32 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by mammal_mama View Post
I honestly don't get the hostile responses toward the OP's husband. I'm not saying I agree with his stated rationale for not wanting to take care of this child anymore, but don't the people who are actually in the OP's immediate family have any say about how their time as a family is spent?

I mean, if your child felt sorry for one of her friends, or even a cousin, who was in a bad home situation, and was always wanting to bring this child along to stay at your house and go on family outings -- but you felt this child was negatively affecting your family-time and your family dynamics, wouldn't you have a right to draw the line on how much time this other child spent in your home and with your family?

I'm guessing that if the husband weren't using "embarrassment" as his reason for not wanting to include the other child, those of you who are criticizing might be more sympathetic?

"I'd like to have more time bonding as a family" is way different than "I don't want to be seen in public with that kid because people will think he's ours."

If the OP is planning more kids with this man, this is concerning. Because there are no guarantees in this world, and just because your first child is rational and verbally advanced doesn't mean the next one will be. And AP and GD and natural parenting do not prevent a couple from having a high needs child with verbal delays or sensory issues that trigger tantrums and physical outbursts.

And if he feels worried that people might think his nephew is his kid when the boy acts up, how much worse could he feel -- and express in front of the child -- if it was not his nephew, but his son or daughter, who he could not disavow when the tantrums started? That level of personalizing the behavior of a toddler is the kind of thinking that often leads to people resorting to overly harsh discipline.

It's not that he doesn't want to spend more time with the boy that's concerning. It's his rationale for doing so. He's an adult and is refusing to be seen in public with a toddler because it's "embarassing."
post #33 of 115
It seems possible that part of the embarrassment could be due to the fact that his shoes don't fit and his clothes are inappropriate for the weather.

I think it might embarrass me if it looked like I was properly caring for one or two of my children, and then neglecting one. I'm not saying it "should" embarrass me -- I'm just acknowledging that I'm weird like that.

I also have sometimes gone without a coat when I felt chilly because one of my dd's didn't feel a need to wear her coat, and I didn't want to look to others like I was taking care of my own need for warmth and then neglecting my child.

I know, it's silly, but I imagine we're all silly in some area.

Of course, as someone else mentioned, the OP could buy shoes, and I imagine she could buy clothes, too, for DN to wear when he is out with them.
post #34 of 115
If you feel you can continue to care for dn I would say do so.

Our dn has been a VERY difficult child over the years (he's now 11 & much easier to be around) & we frequently took him for weekends. Yes, people assumed I was his mother & gave me some awful looks due to his atrocious behaviour.

But here is now dh & I look at it. By being an influential force in our dn life we may be able to give him some of the positives he needs & isn't getting elsewhere. But more importantly we want him to know we love him & if he ever needs us we'll be here for him despite his behaviour (in his case his parents have not been so stable & we have doubts about their abilities/committments).
post #35 of 115
I think you need to stop diagnosing your dn, you have no idea if he has actual delays, you are speculating and have no medical basis to make such claims. There is a huge difference between an almost 3 year old girl and a just turned two year old boy. Boys are different and typically development language later than girls. I think your dn sounds like a typical high energy boy, testing limits and, well, acting like a two year old. It is clear that you feel you have superior parenting skills to most, but it is not up to you to "save" everyone's children. If you can't handle your dn, don't keep him anymore but don't make unfounded assumptions about his development and diagnose him with special needs.
post #36 of 115
Pardon me if this has already been stated but maybe your DN's issues stem from the fact that it seems as if he has been neglected somewhat?

From what you have written, it does not seem like he has gotten the attention needed to thrive and develop properly in the first place. Poor kid.
post #37 of 115
Thread Starter 
Cycle, I don't feel that I'm diagnosing him- I know that I have no real footing in the world of special needs and I addressed that in a previous post. I'm (and others are also) just saying that it is a possiblity that I need to look at. I know how kids with special needs are treated (not treated) in our family so it is something important for me to look at.

Latte_Mama- Yes, I do think that some of his issues may stem from emotional neglect and lack of attention given towards him. That is not to say that he doesn't have some sort of special need that would have been there regardless of his upbringing, but I do think that the way he is treated contributes to this as well.

I spoke with my DH about why he feels the way he does. He clarified and told me that it's embarrassing that we don't know how to deal with dn or redirect him in the proper way. It seems that no matter what we do DN does not stop the behavior, so he feels that others look at us as people who let our kids do "whatever". He says that he just wishes we could find a way to help DN, or redirect him, etc. When I said that he was similar to my 9 month old, I meant emotionally. We don't really know how to deal with that.. if my 9 month old is angry or frustrated for whatever reason, she cries and yells, because that's how she communicates. DN does the same. Unlike my daughter, I can't just scoop DN up and divert his attention or nurse him.

DH also told me that DN is always dressed inappropriately (for the weather, sizes) and he really doesn't want other people thinking that he puts style over comfort for his kids. Sure, we could go buy DN new clothes, but we're broke and I don't feel that it's right for us to re-dress someone else's child all the time, kwim? I'd be angry if someone did it to my kids, but then again I don't dress my kids inappropriately, yk?

So DH says it's not DN, it's our lack of experience with the situation.
post #38 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by WindyCityMom View Post
He clarified and told me that it's embarrassing that we don't know how to deal with dn or redirect him in the proper way.
raising a sn child is tough, but when it is your own kid you can work with experts, try things, rule things out, and at least have some sense that everything is being done that can be. At least when others look at you funny, you know that it is about THEM and not about you as a parent.

The situation with your dn is really different from that. The child isn't being taken care of, dressed appropriately, or having his needs dealt with. So when other people look at you funny, you know that they are right, he is being neglected.

I can really see why your DH feels the way he does, and I'm the mom of the "The Weird Kid."
post #39 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Latte Mama View Post
Pardon me if this has already been stated but maybe your DN's issues stem from the fact that it seems as if he has been neglected somewhat?

From what you have written, it does not seem like he has gotten the attention needed to thrive and develop properly in the first place. Poor kid.
Am I the only one who is very uncomfortable speculating that this kid is neglected by his parents? It does not sound like he is neglected, it sounds like the OP doesn't like or agree with how he is being parented but that does not mean he is neglected. Is he going hungry? Are they beating him or abusing him in some way? Are they withholding affection from him? Are they not getting him proper treatment when he is sick? I think this is yet another example of judging another person's parenting.

ETA, your husband being embarrassed to the point of not wanting your DN to go out with you? What happens when its one of your own kids? I know everything is perfect now but you have no idea what the future holds for your kids or future kids. God forbid you ever have a rowdy boy or a child with special needs.
post #40 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by cycle View Post
Am I the only one who is very uncomfortable speculating that this kid is neglected by his parents? It does not sound like he is neglected, it sounds like the OP doesn't like or agree with how he is being parented but that does not mean he is neglected. Is he going hungry? Are they beating him or abusing him in some way? Are they withholding affection from him? Are they not getting him proper treatment when he is sick? I think this is yet another example of judging another person's parenting.

ETA, your husband being embarrassed to the point of not wanting your DN to go out with you? What happens when its one of your own kids? I know everything is perfect now but you have no idea what the future holds for your kids or future kids. God forbid you ever have a rowdy boy or a child with special needs.
Well, it sounds to me that they are not giving him affection or attention, are possibly not getting him proper medical care, and aren't paying attention to his personal care. A baby that spends all day locked into a car seat sounds neglected to me.
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