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Is it possible to suggest ASD to a woman I barely know?!?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 
This is kind of a weird situation, because in a way I feel it is not my place to suggest anything, but I don't want a little boy to slip through the cracks on the other hand...
Here's the situation:

The mother of the boy works for my mom. My mom and her have a professional, but strained relationship. Mainly because this woman is very emotionally unstable and her breakdowns and delusions affect the quality of her work. She is very isolated in this country. She is an immigrant from eastern Europe, her husband is still there, and she is taking care of her father who has terminal cancer. I have met her several times and her child once when he was an infant. She is almost 42, and was 40 when she had her son. She aborted a baby Previously when testing revealed that it could have a very slight learning disability. She had said," I don't want to be the only mother whose child doesn't go to college." With this child, she has been obsessive in regards to his intelligence. She "trained" him with flashcards, videos, etc since the day he was born to be a "genius". When she noticed that he wasn't rolling over "on time", she consulted with a European neurologist through Skype, and has been injecting her son with some kind of supplement he prescribed since then. To "improve his brain function". So yes, she is as crazy as she sounds....

Recently she has mentioned to everyone in my mom's research lab that her son has been banging his head on the floor endlessly, to the point where he bruises and hurts his forehead. She thinks it is behavioral though, and she said she just walks away and lets her father watch him so he doesnt think she is reacting to his behavior. She has also said that he stacks and arranges toys, and that when there is a lot of sound he SCREAMS. Not cries, but screams.

My mom told me all of this yesterday, but she didn't know enough to know it could be ASD until I told her those were likely signs. But she is not in a position to talk to this woman about it. And I kind of feel like neither am I.... But this woman, aside from being kind of unstable and eccentric, is pretty much alone. If no one says anything, what if her son doesn't get the help and intervention he needs?

What would you do?
post #2 of 37

I wouldn't do anything. It isn't appropriate. Seeing it from the other side, no employee should have their boss's daughter telling them how to raise their child, that something is "wrong" with their child, etc.

 

Her child will eventually be flagged for evaluation. Earlier depending on her day care situation and how her perceptive her child's doctor is. Possible not until school age.

 

She couldn't cope with the information right now anyway.

 

It's not your role, but someone else's, to have that very difficult conversation with her.

post #3 of 37

I would not say anything.  For one thing, a lot of kids who do not have an ASD bang their heads, scream, and arrange toys.  I know they are all red flags, but I guess to me I wouldn't be so sure that this child has an ASD.  Honestly, I'd probably be banging my head a lot if this woman was my mom too. I'm betting it probably is a reaction to stress on this little boy's part.   It doesn't sound to me like mom is someone who wouldn't search for answers as to why her son is doing xyz, especially if she is consulting with doctors over him not rolling over.  I wouldn't be worried that she would be the type to totally miss the signs of an ASD.  Having a child with special needs myself, I would be pretty aggravated if someone I barely knew came up to me and suggested I look into ASD or anything else.

post #4 of 37

Those "symptoms" can also be 100% normal behavior. There really is not enough for you to make that judgemnet. Even if you were a prefessional expert in the care of children with ASD and had obsvered wit your own eyes worrisome behaviors, you are not the person who shuld bring this up to this mom.  Think of it from her perspective. You have a strained relationship with your boss, then your boss daughter, who you barely knows and has met your child 1 time, comes to you and tells you she thinks there is something wrong with your child based on what your boss is passing along to her family about you. There is absolutly no way this can go over well.

post #5 of 37

Chances are that she will have him in school as soon as possible which is one way he could be flagged. And if he is behind in any aspect of his development, past behavior indicates she will go to a doctor.

 

Since she is talking about this to everyone, perhaps she senses that it isn't just behavioral; though I wouldn't mention ASD, perhaps someone she is on better terms with could suggest that perhaps he is "sensory sensitive" and might benefit from an OT consult. It really is a touchy situation; ds' OT bent over backwards to emphasize that she wasn't qualified to diagnose Aspergers, that she didn't want to scare us when it may not be that at all, but that we may want to look into it.

post #6 of 37

The women sounds perfectely normal Easter European to me. She is stressed to no end. Thousand of epopel on MDC take FDA unappoved suppliments for everything under the sun and no one thinsk fo them as weired.

My kid liked to arrange things, was very much into routine and threw amazing tantrums. He is not ASD. It just the way he was.  You can't make a diagnosis from her description. Unless you know her well, I would say nothing.

post #7 of 37

I wouldn't say anything in this situation either.  Also I didn't jump to the conclusion of autism.  I thought of sensory problems first when reading your post.  My son does some of the same things as this kid but his behaviors are sensory partly stemming from his other disabilities and partly post traumatic stress from surviving 1/2 mile wide F4 tornado.   The only thing he doesn't do is line toys up.  With the lining up thing it could be normal or it could be a flag if the behavior is excessive.   Also I have heard of a few cases where children presented as autistic as toddlers but later on started to develop more outward signs of mental illness.  Mental illness is genetic in some families so this behavior could be an outward sign of mental illness in its early stages.   Best case scenario the mother's mental illness is warping her perception of reality and these signs are completely normal developmental behaviors for a toddler that the mom has just exaggerated.  I think there are too many possibilities to base any action off 2nd hand information plus there is concern how the mother will react with her history not only towards you but her child as well. 

post #8 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks to all of you. My gut also tells me that I don't know enough and, in a way, don't want to know. It is true that her behavior is laden with cultural differences between America and Russia, but as a fellow Russian I can honestly say that it is extreme and borders on child abuse, especially in regards to intramuscularly injecting her son with something from a Skype diagnosis. Just not ok in my book. And while I have worked with ASD children in my past, I haven't spent enough face time outside of work-related events with her son to know the whole story. I guess I had a strong reaction because the kid is in such a strange and difficult position. I suspected I have no way in on this one, and it looks like I was right. Thanks again, guys!

post #9 of 37

Cupping, vodka compresses, mustard plaster, mumiyou, urinotherapy, all of these and more are part of Russian folk and even official helathcare.

So, she talked to a neurologist via Skype. This is telmedicine. She injected something not approved by FDA....it is not different than people using garlic up their vagina  instead of antibiotics to treat GBS?  homeopathy to prevent illness instead of vaccine? 20 suppliment pills some people give to their kids suffering from autism?

 

 

What distinguish someone eccentric from someone crazy? Size of heir bank account.

 

There is something you can do . If you think that she is in fact mentally ill and is endangering hers child, you could, and actually  SHOULD  call CPS. This is waht I would do.

post #10 of 37
Thread Starter 

Yes, I grew up in Russia and experienced pretty much everything you describe in my childhood. The difference? In Russia when a child is sick a doctor comes to their home to evaluate them. People in the family work together to share knowledge of these treatments (which, by the way, come from traditional Chinese medicine for the most part). Here we have a woman who has no support system, no friends, and is mentally unstable consulting with a man on Skype and injecting something into her child for a problem he doesn't seem to have....Still not ok. If I don't know enough to suggest that her child gets evaluated for issues, then I certainly don't have enough knowledge that she is abusing her child. I don't consider homeopathy to be that eccentric, maybe for the cultural reasons you listed which we grew up with and were the norm. I don't believe crazy has anything to do with a bank account. Crazy is crazy. Injecting a child because a man who has never even laid eyes on him told you it will make him into a child prodigy...CRAZY. Not the same as using garlic, "gorchichniki", and so on....
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Cupping, vodka compresses, mustard plaster, mumiyou, urinotherapy, all of these and more are part of Russian folk and even official helathcare.

So, she talked to a neurologist via Skype. This is telmedicine. She injected something not approved by FDA....it is not different than people using garlic up their vagina  instead of antibiotics to treat GBS?  homeopathy to prevent illness instead of vaccine? 20 suppliment pills some people give to their kids suffering from autism?

 

 

What distinguish someone eccentric from someone crazy? Size of heir bank account.

 

There is something you can do . If you think that she is in fact mentally ill and is endangering hers child, you could, and actually  SHOULD  call CPS. This is waht I would do.



 

post #11 of 37

All of this is matter of your and my lay opinion. To me, using garlic instead of antibiotic is abusive, to other people  it is alternative medicine. I had nothing ever cured by any of the homeopathic pills my mom used and I would never torture my son with vodka  compress.

 

You assume she had mental illness. May she does, maybe she does not. May her child is in danger, maybe he is not. Let the exprerts help her and her child. No ones at CPS will know your name.

 

If she is as crazy as you think she is, she will not listen to you.

 

Seriously, CPS is perfect for this. What is the alternative?

post #12 of 37
Thread Starter 

I suppose the alternative is, like other posters suggested, to wait until her child's issues are noticed by medical practitioners who have had a chance to see him in person and do proper evaluation. You really see garlic instead of antibiotic as abusive? Ok. I mean, what can I say? I have used garlic mullein to cure ear infections without the need for antibiotics, but I certainly am not anti-antibiotics. I guess the difference between eccentric and crazy is common sense and balance. I am no longer advocating talking to her or interfering. I'm glad I got the advice I needed on this subject. Thanks again, everyone!
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

All of this is matter of your and my lay opinion. To me, using garlic instead of antibiotic is abusive, to other people  it is alternative medicine. I had nothing ever cured by any of the homeopathic pills my mom used and I would never torture my son with vodka  compress.

 

You assume she had mental illness. May she does, maybe she does not. May her child is in danger, maybe he is not. Let the exprerts help her and her child. No ones at CPS will know your name.

 

If she is as crazy as you think she is, she will not listen to you.

 

Seriously, CPS is perfect for this. What is the alternative?



 

post #13 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toposlonoshlep View Post
 If I don't know enough to suggest that her child gets evaluated for issues, then I certainly don't have enough knowledge that she is abusing her child..
 


I see this the opposite of you. I cannot image telling another parent *who hasn't asked my opinion* that their child may have special needs. I think that is just out of bounds. I don't try to diagnose kids based on what I see because I understand how complex the process is, I know I'm not going to figure out someone's child by watching them.

 

However, I would CPS if I thought it likely that a child was being abused. I was abused as a child, and no one lifted a finger. I can't help but wonder how many people suspected but didn't want to "interfere." My childhood was a nightmare. I'd call in a heartbeat if I thought a child wasn't safe.

 

There is a profound difference between a child getting intervention later rather than earlier, and a child growing up in terror. The first I can live with, the second I believe is morally wrong to sit back and allow.  

 

post #14 of 37

Leave it alone. The mom is aware of the problem. The mom is working on the problem She is seeking intervention. She has consulted a doctor in her home country. She is working on behavioral interventions at home. (Walking away during a tantrum is a perfectly valid technique in applied behaviorism.)

 

The problem is that you don't like her doctor or the interventions she chose. You don't approve of the way she is parenting. You need to MYOB. It's not your child. Every family has the right to work through these problems in their own time and in their own way.

 

Butt out. 

post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 

I find this to be a harsh response. I posted this out of concern and have been pretty agreeable with the advice given. Sometimes I wonder what has happened to MDC. It seems like there are a lot of angry mamas on here trying to make each other feel inferior. I wouldn't have asked advice if I wasn't open to it. If you scroll up, you will see that I thanked people for their input and agreed that it is not my place. "Butt out" and "MYOB" seem like inappropriate ways to communicate with me under the circumstances. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by RiverTam View Post

Leave it alone. The mom is aware of the problem. The mom is working on the problem She is seeking intervention. She has consulted a doctor in her home country. She is working on behavioral interventions at home. (Walking away during a tantrum is a perfectly valid technique in applied behaviorism.)

 

The problem is that you don't like her doctor or the interventions she chose. You don't approve of the way she is parenting. You need to MYOB. It's not your child. Every family has the right to work through these problems in their own time and in their own way.

 

Butt out. 



 

post #16 of 37
Thread Starter 

The problem is that there is a really fine line between these "consults", injections, and child abuse, as child abuse is defined in this country. Remember the story about the adoptive parents of a group of special needs kids who got taken away (not to mention raped by the media) who were having their kids sleep in enclosed cribs (hand-painted beautifully, by the way) because the kids would run away in the middle of the night and could have harmed themselves? The kids were returned to them and they were acquitted, but there were MONTHS before that when they were trumpeted as "the couple that keeps their special needs kids in cages". What is clear from this thread is that which I see as abusive (injecting a substance into an infant based on a Skype chat session with an overseas man who I am not sure is qualified), some see as acceptable. I am the type of person that would rather show real concern and talk to a person instead of calling authorities. And I DO feel that if I don't know the situation enough to talk to her about her child's behavior, then I don't know enough to cause this definitive turmoil and stress in her already crazy life.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post




I see this the opposite of you. I cannot image telling another parent *who hasn't asked my opinion* that their child may have special needs. I think that is just out of bounds. I don't try to diagnose kids based on what I see because I understand how complex the process is, I know I'm not going to figure out someone's child by watching them.

 

However, I would CPS if I thought it likely that a child was being abused. I was abused as a child, and no one lifted a finger. I can't help but wonder how many people suspected but didn't want to "interfere." My childhood was a nightmare. I'd call in a heartbeat if I thought a child wasn't safe.

 

There is a profound difference between a child getting intervention later rather than earlier, and a child growing up in terror. The first I can live with, the second I believe is morally wrong to sit back and allow.  

 



 

post #17 of 37
I don't believe injecting something into your child solely to make them smarter is abuse.I think it's misguided, possibly dangerous, and something I wouldn't do myself, but it's not abuse, and she is working with a doctor. The fact that the doctor skyped her instead of talking to her in person is kind of irrelevant, assuming he's an actual doctor, though I'd still rather my own kid see the doc in person! But it seems like you really feel the need to intervene here, and maybe what you've written here doesn't accurately convey the situation. Maybe you could suggest to her that she talk to her neurologist about the issues she's now having, or give her the name of a local, highly-recommended doctor? I wouldn't do anything beyond that, unless you truly feel this is CPS-worthy...
post #18 of 37
Thread Starter 

It's so strange that what I am writing is being misinterpreted. What I said was that I DIDN'T have enough information to call CPS.....And we've established that I can't really "suggest" anything to her, because we are not close. Misguided, dangerous IS abuse. In my opinion. That is why I was concerned in the first place, but I will "butt out". :)
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post

I don't believe injecting something into your child solely to make them smarter is abuse.I think it's misguided, possibly dangerous, and something I wouldn't do myself, but it's not abuse, and she is working with a doctor. The fact that the doctor skyped her instead of talking to her in person is kind of irrelevant, assuming he's an actual doctor, though I'd still rather my own kid see the doc in person! But it seems like you really feel the need to intervene here, and maybe what you've written here doesn't accurately convey the situation. Maybe you could suggest to her that she talk to her neurologist about the issues she's now having, or give her the name of a local, highly-recommended doctor? I wouldn't do anything beyond that, unless you truly feel this is CPS-worthy...


 

post #19 of 37

The whole point of CPS is to call if you have a "suspicion".  You do not need any proof.  It is their job to investigate. Just call them. If I were in your shoes I would have called.

post #20 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by Toposlonoshlep View Post

I find this to be a harsh response. I posted this out of concern and have been pretty agreeable with the advice given. Sometimes I wonder what has happened to MDC. It seems like there are a lot of angry mamas on here trying to make each other feel inferior. I wouldn't have asked advice if I wasn't open to it. If you scroll up, you will see that I thanked people for their input and agreed that it is not my place. "Butt out" and "MYOB" seem like inappropriate ways to communicate with me under the circumstances. 
 



 

 

If you feel like I'm being overly judgmental and harsh, you might want to look what you're putting out there in the way of harshness and judgment towards others. You're getting your own energy back. 
 

 

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