ds diagnosed with SPD and Anxiety... MIL convinced he's "mini dh" - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 14 Old 05-10-2010, 12:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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We had to pull ds1 out of school because he was having such a difficult time. We finally got an evaluation and he was diagnosed with sensory processing disorder and anxiety disorder. He is now going to start occupational therapy and cognitive behavioral therapy. MIL has not been thrilled since we took him out of school (she's an english professor) and she's started making these comments about how ds is "JUST LIKE" dh when he was little. I'm sorry but I seriously doubt it. dh did well in school, did well with friends, yes he got in trouble some and he can be anxious but ds's problems are way beyond that.
It is driving me nuts. She visits every couple months for a week or more at a time. I feel like she needs to be kept up to speed on these things so she can be on board, but she just does not want to get it.
She favors dh over his brother, and she does the same with ds1 over ds2 (firstborn males are the best I guess). I think she seriously thinks he is a mini dh. dh is a major mama's boy and he won't say anything to her about it... I don't think it would help anyway.
It just feels so dismissive to tell her what's going on and have her say "oh he is Just Like His Dad!!!"
I really wanted to shake her when I told her the clinical diagnosis and she says "Yep, sounds just like his dad! No it doesn't!
it really boils down to this: she thinks they are the same, the difference is our parenting. Meaning ds is having so many problems because of how we are handling it. Don't know what to do about that one.

mom to ds (6) + ds (3) and 11/22/09
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#2 of 14 Old 05-10-2010, 01:52 AM
 
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I think your MIL lives next door to me!!!!

Seriously, my next door neighbor was venting to me about how her DIL went and got her grandson a label (cuz they just want to pin those on everybody now days) and there's nothing wrong with him because....

He's just like his dad!

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#3 of 14 Old 05-10-2010, 10:29 AM
 
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(((hugs)))))

Our dd1 is just in the early stages of possibly getting the same diagnosis, and we have unsupportive inlaws to say the least....all of them (MIL, BIL, SIL) clearly think dd just needs 'more discipline'. So I totally sympathize!

I don't have any concrete suggestions though...other than maybe she'd be willing to read about these issues given that she's a professor. Have you heard of Judith Warner's new book "We've got issues' ? It's all about how she started off being sceptical of all the labelling of kids with mental health issues and then after doing some research realized that children's mental health challenges are actually a hugely underreported problem without sufficient support etc.

Maybe she'd be open to reading something like that?

It may not help, given how entrenched her attitudes are.
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#4 of 14 Old 05-10-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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Both my MIL and MY mom say that stuff to me all the time. Ds has a speech delay and has some sensory issues (no diagnosis) and my MIL swears he is FINE because dh was just like that. At least my mom knows that my speech stuff wasn't normal (I has deaf from 3 to 9 months because of ear infections) but dismisses a lot of the sensory stuff because I was just like him. Yeah, I've come to realize during my reading that I do have a lot of sensory issues that I'm just now learning to deal with and I'm 27!

Anyway, the last time MIL said something like that I asked her if she realized that dh was so behind if he was just like ds. She looked at me, blinked and walked away. She hasn't said anything since though (I honestly do not believe she remembers dh's childhood. There was a lot of dysfunction in dh's family when he was small and we've gotten most of our information from dh's oldest sister. MIL actually forgot that my BIL was in speech for articulation (same thing my son is getting now) at age 5!)

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#5 of 14 Old 05-10-2010, 03:46 PM
 
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I just don't discuss stuff like this any more with my MIL, for many of the same reasons. Plus the stuff she is concerned about (1 year still not walking 100% perfect type of things) just are not as concerning to us, as our Ped said the issue should resolve by 2...are not things I care to hear about...

It is just more innuendo that I am not a competent parent, and am endangering my children.
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#6 of 14 Old 05-10-2010, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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she's going to visit soon so I think I'll give her the "In Sync" books I have by Carol Stock Kranowitz... my mom really didn't get it until she did some reading so hopefully MIL will come around?
that's just wishful thinking... MIL is like dh in the way that they go on what they feel and don't really care what anyone says
The only reason it's really bugging me is that she is going to want to take ds1 to her hotel and she does NOT listen to our "rules" and we end up paying for it. She'll let ds stay up late watching scary movies and eating candy from the vending machines, and while I can understand it's her "grandma time" it creates a gigantic mess not only the next day but for MONTHS to come with nightmares, etc. And then when he's a wreck and we are at our wits end she pulls out her judgement on our parenting.

mom to ds (6) + ds (3) and 11/22/09
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#7 of 14 Old 05-10-2010, 11:13 PM
 
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she's going to visit soon so I think I'll give her the "In Sync" books I have by Carol Stock Kranowitz... my mom really didn't get it until she did some reading so hopefully MIL will come around?
that's just wishful thinking... MIL is like dh in the way that they go on what they feel and don't really care what anyone says
The only reason it's really bugging me is that she is going to want to take ds1 to her hotel and she does NOT listen to our "rules" and we end up paying for it. She'll let ds stay up late watching scary movies and eating candy from the vending machines, and while I can understand it's her "grandma time" it creates a gigantic mess not only the next day but for MONTHS to come with nightmares, etc. And then when he's a wreck and we are at our wits end she pulls out her judgement on our parenting.
No grandma time. Being biologically related to a child doesn't give her the right to emotionally traumatize him. Period.

This is a hot button issue for me, and anyone who won't respect the rules we have for our children won't be in charge of our children.

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#8 of 14 Old 05-11-2010, 02:33 AM
 
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The only reason it's really bugging me is that she is going to want to take ds1 to her hotel and she does NOT listen to our "rules" and we end up paying for it. She'll let ds stay up late watching scary movies and eating candy from the vending machines, .
just say "no"

your child, your rules

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

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#9 of 14 Old 05-11-2010, 08:45 AM
 
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No grandma time. Being biologically related to a child doesn't give her the right to emotionally traumatize him. Period.

This is a hot button issue for me, and anyone who won't respect the rules we have for our children won't be in charge of our children.

I ditto what Storm Bride said..
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#10 of 14 Old 05-11-2010, 09:51 AM
 
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No grandma time. Being biologically related to a child doesn't give her the right to emotionally traumatize him. Period.

This is a hot button issue for me, and anyone who won't respect the rules we have for our children won't be in charge of our children.
I third Storm Bride on this!

We not only need to advocate for our children at school but also at home. I also think some reading may be in order. Just order the book, have it shipped to her house.

My Mom was giving me a hard time for allowing my son to wear gloves (DS is a sensory seeker). It took a few conversations but she's seen that he's going nuts, puts on his gloves and immediately calms down. It's one of the tools he's using to self regulate. Now that she gets it - she just ignores it like we do.

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#11 of 14 Old 05-11-2010, 02:06 PM
 
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ds is "JUST LIKE" dh when he was little.
"It's too bad you weren't able to get dh the therapy he needed when he was little. It's amazing that he turned out as well as he did."

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#12 of 14 Old 05-11-2010, 04:09 PM
 
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The only reason it's really bugging me is that she is going to want to take ds1 to her hotel and she does NOT listen to our "rules" and we end up paying for it. She'll let ds stay up late watching scary movies and eating candy from the vending machines, and while I can understand it's her "grandma time" it creates a gigantic mess not only the next day but for MONTHS to come with nightmares, etc. And then when he's a wreck and we are at our wits end she pulls out her judgement on our parenting.
I totally empathize with you as your MIL sounds like my MIL's clone. It is really really frustrating. I think for my MIL it is just easier to believe that DS is perfect and that our parenting (specifically mine) is the issue.

Anyhow...*you* are the mom. Why do you let him go to her hotel if she doesn't follow your rules? "Grandma time?" I'd say no way to that (and have) if granny wasn't on board. It is your job to protect DS which means you get to say no to scary movies that end up giving him nightmares... Grandmas aren't entitled to any sort of relationship with their grandchildren, especially if they're not going to respect mom and dad's parenting choices. It is a privilege that they get and it is wonderful when it works out, of course, but it isn't their right. It took my husband quite a few therapy sessions to "get" that and lay down some boundaries with his mom. If your husband isn't going to do that though, as the mother, I would. good luck Mama. Remember you're the mom and the boss. He's your son and if she wants a relationship with him she needs to be following your rules.
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#13 of 14 Old 05-12-2010, 12:17 AM
 
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Just wanted to chime in and let you know that I can relate to what you're experiencing. I know that my in-laws think that in many ways I've "created" DS's "issues". (Full disclosure, I think DH and I are both a bit SPD as well, so in a sense, I HAVE created them - but whatever )

My SIL - who I know loves my kids - is a family practice doc. She's very research oriented, and as far as she's concerned, if it's not in the DSM, it's not a real problem. Apparently I'm supposed to wait until 2013 or whenever and THEN get help. I think she's trying to help, she doesn't want us to be taken advantage of by someone who she thinks isn't an appropriate authority, but honestly, it's annoying! (The irony is, her kids could well have SPD too, but they've never been evaluated.)

My MIL - who also adores my littles, and to be fair, adores me - thinks that DS's oral defensiveness is just due to the fact that I haven't found the right combination of foods to feed him. The fact that he'll happily eat his socks, but not proper food doesn't phase her, she just keeps bringing stuff over and then being surprised when he pitches a huge fit and won't touch it. The most annoying part is that whatever she brings inevitably has dairy in it, which my other son is allergic too, so we often end up with 2 sobbing kiddos. Good times. She'll also tell DS how sad it makes her when he wont' try whatever food she's prepared - AARRGGH! This has gotten better. I asked DH to tell her that the OT said that only he or I should give DS any food. This is a bit of a white lie, but it has helped.

I can also understand your issues with "grandmother time". It's a hard issue, especially since "grandmother time" can also correspond to "mom and dad time", something that I think especially SPD parents really need. Could you draw a harder line? Say that she can take him, but he's only allowed to watch the movie that you send and that he MUST go to bed at a reasonable time, etc. As I mentioned above, we've had good luck invoking other "authorities" - tell her the pediatrican said that he can only watch G rated cartoons and that he needs to get a certain number of hours of sleep each day. (odds are good that your Doc would actually say that if you asked!)

Sorry if I hijacked your thread a bit - but I've definitely been in your shoes. Good luck!!!

SAHM to my and and due in summer 2010, married to my best friend.
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#14 of 14 Old 05-13-2010, 09:46 AM
 
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My MIL often mentions how much my son is like DH. They do have similar personality traits and DH was also a late talker who struggled to conform. When DS was originally diagnosed as having ASD (later changed to ADHD and SPD), MIL insisted that "There is nothing wrong with DS, he's just like his dad at that age." I think it's to comfort herself that DS will be okay.

In her mind, the world has changed and not for the better. In her day, kids were just a little different (like DH) or they were severely disabled, there was no strings of letters to connote a diagnosis. She has six grand kids and four of them have some kind of diagnosis, mostly ADHD and speech delays. She'll go on about how her brothers were the same way at that age, but it was a different place and time. As long as she follows the rules about DS's food allergies, I let it go.

My mother does the same thing. When I said something about DS's hearing sensitivities, she found four pictures of me at birthday parties as a kid with my hands over my ears, stripped to my undies because "my clothes hurt". My mom gets a laugh out it when I talk about DS's issues. She swears I was the same way, but she had six kids and a farm to deal with, so she let me run around naked and wear head phones until I was six and started school.

I think it either gives them a reference point (like my mom) or gives them some hope (like MIL) that our kids will be okay in a scary world. It's annoying and feels judgmental or dismissive sometimes. However, I sometimes feel comforted that other generations went through this and survived. My mom had some good strategies for dealing with SPD in younger kids, sort of BTDT.
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