"helpful" comments people make. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 01:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Sorry I need to get this off my chest, I suspect it's going to be something I need to deal with more often so any helpful suggestions appreicated too.

 

DS is 5 1/2 and we are going through the process of assesments with him. We suspect ASD, we've also been told selctive mustism and sensory processing but I guess they are part of the ASD.

 

Just spent the weekend with family who made some oh so helpful suggestions about how to deel with some of his behaviour. Really if I though all our toilet issues would be solved with a travel potty do you not think I would have tried it by now (though how you expect a nearly 6 year old to fit on one I'm not sure). Yes, thank you we have tried a star chart and no it hasn't solved the problem!

 

For a while I have wondered if they forget how old he is, as his behaviour is often compared to that of his 3 year old cousin. I accept that a lot of the behaviour woudl be age appropriate if he was three, however he's not. Starting school seems to have changed a lot of people's view, before I think people just assumed he was younger, but apparently not everyones.

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#2 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 05:15 AM
 
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{{{Laughing}}} Yeah, people, when faced with a situation where they are uncomfortable (like a special needs child) often will try to "help".  I try to remember that most people think they are being helpful and not trying to bash your parenting abilities (although it absolutely feels that way sometimes).   

 

I have found that the best thing you can do is to educate the living daylights out of them.  When you push the fact that your child's condition effects him on a neurological and even cellular level and then go into very scientific detail about your child's condition, that is usually enough to send the message that (a) part of this disorder is medical (b) it's not behavioral and (c) you are an amazing mother doing everything she can to make her kid successful, even earning a "medical" degree without all the benefits of a huge salary to help your child... it's usually enough to put them in their place.

 

My son has an auditory processing disorder (among other things).  My mother's response to his behavior was that he just needed a good swat on the behind and he'd fall into place.  I gave her a very technical overview of APD and why hitting him would be useless due to his SPD (he's a seeker - went into a very technical overview of that too).  I don't think she actually "got it" but I made it very clear to her that her comments were not welcome, that I'm 150x more educated on the subject than she was and to just MYOB.  She hasn't said a word since.


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#3 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 06:50 AM
 
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We are awaiting the results of DS's testing but my MIL -- who is generally awesome -- remarked that she thought the way DS doesn't respond when you talk to him is a control issue--he's "seeing what he can get away with". Um, no.... of all the possible reasons--pretty sure we can rule that one out.
 


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#4 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 07:05 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, alway good to know I;m not the only one being cheesed off by well meaning advice. I do try and remember that it is well meaning.

 

I'll also consider mysefl lucky that so far no one has suggested spanking or other ideas I would really object to. At least I can mostly says thanks I'll bear that in mind or we've tried that and it didn't work out. I'm not sure I would stay so calm if I was being told spanking would solve all my problems.

 

I will work on the education, so far I've kind of avoided that. It's only recently that preschool and school have flagged up some issues and we've started the assesments. While I've felt for a while there is something more I already something of a reputation for being a bit fussy and/or weird where my children are concerned which I'd rather not feed. Now other people are flaging up issues I think that may make things a bit easier to address.

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#5 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 08:38 AM
 
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One thing that having a child has taught me is to not care about what other people think of me or my parenting skills.   In the future, if your instincts are telling you that something is off - look into it.  Don't waste time on what other people may think of you - if they think poorly of you... they aren't worth your effort.


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#6 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 10:13 AM
 
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I do not care what others think anymore. My mom who most of time is very sweet, does not understand DS1 who does have ASD. I get the oh so helpful butt swat comments and potty training tips. Most of the time i just brush it off with a joke, "Oh thanks, we are on the potty train by middle school path!" But when she started trying to tell him he couldn't do things unless he potty trained in order to "help me potty train" him, I had to be kind but firm and nip her behavior in the bud. For most other random people I say ASD or before we knew he was, I said developmental delays and stressed that yes, I really did know all the tips, and thanks! For most, a slightly firm voice said with a smile on your smile, defuses the situation and lets them know that you are not a clueless mom who needs tips for NT children without being mean but also without you having to sit through yet another "helpful" conversation.  People (most of the time) really do mean well but if I added all up the time I could sit through a conversation, I really don't have the time nor the energy to do that daily or multiple times a day. 


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#7 of 13 Old 08-06-2012, 01:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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One thing that having a child has taught me is to not care about what other people think of me or my parenting skills.   In the future, if your instincts are telling you that something is off - look into it.  Don't waste time on what other people may think of you - if they think poorly of you... they aren't worth your effort.

Mostly I'm pretty good at trusting my insticts, the situation with DS has kind of caught me out. Around the time I started questioning his behaviour I was also having health problems and felt it was probably me not being able to manage. I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes around 2 years ago, it was only once I was feeling better that I became particularly concerned. It was around then that the preschool mentioned their concerns too.

 

Today we have progress though as we just got his appointmed with the developmental pediatrician through for a couple of weeks time. We've just finished filling in the (19 page!) questionaire they sent us.

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#8 of 13 Old 08-07-2012, 12:47 PM
 
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We are just awaiting a diagnosis for dd. My mil has a lot of theories too. So far dd is "deaf" (umm no, her ignoring you is because she can hear you all too well) or "spoiled" (obviously no comment). "I do everything for her" and apparently that's why she's not talking, playing and has gross motor delays. This completely beside the fact that I have 2 older children whom I obviously managed to raise well enough not to have these issues. Its harder to educate her I find since she "should know better" than random strangers giving me advice. Its nice to hear others are dealing with this too. I was actually going to post a thread asking how others are dealing with family. And found this thread instead smile.gif

SAHM to one moody son J hat.gif(06-27-03), one super-girly daughter M hearts.gif (02-23-06) and welcome Sophie! energy.gif(05-23-10) expecting fourth in July baby.gif

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#9 of 13 Old 08-07-2012, 01:10 PM
 
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I always answer unhelpful advice with a sort of vague, "Huh," sound. The key is to sound basically interested but not say another actual word about the topic. If I must say something negative, I usually go for a, "Yeah, but that's not really how I roll." It sounds so casual that people usually overlook it. Try it today!

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#10 of 13 Old 08-07-2012, 05:20 PM
 
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My thought is that everyone has an opinion.  You do not have to listen to it or accept it.  But most of the time I do half way listen to what they say because I never know when someone(with actual experience) will actually figure it out and be helpful.  Most people are coming from a place of kindness and are hoping to share something you may not know.  Others, when done in judgment and meanness, well, just ignore all that mess!


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#11 of 13 Old 08-07-2012, 08:45 PM
 
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I hear you! My husband got so frustrated a couple weeks ago. We spent a lot of time at a public event with our toddler riding on his back in the Ergo. When my son displayed his typical horrible behaviors (hitting my husband's head, biting his back, screaming and thrashing), lots of people came up and commented, "Ooh, somebody is tired!" My husband just nodded his head each time, but he wanted to say, "No. He is not tired. His brain is damaged because his birthmother drank alcohol and caused his Fetal Alcohol Syndrome." I had to literally bite my tongue when he was riding on my back and a woman said in a passive-aggressive way right to my son, "You just need to get down and run around, don't you?!" I forced myself to smile and nod and not say, "Sounds like a great idea, except he has cerebral palsy."

 

I do what SpottedFoxx does when it's a friend or family member from whom I'll have to keep hearing the unwanted advice if I don't put a stop to it right away. I share info that makes it clear I have done a great deal of research into the topic. "At the seminar I attended about this, I learned ... ." I also do a lot of passing it onto third parties. "His pediatric neurologist says ... " or, "Last time we saw the physiatrist, he said ... ." That usually puts a stop to it when people find out we are getting expert help. I've even spouted off a list of our doctor's credentials. One person kept telling me he was concerned about how our son with cerebral palsy goes up on his toes and maybe such-and-such would help. Finally I thanked him for the ideas and said our phsyiatrist is the department chair at the children's hospital and I'll be sure to talk to him about it next time I'm there.

 

I do realize they are trying to be helpful, and I think back to the time when I was an expert on parenting — before I had kids. It's easy to be an expert about raising special needs kids, too, when you're not raising one.


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#12 of 13 Old 08-08-2012, 05:14 AM
 
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I'll never forget, we were at a Chanukah celebration.  A woman walked up to me, didn't even bother to say hello and just said "please tell me you are getting him services".  He was only 4 at the time, we were still in the early stages of discovering what his diagnosis was and how to best manage his behavior.  I was heartbroken and horrified and all I could manage was a weak "yes".  She went on to tell me she was a special education teacher but I will never forget how that felt - it was a punch in my gut.   I know she meant well and I do try to look at it with compassion and tell myself that she was trying to help in her own way.  Still.....


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#13 of 13 Old 08-09-2012, 12:10 PM
 
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Originally Posted by IncompetentHousewife View Post

 I had to literally bite my tongue when he was riding on my back and a woman said in a passive-aggressive way right to my son, "You just need to get down and run around, don't you?!" I forced myself to smile and nod and not say, "Sounds like a great idea, except he has cerebral palsy."

 

 

I don't think you should have bitten your tongue at all.  People should be reminded that they shouldn't judge before they know the facts.  I had a friend who was berated for not breastfeeding her child.  Her "Well, I would but I had a mastectomy due to breast cancer" was quite an effective comeback.

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