Telling a parent that you think their child.. - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
Old 10-05-2010, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
vegemamato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 2,235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just wanted to get some opinions. I've been providing child care for a couple little ones since late August and one of these kids (3) seems to have many symptoms of autism. I know that the child's mom has noticed some of the things that have me concerned but she seems to think that these behaviors are fine. Some of the things that I've seen include repetitive speech (saying the same word for 10 min nonstop), constant spinning, obsessions with toys/clothing, no eye contact, delayed/incoherent speech, antisocial/won't play near other kids, very violent tantrums and constant organizing/cleaning.

So, my question.. If you were in my shoes, would you tell the mom? What would you tell her? My husband thinks that it's not my place but my view is that I would appreciate my child's care provider letting me know if they thought something was off.

I wouldn't mention autism specifially, btw.. Just that some of the things I've seen are 'different' and that I feel like an evalution would be helpful. (and I have thought about her possibly knowing but I'd be surprised since she hasn't mentioned anything to me, other than the kid being a handfull)

Thank you for any thoughts

mischievous.gif
vegemamato is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 10-05-2010, 07:38 PM
 
philomom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 9,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
Honestly, this so hard to do. Especially when your gut is kicking you into action. Be prepared for anger and denial from them. And sometimes, they slink back into your life with an apology. Be gracious.
philomom is online now  
Old 10-05-2010, 07:51 PM
 
doubledutch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Posts: 4,531
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
could you take the time to look into her options for evaluation? in my school district, all kids get a pre-k screening at 3-4 years. referring her to a program like that would allow someone else to make the assessment and hopefully also get the child any services he may need, without her feeling like you are out of line.
doubledutch is offline  
Old 10-05-2010, 07:53 PM
 
confustication's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My 2 yo has some delays. I *knew* before I took him for an evaluation, but I wasn't ready to go down that path yet. However, someone outside of myself giving voice to the realities and fears in the back of my mind really helped me choose to be proactive.

Now my life is a little different- several therapies a week- and a lot of progress coupled with a lot of frustration, but it is SO important to catch this early.

I would take some time to simply open up a conversation about it. Ask if he is exhibiting these behaviors at home. Talk about the fact that this *isn't* typical 'handful' behavior. Thank you for caring enough about this boy to pay attention.

It may help to have some printed out pamphlets/info she can look at. Black and white text is harder to be angry with than a person when you feel they are criticizing your child. Emphasize your concerns, as well as his strengths. Make it about certain behaviors, not about him.
confustication is offline  
Old 10-05-2010, 08:28 PM
 
MissLotus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 3,110
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think it would help her to mention it as you have - just unusual, repetitive behaviors you've noticed. That's not diagnosing him, but as his provider, it would make sense that you'd notice these. Maybe it would help her to confirm things she's already noticed. It would seem that if it is something, then it would be good if treatment began as soon as possible.

I briefly, years ago, worked at a country club babysitting the kids of women who would come in and do exercise classes/spa stuff. One woman came in with her kid, about 4 years old, and he did many of the things you mentioned (she was there a few hours, and I realize that's hardly time enough for me to "diagnose" anything so I didn't say a word) and would not connect or look at me once the entire time, didn't listen - was doing dangerous things climbing furniture and never once acknowledged that he could even hear me telling him to get down. I thought maybe he was deaf. But figured she would have mentioned that fact. It was confusing for me as a caregiver! Anyway, I have seen him around town/school since and he does indeed have severe autism (I've heard other moms mentioning it).
MissLotus is offline  
Old 10-05-2010, 08:37 PM
 
Poddi's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: BC, Canada
Posts: 1,911
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)
I would have appreciated your opinion. I have an autistic (possibly two) boy myself. To be honest, we never noticed anything wrong if the teachers didn't say anything. It's often genetic, so the parents and their family members might be very much like the kid. We didn't know those things were not normal. It's hard to know what "normal" is like if it's your first kid and he's very much like yourself.

Mom to 2 beautiful autistic boys (12 & 11)  
Poddi is offline  
Old 10-05-2010, 08:58 PM
 
eepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: growing in the Garden State ............
Posts: 8,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I think you should suggest getting an evaluation. I agree that you should not mention a specific dx, you are not a Dr. I would change "different" to "not typical" in the conversation, it sound less judgmental (I'm not sure why, but it just feels better.)

Let her know that you don't mind filling out forms or being contacted during the evaluation process.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
eepster is offline  
Old 10-05-2010, 09:27 PM
 
hippiechickinsing's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: not sure yet
Posts: 175
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As the child's care provider, it is your place to share your concerns with the mother. I would make a formal observation of the child for at least a day, several days would be preferred. Make notes of things like what time he spins, how many times he repeats a word and what the word is, when tantrums occur, for how long and specifically how it looks. I used examples from what you wrote, any atypical behavior could be noted. Then, speak to the mother about your concerns. If she chooses to go for an evaluation, this information will be useful.

Some parents' only experience with children is with their own. To them, this could be "normal" behavior because it is what they know. It's your experience with a variety of children that helps you to see what is not developmentally appropriate to chronological age.

It can be very difficult for a parent to hear that you have concerns. Like a pp said, be prepared for some anger or defensiveness, but knowing that early intervention can make a real difference in future development helps to know you are doing the right thing.
hippiechickinsing is offline  
Old 10-05-2010, 10:42 PM
 
Aquitane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 427
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
As a teacher, I am not "allowed" to tell a parent that I think a child has X (be that a learning disability, autism, ADHD, whatever). I can only tell the parent about the atypical behaviors I am seeing and suggest that they seek further help from a doctor, counselor, etc. (I know this is not true for every school district or state, but it is how mine works.)

This might be a good way to approach it. I wouldn't say: "I see signs of autism." (Not that you would, just providing an example.) I would tell them about the behaviors you are seeing. I really think eepster is steering you in the right direction.
Aquitane is offline  
Old 10-05-2010, 11:06 PM
 
hotmamacita's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 6,977
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegemamato View Post
I just wanted to get some opinions. I've been providing child care for a couple little ones since late August and one of these kids (3) seems to have many symptoms of autism. I know that the child's mom has noticed some of the things that have me concerned but she seems to think that these behaviors are fine. Some of the things that I've seen include repetitive speech (saying the same word for 10 min nonstop), constant spinning, obsessions with toys/clothing, no eye contact, delayed/incoherent speech, antisocial/won't play near other kids, very violent tantrums and constant organizing/cleaning.

So, my question.. If you were in my shoes, would you tell the mom? What would you tell her? My husband thinks that it's not my place but my view is that I would appreciate my child's care provider letting me know if they thought something was off.

I wouldn't mention autism specifially, btw.. Just that some of the things I've seen are 'different' and that I feel like an evalution would be helpful. (and I have thought about her possibly knowing but I'd be surprised since she hasn't mentioned anything to me, other than the kid being a handfull)

Thank you for any thoughts
What is your education and/or training?
hotmamacita is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 01:59 AM
 
Cascadian's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 880
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
It's difficult as the parents could fall into the extreme camps of either a) agreeing with you, thanking you for info and following up on it or b) denial, anger, refusal to deal with you, awkwardness.

I did this for a friend once and her and her DH did b). It was horrible. Both of her sons ended up having PDD-NOS, needing extra aides at school and serious communication issues. Early intervention would really have helped if they took me seriously.
Cascadian is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
 
vegemamato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 2,235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Thank you for all of the replies.. I talked with another neighbor last night who has spent time with this child and she shares all of my concerns, which is helpful. I decided to make a log and wait until the scool term is over to talk with the mom, since she's a single parent and full time student. I've also researched the programs that the child could qualify for and local support groups in case she is interested in seeking help.

Oh, and to answer hotmamacita's question, I went to school for Early Childhood Education (w/ extra classes on special needs) and I have done in-home child care for 5 years (with a two year break up until the summer).

Thank you again. If anyone has more advice, please feel free to post and/or send me a message..

mischievous.gif
vegemamato is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:00 PM
 
Linda on the move's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: basking in the sunshine
Posts: 10,648
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aquitane View Post
I can only tell the parent about the atypical behaviors I am seeing and suggest that they seek further help from a doctor, counselor, etc. (I know this is not true for every school district or state, but it is how mine works.)

This might be a good way to approach it.
I really like this approach. I have a child on the spectrum, and I find most other parents' comments annoying. However, the view of an adult in charge of a group of children (which my child is a part of) is invaluable. My DD just did a new complete eval last spring, and her teachers and the school social worker all had input.

I would stick with the atypical behaviors you see, the frequency of those behaviors, and a few phone numbers to call to star the eval/intervention process. I wouldn't put this off for several months because in some places, the process of getting things started can take a lot of time.

I would also include some of the real positives about this child to help soften the blow. This is very tough stuff for any parent. I find it tremendously encouraging when other adults can see my DD's strengths as well as her weaknesses.

but everything has pros and cons  shrug.gif

Linda on the move is online now  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:21 PM
 
confustication's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,276
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Linda on the move View Post
I would stick with the atypical behaviors you see, the frequency of those behaviors, and a few phone numbers to call to star the eval/intervention process. I wouldn't put this off for several months because in some places, the process of getting things started can take a lot of time.

I would also include some of the real positives about this child to help soften the blow. This is very tough stuff for any parent. I find it tremendously encouraging when other adults can see my DD's strengths as well as her weaknesses.
I agree with this completely. I understand the desire to protect mom by waiting, but if this is the situation, she needs to know sooner rather than later because it really does take a while to get the ball rolling. (Our first assessment was in March, an in-home evaluation was held in April, May was a very involved Evaluation and Diagnosis clinic- we lucked into that- the slot opened and we were able to get in MONTHS ahead of normal wait times.. ) then we really were able to get going with different therapies. If you wait until Nov/Dec to talk with her this child may not get any help until well into the new year.
confustication is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
vegemamato's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: TX
Posts: 2,235
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I really don't want to put this off either but I'm almost positive that she won't do anything about it until she has a break (in two months). I wish she had more time to work with me, or even ask how her kid's doing, but at this point she's so busy and stressed out that I don't think she would be receptive or proactive. Hopefully she'll feel more relaxed and able to deal with this later on..

mischievous.gif
vegemamato is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:44 PM
 
Essie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,057
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
This is a really tough one. I felt compelled to respond b/c I have a child with autism. The way I found out is he was in PT day care at the university I was taking classes at. I never suspected autism, but there were many signs like the ones you described (about 1.5 yrs old). Basically, we got kicked out b/c they couldn't "handle" him and he didn't conform to what they wanted (that's another story). At the time we were kicked out they mentioned that we may want to get an eval from the county (free). Long story short; yes, he got a dx of autism.

A few things; I think it really depends on what kind of person the mom is and what your relationship is with her. If I were the mom and you were my care provider it would really depend on how I felt about you overall. We have a couple of respite care providers and we wouldn't use them if we didn't trust them fully. I think if you get the feeling that she would be put off, then don't do it. If you guess that she would be receptive I would say maybe bring it up in a very simplistic way.

It's really hard to answer this in a concrete way. I'm sure my DH would give the same answer as yours b/c I think men are that way. They are from the standpoint that matter such as this are not our biz. There are many parents I've heard of and/or met who are totally in denial that their kids are on the spectrum, and once you have one of them you always can spot them easily. It really makes me sad b/c they are denying their kids of early intervention that is crucial. Or, there are the parents that were just not realizing that their kids are on the spectrum (like us) but never "got it" until later on and then felt horrible b/c they say they could have been getting their kids the help they need.

In a nutshell, I would wait and mull this over. Who knows, maybe she will bring it up to you first and then you can give her your thoughts.

HTH! I know you must be really struggling with this. I would be.
Essie is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:48 PM
 
Essie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,057
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissLotus View Post

he did many of the things you mentioned (she was there a few hours, and I realize that's hardly time enough for me to "diagnose" anything so I didn't say a word) and would not connect or look at me once the entire time, didn't listen - was doing dangerous things climbing furniture and never once acknowledged that he could even hear me telling him to get down. I thought maybe he was deaf. But figured she would have mentioned that fact. It was confusing for me as a caregiver! Anyway, I have seen him around town/school since and he does indeed have severe autism (I've heard other moms mentioning it).
My son did this too, it's so obvious if you aren't "in it" Personally, I would have never nor did I put my son in this type of setting. We always feared he would himself or others in danger So, it is really important to get these kids a dx as early as possible.
Essie is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 03:58 PM
 
Essie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,057
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegemamato View Post
Thank you for all of the replies.. I talked with another neighbor last night who has spent time with this child and she shares all of my concerns, which is helpful. I decided to make a log and wait until the scool term is over to talk with the mom, since she's a single parent and full time student. I've also researched the programs that the child could qualify for and local support groups in case she is interested in seeking help.
Sorry, but that is nuts to take all of that on. If her son's behaviors keep intensifying with no intervention then things may blow up and then she will really be faced with a lot. I'm speaking from my own experience of course, but that boy is going to need her SO much, and esp. as others have said--if he does get a dx and is eligible for OT, speech, etc. then she will be the one taking him to all of his appts. It's very time consuming and emotionally draining.

I posted without seeing that she is gone so much of the time, but now that I know that it changes my perspective.
Essie is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 04:30 PM
 
eepster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: growing in the Garden State ............
Posts: 8,777
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegemamato View Post
I really don't want to put this off either but I'm almost positive that she won't do anything about it until she has a break (in two months). I wish she had more time to work with me, or even ask how her kid's doing, but at this point she's so busy and stressed out that I don't think she would be receptive or proactive. Hopefully she'll feel more relaxed and able to deal with this later on..
If her break from school is the only time she will be available to handle this, then she needs to make that appointment now. It took 2 months to get an appointment for DS and he just has some minor sensory stuff that was worked on in OT. It takes so long just to get that very first evaluation. She needs to call them now so she will be able to get an appointment between when her fall class end and her spring classes start.

Timmy's Mommy WARNINGyslexic typing with help of preschooler, beware of typos
eepster is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 04:43 PM
 
StephandOwen's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Kentucky
Posts: 8,613
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I agree with some of the others- give mom a nudge that some of these behaviors are not typical (please don't use the word "normal") along with some numbers she can call to get the eval process started if she chooses to. She should be advised that it will probably take a couple months to even get an eval scheduled so she should call soon.

Sometimes all it takes is one nudge to get a parent rolling down that road. I "knew" ds was not typical, yet I refused to admit it. When he was about 15 months old my mom finally said something to me about it and suggested I have him evaluated. He was evaluated through the state for free and started receiving speech therapy. He was later diagnosed with autism. Over the years he's had speech therapy (non-stop since he was 17 months old- he just turned 7), OT (on and off for the past 4 years), PT (for about 6 months) and feeding therapy (for about 1 1/2 years and then we stopped and just a couple weeks ago we started back up). 6 years ago I never would have admitted this could be my life! Now I wouldn't trade it for anything

Steph, DH Jason (1-1-11), DS Owen (10-3-03) and DS Kai (10-13-11)

StephandOwen is offline  
Old 10-06-2010, 04:48 PM
 
Marsupialmom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: St. Louis MO
Posts: 9,039
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Does your local school district have something like parents as teachers? Maybe involvement in that will help her see or have outside source to support you on something not quit right.
Marsupialmom is offline  
Old 10-07-2010, 02:44 AM
 
LemonPie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 2,024
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by vegemamato View Post
I really don't want to put this off either but I'm almost positive that she won't do anything about it until she has a break (in two months). I wish she had more time to work with me, or even ask how her kid's doing, but at this point she's so busy and stressed out that I don't think she would be receptive or proactive. Hopefully she'll feel more relaxed and able to deal with this later on..
Won't she need to start making appointments NOW to get in THEN though? My nephew was just DX-ed with autism recently, and they had a lot of appointments and evaluations and consultations. One required them to drive a couple of hours from their home and stay overnight.

And as someone else said, she may not realize this isn't typical behavior if he's her first. A friend of mine never realized anything was amiss until her SIL spoke frankly with her. She went ahead and had her DD evaluated and she had enough 'tendencies' to qualify her for early intervention, which made an unbelievable difference.

Wife to a great DH, SAHM to 3 great kids
LemonPie is offline  
Old 10-07-2010, 02:56 AM
 
Fuamami's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 4,375
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A friend of mine did this, but it was with her in-home provider. The DCP's child apparently had quite a few atypical behaviors, and my friend brought it up. The DCP was very angry, so much so that she would no longer watch my friend's children.

However, the DCP then put her child in preschool and the teachers there encouraged her to get an eval, and the child did end up being DXed. I think that my friend and the DCP are now back on speaking terms, but I don't think they're close. They were friends before and hung out socially quite a bit. I guess it's really hard to know how someone's going to react, but if you feel pretty confident that something is amiss, it would be the kindest thing in the long run to say something. Especially because the child could be helped by therapy.

Mommy to kids

Fuamami is offline  
Old 10-07-2010, 02:59 AM
 
tanyam926's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 1,508
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I understand your sympathy for the mom and her situation, and I am glad that you are watching out for this family.

Just another perspective though, if I were her I would want to know asap. It's her decision whether she does anything w/the information but she has the right to hear any concerns from the person who spends so much time w/her child.

If she does nothing, well at least you mentioned it. We never know what's going on in other peoples' heads and it's easy (but unfair) to assume what their reactions, motives, decisions will be (I have to constantly tell myself that it's really not my place to transfer my own judgement or beliefs onto anyone, even if I think I "know for sure" and I would like the same consideration).

Hoping for the best possible outcome for the little boy, and kudos to you for speaking up for him.

Wife to dh, Mommy to ds1 12/2002, ds2 9/2005, and ds3 9/2008.
tanyam926 is offline  
Old 10-07-2010, 11:57 AM
 
Aeress's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Neat the Shores of Lake Erie
Posts: 6,397
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi! As a teacher I observe behaviors, patterns, frequency, duration and intensity- I do not diagnose. So, as a caregiver I would make some notes, anecdotals of what you are seeing, not inferences. And then bring them to the parent.

I know this is hard, I have been in your shoes. As others have said, approach the family but be aware that they may not take the news well.

Dhjammin.gif, Me knit.gif, DD 10 REPlaySkateboard04HL.gif, DD 7 cat.gif, DD 4 joy.gif

We reading.gif, homeschool.gif, cold.gif, eat.gif, sleepytime.gif not in that order

Aeress is offline  
 
User Tag List

Thread Tools


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off