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Spent the day with the ILs today. Never a really fun time anyway, but today, they just frustrated the daylights out of me.<br><br>
They really don't "get" Aidan. They love him to bits, but they just don't understand. (he's moderately-severely autistic). MIL sits on the couch and says, in his general direction "Would you come over and see me honey?". And of course, he continues on, oblivious. She was less than happy when I then said "Aidan! Come here please!" and he zoomed right to me. Oh, he just likes you better. Ok, first of all, duh, I'm the mommy, of course he likes me better. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> Secondly, if you get his attention first, and speak in words he understands, you greatly improve your chances of him responding. It is like talking to someone who reads lips, in a lot of ways. You wouldn't talk to their back, and expect them to know what you said. If you don't get Aidan's attention, even though he can hear just fine, he is completely unaware that it is HIM you are addressing. I know I've explained it to them before, but they don't want to bother to change the way they act.<br><br>
So then we are leaving, and he doesn't want to give them a hug. He just doesn't hug unless HE initiates it. So I told MIL, go to him, ask for a kiss, and smack your lips. He'll probably lean his forehead in for you to kiss him. She did, and he did lean in. He only likes kisses on his forehead, I don't know why! So then she's acting all stupid "Oh, I'm sooooooo honored. He LET me kiss him. I don't know if I was kissed, or headbutted!" Well, trust me lady, if he didn't want you to kiss him, you would have known it, because he would have forcefully shoved your head away from him! You should be honored, because he generally only lets dh, me, and his favorite therapist kiss him! Once again, she just can't get it through her head that Aidan is different, and to get the same response from him that you'd get from a neurotypical kid, you have to change the way YOU act.<br><br>
We were going to let them keep Aidan for the weekend while dh and I go out of town next month, but I'm starting to rethink that. UGH.<br><br>
Meanwhile, FIL was actually pretty cool. We were discussing that yes, fine you are the grandparents, feed him all the junk food you want, since you only see him every few months, but NO red dyes. (they give him a diaper rash, and can have bad effects on his behavior) FIL wanted to know why, and actually listened really intently to the explanation, and seemed pretty interested. Maybe I should just talk to him from now on.........LOL
 

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This is so frustrating, especially when you feel like you've explained it! Would they be willing to read something? Sometimes if people feel like they've become "the experts" on an issue, they will act more appropriately. Another idea I had is for your dh/dp to talk with them, and discuss the issue. Sometimes if it comes from their own child, they can't minimize it and need to deal with learning how to interact with this particular grandchild. I think judgments can be very subtle and there may be a bit in their interactions that's trying to prove Aidan is really "fine" ("if you'd just give him to us for a while and stop coddling him...") ykwim??
 

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I so understand what you are saying myjulybabes! My son Adam is also moderately/severely autistic. He also will offer his forehead first for kissing. Most times he will let people hug him, but if he isn't in a touchy mood he will just say "NO HUGZ!" Then kind of run away. Adam is very high spirited, so my IL's don't always no what to do with him. Thankfully he is good for them when dh and I want to have a bit of alone time, i.e go see a movie or something. I just don't think they or he could handle an overnight stay. To be honest, Adam is almost 5 and still has never spent the night away from Mommy. I am glad that your FIL seemed to be interested in the things that make life more difficult for Aidan. Maybe he will be able to get your MIL in line <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I wish you the best in actually getting a weekend off. Love my ds to pieces and wouldn't change him for the world, but I would give alot to have a whole weekend without wanting to pull my hair out. KWIM?
 

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No great advice, just lots of empathy. I have a terrible time with my MIL - she is the anti-GD anyway but couldn't possibly understand that you need to treat my DD in a particular way if (and the operative word is "if") you want her to respond to you. My DD has SID and my MIL is one of the most in-your-face, anxious, loud humans on the planet. My DD has a very difficult time looking at her, let alone being in a room with her. We have explained a zillion times not to grab her, not to get in her face, not to use a very loud voice around her but we get the "I have 7 grandchildren, blah, blah, blah" thing. So we just don't bother anymore. She truly doesn't have the capacity to understand that DD has special requirements (that are not all that difficult to follow, they mostly have to do with respecting her personal space) so she won't ever get a warm response out of DD. The really frustrating thing about it is that she constantly complains that she doesn't feel close to DD but she won't try to understand why...
 
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