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Parents who get mad when someone suggests their child is autistic/disabled

Discussion in 'Parenting & Autism Discussions' started by selena, Mar 5, 2021.

  1. selena

    selena Well-Known Member

    Jun 2, 2018
    So I realize anyone who's on this forum probably is already more open-minded than people who aren't to begin with, but I'd like to get your input/personal experience with them anyway.

    On a personal level, I feel that I had a teacher who tried to tell my guardian at the time I needed some kind of professional help. I wasn't in the meeting so I don't know what was said exactly, but my guardian flipped out afterwards and told me I should start responding when spoken to. And that was that, no other actions were taken. But if it makes any difference, this was in the 90s.

    I know autism has been in the news more often lately, but in my own family in the 2010s it was still spoken as some sort of death sentence, with them being fake-concerned over friends/acquaintances with little kids who'd been diagnosed as autistic (and thank God all of us here are normal, well maybe just that one boy who chose to be openly gay but otherwise phew).

    But I wonder if mental health issues in general still carry the stigma they used to with the general public, and if it's still not OK to suggest to parents that their kids may be autistic and the sooner they look into it the better off their kids will be (unless, of course, they take the AutismSpeaks approach)?
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  2. jared mills

    jared mills Rookie

    Apr 12, 2018
  3. Neonatal RRT

    Neonatal RRT Well-Known Member

    Dec 14, 2020
    Yes! I have seen it from a few different perspectives.

    One, as a healthcare professional. Regardless of the diagnosis,...the first reaction is denial. It's one thing if the diagnosis is blatantly obvious like some sort of physical disability,...quite another if it involves the brain,...you can't see it. This cognitive dissonance amongst parents is quite common. This whole, "My child is perfect in every way." sort of thinking is not a healthy approach towards the issue, but it definitely occurs.

    Two, as a spouse. My wife,...is sort of "on board" with this whole ASD diagnosis, but still not wanting to accept. She gives me some signs that she is accepting, then she will turn around and say something that makes me think she hasn't at all.

    Three, as a parent. I have one sister who I have confided in and told her,...and her response was, "Well, they've got a label for everything." and then proceeded to discuss her disbelief. There is no way on God's green Earth that I would ever bring this subject up with my mother. She has no idea. If I told her,...she would get really pissed off at the doctor who ever suggested the diagnosis,...as her children are perfect.
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  4. Mary Terry

    Mary Terry Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    May 19, 2016
    I experienced that wrath from my autistic sister-in-law when I told her and her husband/my brother that I thought their 2 year old son was autistic. He was subsequently diagnosed as autistic but I've always sensed that she remains angry about it, probably because I noticed my nephew's unusual behavior long before she did. Ironically, I didn't realize my SIL is autistic until after my brother's death when she told me that she, too, is on the spectrum. Parents want perfect children and many react irrationally when confronted with a demonstrable issue or problem with their child.
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  5. unperson

    unperson Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

    Apr 14, 2010
    I had my SIL screech out angrily at me 'well we just want average brats!' when I told her my nephew may be autistic. People see it as a genetic taint that affects the whole family in general, so they're not happy about it.
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  6. Major Tom

    Major Tom Searching for ground control... V.I.P Member

    Dec 3, 2017
    Sounds like we are siblings or something.. My family was all about appearance, very little about addressing the issues within unless it was with a belt, bar of soap, or the back of a hand.

    I was diagnosed at 12 and they never told me about it. I just suddenly stopped going to the doctor without knowing why. I found out 25 years later the reason. I have troubles with people who cannot accept reality.
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