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Seeing our child through different lenses

Discussion in 'Parenting & Autism Discussions' started by frink, Mar 11, 2019.

  1. frink

    frink Active Member

    Dec 7, 2018
    My wife and I have to fill out forms for a neuropsych evaluation for our 5-yr old son, but I struggle because she and I apparently see him through different lenses. One of the forms relates to autism where we seem to mostly agree, but I noticed that her responses are very different than mine on the form used to asses ADHD. For example, she checked "almost never" for him showing hand flapping or rocking in chair. The reality is that he is *constantly* rocking in his chair, spinning in it, tipping it, laying in it, or balancing precariously on the edge of it. She says he "occasionally" interrupts others but I rarely can finish a sentence when talking to my wife and he is in the same room. He is an awesome kid deep down but the reality is that parenting him is like constantly walking on eggshells and trying to keep his impulses under control. He has periods where he is well-regulated and amazing, but they are usually short lived, a day or two at most. I believe there is a way that he can learn to access this mental state much more frequently. I don't know exactly how, but maybe with more OT or ABA type help, or even medication down the road, we can get there.

    I have difficulty managing situations where I disagree with my wife on things. I told her last night that I looked over the forms and that I think she and I see things very differently with respect to ADHD. I think we are going to make a photocopy of the form and send in two different sets of responses. She tends to shut down sometimes, so I can't push these types of discussions too hard. It is very difficult to talk about. I'm happy that she acknowledged that we are seeing the situation differently. I know that ADHD assessment is based almost entirely on parent and teacher feedback forms. "Occasional" vs. "often" on just one or two questions can be the difference between a diagnosis and not, and all associated access to support. She has mentioned that she is afraid of labeling him and seeing him differently and loving him less, but I've been seeing him differently for two years now ever since his preschool teachers brought their concerns to us. I'm growing a bit impatient for her to come to terms with the idea that he might have ADHD and/or ASD. When she sees good behavior she makes comments about how his struggles might just be a "phase". I am reasonably sure we could raise him without a diagnosis. But it would be a rockier road and a lot more difficult to figure out best paths forward. I spent probably about 25% of my mental energy over two decades -- that's hours per day -- assessing in my mind the question of "why am I different?" My mind went in some very wrong and confusing and damaging directions without any guidance from anyone of how to work through this question. I really don't want my son to have to go through that mental torture. I think it would be better to error on the side of having a diagnosis and getting some extra support.

    I'm not entirely sure why I'm posting this. Had to get it off my mind, I suppose. I'm going to be direct with my concerns at his evaluation, and my hope is that the neuropsychologist will be direct with a diagnosis and recommendations.
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  2. Rexi

    Rexi uwu owo uwu SlightlyFilterless Atheist Science=<3 V.I.P Member

    Aug 27, 2017
    1. Your wife does not want to get a diagnosis, there are communication barriers between you and her. Why didnt she tell you this before you took him to a psychologist for a diagnosis?

    2. Why does she not want him diagnosed, the child is obvious to everyone hes autistic if he hand flaps and rocks all the time.

    3. If you still believe she tries to get him a diagnosis i would say you're wrong, but it seems odd to me you think she 'sees things differently' if related to her not actually seeing his autistic tendencies like you do, or at all. I think she's aware he is, and of his behavior too.

    4. Fear of diagnosis, fear of labeling him, lack of control of her opinions of him while she already knows he is. These unrealistic fears should be worked with and worked toward whats best for the child [which she should be able to do as a mother] but she will likely not be reasonable or working toward it, at least not now.

    5. She does not accept her child is disabled, this is a tendency to distance from the truth/reality. She is deeply affected by this fact, likely needs counselling/support/time to deal with it but then it may never change and the child is growing up. She might think of his future and how a diagnosis affects him and his abilities, rights in getting hired, or that maybe he will improve in time and will not have to need the diagnosis.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2019
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  3. Nervous Rex

    Nervous Rex High-functioning autistic V.I.P Member

    Dec 9, 2017
    @Rexi's points are all very good.

    It appears to me that your wife is ignoring or denying certain behaviors. I would guess that this is because she doesn't want to see her son as handicapped, flawed, or disabled. Two things should help with this:

    1) Besides reading the forms you both filled out, the doctor(s) should be used to biased parents and should perform their own assessments. Hopefully, your wife will be more willing to accept a professional opinion.

    2) Someone needs to explain to your wife that a label is not a personality, and that a diagnosis is not a condemnation. Being diagnosed does not make you flawed or broken - my own counselor had to work hard to pound this point into my brain. Your son can have a rich and fulfilling life with or without autism.
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  4. Fino

    Fino Alex V.I.P Member

    Sep 22, 2018
    Sounds like my parents! Your child is lucky to have you, since my parents are both like your wife. It seems like a rather deep bias on her part to worry she will love him less because of it. Maybe her intense dislike for the neurologically diverse can be discussed openly and squashed before the child gets much older and senses it from her.
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  5. Vatblack

    Vatblack Active Member

    Mar 27, 2019
    My husband was also very wary of getting a diagnosis. Luckily for me, he did not block it and took part once I decided to go that way. I was told by a physician friend to have my daughter tested at 3 years of age. I only got there by age 5, like you.

    His big problem with it was that they'd try to put her on medication and forget her. Once he understood that it is all about getting services in school and life long help in the form of $20 a month health insurance that cover expensive services like occupational therapy, physical therapy, psychiatric care, and individual learning plans at school - even the ability to choose the best school for her in a state with not that many good schools to choose from, he quickly got on board.

    I was afraid of the label too and the stigma that comes with it. But in all honesty, it is the best thing we've ever done. I could explain to people close to us that our daughter was not just bloody naughty (as many saw her) but that she has impulse control issues. With the help of therapists of all sorts we devised several key phrases for teachers and people around her to use to remind her to check herself. For example: "Please get out of my bubble. Remember people don't like to have someone in their bubble." Etc. etc. She would hear that and step out of people's personal space immediately and it made her life so much easier. We don't even think about that aspect anymore because she's learned to give people space.

    I know this does not help you but I just wanted to encourage you to keep at it. The services will help and your child will do better over time with the right help.(or perhaps you can let her read my experience and see if it will help her?)
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  6. Gracey

    Gracey Well-Known Member

    Jun 30, 2017
    Sometimes writing things down and putting them out there can help us make sense of what we’re thinking and feeling,

    It can feel like a weight lifted sharing thoughts with the few who ‘get it’

    I don’t think you’d ever have to justify why you’re writing what you write on here.
    (Within forum rules, obviously :) )