Monday, November 7, 2011

Monday Vent - Relatives

I have a number of years experience in special education and have worked with hundreds of different kids with a multitude of issues.  There is a lot I don't know, but I have an educated and experienced point of view.  With that being said, I would not tell someone that I think their child has issues, even if it is obvious to me, unless they specifically asked my opinion, and even then I would be extremely cautious with what I said.  This becomes more challenging when it is the child of a close relative.

I babysat for this relative who has a 3 & 5 year old.  I have been concerned about the developmental skills of the 5 year old since he was 18 months old and have kindly and lovingly expressed my concerns on a number of occasions.  This was not received well at all.  I, therefore, have not said anything for over one year.  Now, however, the goofy dad starts telling me how he's concerned about the 3 year old because she is giving him a hard time with everything (ie. typical three-year-old testing & pushing limits).  He doesn't understand because the older child was so "easy to deal with".  ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!!!  The older child threw tantrums any time he was in a new situation.  He threw tantrums when we sang happy birthday at parties because it was too loud.  He refuses to use the toilet anywhere but at his house.  He only eats 5 foods.  This is the easy-going child???  How can a parent be so blinded and in such denial!!!  How can some people's view of reality be so cockamamie?


Sound familiar? Tell us your frustrating relatives story.


  1. I could've written what you wrote, almost verbatim!

    A close friend of mine, an MFT no less, has a son with autism. The thing that gets me is that he's a darling boy, the same age as my daughter (in fact we were pregnant together) and I could have easily have helped her with a whole lot of things that she and her husband could have done early intervention-wise. She would ask me if I thought there was something wrong with him and as soon as I got hopeful at the opportunity to talk to her, she would quickly dismiss me mid-sentence as "he just has developmental delays". It took everything I had to tell her that no he doesn't JUST have developmental delays, it's AUTISM. And not the mild kind either: full tantrums, OCD-like behavior, self-stim galore, no eye contact, no reciprocity, no language, you name it. I gave up even trying to open up the subject with her, eventually, because I figured she knows that I SPECIALIZE in autism, I WORK with kids with autism and when she's ready to move past the denial, she knows where to find me ::deep breath:: I get so upset every time I think about bit.

    Thanks for posting this, I appreciate your honesty!

  2. Megan @ - So glad I am not the only one. At times I wonder if it is just me being overly sensitive to this child because I know him so well. Then I will see him again and my feelings will be validated by his actions. I cringe when they tell me "the Dr. says that all kids develop at different rates." It doesn't matter how slow that rate might be for their son, they have already dismissed anything I might bring up because of that quote stuck in their head.