Family Helping With Our Kids

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-21-2009
Family Helping With Our Kids
Wed, 10-19-2011 - 3:46pm

I have a question and I'm curious what others do in a situation like this.

If you watch Parenthood (which is getting on my nerves lately for a couple of their story lines), you may have seen the episode where Max (asperger's, I think he's 9 or 10?) believes that his younger cousin should eat lunch with him every day. Without ruining it if you haven't seen it yet, I will just say that I loved that other family members jumped in to help Max and his parents. Unfortunately, that is not the case for us. My son's cousins (some are the same age) are not taught to do anything with him or for him. Family gatherings mean he is left alone, and when I try to pull him in, adults say "Well, if he's not going to play right..." or "He stood off to the side, I'm not going to force him.." ARGH. They don't know enough about autism and see it as something that if it doesn't have a proven medical component (like a visible physical handicap), oh well. None of my son's local cousins will do anything with him. They plan gatherings, go see movies, get together to play video games (my son's favoritest things ever) and mine isn't invited. Other kids complain about him, out loud, while parents whisper to their kids, pat them on the head and they leave, leaving my son behind. Speaking up does no good, they refuse to get it. SO, I've stopped going to gatherings but that isn't helping my son either, and it's sad to see that his family doesn't give a rip.

Anyone else experiencing this? What do you do? My husband still tries with the family -- it's his family and he's afraid to burn bridges -- but I'm tired of it. He may be a better person than me, but I'm tired of putting us out there and my son getting no help back or worse yet, being left alone and crying, and then they shake their heads and sigh. (Or whisper back to their son more, with us occasionally hearing things like "don't worry about him, do what you want.") My child is a brat, theirs are perfect.