New to Autism and need some advice....

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2010
New to Autism and need some advice....
3
Sun, 11-20-2011 - 10:00pm

Hi...I am new to this board and could really use some advice. First, a little background....I have been divorced for 7 years and am now engaged to a wonderful man. We have known each other for years, but only started dating about a year ago. I have two children, DD16 and DS11. My fiance has two boys, ages 9 and 8. My children are with us all of the time with the exception of EOW when they see their dad. Without getting into details..we only see my fiances 9 year old a few times each year...but his 8 year old is with us all of the time. (They do have separate moms). His DS8 has high functioning Autism.

DS8 is in mainstream school, has an IEP...he is diagnosed with Autism, Aspergers, and PDD. The neurologists told my fiance ''good luck, every day will be a different adventure''. For the most part, it is difficult to tell that DS8 has Autism unless you know what to look for (I am learning the signs). He is, according to neurologist, ''querky''. Most people on the outside looking in would only think that he is an odd child...weird.

Now the part where I need help...my son has a difficult time understanding that DS8 requires more patience than most other children. He doesn't treat him badly...he just gets very frustrated with DS8. He doesn't understand why DS8 acts the way he does sometimes. Now the kicker...we have an appt with the Doctor on Wednesday...a follow up to determine whether or not we need to take my son in to determine if he has Aspergers...or something else. He has many signs of Autism...once I knew what to look for, or things I had noticed for years finally being linked to something.

Does anyone have step-children, or other children, who have a difficult time understanding and being patient with your Autisic child??? And how is the best way to help them understand?? Nothing horribly major has happened as of yet..and I want to avoid it if I can. I've talked with my son several times...my fiance and I have sat down together with my son and explained why DS8 has certain behaviors. I realize some of the issue is the normal ''blending of family'' issues, but some of them aren't. My ex has always made my son the center of attention, and always buys him things...my daughter is closer to my fiance than with her dad because her dad doesn't give her much attention. There have been several times over the years where I wondered if there was something...not 'wrong' with my son, but that there had to be an explanation for some of his behaviors. Anger is huge with him...a very one sided view of fair...when he gets stressed he blinks, a lot....a many other things.

I'm sorry for the long post...I'm just getting to my wits end here. I am totally new to the Autism world...and at times have a hard time with patience myself. It took my a while to be able stop and think before I speak. Any advice or help will be greatly appreciated !!

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Mon, 11-28-2011 - 2:26pm

I really hope that the custody issue gets settled soon, I'm sure the stress of that doens't help with everything else you are dealing with.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-13-2010
Sun, 11-27-2011 - 12:21pm

My ex husband would unlikely be willing to go to therapy. He will look at it as there being something wrong with his idea of 'perfect'...trust me, I've tried.

My fiance, is more than willing to do whatever is necessary for our family. DS8 does not at this time receive therapy. We have been involved in a huge nasty custody battle with his mother. We didn't want to add any more stress by getting him to a therapist, then losing custody and him having to back to his mother, which he really does not want to do. Thankfully, the last court hearing went hugely in our favor and in about a week and half, we should have the last hearing...and it's looking very good for full legal and physical custody. Fingers crossed ! He wants to stay here, he's happy here...life is fairly routine and normally calm and peaceful here...until his mother gets involved. He doesn't even want to talk to her on the phone. His autistic moments have drastically reduced in the past 6 months or so. I actually took all three kids shopping with me yesterday (DD16, DS11, and DS8)..and had a fantastic time with them !!

As for my 11 year old...we finally have the referral from his doctor to get him to a counselor. My first call Monday morning will be to get it set up. The doctor said she couldn't actually diagnose Asperger's and would really like him to see a counselor..so she kind of said it, without saying it. Although, it could very easily be just anger issues...guess we'll find out.

I don't know that I look at it as being willing to work so hard to be the best mom...I look at it more like, doing what I need to do to help them feel the most comfortable, and to be happy...it's easier for me to stop and consider how my reaction will affect them.

Avatar for Cmmelissa
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2008
Tue, 11-22-2011 - 2:18pm
Welcome to the board, I'm glad you found us. Does your son receive any type of therapy? If so, my suggestion would be for your husband to work with them to learn how to deal with your son's behaviors. Sometimes knowing how to deal with the situation will give you the patience to do it. Your other son could have some minor issues, you could always have him evaluated by a psychologist. He might benefit from some behavior therapy, and you might learn of new ways to deal with him when he's mad or stressed.

I'm glad you are willing to work so hard to be the best mom you can for them, it can be so hard to find the patience every day but it will be worth it :)