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HELP!!!! Not diagnosed, possibly borderline autistic

Luv2ride4w's picture

I'm 32 years old without children of my own but I'm I've been a step mother to my husbands boys 5and 10 for 3 years now. My 10 year old is borderline autistic but my husband and his ex wife believe that he will grow out of whatever is going on. He's been in the same occupational theorpy for 5 years now and in the last 3 years there has been absolutely no improvement. Now if you talk to my husband and his ex they will say the complete opposite. I know they just want their child to be normal and I'm trying so hard to be understanding but I've got to the point where I'm having a hard time being nice to my stepson. My husband continues to tell me the things he does is normal. THEY ARE NOT NORMAL FOR A 10 YEAR OLD (maybe a 3-5 year old). I've done unbelievable amount of research and found several good doctors to at least get him help but I feel like im the only one that cares. He's bullied, can't pay attention, he has no friends, Ect. I would think a parent would want help with that. 

Well I'm to the point of wanting a divorce, I can't handle him anymore and I'm tired of being the only one trying to get him help. I've gone to counseling about this and honestly it made my marriage worse. Does anyone have any advice or words of wisdom?

tankh21's picture

Disengage....I also have a SS who is autistic (Asperger's) and my DH and the BM use it as a crutch to enable him and they just let him get away with everything. If your skid's parents don't care then why should you? Please do not waste your time just disengage.

Rags's picture

We have long time friends who have two kids who are on the Austism spectrum.  For years they coddled their sons, blamed the docs and therapists for their kid's behavioral crap and let the run amok.

We visited them fairly regularly though I had major issues with the behavioral crap they tolerated from their kids.  On one visit their eldest who was bout 8 at the time punched me in the balls.  I grabbed him by the scuff of the neck, dragged him to the sofa, put him over my knee and blistered his butt.  I then stood him up, poked him in the chest repeatedly with my finger as I told him to never do that again and to start behaving, then I told him to go get a book, sit down, be calm and we could read the book together.   For a couple of years after that every time we visited he would grab a book and ask me to read with him.  

His parents nearly stroked out as I blistered their kid's butt.  Then were in slack jawed shock when he got the book and remained calm for hte rest of that visit and any other time I visited.  They implemented far more behavioral structure in their home after that incident.  We visited them in 2016 after not seeing them for a few years after we both moved.  Their kids were held to strict behavioral standards by then and had thrived.  Still autistic but no longer feral animals.  Sadly our friends have since divorced.  The good news is that mom got custody and is the one who has structured their kids lives and holds them to behavioral and performance standards. She is working with docs and therapists and is hopeful if not confident that her sons will be able to function autonimously, at least at some level, as adults.

She does not let their condition be an excuse for crappy behavior.  Their dad on the other hand, is the prototypical Disney Dad who is all about letting them do what they want when they want.

So, while there certainly are autistic kids that are beyond thriving even in a structured behavioral environment, I firmly believe that the syndrome of the month that Pseudo Science otherwise unemployable "professionals" make up are generally an excuse for shitty parents to feel better about themselves and to justify their own existence from an employment perspective.

I hope that DH and BM will get this kid help.. but don't expect much out of it.  They are delusional about their crappy parenting so getting the kid help won't change that IMHO.

Rags's picture

Nope, I disciplined an ill behaved little shit.   I invoked structure and consequences for crappy behavior.  WIth the choice of behaving or suffering, he behaved.  Effective consequences for crappy behavior changes behavior for the better.  As evidenced by this example.

His parents adopted structure and enforced behavioral standards after he decided he would rather have me read to him than punch me in the nuts and then get his butt spanked.

Funny how that works.

Kes's picture

I think sometimes parents can be in denial of conditions which limit children in some way, and go through a process of grieving for the child they'd dreamed of.  However, you'd think by age 10, they would have come to some sort of peace with it and be prepared to try and get the child the best help available.  

I don't think letting children behave badly is a good idea whatever their issue, it will just hamper them more if they are not given sensible rules.  Mental or physical disabilities, mental illness, etc should be no excuse for poor behaviour or mistreating others.  

waffles's picture

...I'm going through something similar. Turns out my SD was never officially diagnosed (sensory processing disorder) but has sure as heck been given a pass for all sorts of crap behavior and lack of life skills. She has an "I can't do that" attitude which is both heartbreaking and frustrating, so I try and challenge her to do new things. But she's always insisted on doing stuff her own way (half *ssing it) while expecting applause. Not from me. I am NOT going to infantilize a 14-year-old child who I KNOW can do better. (I've seen it.)

I'm not big on physically admonishing a kid (though if I had smashed balls, I might have a different opinion) but I have one hell of a God Voice, and I use it. I try not to put her down, but I also insist she stop her fake babytalk BS and endless five-year-old goofy questions "if you were a cat, would you want to watch TeeeeveeEeeeEEEEeeeee?" (giggle giggle giggle fake laugh)

"I don't know, but if I were a 14-year-old high school Freshman (like she's going to be in September) would I think that you're being annoyingly immature right now?" 

When she leaves here at the end of each summer, she's vastly improved. her skills, self-awareness, and composure.. with absolutely no progress when she's at her BMs.