Blended family.. Austic child not blending well!!!

Shelly - posted on 10/04/2010 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Ok so my husband and I just got married last August 2009. All together we have 5 boys!!!! I have 3 from a previous marriage and he has 2 from a previous marriage. My 3 are 9, 5, & 2. My 9yr old has Aspergers. His are 11 & 5.... His 5 year old has Autism..... We have 2 issues that we are struggling with....

1.... My 5 year old(Nicholas) treats our autistic 5 year old (Ethan) very mean at times. He is always picking on him or correcting him when he says the wrong thing or putting him down.. Like "well Ethan is like a baby because he sleeps in pull ups at night" or "he cant put on his own underware" Nicholas is sometimes very cruel.... Even making fun of him for not knowing how to eat properly...... I really don't know how to handle this... I am constantly correcting Nicholas for his behavior towards Ethan.. Ive explained to him that Ethan is different, but at his young age of 5 it is hard for him to grasp this concept!!!! I feel hopeless!!!

2..... My husband has been in denial about Ethan having Autism... Matter of fact when we first started dating I was the one who noticed Ethan was different. After we got married I was the one to take Ethan to the doctors for evaluation... My husband recently the last few months has gotten better about understanding Ethan is different and just wont grow out of this magically.. He has been coming to doctor appointments which has opened his eyes a bit... But the major problem is that at home we have a 9 yr old with Aspergers and a 5 yr old with Autism.. And while I seem to know and understand a lot about our childrens issues.. My husband at times has NO CLUE!!! At night after our 9 yr old medication has run out he often times does stuoud things, like the other day he painted his hands pink with ink from a pen and tried to wash his hands in the bathroom sink and left the sink stained pink inside.. My husband went upstairs and ended up smacking him for it... I got upset because I know at night time he needs constant direction.... My husband doesnt understand how children with Autism or Aspergers function!!!!!!

Sorry this post is so long!!! Im just looking for insight on how to get my husband more informed and how to deal with our 5 year olds!!! Thank you for any tips or advice!!!!!!!

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Megan - posted on 10/05/2010

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Your already doing better than I would have, I would have grabbed hubby, pulled him into a private room and smacked him if he hit my son for such a stupid reason. That being said we have found that our son responds pretty well to firm boundary's and there is a point that if he passes, he will get spanked, but he is 4 not 9.
With your hubby, they just have to come to terms with it eventually on their own. keep the lines of communication open, but let him take it at his own pace. I know for me even though we realized there was something not quite right with our son, it wasn't till he was almost 2 and a half that I was willing to admit it and go look for help, and hubby was just along for the ride.
I don't know much about blending familys so I cannot speak about that, but I know when my neice was teasing my son, my father stepped in and found washing her mouth out with soap (once and only once) worked quite effectively. Sometimes old fashioned parenting works wonders because its so different from what our kids are used to. Also i would point out your 5 year old is learning this teasing from somewhere... where? That might be the more important thing to track down at this point.

Anita - posted on 10/05/2010

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well its really hard i have a 8 yr old who has asperges adhd,odd and lanuage delays i also have a 9 yr old who has add and anxiety they both fight and say really mean things so we have tried everything,we tried time outs but that just made my little 8 yr old go crazy but the thing that we have found is if they are fighting over the computer we ban them from it or if they are saying mean things we take something that they really like away from them .i knew from an early age about one with my 8 yr old that something was different,once he found his feet that was the end of balance in my life he was into everything i was a walking mess my husband side of the family said he was just a every day little boy i was talked out of getting him help,but when he went to pre school and started hitting the teachers and not doing anything he was told . he had a really bad tantrum one day where he broke his favourite toy when he calmed down he asked mewhy i broke it when i told him that he did it he started throwing things and just lost it when he calmed down again he said mummy whats wrong with me.i got him into the doctors and he was dx at age 4 with adhd but the dr didnt want to label him odd just yet,he is 8 now and he has been dx adhd,odd.merging conduct disorder language delays and aspergers.it has taken my husband many visits but in the past yr he has really been noticing things plus its a bit hard for him to bury his head in the sand when he threatens children at school.give him time he will come around i never thought my husband would but i just got on with it and done what was needed to be done.i always talked over anything the drs had said to me with him and never put him on a med without him knowing.i think that they just need longer then us to come to terms with it.as for your boys put some ground rules down about nasty talking or being mean, find something that he will really miss,and if he keeps on going take more stuff, ours lose it for a day and sometimes longer depending why they are getting it taken off them in the first place. anyway hope i helped a little bit maybe you can take something from it and just change it to make it into something that works for you

Rachael - posted on 10/04/2010

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You poor girl.... Not only are you dealing with "blending" quite a "big" family but you are also taking on the Monster that is Autism in it's various forms along with it! I'm not writing to give you any real advice on what to do I'm afraid. I haven't the experience on something like this to do so. I am writing because I read your post and my heart went out to you. All I can say is that everytime the normal blended family stuff comes up "they" talk about how the parents need to be responsible for "their own" children when it comes to disipline and I would suggest that goes for appointments to Dr's and the like on something as important as a diagnosis of a child on the spectrum. The Partner comes along to support them, but ultimately it is their child, their responsibility. Have you talked about how you would manage disipline type events and actions and have an "agreed plan of action" in regard to a united and consistant front between you on this? If you haven't you may need to have an emergency meeting on it! You need to have some time out with Nicholas to discuss what is not appropriate behaviour and what it is that you are looking for from him as a Mum and come up with maybe a reward system when he does caring things for his new brother so that this required behaviour is recognised and encouraged? 5 year olds respond to this sort of stuff and your 2 year old is watching so best to nip this in the bud. Men handle it so differently than we do. It's the men are from Mars thing..... I did all the leg work, got the diagnosis, started the classes and support groups etc. He was there with me, but I did it all and he tagged along for the ride I think! It wasn't until he went to a beer and pizza support group for Dad's night about 2 years later with my beloved Dad (who has since passed away and who also didn't have a clue at the time as to what was involved) that he fell apart and just started crying in the meeting which of course my Dad then joined in and when they told me so did I! You need to let your husband get to that point in his own time and handle it the way he needs to and it might take a while so be patient and supportive as you are currently being. Maybe a glass of wine and a beer and a talk when the kids have gone to bed might help things move in the direction you are seeking! My heart goes out to you and your wonderful BIG group of boys! It sounds to me like your a pretty wonderful girl so don't worry, things will come together for someone like you! Good luck with it all. I'm thinking of you!!! :-)

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