I need help my husband will not discuss or even acknowledge our son's diagnosis

Paulette - posted on 10/16/2009 ( 47 moms have responded )

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I don't know where to turn or what to do as my husband just does not want to know anything about our son's diagnosis. He never asks any questions or brings it up and if I try to mention something about it he just changes the subject. He has never been to any of the appointments with the Psychologist and just get annoyed that he has to finish work early 1 day a week to look after our 3 children so I can go. When I get home from the appointment he just seems to avoid me. This has been going on for weeks now and I just hoped he would eventually come around but he is still no better. I am really struggling and have been diagnosed with stress, anxiety and depression, which of course he doesn't want to know about either. I feel like I am all alone, even though we live in the same house but I don't have anybody to talk to, lean on or get support from. Has anyone out there experienced the same kind of response from their partners and how did you manage to get through it and keep the relationship going?

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Stacy - posted on 10/17/2009

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Men have a very hard time coping with the loss of what they had always thought would be their child. They are so used to being the ones to "fix" things, and now they are up against something that is not "fixed". Their vision of what their child would be is no more. The Father's Network is a wonderful resource for men, if they would ever take the time, but also for mother's to give them a glimpse into what father's are going through. This is from Ned Gulley's What Being the Father of an Autistic Son Taught Me
About Being a Red Sox Fan (and vice versa), "He is a struggle to deal with every day. Working with him is, as a general rule, tedious and unrewarding. When he does something new or successful, it is a small victory --- he pulls his socks off on command, or maybe he pedals a tricycle ten feet before losing all interest in the exercise. I am always tempted to measure these small victories against his larger dysfunction. I am tempted to say "Great, but he’s still hopelessly retarded." Because I don’t want him to make me hope. I have nursed hopes, coaxed dreams along superstitiously and been crushed again and again. At this point it is very unlikely that Jay will "recover." A manageable status quo is what I hope for now. I recede into bitterness. Damn you for making me hope! Keep up your predictable failings and my heart can take it. But if I keep hoping it will kill me. " I would encourage you to go to the Father's Network web site and read through some of the stories that are posted there. I wish I could say that all men will come around eventually, but the stark reality is that it is often too much for them to handle. With more awareness and education of autism, it is getting better though. My husband, as wonderful as he is, still has the mentality of "fixing" his son, and gets angry and depressed when he can't. Stay strong, and get as much support as you can for yourself!

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Kristen - posted on 02/11/2010

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Oh, and be knowledgeable when speaking with your husband. Explain what everything means to him. Read all the books you can. I've read 5 so far and make him a part of being your child's advocate and you'll be able to hold a conversation a little longer.

Kristen - posted on 02/11/2010

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Yeah, hubby is like that sometimes. I just try to catch him in a good mood. He likes to know what's going on with him though. Mention all the improvements to him especially. I'm going through the same thing you are right now. Our 2 y/o son was diagnosed in Nov.'09 with autism spectrum disorder. Try to get him to go to the appointments and explain to him that you're overwhelmed and put it out there calmly what all you're doing from day-to-day. Also, you need your own counselor and support group. You can make one yourself if there isn't one around.

Shelly - posted on 12/16/2009

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I understand what your going through my husband doesn't want to acknowledge my sons disorder either. I have 4 other kids as well and then my husband and 3 of the kids are mine and 1 of them is his, so my kids are his stepkids but he has been my sons dad since he was 9 months and my other kids were in grade school, so he's been in their lives for a while. We didn't know there was anything wrong with my son until he started school and then it hit like a ton of bricks. My sons main issue is his ability to handle his anger, he also has social problems. When my son started getting harder to handle, is when his relationship with my husband started to go downhill and the weight of the problem was put all on me. My other kids didn't really want to hear it either. My husbands son came to live with us when he was 4 and he is just one month younger than my son so it is like having twins that aren't blood related. His son and my son were both in early headstart and my son is alot bigger than his son, so when my son would have a meltdown at home he would target my stepson and he would choke himself until he turned blue, we would have to hold him down and of course all my husband could do is get upset at him because he was being mean. My son was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome when he was about 6 and then it started to get worse where my husband and other kids were concerned. My son sees a therapist through MHMR(mental health mental retardation) and the first thing the therapist did was talk to me and teach me how to handle his meltdowns and what to do to keep him from hurting himself or others or destroyig things, she also told me that i can't punish him the same way i punished the others, she said do not spank and it probably won't do you any good to put him in the corner,so take something away from him for the one day he was bad and give it back the next day. My husband also has a mental disorder (post-traumatic stress disorder) and him and my son don't click when my son has his meltdowns and of course my step son doesn't understand or won't understand why i have to deal with my son in such a different way and it just makes for alot of stress and it puts all the weight on my shoulders, I really don't know what to say but if you need to talk you can send me a message anytime and if you have any advice for me i will be most grateful.

Amna - posted on 12/02/2009

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I also have this issue . My husband thinks that my daughter is just being spoiled and will if anything is wrong get well one day . Its so hard because its left all up to me to cope and sometimes I just feel aall alone

Sacha - posted on 12/02/2009

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My Daughter was diagnosed and It took me months to make my family understand why I enrolled her in therapy at 18 months. She wasn't speaking or eating solid food at all. They all thought "She'll grow out of ot", but as her MOM, I felt something wasn't right. My husband when he did finally talk about it thought it meant she was retarded or would be unable to learn as a "Normal" child. Afraid of the stigma of "Special Ed" from when we were young and unable to understand diffrently abled children. Its been a long lonely road but you have to fight off the depression or get help from local support groups of the same problem. You're their MOM and they depend on YOU to help them. If you don't manage it, then they don't have a chance. You'll be OK, cause God doesn't give us more than we can handle, and he has blessed you with the care of a special child because he knows you're the right MOM for the job. Your husband will require time, and possibly education and input about the diagnosis and what it means, and also how HE can HELP. He probably feels helpless and is afriad to show it, he may even feel like its HIS fault somehow. But he'll come around in time. He is their DAD and he will rise to the challenge.
I wish you the best of luck in your struggle. But don't give up. Your Child needs MOM.

Tanya - posted on 12/02/2009

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My husband has been "ok" with what has been going on with helping our son, UNTIL his mother told him that I was just labelling our son and should seek a second opinion. She has no idea how many specialists and dr's i have been going to and doing it alone. I was ready to leave my very happy marraige over this but That was a week ago, he now has agreed that our son does need help and will support me in sending him to Speech Therapist, early education unit etc. Still won't admit it is ASD or that he has epilepsy but at least he will discuss the issues our son has.

Paulal - posted on 12/02/2009

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I went throught the same thing my husband, he was angry about the fact our son has a problem. when i got to the bottom of the problem with him he was more angry about the fact that he didnt know how to handle the problem. My husband has had to learn patience and keeping calm when you re screaming inside. With time both my son and his father have a good relationship and he now understands that only time, patience and preservance will make the situation alot easier.

Theresa - posted on 12/01/2009

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i cant' say i have experianced the same thing but what was the diagnosis? and maybe he's scared nobody wants anything to be wrong with their baby and hearing about it makes it more real and he doesn't want that men don't always think of how or who they are hurting when they do the things they do i have experianced that before.maybe as hard as it sounds he will need more time sadly we do have to be the strong ones sometimes

Beth - posted on 12/01/2009

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Same thing here. As someone said, stick to your guns. Mine refuses to hear it, but moms do know best about this stuff, at least 99% of the time. This really is the most stressful stuff you can put on a marriage. There's a reason there's such a high divorce rate among parents of autistic kids. We're hanging in there, at times by a thread. Done therapy, et al. I just can't imagine doing this alone.

Terri - posted on 11/25/2009

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Yes! I went through something very similar. He still avoids it and says that nothing is wrong. The funny thing is that we met because we worked for the same company. We both managed group homes for Autistic children. You need to do this for your child and find some support outside your home. It will get worse before it gets better but just try to be strong. It's not something that they can avoid forever.

Charlene - posted on 11/25/2009

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Hi I too have a husband in denial. My son was diagnosed at age five and is now fourteen. My husband has never attended any thearpy sessions, school meetings or anything else to do with it all, unless of course it was soccer then he would be there but when Andrew is playing soccer the ASD isn't as evident. My husband still argues with him and has little understanding of autism so there is many a day when living in our house is like living in a war zone. I get the questions of: Why does he do that? and so on. I just give him 'the look' and he realises that he is at fault for not understanding but I find he just lets it all ride. I don't think he will seriously acknowledge Andrew's autism ever. He says to people about it but usually in the contexts of using it as an excuse for his behaviour. I hope your hubby comes round better than mine has. I wish you luck. Soldier on you can do this and survive.

Julie - posted on 11/25/2009

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I feel for you. My husband wasn't in denial. He just left so much up to me. Like I could handle it all. i guess I did too good a job of looking like I had it all in hand. We eventually got past it. One thing that helped was when a psychologist asked my husband if he had read anything about Aspergers since our sons diagnosis. When he said no. She asked if he would have studied up if our son was diagnosed with Diabetes or other life changing medical condition (which, of course, ASD is!). The light bulb went on.

Dawn - posted on 11/24/2009

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Quoting Stacy:

Another twist that I forgot to mention as well, and what my husband is having a great deal of trouble with, is that he too has Asperger's. His position is that if he has been as successful as he is, then why can't his son? I often hear him saying "I never did that" or "When I was little...". I keep reminding him that he is a unique person, just as his son is. There are no two people with the same autism. There are MANY adults out there that are either undiagnosed with Asperger's or have Asperger traits and they have a hard time seeing their children in that role because it would mean there is something "wrong" with them as well. On the other hand, there are many that have eventually felt great relief upon discovering for themselves through their child's dx that they have Asperger's, and it's not something that they are "doing" wrong. That is how my husband and I found out about ourselves. (yes, we both have Asperger's, and survived to tell the tale)


Reading through all the replies I felt like everyone was living in my closet peeking into my family. Butt his hit me the hardest. May I just say HOW MANY times I have heard my husband say "He is exactly like me when I was a kid..." which later turned into "I never did that, what is wrong with him?" I keep trying to tell my husband that our son IS NOT HIM and that he is not EXACTLY like him. I am not sure my husband understands Asperger's, although he has read all the books and pamphlets I have read. He keeps calling it a "crutch" or "an excuse" and his only answer is to... for lack of better words... "beat him straight". Of which I will not allow. I may be at my wits end on what discipline WILL work - but I know damn well that beating him WILL NOT. And I don't mean beating him as in abuse, I mean just spanking but the term spanking sounds like he is putting him over his knee. LOL  I think I found the relief because I oft wondered where did I go wrong. I can look back through the photo albums and see when he changed or got worse. It was around the time that I got pregnant with our second son. Of whom my husband has a wonderful relationship with. Sometimes I feel like he has dismissed the oldest. He's "damaged". But I cannot blame anyone, and I surely cannot say it is the fault of having a second child. Although I have to wonder if this has caused anger with my oldest.

Ashley - posted on 11/23/2009

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Hi, My son Ayden was diagnosed about 6 months ago and i know exactly what you are going through. My husband was slower growing up and was always in special ed so when the diagnosid was first there is blamed himself. He refused and still won't talk about it as much with me and insisted Ayden was just slow and would "grow out of it" men in general are not meant to handle this type of stuff. As my mom always says "its a man thing". I originally joined Circle of Moms to find other moms with children like Ayden so i would have someone to talk to and it has been great. It has been very hard on our marriage and twice has almost ended it. He is not consistent with Ayden and often yells which in contrast has absolutely no effect on Ayden he just laughs at us when we yell. Him avoiding things is not helping you have to do the best thing for your son. I have asked myself several times if he can't handle Ayden now what is he gonna do when Ayden is 15 and still throwing tantrums. Just communicate what you can hope someday it will sink in and get your son the help he needs that is really all you can do.

Jessica - posted on 11/20/2009

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after my daughter was diagnosed we had our son and i fell into a depression too and was hospitalized. they diagnosed me with major depressive disorder. my fiance was in denial about the diagnosis. he was saying she's fine, she's just a late bloomer. he still went to our appts but never really said anything. we finally got our daughters case worker involved. she came to our house, and had told us about her own children and her struggle with two children with autism. after she told her story, she looked right at my fiance and called him out on his beliefs. she looked at him and told him "i know you may not agree or believe what's going on with your daughter, and you may feel i'm full of crap, maybe you feel some guilt, who knows, but this is real, and you may want to rethink about you really feel. you may not like what i have to say, or me in general, but i'm not here for you, i'm here for your daughter." i swear my eyes bugged right out of my head. but you bet your butt that same night i was researching more about autism, and he sat down and started asking me questions. she got through to him, and now he's more involved than ever. he goes to meetings, and appts, and handles home visits if i'm working. it's great. sometimes we can try to explain till we're blue in the face, but a complete stranger may change everything!!

CORSALIA - posted on 11/15/2009

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I went thru the same thing with my husband. It seems to be something in a man---where he doesn't want to acknowledge the fact that he produced a child with a disability. Eventually my husband came around and he takes care of my son as much as I do. In the streets---he holds his son's hand and I see other women look as if they don't see too many men do that. I find at the clinic---It's mostly women with their child-but I just assume that because of the hour and the fact that the man must work. Give him more time----and you need to join a support group that meet and just socially interact in person----I've been there---It will help you---and sign your child up for week-end respite---to give everyone else in the house some relief. Hope to hear from you soon.

LeeAnn - posted on 11/11/2009

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Although my case may not be exactly the same as yours, I have been there. My husband and I started to notice that she wasn't doing the things she should be able to do around her 1st birthday. I thought it was because I was a SAHM, and there were no other children around for her to interact with. I saw Dr Phil's episode on Autism, and immediately knew that Micki fit the bill. I told my husband what I saw, and how I felt. He sort of agreed, but didn't want to go in detail about it. We mentioned our thoughts to his parents, and they got mad. Said we were over reacting, and paranoid...etc. I talked to her doc, and she was sent for evaluations with a Speech therapist to see if she was having any throat problems, b/c she would vomit when we tried any lumpy foods. She was also evaluated by a PT, and found to be severely delayed in all areas. I was devastated! I was also 4 months pregnant with our 2nd "surprise". She began PT, but had to wait for Speech and OT. Later in the summer, after the birth of her sister, she was enrolled in a speical needs school were she reiceved all of her therapies. My husband didn't want her enrolled, and didn't want her to go to the therapies...sided with his parents that there was nothing wrong, and the therapists just wanted our money. I spent many nights thinking more and more about Autism screening. At her 18 month checkup, I ask her doc about sending us for a test, to find the cause of her delays. She was diagnosed in March of this year. They also did genetic testing, and found that she has DiGeorge Syndrome, which is a deletion of part of the 22nd chromosone. My husband cried, and we finally talked about all that had been going on. In April we went to see a genetic counselor, and had our other daughter tested for DiGeorge as well. I thought things would be better as far as our communication about Micki's case would be tons better...not the case. He went through the process of accepting that she had some issues, but refused to talk about them, and would become angry, and change the subject whenever I brought it up...still does. I was, for the most part, alone in my fight to find a cause for her struggles. Recently, we had a big blowout about that, and I found out some interesting information as to his reluctance to talk about it. He said he didn't want to "dwell on the bad", and what she couldn't or may never be able to do. He wanted to think about all the good things we have to be thankful are not going on with her. He could actually repeat back to me some of the things I said that I thought he had ignored. I was stunned! I had never thought of it that way! I just knew that for me, it helped to talk about the struggles, and the progress, or lack thereof. For him, he didn't want to dwell on the bad, but focus on what she is doing. I am sure that your husband loves you, and your child, and that it is hard for him to think about what your child is struggling with. Try to bring it up in a neutral time, and don't come across like you are judging him for his response or lack thereof. Men and women are different, and each of us need different things. My husband and I have come to an agreement: If I want to talk about Micki's issues, I let him know ahead of time wheather it will be good or bad. We then try to listen completely to what the other person is saying, and go from there. If we get into the conversation, and I can tell it is too much, I can stop, and vice versa. If I just need to cry, he holds me, and lets me "vent". It is a rough road we travel, and sometimes we have to learn new ways to communicate, but it is worth it! God bless you and your family! I hope it helps you!

Debbie - posted on 11/10/2009

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Unfortunately, many Mums can relate to this. My husband used to work with severaly disabled people, one of them having ASD. It took us almost 2 years before we finally got our son diagnosed. During that time we both mourned a bit for the child we thought we were getting, and beginning to deal with the child we had. We went through times of working together with things, and many times of it being only me dealing with it. We lost most of our old friends as if we took our boy to their homes or they came to ours, they couldn't deal with the noise and behaviour that came with our son. As he got older this has lessoned as the few friends I now have, have learnt to understand and accept my sons quirkiey ways. My husband was always a good sports person and represented our districts at many sports from around age 7 or 8. This brought more problems as he always thought his own sons would follow in his footsteps on to the sports field. With each new obstical arrises, Mums just learn that we have to deal with it, Dads have to take a while to process what this now means to their dream of a furture. My husband has been supportive at times and also very distant and exclusive at others. Eventually he has always come around and helped to do what ever needs doing, but you may have to wait awilhe each time. I strongly surgest you get some sort of couples cousilling going, or someone impartial that you can both talk to as early and for as long as possible. Marriage and kids are hard for everyone, but for families with these special kids, difficult takes on a whole new meaning. Try to keep your relationship as strong as you can because during the rough patches you need to lean on each other and gain strength from each other. Good luck to your family and try to focus on the good things that happen each day.

Dawn - posted on 11/09/2009

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My husband was in denial when my son was diagnosed with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease(a neuromuscular disease). He acted the same way you're describing your husband. My daughter, now 5, has been doing therapy with OT & PT since she's been 3 months old. & now speech. She's developmenally delayed. VERY MILD cerebral palsey is suspected by the neurologist but can't be confirmed unless they do a MRI . Myself as a mother suspects mild aspergers. My husband does not want to do the tests to confirm anything because he says shes just fine & wonderful the way she is . He's RIGHT - shes wonderful & I luv her just the way she is. BUT I want to know exactly what any problems she has so I can do my best to help her with any problems or weaknesses and I can approach her the correct way to her learning process. I think a lot of men believe if they dont acknowledge the issue and the issue is not visual to them -the issue does not exist. We as women want the knowledge so we can fix things or just do the best we can to help our children. My husband still doesnt want tests to confirm. But with my son he's finally come around . I think guys just take longer . We had other things going on in our relationship, so we did therapy. You may not want to hear that & most guys are probably not going to do therapy but it was VERY helpful. You may just have to be patient with him. Until he comes around lean on your friends so you dont feel alone. I know its not the same as your partner but thats what got me through the times of feeling overwhelmed. Give it time but dont let him think the issues are not there. I wish you the best !

Paulette - posted on 11/09/2009

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Hi Everyone Thanks for all the encouragment and support. It really has helped me alot reading your thoughts and advice. When I first posted this question I was extremely distressed about the situation but with your help I have managed to stop panicking quite so much and have been just taking one day at a time. Over the past couple of weeks I have been slowly very casually mentioning things about appointments etc to my husband and each time I have noticed he has been listening more. He still doesn't ask questions or comment but I can see he is being a bit more understanding of our son and his needs. Unfortunately my husband has never been much of a conversationalist but if at least he will listen that is a start. Hopefully this is the start of things looking up.

Rachael - posted on 11/09/2009

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Hi there,

Things will get better in time, it will feel like forever because you don't have your hubby to turn to for support to think out loud about appointments and problems etc I have been there and done. It has taken years and years but now my hubby comes to appointments and psg meetings with the school etc. He will listen to me now when I need to discuss things about the kids. He wasn't there when I needed him but I did have my mum at the time which helped. Sometimes she made it more difficult though as I needed a strong person not someone who kept crying with bad news!! Does y our hubby have asperger's???? I am pretty sure my hubby does, although not severe it still causes alot of problems with communication and his lack of tolerance of the kids. Join a support group is my best advice I love going to mine I always come home feeling so much better. They listen to you and offer advice and you do the same for them. I highly reccommend a support group. Good luck. xxx

Kristin - posted on 11/08/2009

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My husband thinks that my son just needs more disaplin (sp?) and doesn't buy his diagnosis of ADHD and Aspergers. So, I just do what I can. I put him on meds against my husbands wishes, I tried bahavioral therapy before that but when that didn't work, I felt that I had no choice. He is involved in some ways. He goes to his IEP meetings and teacher conferences when he can so it's not like he isn't involved. I just think if it isn't medically proven by a blood test or something, he isn't going to accept the diagnosis.

He did admit that our son has improved since taking his meds but still doesn't get the asperger part of it. I know he loves our son so I'm not going to get angry at him about it. He realizes that I'm going to do whatever is necessary to help our son. With or without his approval.

DeeAnne - posted on 11/04/2009

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This seems to be something that is very difficult for dads to accept. They have hopes and dreams of their sons being involved in sports or other activities like they were when they were boys. Once they find this out, they have to go through a sort of mourning period. My husband did this and I have talked to other mothers who said their husbands did the same thing. I think it also took hearing from someone other than a doctor that something was wrong. Our son's kindergarten teacher noticed the same things I had been noticing since he was 18mos.old and she was the first person to get through to my husband. From there, he seemed to be able to accept it and go on and the mourning eventually subsided. Our son was 6yrs.old by this time so I definitely know you feel alone and feel that there is no help or end to this. My husband finally began working with our son as I had been and that helped me as well. I was also diagnosed with anxiety and depression and began taking medication. This helped me deal with the every day problems of having an autistic child while also taking care of my 2 younger daughters. We also put our son on medication which helped him not only at school, but home as well. We worked together with our son's teachers and other support staff to help him in school and I think this helped my husband accept things easier as well when he started to see some improvement. Our son was placed in mainstream education classes 3 yrs.ago and has done well. He will be graduating this year from high school and has plans to go on to college. We have worked together and our son has also worked hard to overcome his difficulties. Try to take it one day at a time, have an abundance of patience (for both parents), and know that it will get better and you can stick it out by working together. We have been married 26 years now and continue to work together to help our son. There is light at the end of the tunnel.

Renee - posted on 11/03/2009

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Hi - some similarities to the stories above however, my now ex-husband is an engineer and I think he could not come to terms with the diagnosis of our son (autism) four years ago because he could not "fix" him. Engineers fix things they design things. I remember when our son was born with no signs of autism (not until age 2 1/2) but it was the week that the twin towers fell. Our son was born September 4 and then 7 days later 9/11 happened. My ex seemed to take the collapse of the building personally because he is an engineer but not one for the towers he had a hard time dealing with the failure of the structures. So to make this shorter I think alot of men have a hard time when they cannot fix a child or a situation. And this man is a big reader always learning about new things. He never read a book that I brought home about autism. He insisted that he didn't need to read the books he constantly had a hard time interacting with our son (but not with our daughter). A few years ago he left me with the kids and basically blamed our divorce on me, later he said that he contributed too (how thoughtful). So I really encourage you to get your husband involved hopefully sooner rather than later - I know he can only go as fast as he's able. But it will do wonders for your child and your marriage. Playtime with parents IS therapy for your child. All interaction is therapy. My ex-husband is now better equpped to deal with our son and does spend weekends with both children. I think he still feels like he wants to fix everything. I do wish you the best.

Julie - posted on 11/03/2009

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I'm sad but also relieved I'm not the only one going through this. I've suspected my children (ages 10 and 14 now) were different when their state assessment scores were in the high 90% nationally ( as well as other things). Recently, I noticed again (as I did in 2nd grade with both of my children) sign of dyslexia and I pointed it out to my children. They have also been having other issues at school where they have met with counselors. Their father has not been happy that this has happened. He actually said to me I should not be talking to them about dyslexia (he's a horrible speller also), they should not be seeing a counselor, and they are fine - any problems are parenting issues, which mean the problem is me since I am the only parent at home and have been all their lives. He was military, but decided he didn't want to stay in and now is in another branch of the U.S. Gov't. . He said if I continue down this path he will not support me. I am going forward behind his back. I strongly suspect he, as well as his father, and my children have Aspbergers. I may even go as far to say my mother, her father possibly, and maybe even me. The catch is I'm the only one with a medical diagnosis, yet I'm the one that has the common sense and can follow through on everything. By the way, November is Epilepsy Awareness month - did you know that the amygdala and the hippocampus parts of your brain are also involved in mood disorders , emotions, memories, autism and in epilepsy? Why hasn't any research been done to connect these chronic medical conditions? For Christmas I'm thinking about asking for a receipt from the grandparents from a neuropsychiatrist of an evaluation of them - their grandchildren need to know what they are dealing with and it would be a gift for their spouses who have put up with the behaviors for so long. As my mother in law told me over 4 years ago "at least he doesn't physically abuse me". My dad would tell me just let it go, fight the fights worth fighting. From what I've heard my father in law's mother was light sensitive also. My mom's father wouldn't eat vegetables. Thanksgiving is coming up - family history anyone?
I hope your situation will turn out well. Take care.

Monika - posted on 11/02/2009

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I am sorry, I am new. Has he observed your child in class? that is usually what breaks the ice...

Thomasine - posted on 10/23/2009

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When i knew my daughter had Autism, i told her father and he said nothing was wrong. When she got diagnosed he still said nothing was wrong, he thought that she was just being stubborn and having tantrums. It had gotten so bad that i thought about leaving him because he just could not accept it, but i'm glad to say that after he watched certain things that she did (being very abusive to our other children, not looking when u call her name, spinning, not being verbal, etc) he finally came around. I think he just did'nt want to believe it because he has a very special bound with her and did'nt want to think of her as being different. I am very happy that we could get past it, but u have to worry about your son he is #1, you have to think of what is in his best interest because if u don't who will. Try talking to him and expressing yourself start off by saying i know you don't want to discuss this, but our son needs the proper help and we need to work together to get it for him. Sorry to hear so many of us go threw the same thing. I hope all works out for you.

Jennifer - posted on 10/21/2009

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I went through this with my husband he told me that it was me and that there wasn't anything wrong. It took me a couple of years to get a diagnosis and he still didn't acknowledge it. My son is now 9 and it is very obvious that he has some special needs and my husband has finally accepted and even went to a few classes with me. I talked to alot my son's phyciatrist about this and was told it is very normal for men to avoid it. I feel very fortunate that i didn't end up in the luny bin because for about 4 years I felt i was drowning all alone. It takes time and it is not easy and people that don't have to deal with it don't know what it is like. I used to get so mad at other moms that said they understood because it is not the same as a typical child. There were days before meds when I couldn't even get clothes on my son. Just know you are not alone and the road that you will travel for your son will be worth it in the end. My son is 9 and diagnosed with aspergers along with bi polar adhd, ocd and so many other things but he is thriving today and doing better than he ever has. There is hope and he will need you.

Carol - posted on 10/21/2009

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i had the same , you,ll just have to be strong 4 your son.my relationship broke down and that was one of the factors, my daughter is now 19 and never a day goes by that i don,t regret having her being in my life stay strong

Michelle - posted on 10/20/2009

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hi my name is michelle let me start off by saying that all the other advice u have been getting is one i would suggest myself to. i to have a child who is seven he has been going through a behavior prob since age two he is seven now and has been put in a mental ward hosp twice.. he has been on all kinds of meds u can think of he has been to all types of specialist and he to is diag with adhd and autism with borderline bi polar and he also has been diag mildly mentally handicapped they even metion he has asperbergers to.. but first of all my son is a very smart boy he not stupid he is a very off the wall bouncing around hyper kid who is out of control in school .. u stick to ur guns and make them listen... have all ur ducks in a row and tell them what u want done.. i did it and my son is doing alittle better now he still misbehaves he is running away from sitters now and the ymca.. i know how u feel i have had restless nites and have lost alot of weight just trying to keep up with him.. he has a temper that i have to watch i have to keep alot of things lock up so he cant get into them.. he killed our kitten and tryed to stab my dog and even went after me with a knife.. its hard for me being a single mom and hearing all ur stories.. and hearing ur stories is like telling my story.. i wanna give up cuz he just wont listen but i think of him and what it would do and i go on.. i feel for all of u and if u ever need someone to talk to i am here.. i have been through it all and still do it every day i live my days walking on egg shells.. i just would like to wake up on day and say i can let my son go out and play and not worry if i have to go looking for him cuz he is there where i can see him or i wake up and say i cant believe he his acting like any other normal kid would act.. its hard and i am so stressed each and every day.. i am up everyday at six thirty someday earlier cuz he gets up.. i never get to sleep in and the only time i get to do anything around the house is when he is asleep.. so i am up later to get that done good luck and again ask me any thing anytime.. i will be glad to help i know how u feel and i am walking in all ur shoes as well.. again good luck and god bless u and all ur families

Jennifer - posted on 10/20/2009

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HI...sorry to hear what you are going through. My post is very similar to the others. I have two boys with autism (one from first marriage and one from present)....both dads were very simlar. My exhusband, although a great dad, didn't want to know anything about what was "not normal" with his child. Never went to meetings, etc. I think that it is much harder for a father to "accept" a dianosis than us mothers....I think our love is more unconditional. My youngest son's father, tries in some ways, but still isn't doing all that he could do. I go to weekly appts. alone.....I discipline alone.....I sometimes feel like I'm doing this alone....But in the end, I put all my energy in my kids. They need me! Good luck with everything. Hang in there....

Nancy - posted on 10/19/2009

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Been there, done that! My son is 13, was dxed at age 4. My husband was not avoiding as much as yours, but he was in complete denial for the first few YEARS. I just casually update him on new therapies, new research, milestones, etc. Now he gets it, now he understands that this is a lifelong disability, and we are more in sync. It is tough for any parent to accept a loss of expectations, but if you can remain open and honest without judging your husband (thought I know it drives you insane to be the only one dealing with everything right now), I will be praying that eventually he will come around to face reality. If you sit him down, can you two have an open dialogue about the issues facing you? I hope this helps...

Allison - posted on 10/19/2009

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My Husband went through the same thing with our son. I think guys take longer to accept it & they definetly don't want to admit there is anything different about their little boy. I had to let my husband take some time for it to set in, but told him no matter how he feels or what he does I am going to whatever it takes for my son & I will never stop w/ or without your help...that seemed to be the turning point of his acceptance of Will's PDD diagnosis.

Danielle - posted on 10/19/2009

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I went through the same thing my son was diagnosised when he was two years old his dad was the same way it took him about two years to say anything about our son have autisim nowhes 7 and his dad is great and we are still together hold in there it should get better and i really hope it does good luck

Heather - posted on 10/19/2009

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My partner ended up going to see a psych, for a range of reasons and I too went along a few times. It was such a relief to hear a professional say wow it must be tough living your life. It felt like some one got it. My partner tries to fix our son useing traditional methods and somtimes he forgets the things we have learnt, I try to gently remind him what we are trying to achieve in the long term. He also finds it hard to accept that our two yr old tends to be more stable and developed than our autistic child who is 5. Men want there little boys to be able to play with them they way they were played with, and it is hard to accept that you may never get that. You have to hang in there and make time for your relationship, we try to go out once a month but we dont talk about the kids at all.

Paulette - posted on 10/18/2009

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Thank you all so much for posting your responses it has been very helpful knowing that I am not all alone and there are others mums experiencing similar problems. All your wonderful thoughts have made me feel a bit better about the situation. I have made an appointment to see the Dr later this week to get a referral so I can go and see a Psychologist to discuss how I am feeling, which will hopefully help a bit too.



Unfortunately I have tried discussing it with my friends (non of them have children with ASD) and they seem to listen initially when I tell them what has been going on but then when I try ringing them again or getting together they don't return my calls or bother showing up for a chat because they have forgotten.



As for family they are not much better than my friends and in fact my mother doesn't believe the diagnosis because she says my son can't be Autistic because when he is with her there is nothing wrong with him. She actually admitted to me that when I took him for a diagnosis she thought they would say there was nothing wrong with my him and all his problems were caused by me being a bad parent.



I am also not sure if I am finding everyone and everything so difficult as well because I am too on the Spectrum. The more I read and learn about ASD the more it sounds like they are talking about me. I mentioned this to my son's Psychologist but she just dismissed it and said it sounded more like my husband was on the Spectrum. I am not sure if I should ask the Psychologist they refer me to about the possibility that I may well have an ASD too and would knowing that that help me, my son or other children in anyway? I can't see my husband being prepared to go and talk to anybody so we may never know with him. I already have to monitor my other 2 children who are 3 and 1 because they are showing ASD traits.



Thanks again for listening.

Kirsty - posted on 10/18/2009

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Hi Paulette,



I know exactly what you are going through, All my partner could say was if he's Autistic then I am, and he would refuse to talk about it at all, He would blame hearing problems or anything else he could think off. If I tried to talk about it he would just fob it off. It was hard as I felt like I couldn't talk to him about such an imprtant thing, and I was the one running around to all the specialists, he was always keen to hear about any of the positive things the specialists said, but would change the subject any time anything dificult or negative came up. In hindsight, my partner does have some ASD tendancies which could explain why he had so much difficulty accepting the diagnosis, The amount of times he said before and after the diagnosis that our son is a clone of him in all ways (looks and personality) is not countable.... I guess he was looking at it in the way of If something is wrong with our son then something must be wrong with me!! Which would be a hard thing to come to terms with....

Hang in there and give him time, If you need to talk let it all out with a good friend or relative.. (or online with us) Do not hold it in, it is no good for you emotionally...

Stacey - posted on 10/18/2009

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My husband is involved with our daughters therapy but still rejects the idea. She was diagnosed about six months ago and we have therapists that come to our house twice a day six days a week and she goes to a class on Fridays that he takes her to. He insists that she's just behind but is not autistic. So I gave in and we're getting another evaluation done for her. Your husband may need more time. I'm sorry you are going through this by yourself.

Heather - posted on 10/18/2009

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This is a hard time for any family. have patience and look for support in friends. This is a loss for him. Deniel, anger, barganing, depresion and acceptance most people go through these stages when in grief. You two are in different places in the grief process. It will get better and you are not in this alone. You could take all of your kids to the appointment with you if that will encourage him to go also. Who knows the kids may learn and understand more and become more understanding on what is going on in their home.

Stacey - posted on 10/17/2009

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Hi Paulette, my Husband is pretty supportive and even though we still have not gotten the assessment and therefore an official diagnosis, my Husband has accepted that our Son very likely has some form of Autism, it was in denial at first and would often get defensive when I even talked of the possibility, it took him a while to accept it. He is even supportive of the appointments and diet we jointly decided to try for our son, but he doesn't always show much attention or contribute much when I discuss our son in regards to his possible Autism. I read the book Louder than words by Jenny McCarthy in one day, he has been 'reading' it for about 2 months and is still only 3/4 through, I am constantly looking for info and talking to people on the internet, he does not find foods that he can have from the supermarket, he does not look for recipes that we can make for him, he doesn't really do much in that way, it is upto me, but that's how men are (most anyway) we as mothers do everything we possibly can for our children and in the meantime look for ways that we can do even more, whereas men seem quite happy to just do what is set out by the Doctor/ Paediatrician etc.

Sheila - posted on 10/17/2009

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Same story, different house. Years of assessment and therapy...meltdowns and achievements. My husband still says, why does he do that? In the midst of a horrific meltdown that I am trying to get through with our son, Why can't he just calm down? He will say he has autism one day, and the next its all because he isn't being properly disciplined or someone is enabling him or he hasn't been taught right from wrong. (guess who is responsible for that) Doesn't come out to social events with our Autism chapter because "he doesn't do that sort of stuff."



Answers: none. I do my best to do my best. Sometimes it's easier to pretend I'm on my own than to look to him for help. He is who he is, and I am who I am...we cope, but I can't pretend that the impact hasn't been enormous and the hurt unfathomable. Do I think he will ever come around, nope. I don't think everyone does or can or even wants to.



I have heard it been said: lead, follow, or stand by me but don't stand in my way!



Look after yourself, look after your son, look after your children and remind him that someone you need support. Get therapy...for both of you, but yourself if he won't go.



good luck.

Stacy - posted on 10/17/2009

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Another twist that I forgot to mention as well, and what my husband is having a great deal of trouble with, is that he too has Asperger's. His position is that if he has been as successful as he is, then why can't his son? I often hear him saying "I never did that" or "When I was little...". I keep reminding him that he is a unique person, just as his son is. There are no two people with the same autism. There are MANY adults out there that are either undiagnosed with Asperger's or have Asperger traits and they have a hard time seeing their children in that role because it would mean there is something "wrong" with them as well. On the other hand, there are many that have eventually felt great relief upon discovering for themselves through their child's dx that they have Asperger's, and it's not something that they are "doing" wrong. That is how my husband and I found out about ourselves. (yes, we both have Asperger's, and survived to tell the tale)

Jessica - posted on 10/17/2009

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I feel the same some of the times. My husband understands what our son has but he doesn't see to want to learn anymore about it or understand what Aspergers is.

Linda - posted on 10/17/2009

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Hi Paulette, WOW its as if you were living in my home and recorded what you were seeing and posted it here.! When my one and only child was diagnosed, I was by myself because his father is in the military. He was out of state, I had a very bad breakdown! I became depressed, and I had no family to turn to because they did not accept the diagnosis either.

After speaking with my father, he gave me light to the dark tunnel he said to me, "You must understand that for a man having a first born, a son! is every mans dream, but to have that dream messed up by a diagnosis , and a diagnosis that you are not given any answers to what the future holds, is very upsetting, depressing, and stressful. You have to give him time, to accept the reality of the situation, he loves his son, its just that he does not know how to handle the situation."

As time went on, and he saw therapists (several) come in he started to see that it is a real diagnosis, and he saw Jordon's delays. He has come around somewhat, although he will not sit during ANY sessions now, because he feels that his son is not that delayed, and he gets upset. But he does ask how J did in session and reads the everyday reports(sometimes) becauase I usually tell him.

In the long run Paulette, just know its going to take time, but your husband will come around. :) How old is your son? I ask because my husband was worried that J would not be able to play with him. I told him in time he would be able to, and now J pushes the truck back n fourth to him, kicks a ball and loves to climb and get tickled. :) So everyday is going to get easier. Good luck! :)

LINDY - posted on 10/16/2009

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Hi paulette im so sorry its so hard for you at the moment i have a son that has autism and was diagnosis at two for everyone that has something like this happen it is horrid you dont know what to think or what to do i think its takes longer for men to come to terms with the diagnosis and they handle stress and depression differently then us they keep it in and all we want to do is talk about it and i know with my husband and i it was very hard for over a year and what i did was got myself better by going to see a counsellor because we need to be strong for our kids just hang in there and hopefully in time it will get a little better if you need a chat you can drop me a line anytime i hope it gets better soon :)

Rebecca - posted on 10/16/2009

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i went through the same thing with my husband when my son was diagnosed, and it was hard but they tend to take longer to accept the fact and my husband came around but it took a while, i even have my husband going to a support group know and he we are even closer now then we ever where before, and has an amazing relationship with our son. Patience is something our family has had to learn, Let him take it all in and he will come around. Hope this helps you, These children are special and we learn so much from them.

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