BF won't talk to my son!!

Ana - posted on 06/04/2013 ( 32 moms have responded )

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BF of many years says he's fed up w/ my son not always greeting him. He says it's highly disrespectful & that I'm to blame for allowing that. His solution is to no longer respond to my son when my son does actually greet him, which is 70% percent of the time. I broke up w/ him due to this. My son does have high functioning autism & social skills are a deficit. I do feel I did the right thing, but do have second thoughts because I start thinking "well greeting is very important & the right thing to do, so bf is not asking for much, etc.," Any thoughts?

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Jodi - posted on 06/06/2013

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OMG, Emma, you took those words right out of my head. My first thought when I read this was "how old is he? 5?".

Jodi - posted on 06/06/2013

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Your boyfriend is an ass. Even if the child didn't have autism, this is still an unreasonable response. It is childish and pathetic.

Ev - posted on 06/04/2013

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I would love to know where your BF decided he needed respect. He needs to earn it from your son anyway. He is not your child's father and demanding respect like that is not going to win him charm or awards.

Dove - posted on 06/08/2013

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Teaching your son to greet others is a useful tool, but I don't think you were wrong to break up with your boyfriend. He sounds way too immature to be a parental figure to anyone.

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Monique - posted on 06/09/2013

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I have experience working with children and teens with autism as a music therapist. I've worked alongside behavioral therapists too, which I'm sure you're aware of. Since this is a greeting, I would recommend making picture prompt cards, a child or man, or a picture of the person waving and this way your child will learn by this picture prompt. Laminate the card and have your BF holdit up when he wants a greeting from your son. This way it becomes routine, which is extremely important to a kid with autism. It's important to keep your childs autism separate from your BF unwillingness to work with the situation. He needs to be more understanding or he's simply picking on a child with autism which is wrong and inhumane

Alisha - posted on 06/08/2013

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Yikes! Autism can be tricky, and they don't always think of things like greeting someone. A child should never be ignored long term, they need to be loved no matter what. It's really up to you if ending it was right, if that was the only issue I'm not sure I would end it but if there were a lot of things Idk.. You have to be able to live with whatever you decide.

Ev - posted on 06/07/2013

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I am glad that someone agrees with me. You know I even have troubles in social situations and I am an adult. But as a child, I was like a lot of autistic kids and did not really get into socialization only because I was a shy kid. I had not diagnosis of being autistic.

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 06/06/2013

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Evelyn, I totally agree with you. I feel like her bf could make her sons progress with communication go downhill with his behavior. Autistic kids struggle on how to judge social situations and it's not easy for them all the time to understand rude behavior. This is not an excuse it's a fact . Her boyfriends behavior could hurt his confidence when he already feels akward and unsure of himself. It might seem easy for us to think " how hard is it to greet someone?", but we're lucky to never have to struggle with knowing just how hard it really can be for some

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Your boyfriend has a problem. You absolutely did the right thing. Sure, greeting is important, but I guess your boyfriend seems to think that it don't apply to him. Of course you second guess. Who doesn't? Even though you did the right thing, its still a loss, Sometimes doing the right thing doesn't mean it feels good. Thank God you came to this forum for a reality check. Congratulate yourself for being a mature, emotionally sound woman.

Ev - posted on 06/06/2013

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Patrica--I agree with you to a point. Working with the child so they can learn the right behaviors and social workings is always important. But not every child is going to be as great at learning it as others. Each and every child on this planet are totally individual. Unique. Each one learns things at their own pace. In fact, even normal children do not learn everything perfectly nor are they perfect when it comes to greeting others. It takes time and patience to get through to a child the right ways to act around others. Maybe this child has anxiety issues as well. THere could be loads of things going on that we do not know of. I do not use the Autism my son has as an excuse to explain his behaviors nor to make it easier for him. He had to learn the right ways to act around others and how to deal with others emotions. And at 16 years of age, he is doing very well socially now. He still has his moments though. But if a BF or GF is not going to learn to deal with the issues a child has of their SO then maybe they do not need to be around children with special needs or other disorders.

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 06/06/2013

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He's a kid though! He needs support in figuring out how to respond in a more polite manor, and not an adult child ignoring him when he does put in the effort to respond to him. He needs encouraged when he does the right thing and corrected when he doesn't use manors. Communicating is tough for him and it's total bullshit that someone who is supposed to be a role model at the very least is making it even tougher for the kid

Patricia - posted on 06/06/2013

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I'm really sorry You & Your Boyfriend are no longer together However I don't blame Your Boyfriend at all. I have two children who have some form of autism and I've taught them to be as polite which includes greeting people when they see them. My oldest son has severe developmental & social deficits and my Youngest daughter has LBLD (Language Based Learning Disability) which also has autistic characteristics yet my husband, myself and other people have worked with our two children and they've done beautifully. I definitely agree with Emma and know how easily autism, ADHD, LBLD, high functioning autism, etc. can easily be used for an excuse for very rude behavior and I didn't want my children to be tempted in any way to do this.

Ana - posted on 06/06/2013

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Ok, you mommies are amazing. Thank you so much for your thoughts, ideas & insight! It really helps. Again ladies, very well said & received.

Emma - posted on 06/06/2013

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Please don't take offence with this comment Ana, but I feel you already know the answer to your own question. Whether your son is on the spectrum or not, is irrelevant,we, as adults are supposed to lead by example, if your son sees a grown man behaving in such a rude and dismissive manner, then how can he actually learn that his own actions are possibly wrong? The long term boyfriend you have will undoubtedly have also been a part of your sons life all these years, if he has learned nothing about being a parent in this time, then really, it's time to consider that the man might be a complete mental midget, and a bad influence on your already emotionally vulnerable son. I do believe that you can tell your Son that it is not 'kind' to ignore people, and I also believe that even children with high functioning autism can be deliberately naughty/rude/dismissive just like any other child, maybe you ought to stop making excuses for your boy too, or you will be teaching him that he can use your sympathy vote to get away with being plain old fashioned naughty!!!!!

Either way, the man you speak of sounds like a Nob....In fact, he is a Nob du jour!!!!!

Emma - posted on 06/06/2013

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I agree with Jodie, the man sounds like a complete Twat, how old is he? 5? Get rid, find yourself a man with a spine and a pair of hairy balls and make sure he isn't just a love match for you, but your son too.

Emily - posted on 06/06/2013

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PS it's not your responsibility to teach a grown arse man about autism...he can buy his own book (and should have already if his heart was in the right place).

PPS If he thinks your son ”ignoring him” is disrespectful...he's a LONG WAY from a solution by doing the same thing in hopes of getting respect. Don't let ANY MAN with a ”do as I say, not as I do” attitude anywhere near your son. We lead by example.
traits in a man I am gonna need are:
Patience
Love
Determination
Acceptance

People who DEMAND respect are usually clueless of it's intention and true meaning!

Emily - posted on 06/06/2013

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I went through a similar experience recently. Bottom line, I've got time for my child to act likea child bit I don't have time for my man to act like one. Regardless of your sons autism, your boyfriend needs to respect the relationship between a disciplining mother and her child. Adults come to children to foster and maintain relationships with children, not the other way around. If your son is not greeting him, he should initiate a greeting, not complain that his grown man feelers are hurt that a child (or teen) is having relationship connection issues.

Communication and trust work both ways...but the responsible party is the adult. He wants a stronger relationship with your son? He needs to go after one. The child will learn to love, accept, and appreciate when they feel it too AND once they've learned to trust.

I dumped my boyfriend as well. My son comes before any man, until my job as a mother is done and he is sufficient in young adulthood.

The difference in my situation could be that my sons father is very actively in the picture and so he has that solid male adult role model...I don't know your exact situation is but for me, a man in MY life isn't necessary for my sons modeling example. That position is filled. So is the role of ”three year old”...I don't need two :-)

Ev - posted on 06/05/2013

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Age of the child makes no difference. If someone knows the child is having issues with a disorder like this one they need to make the effort to understand and learn about it. Its not up to the child to make the amends when they are having tough times in social situations no matter how simple or complex they are. The BF needs to step up and make an effort or leave. I do believe that the others are right and you made the right choices.

Danicia - posted on 06/05/2013

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the bf sounds like a real ass. you're better without that attitude around you and your son!

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 06/05/2013

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Leave the twit of a BF out of your life.

Danielle Elizabeth - posted on 06/04/2013

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It sounds like there is a deeper issue than just your son not greeting him. Any teenager goes through periods where they arnt very chatty with adults, And your son struggles with autism so that makes communication even tougher. Your bf isn't being very understanding which doesn't make for the best father material. I would never put up with someone ignoring my child. I think you did the right thing by breaking it off

Ana - posted on 06/04/2013

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Yeah, I agree. BF claims it's "basic, human decency" what he's requesting.. and that he will no longer be a part of that, hence his "solution" to not talk to my son AT ALL. I did the right thing, sitting here, composing my thoughts to respond is reinforcing this. Yes, maybe I should've gotten him a book on autism, but regardless of that, I don't feel he's in a position to take on that stand w/ my son.

Ana - posted on 06/04/2013

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Thank you. That's what I think, "If your son has autism, your BF needs to learn to be more flexible! Sure, social norms are important, but we don't all have the same skills." And when I've told ex-bf this or similar to this quote, then his response is "well he's not that autistic." Or, "He's high-functioning enough where he knows to greet me, etc., and since he doesn't then he doesn't respect me and I won't be disrespected, etc.," I get so angry just writing/thinking about his thoughts/views on this. Ugh.

Geri - posted on 06/04/2013

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If your son has autism, your BF needs to learn to be more flexible! Sure, social norms are important, but we don't all have the same skills. My daughter has a hard time looking folks in the eye when she speaks to them, and has challenges socializing in group situations, but she does have good friendships. I feel like a lot of folks have very strong feelings about how kids should be, rather than accepting that they are the way they are.

Maybe there's a book about autism that would educate your BF that could change his attitude. But if he doesn't become more accepting of your son, then you absolutely made the right choice. Way to go!

Ev - posted on 06/04/2013

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I also have a high functioning child with an autistic disorder. He had a lot of social problems when he was very young such as not waiting to tell me things or others things, interruptions constantly, and other social inadequacies. As he grew older and learned how to model the right behaviors he got better. Depending on the age of your child, you have to make certain allowances in how they are acting socially with this disorder. But you can coach him in greetings. Your BF needs to chill out a bit and let the child figure out what he needs to do and then do it in his own time. It might take a bit but even 30 minutes later as long as he has been coached in greeting someone they should understand he is still learning to overcome his obstacles.

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