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Forums / Relationship and family issues / Parenting kids with different needs fairly

Topic: Parenting kids with different needs fairly

6 posts, 0 answered
  1. lilykitten
    lilykitten avatar
    46 posts
    25 January 2022

    I am a single mother with 2 girls (17 and 18Yrs). The youngest is a self isolating ASD level 2 with a PDA profile. Her life is shaped by extremely high anxieties, sensitivities and doesn't respond to any discipline or routine therapies. Low demand is the recommended approach which really upsets the 18 year old. I have reduced demands on her as well and try to treat her as much as I can but she does have a few chores and expectations or I would feel I was failing her as a parent. Both kids have regular therapy sessions and the specific needs of the youngest have been explained to the eldest but she still feels it is unfair. Covid and the marriage break up (3.5 yrs ago) have been very traumatic for everyone.

    My youngest paces around the living room to self regulate but she likes to be alone when she does it. My eldest will frequently position herself in her path just to take a stand that it is her house too. This leads to serious escalation in the youngest which is very scary. It is like the elder is trying to train her sister but it actually increases her stress and puts relationships built up with good deeds, back to square one.

    My eldest is currently not talking to me after I made her leave the lounge room last night. What should I do to create harmony in the household?

  2. Matchy69
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    7261 posts
    25 January 2022 in reply to lilykitten

    Hi Lily kitten it can be such a challenge as a parent who have special needs to know how to parent them.Being a parent is hard at best of times.I have two children on the spectrum and other special needs.Its not easy at all.I find as a parent I just parent to the way I feel comfortable to and not to take on the expert's advice to the letter as this seems to never work out and makes things worst.Know one knows your kids as well as you do and need to work out what works and what dosnt.Your children are at the age where they are becoming adults and you need to treat them like that and they also need to treat you with respect.

    I hope you can find a middle ground to be able for you all to get along.

    Take care,

    Mark.

    1 person found this helpful
  3. lilykitten
    lilykitten avatar
    46 posts
    25 January 2022 in reply to Matchy69
    OK just happened. 17 yr old Autistic kid is lying under the aircon in the living room but it is not turned on. 18 year old is in the next room and wants the aircon on and the door opened to cool down her side of the house. Autistic kid refuses. 18 year old takes the control and turns it on. 17 year old climbs on a chair and turns it off (huge argument). I suggest they swap rooms but neither wants to move. I offer either of them my bedroom which has an aircon and I will move. No one wants to move. I threaten not to take either of them out this afternoon as I had promised. Older child gives in but in a huff and wont talk about it.
  4. Matchy69
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    7261 posts
    25 January 2022 in reply to lilykitten
    That is really a difficult situation.You do need to stand your ground.You really have tried to make things better.They need to learn to respect you and their sister.Stand your ground and not take them out if they won't compromise.
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  5. jaz28
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    462 posts
    25 January 2022 in reply to lilykitten

    Hi lilykitten

    I am sorry you are having some trouble at home.

    None of my family is autistic, but I am the eldest of 2 sisters. My younger sister tends to get away with things for no good reason, and it really annoys me. I feel like I do so much around the house to help and my mum never tells her off for things i would've been crucified for at her age...so, given your eldest's age, she might be feeling like things are a bit unfair. I know she knows this is due to your other child's autism, but she might lose sight of it at times.

    I think the best approach would be to sit down with her and have an honest chat about what she would like from you, and that you have to be different in your discipline approach to the youngest due to autism.

    I hope things start to improve,

    Jaz xx

    1 person found this helpful
  6. Summer Rose
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    25 January 2022 in reply to lilykitten

    Hi lily kitten

    I’m a mum of two adult children, one of whom (my youngest) fell seriously ill with OCD at age 13. OCD is a serious, chronic and sometimes disabling illness. It’s a long story, but my youngest was very ill for over a year, hospitalised and then faced a long road to recovery.

    Your story about the AC really resonated with me, as I’ve been in very similar situations many times.

    Sometimes I used to feel that my eldest (at age 15) would deliberately create situations just to see how I would react. Like a crazy test to see who I loved more. Might sound strange but I would feel like I was deliberately being pulled in two. It was so very painful.

    I sat my eldest down and fell on my sword. I apologised for making my youngest’s needs a constant priority and explained why I had I to ensure our home was always a safe place for my youngest to be. He didn’t really get it or didn’t want to get it because he was hurt and felt abandoned.

    The situation was unfair to both of them. We went to a family counsellor and talked it all through. First the two of us, then my husband joined in and finally my youngest.

    It was a really important opportunity for the oldest to vent, us to repair our relationship and most importantly for my eldest to learn about his sister’s mental health condition. As he gained understanding his empathy for my youngest and I grew. The nonsense stopped and the eldest actually joined his sister’s support team.

    Hang in there. You’re not alone and it can get better.

    Kind thoughts to you

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