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My wife is ignoring our autistic daughter’s needs

Last year our younger daughter was confirmed to be on the autistic spectrum. It was a fairly late diagnosis given that she is in her early teens but apparently girls in particular can be good at masking her.

In many ways it was a relief for me and explained a lot, but my wife didn’t react that way. She’s more angry and embarrassed than thinking about our daughter, and her own family doesn’t help because they’re from the “a good smack will fix her” school of thought.

We are lucky because we have good support at her school and were referred to a psychologist who considered us family and then my wife and I saw her alone. Our younger daughter said very little but our older daughter really let it all out including a lot of gossip about what a noisy family we are.

We’ve always had a pretty loud relationship, so we just lived our lives, all drama. Our older daughter was much the same, tossing and turning, happy one minute and sad the next, all at the top of her lungs. Our younger daughter wasn’t—she was withdrawn from the anger of others, but was like a screaming toddler herself when pushed into an argument.

The psychologist suggested calming things down as it would make life easier for our daughter. My wife was quite angry with her and said she felt terrible but our daughter needed to live in the real world.

The psychologist was very tactful and said she understood that we felt terrible, but we must always remember that our daughter was much worse. She also spoke about the need for calm – not giving in to our daughter’s tantrums, but realizing that all the shouting in the house is making things worse – and I really want us to make an effort to tone it down.

Our grand daughter totally understands. She changed her approach to her sister so much that their relationship has changed in the last six months. They fight occasionally, but overall they get along much better and do a lot more together which has had a tremendous impact on our younger daughter’s social skills.

She has always done well academically, but for the first time ever she has made friends and become part of a group. We always worried because she was so alone and I think it’s worth every effort on our part just for that.

I just focus on staying calm and doing what the psychologist and the school suggest because they know exactly what they are doing and the positive results are obvious. But the only big stumbling block – unbelievable – is my wife. We decided to keep calm after that initial psychological consultation, but she never does, no matter how many times we talk about it. She always agrees, then 10 minutes later she yells at our daughter and all hell breaks loose.

It’s especially annoying when we’ve had a few weeks of peace and quiet where we all seem to be doing very well and suddenly the house is full of tension and anger again and I see our daughter walking back. I worry it will affect their new friendships, although I think this age group and their sister are much kinder than our generation.

I wish my wife would realize that this is not about her and that this diagnosis is not a tragedy. It helps change our daughter’s life and happiness, but her mother keeps throwing her off the rails.

READ ALSO: My Wife Refuses To Accept We’re Divorcing – I’m Running Out Of Polite Explanations

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/life/wife-ignoring-autistic-daughters-needs/ My wife is ignoring our autistic daughter’s needs

Skyred

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