Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
readstoomuch

My son is divorcing and has a child with autism

Recommended Posts

My oldest son has been married for 8 years.  They have a five year old with autism.  They are getting a divorce.  She waited for him on his mission and they got married in the temple.  We didn't know that she  got a hold of anti-mormon sites and people in faith crisis at BYU-I.  She finished her degree, but stopped going to church at school.  It got even worse when she did a one year master's degree at another institution.  This was all while he was on his mission and the few months after he came home.  We did know that she sent explicit pictures to him before his mission and he almost couldn't go.  The bishop and stake president recommended that he stop writing to her while he was on his mission.  It was actually a shock when we picked him up and his mission president mentioned that there was a special girl waiting for him.  She seemed determined that she was going to marry him and we did our best to try and work with the situation.  It's hard to tell your 22 year old kid how to live their life.  

So they went to BYU-I and went inactive almost immediately.  I don't know how he got an ecclesiastical endorsement while at school or her a temple recommend and endorsement herself.  There was a lot of lying and hiding things.  We sort of figured this all out after they had been married a couple of years.  Her mom was part of this in that she hoped that if she just married in the temple with a returned missionary that things would be okay.  The mother opened up about her daughter`s faith crisis and lying.  She knew about the pictures her daughter had sent, but still egged her on that she was going to marry our son.  Our son had his own problems before his mission, so we were really happy when he chose to go on a mission and just wanted him to have a good experience.  Just telling this all hurts quite a bit.

So, they moved close to us about 6 years ago and had a baby.  He is a very cute boy, but started acting aloof and not meeting your eye gaze when he was two and a half.  He was diagnosed with autism and it has been a hard ride since then.  They can be sweet pleasant people, but won't have anything to do with the Church.  Their life just seems to have disintegrated.  Our son can be lazy and self absorbed.  She is manipulative and lies.  They both lie and don't face hard choices and consequences until they are really bad.  That's what seemed to happened to their marriage.  They waited until it was really broken to do anything.  It seems to be beyond repair.  Now we don't see our grandson much and it is usually when they need last minute child care.  He gets quite a bit of therapy, but he is regressing and becoming more withdrawn as his parents go through this divorce.  They are both working parents, so he hasn't`t gotten potty trained.  We worked with him and he was pretty close, but our daughter in law wouldn'`t maintain any consistency.  Almost no day care or program will take a child that old that still needs his diapers taken care of.  He is a huge kid, so changing him is really a two person job.  I tried to talk about this with his mother and she just cries and gets defensive.  My son doesn't pull his weight, so there is quite a bit on her.  They could have gotten therapy to help with dealing with their son, but they kept putting it off.  They can't seem to get to a support group and it just seems that our grandson isn't going to do well.  We had helped support them and done quite a bit for them, but they were becoming dependent and weren`t very grateful.  It seemed to be time for them to get on their own.  We took away the financial support and unless we were making something for them to eat they just didn't really have much to do with us.  Even then, they never helped with the dishes or really stayed around very long afterwards.  Mostly disengaged and it is hard to talk to politically correct millennials who are over the top in support of social causes, especially LGBT causes.

This is probably therapy as much as anything, but this all seems like it would have gone so much better if they had stayed engaged in the Church.  They don't really have friends they can count on.  There are a few marginally active and inactive couples they knew from BYU-I in the area, but some of them have been toxic for them.  We pray for them and want to do what is the best for them.  Especially our grandson.  Her mother is actually the most toxic and I think she really poisons our daughter in law against our son.  Not that he is innocent.  This all seems like watching two cars come to an intersection and knowing they are going to crash, but there is nothing that you can do.  How hard do we try to help our grandson?  We can't talk about it much with his parents without them being defensive and with them both working they don't have a lot of energy to put to it.  I see him once a month for an hour or so and they live fifteen minutes away.  It is good to get this out, but it is so painful.  I just don't know what to do and am resigned to watching it happen.  My wife and I seem to care more than they do-a recurring thing in dealing with our son.  

Share this post


Link to post

Thank you.  I guess in the end that is all we can say.  I am sorry too and there doesn’t seem to be a way to keep someone from suffering from the consequences of their own choices.  Nor does it work when you try to protect them from the consequences.  

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
1 hour ago, readstoomuch said:

My oldest son has been married for 8 years.  They have a five year old with autism.  They are getting a divorce.  She waited for him on his mission and they got married in the temple.  We didn't know that she  got a hold of anti-mormon sites and people in faith crisis at BYU-I.  She finished her degree, but stopped going to church at school.  It got even worse when she did a one year master's degree at another institution.  This was all while he was on his mission and the few months after he came home.  We did know that she sent explicit pictures to him before his mission and he almost couldn't go.  The bishop and stake president recommended that he stop writing to her while he was on his mission.  It was actually a shock when we picked him up and his mission president mentioned that there was a special girl waiting for him.  She seemed determined that she was going to marry him and we did our best to try and work with the situation.  It's hard to tell your 22 year old kid how to live their life.  

So they went to BYU-I and went inactive almost immediately.  I don't know how he got an ecclesiastical endorsement while at school or her a temple recommend and endorsement herself.  There was a lot of lying and hiding things.  We sort of figured this all out after they had been married a couple of years.  Her mom was part of this in that she hoped that if she just married in the temple with a returned missionary that things would be okay.  The mother opened up about her daughter`s faith crisis and lying.  She knew about the pictures her daughter had sent, but still egged her on that she was going to marry our son.  Our son had his own problems before his mission, so we were really happy when he chose to go on a mission and just wanted him to have a good experience.  Just telling this all hurts quite a bit.

So, they moved close to us about 6 years ago and had a baby.  He is a very cute boy, but started acting aloof and not meeting your eye gaze when he was two and a half.  He was diagnosed with autism and it has been a hard ride since then.  They can be sweet pleasant people, but won't have anything to do with the Church.  Their life just seems to have disintegrated.  Our son can be lazy and self absorbed.  She is manipulative and lies.  They both lie and don't face hard choices and consequences until they are really bad.  That's what seemed to happened to their marriage.  They waited until it was really broken to do anything.  It seems to be beyond repair.  Now we don't see our grandson much and it is usually when they need last minute child care.  He gets quite a bit of therapy, but he is regressing and becoming more withdrawn as his parents go through this divorce.  They are both working parents, so he hasn't`t gotten potty trained.  We worked with him and he was pretty close, but our daughter in law wouldn'`t maintain any consistency.  Almost no day care or program will take a child that old that still needs his diapers taken care of.  He is a huge kid, so changing him is really a two person job.  I tried to talk about this with his mother and she just cries and gets defensive.  My son doesn't pull his weight, so there is quite a bit on her.  They could have gotten therapy to help with dealing with their son, but they kept putting it off.  They can't seem to get to a support group and it just seems that our grandson isn't going to do well.  We had helped support them and done quite a bit for them, but they were becoming dependent and weren`t very grateful.  It seemed to be time for them to get on their own.  We took away the financial support and unless we were making something for them to eat they just didn't really have much to do with us.  Even then, they never helped with the dishes or really stayed around very long afterwards.  Mostly disengaged and it is hard to talk to politically correct millennials who are over the top in support of social causes, especially LGBT causes.

This is probably therapy as much as anything, but this all seems like it would have gone so much better if they had stayed engaged in the Church.  They don't really have friends they can count on.  There are a few marginally active and inactive couples they knew from BYU-I in the area, but some of them have been toxic for them.  We pray for them and want to do what is the best for them.  Especially our grandson.  Her mother is actually the most toxic and I think she really poisons our daughter in law against our son.  Not that he is innocent.  This all seems like watching two cars come to an intersection and knowing they are going to crash, but there is nothing that you can do.  How hard do we try to help our grandson?  We can't talk about it much with his parents without them being defensive and with them both working they don't have a lot of energy to put to it.  I see him once a month for an hour or so and they live fifteen minutes away.  It is good to get this out, but it is so painful.  I just don't know what to do and am resigned to watching it happen.  My wife and I seem to care more than they do-a recurring thing in dealing with our son.  

Are they discussing how things will work after the divorce?  Who will get custody?

Share this post


Link to post

I hope they have someone who understands autism as part of it

Share this post


Link to post

I am terribly sorry to hear this!

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

You might be able to really help the child if you read up on how to get appropriate services for the kiddo.   Your local school district is responsible for providing him everything he needs in order to master the same standards that apply to everyone and successfully transition to the outcome of his choice.   At some point his disability may prevent his learning, but at this point he needs intensive ABA (which some insurance companies pay for these days) and really effective services).   You can offer your services as an advocate if the parents want you to.   You can learn a lot at wrightslaw.com, and autism speaks.   You can find sample letters to the school to ask for appropriate services.  You can even get some training if you are willing and provide direct services.   You can purchase an IPAD and proloquo2go if the child is seen as non-verbal (be sure to have parents give school notice that they are getting whatever private services they can find and afford and reserve the right to seek reimbursement for it, and keep receipts and time records, and mileage).   Or maybe Rachel Coleman's "Signing Times" videos that teach sign language so he can communicate.  

Your community may have a resources for all things autism, that offers seminars and even sends a worker into a family home to assess sensory issues, or help with getting services.  Do everything in your power to keep him in regular classroom settings with typical children for as much time as possible --- schools like to shuffle off non- verbal and non-toilet trained children to segregated environments where the outcomes aren't as good for the children, but the law supports inclusion to the full extent appropriate.  (And yes the SD does have to keep even non-toilet trained students in the regular classes, but schools tend to assume that children who are non-verbal and not toilet trained aren't able at all.   See In My Own Language on youtube to understand that many people misunderstand such person's possibilities.

He likely also qualifies for social security disability, which will help pay for some of those interventions, unless both parents make too much money.

Marriages often break up when there is a disabled child in the home.   If the parents can't get to the meetings, maybe they'll approve for you to go in their place and you could make a big difference.   If you get a chance to do so (and it isn't against parental wishes), sing the primary songs to him when he visits you.  a Child's prayer, I am a Child of God, and other things that will help him remember who he is. 

Your state has a federally funded parent training organization that can teach you about his educational rights and what school districts are supposed to do. 

If you have the time and inclination and your son and his mother are willing, you can make a big difference for this child.   

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
55 minutes ago, rpn said:

You might be able to really help the child if you read up on how to get appropriate services for the kiddo.   Your local school district is responsible for providing him everything he needs in order to master the same standards that apply to everyone and successfully transition to the outcome of his choice.   At some point his disability may prevent his learning, but at this point he needs intensive ABA (which some insurance companies pay for these days) and really effective services).   You can offer your services as an advocate if the parents want you to.   You can learn a lot at wrightslaw.com, and autism speaks.   You can find sample letters to the school to ask for appropriate services.  You can even get some training if you are willing and provide direct services.   You can purchase an IPAD and proloquo2go if the child is seen as non-verbal (be sure to have parents give school notice that they are getting whatever private services they can find and afford and reserve the right to seek reimbursement for it, and keep receipts and time records, and mileage).   Or maybe Rachel Coleman's "Signing Times" videos that teach sign language so he can communicate.  

Your community may have a resources for all things autism, that offers seminars and even sends a worker into a family home to assess sensory issues, or help with getting services.  Do everything in your power to keep him in regular classroom settings with typical children for as much time as possible --- schools like to shuffle off non- verbal and non-toilet trained children to segregated environments where the outcomes aren't as good for the children, but the law supports inclusion to the full extent appropriate.  (And yes the SD does have to keep even non-toilet trained students in the regular classes, but schools tend to assume that children who are non-verbal and not toilet trained aren't able at all.   See In My Own Language on youtube to understand that many people misunderstand such person's possibilities.

He likely also qualifies for social security disability, which will help pay for some of those interventions, unless both parents make too much money.

Marriages often break up when there is a disabled child in the home.   If the parents can't get to the meetings, maybe they'll approve for you to go in their place and you could make a big difference.   If you get a chance to do so (and it isn't against parental wishes), sing the primary songs to him when he visits you.  a Child's prayer, I am a Child of God, and other things that will help him remember who he is. 

Your state has a federally funded parent training organization that can teach you about his educational rights and what school districts are supposed to do. 

If you have the time and inclination and your son and his mother are willing, you can make a big difference for this child.   

He is still in the regular classroom.  He can speak, in fact he sometimes really speaks, but he seems to be speaking less.  He goes to kindergarten half the day and gets therapy the rest.  Speech, occupational therapy.  I am not sure about ABA, though his mom mentioned that.  He could more therapy at night, but his mom doesn't think he should and that he should just get to be a kid.  In their eyes he is doing well.  For us, he seems more withdrawn and just wonders the house.  He actually interacts with us less.  Our daughter in law seems to want us to not interfere and provide child care when his school or development center is closed.  Its usually last minute and can be especially hard on my wife who may have something planned or wants to do something for herself.  They really just survive minute to minute, some by their nature-thats how they have always been and some by them being separated and not paying attention to details until it is staring them in the face.  

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

But if this is autism, the the regularity of coming to your home can help  (though it is of course perfectly okay to offer some times when you can provide child care and decline when you cannot).  Autism is a spectrum, and the distance might be because of what the divorcing parents are saying/doing, not the autism.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Wishing for the best outcome in their situation.  Seems like both of them need a reality pill.  God Bless You and your little grandson!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...