Hello everyone! I am a mother of two boys and my oldest chil

Hello everyone! I am a mother of two boys and my oldest child has autism, dyslexia and a host of other learning disabilities. I joined this group so that I can get a better perspective of what he goes through every day and to learn ways on how to be a better mother/supporter to him. I don't understand him most days and teaching him is a challenge for me. I have tried talking to him on several occasions but it usually goes south. I think part or most of the problem is ME and how I view him and/or expect him to be. I have tried time and time again to change that about me but I seem to always come back to where I started from......so this time I am trying a different approach. If you don't mind, would you please enlighten me on ways that I can support him better and/or how I can stop trying to push my expectations on him and just accept him the way he is? I don't expect us to have the best relationship but I know it can be better.....nor do I want to screw him over mentally. Thank you for your time and PLEASE HELP!!!!

Hi Candi - Welcome to support groups. It will help us if you can share a bit more about your child. How old is he? Is there an official diagnosis of autism and where does he fall on the autism spectrum disorder scale? Also, is there an official diagnosis of a learning disability (LD) and what areas of learning does it affect? Finally, is he in school and if so has he been placed in a special class for autistic students or a special class for LD students? Answers to these questions will allow us to reply to your questions in more depth and direct you to the proper resources.

Thank you for being so open about the dilemma regarding your expectations and your acceptance. It’s something all parents of a disabled child must to go through before they can feel comfortable with their child as they are. There are two parts to my answer. The first is easier and involves educating yourself about your child’s unique skills and abilities. That means reading and consulting with experts until you find a close match between the behavior you see at home and what books and experts are telling you.

A big assist in this area should be the teachers and consultants at school who are with your child 5 or 6 hours a day. That staff interaction will give you valuable feedback that you can compare to what you observe at home. They are your go-to people when you’re looking for new ideas or approaches at home.

The second and bigger challenge that you refer to is how you interact with your child. And the hardest part of that is letting go of any preconceived ideas you have about him. Understand that he has a potential set of skills and abilities. I say potential because many of those may not yet be apparent. And since you don’t know what those are, your mindset should be that he has developed those skills and abilities to the maximum extent possible.

Notice I say HAS developed (not WILL develop). I do that because you always want to carry the belief that your son has already developed his skills and abilities to the maximum potential. You may think that’s strange if you’re hearing it for the first time. However, our children (or anyone else) pick up our feelings both positive and negative very accurately and respond to them accordingly.

When you carry a positive mindset about him it will eventually become his mindset. And once he has that, he will, with very little effort, develop his skills and ability to the maximum. That doesn’t, of course, mean he will become brilliant; it means he will be able to use whatever potential he has very effectively. You can’t do more than that as a parent.

There will be times when you will be frustrated with him. When that happens, your best approach is to say to yourself “what would love do now?” Then act in a way that is consistent with your love for him. Just thinking and acting on it phrase will help you become calm. He, in turn, will pick up on your words and feelings and you will find if he’s been reacting that he will calm down as well.

Another beautiful outcome of your positive mindset is that once it becomes his, he will be able continue to develop his skills and ability quite independently. So listening and learning from the experts is important but your positive outlook and loving interaction is the key to unleashing his potential and his happiness. Hugs

Hello! He is 18 and was diagnosed with PDD-NOS but is considered moderately high-functioning. He has dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, receptive-expressive language disorder, auditory processing disorder, and memory processing disorder. He does take special education classes in school. I've read books and when I could afford it, I took him to see specialists but I was never able to consistently go nor afford their treatments. We make too much for Medicaid but not enough to actually afford the co-pays and co-insurance. We've been fighting for social security disability for years now.

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@CandiCrush82 Hi! I too have a son who is 18 with a Learning Disability. We don’t have a diagnosis because the only learning center that was recommended by his doctor told us that he’s too old. His doctor recommended that I call my insurance company for a list of recommended facilities. I still need to do that. Like you, I’m concerned about my son because his teachers always gave me progress reports in his IEP meetings, but they only compared his personal progress, and yet, if I tell him to sign his name he goes slowly. If I ask him any questions, or someone else asks him questions, he struggles to answer the question, and gets hung up on it for a long time, before answering it.

It helps knowing that I’m not the only parent who’s dealing with this situation. Until I saw what you had posted, I always felt like I was the only one who was going through this.

Thanks! I will definitely look into that.

@CandiCrush82 yeah if your applying for disability you’ll need a lawyer. I’m 38 and have a learning disability called receptive expressive language disorder as well. I have a list of mental diagnoses and that’s the only reason I got disability.

I mentioned to say the only reason I got disability was because of mental illness.

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@faithkl7 My son has that as well. Sorry to hear that…you’re in my prayers.