February 11, 2008,
A.M. asks from Peoria, AZ on February 08, 2008
My Husband Gets Too Upset at Our 2 Year Old
Since my son started walking and getting into things my husband gets very angry and yells at our son for everything. If he crys he tells him to stop being a baby. If he moves while we have trying to get into the relax mode or bed time he will use a tuff mean tone and high voice and say night night. My son then will start crying and he won't let our son relax and fall asleep like anybody does. His daughter is queen bee the princess and never does wrong in her fathers eyes. We have joint custody so when shse is with us she gets what she wants when she wants but our son gets yelled at and punished by him all the time. Let alone he is autistic and had the emotional and behavior of a 7 month old. We have been fighting all the time lately about this to the point I rather leave and take our son away from him since he can be so agressive towards him. I am not sure what to do. I am so sick of fighting with my husband I took him the therapy and the developmental peditrician and he still thinks that they are babying his son and he needs to get in trouble cause he is two. He doesn't think or look at the condition are son is in and that upsets me. Our son has only been in therapy for ablout a month so there hasn't been much progress from that so he just thinks that his son should act like a normal child and knock his fits off. I just don't know how to handle this anymore. Any advise will help
P.N. answers from Albuquerque on February 09, 2008
2 year olds are a different kind of child to begin with but autistic also that is hard to deal with. I would think hubby would do well to go to some sort of support group. Maybe a dad's of autistic children group and get feed back from other dads. Even if you could find other parents with an autistic child to see how they interact with their autistic child.
J.S. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
I have a couple of friends whose boys have autisim. It took a while for the dads to understand and connect with them. they were in denial for quite some time. It sounds to me like your husband is just lashing out that he doesn't have the "perfect" son. somebody he always wanted to play sports with or whatever it is he likes to do. I'm sure you know that your household is under a lot of stress right now. But keep fighting for it. I think your husband might come around it is just going to take time.
R.D. answers from Phoenix on February 08, 2008
I completely agree with Kristin! Men have a hard time dealing with 'defeat' or being different. It sounds like your husband is acting this way because he doesn't know enough about the special needs of your son.
I go through the same thing with my husband. First comes the frustration and the arguing, then comes the talking, and then hopefully he understands and things change.
I also heard another Mom say that her husband doesn't always take her word for it, he needs to hear it for himself from the doctor. I think that is another 'norm' for most men. Very rarely do WE know what we're talking about.
I would try sternly talking to your husband sometime when the kids aren't around. Look him in the eyes and tell him that your son is special and doesn't see things the way your other children do. Try to break him down and tell you how he is really feeling. It sounds like he needs to face what is going on and then after he accepts it, he will find that his son is very special and needs just as much love and affection as the other kids.
I don't know what kind of person he is, but maybe asking him to write a letter to his son would help him. Tell him to write down his feelings for him and his hopes for the future. Tell him to be completely honest and then seal it up in an envelope and no one else will ever read it.
Otherwise I would suggest him to go to therapy. I don't think most men would do that on their own, so you may have to go with him a few times.
I would say to you though that leaving will not solve your problems. I know things get frustrating and I know I tend to get defensive too where my children are concerned. But bottom line is that this is his son too and you need to give him the chance to accept the situation and change his attitude towards it. But divorce should be the absolute last resort. Divorce is too easy, it's the hard path that is usually the right path.
I sincerely hope your husband can realize what a special gift your son is. It sounds like you may have a long road ahead of you, but please keep your chin up! Be strong for your son!
M.W. answers from Fort Collins on February 09, 2008
tell you husband he needs to go to a parenting class. You be little your children when they are young and it will definately come back and bite you hard.
When there little is a learning time, and a fun time, not a being in the Army time.
Take a chill pill Dad, he is just a little boy and you were one once and if your father treated you the way you treat your child, then shame on him. Try to remember how he made you feel if he treated you badly and ask yourself, is this the way I want my child to feel?
A.Z. answers from Albuquerque on February 09, 2008
I think a lot of what others have told you is right on, but some is a bit harsh. I have taught a kindergarten and preschooler setting with autism, and I know that these kids are a 'different ball of wax.' I am also in a masters program in special education, and am learning about the process that parents and families go through when their child is given such a diagnosis. My guess is that your husband is a wonderful man, and he is morning the loss of the son he expected. On the other hand, it is essential that you both learn how to raise your son in a way that gives him the best chance - and with children with autism, the consensus is the earlier you intervene and begin working with him in ways that support him, the better his chances in the long haul.
I am assuming that you are receiving early childhood intervention services. These services should happen in your son's natural environment, but they should also involve (in large part) information and training for you, your husband and your daughter, in how to best interact and raise your son. Your case worker (and you should have one) is your first line of support, then the therapist/s who are working with your family (likely you are working with a speech therapist to help him communicate more effectively, but there are other supports you may not yet be aware of). Also, there are support groups for parents of children with disabilities. Go to the Parents Reaching Out (PRO) website www.parentsreachingout.org and try to find a support group that you AND your husband can attend. The sooner he and you come to grips with this difficult diagnosis, the better off your son and your family will be.
There is a whole system of support out there for you, it is just a bit difficult to understand how it works at first.
If what I have written makes no sense, feel free to e-mail me privatly and I'll gladly help you figure out where to get the support you need both for your family and yourself. Although it may seem like you are alone and this is a unique situation, I think you will find that your husband's and your reactions are quite normal. But, you need to work through it, for your son's sake.
PS By the way, children with autism are also unique, amazing and wonderful people. Your son is your son first, he just happens to have autism. There are people with autism who have been quite successful. For example Temple Grandin (who has written several books on cattle husbandry and autism -look for her book 'thinking in pictures' for insight into your son's world) is a professor at the University of Colorado and is world renown for her work with cattle. She speaks publicly and has an enjoyable life. Your son has lot's of opportunities, just like everyone else. It's just that the flavor of his life (and thus yours) will be a little different.
C. answers from Fort Collins on February 08, 2008
You say you are married to a wonderful man! Sure doesn't sound like it to me. If you cannot convince your husband of the unique nature of his own son, then try having him being directly involved in the therapy, hearing what the professionals have to say. From my own point of view, it seems when my husband hears about something going on directly from me, he is less likely to be convinced, than if he hears it from a professional source, like a doctor or therapist. If that doesn't work and your husband continues to treat your son in this manner, then I would definitley leave him. Maybe a separation will open his eyes to what he once had and could potentially be gone!
T.J. answers from Denver on February 09, 2008
I want to start by telling you that I am also a mom of a 22 month old who has Autism. He was diagnosed at 18 months so I understand the challenges you are facing.
If your son was a typical 2 year old who was getting into trouble that would be one thing. Raising a typical toddler requires so much patience. Being that your son has Autism, the same expectations for behavioral compliance cannot be put upon him and the level of patience required is SOOO much higher. I'm truly sorry that your husband doesn't understand that and isn't offering the support to you and your son that you both really need.
When my son does something he shouldn't be doing (ie. standing on the end table or playing with the glass door on the entertainment center) I sternly tell him no and remove him from the area that he is getting into trouble in and redirect him with a different activity. There are times where I find myself losing it and yelling at him. Sometimes the frustration level gets too high when he is repeatedly doing these things. I just make sure that I do my best to pay attention to how I discipline him because even with Autism you have to convey that a behavior will not be tolerated but I think the key is to be sure and redirect them.
As far as the emtional meltdowns, they are something that are beyond the child's control. Even a typical toddler has difficulty controlling their emotions. Being that Autism is a neurological disorder, you can't really expect that these kids, who most aren't talking and can't express themselves, to keep their emotions in check. I feel that you have to find a way to let them know that you understand their frustration and again redirect them as best as you can.
I really hope for you that your husband will open up to the reality of your son's situation and embrace the differences and appreciate what he does have with his son. I'm not sure "wonderful" is the right word to describe your husband based on how he is treating your son. Did your son ask to go through life with these challenges???? Why should he be "punished" even further by the way your husband is treating him. I would feel the same way as you if my husband wasn't supportive and treated our son as a lesser being. I would run for the hills with my son and raise him in an healthier environment. Autism splits so many families up and I hope that you and your husband can get counsiling for yourselves so that doesn't happen to you.
I wish you the best.
T.N. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
Reading your post broke my heart and made me want to scoop up your little boy in my arms and protect him from his father. Your husband needs an attitude adjustment immediately. I am empathetic of the disappointment he surely must be feeling right now, but that does not make taking it out on an innocent baby acceptable whatsoever. We all get frustrated with our children, but it is not okay to treat a child like your husband is. And treating children with different degrees of tolerance and love is damaging and unacceptable. It's normal to feel warmer towards some of our children during their different stages or with their different personalities, but as adults we must take responsibility for that and change our hearts.
Anyways, I'm so sorry you have to deal with this. It's one thing if your husband is trying hard to overcome his lack of control, but it sounds like his heart is not in the right place. My dad had a temper that he struggled to overcome and my mom stayed with him because she trusted that his heart was in the right place and he was always reading books and listening to tapes to try to improve (too poor to afford therapy). He would yell and "lose it" over the smallest things and he'd always apologize profusely afterwards. Although he never physically harmed us it was still frightening and confusing as a young child. But my dad had such a strong desire to change that by the time I was 12 he had successfully overcome his temper problem and gained control over his reactions. My husband can't even believe any of the stories because my father is such a gentle man now. I'm very grateful they remained committed and kept our family intact, but I'm also glad that my mom insisted that my dad change and that my dad was willing to do go through the extremely difficult process of personal change. You need to judge whether or not your husband's heart is in the right place. Does he recognize that he has a problem and that the way he treats your son is completely wrong? Does he apologize and strive to change and seek the professional help to do so? It doesn't sound like that's the case from your situation, but I could be wrong. If he's a "wonderful man" as you claim, then I would think he would be open to professional help.
One other question--did he treat your son like this before the diagnosis or only afterwards? That would help determine whether or not his irrational behavior stems from the diagnosis or not.
J.T. answers from Albuquerque on February 09, 2008
I had a similar problem when my sons were both diagnosed with Sensory issues. It has been a year, and my husband still has a hard time dealing with the fact that his sons are not "normal". I have a 3 year old and a 2 year old. I made my husband come to every evaluation and OT in the beginning, so he can see the light at the end of the tunnel and learn how to cope with the boys. It took about 6 months of other people-mostly professionals-to get my husband to participate in play with my sons. Sometimes, I think that Dad's have to go through a "mourning period" when they realize it will never be the way it is supposed to. My husband now gets together with another Dad who has a son with Down Syndrome, that has also helped. But by no means is it perfect. He still has a hard time and needs to constantly leave to cool off or collect himself.
Sound like you are working with people who are helping, we use Abrazos, and they had a great social worker who helped us. Is this an option for you? Let me know if I can help.
T. answers from Las Vegas on February 11, 2008
If your husband is being abusive towards your son, you do need to do something about it even if that does mean you need to leave. There is no excuse for being aggressive toward a 2 y.o. That said, I have a 4.5 y.o. with autism so I can appreciate your situation. First of all, therapy for autism is a marathon, not a sprint. You won't see significant progress after a month of therapy. With my son, especially in the beginning, it would take him about 6 weeks to get comfortable with a new therapist and then we'd start seeing progress. Some of it was fast, some of it was slow. Sometimes it has been two steps forward and then a step back. Sometimes it was two steps forward and three back. It is a frustrating and scary journey. I think moms and dads handle the stress and the uncertainty in different ways. I know that my husband and I have very different parenting styles (my husband is much more strict and demanding with our son and sometimes I feel like he's expecting too much or picking on him but I also realize that sometimes I'm too lax and I don't expect enough). But we've learned to communicate about it and form a partnership. If you don't, you'll end up divorced. About 98% of parents of a child with autism end up divorced. And it is because having a child with autism can be all-consumingly stressful. If you can't be on the same page most of the time, the stress is unbelieveable.
If you really think your husband is abusive, I think you should leave. If your husband is just handling the situation poorly, I'd recommend doing what you can to include him in what is going on with your son. Have him go to doctor's appointments, therapy sessions, etc.... Find a support group or even a couple of other parents with children with autism. It is a lonely, scary road so it helps to talk to people who are also walking it. Wrapping your brain around having a child with autism and then figuring out what that is going to mean for you, your child and your family is a tough thing to do. Neither one of you are going to handle it well all the time. But your husband will likely handle it better if he is communicating with your sons therapists and doctors. He needs to find a new comfort level of "normal" because all of the "normal" is gone when you are dealing with autism.
Anyway, I've been dealing with autism for more than 2 years now. Therapists, school districts, early intervention, etc... If you want to talk, email me ____@____.com I'd be happy to try and help you if I can. I know when my son was first diagnosed, I found a lot of comfort in talking to other moms who have children with autism.
J.B. answers from Las Vegas on February 09, 2008
Wow, that's a hard one. Sounds like your husband is probably having issues with the fact that your son is "flawed." Personally I do not mean that in a rude/hurtful way. I love autistic children, there is something very precious about their spirit. I'm only guessing that is maybe how your husband feels about it but I'm not him. He may have issues and not know it or he knows it but can't admit it. He could change his mind about this little boy and learn how to treat him with respect...maybe he just needs time to learn coping skills for your sons condition. Just a note that's off the subject of your husband, my neighbor has a young son who was diagnosed with autism about 4 months ago. She did alot of research about how to feed an autistic child. Her son has been on a gluten free diet for four months now and she says his autistic symptoms are so mild it's hard for people to tell he's autistic.
K.E. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
OK. I have to tell you that it sounds to me like your husband has insecurity issues. I'm no Dr. but it sounds like he is ashamed of his son's behavior. Maybe he was teasted or screamed at for not behaving tough or maybe he was teased at school and he doesn't want the same thing for his son. I don't think he is a bad person. Even though the way he is treating your son IS wrong. As crazy as it sounds I think this is his way of protecting him. Now that being said, it needs to stop. Your son will start having even worse behavior issues if he doesn't know that his dad loves him. And the cycle will get worse and worse. He should see someone that can explain what he is doing will damage him much worse that it will help him. Good Luck. I don't know how you feel about prayer but I will say one for you and your family.
S.D. answers from Colorado Springs on February 09, 2008
I'm sorry you're going through this! It must be really hard and frustrating to watch your husband treat your children so differently.
Have you tried talking to your husband about how he feels about your son's diagnosis? Maybe he's angry and having a hard time dealing with the idea that your son isn't "typical" and so thinks that if he is more strict with him he can discipline the problems out of him? Dealing with any sort of diagnosis with a young child is so difficult and I can imagine he's having some pretty powerful feelings about that.
My husband is really hard on our son (the oldest) as well, because he also thinks that extremely strict discipline will be the only way to get the 4-ness out of him. It makes me sad because it drives a huge wedge in between them and all our son wants is to be buddies with his dad. So I can feel your pain and frustration to some extent.
I wish you luck and strength!!
B.B. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
I am a therapist, and without knowing very much about your situation, other than what I read here, I wonder if the therapist you have sent your son to has addressed your husband's feelings regarding having an autistic son. It is just an educated guess, but I wonder if he has not yet worked through some disappointment and feelings of loss regarding not having a "normal" son. It is sometimes easier for men to express feelings such as those in the form of anger, because that is a "safer" emotion to express, considering potentially from a man's perspective, anger projects strength, and dissapointment and sadness over loss project weakness. Just a thought. And you, may very well be married to a wonderful man, who just needs some guidance in how to work through some very real and very scary feelings. You child does come first in the end, as it sounds like you already know.
K.C. answers from Denver on February 08, 2008
An autism diagnosis is not just for the individual, it's for the whole family. Your husband might be freaking out at the thought of his only son never even having the chance of being a star athlete or straight A student. His dreams and expectations for his only son have most certainly been crushed and he might not know how to deal with it. When my son was first diagnosed with autism, we were already prepared for it so it wasn't such a shock. Even still, my husband had a hard time admitting to himself and others that there was something "wrong" with his boy. My husband is a pretty athletic guy and our son is the exact opposite: there's no going outside to throw the football around or riding bikes around the neighborhood or playing baseball in the park in our family. I know that must be hard on him. And now our son is 10 and I still find myself sometimes expecting him to behave like a typical 10yr old boy. Same goes for my husband. And we have two younger girls also who are not autistic. Keeping things balanced regarding discipline is pretty tough since our son gets away with more than the girls. They're just now starting to understand that he has issues which prevent him from doing certain things the way "society" expects him to. If your marriage and your son are going to succeed, it's absolutely crucial that your husband "get with the program" and really, really understand what he needs to do as the father of a special needs child. What he's doing now is the equivalent of asking a child with a broken leg to run a marathon. What he also needs to understand is that with the right long-term therapy and intervention, someday his son may very well run that marathon. It all depends on the kind of support he's given from his family, school and environment. Autistic kids are wired differently, the way they see the world isn't wrong, it's just different. My son constantly amazes me with his insight and point of view. Your husband may very well have a genius for a son, but he'll never find out if he doesn't change his attitude and behavior. Tell him to grow up and start being the type of father his son needs and if he doesn't know how, go see a therapist himself to learn or read one of the millions of books out there about raising an autistic child. Good luck to you...I really hope your son's dad comes through for him!
K.J. answers from Santa Fe on February 10, 2008
Reading your request was very heart breaking. It is sad that your little boy gets yelled at for things he can not control. I know quite a bit about autistic children and the way they thrive the best is if they feel safe and secure... being yelled will make the fits worse. I think your husband needs a "timeout". If that was my situation I would be out the door so fast with my son my husband wouldn't know what hit him. He sounds like a fool. He should do a little research on his son's condition maybe?
J.R. answers from Denver on February 09, 2008
Having a child diagnosed with Autism is a big change in a family. Your husband might be feeling angry, depressed, or disappointed, and maybe all three that his little boy is not going to be what he expected.
You and your husband should talk to a professional to help you both understand what having a child diagnosed with Autism means for the two of you. You might want to look into a support group for parents with autistic children. If your husband won't go with you to a support group, you should definitely go anyway. While each family's experience is different there will be similarities that may help you understand your son better. And there might be other parents there alone because their spouses are having the same reaction as yours.
M.B. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
Hello A. I can identify with you I have 2 Autistic boys and each one is different.Your husband sounds like my husband only my husband was never around.You need to look into all the information you can get.You will have to take charge .Be consistent and try not to get angry at your son.Show your son how you want him to be.Autistic children are teachable.It takes along time to teach them .Try to do it in a loving way
.Keep your voice down. It took along time to keep my son in his bed.There is also Department of Developmental Disablilies they offer services like respite and habilitation for the families with children of special needs.Call and ask for an intake person your son has been diagnosed with Autism.I do not know where you live and if you need to talk about what`s important call me. Ask for M. ###-###-#### .I can try to be helpful but every autistic child is different.
J.N. answers from Denver on February 09, 2008
My gut reaction is that you need to keep your son away from his dad as much as possible for now. It's not going to do either of them any good to be together under these circumstances. If he will, your husband should learn as much as possible about autism. He's more than likely angry that his son isn't "normal" and afraid that it's somehow a reflection on him as a man. They're strange creatures... You're son has so much to learn and so much to give, it would be a shame if his father was allowed to stand in his way because of his own insecurities. Your son's needs HAVE to come first in this. You will never be sorry if you make that choice. I just hope your husband can learn to accept his son for the wonderful, beautiful person he is and will become. I wish you the best of luck.
P.N. answers from Albuquerque on February 09, 2008
2 year olds are a different kind of child to begin with but autistic also that is hard to deal with. I would think hubby would do well to go to some sort of support group. Maybe a dad's of autistic children group and get feed back from other dads. Even if you could find other parents with an autistic child to see how they interact with their autistic child.
M.B. answers from Albuquerque on February 09, 2008
I really don't have any advice but I did want to let you know that I am here for you to vent if you need to. It has to be a stressful situation. My husband can be tough on our 2 year old also. I just tell him that when he starts being home all day with him and doing the work with him then he can do as he pleases. This usually shuts him up.
S.D. answers from Phoenix on February 08, 2008
If your son is autistic, then the best thing to do maybe, is to go through developmental counseling with your husband so the perfessionals can guide him on to how to handle the child in a way best fit for autism. Sounds like your husband is very hurt or upset that his son is has beharior issues where his daughter does not. He could be feeling resentful towards the "hardship" that a parent has to go through in raising a child with some needs. Kids all have issues to struggle with. There is not a way in my mind that you can handle this on your own. There has got to be support groups out there with Austic families that you can get connected with other moms who have autistic kids. I would say, pray, read together the Love Languages for Children as husband and wife and try to steer clear of your husband for the time being within your household. Distract your household to other rooms, read a book in your son's bedroom or just remove the "tension" away from your husband until you can get some support from families that have dealt with this issue. If he spends more time alone in the house and not being apart of "spending time" together, maybe he will see that he is scaring your son and that your protecting him and it will turn your husband to be more sensitive. May God bless your family towards the right direction.
J.C. answers from Denver on February 09, 2008
It sounds like your husband is angry that his son is "broken" and is taking it out on this poor little 2 year-old for everything. Just reading this made me sick to my stomach, imagining your poor son not understanding why he's being yelled at for being a little boy who has needs like all 2 year-olds. It sounds like the only help you need is for your HUSBAND, regardless of what kind of therapy your son is in. Your husband needs to change his attitude IMMEDIATELY. Your first priority is your son and protecting him from anybody who is mean to him, even if that's his father. I don't envy you.
P.T. answers from Phoenix on February 08, 2008
God Bless you A.. You have a full plate and your hubby isn't helping. It sounds like he is not accepting your sons Autism. Are you involved with any other families of Autistic children? If not, I would suggest that you get in touch with other families for support. I'm sure you are not alone and they could offer you the best advice on how to help your husband. Try Autismspeaks.org
T.R. answers from Denver on February 08, 2008
I'm sorry... I almost never say this... but get outta there!! Your kids are the most important things to you in your life... (well, in mine at least and I tend to assume the same of others). You wouldn't let anyone else treat him that way, so why your husband?!?! He should be the least likely to be acting that way... and if you've really tried to talk to him and it isn't helping... what can you do?? I am so sorry you are in this situation, subjecting your son to that has to be tough. Best of luck with everything and give the baby kisses and hugs... sounds like he could use em!!
S.S. answers from Denver on February 09, 2008
Wow, my heart goes out to you big time! My son who is now 5 1/2 was also diagnosed with autism. I wonder if your hubby is having a hard time coming to grips with the diagnosis and not really realizing where your son is coming from. Even without special needs, when a child is emotional they need us to hear them and are not at a teachable state. See if your husband will watch Happiest Toddler on the Block by Dr. Harvey Karp with you. They have the DVD at the library and it's not very long. He talks about how to handle melt downs with the coolest strategies that work so well to diffuse instead of escalate the situation!
I know this is such a stressful time on your marriage. Try to talk to your husband when he's not in the heat of the moment so he won't be on the defensive. It's worth fighting for your marriage. As moms we have such tender hearts for our baby boys and our instinct to protect them comes out full force. But, if the two of you can come together and get on the same page it wil lbe the best thing for your son. My hasband and I just talked again the other night about this issue of him being sterner than I like when our son is upset. My husband gets upset if I disagree with him in front of our son, but listens a lot more to me if I talk to him about it later when we're all less emotional. Getting in an argument in front of the child really does increase the child's stress anyway. I also make some allowance in my mind for the fact that dads do handle things different than moms and there are two parents for a reason. Even if he handles something different than me, I know our son is getting a well rounded upbringing from both sides. Of course, when your husband is yelling at him that's a different story. Maybe if he could go to some of the therapies and understand more of the autism and lower his expectations a little it would go better.
I'll pray for you right now. There's a lot of hope for the future with all the interventions out there. I hope you and your husband can pull together because you need eachother more than ever now! What town do you live in, because I could tell you about the great resources we've found? Email me if you want. God bless!
M.L. answers from Tucson on February 09, 2008
I am sorry to say that I don't know anything about autism and I am sorry for your struggle. In your 'A little about me...' you state that you are "married to a wonderful man." Huh?
K.R. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
I honestly have never experienced autism that I am aware of. But that said to me it sounds like your husband is grieving the loss of his "perfect" child. The reality of it may be hitting him like a ton of bricks and in turn he is acting out. It sounds like he needs to go to counseling or a support group or maybe even just read a great book on the subject. If he isn't willing to see the light on this in a reasonable amount of time (talk to your caregivers about this) I would definately consider removing him from the situation because your son will not grow and thrive in that situation. And maybe your husband just needs a break to realize all of this. Best of luck!
B.C. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
I am so sorry, I don;t have any advice other than to protect your son and take good care of yourself.
I.A. answers from Albuquerque on February 11, 2008
Yes, time to leave the bum. Sounds like he's jealous of your relationship with your son----and he might feel as if you have forgotten about him and don't spend enough time with him. Yes, men do get jealous of another male on their territory and it can be dangerous. He clearly verbally abuses him around you all the time, can you imagine what goes on when he's left alone with him at home? I don't want to think about that. The way your husband treats your son is just a way of him setting the tone for how your son will treat other people in the future and how he might possibly become verbally abusive to his future children. Time to break the cycle and stop him in his tracks. If you don't do it, I will!!!! J/K.
Think about it. You're strong and you're on the right track to raising a beautiful boy.
J.F. answers from Phoenix on February 08, 2008
I agree with others that your husband needs to hear about your son's emotional and psychological state from a professional. Maybe then it would sink in. I think men often feel that moms are "babying" their sons. We have a 4 year old boy and a 2 1/2 year old girl. My husband does treat them differently. When he does this, I wait until the kids aren't around and then I point out what happened and how he isn't treating them the same. My husband is open to this and I hope yours will be too. It sounds like you are really missing some communication. I don't know that things would be better if you were apart. Then he would be alone with the kids and not have you to balance out his toughness. He would have them up to half the time and you would not be there to help. I would try to exhuast all avenues before leaving your husband: parenting classes, autism experts, marraige counselors... I wish you the best of luck and try to remember that separating doesn't solve your problem, it only changes logistics.
J.J. answers from Phoenix on February 11, 2008
maybe he is nagry that his sone isnt "perfect". he needs to get professional help befroe hehurts you or your son. it may be that he doesnt know how to handle that fact that he has autism. make sure he is involved in all aspects of his care including oging to all the dr appointments and therapy sessions. that way he will see and be informed by a professional and wont have to jsut take what you say.
A.T. answers from Tucson on February 09, 2008
I do not know you and do not know your husband. Your husband is probably a wonderful man. He is just having a hard time with this right now. Give him some time and lots of Prayer. Do the research you can on Autism and see if he will in time look at what you have found. I put things in the bathroom for mine to read on things. I do not have any experience on this but I do have 4 children and also a wonderful husband. Remember we all have flaws. There are lots of things that I am sure you have had to work thru before. hang in there. God will provide if you will let him. Trust God in time he will soften his heart. Do what you are supposed to do and give that little boy a bundle of love.....It may be thru this little boy that your husband will change..Children have a strange way of doing this at times.. I will be praying for you and your family.. God Bless you
M.H. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
Any child even mildly autistic is not going to respond like a normal child. And different triggers cause them to act differently. I have a nephew who is autistic and he cannot handle music -- singing, radio, loud groups etc. They have determined it is physically painful to him so he needs big ear muffs when it is too loud. My other nephew has sensitive feelings and will put himself in time out or cry if he is feeling like he is in trouble. Both have responded well to a very regular routine. They do not adapt to change quickly. I am sure your husband is frustrated because autism cannot be fixed. Each child is so unique, no 2 fit in the same "box". Usually once the routine is established and they know exactly what to expect, they do calm down. If he likes books, read a set number at bedtime. Do all the night time routine items (baths, teeth brushed, getting dressed, etc) in the same order. Autistic kids thrive on routine or so has been my experience. I know there are support groups as well. With 1 child in 166 with an Autism Spectrum disorder, you are not alone. Good luck -- I hope this helps some.
M.B. answers from Denver on February 11, 2008
Yes your son need scollded BUT not yelled at he is only 2 a firm voice i plenty. If he has autisum you guys have to have a diff way to disapline him you can't do it like you can regular kids because they dont understand as well they think you are being mean. I his classes dont help i dont know what to tell you. maybe you should secretly record him yelling and play it back so he can see how mean he sounds to your son.
I hope this dont mess up your marrage!
S.Z. answers from Reno on February 09, 2008
Your husband is being pretty typically male - sorry if that sounds bad or like stereotyping! Men feel it is their job to "toughen up" boys and "make men out of them," and that means, to most guys, that they're being a good parent if they act like a drill sargeant. They worry that their sons will be picked on and seen as weak and "wimps" if they display any kind of emotion or weakness. When you add that to the regular toddler behavior that your husband might not understand, and then ON TOP of all that add the autism, your husband is overwhelmed. So, he does what he thinks is best. When his behavior makes things worse, he probably decides he wasn't tough enough, and the cycle keeps going. Next time he thinks someone is "babying" his son, remind him that a 2 year old IS a baby! You can't expect mature behavior from someone in diapers. You can't change your husband's mind or behavior, unfortunately. Keep taking him to the therapist, find books and magazine articles for him to read, and find other adults that he'll trust to let him know what "normal" behavior is, what he can expect, etc. As for his daughter, unfortunately he has divorced parent guilt adding to the fact that most dads think their daughters are princesses - until they become teenagers! Make sure the rules are clear, agreed on, and that she knows she has to follow them. Make sure, too, to point out snotty or unacceptable behavior in OTHER girls and say things like, "I hope our girls never say or do something like that, Nobody likes a bossy ( or rude, or self absorbed) girl." Then, maybe he'll start to see the reason she needs rules is because you truly want others to love her - family loves you anyway, but nobody else is obligated to! A family counselor might be a good idea, but only you (and a lot of prayer!!) can decide if you need to remove him from the picture, either temporarily by separating, or permanently by divorce. Marriage is hard, parenting is hard, and it's easy to feel buried underneath. Here's hoping for all the best in everyone's future!
C.P. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
It sounds like your husband is having a hard time dealing with the fact that his son has autism, and is coping and overcompensating the only way he knows how. Until he can come to the point where he can acknowledge and deal with this, I don't think his behavior will change. When you say in your "a little about me" that your husband is a wonderful man, it brings me to the conclusion that this behavior toward your son doesn't carry over into other aspects of his life or personality. Having a child that isn't "healthy" in any sense is hard on a parent, especially Autism, as there are so many unknowns, and no quick fixes or cures as of yet. Have faith in your husband, and give him time to come to terms with this. If that doesn't work, suggest counseling or possibly a support group for father's of Autistic Children. If there isn't one, blaze the trail. If he has something he Can control that is connected to what he Can't control, it may help. I'm not an expert though, so take my advice of that knowledge!
K.K. answers from Denver on February 09, 2008
I feel really sad for you and your son.
Not to be too harsh, but. your wonderful man is not a wonderful dad. Even if your child were not autistic, two year olds are difficult. If he cannot be loving in the face of the challenges of child-rearing, and won't get help to become so, I would say you have a tough choice ahead of you. Your husband is abusive to your son. It is unfathomable to me that he would make him cry by calling him a baby, etc. That is just cruel. If he can't get ahold of his own emotions and be calm and loving with your son, you may need to decide what is best for your son and take action on it. I have always felt that if I were faced with the choice of my husband over my son, my son would win out. He is my responsibility, my husband is my choice. (I'm very lucky and blessed that my husband happens to be a great dad).
I wish you strength to do right by your son. Good luck.
D.G. answers from Phoenix on February 09, 2008
Hello. I dont have a child with autism but I do have a brother, and it can be stressful not knowing how to deal with it. Is your husband accepting the fact that your son has autism, because I know that my brother wasnt diagnosed until he was 20 years old and we always treated him like anybody else but someone with autism does need different approach. For instance I found out through research that noises can bother them, anything can actually overstimulate their nerves. My advice would be to try to find a support group for parents that have children with autism if you dont have time to physically go try to research online there and maybe your husband would be willing to do that.Dont give up you are doing the best that you can.