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Support for Step Parent of Child Dx with Autism

HeHadADoubleLife posted 12/10/2020 14:30 PM

Hey guys!

My best friend's sister is married, they have one child of their own together, but he has two kids from a previous marriage, one neurotypical and one autistic.

She is struggling with how to deal with step parenting when the step child comes for visitation. I don't know much, but my understanding is that the Dx child is very rough when playing with their daughter, and while he's been told several times not to, he has difficulty listening/processing it and does not respond well to discipline.

Also, the step mom is unsure of what she can actually do, as she is the step parent, and she doesn't want any trouble with the kid running and "telling on her" to bio mom for "being mean." They've had their fair share of issues with the bio mom already. She tried to adjust custody based on the fact that he began a relationship with the now step mom while they were still waiting on their divorce to be final (2 years after filing), even though she is the one who stepped out on the marriage initially, which is why he filed.

She knew I was part of an online support group for infidelity, but I think she thought it was just one big online forum for all types of issues. I told her that it mainly focuses on infidelity and all of the different facets of that. So I guess I'm asking if anyone knows of a good place where she could seek support in dealing with autism, specifically as the step parent.

Anyone out there have any good experiences? Or anywhere they definitely wouldn't recommend? I'm sure there are places to be found with a quick Google search, but would love to know if anyone had their own experiences first hand, positive or negative.

Bigger posted 12/11/2020 06:03 AM

What about the step-mom asking the mom to meet for a cup of coffee and discuss how best she can help the child?
Iím assuming the mom is aware the son has issues and might need special handling. Iím also hoping that she wants the kids best interests met. I wouldnít be surprised if she too is tired of the son coming home from the visit to dad all flustered and excited.
Iím thinking that with communications they can establish more routine, use the same disciplinary actions and create more continuity Ė something that generally helps those dealing with autism.

[This message edited by Bigger at 6:06 AM, December 11th (Friday)]

sad12008 posted 12/13/2020 20:20 PM

How old is the child with autism? I'm thinking pictograms, visual guidelines for how to interact with the (presumably) baby. A "social story", if you will.

As the mom of a kid on the spectrum, I'm sure it is extremely hard on the stepson to have his routine disrupted by "visitation". If his stepmom can try to create a consistent routine for him at their house, it can only help. Does he have rigid eating constraints? Most seem to. He's not being willful; accommodate him. Again, "social stories" of how things will go each visitation can only help. I should add that I am also a stepmother, and it is a really hard, mostly thankless gig. Good on you for seeking out information/advice to help your friend's sis better deal with the situation!

I'm happy to offer help if you think it'd be of assistance.

[This message edited by sad12008 at 9:00 PM, December 14th (Monday)]

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