Hi, I’m just looking for some advice. My Sons girlfriend has autism with seizures and lives at home she is in her early 20’s. I don’t fully understand the situation but she is fairly capable in day to day life, stays at ours at the weekend and she communicates at a good level. However tonight she was distraught and was very upset on the phone because her family do not like my son and they keep having a go at her and my son over the relationship. On several occasions she has been threatened with being sent in to care and today they told her if she leaves she’s not coming back. She was also slapped by her mother. My son is very upset by the situation so has not helped himself by getting into arguments with the family. They believe it is my son who is the problem as they think he doesn’t treat her very well and he argues with them and also because it is ruining her routine which is the reason for her outbursts. The daughter says it is because they just keep picking on her all the time. On speaking with the mother this evening she said she only slapped her to stop a seizure and that speaking forcefully to her is the way she has been trained to deal with her, she isn’t allowed to talk as they say she is arguing and if she says anything they make her apologise with threats of care (I heard this myself). I guess I just need to know if this is how you are supposed to treat people with autism as I know a different approach needs to be taken. I really want to help by knowing a little bit more so we can give her some routine when she is here and support the family if this is the correct way. Thanks
No. Slapping isn't how you're supposed to deal with people with autism, regardless of what the girl's mother says or does.
You should probably trust your own instincts in this situation as I find it very difficult to believe the girl's mother's version of things from what you've said here. There's no way in hell any training she took part in re. autism included slapping as a technique. The mother also appears to be confusing "speaking forcefully" with 'making threats'.
The girl (woman actually if she is in her 20's) will need routine but that doesn't have to be regimented and it doesn't mean that changes can't be introduced gradually - especially changes she herself wants to make. Autism itself doesn't cause seizures but some people with autism also have epilepsy, which of course does cause seizures. I don't know much at all about epilepsy, but i seriously doubt that slapping is a technique for dealing with that either. Can the girl / woman herself tell you what techniques she prefers to help her to cope with stress and seizures?
I totally agree. I think that the "seizure" thing may be the mother confusing or miscommunicating overload. The mother sounds like a bit of a ***, those are threats. Threatening to put her in care must be terrifying. The bigger question is as the OP knows the girl better do they think she is being mistreated. She sounds pretty high-functioning and aware. Being put in care sounds like a whip-hand tactic. As for slapping someone who's having a "seizure" or overload it would only make matters worse, also imagine the anxiety it causes when anxiety starts. It's a ridiculous paradox, like one of those *** parents who say "If you don't stop crying, I'll give you a slap" in the supermarket. The mom sounds like a pig.
Physical abuse is never okay and is unacceptable. That will make the poor girl feel worse. Her mother needs to go and speak to some professionals if she thinks that is the way to deal with situations. Aggression isn't the way forward. I don't understand why you would even ask this question? Maybe you should do some research of your own and while your at it pass the details of the autistic Trust on to the mother! She clearly is making her daughter worse
The mother could be arrested and reported to social services for not only verbal abuse but also physical abuse. Sickening behaviour. Its hard enough being on the spectrum as it is without having people like that around you!
I think you've answered some of your own questions by asking how you can help things easier for her when she visits and also asking about her mom's very odd behaviour. I think you want to create a bit of rest and shelter for her as you don't like what you have seen from her mom. I think you are a rational and caring person.
Rose said:I don't understand why you would even ask this question?
It's a tough situation. I think the OP knows something is up, that's why they are asking questions. I wouldn't like to be in their shoes. They have a lot to consider, the emotional consequences could be bad for them, their son, and last but not least the girl. I think that they have come to the right place to do their research. I think they know that the mother may be a bit manipulative. She seems to know that they don't know much and they have come to their own conclusion that something isn't right.
Aggression isn't the answer and the OP knows it. I think they know they need to be measured in their reaction themselves. I think they don't want to rush in all guns blazing without knowing all the ins and outs. They seem to want to resolve it and make their son and the girl happy.
NAS37634 said:slapped her to stop a seizure
NAS37634 said:I just need to know if this is how you are supposed to treat people with autism
Exactly as Endymion says, it's not clear if this is referring to epilepsy. If it is then some people's seizures can be controlled with medication and expert treatment, but a slap would do no good. If it's about autistic meltdowns then the usual correct approach is to reduce stimulation and stay quiet and calm.
NAS37634 said:threatened with being sent in to care
The autistic woman can probably say and/or write down what she needs, in terms of routine and otherwise.
In the 18th and 19th Century the so-called "Idiot Savants", who we now know were Autistic, could well have been shown in travelling "Freak shows", led by people such as PT Barnum. This was the heyday of the "Freak Shows". NT Audiences may have watched, in amusement or amazement or curiosity or puzzlement, Autistic savants, as they performed their skills or struggled to speak as they did so. Bear in mind though,
If Autistic savants were displayed in freak shows, non-savant Autistics, I suspect, throughout the 19th Century and the first half of the 20th century were probably locked away in mental hospitals because local authorities simply didn't know what do with them or where to put them, or they would have been lumped in the asylums.
they were probably slapped and much worse back then as well.
but, we’re in the 21st century? Right? ..... OMG
How you can help - kindness, consistency, routine and some understanding. Thank you for wanting to help the poor woman. Keep in touch
You have found yourself in a rather disturbing situation, and credit to you for searching for some information.
It is is not possible to place an adult woman into care against her consent without involving healthcare professionals.
I don’t know anything about epilepsy.
It may be that when she returns home your son’s girlfriend gets agitated as she tries to process the events of the weekend.
If we were talking about an adult male, the dubious approach of the parents would -unfortunately - be more obvious.
I am not sure how you could best move forward with this other than talking it through with your son’s girlfriend and her parents, their approach is at best old fashioned, but in my opinion bordering on the abusive.,
I know lots of people have already spoken in this and you probably don't need another voice but I have to add my thoughts.
Slapping someone to prevent them from having an epileptic seizure will achieve nothing with regard to the for but it is however illegal and if reported to the police would be taken seriously and the abuser would almost certainly be arrested. ( definitely would in my area of surrey) add in the verbal abuse !!
I have an epileptic history and going into a seizure is an unpleasant experience in itself without being attacked at the same time, poor thing.
If I were in your position i know what I would do. I would have to inform the police about the abuse since it has been drawn to my attention.