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Discord between my nephew and me, advice needed!

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posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:10 AM
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So here's the situation, ever since my nephew was born (Now he's 4 and a half) we've been pretty close, like super glue. He was essentially the little brother I never had and I taught him everything from playing sports to video games, things his parents never did. Up til now, he would favor me over any of his cousins, other uncles/aunts, grandparents, and even his own mother! I was was basically the 2nd person he loved most; next to his own father of course, but now that suddenly changed just a weeks ago and I have no idea why. Now, I do want to add that he is autistic, so he doesn't talk and his mom tells his mind is essentially a 2 year old's, but he still somehow to comprehend to holding a grudge towards me somehow (been going on for about a month now).

So the case now is that he won't let me near him at all. If I get near him he turns violent and starts hitting me, his favorite uncle! and I have no idea what caused this. I'm obviously bothered and shock by these turn of events because it's a complete 180. There was a time when he never even noticed his other family members like his aunt/grandma and basically treated them like they were invisible when they try to play with him or something. Now he notices them and pulls them away if they try to get near me like I'm a demon or something; I'm so perplexed. I don't know what I did wrong, I've pretty much always pandered to him, never disciplined or raised my voice at him either. All I can think is there was a period of time where I had to travel for a week and he spent it with his mom watching Austin and Ally and I thought he might have learned something from that show cause he also closes the door on people's faces now, especially towards me and very violently. Anyone with a similar situation?
edit on 6-3-2015 by Versus because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-3-2015 by Versus because: (no reason given)




posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:18 AM
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You may want to just show him love. Maybe he got scared and thought you had left him, when you had to travel for a week. It may have scared him, turning fear into anger. I wouldn't do anything other than show him that you are still there for him, showing that you care, love him, and still want to be great friends. I'm sure Autistic people have a hard time showing what emotion they are trying to convey. Since the communications can be difficult. Hope it all gets better, my nephew and I are just the same way, very close.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:20 AM
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Your nephews autism is going to test your patience and ability to love unconditionally more than almost anything in the rest of your life. Accept the challenge. Learn more and more about your nephew. Eventually you'll understand his behavior.

Unconditional love when someone denies you is very difficult. Good Luck!



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:22 AM
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Strange.


Sad to say this, but the only thing I can think of is someone has coached him into an impression of you that never was...

Maybe someone envious of the special bond you had.

No one wants to think that a family member would do such, but we can't choose our family...
And speaking from expericence, some family members can be vindictive bastards.





Hope it works out buddy, horrible situation to be in.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:27 AM
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Thanks for the responses and trust me I've been trying everyday to win him back. Though every time I go near him he swings, yell at the top of his lungs and gets real upset. I don't think anyone coached him to act like this cause I think he would have a hard time comprehending it, he's not even potty trained.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:29 AM
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a reply to: Versus

Sorry to hear you are going through this with someone you care so much about.

It's going to require a lot of self-awareness and persistence to show your nephew that you care about him no matter what and have nothing but love for him.

If I were in that situation, I would be irking to just try to have a conversation with him about it, but being that he is autistic that may turn the situation worse

(as a side note, I volunteer at a ski program that helps developmentally and physically disabled children to participate in snow sports - sometimes the child can be doing great on the mountain and having a great run, but then in the middle of the trail just stop and have a fit - seemingly unwarranted. But we never know what they may be upset about so it all comes down to trying to listen, trying to explain that stopping in the middle of the trail is dangerous)

One thing I do know is that it is more productive to say "Try to do _____" or "Please do ______" instead of saying "Don't ____" or "Stop ______". Sometimes people with a developmental disability will only hear the second part of the sentence "Don't slam the door" could be heard as "Slam the door". So that is one piece of advice I could give, but it sounds like you just want to be able to have him open up to you again and stop trying to shut you off.

I'm sorry it's such a tough situation but he is young and still growing and you have plenty of time to show him that you're a loving uncle/mentor and that you will always be there for him. Keep up the good work, you're an awesome uncle, I'm sure of it.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:33 AM
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I have experience with autistic children and one common theme seems to be holding grudges that can be based on nothing much, at least at first glance. I know one girl who has never spoken to her aunt due to a particular colour/outfit she once wore. Whilst that is an extreme she bases her like or dislike of people on superficial things- looks, colours etc. We are more familiar with this now as she's much older and "more" able to communicate.

I have a number of strategies but his young age would make these hard. You also say that he doesn't speak. My best advice would be for his mother or whomever he is best able to communicate with to work with him to find out what the issue is.

I would start by using your picture. Most children who don't speak use alternative methods of communication usually pictures or signing of some sort. If he already uses pictures this might be best. You would also need some emotion cards however again at such a young age he may still be learning to recognise how to link emotions to certain faces/pictures. You need to find some links between you/your pic and his feelings and possibly something else that might explain why.

The success of this is going to depend on who works with him and how well he is able to communicate. Not sure at that age if he has some specialists involved but discussion with them might help. Of course I'm talking about a young child who doesn't speak who I'm not familiar with so this is like shooting fish in a barrel so I hope this helps.

It could be something and nothing and he might come round but from the way you described it, his reactions to you are extreme and out of character.

Good luck and keep us updated.

Scally x



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:37 AM
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Have you tried ignoring him?

I do not mean in a spitefull way but if you were in the same room but not paying him attention then maybe over time he would choose to begin approaching you again and you can rebuild the bond.

As others have said autism can be very upsetting.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:38 AM
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a reply to: FamCore

Thanks for the encouragement, much appreciated. The thing is I have to be out for work again soon and I don't know how much time I have to mend this relationship
. At this point I feel that he hates me and I will just have to hope he gets over it as he get's older.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:42 AM
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a reply to: nonspecific

I've tried that for 2 days about, but it doesn't matter because he's so overly attached to everyone else now.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:45 AM
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a reply to: Versus

Thats so sad, I wish I knew his mind about it.

Autistic children have more trouble with emotions. Anxiety and sleep disorders, sudden changes in routine or bad dreams for instance, can have a profound effect on them. All else begin equal maybe he had a nightmare.

Have a family member ask him why his attitude changed towards you.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 09:55 AM
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a reply to: intrptr

He can't talk
. He can only point at what he wants or what he wants you to do. I had troubles sleeping last night because I'm at my wit's end on what to do. Really can't stress how a complete 180 this is; Love me and ignore everyone else to the opposite, even family he RARELY sees.
edit on 6-3-2015 by Versus because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 10:29 AM
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a reply to: Versus

He can't talk . He can only point at what he wants or what he wants you to do. I had troubles sleeping last night because I'm at my wit's end on what to do.

I see, sorry. And sorry about your dilemma.

My point was that emotions and anxiety reactions are more common for autistic children. Some doctor said, autism is anxiety looking for a place to happen.

link



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 10:34 AM
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a reply to: Versus

With an Autistic child,there is never any knowing what is going on in their mind or what may have gone on. It could have been something he saw on TV,or something else. Perhaps you can hold him for a bit even with his 'tantrums' if that is what you want to call them. I don't know just how upset he can get over being held. Just try to keep talking to him in a calm low voice while trying to get closer to him. I doubt if its anything someone else did,more just a feeling of abandonment and him not being able to understand that you were coming back after all.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 10:34 AM
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Maybe try bribery? A toy, an activity? Lots of toys and activities?

Sounds manipulative, I know, sorry. I'm just at a loss and I feel bad for both of you. It seems you were an important life line for him, it would be sad to let it slip away without going to great lengths, even manipulation.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 10:47 AM
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a reply to: kosmicjack

I've tried it, bought him a remote control car to play with him and other cool things, he would play with it for awhile before walking away from me. Another thing I've noticed is that he's spending more time than usual watching TV, before he would beg to go outside. So I really wonder if he saw something on TV or did he have a bad dream about me as the other poster had mentioned that affected his perception of me.

It's really hard to catch him on a "good" mood with the sporadic behavior. Some days it's easier to attempt to get closer to him and other is almost impossible, more of the latter now a days.
edit on 6-3-2015 by Versus because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-3-2015 by Versus because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 11:50 AM
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Awww, you sweet thing! I'm only vaguely aware of autistic kids and how they act/react to things so I'm not much help here. I do hope things eventually turn around. Keep on being there for him and being you.



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 01:21 PM
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He could be angry that you went away for a while - it would seem like a really long time to him, and it would break all his "rituals" or "routines" that he had about you being there and that is pretty overwhelming to kids with autism, from what I understand (my boy has severe autism). The new pattern being established is one where he feels angry at you. Breaking that is going to be hard but I have an idea that might work.

Try getting a relative to do a simple social story with him. Use pictures to make a booklet of "People that love ____" (fill in his name).

Have a relative he is currently attached to go through each picture and say "Mommy loves ____". "Daddy loves ___" - go through several people, and include you, "Uncle ____ loves ____" and make you part of the total group that he is attached to now. Perhaps show a picture of him with these people who love him. Finish the story with a group photo that includes you in the group as well as others from the booklet.

It communicates that you not only love him, just like the others he is currently attached to, but that loving you doesn't mean he gives up the new people he's attached to - that he doesn't have to go back to "just you and him" because that might be the sticking point. His world has expanded and he likes it - he doesn't want to go back to not being attached to everyone else - he needs to know you can be included in his new expansion, and that you aren't going to take him away from everyone else. Now this is making a big assumption that he is feeling/thinking this way. In any case, he will get a wonderful book to look at! (Argh - I'm reading this, and I'm realizing it might be off base - but in any case, this is a still a powerful tool and good reinforcement that he is loved. I am looking at two things 1) him being angry and feeling his world rocked when you went away, and 2) the result of that anxiety was to reach out to new people to escape that "bad feeling" and now the "bad feeling" is associated entirely with you.)

I'm running a lot on intuition here combined with what I've learned in working with my son. I hope it is helpful, though I'm making a lot of assumptions here as to what he might be thinking. It might be worth a try though...

ETA
Story based communication works very well with some kids - you mentioned he'd been watching a lot of TV lately too. If his favorite character ever got mad and had to forgive someone, or something like that, it might be good to talk to him in terms of "just like ___ forgave and hugged ___, (use his name) forgive and hug Uncle ___."


peace and good luck - I hope you will be hugging that little guy soon!!!

- AB
edit on 6-3-2015 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-3-2015 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-3-2015 by AboveBoard because: (no reason given)

edit on 6-3-2015 by AboveBoard because: lots of reasons, mostly clarity, argh!



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 01:43 PM
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a reply to: Scallywwagg

Wise words, Scallywwagg. You are obviously in-the-know and have shared great ideas. We are on a similar page with using his picture and having a relative or someone he's currently attached to help him. My thoughts are written in my lengthy post above, but I just wanted to say I appreciated your post and approach.

peace,
AB



posted on Mar, 6 2015 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: Versus
I am so sorry that you are going through this struggle right now. You sound as if you have a very special bond that is very special to you. Dealing with autism, makes it even harder. I also have some experience with Autism, 2 brothers have been diagnosed as Autistic. My advice, if you are able, sit with him. You don't have to speak, just sit.

My younger brother has severe autism and can become overwhelmed very easy. At first I though it was me upsetting him, but it was because I wasn't understanding. I tried to treat him the same as I treated my other brother (he had a milder form), and it was too much. He would become so overwhelmed with trying to interact that it rarely ended well. Now I will often just sit with him as he takes apart one of his thousands of cameras. Sometimes he will hand me pieces sometimes he simply does his thing. But now, when I tell him goodbye, he stops so I can give him a kiss on the cheek.

I wish you all the luck and patience in the world. No two cases are alike, no two people are alike, and sadly with Autism no two days are alike. I hope that you find the perfect balance that works for you.


edit on 3/6/1515 by Martin75 because: (no reason given)



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