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Hi Bhavna, I am the mother of an autistic child. My father, brother and sister-in-law don't support us in any way. How should I make them include my child?

Question: Hi Bhavna, I am the mother of 9-year-old autistic child. My question is regarding my father, brother and sister-in-law, who are not including me and my child in the family. We never fought with each other, but they don't contact us and support us in any of the way, not even moral support. Since my son got diagnosed with autism at the age of four, we are fighting many battles and helping our child all alone. How should I make them accept and include my child in the family? I am very stressed because of the disrespect. Please help me.

Answer: Dear Madam, I am sorry to hear about what you are going through. Raising a child with autism comes with many stresses and family support makes a big difference. What you are facing is experienced by many parents, mainly due to stigma. There are two things you could do.

One is to approach a relative who is respected/trusted by your family and explain the situation to him/her and see if they may be willing to act as an intermediary. This could help your family air their reservations openly. The other is ask your child's therapist or counsellor to speak to them and see if that helps.

It's possible none of this works in which you must seek the support of a parent network in your city or state. There are many such networks that are available on Facebook whom you could reach out to but it is important you seek this so that you can support your child better. Your child is looking to you for help and you must stay strong and positive.

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