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Family Drama

Community Member

Concerned for the wellbeing of a child, on husbands side of fam. School age. I've suspected neurodivergence (at a guess asd and adhd) since he was a baby. Parents are aware of developmental issues (almost nonverbal, aggressive (our children can no longer visit because of an incident that was laughed off), at risk of self harm when emotional (not taken seriously by parents) anti-social, can't follow instruction- they never tell him no) etc. They refuse to get diagnosis because they don't 'trust the system'. They don't trust any system. They pulled him out of kindy after a couple of weeks. Hasn't been enrolled in mainstream school. It's possible he may by now have been enrolled in an 'unschooling' program- mum hinted she had no plans to attempt to educate (they are restricted as far as public experiences are concerned). I understand that the child is not yet suited to mainstream but he does need some form of professional support, because he isn't getting help at home.

The parents have severe conspiracy mentality. Im not discounting her claims but it is limiting her ability to seek help. They have banned anyone with covid jab from visiting the house. Noone can talk to them because they cut off anyone that has a different view. (My relationship with them is strained because as much as i am patient in trying to understand thier views, they are disrespectful in how they treat other people. Not something i tolerate). Noone is trying to make them believe anything, but very concerned about household mental health situation, childs wellbeing.

Tried to reach out to pro's but told they cant offer help if family doesnt agree to 'self refer'. Most people that can help have been immunised and use wifi. If child is enrolled in unschooling, i can't go the ed. dept. route for welfare check. If I call for a welfare check fam will know it was me. I've spoken to grandparents, brothers who agree its an issue, but cant understand urgency and told me not to do anything hasty (multiple years is hasty apparently). My thought is that the welfare of the child is more important than the family liking me? I just want professional to suss out the situation thoroughly. Was hoping that family might give them more opportunity to sort themselves out before pro's intervene, but i keep getting ' i dont like confrontation'- in my book, a complete cop-out.

3 Replies 3


Hi Sum1, 

Thank you for sharing this with us and for joining this community. It sounds like there is a lot going on, and we’re really glad you could reach out to the forums.  

Firstly, it is important to make sure you are feeling supported in this situation. If you do feel like you would be interested in learning some strategies to work with these feelings in the moment our team are always available on 1300 22 4636. If you prefer, you can also check our webchat.

Regarding the young person, calling the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 and getting their advice and recommendations may be a course of action for you. If you are worried about your actions being picked up by the family, you can discuss this with Kids Helpline and get their advice.  

We are really sorry that you have been dealing with this and want to congratulate you on being so understanding and proactive in looking for a solution.  

Thanks again for sharing. Hopefully, we'll hear back from the lovely community in response to your post sometime today. We hope there's some comfort in that for you. 

Kind regards, 

Sophie M 

Community Member

Hi Sum1,

You sound like a great person, who could actually offer support to this child and the parents. It’s just a shame that your concerns for the child’s welfare isn’t being considered.

I was in a similar situation but it was my own sister who I believed to be a neglectful parent.

I was only 16 when my sister then 20 moved back home with a 5 month old. I became a second mother to this baby while finishing high school.

To cut the story short… my sister slept most of the day and neglected her baby. She provided basic care, feeding and changing. She started working afternoons and I was caring for her baby after school. I was responsible for bathing, feeding and bedtimes. As well as stimulating play time.

My niece started showed behavioural problems when my sister moved out a year or so later. My sister just wouldn’t accept that her parenting style was neglectful.

My niece was removed from my sisters care several years later, however the damage was done.

My niece didn’t show these behavioural problems when she was with me as she was well looked after and loved. She was the centre of attention, but in a positive way.

Eventually she was returned to my parents and placed in their care with my sister not allowed contact for quite a while.

My sister was advised that she needed parenting classes. She was mortified that in a roundabout way she was the cause of the negative behaviour that my niece exhibited.

With counselling and intervention my niece overcame her childhood struggles and is now an adult with a wonderful family of her own.

At the time I too blamed my sister as did my parents. But she was a child herself when my niece was born.

In my nieces situation, the Professionals had to intervene.

I know it’s heartbreaking watching a child in your own family go through these struggles. I felt helpless at times.

Good luck and all the best.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hey Sum1,

Welcome to the forums and thank you for sharing with us your concerns. I can imagine it would be incredibly difficult to see such a situation panning out and not knowing what to do. It seems that you are really torn and feel somewhat alone in how to best approach the situation.

It's hard when the family members that you are trying to communicate with are not particularly open to communication and don't perhaps share the same beliefs as you do. It appears that you have shown a great deal of effort to be accomodating to this and that you have a deep care for this family and child. I would definitely recommend talking to someone that Sophie_M mentioned, to gather advice and figure out what the next possible steps would be. I understand that you would be putting yourself on the line if you were to access some of the professional help that you mentioned but sometimes, it might be the only option that's viable. Being as informed as possible about the implications of taking said route will definitely be helpful in the long run and in your decision.

I hope that you can get the best support possible for the child, family and yourself and hope that it can lead to a helpful outcome for all. All the best.