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Recent Letter to the ElderWisdomCircle™

FAMILY: Worried My Brother's Wife Is Ruining My Nephew
Letter #: 394116
Category: Family

Original Letter

brother has a son whom his wife says has autism. They have never taken him to be diagnosed, just read things online and wam they're 'qualified' to make that decision. A little history on his wife who basically runs the show and controls every aspect of their lives.she has a history of mental illness, limited work history, and is a complete mooch. She had my oldest brother hook her and my other brother up so she'd 'have a place to live '.back to my nephew, so she says he has autism, hasn't put him in school he's 8 years old now, he has no social interaction with anyone besides my brother and his wife and he pretty much does what he wants. I don't think he has autism I think he's her meal ticket to never work again. My wife wants me to notify the proper authority but that feels like betrayal, but it's not like I can just get my brother to understand what is going on, I think he just goes with the flow because like I said his wife runs the house. I am worried about my nephew, he needs an education and friends or I think he will grow up to be a weirdo. I just don't know what to do

Elder Response

It appears that you've managed to hang onto your sense of humor, Snaggletooth. I think that's a good thing and shows that you have a lot of courage and strength.

The situation that you described is next to impossible to get through without some feelings getting wounded. I think the most important and relevant thing to understand is that the child's welfare is the most important thing. Try with the parents first. After you've exhausted all reasonable options and still nothing is resolved, you're left with a serious responsibility.

The only viable choice available to you is to talk to child services. As you probably know even a child with autism has a lot of options. First, though, it's important to know if in fact he has autism. If he does it's important to know what his limitations are and what he is capable of doing. Most of these kids can do a lot of things. To leave him hanging without a chance would literally be a crime. A serious one at that.

I wish you well, Snaggletooth. This will be hard for you and your brother; still, in the long run it will work out. It is the "right" thing to do. And I'm pretty sure in time your brother will thank you. If not, you made sure is son will have a chance to reach is potential. Would you write back and let me know how you and your nephew are doing.

Best Regards,



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