My sister in law needs to be diagnosed. — Scope | Disability forum
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My sister in law needs to be diagnosed.

katewalsh Community member Posts: 1 Listener
edited January 2021 in Autism and neurodiversity
A backstory:
My sister was diagnosed at 18 years old with Asperger's after a childhood of "learning difficulties" and "not having emotional recognition, not being able to read a room". After years of emotional issues and misunderstanding of social norms once this was established it was a blessing. For the first time in 18 years we knew how my sister saw the world and how we could change and help situations to suit her needs rather than forcing her to see something that she just couldn't comprehend. It was like we finally spoke the same language and we have been close ever since. 
I met my husband 7 years ago and when I first met his sister I asked him when was she diagnosed as being on the spectrum? (She is 36) they had no clue what I was talking about and eluded that she was merely a bit simple and suffered with learning difficulties, dyslexia and is just a recluse. After inviting them to meet my sister the similarities poured out. Emotionally and physically. They have never wanted to rock the boat with her claiming her emotions were unstable and it wasn't worth it but I knew these were a barrier for not understanding.
2020 was the year it came to a head. Lockdown and furlough meant more time together where they noticed it more and more. She was having conversations with no one, listening to their conversations through the wall and even trying to listen when they became intimate saying "I can hear you". She would have picnics in the garden with her stuffed animals and would take a stuffed animal out to feel safe. She was given £10k and spent the lot in a year and a half on sports wear filling her wardrobe then throwing it out to purchase more. When I approached my parents in law again to tell them we need to help her because once they go she is going to be truly alone they dismissed it and told me she was fine. She tested positive for Corona in January and hid the results and infected the rest of her family watching her father go into the hospital and almost die. We only found out after a thorough investigation. Now her father wants her out and living on her own two feet but due to the pandemic we can't get a face to face diagnosis until lockdown ends (which she wants to pursue)

She is a chronic liar and will make up scenarios and people that don't exist. Lying about jobs and leaving the house to return later when no one's in. She needs help so we know how to help her also. Is there anyone I can talk to to help us with this. I know she can't manage money or hold relationships and I don't think that "sink or swim" approach is appropriate for her .

Thank you for reading this lengthy post but we are worried as can only help from afar. 



  • janer1967
    janer1967 Community member Posts: 21,964 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi and welcome 

    Sorry about your situation  it must be difficult if her parents are not in board 

    Has her gp been consulted that would be first step 

    You may also find help from one of charities like mind or the aspergers charity 

    Hope you sort something and hope other members can give more advice 
  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Community member Posts: 15,864 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi & welcome to the community @katewalsh - thank you for joining to help your sister-in-law, & her family. It certainly is a difficult situation, & ideally would need professional help. As Jane has suggested, it might be an idea to contact someone like the National Autistic Society for their advice. Please see:
    There's also this charity:  Depending where she lives there might be a local charity e.g.:
    It's difficult at this time perhaps to get help, but as mentioned, her GP may be able to better advise.
    You could also try Scope's helpline, whose team is very good. Tel:0808 800 3333 Mon-Friday 9am-6pm & weekends 10am-6pm.
    I do hope you manage to get some help. :)
  • Cher_Alumni
    Cher_Alumni Scope alumni Posts: 5,741 Disability Gamechanger
    edited January 2021
    Hi @katewalsh and welcome to our community.  I'm glad you found us and thank you for giving us such detailed insight into what you've been experiencing with your sister in law.  It sounds like it's been challenging for both her and the family, so it makes sense to seek support. 

    In addition to the replies you've received, I'd recommend seeing what's available local to you.  The National Autistic Society have this helpful directory that can help you locate services close by.  Equally, they have a helpline if you would prefer, that you can contact on:
    Telephone: 0808 800 4104
    10am – 3pm, Monday to Friday. 
    I hope that helps, and please keep us updated with how you get on.  Good luck.  

    Just to add - I've moved this to our Autism and asperger's discussion board which contains other useful threads that you might like to browse too.  
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  • Seanchai
    Seanchai Community member Posts: 411 Pioneering
    edited January 2021
    Hi @katewalsh....and welcome to Scope . I,m sure someone will put you on the right path for help for your sister in law . She is very lucky to have a sister in law like you .
     A very touching and thought provoking letter .The very fact that you want to help her speaks volumes . I used to shake my head when I saw children run around with no thought for anyone and the childs parents ignoring their " bad " behaviour....Then when my grandson was born my wife and I knew there was something not just right with him. He had dark eyes that looked like he could not focus on anything , we found out that he had hiershprungs disease and this should have been diagnosed before he left hospital . He went through operation after operation and we knew early on that he would not take part in anything , he would just sit and watch everyone with a blank stare . It took until he was 5 years old before they diagnosed autism ....severe autism . He is now 16 and has been at a special school for the last 4/5 years . This school has helped him massively , he still cannot concentrate on anything , he cannot count or read or write but he likes going to school.. He used to have melt downs and wreck his room and then start in his older sisters room , she had problems studying and used to come to our house to get time to study ( she is now in second year at uni studying to become a teacher )
    When I see children " acting up" and running their mums ragged , i now think along completely different lines when i see children " acting up" ...i now feel so sorry for their mother. God knows how my daughter managed all those times he wrecked his room , smashed his TV and computer and DVD player ....My daughter would replace them as that was all he had ...If he wrecked the room , he would just sit in the room and cry . He now sits and watches the same ten seconds of a DVD,  runs it back time after time and plays it again , he also uses his computer to go on "you tube" and watch the same DVDs in German and Chinese and other various languages .he said on the phone last week " miss yous" ...that's the first I have heard him say two words together..? We are broken hearted not being able to see him and give him a hug .( of course its the same with all four of our grandchildren....we miss them so much )?
    I hope you manage to get your sister in law help ....she is lucky to have you there Kate. God help your sister in law and you .


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