Post # 1
My niece was a preemie and has some sensory issues with sound.
-While singing her The Happy Birthday song, she covers her ears. Also with anyone singing, she screams for them to stop.
-Her first day at pre-k, they had to give her ear muffs because it was too loud in the classroom for her to handle.
So I approached my sister about it because I know my niece is going to MELT DOWN when she hears music being played at the ceremony.
I asked my sister if she wants me to get my niece some ear muffs to wear for the wedding… my sister’s response?: “No, she’ll be fine.”
…But… she won’t be “fine.” My niece clearly has issues, issues that I want to address and help/handle head on. But my sister just keeps brushing me off and changing the subject everytime I bring it up.
After awhile the conversation went to this:
me: “The first note in Don’t You Forget About Me is a drum beat. It’s going to startle her BIG TIME and she’s going to get scared.”
My sister: “Are you having some kind of stupid hipster wedding?”
Me: “Wow ok…thanks for attacking me.”
So now I’m getting frustrated. Look, the only thing I care about at my wedding, is my ceremony. I don’t want it to be interrupted by my niece freaking out. All because my sister is refusing to address her daughter’s problems and pretending there’s nothing wrong.
So… what else can I do? What else can I say?
Post # 3
I think you’ve said what you can. Hopefully your sister will have ear muffs for the girl. If not, hopefully she walks out with her if she does act up.
Maybe the girl really will be fine. Maybe she’s been improving, who knows. But you’ve already brought it up, and I don’t know what else you can do at this point.
Post # 4
She should definitely be getting her daughter help. But in retrospect, this is a much bigger and scarier issue for her than your wedding having a crying child in it.
She probably doesn’t want to hear this news from you. Maybe someone like your mom or dad could talk with her. And for the sake of the child, not your wedding running perfectly.
Post # 5
@LadyMoriarty: I’m in a bit of a similar situation. My nephew is going to be 2.5 at the time of the wedding. My brother’s wife is already going to be furious when she finds out we didn’t make him the ring bearer. He’s autistic and so he doesn’t like loud noises, when people sing, and having to sit still and be quiet. He’s also beginning to throw a lot of temper tantrums. Is there any way that you could talk to one of your parents about your concerns? Perhaps let them be the bad guy? I understand your concern- you don’t want your wedding ruined by a screaming child. I totally get it. I hope it works out!
Post # 6
@DuckEBee: My parents are pretty useless too because everytime I’ve talked to them about it, they hush me up too. “Oh, don’t worry, she’ll behave.”
I’m not upset at my niece for having problems. I’m trying to help her so she’s comfortable and can be happy. I was looking for cute ear muffs we could match with her dress… I want her to have a good time. But my sister just wants to pretend like she’s normal and there’s nothing wrong. Just complete denial.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2013 - Dalhousie Castle
I’d just put the earmuffs or better yet, noise canceling headphones under her seat. That way, if she gets scared they can whip them on. If she’s fine then all is good.
Children cried in our ceremony and I was worried about it before. To be honest, I was so wrapped up in getting married that I hardly noticed. I feel bad for your niece though. Do they have any idea what is causing her to be so affected by sound?
Post # 8
@AnotherMrsBrown: I don’t know the specifics on what could be causing it. I do feel that a great deal has to do with the fact that she was a preemie.
I’m definitely going to buy her the ear muffs. I’m going to try to get Minnie Mouse ones or something she’ll love and actually want to wear.
Post # 9
Kids scream, even kids without sensory overload. If you don’t want kids interrupting your ceremony, don’t have them there. If you want the kids there, be prepared for the screaming.
Either way, how your sister manages her child’s special needs is none of your business, and it’s pretty offensive of you to suggest that you know better than her own mother when it comes to her behaviour and care. I’m not surprised that she snapped at you.
Unless you want a very angry sister on your wedding day, I would not get earmuffs for her as at this point, it’s expressly against her wishes. Trust your sister to be a good mother and take the child out if she’s upset.
Post # 10
@Stellarsays: Ok thanks I guess.
She’s been told many times by the therapists my niece visits to use the ear muffs to help my niece calm down in situations. She’s been told a lot of other things to, of which she does none. (Like not smoking in front of her preemie infant when her lungs are under-developed! But UH-OH, I guess I better not act like I know everything!)
Let’s see… anything else I have to defend? Nope guess not!
My main problem is her denial of the whole situation. I don’t want her to try forcing my niece to be “normal” when she clearly needs a little extra help once in awhile. If she’s gotta rock a pair of ear muffs, that’s fine with me. She’ll be a happy little girl running around and having fun. Rather than forcing her to LOOK NORMAL AND ACT NORMAL and having her melt down and cry…
Post # 11
I think by trying to force the little girl into headphones right away you pissed off the mom. If it was me, I would have them as backup and use them if needed, but if my sister implied they had to be on ie. a pair to match her dress or presuming the first beat will make her freak out…that would piss me off as her mom and I can see why the mom snapped.
The mom may have very well thought of having backup headphones and you bringing up her daughters issues may have very well hurt your sister because she doesn’t want to have her daughter KNOWN for this. I would rather sweep it under the rug (not talk about it) but be a prepared mom for when it happens.
If I were you, I would apologize for your approach, promise you will drop it but say that you are going to get cute headphones as you know it helps your niece and leave them on the seat or give them to mom. Reinforce it is the mom’s decision, as it is, if she uses them…my money is that this approach will work. When you let the mom make the decision she will be more on board verses her being told.
BTW honestly stop worrying about a crying baby, this day is about so much more then worrying about those little details and if that baby screams it will last all of 2 minutes by either putting the headphones on or mom walking out. She is your niece you should love her and support her mom not try to know what is best.
Post # 12
Also, maybe mom is not trying to force her to be normal…maybe she wants to treat her as normal and not make it the norm for her to need earmuffs and if she has a meltdown then she will go to those.
My uncle is autistic and that is how my grandmother raised him – forcing him into situations he did not like, he screamed (still does), but she taught him to calm himself down or deal with noises etc. He is now MUCH better at being around sounds and movements that upset him.
She could very well be doing this and that makes her a good mom by not coddling her daughterm but instead getting her use to these sounds and things and only using calming stuff like earmuffs as a backup if it really is too much too soon
Post # 13
@LadyMoriarty: Just because your sister is in denial that there’s a problem doesn’t mean you are being rude by being prepared. There is obviously a problem and if you are the only one to acknowledge it, so be it. People can say, “she’ll be fine la la la la” all they want but that doesn’t make it true.
I’d be prepared, too.
Post # 14
@LadyMoriarty: Aww, that’s so sad! I can’t imagine living in such a state of denial that “nothing is wrong” when something VERY CLEARLY IS.
And it DEFINITELY sucks for you. You’re caught in this stupid in-between spot where you can see something is wrong, but no one will let you help! Frustrating!
Post # 15
One of my cousins has the same problem (but he was full term and my aunt had a healthy pregnancy). I would definitely have earmuffs/headphones prepared just in case, and put them in the care of someone both you and your sister trust. Ask that person to be near your sister and niece on the day of so that (s)he can whip out the headphones in the event that she’s upset.
Also, my cousin’s therapists found that having something squishy for him to touch (like play-doh) was comforting to him and vibrating objects (like those portable, electric massagers) helped distract him. And he also sought comfort in feeling pressure on his torso, so he liked to lie on his stomach on chairs and such. Perhaps someone can hold your niece so her torso’s pressed against them? Or maybe give her a teddy bear/cushion to hold, or a cute teddy backpack to wear on the front of her body? Not sure if any of these will help as each case is different, but those were recommended for my cousin.
Post # 16
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
Have you talked to your Mom about this situation? Sometimes having a suggestion come from a parent versus a sibling goes a whole lot smoother. And maybe your Mom is the one who brings the ear muffs to the ceremony.
Another thought- could you play the music for your niece before hand? Has she been to a wedding before? You could sit down with her and bunch of barbies and “play wedding” and tell her where/when things happens. Maybe if your niece is prepared that there will be loud music, it won’t be as startling for her???