(Closed) I tried talking to sister about niece w/sensory disorder… advice?

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 3
4045 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

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
1891 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2014

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
766 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@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 # 7
772 posts
Busy bee
  • 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 # 9
58 posts
Worker bee

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 # 11
517 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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.

By The Way 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
517 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013

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
9681 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
@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
12244 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

View original reply
@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
1310 posts
Bumble bee

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.

Good luck! 

Post # 16
4192 posts
Honey bee
  • 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???

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