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Woman Offers To Pay For Autistic Teen Sister’s Name Change After ‘Infantilizing’ Mom Refuses

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Parents never stop worrying about their children.

Even after they’ve grown up and flown the nest, they still tend to check in and reach out and help in any way they can.

While this is often appreciated, not everyone loves their parents constantly checking in on their safety and well-being.

Particularly if their parents still treat them like children.

Redditor riv3r_s0ng had a younger sister that her mother tended to infantilize, owing to the fact that she was autistic.

When the original poster (OP)’s sister wanted to make a major change in her life, their mother refused, citing that she currently has control over her finances.

However, the OP said that once her sister turned 18, she could do it without her mother’s consent, and offered to give her the money to go through with this change.

Wondering if she would overstep by doing this, the OP took to the subReddit “Would I Be The A**hole” (WIBTA), where she asked fellow Redditors:

“WIBTA for paying to get my autistic sister’s name changed when she turns 18 against our mom’s wishes?”

The OP explained how her mother was preventing her younger sister from going through with making a change in her life, and how she offered to help make this change a reality.

“So I (32 F[emale]) have a sister (17) who turns 18 in a few months.”

“She is diagnosed autistic and has some learning disabilities but she is in no way stupid.”

“My mother, on the other hand, uses her autism diagnosis to make it seem like she is incapable of making decisions for herself.”

“But she expects her to act like a normal functioning person when it suits her.”

“My sister has been telling anyone that will listen that she wants to change her name.”

“She’s been talking about it for a few years now so it’s not just a whim that comes and goes.”

“Our mom told my sister that changing her name would be disrespectful and that, because of her ‘disability’, she doesn’t actually know what she wants.”

“I think my sister deserves autonomy and should be able to make her own decisions about her life.”

“Since our mom is her payee for her ssi, she refuses to give her money.”

“I offered to pay for the name change once she turns 18 since she’ll be a legal adult and there’s nothing our mom can do about it.”

“I also offered to move her in with me but she doesn’t want to leave our youngest 2 siblings (16m,15f) behind.”

“This is something she’s very passionate about and wants really bad.”

“I wouldn’t offer if I didn’t think she was capable of making this kind of decision.”

“Our mom tries to infantilize her constantly and refuses to acknowledge that she is a smart and capable young woman.”

“So WIBTA for going through with this plan?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation, by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community was in agreement that the OP would not be the a**hole if they paid for their sister’s name change.

Everyone agreed that the OP was simply looking out for her sister, who deserved to live her life how she wanted without her mother controlling every aspect of it, even if many pointed out that the OP could likely face hefty opposition from her mother.


“Before the name change, you have some other more pressing issues to attend to.”

“You need to make sure your sister wasn’t declared incompetent or under conservatorship of your mother.”

“If she was, you need professional help (lawyers and medical experts) to overturn that.”

“Once any legal resistance to your sister’s competency is cleared, remove your mother as the payee for SSI.”

“Until your sister is 18, that money rightly belongs to your mother as your sister is still a dependent minor.”

“Once she’s 18, your sister can take control of that SSI.”

“Keep in mind that if your sister chooses to stay in your mom’s household, the name change is going to cause drama and your mother could very well kick her out.”

“Make sure you have plans set up if that happens.”- CyberTractor


“As an autistic woman myself, thank you for standing up for your sister.”- MommyRaeSmith1234

“I would contact your local or state developmental disability office so that as soon as she is 18 she can ensure she is her own guardian.”

“Your mother could try to get guardianship over her and that would trap her for life.”

“Her best bet is to leave that house as soon as she is 18.”

“You need to show her this comment, your mother wants to hold onto the money and will do everything she can to ensure it please don’t let yourself be trapped get out!”

“OP you are NTA but seriously tell your sister what is said above because it may save her!”-Thesexyone-698


“But I hope you have a lawyer.”

“She’s going to try to move out someday and your mom’s going to try and argue that she’s mentally incompetent.”

“I bet your mom really likes being the payee on those social security checks.”- Astute_Primate

“This is off topic, but, it seems you really have your sister’s best interest at heart.”

“If she’s 18 soon, she can call Social Security and have her rep payee changed to you, if you’d be willing.”

“Your Mother has a monstrous attitude toward your sister, and should not be managing her funds.”

“YWNBTA.”- SewRuby


“I’m autistic and I changed my name (not yet legally but all the people who matter call me by my new name and it’s been changed all over my social media).”

“We are perfectly capable of making this decision.”

“Mom is deeply ableist for saying othersize.”- thegothicknot


“But if she is dead set on staying with ur mom dont do anything that will make her life worse.”

“I absolutely get her wanting to stay for the younger kids, but she can’t sacrifice herself for them.”

“I wld say maybe u guys can make a plan for her to 100% be able to get out when the youngest turns 18, whether that is helping her get into college or a trade school or getting a job, that way she stays for them but doesn’t completely sacrifice herself.”

“And also make sure ur younger siblings, if they want and won’t tell ur mom, have an exit plan as well.”

“That will help ur younger sister feel better about leaving and will ensure everyone gets away from ur mom.”

“By doing that u only delay the name change by 2-3 years and it might overall prevent ur siblings from experiencing anything worse than what they do now, Idk if that was the right way to word that thought.”

“Either way I think if u all work together and plan an exit for everyone it wld be better all around and anyone who wants to change their name can without facing a dangerous reaction.”- Both-Enthusiasm708

“You’ll be helping your sister transition from a teen to an adult.”

“Good for you!”

“Ignore your mom and let her be toxic and bitter, NTA.”- GirlDad2023_

“NTA, and holy sh*t, get lawyers involved now.”

“Your mother is absolutely using your sister as a proxy piggy bank, and you need to help your sister get out from under that.”

“I would seriously, with the lawyer’s help, find a way to get your sis out of there, and try to maybe even become her legal guardian.”

“She can choose once she’s 18 to have you be her legal guardian.”

“I wouldn’t be surprised if trying to stop the name change isn’t an issue of respect, but rather, an issue of that check.”- NotAFloorTank

“If your sister is truly capable of making her own decisions, then NTA. Your mom sounds really overprotective, yet feels perhaps her identity is wrapped around being your sisters loving caregiver so needs her to reaming dependent, do you know what I mean?”

“That’s what this sounds like anyway.”

“Your mom may hold this against you for a long time.”

“Just be ready for that.”- goldenfingernails


“Contact Adult Protective Services.”

“They can help get sister’s payee changed.”

“Once she is 18, they can evaluate, or refer for evaluation, if she is mentally capable of making her own decisions.”

“If she is found able to make her own decisions, help her with the name change.”

“Get her payee changed to you as soon as possible.”

“That is her money, to cover her needs.”

“And some wants.”

“Yes, mom may be entitled to some for sisters living expenses, but until she is 18, that was mom’s responsibility.”

“Parents are required to feed, clothe, and educate their children.”

“Get her money put into an account in her name and yours.”

“Help her learn to manage her money.”

“Your mom wants to keep her dependent as long as possible.”

“Help your sister out of that.”

“Some kind of college or trade program would be good for your sister.”

“Help her be independent.”

“Good luck to you both.”- Fickle_Toe1724

One can’t blame the OP’s mother for worrying about her daughter’s well being.

That being said, it doesn’t seem like she has the best interests of the OP’s younger sister at heart, which the OP clearly does.

Perhaps seeing the OP’s sister happily living her own life once she turns 18 will be what it takes for their mother to stop infantilizing her.

Even so, it’s hard not to share the concern of those who think that this will be a fight the OP’s mother won’t take sitting down.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.