Daughter on the spectrum and legal matters

This is rather personal but i am hoping to get some advice. I am currently undergoing a child arrangements order so i can see my non verbal Autistic daughter. The consultant who diagnosed her is suggesting that because i live in Manchester and my daugher lives in Hereford that she can travel providing she is shown photos of where she will be staying. The problem with this is she doesnt like to interact with people especialy if you are trying to show her something no matter how eye catching the photos are. trying to convince the courts that every child is different and the best approach would be to let the parent reach an educated decision on whats best for her is becoming so difficult please help.

  • The consultant can only speculate about how your daughter might react. He is probably saying that it is reasonable for you to try taking her to Manchester and it is reasonable to use photos or other pictures to help her understand what is happening and to be involved in the decisions about what happens to her. The courts probably shouldn't specify details like this but could say, for example, "she may be taken to Manchester to stay with Father if the travelling does not cause undue distress, all reasonable measures should be taken to facilitate this". Your rights to see your daughter do not supercede her rights to avoid distress.

  • Many thanks this has been helpful. She does enjoy traveling and has made several 6 hour round trips across the country perfectly. She seeks sensory input and watching the cars has her mesmerised. Getting the courts to realise that the parents are the best source of information where Autistic children are concerned is another thing. I understand that my daughter is the ultimate priority and everyone involved including the authorities have her best interests at heart. Your help is greatly appreciated.

  • Stan said:

    Getting the courts to realise that the parents are the best source of information where Autistic children are concerned is another thing.

    That statement is not always true so the courts cannot rely on the parents stated intentions. Some parents of autistic children do not understand their child's autism, some parents are not reasonable, some parents are deceitful, some parents are actually harmful to their children.

    Also, some parents of autistic children are unaware of their own traits and may have elements of autism (being over literal, being less skilled at inter-personal relationships, being obsessive, etc etc)

    Some parents fall into both of these categories and the result is often that the child has a much more disturbed and chaotic life than if their parents were in neither, or just one, of these categories.

    There are a number of autistic adults on the forum (not myself though) whose lives have been shaped by the chaos, and lack of understanding, that arises from bad parenting.

  • recombinantsocks said:

    Getting the courts to realise that the parents are the best source of information where Autistic children are concerned is another thing.

    That statement is not always true so the courts cannot rely on the parents stated intentions. Some parents of autistic children do not understand their child's autism, some parents are not reasonable, some parents are deceitful, some parents are actually harmful to their children.

    Also, some parents of autistic children are unaware of their own traits and may have elements of autism (being over literal, being less skilled at inter-personal relationships, being obsessive, etc etc)

    Some parents fall into both of these categories and the result is often that the child has a much more disturbed and chaotic life than if their parents were in neither, or just one, of these categories.

    There are a number of autistic adults on the forum (not myself though) whose lives have been shaped by the chaos, and lack of understanding, that arises from bad parenting.

    [/quote]

    Of course we're not saying the Stan is one of those bad parents but the courts do have a very difficult job figuring out the bad from the good. I don't envy them.

    Put it all in writing, all that stuff about enjoying the car journeys etc and get legal representation to help you get your point across.

    I wish you and your child well.

  • Anonymous said:

    Of course we're not saying the Stan is one of those bad parents

    No, sorry if my post suggested that. I am also very aware that most 'bad' parents are not aware of their parenting skills and that they are not deliberately bad so there wouldn't be any blame to be attached to this. In fact, I was blissfully unaware of my autism when I was bringing up my kids, if I had had more self awareness at that time then it would have gone a lot more smoothly. I don't beat myself up about this though, I don't blame myself for not knowing what I didn't know.

    It is a bit like driving. Most people think that they are better drivers than average but actually most people are pretty average and it is the really bad drivers who are blissfully unaware of how bad they appear to other people.

  • Many thanks for the advice. I have attended the court hearing today and i have been granted access to my daughter gradualy over a period of time. I think the one thing which may have helped is that i have just completed an Autism awareness diploma so i can better understand what is going on with her and hopefully improve her quality of life when she does stay with me.

  • Hi Stan,

    That is good news, well done. Hopefully your diploma will help smooth out some wrinkles in your daughters life.

    I also hope you keep coming back here to the forum to contribute in the discussions. The community needs more people with more awareness and I have found it massively helpful over the last two years since I was diagnosed.