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  1. #1
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    Mar 2019
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    Default Custody of an Autistic Child

    My question involves a marriage in the state of: CA

    My marriage is 18 years old and we have had trouble from the start due to his family. We have an autistic son. Two years ago, behind my back, he took our son to see his sister and his distant cousin. This wouldn't have been so bad (aside from the fact that his family hates me) had it not been for the fact that cousin also has a non-verbal and severely autistic son who has never communicated until the cousin began to use a method called Rapid Prompted Method (RPM) with him. Using this method (a form of Facilitated Communication that has been used in the past to falsely accuse parents or caregivers of abuse), around 2014, this woman (his cousin) accused her son's physical trainer (with whom she had had a falling out just a week ago) of sexually assaulting not just her son but also 7 other kids (the other parents denied that this had ever happened). I learned of this through a mutual acquaintance and we stopped talking. The criminal case against the trainer was dismissed and the woman was warned against wasting the Court's time in the future.

    Thanks to his meddling sister (who was aware of this incident and who knew I also disliked the cousin), in 2017, a meeting was arranged by my STBX SIL for MY son to "have an RPM session" with the cousin. I was told the kids were visiting their aunt and my daughter later revealed that they had also met Aunt X (the cousin) at my SIL's house. Apparently, at this meeting I was dissed as an awful, awful mother and that she (cousin) had wanted to call CPS on me for a long time (note that this woman has never been to our house and we had only talked for a few months before I heard what had happened and cut the woman off). I was infuriated and told my husband about the criminal case (that he claims he did not know about - likely a lie) and we have been in a bitter marriage since.

    The other thing is that - post divorce - he could establish contact with her (at his sister's encouragement) and I do not trust him any more. I fully expect this woman to spring abuse claims against me after using RPM with my son and I do not want her (or his sister) anywhere near my son.

    1. My first question is if I can get a restraining order against her and his sister to prevent them from having access to my son now (and after the divorce) ?

    2. Despite everything, I do not believe that he is a bad father but he gets influenced by his sister, so I do not want to go for full custody. Is there any way custody agreement can be written up so that that I can prevent my STBX SIL or his hag cousin from having access to my kids (especially my son) after the divorce ? Especially, if I won't be able to get a restraining order against them ?

    Post divorce, I want to avoid future fake RPM sessions for both my children's and my own protection. If preventing SIL's and Hag's access via custody agreement is not possible, is sole and full custody (at least of my autistic son) the only option and would I be able to get it if the Court was made aware of the cousin's chequered background ?

    Please advice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
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    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    Two years ago, behind my back, he took our son to see his sister and his distant cousin. This wouldn't have been so bad (aside from the fact that his fa
    i stopped reading after that. I don’t know why you belive you have the right to control the activities the child has when with his father; you don’t. It’s obvious you are a bitter and controlling person. That will make for a very difficult time for all parties involved but especially so for your child.

    “Full custody” will still not allow you to control what the father does when the child is with him.

  3. #3
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    Mar 2019
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    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    Quote Quoting jk
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    i stopped reading after that. I don’t know why you belive you have the right to control the activities the child has when with his father; you don’t. It’s obvious you are a bitter and controlling person. That will make for a very difficult time for all parties involved but especially so for your child.

    “Full custody” will still not allow you to control what the father does when the child is with him.
    You obviously read in full as you answered my question. I have never stopped him from taking the kids to see his family, but I do have a problem with him allowing toxic people (like his whackjob cousin) having contact with / access to put son - and yes, that was badly phrased (I should have made clear what I was objecting to as "behind my back" - not taking the kids to see his sister like he always has, despite how she bad mouths me to my kids, but to allow that Hag his distant cousin to work on a fake communication method with my son) ?

    How am I bitter and controlling for not wanting someone like his cousin (given what she did) to have access to my son (and my STBX SIL who constantly bad mouths me to my kids - I believe that is "alienation of affection").

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    The attitude you exude speaks volumes on its own. .

    Whether allowing contact with a person you see as a whack job is good parenting is immaterial. Unless you can prove to a court the child would be in danger of being harmed if in the presence of any particular person, simply put, what the father does with the child is really none of your business.


    im not familiar with what an RPM session is so I can’t speak to that directly. I can say that unless you can prove it is harmful to your child, a court isn’t likely to care about them.

    Given your child has autism, you would have a better chance of limiting some activities your child is exposed to BUT you will still have to show whatever activity is involved is harmful to your child. The proof needs to come from a professional as your opinion in medical mattters is that of a layman and subjective due to your relationship. The courts are generally hesitant to inhibit the rights of any parent to actually be a parent.

  5. #5
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    Mar 2019
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    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    What attitude have I "exuded" other than wanting to prevent people who bad mouth me to my kids constantly access to my children ? I believe it is "alienation of affection" and he allows it to happen. If you notice I am not objecting to him as a parent but I do object to my kids being exposed to toxic nonsense about me as their mother. I am sure it would be a worse "attitude" if I disrespected my spouse and allowed others to badmouth him to our kids.

    RPM is pseudo scientific quackery and has been considered "Facilitated Communication" (which has a long and chequered history as being the communication of the Facilitator rather than the autistic person). This woman used a form of FC to accuse her son's physical trainer of repeated rapes of not just her son but or those of 7 other children over a two year period within a week after he refused to work with them anymore. Yes, I do have an objection to allow this Hag access to my son, especially without my knowledge. Wouldn't you, in my shoes, given what she did ? Just to clarify, medical examination proved that her son (and none of the other kids) were never "raped" !

    Thank you for the heads up on professional opinion. Will get that done by a licensed SLP. Would that be enough ?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    You appear to believe you have a right to control who your ex associates with while your child is with him. You don’t unless, as I stated previously, you can show the courts your child would be harmed by the contact.


    While you generally can’t control who the father sees when the child is with him, you may be able to get a court to order the father not make disparaging remarks about you in the presence of the child or to not allow,the child to be a exposed to others making derogatory statements about you. Such orders can be extremely difficult to enforce as proving such statements were made can be nearly impossible. Given the autism, a court may be more accepting of a claim and require somewhat less proof but a simple claim by you without supporting proof isn’t likely to get a courts attention

    What level of expertise a court will require your witness to have will be decided by the individual court. A judge can accept a statement by a stranger on the corner or demand they be nationally regarded as an expert. It’s typicall somewhere in between but in the end, up to the court.

  7. #7
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    Oct 2006
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    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    I disagree a bit with jk on this one. I think that your concerns about someone who espouses RPM being an influence in your son's life is valid. The fact that she orchestrated a false case against a professional involved in her child's case (which was later dismissed) is very telling.

    What I do think that you need is an attorney on board. You have some valid concerns but I think it will be difficult to get those concerns taken as seriously as you need them to be taken, without an attorney.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    Quote Quoting llworking
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    I disagree a bit with jk on this one. I think that your concerns about someone who espouses RPM being an influence in your son's life is valid. The fact that she orchestrated a false case against a professional involved in her child's case (which was later dismissed) is very telling.

    What I do think that you need is an attorney on board. You have some valid concerns but I think it will be difficult to get those concerns taken as seriously as you need them to be taken, without an attorney.
    false cases? Just because a case is not taken to trial doesn’t mean there wasn’t some truth to it. It means the state deemed it unwinnable generally whether it be for lack of evidence or it was unsubstantiated. The fact it was originally charged shows the state had some belief of the validatity of the claim.

    Im not saying the case was valid but I can’t say there wasn’t anthfimg to it either based on what was stated here.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    251

    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    Ask your attorney about the viability of joint physical custody with you having sole/primary legal custody. You and your STBX could set up visitation to spend 50-50 (or as close as practical) time with the children but you would control decisions involving medical and education issues.

  10. #10
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    Mar 2019
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    11

    Default Re: Custody of Autistic Kid

    Quote Quoting jk
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    false cases? Just because a case is not taken to trial doesn’t mean there wasn’t some truth to it. It means the state deemed it unwinnable generally whether it be for lack of evidence or it was unsubstantiated. The fact it was originally charged shows the state had some belief of the validatity of the claim.

    Im not saying the case was valid but I can’t say there wasn’t anthfimg to it either based on what was stated here.
    The case was charged, went to trial and was dismissed when the boy was asked a very very simple question that he couldn't answer (and another "provider" was the Facilitator, instead of the Hag, the Mom). Oh, and medical exam showed that he wasn't raped ! Nor were the other children ! She made up a fake and serious allegation after she had a falling out with the coach over the hourly pay rate -- he had coached her son for two years and there was supposedly no issue until he stopped working with the boy and then - out of the blue - via RPM the boy alleges thar he and the other 7 kids were all routinely raped lver two years ! The boy also alleged (via RPM) that he hadn't complained before because the coach had threatened to kill his mother !

    She is a real piece of work ! She also accused me of being a "bad Mom" and knowing her vindictive nature, I want to prevent her from having access to my son. Also, is there anything that I can about the nonstop bad mouthing by my SIL and Hag as it is alienation of affection ? Can I get a restraining order against them ?

    Please help.

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