Child Custody Placement And The Autistic Child

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Seeking Help From A Family Law Attorney

My name is Juliette Meeks and welcome to my blog about family law. A few months ago, I was having some family issues that required me to seek the help of an attorney. I had never needed an attorney before and I was a bit apprehensive at first to schedule a consultation. Once I did, my attorney put my fears to rest very quickly. The attorney outlined my options and answered all of my questions very thoroughly. My legal matter was settled quickly and I am thankful that I decided to seek the help of an attorney. If you need a family attorney to assist you with legal matters, you should schedule a consultation right away. In this blog, you'll learn what to expect during your first visit and all of the important questions you should ask.

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Child Custody Placement And The Autistic Child

23 February 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog


Children with autism cannot process changes in their environments as well as other kids can. They do not have the psychological and emotional filters necessary to become resilient to frequent change. They are almost always rigid in their expectations of where they are and will be. Adhering to those expectations provides children with autism a sense of security, consistency, and continuity. Divorcing parents need to find a way to keep children with autism in a place where they can continue to feel and expect much of the same as they have had. Your family lawyer can help.

The Custody Battle and the Courts

Physical placement of an autistic child is irrelevant to most courts. They do not view the special needs of children with autism as anything different than any other child's. The courts are not intentionally insensitive about this. It is just that they do not understand autism fully yet and many court officials are not trained to know better. The only way you can forcefully advocate for your child's continued placement in the home that he or she has always known is with a lawyer's help. The lawyer can gather enough evidence and facts about autism to show that children with autism need to stay in one place.

How Placement with One Parent Denies Your Child Both Parents

Arguably, your children with or without autism need both parents. However, kids with autism are extremely sensitive to the fact that one parent is missing from their otherwise predictable lives. If your ex agrees that your child with autism should be in one place all the time, they will undoubtedly push for full physical custody of your special needs child. Although you are doing the same, the fact remains that you will have to work something out that does not split your parenting time between two different households. Children with autism cannot handle the emotional and physical changes switching back and forth brings.

Hire a Family Lawyer Who Specializes in Autism Cases

Despite the fact that you could hire any family lawyer and he or she would research autism for the custody hearing, you are better off finding and hiring a family lawyer who has experience and/or firsthand knowledge with autism. There are alternatives parents can resort to and still keep the child with autism in his or her primary home. It will be your lawyer's job to prove to the judge that the primary home is the best possible physical placement for your child, and suggest family mediation services to work out the details. If you're looking for a family lawyer in your area, visit Lois Iannone Attorney at Law.