Disabled child who struggles with change …

Home Online forum Gingerbread Forum Disabled child who struggles with change …

This topic contains 8 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  SOLOMUMMY 1 month, 3 weeks ago.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)
  • Author
  • #22107 Report



    Quick question. Has anyone got a disabled child who struggles with change and communication but is clearly showing signs of distress when having to see the other parent?

    Looking for answers on where the law sits with this in forcing a child to visit with the parent or giving the child and resident parent allowances to consider the child’s needs and distresses.

    Thanks in advance for any advice or knowledge on where the law stands in regards to children with special needs.

    Ocean x


    #22127 Report

    Hello Ocean

    The Gingerbread Single Parent Helpline should be able to provide you with information and advice.   They can be very busy so please expect to wait before your call is answered. Here are their contact details:

    0808 802 0925 Opening hours: Mon 10 – 6, Tues 10 – 4, Wed 10 – 1 & 5 – 7, Thurs 10 – 4, Fri 10 – 4.

    Hope that helps.  Justine

    #22346 Report


    if you get any information on this let me know … about to see similar situation.

    #22352 Report


    Generally the law sides with the child has the right to contact with both parents and this would be the aim.

    They can order that contact is built up etc however if this parent moved out recently so the child is familiar with the parent then this would be hard to substantiate.

    Ultimately splitting up and contact is difficult but after a time it becomes easier and that while not great would be the stance.

    A parent of a child with aen would be best placed to make these allowances when it’s their contact but limiting contact is unlikely.

    Do they have an email! Attend a special school? If not there’s even less likelihood that it will be taken into account as many parents cite their child is sensitive etc but are pretty much ignored.

    #22354 Report


    My child has a full EHCP and attends a special needs school. She has a brain disability that manifests is various things.

    One of her things is ‘change’. Her father and I have been living separately for over 1.5 years now. He lives with his gf and three children. She has been going to him fine until now. Now she is refusing to go and is getting very distressed over it but she can not communicate properly nor can she or will she ever because to express her reasoning behind it.

    I am concerned because I want the relationship with her father to remain close and strong. I do not want a court order to stop the relationship but I do want my child to be handled in a way that respects and supports what she is going through.

    I am between a rock and a hard place. I am constantly reaching out to her father to work with me on this and every-other issues we are up against and he just refuses to help or get involved or be a part of supporting our children emotionally. He just expects all three of the children to be ready and waiting every time he picks up and he has no idea what they are going through emotionally and when I mention we have an issue we need to discuss he blanks me and tells me to email him. I am all for the email communication but when you have three young children and one is disabled there are some things that just need a discussion.

    The children have witnessed very bad behaviour from him at pick ups and it is now affecting them. There is so much more going on but the whole thing is a mess and as much as you hide things from the children they are not stupid, they know exactly how the land lies and it is affecting them.

    • This reply was modified 2 months ago by  Ocean.
    #22392 Report

    1. Given this  arrangement has existed for eighteen months without issue – or notable – what has happened most recently to have provoked this? Moving in with the gf? Do the siblings know?
    2. Does he actually communicate effectively in email? If so, though not ideal I’d use that. Alternatively for more imminent issues a contact handover book. If he doesn’t communicate effectively via email.either.and there are issues needing deciding on then as resident parent you can make unilateral decisions about the children. Not ideal but possibly the only workable manaeouvre if he won’t communicate effectively.
    3. What sort of bad behaviour have the children witnessed? Violence, aggession, threatening behaviour? If so then you need to report it even if post respectively to the police non emergency number – log it. And then you have a couple options. Either insist on a third party for handover or in a public location like in front of a supermarkets entrance which is also on CCTv.
    4. I presume that all children are school age and though I get you want their emotional needs to be met, it could be argued that he simply does just in a different parenting style to you. And as co-parents you don’t have to parent in the same way. However if you think that it’s not in their best interests to have contact you can obviously withhold  the children from contact. But before doing so I’d expect more thanwhat you’ve included so far I’m afraid – eg what the children have witnessed, whether their basic needs aren’t being met, the living arrangements at the gf house, issues with the gf or her children etc.
    #22410 Report


    Hi. Thank you for your response: in answer to yours …

    1. Because their father refuses to communicate with me in an affective manner, he will not tell me if any thing has happened his end or not and instead takes much time in blaming me for all these problems. He will never look at himself and see fault or even room for change.

    2. His emails blow hot and cold. They range from abusive negative emails to dictative emails to the odd reasonable one depending on his mood and how angered he is. That is when he decides to write them, but more recently the gf responds and writes to all my emails and that is not affective at all. I have tried everything imaginable. Handover books which gave me nothing in return. Co-parenting course which has the opposite affect I was hoping for. Mediation failed. I have tried ever imaginable way to make this work and I am still battling going into year three.

    3. The children have witnessed extreme anger, aggression, bullying, intimidation and more. My doors have been stopped from closing when I try to dissolve a situation. My requests to not discuss things in front of the children are ignored and force is used by him to dominate the situation. I have called the police twice and have logged all cases I have felt warranted it. It is all on file.

    I have also set up a third party for all hand over and drop off’s to keep him away from me and the house.

    I have also called social services and I am waiting to hear back from them.

    Children are all primary school age. I accept all parenting styles are different, however there is low levels of neglect – disabled child will often come home with soiled pants, left to cry, returned back to me with no shoes or coat on and freezing, there is more all of which is documented. There are excessive alcohol concerns (by the adults).

    The ‘honeymoon’ period with the girlfriend is over and now the children are expressing their true feeling about the matter which was bound to happen. But the hardest thing is I can’t discuss any of this with their father to try and work through these issues so contact remains positive and on going. I do not seen them as major issues, just consideration for the children and understanding that they are going through a lot right now too and they need support.

    #22417 Report


    I would go and get legal advice because it sounds very much like neglect . Also the  special needs school that your child attend will have a parent liasion officer so you need to make an appointment and go see them because this is terrible . I feel sorry for you and the children. Your ex sounds like he has mental health issues so ring school on Monday and get some advice ..it’s all very well saying you want your child to have contact but if he is like this I would not bother because it is detrimental to your .children .

    #22478 Report


    Ultimately you need to probably accept that you’re not going to have a positive coparenting experience and manage the situation with this in mind.

    You then need to decide.

    1. If you believe he’s being neglectful and the chikdren are witnessing abuse as you e suggested, you’re being complicit if you maintain contact in this situation and not safeguarding the children.
    2. If the anger he’s aired is in the realms of “normal” behaviour for the situations and the soiling could be reasonably explained then you need to accept he has a different way of parenting.

    depending on the above would dictate how you proceed. But you cannot believe 1 and continue to permit contacted it stands if this is genuinely what you believe.

Viewing 9 posts - 1 through 9 (of 9 total)

Log in or register to reply to this thread

Log In Register