Divorce is tough for everyone involved and when you have a child who suffers from a physical or mental disorder, divorce can be even more difficult for them. Children who have autism do not always speak their mind, and young children often have a hard time expressing their feelings or channeling their anger appropriately. Because of this, it is essential that you speak with your child and understand his or her needs as well.
Consider the Needs of Your Child
One of the first things you need to do is consider the needs of your child. When a court hears a custody battle, the judge will look to see what situation is in the best interest for the child. You and your spouse need to sit down and think about custody arrangements. Consider how the child will be cared for and who can be home for physical therapy appointments, doctor's appointments, and other needs. Consider whether the child will need to switch schools to live with one parent or the other. A transition to a new school during the school year can be hard on your child and cause the child's grades to decline.
Approaching Your Child about Divorce
Telling a child with autism about divorce will take some planning, time, and understanding. Your child may react differently to the situation than you expect them to, so you need to be prepared. Consider the following tips to help tell your child and make them feel comfortable:
1. Choose the right time and place to tell your children.
2. Sit down and consider what you are going to say.
3. Prepare yourself for an emotional or emotionless reaction.
4. Have both parents present when the news is discussed.
5. Discuss any changes that are going to be made about school, home structure, and similar.
6. Reassure them that everything will be okay and that it is not their fault.
7. Answer questions.
Hire a Specialist Lawyer
Before you hire any divorce lawyer, choose a specialist who is experienced in divorce with special needs children and autism. Your lawyer will be able to help you get the correct tests done and ensure that your child is placed in the best situation for his or her needs. For more help in this area, contact a legal office like Bray & Johnson Law Firm.
One of the most important things you can do for your child with autism is reassure them every day that the divorce is not their fault and that they will still be able to do the things they love.
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