Child does not want contact

Ckins
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Jan 23, 2018 1:10 pm

Child does not want contact

Postby Ckins » Wed Jan 24, 2018 10:53 pm

I need advice for my friend. Her 13 year old son is autistic. There is a court order giving his father access fortnightly. He was so controlling manipulative and aggressive the boy was scared of him. He had to sleep in bed with him and his dad would kick him hard. He would plead to go back home and his Dad opened the door and told him to walk there on his own at midnight. In the end he refused point blank to go. After a year he took the mum to court for breach of the court order. She risked jail because he wouldn't go. But got community service. Even though social services said she was not to blame and it was her son's anxiety stopping him.
He is now being forced to spend 4 hours every other Saturday with his dad. His mum has to drive him from *** to *** and wait around for him.
He hates it. He's screaming and crying, self harming and saying he wishes he was dead so that he never had to go again. He's not sleeping, not coping at school, constant outbursts and running out of the house. He keeps screaming at his mum "help me! I hate him! Nobody is listening to me! I don't want to see him! "
His poor mum is at her wits end but bound by the court. Court costs have so far cost her £7000 all borrowed from a bank loan and her parents. She's a single mum with 3 boys, she's working and really struggling financially. Can hardly feed them with the debt and rent. She's lost so much weight and looks close to a breakdown. Is there anything she can do? She's going without food to pay for a counseller for her boy.

*** amended by Suzie.

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Suzie, FRG Adviser
Posts: 2085
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 2:57 pm

Re: Child does not want contact

Postby Suzie, FRG Adviser » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:14 pm

Dear Ckins

Thank you for your post and welcome to the parents’ discussion forum.

My name is Suzie, online adviser at Family Rights Group.

You are clearly very concrned about your friend and being supportive trying to get advice for her.

In your post you say your friend’s son is autistic, is children social care disability involved with him? If he is having such difficulties including self-harm the social worker, if one is involved should be considering whether a referral to children’s services (new name for social services) should be involved because of his needs. if he is self harming he may need a referral to CAMHS and your friend should discuss this with her GP.

It appears that the matter has been before the court and despite your friend’s and her son’s wishes the court has made a decision that there should be contact between him and his father. Are there any concerns that the child’s refusal to go for contact is related to his mother not supporting contact?

Your son’s friend from what you say is expressing very clearly that he does not wish to have contact. It might be helpful for your friend if she speaks with children’s services and ask for support for her son. She could ask children’s services to carry out a child in need assessment. Please see our advice sheet about family support.

I think the court should be made aware of the impact contact is having on the child. You have mentioned that she has paid out a significant amount of money going to court but there is no reason why she cannot represent herself at court. She can ask for the order to be varied our discharged and for her son to have an assessment which might assist the court in making a decision about future contact.

Your friend may be able to get support for the National Autistic Society on 0808 800 4104. She might also wish to consider asking the National Youth Advocacy Service (NYAS) 0808 808 1007to provide advocacy for her son so his voice can be heard. They do have experience dealing with intractable contact situation.

The issues in your post relate to private law proceedings and I suggest that your friend make contact with Coram Children’s Legal Centre (Child Law) on 0300 330 5480 for advice about this matter. They offer advice where a person does not have a solicitor representing them.

I hope this is helpful

Best wishes,

Suzie


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