I am deeply concerned for my child and believe he needs both parents love and bonding. I am also skeptical of his diagnosis most of which came from exaggerated testimony from his mother. She classified him as a loner at the big age of 1; he had a whopping one week of daycare with which to learn socilaization with peers. His brother is 5 years his elder. This boy, however never failed to have a smile for me or to communicate with me. I recognized that he was behind in language development, but I feel that is attributed mostly to the big unsettling changes in his life:
Seperation of mother and father.
Mother's boyfriend, whom she encouraged him to call "daddy"
moving to two new petless apartments when he was living in a house with cats.
More I could list, but won't now.....
He also stopped thriving/got skinny for a while during the first few months of seperation and divorce. He now is a healthy, vibrant four year old and mostly communicates at the level of a three and a half year old. He speaks in sentences and has a growing vocabulary, but sometimes his syntax is off. He can make associations with numbers, count, reads picture sentences, operates a computer keyboard or gamecube controller, the DVD player and can even unlock doors. He is also completely potty trained thanks to his school teachers and our encouragement. He also throws a mean frisbee and was catching soft tossed and kicked objects before he turned three (though now he is mysteriously afraid to catch...)
He had a lot time with me, then half weeks, then about 6 days a month and now only 24 hours total a month and it is not good for him.
I honeslty feel that 24 hours a month, 11-5pm every Sat and Sun the first and third weekends of the month, is not enough when he used to be with me Sun-Tues (days at moms while I worked) and half days on Saturdays. That near half week was reduced arbitrarily by his mom a year later, to 1st and thirs weekends w/ overnights. Now there are no more overnights because the pediatrician, a woman, believes my ex when she says our son's behavior is erratic when he comes home from seeing me. Well, he misses me and doesn't want to go. He never protested when he saw me at least a couple times a week, but as soon as my visits became less frequent, he started saying "no mommy" or would cry when it was time to go back.
Label me as a mad dad if you will. I'm used to it and know the real truth. I am a dad who cares and wants my son to know I love him and I want him to have what he needs and wants from his relationship with me.
My plea here is this. Can we get a reliable second evaluation or opinion? I'm not ashamed of the diagnosis if it fits, but I honeslty think that my ex inflated mild emotional adjustments and her words were used to conjure the spectrum autism diagnosis.
My attorney and I are going to request a court ordered second eval that I will be included in. His behvaior with me is just as important.