Informing Non Resident Parent Of Possible Medical Diagnosis

Options
Could do with outside views on this, my partner and I can't come to a decision....

My stepdaughter is 9 going on 10 years old, she is in the early stages of being assessed for Autistic Spectrum Disorder. We have school backing and been through first meeting with a Psychologist, second meeting early March.

Stepdaughters mum and dad do not speak, I do holiday and Christmas holiday arrangements so my stepdaughter visits dad - he is about 400 miles away.

Mum is Autistic, consistent with Aspergers, although dad does not know, she was assessed after they parted.

Mum does not want dad to know about the ongoing assessment, stepdaughter does not either until the assessment is concluded.

I am thinking dad maybe ought to know as it is a medical issue of sorts.

Should he be involved?

Any views one way or the other would be gratefully received.....
«13

Comments

  • Lunar_Eclipse
    Options
    Good question.

    Like you, I think Dad has a right to know, although that's based on my assumption of a caring, loving and dedicated parent (which he may or may not be.)

    However, since neither the child nor her mother want him to know, (yet) I'd stay out of it. It's not your call, so not something to fight over.

    Having said that, are you sure he doesn't already know or suspect? Often such associated behaviours are glaringly obvious.
  • fishybusiness
    Options
    I've been a non resident parent so I am no doubt a little bit biased. I would want to know.

    He is an ok dad, he works long hours,so school holidays and christmas are his time with his daughter. He does call her when not working, and they do FaceTime chats too, so he stays in regular contact.

    I'm leaning towards staying out of it as you suggest, 'little un' isn't so little any more and is starting to have wise opinions so her view is respected too.

    Edit: I doubt dad knows, he has little knowledge of anything mental health.
  • Lunar_Eclipse
    Options
    I've been a non resident parent so I am no doubt a little bit biased. I would want to know.

    He is an ok dad, he works long hours,so school holidays and christmas are his time with his daughter. He does call her when not working, and they do FaceTime chats too, so he stays in regular contact.

    I'm leaning towards staying out of it as you suggest, 'little un' isn't so little any more and is starting to have wise opinions so her view is respected too.

    Edit: I doubt dad knows, he has little knowledge of anything mental health.

    Something else for you to bear in mind, is that your wife might feel responsible, for want of a better word.

    You mention they do not communicate with each other directly. I can't help but wonder if she might feel she is to 'blame' (due to her own diagnosis) or that Dad might use it against her in some way. Or she just might really not want him to know she has it too (his first question could be along the lines of 'how did this happen'), because her health/life has nothing to do with him.

    I'm just pointing out your wife's reasoning COULD very well be more about her, and not your SD. Which she may or may not realise herself.

    Ignore if this hypothetical stance is not applicable! :rotfl:
  • fishybusiness
    Options
    You mention they do not communicate with each other directly. I can't help but wonder if she might feel she is to 'blame' (due to her own diagnosis) or that Dad might use it against her in some way. Or she just might really not want him to know she has it too (his first question could be along the lines of 'how did this happen'), because her health/life has nothing to do with him.

    In a word, Yes.

    We have talked about it before and it could open a whole can of worms. Mum and dad really do not get along, and can't communicate, and I can't say dad wouldn't use it against mum, so I would want to make sure my partner is protected too.
  • tomtontom
    tomtontom Posts: 7,929 Forumite
    Options
    Autism is not a mental health condition! It is a developmental disability.

    I think dad has the right to know. He might not understand what it means now, but he's never going to if he doesn't have the opportunity to learn about it.
  • Mojisola
    Mojisola Posts: 35,559 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
    Options
    Mum does not want dad to know about the ongoing assessment, stepdaughter does not either until the assessment is concluded.

    As long as he will be told once things are settled, I'd follow your stepdaughter's lead.
  • ravilious_fan
    Options
    I wouldn't say anything at this stage. They must have their reasons for not wanting him to know just yet.
    sealed pot challenge 9 #004
  • bluenoseam
    bluenoseam Posts: 4,612 Forumite
    Options
    I would say if I was in the NRP's position I would be mightily aggrieved if this was going on and I wasn't informed, particularly if the child has residential visits. For as clinical as it sounds, there's a major difference between ensuring a child's safety & well being and doing the same for a child on the autistic spectrum.

    HOWEVER

    I would also suggest it's not strictly your place to tell him, I think it's a very tricky situation and unfortunately you're smack bam in the middle of a potential storm. I get that your OH may have her reasons for not telling him, but I think that there's also a responsibility beyond her own wishes that she needs to realise. She might not have any time for the guy, but the reality is that HE has parental responsibility also and the courtesy of at least a heads up exists if he's going to be looking after the child.

    In the end I don't envy you the position you're in, it's clearly something that's conflicting you massively.
    Retired member - fed up with the general tone of the place.
  • fishybusiness
    Options
    Autism is not a mental health condition! It is a developmental disability.

    I know tontontom, I was writing quickly and couldn't think of the terminology at the time of writing.
  • RAS
    RAS Posts: 32,829 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Anniversary First Post
    Options
    I think your partner needs to separate out the issue of her daughter's diagnosis and the issue of her own diagnosis so that the ex can make any adjustments, understand any issues regarding daughter.

    No need to the ex to know about your partner's diagnosis.
    The person who has not made a mistake, has made nothing
This discussion has been closed.
Meet your Ambassadors

Categories

  • All Categories
  • 343.8K Banking & Borrowing
  • 250.3K Reduce Debt & Boost Income
  • 450K Spending & Discounts
  • 235.9K Work, Benefits & Business
  • 609.1K Mortgages, Homes & Bills
  • 173.4K Life & Family
  • 248.5K Travel & Transport
  • 1.5M Hobbies & Leisure
  • 15.9K Discuss & Feedback
  • 15.1K Coronavirus Support Boards