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Divorced parents disagree over child’s needs

Parents living in different countries
post 9.Mar.2018, 12:28 PM
Post #1
Joined: 9.Dec.2016

My 12 (almost 13) year-old son has for years shown signs of learning difficulties (he specifically has concentration issues) in school and his grades are suffering. Furthermore for quite a few years I have noticed him having trouble understanding things that other children his age do understand in normal social situations. And he has always been quite slow physically and super careful when playing sports, etc. He is a bit awkward physically, mostly when running. I’m no doctor but have wondered for several years if he has some form of autism.

He goes to school in Sweden where he lives mostly with his mother (who is a Swede) and I live in the UK. Last year his teacher had done a special “kartläggning” (a chart the Swedes call a roadmap) to assess why he is a little slow and having trouble concentrating and the principal eventually determined no further investigation was required to see if he needed special help. But still his teacher took measures to give him extra help in the classroom like sitting him in the front of the classroom and giving him reminders to keep focusing and working away at his in-classroom assignments. She also helped him to make sure he had his homework packed in his backpack ready to take home. All this has been going on for over a year and still his grades are terrible.

So at Christmas, when I saw how poor his grades were I called a special meeting with his teacher and his mother. His mother disagreed with me all through the meeting stating she doesn’t see any issues with our son. But at my request a new “kartläggning” was done and this time the school did officially confirm he needs special help. They requested his mother and I have a dialogue and give them the go ahead to assess him further. But in order for that to happen both parents must be in agreement. I think a further assessment is needed as does the school (now finally) but his mother still disagrees and won’t allow a further assessment by the school.

Any advice what my next step should be?

A concerned father.
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post 9.Mar.2018, 07:01 PM
Post #2
Joined: 25.Jun.2009

I am sorry you are not getting any responses but perhaps this is a very personal subject and no one feels qualified to offer advice. All I can offer is continue to try to find things that your boy can achieve success...real success not participation ribbons. This will help boost his confidence and give him the drive to reach further. Not an easy thing to do from a distance I know, but it is, I think, extremely important. My oldest child was struggling in grade school and I met with the teacher, the principal, arranged for a tutor, none of which worked. Finally, we pulled her out of public school and put her in a private school. She went from a D-F student to an A-B student almost instantly. I feel that if we had not made that difficult financial sacrifice, she would not be the successful young woman she is today.

Good luck.
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post 10.Mar.2018, 10:39 AM
Post #3
Location: Stockholm county
Joined: 27.Sep.2017

If you have joint custody (decision making) then contact the local Social Services office and explain the situation asking them to mediate. They will support you, they just think it is wonderful when a father takes an interest in their child smile.gif The mother will probably get scared, it will be difficult to explain and convince a social worker that she is acting in the best interest of the child.

If you do not have joint custody then you could initially approach social services and seek advice, maybe they can do something. Alternatively, tell the mother that you will seek to change custody agreement through the court because she is not acting in the child's best interest. Then if there is no response, proceed to take her to court. The court will listen to the arguments from both sides and make a ruling in favor of that what is best for the child.

Good Luck!
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