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2 year old - issues with mother - advice/experience requested

 
RJ2425
(@rj2425)
New Member Registered

Hello,

We have a real issue within my family and would appreciate the advice of others. 

We;re going to go to the citizens advice bureau or another body but fear they will only give us one view on what might happen. 

My nephew will be 3 soon and doesn't speak at all. My brother is separated from the mother as she was impossible to live with. He moved out more than 12 months ago after months of abuse from her. Essentially she is controlling and when she is in a bad mood she takes it out on him and is impossible to live with. He has continued to pay the rent and provide financially for them far in excess of what he would be required to provide if we had gone via the CSA. He has tried to keep things amicable as best he can and accept some of the dubious things that she has told him. 

This is the background to their relationship. 

The issue is that their son is almost three and doesn't speak. It is our family's suspicion that he has a hearing problem as he doesn't appear to hear anything. Even when very close to him he won't realise you're there unless he's looking at you. If you call his name he doesn't react.

My brother has been pushing for him to have tests to find out what the issue is. He's hopeful it is glue ear and can be fixed but without diagnosis he can't make any progress. However as he lives with his mother she takes charge and insists on making arrangements and blocks him from getting involved. If she perceives any interference she becomes very hostile. 

Anyway he has supposedly had two two appointments to have his hearing tested which were both mysteriously postponed due to covid related reasons. The appointment was rescheduled for this week but ahead of the appointment my brother insisted on coming (he was going to insist on coming to the previous apps if they had gone ahead) and she insisted that he couldn't come and she would go alone. Anyway he did some investigating and it turns out there never were any appointments. When he asked her about the latest one she made some excuse regarding not confirming the booking and therefore losing it and so needing to get another app. All lies. 

Anyway, she is now blocking all contact with him. Quite what her motivation or reasoning is we can't work out but to me this is bordering on child neglect/ cruelty and it makes us wonder what other appointments has she lied about? 

She has now blocked him on whatsapp and refuse to communciate. He needs to go around and talk with her but I worry that she might try and get him in trouble for harassing her or something similar. She will do or say anything even if it is to the detriment of their son.  

What are his options? 

He is the father and so should have the option to make decisions about his son? He's taken a very active role in his life and has him all the time and goes to the house to look after his son. The mistake he has made is believing her and never asking to see written evidence of these appointments.  Surely she can't just overrule him to their son's detriment?  

If social services get involved this could make it worse for his son? Over than this I think she generally cares for him and isn't neglectful. She just won't take advice from anyone else or listen to anything that she doesn't want to hear. She may be in denial about his problems. If so then what can be done about this?   

Where does he go from here? 

He needs to go through the CSA to work out how much he needs to pay and what his rights are but how log might that process take? She can't be amicable and so he is at the whim of her moods e.g. if she disagrees on something she threatens to block access even though his son loves him and they do lots of things together. 

Things are going to get worse before they get better but I've said he needs to think about a short and long term plan when dealing with her. 

You may thinks that I'm taking his side and that I'm exaggerating some of this but it would be pointless to request advice without giving the genuine background. 

Sorry - I have covered lots of subjects here but i don't know what else to do. This is causing alot of stress and needs to be dealt with quickly. Its my nephew that will continue to suffer. 

 

Quote
Topic starter Posted : 29/09/2021 7:36 pm
Bill337
(@bill337)
Famed Member

hi,

I think he should contact children's services about the child's hearing/speaking issues and mother not taking action. hopefully they take it seriously. she will probably become more hostile and I think he may have to consider taking legal route to have access to child. first option would be mediation. he can book appointment with family mediator, and they could decide whether to invite his ex or not.

with child maintenance, he can check here on what he should be paying: https://www.gov.uk/calculate-child-maintenance

think it's better if it can be kept as a private arrangement if that's possible.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 29/09/2021 9:58 pm
RJ2425
(@rj2425)
New Member Registered

@bill337 

Thanks Bill. She has already suggested mediation but I think this was part of her believing she was hard done by etc. He should call her bluff and arrange it. It will be difficult as she is very hostile and thinks everything that happens to her is someone else's fault but its the only way.  

 

ReplyQuote
Topic starter Posted : 30/09/2021 9:21 am
Clarinet
(@clarinet)
Estimable Member Registered

Hello RJ2425,

I would encourage your brother to contact his sons health visitor if he has their contact, to let them know of his concerns regarding his sons lack of speech. My son had flatline glue ear and was deaf until he had grommets fitted at the age of 3.5years. It made all the difference to his quality of life and his speech came on in leaps and bounds. Aside from that, it sounds like your brother needs lots of reassurance and support for himself as well as his sons situation. I can’t offer any legal advice, but I would focus on saying that your brothers mental health and well being is important. You obviously care about him and your nephew so much. Keep in regular contact with your brother or perhaps treat him to some meals or help practically in another way to give him a break? 
Any time that he is able to see his son and spend time with him, activities that are done face to face are great for children with hearing impairment. Smiles, clapping hands, brick building, physical activities like a walk and visual books are great. Put subtitles on CBeebeis - he may not be able to read but it’s amazing how kids learn by what they see. I wish your brother well, but would strongly encourage the hearing test to be carried out ASAP. 
Kind regards, Spurgeons Parent Support Volunteer 

ReplyQuote
Posted : 30/09/2021 4:49 pm
fer17
(@fer17)
Trusted Member Registered

I think it would be best he contact a solicitor to write to them and apply to the courts, hopefully he still knows the address to send these too. It might be best for him to trying to contact her direct,y or via family as they can turn this around to be harassment which won't look good on him.

 

Call their GP/social services and discuss your concerns about the child. My youngest daughter acted like this for a while, she would not reply to her name or talk and the GP suggested it was a hearing problem but she was recently diagnosed with autism. She is 4 now and gradually saying some words and finds it difficult to communicate, but she is improving once you know what you are dealing with Not responding to their name and slow development in talking is quite a common trait in autistic people, so you might want to approach that avenue too.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 01/10/2021 2:39 pm
Champagne
(@champagne)
Estimable Member

One important issue is whether your nephew is on the birth certificate and so has parental responsibility.  If he has parental responsibility then any important decisions regarding the child should be made jointly, ie which school will he go to.  Its a common mistake to think that the parent a child lives with can make all the decisions.    If he goes through the courts and applies for formal access, that may result in her refusing all contact until the hearing which could take a while.  However, he will need to try mediation before he can make an application.  Does the child go to nursery?  If so, he can speak to them and ask them to contact social services.  If its got to the stage that she's refusing contact, then something needs to be done.  Sometimes things sort themselves out after a while but if not, then a C100 application through the court seems the only way.  You can do this yourself and the form is on the .gov.uk website.  However, as already said, there will need to be an attempt at mediation which has a cost involved.  I hope he manages to get things back on track soon.

ReplyQuote
Posted : 02/10/2021 12:22 pm
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