Redman & Bartsch 2013 FMCAfam 309

The father was diagnosed with Aspergers Syndrome and evidence was given that this affected the father’s interactions with his children aged 11 and 9 years (autism spectrum disorder).

The judge found that the father lacked the ability to consider issues from the children’s perspectives (perspective take), lacked parental judgment and lacked empathy for the children.  The father was well informed about meningitis and he took one child to hospital with concerns about meningitis on ten occasions without the child being diagnosed with this disease.  The father decided to educate both children about rape when he considered that the daughter was old enough at the age of ten years to be raped, without consulting with the mother.  The father emphasised the importance of one child doing maths homework and objected to this child spending time on enjoyable extracurricular activities.  The father spent much more time with one child than the other, showing favouritism.

The judge found that the father lacked the parenting capacity to meet the children’s emotional needs.  The judge ordered that the children spend four hours per fortnight with the father.