Family court judges deal with a variety of complex issues on a daily basis. Some of the issues are amusing; who gets custody of the dog, who gets the plaid chair, or who gets to keep the thimble collection. But when children are involved, the case becomes more complicated, especially when issues like mental health, mental or physical disability and developmental disability arise. In fact, the latest concern in family courts is a result of the sharp increase in the number of children who are diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), which has revealed that our courts are not prepared to handle cases with ASD individuals and families.

Unfortunately, with the rapidly increasing number of children diagnosed with ASD, it is a sure bet that the number of children exposed to the court system will continue to climb, especially in family courts where custody agreements are created by the courts. While some communities are often under resourced and cannot support the education and training for this expanding population, it is up to the bench and the bar to take the lead in learning about this growing population and its impact in the court.

What Is Autism Spectrum Disorder?

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