My son is just seven, starting first grade, and my husband and I are splitting. My son has home-based ABA and speech, OT etc. outside of school time, plus the requisite kid stuff, playdates, soccer, and birthday parties, all of which need pre-teaching.
My husband works full-time and travels, but wants a 50-50 split parenting schedule. We tried this for a month and my son is regressing loads. My husband has made about little less than half his appointments and can not feasibly do so without multiple caregivers.
I have been at home with him, and know my son can not have his needs met when we have two full-time jobs. I tried it for a year, and his ABA therapist said, too much inconsistency.
I am seeking proposals that help split time somewhat, but also have a lot of consistency and follow through from a treatement perspective (not my DH's forte).
Do any of you do this? What has worked for you?
oh wow I am going to bookmark this- interested to hear what others say. My son is 6, with autism, and is non-verbal. He just sarted kindergarten/ life skills (I held him back a year). I left his father right before he turned 3. Our schedule was horrible for a long time- it set into a weird a/b week thing where the weekends were split in half, and basically did a flip-flopping 2 day on/ 2 day off thing. It was totally inconsistent and they outgrew it obviously by 4/5/6. It was- and is- "50/50", not that I feel that it is truly even nor a good idea. He works long hours- when he is working- and often it is actually his live-in girlfriend caring for my boys. I do the majority of the transportation (don't even what to get into that), and I handle ALL of his therapy/ school/ etc schedule/ meetings/ application/ etc. All the time. But ex has always insisted on having 50/50 so it is "fair" and because he doesn't want to pay more child support for them to be with me more- even though that goes to feeding and caring for them, not petty cash in my pocket! before i did anything drastic I finally got him to agree to a more consistent schedule- its a 5: 2: 2: 5 schedule, I have them every m-t, he has them every w-th, and we rotate weekends f-s-s so that we have them 5 on, 2 off, 2 on, 5 off, etc. I think it is more consistent and easier for the kids to understand that what he were doing before, however it is still not ideal, especially for my son with ASD.
If I were you I would consider attempting to get primary custody. The main reason I haven't gone there yet is because I witnessed my husband's ex drag him through a completely unnecessary and ugly custody battle (where she lied and it was obvious she was financially + power- motivated, and lied about most things and used my autistic son as cannon fodder), and i saw how devastating that was to my husband. His son is NT and was doing great in their 50/50 schedule. My story is completely different, but I saw the devastation in it and It worries me.
Some day i might go there, it's just hard to do. better to start off there then try to change it later!
I also want to add, EVERY child, NT or special needs, has a hard time and regresses when a major change happens, especially divorce and splitting households! Sometimes we need to remember our ASD kids are actually just going through a natural phase of coping, they just show it differently. I forget this a lot with my so, and then suddenly it phases me. Oh! big transitions/ milestones/ etc, this is actually normal... However, YOu have very legitimate concerns and consistency is super important for children with ASD especially. Whatever schedule you end up with may not be 'perfect', but he will adjust over time, and it to will become a solid routine for him. And I hate to say it, but shared custody with an ASD child offers some respite for the parents, too.