The Chicago Family Law Blog

Controversial Autism Treatment At Center Of Custody Battle

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Chicago dad James Coman sued the doctors who treated his 7-year-old son for autism, claiming they harmed him with "dangerous and unnecessary experimental treatments," according to the Chicago Tribune. Divorce court records cited by the Tribune claim the boy's mother is a proponent of the therapies.

Autism is a term that covers a wide variety of developmental brain disorders that often impact socialization and relationships with others, according to Autism Speaks. 

Reliable figures are difficult to come by, but one parent of an autistic child interviewed for a Washington Post article cites a commonly quoted divorce rate of 80 to 85 percent for parents of disabled or chronically ill children.

If the rate is anywhere near that high, then most divorce attorneys in Chicago are likely familiar with the disorder. 

The Tribune article focuses on the lawsuit against doctors and only briefly mentions the divorce proceedings. But since the two parents have such passionately opposed views on how to treat the boy, it seems highly plausible that it was one of the main reasons for the divorce.

Treatments performed by the defendant physicians are unproven and carry the risk of kidney failure, according to Mr. Coman's lawsuit:

"This is a big business, and there are a lot of people who are willing to put aside the safety of children to make money off of scared, desperate parents."

As far as the divorce is concerned, questions about who gets to choose the course of treatment and who gets custody are best discussed with a Chicago family law attorney.

Related Resources:

  • Child Custody FAQ (FindLaw)
  • Dads Gaining Child Custody More Often (FindLaw KnowledgeBase)
  • Directory of Chicago Family Law Attorneys (FindLaw)

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