Please reunite suspected autistic child with his expat parents near Amsterdam
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Hi, we are an Australian expatriate family working near Amsterdam Holland (father an IT project manager, mother a lawyer). On 1 February 2018 our dearly beloved five year old son Martin was taken by Dutch social services in the middle of the night. We have not seen Martin once since that day.
Martin apparently had an undiagnosed development delay which we had neither noticed ourselves nor had our attention drawn to by other parents or government authorities. Retrospectively we have been made clearly aware by Dutch social services that Martin exhibited notable development delays in a number of areas (cognitive, social, emotional) when he was removed from our home. And we have informed them that we fully agree with their expert assessment.
So although we would of course have preferred Martin's diagnosis and treatment to have been carried out at our home, we can also understand why Dutch social services took Martin from our home as a "precaution". Detailed dossier records sent to us show their staff having been doing their best to care for Martin and we greatly appreciate that.
Meanwhile an independent child psychiatrist has examined Martin's medical dossier, videos and photos and suggested his symptoms exhibit a "strong correlation" with autism - a genetic condition which often features cognitive, social and emotional delay. Now we are hoping that Dutch social services will soon formally psychologically diagnose Martin to find out the truth so that his treatment can be adjusted accordingly, whatever the outcome may be.
In the past months we have been cooperating with multiple child related experts to prepare for Martin's return home:
i) cooperated with police forensic investigations, child doctor reports and adult psychological assessments - all of which separately confirmed no evidence of either parental abuse or neglect;
ii) provided access to our child doctor who described us as being "caring and involved" parents;
iii) attended all regular meetings with the case manager to provide input into their plan for reuniting Martin with us;
iv) completed positive parenting and autistic parenting courses.
We have a deep understanding of Martin's unique personality and now armed with an improved knowledge of his unique needs, sincerely hope we can very soon resume caring for him at our home, under supervision if necessary.
Please sign and share this petition if you would like to see Martin re-united with his always caring and now better informed parents, so they can rebuild a healthy and loving family life in The Netherlands.
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