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12yo sons mother told him ok to vape

20 replies

Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 09:13

My 12 year old son accidentally sent me a snapchat yesterday showing him vaping sat in my ex-wifes living room. When I called and spoke to him about it, he said that his mum said if was ok as she did not see it as harmful to him. His mother has been neglectful to him in the past and potentially abusive, so I believe he is telling the truth. We have recently been through a child custody case.
Aside from talking to my son about vaping, what should I do? Should I go back to court?
Any advice is appreciated, thank you

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CleopatrasBeautifulNose · 30/10/2022 09:16

That's awful. 😢
I don't have the advice you need but just wanted to offer sympathy for your horror at this, that is not good at all. 😱
Hope someone knowledgeable will be along soon.


CrossStichQueen · 30/10/2022 09:27

Send your ex and son the info regarding the health issues surrounding vaping and the fact that it is illegal for children to purchase nicotine products and also illegal to supply children with nicotine products.

You talk about your ex being neglectful and abusive towards your children and going through court, in what ways was/is she abusive and neglectful? What contact arrangements do you have with your DC?


Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 10:37

Thanks for your message, I separated from my son’s mother in September 2019, during the following 9 months she blocked him for seeing or contacting me despite knowing that it was severly upsetting for him. During that period he made multiple allegations to the police that she had hit him or strangled him, she lied to the police about him in response to his allegations and nothing was proved. Her mother acted or pretended to act in an inappropriate manner with him. During that period he became very pale, his hair wasnt cut, he wasnt cared for, he talked about having to find his own food and essentially lived during the nighttime and slept during the day. His mother also had him falsely diagnosed as severely autistic and used him to commit fraud. I believe he has been a victim of munchausens by proxy, that is currently being assessed by the NHS.

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Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 10:38

Thank you

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BungleandGeorge · 30/10/2022 10:46

What was the outcome of the custody hearing? Do you now have shared custody? How often is he with you? Is he in school or home schooled?


CrossStichQueen · 30/10/2022 10:46

While I am not trying to make excuses for any abuse is it possible that the lack of haircut and disjointed sleeping pattern was a direct result of lockdown as you state this occurred 9 months after September 2019. My own children did not receive haircuts for many many months, rarely went outside and also had messed up sleeping patterns due to schools being closed, me working from home and such.

His mother also had him falsely diagnosed as severely autistic and used him to commit fraud

Having been through the long and difficult process of getting a diagnosis of Autism for my son how did your ex manage to get him falsley diagnosed?
I assume by fraud you mean once he was diagnosed she claimed DLA for him?
If he had a medical diagnosis which you say he did and the DLA based the award on that then no fraud was committed.

As for the physical abuse we're social services not involved? Did they not contact you about the allegations? How was it your son went straight to the police and not you regarding his mother hitting him?


Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 10:55

Thank you for your message, he is with me for approximately half the week, he’s not home schooled.

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BungleandGeorge · 30/10/2022 11:05

Is he the same when he’s with you? How about what school see? Usually they are heavily involved with asd diagnosis. Do you speak to them regularly? Does he have an EHCP? As a neutral party they could be quite useful. I don’t think the vape alone could be used to reopen a court case. His mum wasn’t in the picture so who knows if she did actually authorise it. Does he have a social worker? I would report it as a concern.

I guess the fraud would be if the mum deliberately gave answers in the asd assessment to indicate needs that aren’t genuine. Or primed the child to do the same. I thought the diagnosis was multiagency though and involved schools, various professionals etc. Or if she embellished or encouraged behaviours for a DLA claim.


Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 11:18

Thanks for your message, in regards to the hair cut, it was an issue that was noted by his school and social services, he was able to have a hair cut at a barbers, but refused to leave the house. He could have also had it cut by his grandmother but did not.

In regards to the false diagnosis, his mother took him to a private doctor. The doctor diagnosed him on false information his mother provided, the doctor did not meet or speak to him during the assessment process, he was only seen in person on one occasion by an individual from her office, who was not a doctor.
About two weeks after the assessment, my son came to live with me full time. After he began living with me, his mother began receiving child disability living allowance for him as his sole caregiver. She claimed that benefit as his sole care giver for at least the next 6 months while my son was in my sole care, she may still be claiming it, although I gave reported her.

Social Services were involved but his mother lied about him to Social Service. After my son began to show behavioural difficulties in her care, his mother made false allegations of domestic abuse against me and was granted a non-molestion order. She blamed my sons behaviour, on myself, stating that I had traumatised him. That massively complicated things, as I have been viewed as possibly abusive, which has cut my ability to help my kids. In regards to the Police, he was able to contact me during one incident, during the other incidents he was unable to call me as he was being blocked by his mother.

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CrossStichQueen · 30/10/2022 11:23

he was able to have a hair cut at a barbers, but refused to leave the house

So he refused to have his haircut and this is the mums fault why?

I have not navigated the private diagnosis route so have no idea how easy it is obtain a diagnosis without assessment of the child or involvement from others such as school.
How did you know she was claiming DLA for him while he lived with you?

Is your son no longer in your care?


Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 11:28

With the diagnosis, the private doctor only spoke to his mother, she did not involve school, his gp or myself in assessment process. His school have stated in court documents that they do not believe that he has ASD, and that he does not qualify for an EHCP.

In regards to the assessment, his symptoms at the time as stated in assessment were that he was aggressive at school, and refused to go to bed. My son had an early helpworker at the time, he told his early helpworker approximately two weeks prior to the appointment that he only acted in a negative way because he wanted to see me. Two weeks after the assessment, his mother dropped him off at my house, his symptoms around sleep and aggression then disappeared.

Thank you for the advice

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Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 11:35

Good question, the hair was just a part of the concern, so he was unwashed, very pale with dark circles under his eyes and had long uncut hair.

I have been told that he refused to leave the house to have his haircut, but may not be the case. A concern about his appearance was noted my social services and his school. When he came to live with me he was happy to have a wash, have a haircut, go outside etc.

I called the DLA who informed me indirectly about the benefit, his mother then confirmed it in court.

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CrossStichQueen · 30/10/2022 11:44

You say he lived with you for 6 months does he still? If not why?


BungleandGeorge · 30/10/2022 12:00

it’s obviously a really complex situation. Regarding the vape alone 12 year olds might send pics to their mates of them vaping and then lie when found out. But there’s obviously a back story and my thoughts would be to
Regarding the diagnosis I would try and get him referred through the GP. They might not have the referral accepted if he doesn’t meet criteria but that in itself may be useful to you
if you know the Dr who did the assessment write a complaint to the gmc and let them investigate
if your son doesn’t still have a social worker maybe ask school for another referral to early help. Report all concerns to them.
report the vape incident to school. They can escalate it to safeguarding if they think it’s serious enough. They can also keep an eye on the kids, take a hard line about vape equipment brought to school, educate the kids about it. He was obviously trying to Snapchat someone and it’s likely that there’s a group at school experimenting with vapes

potentially he’s trying to get his mum in trouble if he prefers being with you. The judge should have taken his wishes into account at his age but maybe ask solicitor advice about whether to reapply when he’s a bit older?


Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 12:06

He now lives with me for half the week. Which was the arrangement ordered by the court.

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Dylan222 · 30/10/2022 12:18

Thank you very much for the advice, its very useful. I have reported the doctor to the HCPC, which is her governing body, they are deciding wether to investigate.
I am going to speak to his school tomorrow, and make them aware of my concern.
With the diagnosis, the social services are going down the route that it maybe munchausens by proxy, he is awaiting an assessment with a NHS pedestrian as part of the process. The NHS have twice declined re-assessing him as he has received a diagnosis from the private doctor, despite the concerns that have been raised by myself and his school.

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Thatsnotmycar · 30/10/2022 17:05

If the NHS have accepted to private diagnosis they must accept the assessment and diagnosis is valid.

Was the assessment during the pandemic? If so, it wasn’t uncommon for patients to never be seen F2F before a diagnosis.

No-one gets DLA just on the basis of an ASD diagnosis, DS’s mother must have had evidence of DS’s need.


Thatsnotmycar · 30/10/2022 17:05

*the private diagnosis.


aoibhacado · 27/12/2022 10:27

report her. that is child abuse.


acronsew · 27/12/2022 10:37

Doctors are not regulated by the HCPC. Something doesn't sound right here.

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