Is child custody handled differently for a child with autism?
From the standpoint of the Family Law system, its court processes, and the theoretical basis for child custody determinations, there is no “official” protocol that applies specifically to a child with autism.
Instead, the core legal underpinning of a custody determination is the same as for any child: It involves the court considering the child’s best interests, as those are determined using criteria defined by the provincial and federal legislation.
But practically speaking, this also means that every child’s unique needs are automatically taken into account as part of that exercise, including any needs that may arise from developmental or neurological challenges, from physical or other disability, or any other specific characteristic.
So in effect every custody ruling will be unique, and for a child with autism it will be tailored to address any specific needs that the child may have.