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JPEsq., Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 5106
Experience:  Published articles on family law, featured in several publications for successful trial work.
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If a psychiatrists tests a 10 year old child for dyslexia and

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If a psychiatrists tests a 10 year old child for dyslexia and when the child is finished taking the test she tells her dad and her grandparents that the psychiatrist was mean to her and that she think the psychiatrist thinks she is lying and later the mother sends the grandmother an email saying that the psychiatrist stated the following after her findings “That the doctor felt the granddaughter was playing up the severity of her difficulties because she got extra time, attention, and assistance from the grandmother. She recommended that we begin setting boundaries to distance the grandmother and the granddaughter to force the granddaughter to step up to the plate and face the difficulties instead of using them as a crutch.” The psychiatrist never spoke with the grandmother only the mother (mother is very jealous of the grandparent’s relationship with the children) would that be defamation of character toward the grandmother, since the psychiatrist never spoke with the grandmother, only the mother (who is jealous of the grandparents) and came to the conclusion without gathering all the facts.
No, it would not be defamation of character. Here, the psychiatrist is offering his opinion about the child, he is not making any defamatory statements about the grandmother. He is making statements about the child's behavior, nothing is said about the grandmother.

The psychiatrist may be completely wrong, but his job is to give an opinion. Maybe a second opinion is in order, but there is nothing here that would even come close to defamation of character or any sort of legal wrong.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

You say the psychiatrist is offering her opinion about the child's behavior, but dyslexia is not a behavior problem. Dyslexia is a specific reading disability due to a defect in the brain's processing of graphic symbols. It is a learning disability that alters the way the brain processes written material. So, why would the psychiatrist recommend to the parents that they set boundaries and to distance the grandmother from the granddaughter so she will step up to the plate and face the difficulties instead of using them as a crutch? This comment alone implies to the mother that the grandmother is a bad influence and she needs to keep the child away from the grandmother and the child will do better in school. I find that very irresponsible and unprofessional from the psychiatrist to make this type of recommendation and not have interviewed the grandmother before offering her opinion on the child’s behavior. Besides the psychiatrist was to assess if the daughter had dyslexia. Due to the psychiatrist recommendations and comments about the grandmother the grandchildren are no longer allowed to visit or talk with the grandparents on the father’s side. Also, there will not be a 2nd opinion because the mother likes the opinion of the psychiatrist because she does not feel guilty and she can blame it all on the grandmother.

I meant that the psychiatrist is offering his opinion on the child's behavior. In this case that the child is exaggerating in order to get more attention. As I said, the opinion may be wrong and it may be unprofessional... but it is certainly not actionable.

I understand you are frustrated, but my policy here is to just give the truth, unpleasant as it may be. It you no good for me to tell you something that you want to hear, only for it to end in more disappointment and frustration for you in the end. The reality is that the conduct here does not give rise to any legal action.
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Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I already thought that would be the answer, but I wanted to check anyway. I still do not think it is right for a Doctor to make assumptions or provide recommendations on a legal medical document without having interviewed the person in question. I do appreciate your expertise. Thank you very much.

No problem, good luck.