Yes Ellie's case should make everyone pause for thought (it wont but it should)
In this case I have to be honest - your daughters needs to change her approach massively to ensure that the next time it goes back to court - which it will - she has a better chance of success.
Stop keeping the detailed diary - in fact its existence is causing more harm than good as it suggests that there is a witch hunt in place - and give her ex much more sympathy that he deservesI am aware that this is not the case - but perception is important I am afraid
One of the problems the court has is working out the difference between what is different parenting approaches and what is abuse.
Equally she needs to stop allowing her ex to push her buttons - if she does not react to some of the issues her ex will stop doing them - they are about upsetting her and nothing else
Your grandson will not starve if he is hungry at school and neither the haircut nor the wrong clothes will actually hurt him - so your daughter should not take food in and not raise the dressing issues nor the haircut.
I understand that what he calls the step mother is an issue - but Mummy is just a word - he only has one real mummy and that is all that is important. Simply smile and suggest that he calls her "mummy ann /jane/whatever"
Concentrate only on the medical issues at this stage
The hospital is wrong - they do not need the father's permission to move forward - only if there was a Prohibited steps order would there be a problem.
The failure to give him prescribed medication and use prescribed creams is a real issue
Your daughter shoudl instigate a communications book for medical issues only.
In that she shoudl record any medication that is required to be used whilst he is with his father - by photocopying the prescription and sticking it in -and simply using the words - for your information, I last gave/ used the medication at xxxx please confirm when you have done so.
In dealing with her son and the unkindness he has suffered she shoudl let him speak then simply say "never mind you are home now" and move on
With regard to the Autism assessment again she should deal with this in the communication book
A simple statement such as
"medical professionals suspect that w has either ADHD or ASD. The school need to know in order to give him the help he needs.
Please confirm that you will co-operate with the assessment."
Nothing more nothing less.
Help your daughter and grandson build a life where his father is no longer the core around which they function and that what happens at Dad's is simply a minor distraction form an otherwise happy life.
In just three years time the wishes of your grandson will be of greater importance to the court.
there is much you and your daughter can do to minimise the distress caused by the child's father - starting with stopping the diary.
Please ask if you need further details