ooomis"It is VERY rare that a healthy, normal child does not smile. In fact, smiling is one of the first social development milestones. I would want to have this child evaluated. Does she act out, exhibit ANY type of emotion?"
come to think of it the only emotion that this child used to really exhibit was exsessive crying. Now that has stopped...
oomis"What does the lack of compassion shown by grandparents to their son, have anything to do with the son nonetheless being a compassionate father to his daughter? He is fortunate indeed to have developed empathy in SPITE of having a parent who was not a role model for the same for him."
I think it's very commendable that this father has developed empathy without actually formally recieving any from his parents. However I'm saying perhaps the father doesn't know what real empathy is and therefore has passed a superficialness onto the child which has created this 'hostility'...
"Can I ask the obvious question? Does the child show other signs of depression/abuse/neglect/ or other emotional issues?" possibly depression but abuse and neglect no. definitely not.
"A very common sign of autism is lack of emotional response and lack of smile, socially withdrawn, lack of eye contact. Do you see any of these signs?"
What you are saying here is very possible. these symtoms that you are listing here actually applies with this child.
Now the question is, What sort of help does this child need? and How do I explain to these parents that their precious child who in their eyes are perfect needs help? There's no way in the world that they will accept it..