So, how was your day? Mine was less-than-good. My special-needs son was treated badly.
Change is inevitable, but change is very difficult for people with special needs. People, institutions and systems can make the landing on one side of the change soft and graceful, or rough and painful.
Our son, who is now an adult, has to transition to some new care givers, including some of his doctors. He has to stop seeing familiar pediatric specialists whose names, faces and places he has known over several years and be introduced to strange faces and places.
We, of course, hope that “adult” treatment will include the dignity due to any adult human being. This includes not only the doctor visits, but civilized care from all within the doctors’ offices.
Several of our son’s transitions are going well! But today, we had one of those crash-landings. An adult neurologist who sees another family member had said they would see our son. Our son’s pediatric neurologist was gracious and her nurse called this doctor’s office, who responded kindly by scheduling an appointment for our son for today.
Preparing our son for this visit was delicate. I told him the doctor’s name as we were driving there. He knew that I would be taking him temporarily from his workplace to this new doctor. He was nervous, still. My husband rescheduled an important appointment to be there with us. We arrived in time, having taken our son out of his normal routine and telling him that he was going to see a new doctor (as we had done before his bus came in the morning). UNTIL…
Until they said they had no appointment for our son.
Until they told us that after they scheduled the appointment, they’d changed their minds and “decided not to see him.”
Until their desk staff blandly informed us, “He should go to a doctor at that other clinic.”
Until, after a very uncomfortable discussion with a very rude person, we were told that they’d sent a letter to someone saying although they scheduled the appointment they decided to cancel it, without any reason except to say that they felt he should go to a doctor in another clinic, a competitor of whom they are not fond. But they’d never notified us.
We can speculate on the politics between the clinic where our son’s pediatric neurologist was and the clinic of our son’s supposed new doctor but it doesn’t matter. The “gal behind the counter” was indifferent.
As this just happened today, I am still angry, not only because they were unprofessional, but because they knew that the new patient was a severely autistic person.
At this point, I am still burning. I want the world to know what they did. Tomorrow is another day.