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Do children with autism get "accommodations" when visiting the Pediatrician?

It seems that Doctors don't understand that children with Autism are unable to wait for long periods of time in the waiting room.
But not all autistic children have this problem. What can a mother do when the Pediatrician is making the patient (autistic child) wait for almost two hours. Is there something under the law that require Doctors to accommodate children with autism?


Asked by Anonymous at 10:22 PM on May. 23, 2010 in Kids' Health

This question is closed.
Answers (9)
  • Well mine do, but it's not like I wasn't a bitch to get them to pay attention. It took one visit with an extended wait time to get it. The boys were screaming and running around climbing on things and it irritated the staff and everyone else who was waiting. I was trying to get them calmed down and handing out autism cards left and right. FINALLY the doctor walked out and took us into his office. He said he would make sure our appointments were scheduled either first thing in the morning or right after lunch to minimize the wait. If it was urgent and we had to come in during busier times he would allow us to be placed in a room with a door that locks so they don't get overstimulated, to minimize my chasing them, and to keep them from disrupting others. Some doctors will accomodate, but you need to ask them and if necessary meet them half way.

    Answer by 2autisticsmom at 10:04 AM on May. 24, 2010

  • I doubt it. What makes your kid more important than the others being seen? Tell me what conditions are "allowed" to go before you? Do we need to have a hierarchy of illnesses?


    Answer by Anonymous at 10:26 PM on May. 23, 2010

  • I doubt it. What makes your kid more important than the others being seen? Tell me what conditions are "allowed" to go before you? Do we need to have a hierarchy of illnesses?

    I don't think you understood my question. And this is why I'm so worry about the lack of knowledge Doctors have about this condition. OP

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:34 PM on May. 23, 2010

  • Well to start, no child is really capable of waiting for that long. I'd be complaining about the wait time period. And no I don't think that there's any kind of law requiring a Dr to make accomodations for children with autism. Is there one for kids with Downs? Kids with asthma? Kids with - well anything? Don't think so.

    Perhaps you need to explain to your Dr or his staff or the booking clerk that your child is not capable of waiting that long. Why are you having to wait that long in the first place - does the Dr routinely run behind schedule, is he overbooked, is he called out for emergencies? I would not put up with a Dr that kept me waiting that long, and in fact I just changed my primary care Dr last year because the one I'd been seeing for over 10 years would routinely keep me waiting an hour or more past my scheduled appt time.

    Answer by canadianmom1974 at 11:22 PM on May. 23, 2010

  • Most caregivers have experienced some level of stress when making or attending a doctor/dentist visit with a child with a disability. Individuals with disabilities also have a difficult time at the doctor’s and dentist’s office.

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:07 AM on May. 24, 2010

  • What do children with disabilities need from doctors, dentists, and other office staff:

    1. Doctors, dentists, and staff have an understanding of disabilities and the anxiety that individuals may have about medical/dental visits
    2. Treat individuals and caregivers with the same respect and dignity as others receive and recognize unique family strengths
    3. Have short wait times and a low stress, quiet environment, with special or separate waiting rooms
    4. Speak directly to the individual
    5. Allow extra time for the appointment
    6. Listen to caregivers' and individuals' expressed needs
    7. Share complete and unbiased information with families
    8. Allow caregivers to be present during visit and ask them questions when needed
    9. See the individual as a person with unique needs, not as a "disabled person"
    10. Make appropriate referrals and timely follow through with paperwork

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:08 AM on May. 24, 2010

  • What you can do for your child:

    1. Prepare the individual for doctor/dental visit through role-play, books, and pictures, etc.
    2. Bring distractions for waiting and exam rooms (books, music, video games, snacks, etc.) and offer rewards (prizes, outings, edibles, etc.)
    3. Ask for a "get acquainted" visit
    4. Schedule appointment at a time that is best for the individual, such as the first or last appointment of the day
    5. Keep a medical/dental journal of co-payments, medications, treatments, prior visits, and referrals
    6. Make sure the parking lot, building, and office are accessible
    7. Talk to the doctor/dentist before the visit, preparing staff ahead of time, and reminding them of the individual's needs; mail or fax a summary letter if needed
    8. Bring a support person to listen to doctor, write things down, and help with other children

    Answer by Anonymous at 1:09 AM on May. 24, 2010

  • Take your business elsewhere!! If a doctor made me, as an adult, wait that long I would never go back.
    Hitting the doctor in the wallet is the only way to get your point acrossed. Be sure to tell the staff why you are leaving when you go pick up the medical records.

    Answer by Anonymous at 4:35 AM on May. 24, 2010

  • I think it depends on the office that you are visiting. If you have a schedualed appt. and you have a child that has a disability that creates issues with waiting for an obnoxiously large amount of time, I would either find somewhere else to go or discuss your needs again to make sure they are clear.

    Now, if you walk in without a prior appt, I don't feel as if the people who DID should get bumped, but I do think that if that was the case that accomodations (like stimuli etc) should be made.

    Answer by ethans_momma06 at 3:00 PM on May. 24, 2010