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Autism - Support Across the Spectrum Autism - Support Across the Spectrum

Have you ever complained about a therapist?

Posted by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 10:57 PM
  • 13 Replies

I'm at my wits end with the Speech therapist we were assigned.    She is the best friend of the coordinator so I think any complaining on my end will not result in anything.  My son only has 3 months left before he moves on to another agency's services when he turns 3 so it isn't much longer we're going to have to deal with her but I'm tired of playing her games. 

First of all she never wanted to work with us because we are out of the area she usually works in.  It is about a 20 minute commute for her to our home which is not a whole lot.  We've worked with her since November, she's cancelled at least 3 times that I can think of.  If I cancel 3 times I lose my services.  Plus she's been over a half hour late at least once without even calling to let me know she'll be late.  My son and I do like to go out places so we sit around waiting for her only to have her cancel when we could have been doing an activity. 

I know another family she works with and her excuses for cancelling never seem to match on the same exact day.  One minute she's sick, she has something personal to do, and she seems to have a very ill young daughter.  I'm not saying she's lying, I hope she wouldn't make up a lie about her child being sick but she uses that very often with us and the other family I know. 

I personally think she's either lazy or just as I mentioned before sees us as an inconvience.  I personally don't care if we don't see her again but it's cheating my son.  She's cancelled the past two weeks.  I asked her would she be making those hours up and she said no, she has too many clients to make up missed appointments.  Speech is his biggest issue so its sad he doesn't seem to get help.


by on Feb. 14, 2013 at 10:57 PM
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Replies (1-10):
blessedhappymom
by on Feb. 15, 2013 at 12:04 AM
Can u ask for a different therapist? I would follow the chain of command and if you get attitude or no results go higher. There has to be a board that issues the license to practice therapy. I'm sure you could file a complaint with them. Not to be ugly, but if your child and others are needing therapy and not receiving it regularly because of a lack of effort on her part, that's just not right.
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Bluerose1482
by Bronze Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:05 AM

I wonder if she is taking 'offical' time off (ie using sick time or personal days) or if she is just flaking on you and not showing up and still getting paid....

Sorry I don't have any good advice, except to say this...states don't provide early intervention because they are warm and fuzzy.  They don't provide it because it makes children more ready for school.  They don't provide it for any of the 100 good reasons that they should.  They provide it because they are required to by federal law.  Early intervention is required by IDEA (individuals with disabilities educational act).  I have absolutely no idea of the process or the recourse you have, but anytime something is required by federal law, there is a process, which I would look into. 

If you are in a mood to demand that your son receive the services he needs and is entitled to by law, I would notify the therapist and coordinator, by registered letter, that I am concerned about the speech therapist missing my son's appointments.  I would directly state that I believe that her missing appointments and not making them up is negatively affecting my son's progress.  I would guess that is probably the first step in a due process complaint.  I would also find the next person in the chain of command and send them a copy of the letter as well. 

Kate00
by Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:05 AM

I think you should complain too.  The good thing about this one is that your complaint is more about logistics - her ability to get there - vs. her proficiency.  I would think that'd be more "comfortable" for a supervisor to deal with than if you were upset about the way she was providing the therapy.  Have you been able to keep track of how often she cancels and is late?  Having it written down might help.  

DJT721
by Member on Feb. 15, 2013 at 7:14 PM

UPDATE from today:  She's cancelled the past two days saying her daughter was sick.  She told me yesterday when she called she'd try and make it today if she could find someone to babysit and would call me this morning.  It was a beautiful day out, I would have loved to have taken my son somewhere out doors.  (One part is my fault, I hid my cell phone yesterday from my son and couldn't find it so we had to stay in and wait for her call).  She finally calls at 1:30 and says she's still looking for a babysitter.  At that point I said "forget it, we've been trying to get out all day and I don't really want to wait the rest of the day just in case you find a sitter".  I think I was polite about it.  She snapped back "well, I'm a single mother".  I would not have been mad if she could have called at 8am and said she probably couldn't find someone to watch her child or had said she didn't want to leave her daughter.  I totally feel bad for a sick child and I know it must be hard balancing a child and a job for a single mother but her clients should not have to suffer because of that.  This was not the only time her daugter has been her excuse.  I am going to call the coordinator and tell him I don't think she's working out for us because we seem to be staying home an awful lot to wait for these therapy sessions that don't happen when we can be out in the community working on social skills.   I have even offered to drive him the 20 mintues to her area to meet at a library, restaurant, etc. but that still never seems to work out for her.  

mypbandj
by Jen on Feb. 16, 2013 at 3:41 AM
Do you have a copy if your procedural rights? They should have given them to you at one point and if not you can certainly get another copy. That would tell you the complaint process.

If keep good documentation, if what she said and when. Write a letter and make sure you mention that the issue is that your son is not receiving the services he needs to make progress. You can call too but I would send a letter in writing also. You can request a new therapist.

Honestly her telling you her personal problems (being a single mom) is so unprofessional.
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darbyakeep45
by Darby on Feb. 16, 2013 at 5:17 AM
I agree here.

Quoting mypbandj:

Do you have a copy if your procedural rights? They should have given them to you at one point and if not you can certainly get another copy. That would tell you the complaint process.



If keep good documentation, if what she said and when. Write a letter and make sure you mention that the issue is that your son is not receiving the services he needs to make progress. You can call too but I would send a letter in writing also. You can request a new therapist.



Honestly her telling you her personal problems (being a single mom) is so unprofessional.
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TheJerseyGirl
by Michele on Feb. 16, 2013 at 5:59 AM

 I sure have!!! I would ask for a different therapist if you aren't happy with the progress or the relationship! those things are very important!

redheadstar
by Member on Feb. 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM

When my younger son was 2, he had a visiting speech therapist come to the house,  <she came twice a week>  after a week, she had to go, she had no patience with my son or his siblings in the house, didnt like the way the  therapist scolded and grabbed my kid by the hand..

redheadstar
by Member on Feb. 16, 2013 at 10:39 AM

ps,,,you can ask for another therapist

Dora-rulz
by on Feb. 16, 2013 at 11:05 AM
Yes I did have problems w/ therapist when dd was 2 & newly dxd. Her ST was great but her OT therapist kept canceling on me cause we lived on Lake Michigan & our driveway wasn't kept up like she wanted it (trees overgrown & not paved). She complained it was hard on her car & asked me to bring dd to public places. Ended up putting up w/ it cause she was starting sp ed right after she turned 3.
Do you pay for tour therapist? Dd's was through a birth to 3 program & free so I just put up w/ it till school started.
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