Emergency Room Emergency, I can't take my child to an ER in ON because she has autism.
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In 2014 a visit to the ER took away my DD changes for reaching her potential. Four years after and she remains in a clinical regression.
My DD is special, she's incredible and an inspiration to many, and she has special needs, including autism. SIB stands for self-injurious behaviour, it is common in the autism world. My DD SIB at the time was biting her forearms. We had been making great progress at replacing this anxiety derived behaviour, when a broken and profusely bleeding front tooth, became a sharp and dangerous instrument. At the time, I had a private therapist in home working with DD, and she called the ambulance within 2 minutes of the injury occurring. EMS was great, I could tell they had had some training on how to interact with someone on the autism spectrum. The quick ride to our local ER went better than I could have hoped. While an EMS attendant got us ready to depart the ambulance, the other was fast out and alerting staff that the child, my child is autistic. The next 10-15 mins seemed an eternity while confused staff contemplated what to do with us. DD was terrified, hurt, and unregulated. We were taken to an ER examination room, and I was able to calm DD, but only a bit. I am not quite sure even to this day, 4 years later of who came into the room, a fellow, an ER physician, an NP? No introduction was made, his name never shared with us. Within 60 seconds he said he needed to examine "her", and proceeded to touch my DD, at which point, the greatest nightmare of our lives began. My frightened autistic 6-year-old hit the man. The next 5 minutes will haunt me till the day I die. My 6year old was put in 5 points restraints very roughly by 3 security guards, yes 3, and put into a lockdown cell. I lost it, so terrified at having my child taken from me, and being told that I could not go into lockdown with her....a 6 years old, I just lost it, something inside me broke. I did not know then that the next 72 hours would get even worse, the darkest days of our lives had begun. That was the beginning of a hell so great that to this day, my daughter has not recovered. From that very day, she has been in a clinical regression having lost almost all of her life skills. That hospital, that personnel stole my DD progress, they limited her life forever, they damaged my child forever.
My goal is so simple. Allow my DD the same human rights to access healthcare as persons of the neurotypical world. We need a hospital ER protocol for persons with developmental and or intellectual delays entering an Ontario ER. Staff need to be trained appropriately and accommodations must be made in order to provide healthcare that supports special needs individuals as a whole person.
FACT: My DDs reason, (the broken bloody and sharp tooth and mouth injury), the very reason for going to the ER was NEVER EVER assessed, it did not even show up on ANY hospital records, NO ONE on staff knew why she was initially brought in to the ER, no one, not a nurse, a doctor, or other staff. MY 6 YEAR OLD LEFT THE HOSPITAL 72 HOURS LATER, SICK, STILL HURT, TRAUMATIZED, AND WITHOUT A SINGLE HOSPITAL STAFF EVER ACCESSING THE INJURY THAT HAD BROUGHT US TO THE ER IN THE FIRST PLACE.
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