National Association of Parents of Autistic People
I would like to express my deep-felt appreciation to all the health care professionals who
Took the time to talk to us, using comprehensible language.
Were honest with us, thus teaching us to be honest with them.
Helped us to face reality, no matter how unpleasant, in a positive, constructive, optimistic way, without hiding the truth. We were able to maintain our trust in them.
Were honest enough to say ‘I don’t know’. We, the parents, respect doctors who are honest, not those who claim to be omniscient.
Helped us meet other parents who had had similar experiences. The best psychological help is provided by those who can understand us because ‘they’ve been there’.
Made diagnoses and written reports available to us. These are valuable throughout our children’s lives, as what matters is not just what they will become, but also the flashbacks to what they used to be.
Explained to us, and also to other doctors, psychologists and teachers, the limitations of investigations and tests administered to our children, what these investigations were able to assess and what was not assessable.
When investigations and tests did not uncover anomalies, did not say ‘your child has nothing wrong with her/him’, but wrote instead ‘the test, which was administered on Friday (date), was negative’.
Were sympathetic when we approached other specialists. Had they baulked at the suggestion, we would probably have approached others behind their backs!
Took note of what we said to them about our children, even though it was not specified in their diagnostic/management or pharmacology protocols: those who record what they already know do not acquire fresh knowledge.
May their behavior enlighten all those colleagues who experience ‘difficult relationships’ with the parents of disabled children...