Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Open Letter To Nurse:

Dear MRI Nurse,
We came to Children's for a sedated MRI yesterday. Of course there are lots of admissions questions to help prepare the staff for any problems or special needs that may arise. Yes my child's admit papers said autism. Your caught me off guard with you line of questioning:

You: Why does his paperwork say he has autism?
Me: because he does
You:  Really he doesn't look like he has autism!
Me: What does autism look like?
You: No answer.

Now the whole thing could have stopped there but you continued. As we were walking him back to be sedated you kept going.

You: I just don't see how they can say he has autism?
Me: Well he does, there were extensive tests done and both the Autism clinic through Children's and his school agree he has autism. Now that's the surprising part The school and the doctor agree. (you didn't get my joke)

At least you realized the questions needed to stop as they started to sedate him. Yes he did ask what is in the medication they are giving him and stumped the student. Yes the Anesthesiologist just explained what they do just like she would a coworker. Yep that was my kid that passed out mid word talking about yu-gi-oh cards. As I was being walked out you start again.

You: His not in a special school is he?
Me: No he is fully mainstreamed and actually he will be almost full honors next year.
You: See he's honors you can't have autism and be in honors? So how do they say he has autism.
Me: it's a spectrum, people with autism function on all levels and have all levels of intelligence. In Rogers case his social skills are really lacking and he has some processing problems, as well as he gets stuck on things to the pint of obsession. There's much more to it. Autism really is interesting you just have to be willing to learn about it.

That ended our discussion because really I was tired and hungry. I was going to go get some overpriced food from the cafeteria.  What I should have said that I did not was please Google autism, read some blogs, talk to your coworkers, and maybe go visit the autism center right here in this very hospital. I'm sure they would be more than happy to guide you to credible information.

I do apologize for being short with you. I was tired, hungry and had sat in crazy traffic in the morning so my patience was already low. Plus add to it the stress of having a child sedated, I was a bit overwhelmed and unprepared to answer questions about autism.

Mom of Autistic Child in Your Care Yesterday


  1. I encountered a nurse in the ER that was like that once. She went on and on about how it had to be a misdiagnosis because my kiddo didn't look autistic. I was livid!! Well handled. I wasn't so nice about it!

  2. That reminds me of a doctor (a DOCTOR) who asked me questions about autism. He knew nothing about it, but at least he was willing to ask. That nurse sounds like one of the many misinformed people who think they know what autism is and really have no clue. Hopefully her curiosity will continue at home and she'll Google it on her own.

  3. Wow, you were really, really patient and kind. But I have to know...was there a moment when you just wanted to throat-punch the nurse? Come on, I know I would have.

    1. What I lefty out was when she said hedoesnt look like he has autism, I looked at her like she had three heads. I was to damn tired to fight her.