A letter of thanks
I would like to express my gratitude to the team of excellent doctors, nurses, orderlies and administrative staff who helped my autistic son, Benjamin, during a recent visit to the Montreal Children’s Hospital’s Emergency Department. I have to add that this is not the first time I have been overwhelmed with profound gratitude by the care offered by staff at Montreal Children’s Hospital for my son. I wish I had taken the time in the past to share my thanks, but I will make up for it now.
My son had a relatively minor cut on his foot that still had a splinter in it and had become infected. He is a non-verbal, occasionally aggressive autistic boy, who weighs 145 pounds. Luckily, we did not have to wait long because the Emergency Department staff understands the anxiety and distress autistic children feel in such situations. We were allowed to wait in a quiet room and Dr. Souza and the many caring nurses did everything they could to treat my son’s foot quickly. I appreciate that they listened to my suggestions and they recognized the importance of removing the remaining splinter since Benjamin is not easily cooperative at home with first aid types of treatments. They took the time and used the resources (7 people!) to do it. Another doctor also assisted and was very kind and helpful.
It is one of the first times I did not burst into tears from stress and anxiety, which often happens to me when I am seeking medical attention for my son. I get very nervous and anxious myself, trying to keep my son calm while feeling overwhelmed by the implications of whatever problem he has. I have so much confidence in the understanding as well as the competence of the team at the Children’s that I know things will go well and they will do their very best.
People have complimented me on my interventions with my son, but what needs to be understood is that I have become a better and more competent parent to Benjamin because I can count on the understanding of so many health and social service providers. I often try to explain to people what an unexpected privilege it is to raise such a beautiful, if complex, child. Thanks to him, I am able to meet some of the most amazing people, who devote themselves to the care of society’s most vulnerable individuals. That is how I feel when I am at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.
Thank you so much,
Katharine Cukier and Benjamin Cukier-Houde