Single Moms Raising Autistic Sons

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Saturday, December 05, 2009

Never Say That a Service Dog Cannot Enter

A couple of weeks ago Griffin, Abby, and I went into the dentist's office just as we all go into any other establishment or medical office, and the minute that we entered the receptionist loudly exclaimed, " You can't have that dog in here! There are children that are allergic to dogs!" THAT was the WRONG thing to say! Abby is allowed, as a service dog, to enter and remain anywhere and everywhere that Griffin goes. She immediately goes to tell the doctor and he comes out and ushers us back to a room with just chairs in it. Then he proceeds to tell us that he had the same problem before with a service dog and called the Dental Assoc. and they told him that the dog was not allowed back into the clinic area. BS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And there is NO way that the receptionist could know about whether a child is allergic to animals, not that it mattered anyhow, because I filled out the same paperwork which does not ask if the child is allergic to anything other than drugs!

For sure he was lying because it is clear all across the nation that service animals are allowed, as I stated, everywhere that the disabled person goes. Being Bipolar and one who gets anxiety very easily, I told him that he was wrong and that I would put Abby in the car but I was not going to let this situation go. As I expected, Griffin would not let them clean his teeth and he was clearly very upset and uncomfortable. So, all they did was brush his teeth with a frickin toothbrush!

When I got home I immediately called the Disability Law Center and made a report. She e-mailed me a flyer that I printed and took to the dentist's office the very next day with Abby in tow. The flyer states clearly that there are little to no exceptions to the rule of where a service animal can go. And if any of you would like a copy of that flyer then just let me know and I will gladly e-mail it to you. Or you can just go to their website and let them know that you would like one.

Anyhow, I made sure that everyone in the office could hear me when I exclaimed that the receptionist was WRONG and that the doctor was WRONG and that I expected to talk to him before the day was through. Needless-to-say, they were speechless and hopefully they were embarrassed as well. Because ignorance is no excuse just as with any other law in the United States!

The doctor called me and thanked me for letting him know but as soon as I told him that he would be hearing from the lawyers at the Disability Law Center he shut up and wanted to get off of the phone. Well, looks like maybe it sunk in a bit (?) Yesterday, the lawyer called me and asked me all of the details and I added that now Griffin thinks that Abby is not allowed anywhere that we go all because of what that doctor did...he nearly has a meltdown. She is sending me the papers that will allow her to speak to the doctor and whomever else that she needs to.

The Disability Law Center has come through for us before in Alaska when in the United States Post Office they wouldn't allow Abby and in a grocery store as well. They truly put the fear of the powers that be into these people and they straighten up very quickly. I am glad that in this state that the lawyers are obligated to look into each and every case that is reported. She also told me that it would be pursed as though we wanted to return to the office and I admitted that yes, we did. I do want to go back to that office because it is the only one within at least 30 miles that will allow the parent to go back with the child. So like it or not....they will see us again....with Abby right beside Griffin!!!!!


Melissa H said...

Lora, can you send me the info on how you got Abby as a service dog? I really think that Conor could benefit but we just can't afford the $4,000 fee that we have found! I'm sure that you have info that could help us.

Sounds like the dentist and his staff is full of a bunch of ignorant fools. Good for you for educating them.

Cait said...

I'm trying to put together a research project documenting how families living with autism are getting support from service dogs. Though it's a small project, it's a start. I really need some families who have worked with service dogs to fill out a survey about their experience, and I'm hoping you can help -- either by filling out the survey, or by passing the message along. . .or both!

The survey, along with my contact info, is here:

Thank you so much!