Friday, May 28, 2010

Take me out to the Ball Game

What a day we had! Tuesday, the whole family took the day off and went to see some baseball at Knights Stadium. CAMDEN and Alex had a ball! They both just kicked back and enjoyed all the smells and noises of a Charlotte Knights baseball game. As you can see from the pictures CAMDEN really enjoyed his time there. Due to Alex's vision impairments, Alex could not see what was going on out there, but he heard everything and he knew his best buddy was right by his feet the whole time. We could not have picked a better day!

On another note, my letter to Dr. Ashe won my battle. The office manager called me that Friday and apologized for the ignorance of her staff. She rescheduled us at a time when there would not be many people there and just felt terrible for what happened. It still doesn't excuse their behavior, but I'm certainly glad I don't have to find another pediatric pulmonologist down here. There not exactly a lot of good ones in the area.  The doctor did not know about the commotion until this past Monday. He insisted on bringing Alex and CAMDEN back in. So, we'll give it another shot and I'll just maturely stick my tongue out at the front desk lady when I see her again. That's it for now...enjoy the pictures!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

No Dogs Allowed!

We have brought CAMDEN with Alex everywhere Alex goes now. All the doctors, therapists, church, school, stores, and even the shopping malls have been totally open to Alex's dog. But Friday was a different story. Alex had his routine 6 month follow up at the pulmonologist on Friday. When we entered the office waiting room, we were immediately stopped by the receptionist. This is of course a tricky situation because children with allergies to dogs come in to this place. So after quite a confrontation with the nurse and the receptionist, I was asked to leave. So, in a nutshell, Alex was denied medical attention, due to his service dog. I talked with Kyria and then the ADA and came to the conclusion that my first step would be to contact the doctor by letter/email. Legally, the dog is allowed, but the office is not making accommodations to it. Kyia and I thought it would be a good idea to share the letter with everyone to hopefully help others deal with these type situations. Yes, I could contact media or even press charges, but I just hate to bring a good doctor down with all of this. Like I said though, it is tricky! Here's the letter... I'll let everyone know if we get a response from it.

Dr. Ashe,

Friday morning 5/14 my son Alex Crisp had a routine appointment with you at the Providence Road location. Alex had his Certified Service Dog with him when we entered your office. He just got this dog in November 2009. We were told by your front desk that we could not bring the dog in. They of course explained that they treat children with severe allergies to dogs. When the front desk lady saw that I was upset, she proceeded to get a nurse. I explained to the nurse and the front desk lady that it is a law that the dog can go anywhere that Alex goes. These same children are everywhere that Alex goes, even the pediatrician’s office. They still did not allow us to be seen and asked us to leave. So, bottom line is medical attention was denied due to having a service dog.

ADA states that Service Dogs must be allowed to go anywhere the handler goes. It is a federal and state law that they be allowed anywhere Alex or I go. I was angry and also let down by the treatment we received at Asthma and Allergy Specialists. I realize that there are children that are highly allergic to dogs and that is what makes this situation tricky. But I expected accommodations to be made. They could have brought us straight back to a room and kept us out of the high traffic area. The thing is, even without the dog, pet dander is all over my clothes and Alex. I then told her to remove us as a patient. This is unfortunate, because I had a lot of respect for you as a doctor and Alex is a medically fragile child with lungs that are at times compromised by his severe scoliosis. I am not one to draw attention to my family in a negative way with lawsuits or media. But I want to make you aware that you need to educate everyone on your staff about this matter, including yourself. I am assuming that the staff told you about our situation.

After the incident at your clinic, I contacted the organization that trained Alex’s dog, CAMDEN. He was trained in a federal prison in West Virginia through a nonprofit organization called paws4people. If you have any questions regarding the training behind these dogs, you may contact the founder directly at
I also contacted the ADA on my legal rights as a certified service dog handler. I just think it is really unfortunate that the situation was handled the way it was. No one even tried to contact me after the situation from your office, including yourself. I hope that this clears up any misunderstanding of service dog laws. I guess we will be finding another specialist who handles our situation more appropriately. For more information on these laws, you can go to

Thanks so much for your time.