Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All Grown Up and No Place to Go

Terri Hancharick knew it would be a challenge to find a medical home for her special-needs daughter, Brigitte, in the adult health care system. But she never expected the process to be so frustrating.
Brigitte had been receiving care at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children since infancy. But the hospital limits treatment to patients younger than 21, so Hancharick had to assemble a new medical team two years ago.
Hancharick soon discovered that few doctors were taking new patients and the ones who were did not feel confident treating a patient with a medical history as complex as Brigitte's. The 23-year-old has severe cerebral palsy and seizures and is visually impaired and nonverbal.
Transitioning children from pediatric care to the adult health care system can be difficult for any family. But for the parents of a child with special medical needs, the responsibilities are greater and the challenges more complex.

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