FALMOUTH – After a lengthy investigation, the Maine Human Rights Commission has found reasonable grounds to believe that a Falmouth dentist discriminated against a child with autism .
The commission concluded that Falmouth Pediatric Dentistry refused to schedule the appointments for Mathew Blankenship to accommodate his disability,despite multiple requests.
They say they have never discriminated against anyone, by only offering morning appointments to the child.the family’s attorney says the office did so simply because the child was autistic.
“Rather than looking at the boy is an individual, as we all should be looked at as individuals, they lumped him together. They made statements like “children with autism are difficult”. They made statements like “the staff would be too tired to deal with them.” They are not based on objective medical evidence as they’re required to be under state and federal law.” Kristin Aiello, Disability Rights Attorney
Aiello says the dentist office needed to give the boy a chance to see how he would react to an afternoon appointment, and not jump to conclusions that he would act poorly simply because he is autistic. In fact, she says he did very well with an afternoon appointing at another pediatric dentist. Both parties will now have an opportunity to again resolve the case.