An Inverness woman who has been waiting for more than a year to have her grandson assessed for autism has had the appointment cancelled because a member of staff took ill.
Sylvia Mackenzie’s four-year-old grandson Kayson MacKenzie was due to be seen by a pediatrician yesterday – but Kayson’s father, Jason MacKenzie, was given the bad news from the school.
He received a letter on March 1 confirming the date of the full assessment and the family were looking forward to a potential diagnosis.
Kayson was first seen by a paediatrician in Raigmore Hospital in September 2014, but no follow-up appointment was made.
And in the following months, after being seen by several doctors, Kayson was referred in February last year to The Pines, autism support centre in Drummond Road for a full assessment.
Yesterday Mrs MacKenzie said: “Why is there no one else to stand in for them.
“We got the letter in March and we were so excited about him being finally seen, especially Jason. It will be two years this September since he was referred – it’s such a long time and then he gets this. It’s just a disgrace and I am absolutely gutted for Kayson.
“He is still getting his gold stars at nursery for good behaviour, but the other day he did not get one because he was poking a rug with his finger. He can’t help it because he has sensory issues associated with autism. It really breaks my heart.”
Last year Mrs MacKenzie lodged a claim against NHS Highland after they were forced to apologise for failing to diagnose her son, Kobe Sutherland, for 10 years.
Mrs MacKenzie said that her grandson exhibits developmental issues similar to her son, and fears the same misjudgements have already been made by health and education professionals.
She said previously that her grandson was regularly having problems in school and claims she was told by a staff member that this was down to parenting and that there was “no way he was autistic”.
Since the start of the new term, Kayson has been attending nursery three hours a day as opposed to the one hour and 30 minutes he was in class before.
A spokesman for the health board said: “NHS Highland can confirm that this child’s assessment was cancelled due to staff illness.
“We apologise for the cancellation, and will work with the family to rearrange an assessment date as soon as possible.”