One of my friends is a Director for a school in the UAE and so when one of his ex-pupils contacted him for advice regarding their 3 year old’s communication skills he arranged a meeting where I could meet the child; informally assess them and spend time with parents going through their concerns.

I book my own flight with a major airline and there’s an offer where First Class cabins are cheaper than Economy seats. Too good to be true? Yup! 24 hours before flying my flight is cancelled as part of a “technical glitch” and I’m forced to pay double for an economy seat ?

Arriving in Dubai I make my way to the hotel where the parent’s suite is, on zero (and I mean zero) sleep in 2 days (I had planned a wonderful rest in my First Class Suite!).

The assessment was pretty straightforward and it is clear that this child has a significant social communication impairment; is wholly nonverbal and has poor joint attention skills. A multidisciplinary assessment is recommended and swiftly rejected by the father who is adamant “I was a late speaker and so was my cousin“.

We say our goodbyes and I promise the report will be drafted and sent to them within 24 hours (highlighting my recommendation once again).

As a pro bona assessment I figured the family would take the report to a local SLT centre in Oman as a second opinion however within 30 minutes of sending the report I’m called by the family’s PA and my flights are booked to go to Oman to train the school team; interview a SLT for the family and start him off with therapy (still no MDT assessment but I figure I will on them once I have their trust).

Looks like I’m heading to Oman next month…