William is a smart, charismatic 9-year-old boy with autism. He and his mom, Yadira, lived in Puerto Rico until 2017, when the U.S. island was hit by Hurricane Maria. Since then, Mountain Park has been making sure Yadira’s family receives the care they deserve.
Hurricane Maria is considered one of the worst natural disasters to hit Puerto Rico in over 80 years. When a tragedy like this hits, it changes a family’s entire life in an instant.
“Our house was made of wood,” recalled Yadira. “I knew that it wouldn’t survive the storm. My mom’s house was made of concrete, so I decided we would stay with her.”
Yadira remembers grabbing what she could, like shoes and clothes for herself and William. Toys and family memories were left behind. When the hurricane passed, William and his family went out and saw that everything was destroyed. They didn’t have electricity, water or a way to communicate with their family. “Our house was gone. We lost everything,” Yadira shared.
Dr. Castañeda has been caring for William since him and his mom arrived in Phoenix.
William’s autism made it especially important to find a home for their healthcare needs when they arrived in Phoenix.
“A friend recommended that I enroll William in AHCCCS, the Medicaid program in Arizona. We heard that Mountain Park was good, so I called and made an appointment,” Yadira said. “During William’s first appointment I was amazed by the treatment we received. The staff made my son feel so welcome and relaxed. I love how the staff interacts with him. They help him understand what the doctor is saying and make him want to come back.”
Our integrated approach allows us to take care of young patients like William by forming relationships with a group of different providers, all under one roof. “Often times children with autism have difficulty with change,” shared Dr. Castañeda, William’s pediatrician. “That’s why it’s great to have a place like Mountain Park for William to come to and build relationships with providers that he can benefit from.”
In one single room our patients can see their primary care provider, a registered dietitian, a behavioral health consultant and a dentist. This model has made William’s appointments much easier.
“Willian’s autism makes him very anxious and stressed, especially if we have to go to the doctor, the dentist, the lab, and then pick-up a prescription at the pharmacy. It’s too much for him. But here at Mountain Park, we have everything inside the clinic,” Yadira mentioned.
Our Care Teams have been key in William’s health. Our registered dietitians have been working with Yadira and William to experiment with new foods.
“My son is very picky. He hates some textures and flavors,” Yadira shared.
Another thing that William struggles with is making friends, so for our behavioral health specialists it’s important to work on his self-esteem. They are also able to provide guidance to Yadira about different resources for William in Phoenix.
“We love Dr. Castañeda. He’s been amazing with us, and most importantly he makes William feel comfortable during a medical visit,” Yadira shared.
“After meeting Yadira and William, you really think about the struggles this family—as U.S. Citizens—have gone through in Puerto Rico. But even though they are miles away from home, I can provide services for them here. We can continue the care that William really needs,” Dr. Castañeda shared.
Making sure our patients receive the best care is what we aim to do every day. We are here for everyone in our communities, and our Care Teams work together to keep our patients healthy from head to toe.
“We are so grateful we found Mountain Park because now we feel like we are home again,” Yadira said. “Mountain Park has a gift, they know how to treat children and make them feel safe and happy.”
Call us today to schedule an appointment (602) 243-7277.