Some Albertans say there's a gap in the health-care system when it comes to young adults with special needs.

Sherry Miller's daughter Louann Bowen has autism. She says when her daughter was seeing a pediatrician she was well looked after.

"It would cover mental health issues, everything. It involved a lot of expertise in a lot of areas," said Miller.

The problem is, now that Bowen is 20, she’s too old for a pediatrician.

Miller said the family has been looking for a doctor for three years. During that time, they've had to use a walk-in clinic.

"In some cases there’s a bit of fear in some doctors’ minds that they're not equipped to be able to deal with disabilities," said Miller.

"It's frustrating. I’m concerned she may not get the quality of care if she's ever in a hospital or situation there's no one to step up with a history."


Alberta Association for Community Living's Bruce Uditsky says the problem is common in the province. (CBC)

Bruce Uditsky with the Alberta Association for Community Living worries many people in the same situation go without adequate medical care.

"It's actually a fairly serious issue," said Uditsky.

"There could be a developing condition that goes unrecognized and not treated early enough, because somebody isn't seeing a physician regularly or consistently."

Uditsky said Alberta should follow the lead of countries like Australia that have a plan in place to ensure young people with developmental disabilities are paired up with a family physician as they transition out of pediatrics.