Source: Washington Post
Written By: Christina Jewett | Kaiser Health News
Teenagers and young adults with severe autism are spending weeks or even months in emergency rooms and acute-care hospitals because of a lack of community treatment programs able to deal with their outbursts, according to interviews with parents, advocates and physicians from Maine to California as well as federal and state data.
These young people — who may shout for hours, bang their heads on walls or lash out violently at home — are taken to the hospital after community social services and programs fall short and families call 911 for help. Once there, they sometimes are sedated or restrained for long periods as they wait for beds in specialized facilities or return home once families recover from the crisis or find additional support. Click here to read the rest of the story.
Doctor visits can be a challenge for patients with autism, their families and health care providers. Kristin Sohl, associate professor of child health at the University of Missouri, offers several steps providers and families can take to make medical visits more successful. She says that all of them require good communication between the provider and parent before, during and after medical visits.
Before a Visit
“Parents or caregivers should call ahead to the provider’s office to discuss individual accommodations that the patient might need during the visit, such as a comfort item or a distraction toy,” Sohl said. “Tell the office staff if there have been prior negative experiences—or successful ones—so the office can provide a supportive environment and avoid triggering anxiety in the patient.” Click here to read the rest of the story.