Medical & Dental Procedures & Autism

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Results from a national survey indicate that over a third of the children with autism, over a fifth with mental retardation, and over a fifth with other types of special health care needs had problems obtaining needed care from specialty doctors in the preceding year. The most common problems included getting referrals and finding providers with appropriate training. Children with unstable health conditions, autism, or those whose parent was in poor health were at greater risk for problems.
Marty Wyngaarden Krauss, Stephen Gulley, Mark Sciegaj, and Nora Wells
Most people with AS find healthcare environments confusing and stressful. The following suggestions can be helpful.
Barbara Kirby, Patricia Romanowski Bashe, Phyllis Class, RN
A negative experience for the child can have long-lasting effects, making every subsequent visit a difficult one for the parent, the health care provider and the child. Spending 15-30 minutes with a family will make a world of difference.
Margaret Souders, Denise DePaul, Kathleen Freeman, Susan Levy
The outlined behavioral strategies, holding techniques, and pain management can be creatively executed when caring for (persons) with ASD. The most important part is the preparation and plan devised in collaboration with the family prior to the visit.
Margaret C. Souders, Denise DePaul
This study shows that the presence of clowns during the induction of anesthesia, together with the child's parents, was an effective intervention for managing children's and parents' anxiety during the preoperative period. We would encourage the promotion of this form of distraction therapy in the treatment of children requiring surgery, but the resistance of medical personnel make it very difficult to insert this program in the activity of the operating room.
Laura Vagnoli, Simona Caprilli, Arianna Robiglio, Andrea Messeri,
When treating patients who can't give reliable self-reports of pain, maintain a high suspicion of pain. Too many clinicians still undertreat pain in patients who can and do report it. Patients who can't report it are even more vulnerable to undertreatment
Margo Mccaffery
The preferred technique for dental office anesthesia is 'deep sedation,' where the child is asleep, without awareness of pain, is breathing spontaneously, and has stable vital signs
Bernard Rimland
A Powerpoint presentation. Note: Filename does not include the appropriate extension (.ppt), but file can be opened with Microsoft Powerpoint Viewer.
Janet Griffiths, Sue Greening
Most of us dread the dentist. For the child with autism, it is a frightening experience because of sensory overload. The first step and most important is to take away the unpredictability of the dental visit.
Maureen Bennie
Heather Miller-Kuhaneck
Having things around my son's head was agony for him and apparently is common enough. My son didn't jerk around but it was exhausting for him. I used to go very early in the day when he had the most energy.
A slightly modified version of... a brief explanatory letter to explain autism and medical background to the surgeon and others who would be dealing with me after surgery.
Amanda Baggs
The best method for taking the child with autism to the dentist is whatever way one can get them there.
Brent Philpot
Get the first appointment of the day, or the first one after lunch; Establish a friendly relationship with the staff; be appreciative; bring someone else, who can help you watch your child or adult if necessary...
South Carolina Autism Society
Our job as anesthesiologists is to not only safely anesthetize them, but to try to return them to their baseline as quickly as possible. A person with an altered perception of reality will not improve if we further alter their reality.
Louise Kirz
Provides caregivers with a brief synopsis of autism together with specific fecommendations for managing the special needs of these patients in the context of in-patient or out-patient healthcare.
North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System

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