Wednesday, April 2, 2014

World Autism Acceptance Day

Nurses need to keep up-to-date with nursing research and evidence-based interventions that are implemented with patients. In light of today being World Autism Acceptance Day, Nurses Who Vaccinate is featuring information concerning patients with autism or autistic spectrum disorders (ASD). Nurses must be strong advocates for children and adolescents with ASD, and this requires knowledge, patience, and time. Here are a few websites, continuing education opportunities, organizations and associations that highlight the importance of nurses understanding the difference of care an autistic patient requires and provide important information.

Caring for Children and Adolescents With Autism Who Require Challenging Procedures (Pediatric Nursing) 
Article features behavioral strategies, holding techniques, and pain management.

"Providing nursing care for children with autism or autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) can be challenging. As part of a larger study of 62 children with autism ages 3-8 years that required difficult procedures, strategies were developed for providing care that incorporated theories and knowledge from the disciplines of nursing, child development, psychology, applied behavior analysis, and pain management. Applications of these strategies are illustrated through the process of a physical exam, phlebotomy, and intravenous (IV) insertion during a health care visit. The nurse can develop a plan of care to achieve the goals of the visit and optimize the quality of the care for the child and family. Interventions presented can be individualized to each child."

Caring for autistic children in emergencies (Contemporary Pediatrics)
Article provides resources for ASD-sensitive care

"The most critical experts to consult regarding the care of a child with ASD are the child's parents or caregivers. They likely have dealt with this and similar situations before. They tend to know what works well with their child and what doesn't. Parents usually know which words, actions, or stimuli calm and help their child and which have the opposite effect. They can also function as an interpreter, informing you of the significance of the child's actions and behaviors, translating what the child is trying to communicate, and helping you to convey your messages to the child. It is well worth taking a few minutes to ask the parents about their experience caring for their child—what works, what doesn't, and how comfortable they are caring for their child."

Environments and autistic spectrum conditions (Nursing Times)
Article educates on  the sensory differences of people with autistic spectrum conditions,  how healthcare settings can overload the senses and  steps nurses can take to reduce service users’ distress

This article highlights the sensory differences and needs of people with ASC, and the impact that failure to understand these differences can have on them and those around them. It outlines nurses’ roles in assessment, planning, intervention and management of the environment.
Five Important Points
~People with autistic spectrum conditions (ASC) may find the sights, sounds, smells and touch sensations of healthcare environments particularly distressing
~Modifications to the environment can help to reduce this distress
~Finding out what affects a person is important
~Nurses can make simple changes, such as altering lighting and closing doors quietly
~Some service users may benefit from deep touch pressure, such as the use of weighted bed coverings

Comparative Effectiveness of Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders (Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality)
A Powerpoint Presentation that is based on a comparative effectiveness review titled, Comparative Effectiveness of Therapies for Children With Autism Spectrum Disorders,that is available online at CERs represent comprehensive systematic reviews of the literature and usually compare two or more types of treatment, such as different drugs, for the same condition. This CER included 159 unique studies.  

10 Tips on How to Communicate with Autistic People (Autismum)
While these issues will vary from person to person this blog features tips written from the perspective as an autistic person. As the author states, "This is just a guide." But it gives great insight to how our patients feel. 

Support ASAN -
Autistic Self Advocacy Network 

The Autistic Self Advocacy Network is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run by and for Autistic people. ASAN’s supporters include Autistic adults and youth, cross-disability advocates, and non-autistic family members, professionals, educators and friends. ASAN was created to provide support and services to individuals on the autism spectrum while working to educate communities and improve public perceptions of autism.

Nurses with an interest in this specialized area of nursing can pursue the title of Certified Developmental Disabilities Nurse offered by the Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association.
An intellectual/developmental disability (IDD) nurse is a person, who by the virtue of special knowledge, training, and experience, is uniquely able to inform, motivate, guide, assist, and care for individuals with IDD.
In this process, it is the primary responsibility of the IDD nurse to be able to recognize which problems are beyond the scope of his/her training, skill, or competency and to be willing and able to refer the individual to other appropriate professional services.
The professional activities of the IDD nurse will, out of necessity, cover a broad range of approaches, techniques, and modalities appropriate for the infinite variety of characteristics that include the lifestyle and developmental levels of individuals with IDD.

Interested in earning this certification and association? You can read more about the qualifications for certification and how to apply for the exam by clicking here.

1 comment:

  1. The article, "10 tips on How to Communicate with Autistic People" was a guest post at Autismum by Steve Summers, an autistic adult who is also an autism parent.