How to Help

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Words: 349

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Category: Societal Issues

Date Submitted: 11/18/2012 05:57 PM

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Autism can be stressful not only for the child/person who has it, but also for the caregiver. Children with autism have severe anxiety when they are taken out of their usual routine. They can become aggressive when stressed. This is especially true when it comes time for a doctor's appointment. The child is stressed, the caregiver is stressed and the medical workers are also a little stressed.

There are a few things that the caregiver can do to help ease the child's anxiety. Firstly, please inform the doctor that you have an autistic child so they can make the necessary arrangements. Secondly, the caregiver should tell the child long before the appointment and remind them frequently of the upcoming doctor appointment. Flashcards can be used so the child will know some of the objects they may see in the doctor's office. Even playing doctor can help the child feel more at ease. When coming to the doctors it would be helpful to have all the paperwork in order and to bring along some of the child's favorite toys. This may make them feel more comfortable because something is familiar.

As a medical provider, there are some changes that need to be done before the autistic child's visit. Firstly, schedule their appointment for either the first or last of the day. Autistic children tend to take extra time. A separate waiting room would be ideal for the child and caregiver. Autistic children do not like crowds, so a quiet room would help with the child's anxiety. Try to see the child quickly after they arrive, this will also help minimize their anxiety. When talking to the child, so not use an overly loud voice and speak at a slower rate. Try to make the patient as comfortable as possible. There is a chance that the child may become aggressive so it would be a good idea to have extra staff on hand to help in case this occurs.

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