Communication Tips for Success During the Doctor Visit for ASD – Know What You Don't Know!
As parents of children with autism spectrum disorder know that doctor visits can be challenging. During these visits, children often tend to get agitated, which makes it a difficult experience for all involved - the parents, the child and the doctor.
In this blog post, we talk about various communication tips you can use to ensure a successful visit to the doctor.
These tips require active participation from the child as well as the parents and the doctor. We have categorized these tips as – before the visit, during the visit, and after the visit.
Before the Doctor’s Visit:
Prior to the visit, caregivers and/or parents should call the doctor’s or healthcare provider’s office to communicate various accommodations the patient may need during the visit. Parents can inform the staff if there have been any positive or negative experiences previously. This will help the staff in providing a supportive environment. Calling in advance helps avoid any potential triggers for erratic behavior.
During the Doctor’s Visit:
Before the consultation starts, doctors and parents should discuss a backup plan to determine when to take a break or to completely stop a procedure. In severe cases, additional assistance may be put on standby.
Doctors and healthcare providers should know the purpose of the visit and prioritize accordingly. Additionally, if care teams notice an increased measure of anxiety in the child, they should evaluate whether the procedure and its results are critical at that juncture and subsequently discuss with the parents before they decide to continue. Also, a clear explanation should be given to the parents in order to reduce any uncertainty.
A good way of handling children with ASD during consultations is by rewarding for good behavior.
After the Doctor’s Visit:
Staying in touch and coordinating with doctors and healthcare providers is important after the consultation. Following up on phone calls and/or emails to determine if there is any positive or negative feedback is advisable. Also, parents can suggest changes for the next visit based on earlier consultations.
Always remember to appreciate children for their success and their attempts as well.
For more information regarding sensory therapy, cognitive skills, behavioral therapy, developmental disorders, and early intervention, please contact Stepping Stones Center. We emphasize acquiring new and appropriate behaviors, while also working on helping the child achieve developmentally age appropriate milestones through evidence-based practices.