Researchers Publish Paper Outlining Challenges of Covid-19 Pandemic for People with Autism
In a recently published paper, researchers at the University of Miami outlined the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic for children and adults with autism and their families, outlining what health care providers should know to ensure appropriate care for everyone.
In a university news release, the paper’s lead author, Dr. Adrien Eshraghi, said he and his colleagues objective is to “define the challenges these patients face in a pandemic like this, so physicians, caregivers and the overall health system can better anticipate and meet the needs of these particular patients.”
Eshraghi explained that environments such as emergency rooms can be overwhelming and overstimulating for many people with autism due to heightened sensitivity to light and sound. Eshraghi recommended training ER staff to recognize signs of autism, and understand the best ways of managing those patients.
If a child with autism continually removed their mask, parents and children should wait in the exam room, rather than the waiting room, Eshraghi and his colleagues suggested in the paper. Parents should also be given additional masks to keep themselves, their children, and providers safe.
The authors also acknowledged the shortage of telehealth services geared specifically towards people on the autism spectrum. According to a report by Medicine Net.com, the letter from Eshraghi and his colleagues outlining the pandemic challenges was published recently in The Lancet Psychiatry journal.