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Educating the Emergency Department

Cartoon rendering of an ambulance shown from the side.Advocating for Yourself or Your Family Member with Autism

    • If possible, provide your local hospital with information about your autism before an emergency arises.
    • Provide information on:
      • The best way to communicate,
      • Sensory issues,
      • How well you tolerate long waits,
      • If you need a quiet environment,
      • Ways to help you remain calm,
      • Any fears or anxieties, and
      • If you want someone (a family member or caregiver) to remain with you.

Share Information in Advance of Going to the Emergency Department

    • Ask your primary care or specialist doctors to share your electronic records.
    • Complete the questionnaire (provided below) and give it to the hospital in advance of a potential visit to the emergency department.
    • These ways present opportunities to empower individuals with autism, their loved ones, and/or caregivers to:
      • Optimize care in the emergency department.
      • Educate health care providers on the nuances of their condition.
      • Set expectations for the type of treatment to be provided.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or info@PAautism.org. ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.