For most children, a trip to the hospital for a medical procedure can cause anxiety, worry, and even fear. For some, even a simple visit to the doctor’s office can stir up the same feelings of dread. Parents know that a simple explanation about what their child can expect during the procedure or office visit can allay a child’s fears substantially. For a child with autism, however, it is not enough to understand what to expect; hospital staff must also be made aware of the child’s needs and behavioral issues in order to respond appropriately. Eve Megargel, a JF&CS Board of Advocates member, is a pioneering advocate on behalf of people with autism. Eve’s work on behalf of her own son, a 22-year-old young man with autism, has helped educate the pediatric medical community about how to listen to and communicate with children and young adults with autism and other communication challenges.
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