Significant changes in how autistic people with a learning disability access and experience healthcare can and should be informed by stakeholders, including the patient and their family. This article, published by the University of Hertfordshire, provides different examples and suggestions from experts by parental experience.
Small differences can lead to big changes which can escalate if carried out by many people on numerous occasions. Big changes in how autistic people with a learning disability access and experience healthcare can and should be informed by stakeholders, including the patient and their family.
Blair et al identified the following simple steps:
- Take time to be with the person and their families to understand their lived experiences.
- Pick up not only on what is said, but also what is not said, and avoid hurrying the interaction.
It is essential to remember that every interaction counts and each contact matters. Health professionals only spend a fraction of time with a person, so it is vital to gain as much insight as possible from the person and those who know them best, and to consider all that is being relayed, verbally and non-verbally. In doing so, healthcare practitioners can refocus how they interpret what they see and develop their understanding that what is seen superficially is not all that there is.