Treatment and Care to Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders in Community Health Centers by Jackie Marquette, PhD

On October 9, 2009, 10:56 pm

A hospital emergency room or clinical setting can be frightening for individuals with autism. Community Health Centers (CHCs) provide services to the uninsured and those covered by Medicaid and Medicare. Often individuals with autism seek specialty and emergency healthcare at CHCs. An increased awareness among the medical staff in CHCs is needed regarding autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and the characteristics and challenges individuals with autism face daily. Approaches are offered to holistic nurses that diminish traumatic experiences in wellness visits and crisis situations, and instead create an atmosphere of respect, acceptance, and supports that positively impact the quality of care for individuals with autism. The recommendations offered in this article are drawn from the Capability and Independence Scale (CAIS)ᄅ where ASD and quality of life were studied.

Jackie Marquette, PhD is an expert in transition assessment, consultant, independent scholar, and author of five books. She has published in journals and writes a monthly newsletter. She created and validated the Capability and Independence Scale (CAISᄅ). The CAISᄅ protocol acknowledges the challenges a teen or young adult with ASD faces daily and offers broad supports that become a strong connecting link to capability and quality of life. Jackie's work is in preventing isolation and crises and promoting capability and quality of life outcomes in youth with ASD. She has PhD from University of Louisville and studied how youth with ASD overcame challenges with broad supports that led to individualized quality of life outcomes. Lastly, Jackie has firsthand knowledge as she has a 32-year-old autistic son who lives in independent assisted living.

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