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Physician "was unaware that autism even affects adults”... REALLY?

I find it totally unacceptable that any practicing physician could “indicate that he was unaware that autism even affects adults. He stated that knowing how to care for people with autism does not concern him, as he doesn’t treat children.”

And, I find it equally unacceptable that “77 percent [of physicians participating in the study] rated their ability to care for someone with autism as poor or fair. What’s more, they seemed unaware of how many adults with autism were in their care. For example, about 2 percent of the respondents said they had more than 10 adults with autism in their clinics, when in fact about half of the providers were treating that many.”

These are just two of the dramatic findings in a new study in which researchers surveyed healthcare workers who are part of Kaiser Permanente, a managed healthcare provider in Northern California. Sadly, these doctors, nurses and social workers were among those available to the adults with autism who were found to have health complications.

The study results paint a bleak picture of medical care for adults with autism. But, there is something that can be DONE right NOW to reduce the barriers to proper, needs-conscious medical treatment of adults with autism. It’s called ICE4Autism.

ICE4Autism is the ONLY autism-specific in case of emergency mobile app. It stores information about a person’s unique needs, sensitivities, behaviors, allergies, medications, providers, insurance and emergency contacts directly on their iPhone or iPad (often the very same device they use to communicate with).

The app provides a platform for individuals with autism to provide emergency and general medical personnel with specific details about how they communicate and how they want and need to be communicated with; whether they have any sensory issues and how they react when over-stimulated; whether they exhibit any self-stimulating, aggressive or other behaviors that may be misinterpreted if unexplained; and how best to treat them in order to reduce their anxiety and improve medical outcomes. Access to this information as part of the physician/patient interaction can clarify both partners’ positions and vastly improves communication in a completely stress-free manner.

Dr. Maria Massolo, research project manager for Kaiser’s Division of Research, who presented the study findings at the 2015 International Meeting for Autism Research in Salt Lake City, Utah this past Saturday, concluded her presentation on an upbeat note. She suggested that practitioners expressed interest in learning about people with autism and how to care for them. She added that she and her team are working to establish training opportunities. They plan to study the transition from pediatric to adult healthcare in hopes of identifying strategies that would lead to better medical care for adults on the spectrum.

But why wait! There is an easy, highly cost-effective, efficient and readily available “strategy” available RIGHT NOW! If both the doctors and the individuals with autism (and their families) use the ICE4Autism mobile app, everyone involved will be a lot better off. The doctors and medical staff will have the information they need to provide more medically sound, needs-conscious and aware treatment. And the patients with autism will get the quality of care they need and deserve based on an understanding of their unique and specific needs.

ICE4Autism is available on the App Store for a one-time cost of only $1.99.

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