This hospital is creating an autism-friendly emergency room

October 9, 2018

An Orlando children's hospital is piloting a new program to reduce stress for children with autism when they visit the emergency room.

Nemours Children's Hospital officials say emergency rooms tend to be overstimulating and can exacerbate symptoms for children with autism.

The program will provide private, quieter waiting areas for families; headphones; eliminate unnecessary loud equipment; and speed up waiting times for medication and tests.

Three research studies are underway to evaluate the pilot. Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, a sister hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, is planning a similar program.

Read more about the Orlando program here.

Read about our ATN Emergency Room study here. It's being used to evaluate the effectiveness of a one-page questionnaire titled, “This Is My Child.” It’s designed to allow a family to provide hospital staff and other healthcare providers with important information about their child’s communication abilities, receptive skills and sensory stressors – all prior to treatment.