(October 15, 2014) - At Capital Health Medical Center in Hopewell Township, N.J., they understand just how traumatic a trip to the ER can be for an individual with autism. Staff has undergone months of training to learn how to make the hospital atmosphere a more welcoming and sensory-friendly place for patients on the spectrum.
The hospital’s pediatric department is the first to become autism-friendly then the plan is to expand it to its adult emergency department. A parent focus group was also brought in to refine the program.
“For patients with autism and for their families or caregivers, this can be a nightmare experience,” Dr. Olga Goldfarb, director of the Autism Program at Capital Health’s Institute for Neurosciences told NJ.com. “They have problems interacting and approaching other people. It can be very scary for those with autism.”