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Why I'm Educating Doctors and Nurses About Autism

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I read yet another post on Facebook today written by an adult from the autism community about her anger and frustration after a doctor’s appointment. It was another case of someone defending her autism to a medical professional who knows little, if anything about autism. She was treated as if she was a liar or delusional. The comments which followed only echoed the same or similar experiences.  One after another, dozens of people on the spectrum knew exactly what she was talking about. And parents of children on the spectrum joined in the thread with yet more of the same.

This is a worldwide problem.

Too often, doctors, nurses and all healthcare providers lack knowledge of autism, how it truly affects the individual, and how to best communicate with this population.  In a survey of over 900 adult healthcare providers, the vast majority reported that they lacked the adequate training to care for the autism spectrum disorder population. That is only the tip of the iceberg.

I am autistic. I’m also a medical professional with over 30 years’ experience. I am working hard to bridge this gap between the two sides. I combined my autism with my healthcare knowledge to write “The Complete Guide to Autism & Healthcare.” I’m on a global mission to give all healthcare providers the tools necessary to best care for all on the autism spectrum.

Time is of the essence. This cannot wait another second. Just as we healthcare providers must know about diabetes, high blood pressure, and endless other conditions, so too must we possess knowledge about autism. With 1 in every 68 children being diagnosed on the autism spectrum, and millions of autistic adults, this unique population deserves quality care like everyone else. Without this knowledge, those on the autism spectrum may develop serious illness, and yes, even die from lack of understanding. We are begging for your support.

Originally published: March 27, 2018
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