I have long wanted to write a book for the medical community about how to deal with patients with autism. Our normal experiences with medical personnel as the twins were growing up, were less than admirable. Autism wasn’t known about as much as it is now. And I’m happy to report, after our experiences last Wednesday, that I have come up with the perfect formula for successfully treating a patient with autism.
- Order up a huge snowstorm. If you do that, the hospital will be overstaffed and there will be a minimum amount of patients because most of them will call in and reschedule their procedure. Because we were there when hardly anyone else was, Isaiah had plenty of nurses and attention.
- Check into a cozy hotel. Because of the snowstorm we drove to Fort Wayne the night before so we wouldn’t be unable to get there for the procedure. Isaiah had worked himself up quite a bit, and delaying this would not have served him well. So we got to spend a “bonding” night together at a local hotel. Now, Isaiah is very familiar with staying at hotels because we travel a lot. For regular kids with autism not accustomed to travel, it would have been very stressful. It was actually stress-reducing for us because we didn’t have to rush around in the snow (we live about 45 minutes away from the hospital and the hotel was only about five minutes away).
- Be prepared for blood-curdling screams. Because the room where they prepped Isaiah was almost empty, his howls when they put in the I.V. only scared about 1.5 patients. I checked, and no one ran away in terror, so that’s good. Plus, he had plenty of nurses to comfort him once the I.V. went in. He was spoiled big time because they were over-staffed.
- Let the patient take lots of pictures of surgeons and doctors. Because it was a slow snow day, the doctors were very laid back and allowed us to stay with Isaiah in the procedure room until he was asleep! That never happens, as you know. They also took time to pose for pictures. They got to know Isaiah as a person. That can’t always happen in a busy hospital.
- Profusely thank all the nurses. In recovery Isaiah had six or seven nurses paying attention to him. He thanked each and every one. It was precious and he was the rock star of the day.
As you can see, having your offspring with autism treated well, simply takes ordering up a mega-snowstorm from the weather guy or gal. No biggie. You can handle that. After all, you’re a parent with autism — you’re accustomed to serving up miracles.