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Thursday, May 30, 2024

Best Practices for Health Care

 In The Politics of Autism, I discuss the day-to-day challenges facing autistic people and their familiesHealth problems are prominent among them. 

Kinga Borondy at Gannett:

A bill pending before the Massachusetts Legislature would establish best-practices standards around treatment of patients on the autism spectrum or those with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

“Terrible things can happen to people with autism or those who are intellectually developmentally delayed while they are in medical settings,” said Maura Sullivan, executive director of The Arc of Massachusetts. “They have been restrained, kept in isolation, suffered medical trauma.”

The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Sean Garballey, D-Medford, and Sen. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester, would offer training to all patient-facing staff, from doctors and nurses to custodians and security officers, on recognizing and adjusting to the challenges presented when treating and interacting with intellectually divergent patients.

The Arc already offers the training to young medical professionals through its Operation House Call program, which was launched in 1991 and uses a network of volunteer families. The program has been integrated into the Tufts School of Medicine and the Simmons School of Health Science, and has expanded to Yale School of Nursing, UMass Chan Medical School and Harvard Medical School.

The bill would set standards for treatment in Massachusetts as well as establish a mandatory training program for all practitioners, with continuing education credits for completing the course.