Most children have their doubts about doctors, but for parents of autistic children, the challenge of a smooth and successful GP appointment is even harder. Why Home Doctors are Great for Children With Autism.
Regular doctor’s appointments are essential for children with autism spectrum disorder; not only do doctors check for illnesses, they also provide referrals to essential specialists like dieticians and physiotherapists. But no matter how important seeing a doctor is, some autistic children just can’t brave the doctor’s office.
That’s why home doctor visits can be a great solution for children with autism. Here are three reasons to consider a house call next time your child has a non-emergency medical complaint.
Your Child Won’t Get Sensory Overload
Sensory overload is a particularly common and unpleasant problem for autistic children. When the senses get too much different input at once, many children with autism are triggered into a state irritability, stress, and fear. Unfortunately, sensory overload is a common occurrence at the doctor’s office.
Doctor’s offices often use bright, fluorescent strip lights, which are potentially distracting and even painful for children with autism. On top of that, there’s the noise of the waiting room—conversations, crying children, buzzers, and music can all cause distress to someone experiencing sensory overload.
When your child is treated in their own home by a house call doctor, they won’t have to deal with all this extra sensory input. There won’t be dozens of other patients around generating noise, and your child will already be used to the lighting in your house. This significantly reduces the chances of sensory overload, helping your child stay calm through their examination.
You Can Keep Comforts to Hand
What does your child take comfort in? Most children with autism spectrum disorder have a range of things that can calm them in times of distress to prevent a meltdown. For some children, these comforts are objects like a stuffed toy or chew bracelet. For others, a favourite song or a cherished sibling may be the only things that will keep them calm.
Unfortunately, it’s not always possible to bring these comforts to a doctor’s office. You wouldn’t be able to set up a speaker in the examination room, for example, and some doctors may consider an old stuffed toy to be a hygiene issue.
When you’re at home, you’ll have all your child’s comforts to hand if you need them. If your child becomes stressed by the unfamiliar doctor and medical examination, you can grab their chew bracelet or call their sibling into the room in just seconds. Such comforts can be the difference between a
You Can Stick to Your Child’s Routine
Routines tend to be very important for children on the autism spectrum. Everyday occurrences that are effortless for neurotypical children can feel like chaos to an autistic child, and routine helps turn that chaos into order. It also plays into the natural enjoyment many autistic children get from repetitive actions. All in all, routine reduces stress and prevents meltdowns.
As a result, taking your child out of their normal schedule to attend a doctor’s appointment can be highly distressing. One small change to a routine can throw the rest of the day off course, upset your child, and set back progress you’ve been making with their daily happiness.
The great thing about home doctors is that they work after hours. That means you can get the bulk of your child’s daily routine out of the way before they see a doctor. While any doctor’s appointment will interfere with your child’s day to some degree, they’re much more likely to accept this change if it doesn’t affect any of their most important rituals like attending school or eating dinner at a specific time.
If an after hours home doctor sounds like the right solution for you’re autistic child, try Hello Home Doctor. Our fully-qualified doctors work seven days a week and have experience treating patients from all walks of life.