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Training in Autism Friendly Protocols Help to Improve ER Care

“So often practitioners misconstrue behavior of patients with autism and do not realize the behaviors they exhibit are not maladaptive but rather those that characterize the condition, and this leads to poor outcomes,” says Dr. Arvind Venkat, vice chair of the department of emergency medicine at Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh and co-author of the “Assess Communicate Treat for Autism (ACT)” training manual along with Joann Migyanka, a former teacher of children with autism and associate professor of special education at Indiana University and now autism consultant; Jeffrey Fratangeli, director of program evaluation and accreditation in the College of Education and Educational Technology at IUP; and Susan Glor-Scheib, professor in IUP’s special education and clinical services department.

“It’s time for those of us in the general health care system to get prepared,” says Venkat, noting that ACT recommends care delivery that will result in the best experience and outcome for the patient and his/her family members.


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