Caring for children and adolescents with autism who require challenging procedures

Pediatr Nurs. 2002 Nov-Dec;28(6):555-62.


Providing nursing care for children with autism or autistic spectrum disorders (ASD) can be challenging. As part of a larger study of 62 children with autism ages 3-8 years (Coplan et al., 2001; Levy et al., 2001) that required difficult procedures, strategies were developed for providing care that incorporated theories and knowledge from the disciplines of nursing, child development, psychology, applied behavior analysis, and pain management. Applications of these strategies are illustrated through the process of a physical exam, phlebotomy, and intravenous (IV) insertion during a health care visit. The nurse can develop a plan of care to achieve the goals of the visit and optimize the quality of the care for the child and family. Interventions presented can be individualized to each child.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior
  • Autistic Disorder / nursing*
  • Autistic Disorder / psychology
  • Behavior Therapy / methods*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / adverse effects
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / nursing*
  • Catheterization, Peripheral / psychology
  • Child
  • Child Behavior
  • Humans
  • Nursing Assessment
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Pediatric Nursing / methods*
  • Phlebotomy / adverse effects
  • Phlebotomy / nursing*
  • Phlebotomy / psychology
  • Physical Examination / adverse effects
  • Physical Examination / nursing*
  • Physical Examination / psychology
  • Psychology, Adolescent
  • Psychology, Child
  • Reinforcement, Psychology