Development and evaluation of educational materials for pre-hospital and emergency department personnel on the care of patients with autism spectrum disorder

J Autism Dev Disord. 2014 May;44(5):1252-9. doi: 10.1007/s10803-013-1962-0.


With the rising prevalence of patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), there has been an increase in the acute presentation of these individuals to the general health care system. Emergency medical services and emergency department personnel commonly address the health care needs of patients with ASD at times of crisis. Unfortunately, there is little education provided to front-line emergency medical technicians, paramedics and emergency nurses on the characteristics of ASD and how these characteristics can create challenges for individuals with ASD and their health care providers in the pre-hospital and emergency department settings. This paper describes the development of educational materials on ASD and the results of training of emergency medical services and emergency department personnel.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / complications
  • Child Development Disorders, Pervasive / psychology*
  • Emergency Medical Technicians / education*
  • Emergency Service, Hospital*
  • Emergency Treatment*
  • Female
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Humans
  • Inservice Training / organization & administration*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Workforce
  • Young Adult