Healthy Living

Communicating with Those Who Have Autism: A Reminder for Healthcare Professionals

1. People with autism are especially sensitive to stressful situations

First, it’s important to understand that the disorder is a problem with neuron development, which results in difficulty communicating with others and processing sensory input.

When these people are in distress situations, such as in the ER or with severe pain, an otherwise talkative and high-functioning person might have trouble communicating clearly. A notebook and pen can be very helpful in these situations.

Autistic people are especially good at echoing your feelings right back at you. If you can exhibit calmness, it will definitely help rub off on your patient. On the other hand, a bad attitude will only escalate the situation by stressing out your patient even more.

During stress, autistic people can also forget their pronouns while communicating with you. Don't be too surprised if they talk about themselves in the third person, or even refer to themselves as you!