State: Cincinnati, OH
Facility:Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – Liberty Campus
Matthew is a remarkable boy who adapted well on the day of his surgery. Matthew was diagnosed with autism at a very young age, and has had to endure many social, learning and health care challenges. He is very bright, but has limited communication and social skills, sensory integration issues, and is easily upset with changes to his routine. His mom brought him to Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center – Liberty Campus for Outpatient Surgery. They attended a pre-op orientation visit prior to his procedure in order to help him adjust him to his new surroundings and the medical equipment. Due to the severity of his autism, adjusting to the new environment was difficult. For example, the automatic doors at the entrance alarmed him, and he became agitated and anxious when slight attempts were made to comfort him. In fact, he tried to run away many times. Because of his distressed state, we limited the pre-op orientation and instead played with alphabet letters which seemed to calm him. Thus, an extensive Care Plan was developed on how to best approach and care for Matthew on his upcoming surgery. Reports and records from his previous health care visits indicated a very stressful experience for him and his family. Needless to say, the staff and his Matthew’s parents were expecting a challenge when he returned to the hospital for his procedure. They were all pleasantly surprised on how he courageously entered the building without any resistance and marched to the patient prep room without any trouble. He allowed medical staff in his room and allowed the nurse to use the stethoscope on him – all big steps for Matthew! This was an encouraging experience for Matthew. His limited understanding of medical procedures makes it extra complicated for him to comprehend his health care issues. Physical exams are extremely difficult because of his sensory issues. And his behavior is unpredictable due to his challenges with his neurodevelopment disorder. But despite all of this, Matthew is true example of a Patient HERO. He bravely embraced this new situation and courageously faced his fears.