Working with children as an in-home nurse always requires a high level of compassion and patience. However, if you’re assisting a client with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), you’ll need to take extra steps to develop a strong rapport. Affecting about one in 59 children, this wide-ranging group of conditions can create a variety of behavioral, communication, and social challenges for the client-caregiver relationship. If you’re a pediatric nurse who’s starting a position with youth that have autism, here are five tips that can help you build a trusting bond with your client.
3 Solutions for Smooth Introductions Between Children With Autism & In-Home Nurses
1. Reduce Stimuli
Many children with ASD find it difficult to focus or remain calm in environments with excessive sensory stimuli. As such, you should arrange to meet your client in a space that’s familiar to the child—such as their home—during a time when there aren’t many distractions. In addition to meeting in a peaceful environment, you should also make an effort to present yourself in a way that isn’t overstimulating. For example, avoid wearing jewelry or strong scents.
2. Learn About the Client
If possible, schedule a meeting with the parents where the child is not present. This initial discussion will allow you to gain specific details on what type of care is required, such as the distribution of medications or speech therapy. You’ll also have the opportunity to find out how the child communicates and builds trust, as well as what interactions they may have trouble responding to.
3. Adapt Your Communication Style
ASD can impact communication skills in many different ways. For example, some children may be strictly non-verbal, while others may be unable to understand specific vocal tones. Recognize these needs early on so that you can converse to your client in ways that are clear and comfortable for them.
Kids with autism might also talk about topics in heavy detail or in specific rhythmic patterns. When they speak, practice patience and careful listening to demonstrate that you hear, understand, and respect their communication.
If you’re an in-home nurse looking for a new role, contact J&D Ultracare. Serving the Hudson Valley and the Bronx, NY, this provider connects local families with first-rate pediatric caregivers. Committed to the success of their employees, this group offers comprehensive resources for in-home nurses, including training programs and competitive pay, as well as medical, dental, and retirement benefits. To learn more about their pediatric home care jobs and hiring opportunities, visit this nursing staff agency online or call (845) 357-4500.