New COVID-19 vaccine clinic Autistics, other ND’s

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ASPartOfMe
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25 Jun 2021, 8:12 am

UC Davis Health

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The UC Davis MIND Institute has launched a new COVID-19 vaccine clinic, custom-designed for individuals with autism, Down syndrome, fragile X syndrome and other neurodevelopmental conditions.

The typical COVID-19 vaccine clinic – often a large, noisy space – can be overwhelming for children with these conditions, who often face anxiety and challenges with sensory overload. The new MIND Institute clinic offers the opposite experience.

“This clinic really focuses on quality rather than quantity,” explained Scott Akins, director of UC Davis Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics and director of clinical programs at the MIND Institute. “We want to provide an inclusive, supportive experience for families, so we’re vaccinating three families per hour, which allows us to have three quiet rooms, an uncrowded waiting area and staff fully dedicated to each patient.”

The COVID-19 clinic is open one day per week (Thursday or Friday), from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. It’s available for all individuals with neurodevelopmental conditions and their family members, ages 12 and older, regardless of health care provider or insurance status.

The clinic is being funded in part through a $68,000 grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to the MIND Institute’s Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities. It’s unique because child life specialists, trained in helping children with neurodevelopmental conditions cope with medical procedures, are involved at every step of the vaccination process.

She and her colleagues contact the family of each patient who has an appointment beforehand to find out what the child’s needs and interests are. They also share information about what to expect, so that there are no surprises.

“We develop an individualized coping plan with the family ahead of their arrival,” explained Veronica Tuss, another child life specialist at the MIND Institute. “We provide preparation materials such as a social story, which is a step-by-step description, with photos, of what to expect at each stage of the appointment, starting in the parking lot.

Patients receive the COVID-19 vaccine in a room equipped with a comfortable chair and a large sensory machine that contains a calming tube of bubbles and can utilize lights, aromatherapy and a projector that displays images on the ceiling. Other sensory items available include squeeze balls and pop-it toys, and a big selection of unique bandages shaped like doughnuts, tacos, ninjas and more.

After being vaccinated, patients spend a 15-minute observation period in a quiet room. “This area is really important for our patients,” noted Akins. “Many children are dysregulated immediately after a blood draw or a vaccine.”

Child life specialists set the room up specifically to cater to each patient’s interests. “One recent patient was into art, so we had drawing supplies all set up for her and ready to go, and she colored the whole time,” said Roseborough.

Video games are also available, which was great news for 13-year-old Freddie Miller, who received his first Pfizer shot last week.

“Many families asked the question, ‘Have other individuals with autism or other neurodevelopmental disabilities had this vaccine and is this vaccine safe for people with my healthcare condition?’” said Akins. “That was a really common concern, and now six months into vaccinating, we do know that is it safe for all individuals, including those with autism and other neurodevelopmental disabilities”.

The problems I see is there is nothing for adults and no way for an individual person to make an appointment.


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Professionally Identified and joined WP August 26, 2013
DSM 5: Autism Spectrum Disorder, DSM IV: Aspergers Moderate Severity.

“My autism is not a superpower. It also isn’t some kind of god-forsaken, endless fountain of suffering inflicted on my family. It’s just part of who I am as a person”. - Sara Luterman


rowan_nichol
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25 Jun 2021, 4:42 pm

C ****** Humour on.

...But can you be sure that the vaccine wont make the youngster NT ?...


C ******Humour Off