Dr. Amy Esler Discusses Autism Emergency Room Care Toolkit for Children

Parents all around are struggling to understand the best ways to take care of their children with autism because there are no open inpatient appointments available. Therefore, many of these families are turning to the emergency department’s services at local hospitals to obtain their needed care. Jacqueline Hunter is one of those parents that had to visit the emergency room to get care for her daughter, Tyana, who has autism. Amy Esler, PhD, LP, Associate Professor in the Division of Clinical Behavioral Neuroscience at the University of Minnesota, is one of the psychologists that was able to take care of Tyana. Dr. Esler discussed how, despite the emergency room’s best efforts to provide supportive care to Tyana, it’s not an environment conducive to the situational support needed to address the symptoms and acute situation that initiated the emergency room visit in the first place. Emergency rooms can be loud, chaotic, and unpredictable, resulting in an overstimulating environment that could make the situation worse. Instead, an ideal system would reduce appointment wait times and increase access to psychologists and psychiatrists that specialize in autism across the lifespan. 
Dr. Esler has worked with the University of Minnesota to develop an autism hospital tool kit, providing tools and resources necessary to better support autistic patients in emergency rooms. To read the full article and more about the journey Jacqueline Hunter and her daughter faced along with the Dr. Esler’s pioneering work, follow this link