Palliative Care For Children With Comorbid Autism Spectrum Disorders.


Palliative Care For Children With Comorbid Autism Spectrum Disorders.


Williams C; Atmore K




Journal Of Pain And Symptom Management




Identify 3 core aspects of development unique to
patients with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
Describe how developmental differences impact
symptom assessment and pain behaviors in children
with ASD who also have a serious illness.
Develop two unique strategies to appropriately
care for children with autism needing palliative
care services due to comorbid serious illness.
Using a case-based approach, this session will aim to
illustrate the unique aspect of providing palliative
care for children with comorbid autism spectrum disorders
(ASD). ASDs are neurodevelopmental disorders
characterized by social deficits, communication
difficulties, repetitive behaviors, and sensory issues.
The prevalence of autism has increased markedly in
the past several decades. Certain medical conditions
are more common in children with ASDs, including
epilepsy and genetic abnormalities. Additionally,
Vol. 51 No. 2 February 2016 Schedule with Abstracts 375
mortality rates are 3-10 times higher in patients with
ASDs than the general population. With the
increasing prevalence of autism, palliative care teams
are likely to care for patients with ASDs and a comorbid
serious illness.
Because children with autism have profound limitations
in communication and social reciprocity, their
experiences with medical care are unique and can
be challenging. Providing a thorough palliative care
assessment and delivering needed services is often
an immense undertaking that can be quite stressful
for all involved in care. The healthcare experience
for all three stakeholdersdpatient, family, and medical
providersdpresents unique challenges; however,
positive results can be obtained with advanced planning.
The session will also discuss strategies for
providing effective communication and care for children
with autism who have a family member with a
serious illness.
This session will provide concrete strategies that can
enhance care provided to patients with ASDs and a comorbid
serious illness and their families. By recognizing
and addressing the particular needs of
patients with ASDs, palliative care providers can
develop trusting and productive relationships with patients
and families that can allow for delivery of
optimal palliative care. Participants in this session
will learn how to develop an interdisciplinary care
plan that will optimize the healthcare experience for
all involved in the care of patients with autism and
their families in the face of serious illness.


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Citation List Month

March 2016 List


Williams C; Atmore K, “Palliative Care For Children With Comorbid Autism Spectrum Disorders.,” Pediatric Palliative Care Library, accessed June 19, 2024,