Posted by: Betsy Closs
For most children, a trip to the hospital for a medical procedure can cause anxiety, worry, and even fear. For some, even a simple visit to the doctor’s office can stir up the same feelings of dread. Parents know that a simple explanation about what their child can expect during the procedure or office visit can allay a child’s fears substantially. For a child with autism, however, it is not enough to understand what to expect; hospital staff must also be made aware of the child’s needs and behavioral issues in order to respond appropriately. Eve Megargel, a JF&CS Board of Advocates member, is a pioneering advocate on behalf of people with autism. Eve’s work on behalf of her own son, a 22-year-old young man with autism, has helped educate the pediatric medical community about how to listen to and communicate with children and young adults with autism and other communication challenges.
Read more about Eve’s own personal experience and challenges dealing with hospital staff during her son’s medical procedure in Autism and Hospitals: A Difficult Match, an article originally published by Academic Pediatrics.
Betsy Closs is the Director for Services for People with Disabilities at Jewish Family & Children’s Service. She has worked in the field of disabilities for more than twenty years, in both day and residential services as well as quality improvement. She was the director of the MA Governor’s Commission on Mental Retardation before joining the staff at JF&CS in 2002. Betsy has degrees from Vassar and Harvard in addition to her social work degree from Simmons. She has two young adult children.