Are you caring for a patient with Autism after CNA training? This developmental disability affects one out of 150 U.S. children each year, so there is a good chance you will need to care for a patient with Autism at some point after your CNA training classes. Before you can do so, however, you must understand what it is, what the signs are, and how to properly care for patients with this disability.
After CNA Training: Autism and it’s Signs
Autism is the name of a developmental disability that:
- Lowers a patient’s communication skills
- Results in poor social skills and interactions
- Cause repetitive behaviors that other might find unusual, such as narrow interests and rocking
The severity of autism varies; some of your Autistic patients after CNA training may have mild signs, while other may be severe. They each will have different ways of reacting to daily life, paying attention, and learning. They may have high mental ability or low.
During CNA training, you will learn Autism typically begins to show signs when a child reaches three years old. If you are working in a daycare center, hospital, or doctor’s office after CNA training, you may witness these signs first hand. Boys are generally more likely to develop autism than girls are, although it can occur in either gender, and typically runs in families.
Autism is a long term disability that can be treated, but is not curable.
Some common signs of Autism include:
- Refusing to make eye contact
- Slow speech development
- Referring to oneself in third person, instead of first
- Inability to understand what others are thinking or feeling
- Reacting to pain, touch, and sound differently
- Dislike of physical affection
- Medical problems, like mental retardation, attention deficit disorder, epilepsy, or brain tumors
Caring for Autistic Patients After CNA Training
Children who develop autism don’t develop speech as quickly as other children might, and this often causes the biggest problems for parents, those who have completed CNA training, teachers, and doctors. There are a few steps you can take to help with this specific problem, however.
- Using picture boards and pictures to communicate
- Using sign language, flash cards, or pointing at object to help them get their point across
- Practicing and learning new words while swinging on a swing
- Singing along with a CD or video
After CNA training, you will find that slower speech development is not the only issue you will have to care for. Other treatment options include:
- Autistic patients may not feel the cold or pain, so it is essential you keep them away from objects or areas that could be dangerous.
- The patient’s parents have most likely developed a strict routine, with the help of the patient’s doctor. Follow this routine. Your Autistic patients will most likely react negatively to change.
- If your patient is on a special diet, most likely free of dairy or wheat, make sure you stick with that diet while they are in your care. Check with the dining staff before you take their food to them to ensure it is correct.
When you are caring for patient with Autism, make sure you do everything you can to understand this disability and know how to care for your patients properly after CNA training.