Nursing Care Plan for (NCP) Autism Spectrum Disorder

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This is the nursing care plan for autism spectrum disorder. So autism spectrum disorder or ASD is a developmental and neurological disorder that affects how a person perceives, socializes, communicates and behaves. The term spectrum is used because these patients have a wide range of symptoms that begin in early childhood. It may last through adulthood. While there is no cure for ASD, treatment can be effective in managing symptoms, including the difficulty communicating with others and repetitive behaviors. Patients with ASD do not have physical characteristics that differentiate them from others, but they typically have distant or awkward social behaviors that may make interaction more difficult. So for some nursing considerations, the most important thing when taking care of a patient with autism spectrum disorder is to develop a trusting relationship. We want to assess and educate on the diet and we want to put them on some seizure precautions for safety. So the desired outcome; the patients are going to have optimal ability to communicate needs and have optimal interpersonal relationships. 

So this patient with ASD is going to come in to see us, and they are going to present with some subjective data. So some of the things that are very common with patients on the spectrum. They’re going to have difficulty sleeping insomnia. They're going to have some irritability. They're going to be very irritable. And they are also going to rarely show enjoyment of objects or activity. So, decreased enjoyment. And it doesn't mean that they're not actually enjoying themselves, they're just not going to be able to show it because they process things differently. So some things that we are going to observe as nurses when we're taking care of patients with ASD is we're going to know that they have a failure to make eye contact. Okay. You often find them looking down or away from people when they're talking, they're going to be overly focused on specific topics. 

So if there's someone with ASD or a child and they like dinosaurs, they are going to be obsessed with dinosaurs.That's not necessarily a bad thing, but they're going to be very focused on specific topics. They are also going to have either increased or decreased sensitivity to light noise and touch; and with touch, that also includes temperature. They're going to have a sing-song, characteristic, sing, song, voice, and they're going to have a very detailed memory. They are going to be able to recall everything that happened to them this past week. Word for word, minute for minute. So nursing interventions, what are some things that we can do in order to take care of these patients? Well, first we want to do a nursing assessment. We definitely need to do an assessment, but with this assessment, we want the assessment to be progressive and slow. We need to be mindful that these patients take a little more time to warm up to new people, new surroundings. We want to start with visually inspecting the patient, and then we can get to a physical assessment. As we begin to build a rapport, remember fast movements can cause anxiety and fear. The next thing we want to do is we want to talk to the patient about their interests, especially when they are older. So talk about interest. 

Of course, remember that this again is to evaluate their communication ability. So this is a part of our assessment, but it's also going to develop rapport and trust. Okay? Next thing we want to do is we want to administer any medications that are appropriate and as required. while there are no medications to treat ASD, there may be some that are required to treat some symptoms of ASD, such as anorexia, the inability to focus. So decreased focus, depression, seizures. These can come along with ASD. So it's important to use medications to treat these properly. The next thing is we want to review their diet. So let's look at their diet because these patients with ASD tend to have special considerations. Maybe they like a certain shape or for a certain color of food. They like their food to be organized a certain way on the table. Maybe there's one particular food that they like. We want to make sure that any aversions that they have that are food based on color, shape, or texture, that we can combat that and accommodate the patient. We want to offer creative presentations, ideas, and ways to prepare foods that may make them more interesting or palatable for the patients. And finally, we want to sit down and make eye contact with the patients. So sit down at the patient's level. Remember patients may not make eye contact, but they do feel apprehensive about others over them. Being at eye level helps ease their anxiety and build trust. And that's like the number one thing with these patients is we want to build trust. 

They're gonna always remember how you made them feel. Let's look at the key points. So remember ASD is just a neurological disorder that affects how a person perceives, how they socialize, how they communicate and behave. Some of the subjective data that we're going to get is they may have some difficulty sleeping. They may be irritable. And the things that we are going to observe as nurses is we're going to hear that characteristic sing-song voice. They're going to have a failure to make eye contact. They're going to have a very detailed memory. The number one thing we want to do with these patients is we want to build trust. That is number one, in any interaction with the patient, with ASD. We also want to make sure that we evaluate the communication abilities and develop that rapport. We also want to review their diet, remembering that reviewing the diet and eating habits and recommending foods and food presentations will make it easier for the patient to choose those snacks. We love you guys; go out and be your best self today. And, as always, happy nursing.

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