Emergencies and Resources to Help

March 19, 2012 by - Leave your thoughts

Emergencies and Resources to Help
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It has been a really long weekend.  A very close relative had a significant medical emergency this week.  The emergency involved intubation, an air ambulance (that is helicopter), and many many procedures.   With the intubation, there was a temporary loss of speech which made communication difficult to say the least.  This was a time that the patient (my relative) needed communication most, yet there were multiple barriers to effective communication (no speech sounds, tubes in the mouth obscuring lip movement, noise, etc..).  Although the hospital staff was amazingly wonderful, communication was not their priority.  Lucky, for us, I just happened to have some AAC apps on my iPhone.  At one point, the AAC app was literally a lifesaver (thanks so much to Verbally for providing  an easy way to communicate complex questions, reminders, and comments).

As I was waiting around for many hours, texting Carole, we started thinking about and looking for AAC and visual support resources for health, medical, and emergency situations.  This family emergency reminded us to make sure there are medical resources for our  students, their families, and community healthcare professionals.  Even though  emergencies can not be part of the ‘plan’ or ‘schedule’, we can help ensure that everyone has access to a  foundation of healthcare knowledge and understanding.  Since our topic of the month/video of the week  is about ‘visual schedules’,  we were reminded that ’emergencies’ are just one more reason to teach the concept of  ‘change of schedule’. We certainly learned  a lot about ‘change in schedule’ this weekend.

Here are some of the excellent free resources that we found.

Effective Communication in Children’s Hospitals: Handbook of resources for Parents, Patients, and Practitioners (Central Coast Children’s Foundation Augmentative Communication Inc. Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Communication Enhancement (AAC- RERC)

Resources for Healthcare Professionals, Schools, and Professionals (Widgit-Healthcare and Safety)- Communication Passport, Diabetes Resources, Hospital Resources, Green Cross Code, & United Nations- How Children of the World Should be Treated  

Blood Draw Tool Kits (Autism Speaks)

Blood Draw Learning Kit- BeeVisuals  

Dental Toolkit Dental Professionals Tool Kit (Autism Speaks)

Vocabulary Associated with Medical Procedures (Augmentative and Alternative Communication Centers)

Autism and the Emergency Room (Center for Autism and Related Disabilities-UM-NSU CARD)

AAC Body Parts & Physical Pain (PRC)

 5 Free Apps  

 Autism Help 4 Me: Emergency Scale– A 5 point picture scale that indicates emotional and/or physical state.  Each of the 5 points link to a picture and text explaining the level of distress.  Photos, text, and audio is fully customizable.

  Small Talk Pain Scale– A 6 point picture pain scale with options to show body part, location and pain type.  A male or female voice option is available.

  Small Talk Intensive Care– provides a picture-based vocabulary of phrases that patients can use to communicate their needs and feelings

  Verbally– Comprehensive AAC text-based app with word prediction.

  Phrase Board– an AAC app designed for people unable to speak. Pain scales, drawing, and other customizable options available.


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This post was written by Robin Parker

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