April 19th: Autism-friendly practice

Image: Eric (last name unknown) (wikicommons)

April is World Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month and this month’s paper explores the perspectives and experiences of radiographers/medical radiation technologists regarding MRI scanning of autistic individuals. Autism is part of the spectrum of neurodiversity that includes ADHD, dyslexia, dyspraxia, learning disabilities and more.

We will discuss how neurodiversity impacts patient access and ability in terms of imaging and radiation therapy, and how to better support your neurodiverse patients and colleagues.

Stogiannos et al. Autism-friendly MRI: Improving radiography practice in the UK, a survey of radiographer practitioners. Radiography. 2021.

Themes:

  1. How might the process of imaging or radiotherapy be challenging for autistic individuals?
  2. 74% of respondents said the most helpful aspect was involving carers – what other practical ways can we improve the patient experience?
  3. Communication was identified as a key aspect of care. What does this look like in practice and how might we improve?
  4. The study identified limited practitioner awareness of guidelines and policies as well as a lack of education. What kind of education do you have in this area? Are you aware of local or national guidance?

Please also visit this month’s blog by Dr. Christina MalamateniouAutism friendly MRI: Providing more accessible services, always


Recommended reading/resources:

A Beginner’s Guide to Neurodiversity – Learning Disability Today (website)

Episode 25, Dr. Ben Potts – Neurodiversity – RadChat Podcast (audio)

A neurodivergent guide to your radiation treatmentsNoncompliant – the podcast (audio and transcript)


Times: Vancouver 1pm (19th) , Edmonton 2pm (19th), Toronto 4pm (19th), London 9pm (19th), Sydney & Brisbane 6am (20th), Auckland 8am (20th)

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