Many autistic people do not have any access to healthcare services or they experience significant barriers to navigating the healthcare system. The purpose of this paper is to represent a significant concern in almost every healthcare setting, including specialized doctors and psychotherapists, outpatient medical care, access to preventive treatments (e.g. information on health and hygiene, vaccinations and early diagnostic screenings) and treatments in hospitals for emergency medical care. Therefore, it is necessary to provide professionals with guidelines and knowledge and to establish concepts for the participation of autistic people also with respect to adequate healthcare.
As a doctor and autistic person, the author’s training and personal experiences have provided the author with a unique perspective on this topic. It has also given the author an important opportunity to provide recommendations on ways to improve access to appropriate medical services for autistic individuals, improve communication between healthcare providers and autistic individuals and improve overall experiences within the healthcare and medical setting.
The paper provides information about the shortcoming of the healthcare system for autistic people, problems and barriers to access the healthcare system and for assessment and treatment and offers various suggestions to overcome these restrictions.
This paper is of special value as it is written by a medical doctor who has the diagnosis of ASD herself since she is 27. This combination of professional background on one side and person with ASD on the other side is of special value to permeate the topic.
The author gives many thanks to Herrn Rainer Döhle for translating the manuscript from German to English and thanks to Tanja Sappok and Whitney Brooks for the comprehensive and supportive revision of the manuscript.
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