Using Visuals in the Exam Room

April 28, 2021
Using Visuals in the Exam Room

April is Autism Awareness Month, and this week’s tip comes from the Seaver Autism Center for Research and Treatment.

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by difficulties with social communication and interaction and repetitive patterns of behavior. Individuals with ASD may process information differently and may struggle to express thoughts or feelings about a situation, such as a medical exam. You can support your patients’ ability to feel comfortable in the exam room and to process what is being said by using multimodal presentation of material. Visual schedules let individuals know what to expect. Increasing predictability can increase understanding and compliance while decreasing anxiety.

Tips for Using Visual Schedules:

  1. Have a basic physical exam schedule accessible to parents and children at check-in or prior to annual check ups (such as on your office website) or laminated in each exam room.
  2. Leave room for check boxes so patients can feel a sense of accomplishment.
  3. Include an all done symbol or phrase to indicate completion.
  4. Keep in mind, visual schedules are a great resource and can be used in the exam room and at home for other routines (e.g., morning routine, steps to brushing teeth)
  5. For further information and resources, click here.

Click here for an example schedule >

Click here for more information >