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Hospital “Sensory Carts” Ease Young ASD Patients’ Anxiety

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are 20 percent more likely to be hospitalized for illness and injury than other children.  For these kids, a hospital stay can cause fear and uncertainty because the experience is a departure from their everyday routine.  It creates behavioral challenges for parents and medical staff that require special care and attention.

In response, hospitals across the country are setting up “sensory carts,” portable stations equipped with such calm-inducing items as bubble tubes, aromatherapy diffusers, and a projector to display relaxing images on the wall.

The cart can also play music to further ease young ASD patients’ anxiety, making them more receptive to care and treatment among unfamiliar settings, sights, sounds, and people, and making it easier for them to communicate their feelings. 

Almost all children, not just those with special needs, can benefit from the availability of a sensory cart.  If your child is facing a hospital stay, contact your medical facility to inquire about availability or to request that a cart be provided.

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