Purpose: This article explores the challenges that patients with autistic spectrum disorders (ASDs) face when hospitalized and provides assessment strategies and plan-of-care suggestions for nursing caregivers. Conclusions: With a high prevalence rate of medical comorbidities among this population, such as gastrointestinal complaints and seizures, nurses are likely to care for hospitalized patients with an ASD. Practice Implications: For a child with an ASD, hospitalization can be an overwhelming sensory and cognitive experience. Nurses equipped with an understanding of the unique needs of a child with ASD can tailor the plan of care to reduce patient and family anxiety, optimize treatment goals, and reduce the stress of hospitalization.
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