Collaborative Partnership to Optimize Care: The Creation of an Interprofessional Autism Spectrum Disorder Professional Development Program
Healthcare clinicians have a wide variety of knowledge, skill, and attitudes when caring for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). The authors will describe the collaboration led by child life and nursing to assess practice gaps, develop and roll out an educational initiative aimed at improving care for patients with ASD and their families.
Describe the process and outcomes of assessing learning needs for caring for patient with ASD.
Identify three teaching strategies used in this ASD professional development program.
Discuss the ASD program outcomes.
Describe fostering the development of collaborative partnerships.
Certified Child Life Specialist- Autism Spectrum Center
Kristin Coffey is a Certified Child Life Specialist in the Autism Spectrum Center at Boston Children’s Hospital. Kristin specializes in supporting children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) through medical experiences and hospitalization by ensuring that the sensory experiences of a child are taken into consideration as she tries to normalize the potentially stressful hospital experience for each child.
With a strong background in child development, child life, ASD, and applied behavior analysis, Kristin became the child life specialist for the Autism Spectrum Center at Boston Children’s Hospital in December of 2015.
In addition to supporting patients she has worked with the Autism Spectrum Center training committee to help increase the awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder and how to best support those with autism in the healthcare setting. As a member of the training committee Kristin has helped to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate the Autism education programs aimed at interprofessional staff, including the recent pilot of an autism-based interprofessional simulation program.
Dennis P Doherty
Dennis Doherty is a Registered Nurse and board-certified Professional Development Specialist in the Department of Clinical Education, Informatics, Practice, and Quality at Boston Children’s Hospital. Dennis oversees the enterprise’s nursing orientation programming, facilitates role development workshops, and consults with department leaders to develop and implement competency programs. Since 2017 Dennis has worked with the Boston Children’s Hospital Autism Spectrum Center training committee to plan, develop, implement, and evaluate the Autism education programs aimed at interprofessional staff, including recent piloting of autism-based interprofessional simulation program. In his spare time, he is pursuing a Ph.D. in Nursing at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.