Ten rules for ensuring autistic people and people with learning disabilities can't access healthcare...and maybe what to do about it aims to inspire a serious conversation about the difficulties facing people with learning disabilities and those on the autism spectrum when they need to access healthcare. It is a sad fact that people with learning disabilities will die, on average, between 13 and 17 years younger than others, and this is in no small part down to the challenges of accessing the same care and treatment the rest of us take for granted.
Positive change will come, however, by improving practitioners’ understanding of the people they treat and helping them to communicate more effectively with them and their carers and families. Each ‘rule’ in this booklet speaks powerfully with the ‘voice’ of the individual on the receiving end of healthcare practice. Together, the ten rules challenge our existing practice and will help you to offer assessment, treatment and support that can really make a difference.
This booklet will appeal to children and adults with autism and learning difficulties and their family, friends and carers.
Publication: 25 October 2017
Content is subject to change
Rule 1 Assume that you know everything and we know nothing
Rule 2 Don't worry about how you communicate with me
Rule 3 Don't make allowances for my disabilities or for me being autistic
Rule 4 Get really impatient and rush me through my appointment so you can get rid of me
Rule 5 Look past us and only talk to our families, carers or support workers
Rule 6 Assume that anything I do that you find difficult is part of my disability and not because of any medical issue
Rule 7 Get frustrated at my lack of co-operation and understanding
Rule 8 Act like we're the first people with learning disabilities and on the autism spectrum that you've had to deal with
Rule 9 Don't try to understand what things are like for me
Rule 10 We're just one of those difficult families, not you being difficult at all