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Meeting the needs of children with autism spectrum disorder in Queensland hospitals

Eligibility - Queensland residents

Principal Petitioner:

Carly Jones
504 Oyster Cove Promenade

Total Signatures - 270

Sponsoring Member: John-Paul Langbroek MP

Posting Date: 19/04/2017

Closing Date: 7/08/2017

Tabled Date: 8/08/2017

Responded By: Hon Cameron Dick MP on 7/09/2017

TO: The Honourable the Speaker and Members of the Legislative Assembly of Queensland

Queensland residents draws to the attention of the House that hospitals in Queensland are not currently meeting the needs of children with autism, particularly in accident and emergency when children arrive already distressed. In order to adequately meet their medical needs, their emotional and sensory needs must also be met.


Your petitioners, therefore, request the House to introduce "Harry's Rule":


1. Be expedited through A&E to reduce waiting time and prevent meltdowns.

2. Each children's department to have at least one autism trained doctor/nurse/therapist on duty at all times with annually or bi-annual training.

3. Side rooms where lights can be turned off, noise-cancelling headphones available and sensory aids like weighted lap belts, fidget toys available.

4. Coloured identity bracelet to signal special needs to all staff.

5. Parents always to be approached and treatment discussed with them first before a treatment plan is devised.

6. Doctors need to be aware that normal pain indicators may not be present so they need to carry out tests to ensure a diagnosis rather than assume based on presentation.

7. Parents to complete or bring along a hospital identity card, which quickly covers their triggers, their likes/dislikes, sensory needs and communication preferences. Anyone dealing with the child should read the identity card first.

8. If being moved to a ward they should be given priority status for a single room to allow a more controllable environment and reduce stress.