Educational video for health professionals caring for patients with autism launched

By Mary Dennehy

WATCH: A segment from video

TALLAGHT University Hospital this week launched a new educational video for healthcare professionals interacting with children and adults with autism.

The video, the first of its kind in Irish healthcare, was produced in Tallaght University Hospital (TUH) in conjunction with AsIAm, Ireland’s autism charity and advocacy organisation.

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Geraldine Kyle (who led the project) and her family with Adam Harris from AsIAm at the launch of the new educational video on autism that was launched at TUH.

The 40-minute video provides evidence-based knowledge about autism for healthcare professionals interacting with children and adults in an acute hospital setting.

Patients with autism who are attending TUH’s adult or children’s services will now benefit from ‘improved accommodation of their specific needs, a more knowledgeable workforce and a calmer hospital experience’.

While the video was produced by TUH it is hoped that it will be used and shared by healthcare professionals nationwide.

Nurse tutor in Tallaght University Hospital’s (TUH) Centre for Learning and Development, Geraldine Kyle, led the project.

“As a parent of an autistic child, I have experience of health services from both sides and I really wanted to bring the learning experience into the acute hospital setting,” Ms Kyle said.

“The benefits of this video will be huge and I hope healthcare professionals can take the time out to learn from it so children and adults can benefit from the learning it contains.”

According to Sharon Larkin, Head of HR at TUH, the hospital has already adapted the environment in some of its outpatient areas, children’s ED and radiology departments.

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Dr Aine Connolly (Senior Clinical Neuro Psychologist, Stroke Services, TUH & Naas General Hospital), Adam Harris (Founder and Chief Executive of AsIAM), Geraldine Kyle (Nurse Tutor in the Centre for Learning & Development) and Shauna Ennis (Head of the Centre for Learning & Development at TUH)

However, she believes that this video will be an “excellent tool for our staff in increasing and developing their knowledge in this area”.

Contributors to the video include Adam Harris, founder and CEO of AsIAm, experts from TUH, Trinity College Dublin and Children’s Health Ireland.

Speaking after the launch of the video, Adam Harris said: “We were delighted to partner with TUH in developing this video as a more knowledgeable workforce will lead to much better experiences for autistic patients.

“I’m delighted the video will also be hosted on the HSE’s online learning and development portal so it should also assist staff in other hospitals and healthcare settings around the country.”

The video was supported by the Nursing and Midwifery Planning and Development Unit in the HSE, and is available to all healthcare professionals through the HSE’s online training portal

TUH also launched an Art, Awareness and Autism art exhibition in the hospital, which will run until March of next year.

According to the hospital, the exhibition highlights the creative skills of the artists involved and encourages an awareness and understanding of autism through arts for patients, staff and visitors to TUH.

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