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Patients & visitors

Coming to hospital

Caring for people on the autism spectrum

For people on the autism spectrum, coming into hospital can be very confronting.


We are continually developing ways to improve our care for adults and children on the autism spectrum.

Noisy wards, disrupted routines and invasive procedures can be a challenging experience for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families.

We have developed a suite of resources to support people with autism during their hospital stay. This includes an autism care planning process.

Care planning involves actively engaging with the patient and their family to find out about the communication, sensory, environmental and behaviour needs of each person with ASD. This information is used to plan and provide the best support and care for the patient during their stay.

The Autism Care Plan is completed by a number of clinicians working together from across multiple disciplines. In particular, the social work and nursing team play an important role supporting the patient with the care planning process.

Austin Health is using the Autism Spectrum Care Plan on all ward across the hospital, with positive results.

Patient story

"A young man's family identified to us that he was on the autism spectrum. Through the development of his care plan, we found out that he had a special interest in trains. He had a bed overlooking the train station, and clinical staff were able to incorporate trains into conversations with him, which he really enjoyed."

Contact us

Social Work

Autism Spectrum Care Plan

Phone: 03 9496 5600