The 4-West C Unit TEAM took care of a very challenging 13-year-old non-verbal child with autism who had engaged in severe self-abusive behavior. He required expert one-on-one care to prevent him from severely punching and biting himself. When he was admitted, he was so bruised from self-abuse that his eyes were swollen shut. When frustrated, he also lashed out and would bite staff. In spite of these behaviors, staff provided an environment that met his sensory needs. First they learned that he was calmed by walking him in a wheelchair up and down the hall. Hours were spent helping him to use other sensory items to calm himself as well. Visual books were used, movies and touch items such as bead strings and rag dolls. Staff also encouraged him to use gestures and picture boards to communicate his needs. A lack of ability to communicate fueled his frustration which leads to self-abuse. At discharge, staff had weaned him off needing the wheelchair and all of his bruises were healed. He had gone from engaging in self-abuse or aggressive behavior 15 times per hour to once a week at discharge. This accomplishment was the results of excellent nursing care from all staff on the 4 West C Unit.
Putnam Pane, Ginalyn Bautista, Heather Lowry, Mary Jane Hughes, Erika Lozano, Arcangel Irizarry, Manal Qaqi, Diana Erslovas, Amanda Shaw, Marlen Diaz, Natalie Foo, Kendall Haydel, Michelle Johnson, Tweet Wong