Autism Visual Resources: Preparing Your Child for Medical Care

When you have a child with developmental disabilities, receiving medical care can be a challenging – and sometimes scary – experience for him or her. Your care provider will know how to treat your child’s medical condition, but may not know things like whether your child is a visual learner or if they’re okay with being touched.

Our staff at Children’s National Health System recognized this need and formed the Autism Behavioral Communications (ABC) support team to provide medical staff and parents with tools to make tests and treatments easier for your child.

Resources for Visual Learners

Whether your child is coming to the hospital for a procedure or just having a follow-up appointment, our ABC support team has resources for you to share with your child to prepare them for their care experience. Through videos, teaching stories or home practice instructions, your child can learn what to expect at their visit.

The video above shows what it's like to visit our main campus clinics. This video shows what it's like to go on an outpatient visit at the Montgomery County Outpatient Center.

Below, you will find additional tools to build your toolkit for your child's visit. We will continue to update this site as tools are created. If you have suggestions for tools that are needed, please email us at

Appointment Type

Available Teaching Stories

Electrocardiogram (ECG)

ECG testing. Learn about the simple steps our team uses to check your child's heart.

Electrodiagnostic Testing (EEG)

Having an Overnight EEG at Children's National. What to expect while your child completes neurological testing.

Dental Care

Preparing Your Child with Autism for a Dental Visit. Here are tips to make a visit to the dentist less stressful to ensure a positive experience.
(En Español)

Lab Tests

Having a Blood Draw at Children's National. Learn how your child can have fun while seeing the phlebotomist

Preparing for a Medical Visit

Preparing Your Child with Autism for a Medical Visit. A visual schedule and having a bag with your child's favorite items are ways you can help him or her feel comfortable. Learn more tips.
(En Español)

Radiology Exams

Preparing Your Child for Radiology Exams. Created by our Child Life Specialists, these fact sheets are child-friendly and helpful to parents as they prepare their child for exams. 

Contact Us

We're here to help you and your child on their care journey. While our ABC support team does not currently take appointments, we're happy to answer your questions and provide you with additional resources. Please call 202-476-2884 for more information.