What patients and families need to know
Beyond the Spectrum
Visits to the hospital, doctor’s or dentist’s office can be challenging for children with communication, sensory and behavioral special needs. The medical environment can be overstimulating with loud noises, large crowds, unfamiliar smells and long waiting times in small areas. Procedures and exams that require physical touch can also cause anxiety, fear, discomfort and frustration.
The staff at Children’s National Hospital is committed to ensuring that you and your child have a positive experience during your medical visits. We recognize that focusing on your child’s specific needs can make a real difference in safety and the overall experience. The Beyond the Spectrum team provides medical staff and parents with tools to make procedures and treatments easier for your child.
Learn more about our team in Conversation with a Caregiver, a video by Eliana's Light.
Beyond the Spectrum Services
Our goal is to help provide tailored and individualized care that supports your child’s needs in the medical setting. We:
- Have a developmental neuropsychologist who assists in preparation for medical care and medical procedures – both in the inpatient setting and outpatient clinic at the Sheikh Zayed campus.
- Make recommendations for communication, sensory and procedural accommodations in medical settings.
- Help parents prepare and plan for their child's medical visit.
- Create online resources and role kits for your child to practice with before he or she comes for a procedure.
- Incorporate aspects of your child’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and other school records to coordinate medical and educational needs and create a plan that supports participation in medical care.
To talk with someone about planning your child's medical visit, or to request visual supports, email Beyond the Spectrum or call us at 202-476-2284.
Once you have contacted us, our program lead will reach out to you and ask you to complete a questionnaire and a release of medical information. These forms will help determine what resources you need.