Our Paediatric Ward has been designed to meet the needs of children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and empower them as they receive care. Cabrini’s autism-friendly initiatives include:

  • Pre-admission phone call with all parents to gather important information about their child including known coping strategies and any stressors.
  • Virtual online tour of our ward to allow children and their families to familiarise themselves with our facilities in advance.
  • Single room allocation where possible, even if the patient is having day surgery.
  • Bedside communication whiteboards to improve communication between patients, families and staff.
  • Quiet time between 1pm and 3pm with dimmed lights, limited corridor traffic and quiet activities.
  • Sensory Toolboxes, developed in collaboration with TLC for Kids, including a variety of toys and books to reduce any anxiety and fear.

The facilities and services were developed following research by Cabrini Health and Deakin University, which was funded by our generous donors Brian and Lee Johnstone.

The research found health services could be optimised through the early identification of patients with autism spectrum disorders, minimising anxiety and sensory triggers, staff training and enhanced communication with patients, families and staff.