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Miami: 5 urgent care centers now 'AUTISM-FRIENDLY'; doctors/staff being trained

July 26, 2020, Miami Herald: Jackson nurse develops bond with child on autism spectrum. That led to award for hospital In March, doctors and staff at the five Uhealth Jackson Urgent Care centers throughout Miami-Dade County completed training to earn an Autism-Friendly’ designation from the University of Miami-NOVA Southeastern University Center for Autism & Related Disabilities (UM-NSU CARD), becoming the first network of urgent care centers in Florida to receive the distinction.… All the urgent care centers now have a designated sensory-friendly exam room with soft music, dimmed lighting, and a bean-bag chair to help patients feel more calm. They also have iPads equipped with programs recommended by UM-NSU CARD and offer sensory kits with tactical toys and activities that patients can take home. “The training was very broad and gave staff a heightened awareness and understanding about autism to better diagnose and treat individuals with special needs,” said Dr. Robert E. Schwartz, a family physician and head of Jackson’s urgent care centers…. Funded by the Florida Department of Education, the CARD program has seven offices in the state and provides free services for children and adults with autism or related disabilities and their families. Its “Autism-Friendly” designation program works to create safe spaces for families affected by autism within the community, from museums to dental facilities and urgent care centers.

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