February 26-28, 2017 • Atlanta, GA


  |  Utilization of Special Care Plans in Audiology for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Utilization of Special Care Plans in Audiology for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are often seen for a diagnostic hearing evaluation in order to rule out hearing loss as a contributing factor to the child’s overall development. Up to 40% of children with hearing loss often present with other developmental delays. In an audiology clinical setting, children with ASD can be difficult to test with standardized testing procedures and equipment as their behavioral, sensory, and emotional needs may require more time to acclimate and adjust to the clinical setting. They may require multiple evaluations to obtain ear specific and frequency specific audiometric responses, elongating the process of evaluation and potentially hindering progress in other intervention services. “Special Care Plans” have been utilized in other child health care fields, such as surgery and in-patient hospital settings, to address specific and individual plans in regards to children with ASD prior to their procedure or hospitalization. The care plans outline the child’s needs, communication modes, preferences, and dislikes to inform staff prior to their appointments. These plans have been proven to be beneficial not only to the child and family’s experience but also to the clinician’s competence in care. The use of “Special Care Plans” in the realm of audiology should be investigated, and possibly utilized to create comfortable testing strategies and conditions for the child and the family. This poster will outline the use and benefit of special care plans, elements of special care plans that may be beneficial to include in regards to audiology, and the potential for instilling this type of care plan in the audiology setting. This information is anticipated to be helpful in creating testing strategies and environments that allow for better outcomes in regards to testing children with ASD, as well as increasing clinician confidence in evaluating these children.

  • Describe the benefit of and potential for special care plans to be utilized in the field of audiology.
  • Identify ways in which to instill special care plans into the clinical audiology setting.
  • Inform behavioral testing methods and interactions within the field of audiology in regards to children with Autism Spectrum Disorder and their families.

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Taylor Stevenson (), Children's Hospital Colorado, taylor.stevenson@childrenscolorado.org;
Taylor is a 4th year graduate student in the University of Utah Doctor of Audiology Program. She is currently completing her 4th year externship at Children's Hospital Colorado. There, she has been able to interact with many children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families. As a previous LEND trainee in Utah, she completed the Autism Enhancement track, for she has specific professional interest in the area of autism as well as pediatric audiology. She is now currently completing training as an Audiology LEND Fellow in Colorado. This project stems from her interest in creating satisfactory, beneficial, and comfortable testing conditions for children with ASD and their families.


Financial - No relevant financial relationship exist.

Nonfinancial - No relevant nonfinancial relationship exist.