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NCLEX® QOTD: ASD

Osmosis Team
May 15, 2024

Prepare for the NCLEX with this question! Learn priority interventions for caring for a child newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), including collaboration with speech therapists, monitoring developmental milestones, preparing for behavioral therapy, educating caregivers about epilepsy signs, and providing information on nutritional supplements.

The nurse is caring for a 30-month-old newly diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Which intervention(s) should the nurse implement?  

Select all that apply.  

A. Collaborate with the speech therapist

B. Monitor the child’s developmental milestones  

C. Prepare the child and caregivers for behavioral therapy 

D. Educate the caregivers about the signs and symptoms of epilepsy 

E. Provide information to the caregivers about nutritional supplements

Scroll down for the correct answer!

The correct answers to today's NCLEX-RN® Question are...

A. Collaborate with the speech therapist 

Rationale: Children with ASD often have communication challenges and a speech therapist can be instrumental in identifying communication barriers and improving communication skills.  

B. Monitor the child’s developmental milestones 

Rationale: Children with ASD can have difficulty with meeting certain developmental milestones, like being able to say simple words like mama by age one,  therefore the nurse should monitor their developmental milestones regularly to identify any delays as soon as possible. 

C. Prepare the child and caregivers for behavioral therapy

Rationale: Use of developmentally appropriate behavioral therapy can provide support to the patient with ASD in learning to cope with various social situations.  

D. Educate the caregivers about the signs and symptoms of epilepsy

Rationale: Caregivers of children with ASD should be taught to recognize the signs and symptoms of epilepsy as it is a comorbid condition that can occur with ASD.

E. Provide information to the caregivers about nutritional supplements

Rationale: Caregivers of children with ASD should be taught about alternative therapies that could benefit the child, like nutritional supplements and vitamins. 

Major Takeaway

The nurse should use clinical judgment to take action related to autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to implement the solutions that address the highest priorities. There is no cure for ASD, but supportive measures should be initiated as early as possible. Supportive measures should be specific and carefully tailored to each patient. Treatment mainly consists of non-pharmacological therapy, including behavioral and communication therapy, where patients can learn how to cope with various social situations; intensive educational therapy, especially in a highly structured educational environment; family training, so that families can understand the needs of their children and learn how to play and interact with them; speech therapy, to help the patient improve their communication skills; physical therapy, to improve patient's independence; and occupational therapy, to improve everyday activities. In addition, some patients may benefit from alternative therapies, including nutritional supplements and vitamins. A common comorbid condition for ASD is epilepsy, which develops typically during early childhood or adolescence, therefore caregivers should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of this condition.  

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