Henrico Doctors' Hospital unveils autism-and sensory-friendly pediatric ER

Henrico Doctors' Hospital in Richmond, Va., has unveiled its newly designed autism- and sensory-friendly pediatric emergency room.

The hospital is the first facility in central Virginia to offer an ER that caters to pediatric patients with sensory concerns.

The ER now features a communication notebook with pictures to let patients know what to expect at each step of their procedure, a dimmer switch to lower overhead lighting as well as a sensory cart filled with calming toys and products. It also includes weighted blankets and noise-canceling headphones.

The staff have been trained on interacting with patients with sensory needs.

The hospital collaborated with the St. Joseph's Villa Sarah Dooley Center for Autism in Richmond to create the autism-friendly pediatric ER.

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