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Dr. Ellen Giarelli Authors Groundbreaking Book on Autism for Health Care Providers

November 1, 2012 — Dr. Ellen Giarelli’s book, Nursing of Autism Spectrum Disorder: Evidence-Based Integrative Care across the Lifespan, was published by Springer in April 2012. An edited book with multiple chapter authors, it is designed to help nurses and other health care professionals integrate an understanding of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) into patient care. “The presumption is that, with the current prevalence rate (1 in 75 in Philadelphia County), sooner or later every nurse or health professional will come across a patient with autism in addition to any other medical problems they need to be treated for,” Dr. Giarelli said. Nursing of Autism Spectrum Disorder covers health promotion, treatment, and disease promotion throughout each segment of the lifespan: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, and end-of-life.

The second assumption that her book is founded upon, Dr. Giarelli explained, is that in order to give best practice evidence-based care, health care providers need to be able to integrate an understanding of how Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) affects treatment plans and patient interactions. The book additionally gives background information about autism as well as covers special topics such as cancaer care in the adult patient with autism. Dr. Joan Bloch, an associate professor in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Department, has written a chapter for Dr. Giarelli’s book. Each chapter is authored by an individual with specific expertise.

“This is the first book ever on this topic. Traditionally, the care of people with autism has been focused on mental health services and educational services for individuals up to 21 years in age. This is a landmark kind of book for people to change the way that care will be delivered,” Dr. Giarelli said.

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