Healthcare Providers’ Discussions Regarding Transportation with Autistic and Non-Autistic Patients

As an important part of accessibility in healthcare, discussions with patients about transportation and driving are integral to making sure they receive quality care. In order to characterize these discussions, especially in the context of those with autistic and non-autistic patients, a study including PISC Executive Committee member Catherine C. McDonald, PhD, RN, and Senior Scholar Allison E. Curry, PhD, MPH analyzed 78 cross-sectional surveys completed by healthcare providers. The study found that compared with one in two providers who reported they discuss transportation with non-autistic patients, only one in five have these conversations with their autistic patients. Few providers felt prepared to assess driving readiness in autistic patients, yet only a quarter referred patients elsewhere. The authors conclude, "There is a critical need to develop resources for use in medical settings to effectively support autistic adolescents’ independence and mobility as they transition into adulthood."

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