How to Navigate Coronavirus Hospitalization for Your Child with Special Needs
The New York Department of Health issued new guidelines and rights for coronavirus patients with special needs on April 10.
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You or your child should also complete the SANYS universal Covid-19 Disability Form during quarantine so it will be ready if she needs to go to the hospital. Sections allow you to delineate how your child best communicates and whether she needs any technological help for communicating. You can describe her triggers, including any potentially dangerous behavior, and how she normally responds to medical exams, and identify modifications that will help calm her. The form also asks about your child’s living situation, her primary doctors, and whether she has a health care agent. Most importantly, the form asks you to assess your child’s capacity to consent to care. Patients who are their own guardians or have capacity to consent will fill out their own section.
Emergency room and hospital physicians, individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and parent advocates worked together to design the Covid-19 Disability Form. Your care manager can help you complete the form if necessary; all care coordination organizations in New York are utilizing the form to support patients.
These new DOH guidelines apply to patients with cognitive impairments such as dementia, pediatric patients, and patients in labor and delivery. For more information on your loved one's rights and to download other documents, visit the SANYS website, and keep up with coronavirus news throughout the New York metro area so your family can adapt to this constantly-changing situation.