NHS, 'Clinical guide for front line staff to support the management of patients with a learning disability, autism or both during the coronavirus pandemic - relevant to all clinical specialities' (ref 001559, v1, 24/3/20)
Guidance on learning disability and autism The Overview states: "People with a learning disability have higher rates of morbidity and mortality than the general population and die prematurely. At least 41% of them die from respiratory conditions. They have a higher prevalence of asthma and diabetes, and of being obese or underweight in people; all these factors make them more vulnerable to coronavirus. There is evidence that people with autism also have higher rates of health problems throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, and that this may result in elevated risk of early mortality". The following key points are discussed: (1) Be aware of diagnostic overshadowing; (2) Pay attention to healthcare passports; (3) Listen to parents/carers; (4) Make reasonable adjustments; (5) Communication; (6) Understanding behavioural responses to illness/pain/discomfort; (7) Mental Capacity Act; (8) Ask for specialist support and advice if necessary; (9) Mental wellbeing and emotional distress.