Being an inpatient on a mental health ward with Autism

Having been inpatient and from talking to others who also have ASD and been in hospital, I've seen a general lack of awareness from staff that can include attempting to treat you as if you have a personality disorder (due to sometimes there being similar traits exhibited under stress) as well as communication difficulties. Having spoken to staff nurses who have worked on wards I've been advised that in general, a maximum of 2 days training is given that in turn is then utilised over the rest of their career.

In my opinion, having autism in addition to a mental health issue can complicate things and should not be solely focused on the latter. In creating this thread, I was curious if others have faced similar experiences? I was also wondering if NAS or any other organisation was pushing for more awareness on wards as such places can be distressing at the best of times... add that to stimulus overwhelm and communication difficulties and it's a double meh.

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  • I spent three weeks on such a ward following an attempted suicide. The main problem I faced was the lack of anywhere quiet.

    The ward had a 'quiet room' but they allowed a radio in the room. I pointed out that a radio had no place in such a room and ... they unplugged it but left it where it was; of course, someone plugged in the radio at a later time.

    I used to go to sleep early and get up early to help avoid interacting with people on the ward but I was always woken to be given my medication, including something to help me sleep.

    When I found a quieter place to sleep, one of the other inpatients reported me to a member of staff and they instructed me to return to my bed. Eventually, I found a quieter place to sleep until approximately one o'clock in the morning, at which time it was quiet enough to return to my bed.

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