2018 Southeastern Pediatric Research Conference: Precision Medicine
Natural anxieties that come with undergoing an MRI are magnified for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders(ASD) because of increased sensitivity to stimulation. Most often, when a child with ASD undergoes an MRI, the child is sedated. This increases risk of complications and eliminates the possibility of functional scans. The Marcus Autism Center uses an MRI simulator in parallel with an Adaptive Behavior Approach(ABA) to work to successfully scan children with ASD while awake. This method has been shown to be effective for general population children. A challenge to this approach with children with ASD is the lack of ability to generalize experiences from one situation to the next. This translates to the participants experiencing completely new experiences when moved to the actual scanner, even if they are comfortable in the simulator environment.
Foster, A., Bartlett, C., Baranak, A., Fain, B., Shultz, S., Denham, M. Design and Evaluation of the Usability and Utility of an MRI Training System for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, poster presented at Southeastern Pediatric Research Conference: Precision Medicine, in Atlanta, GA, June 8, 2018