Show me where was designed by Irene Hammond, a school nurse at the Hollies Special School in Cardiff, for children with ASD who were unable communicate pain or discomfort and were difficult to examine because of anxiety or sensory issues. She observed that Show me where (SMW) tools had a calming effect on the children, allowing them to communicate without direct eye contact, reducing anxiety and helping them understand and become compliant during medical procedures.
A study conducted by Cardiff University concludes: “The SMW tool was helpful during medical consultation with autistic patients, increasing compliance and reducing anxiety, making examination possible”
Dr Sian Moynahan, Clinical Director of Community Health in Cardiff uses SMW tools to communicate with all children with a diagnosis of Autism or those with language and communication difficulties. She states: “It changes a child who is anxious or non-engaging to a child who cooperates with most of the examination, the child is given back control”. “I couldn’t run an ASD clinic without SMW, it made the difference between total compliance and not being able to examine a child at all.”
SMW is now used extensively in Special Schools in Wales and some schools in England. Our products have been endorsed by The National Autism Society who recommended the tool not only to parents but also to GPs and Health Professionals.
Using SMW tools may be useful when a person with dementia is losing their language skills. Familiarizing patients during early onset and using the tool regularly may help when patients are unwell and are unable to find the correct words to describe the site of pain. In particular those in care homes or who have been admitted to hospital and may be at a high risk of under recognition and under treatment of pain. Using SMW tools from home to hospital will ensure continuity of care and help medical staff communicate with patients in a familiar way.
When Learning Disabled patients cannot communicate verbally their care is compromised. Learning Disability nurses are now placed into NHS hospitals to respond appropriately to the challenges that patients with learning disabilities present.
CAVUHB has introduced the SMW App to their clinical workstation booking system, to alert staff when admitting patients with Learning Difficulties. SMW tools, along with the ‘Pain Toolkit for Patients with Communication Difficulties’, ensure continuity of care throughout the hospital for these patients.
The Pain Matters pilot study (to be published Summer 2018) conducted by the ABUHB Health Liason Nurses has shown the efficacy of SMW tools with LD patients. Consequently SMW tools are now available throughout all clinical areas in ABUHB.