Willa Discovers Telehealth

Meet Willa. A character created by Alissa, made her debut in the PAVE e-newsletter, the Pipeline, when Alissa was in high school.  Willa reflects daily life from the lens of a person who experiences high functioning autism with an anxiety and panic disorder, like the artist. Willa often reflects her experiences so please follow Willa as she navigates the changes that are a part of taking charge of her own care.

Telehealth or Telemedicine are two ways to say that instead of going into your doctor’s office, you talk with them on your phone, computer, or tablet. Willa was right to be cautious about going out right now and going to the doctor can be very stressful for someone with high anxiety and/or Autism even before COVID. We pulled together some simple tips to help with that first visit:

  • Please understand that if you feel uncomfortable setting up a visit by yourself that you can ask anyone you trust to help you.
  • Many doctor’s offices will send you a release either through the mail, email, or text for you to sign. Many times you can sign these electronically if it comes by email or text. This may be where you can authorize or say that you would like someone to help with your visit and tell the office who they are.
  • Talk with your doctor’s office about how they do their telehealth visits to make sure that you both have what you need to talk with each other.
  • Think about any questions or concerns you have ahead of time and write them down. This helps you remember to ask your doctor during your visit.
  • Find a quiet, well-lit place to sit and talk with your support person. If you didn’t ask for support, look for somewhere that others won’t be going in and out of.
  • Take a deep breath and relax. You don’t have to worry about the bus, traffic, or getting out of school or a job. This is just you and your doctor checking in and talking about your health concerns. They can renew prescriptions, make referrals to other doctors, or help you decide if you need to go into a doctor office if you have symptoms or are feeling sick.

Don’t be hesitant about calling your doctor’s office ahead of time if you are worried or don’t know what to do, they can talk you through it. Stay tuned, next month Willa has her first Virtual Visit.

Meet Willa. She is a character that was created for the PAVE Pipeline a few years ago by a high school student who experiences high functioning autism with an anxiety and panic disorder.

Click to see this artwork as a PDF

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