Wednesday, January 13, 2021

Nursing on the spectrum: What nurses with autism want you to know

"My name is Jackie Anne.  I am in my early 30s and am a nurse I may have even been your nurse.  Unknown to you, and many I work side by side with daily, I also have autism."

                                                                                 Jackie Anne Blair, RN

“I have an excellent memory. My hearing is very sensitive in a way that I can hear things that others can’t. I’m often the first to hear alarms. I can differentiate sounds quickly and more easily. My sensitivity to touch helps with palpation during a nurse exam. I can feel if something is different or off. I perseverate about my patient’s issues. If something is off, or I just can’t pinpoint a certain diagnosis or issues, I do everything I can to figure it out."

"I am also hyper-aware of cross-contamination, and am a bit obsessive with handwashing. I don’t judge patient’s based on a diagnosis. As your nurse, I understand that you are so very much more than the list of diseases, disabilities and symptoms in your chart.”

                                                                                      Anita Lesko, RN, CRNA

Anita Lesko, RN, CRNA is a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist specializing in anesthesia for neurosurgery, organ transplants and orthopedic joint replacement. She states: "My gift of Asperger disorder gives me the ability to have what I call my ‘laser focus.’ It’s the ability to stay focused on a project for extreme periods of time with total focus and concentration".

In 2018, Anita advocated for autism acceptance to the United Nations. She has also published books and spoken at conferences with Temple Grandin.


Advocating Autism Acceptance to the United Nations, with Anita Lesko | EDB 123 (

Brandon is an RN with a masters degree, soon to be a Nurse practitioner in Texas. On his "Thriving with ASD" channel, he shares his journey to diagnosis and his coping skills for living with autism.

                                           Registered Nurse With Autism Spectrum Disorder - YouTube

                                           How I got diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder - YouTube

Sherri Schultz, pen name Pensive Aspie is "an Aspie, a wife, a mom, an aunt, a nurse, a Christian, a supporter of equality, a bibliophile, and a fan but not a fanatic of most things sci-fi and logical. My passion is Asperger's and helping others on the spectrum. I run a small online support group for individuals with ASD. I have found that the more knowledge I share, the more I receive."
About | Pensive Aspie (

Another Aspie Nurse writes:

 "I have emotional intelligence, and am fully capable of empathy, and can socialize with purpose.......I have learned to use words to find out what I cannot discern otherwise. I have learned to recognize most people’s signs of illness, pain, sadness, anger, through decades of being a CNA, and have learned to use humor in small scripted ways to make day to day nursing smoother… Such as “oops! Let me clean my hands before helping you with that…don’t want to give you a gift that keeps on giving!” just small comments here and there that usually will elicit a smile from my patients."

Lee is a nursing student in the UK

He has a number of videos on YouTube including: Asperger's and Nursing: A personal and professional view on being a student nurse

Anna has Asperger’s syndrome.

She works in the operating room as a nurse anesthetist.

Color a nurse with Asperger's in the, "I am a nurse: Color me Exceptional!" coloring book. I am a nurse: Color me Exceptional!: Maheady APRN, Donna Carol, Nuenke, Sue, Gili, Tom: 9781075196065: Books



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