For 16 year old Marko getting an injection has never been a pleasant experience.
Marko has autism and is completely non-verbal. When the COVID-19 vaccination became available, Marko’s mum Danijela sought advice from his paediatrician Royal North Shore Hospital Senior Staff Specialist Dr Helen Young.
“We were told Marko was best to come into the hospital for his COVID-19 vaccination,” Danijela said.
Marko’s sister Ines said they were really stressed about taking Marko for his vaccine.
“He’s terrified of needles and he’s a big boy now and physically resistant,” Ines said.
“Last year four people were needed to hold him down so he could get his flu vaccine.”
With the help of Smileyscope Danijela and Ines said the whole experience has been ‘beautiful’.
“All the staff have been so calm and friendly and the Smileyscope completely distracts and relaxes him,” Danijela said.
“We realised once he’s relaxed the nurse needs to quickly go in with the vaccination.”
Ines said Marko really loves the ocean so it was helpful to set the Smileyscope to the underwater adventure where he could see brightly coloured fish, ride a dolphin and watch a whale.
“It’s also secure on the head, so Marko can’t easily take it off which really helps,” she said.
Danijela said the second vaccination was even easier than the first.
“The staff made this so much easier for us and were so understanding of Marko’s specific needs – and I can’t believe how well the Smileyscope works for him,” she said.
“Now he is double vaccinated we are confident to go out again.”