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Autism Speaks launches 'blood draw' tool kit -- practical guidance for parents and providers
Date:9/13/2011

rtment of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Research Program, to improve the medical care of children with autism." It features practical strategies to help parents prepare their child for unfamiliar and possibly uncomfortable medical procedures that are often necessary for all children at some point in the course of routine comprehensive medical care. The companion tool kit provides similar resources to help medical practitioners improve the quality of medical care they provide to any child with ASD in their practice as well.

All parents know that having blood drawn can be an uncomfortable and scary experience for a child. Children with ASD may have additional issues such as limited or absent language, or an inability to rely on social cues that can make the blood draw experience more frightening for the child and difficult for the parent and medical practitioner. When faced with a new situation, individuals with ASD may experience "sensory overload" in which sounds seem louder, lights brighter or smells stronger. "Autism Speaks is committed to providing families with free, helpful resources developed by experienced people both professionals and parents such as this set of practical tools to hopefully make medical care as smooth and positive as possible," Dr. Lajonchere continued.

This tool kit provides strategies that can be used before and during the medical visit and procedure. Parents are advised when and how to explain the procedure, and there are suggestions for bringing toys or visual supports. Strategies for relaxation and distraction using toys, music and laughter are laid out, and it's suggested that these be practiced at home during times of the day when your child is already anxious. Visual supports such as "First/Then" boards or "Visual Schedules" need to be prepared in advance. Another tool is a Social Story which helps your child to understand the situation and can
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Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

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