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

decrease his/her anxiety about an unknown situation.

ATN Medical Director Daniel Coury, M.D. explained, "A primary goal of the ATN is to create best practices for medical care for a child with ASD and to share these with medical practitioners throughout North America and around the world."

Medical practitioners are advised that an organized approach to routine clinic procedures is especially important for children with ASD and that planning and team communication are key factors that can improve the experience for a patient with ASD. The tool kit provides a link to a sample triage questionnaire which will assist the practitioners office to gather information about their patient in advance. Guidance is provided regarding appointment scheduling, coordinating with other providers so that all needed tests can be completed with one blood draw rather than multiple sticks, and if the patient will be sedated for a different procedure, considering scheduling the blood draw while the patient is under sedation. A brief written protocol including a backup plan may help staff and practitioners become more coordinated in their approach to patients with ASD. It is suggested that the protocol outline under what circumstances the procedure should move more quickly or be stopped, when to call for more assistance and by whom, and setting up the room and materials before the patient enters the room. Additional suggestions include use of child-friendly equipment.

Most importantly stresses Dr. Coury, "Communication is key. Discuss all plans with the child's parent in advance, including what tools or strategies they plan to utilize to prepare their child or to distract or relax them during the appointment so the procedure runs more smoothly."


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Contact: Jane E. Rubinstein
jrubinstein@rubenstein.com
212-843-8287
Autism Speaks
Source:Eurekalert  

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