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ATN/AIR-P Parent's Guide to Blood Draws

Many children with autism feel anxiety about doctor visits. Blood draws, in particular, can be especially difficult.

This tool kit provides a variety of tools to help you and your child to prepare for future medical visits. It will help reduce the stress and worry that may come with blood draws.

The kit includes:

  • Strategies to ease your child’s medical appointments, particularly those involving blood work
  • Ready-made visual supports and social stories
  • Relaxation and distraction techniques
  • Tips designed specifically for children with ASD

Although the kit focuses on blood draws, the information and techniques presented here also apply to other aspects of a clinic visit, such as:

  • Measuring vital signs
  • Undergoing physical exams
  • Tolerating those inevitable wait times

A medical provider version of this toolkit is also available. Send a copy to your child’s doctor or nurse prior to the medical visit so you can work together to insure a successful visit.

A little preparation can promote a positive relationship between your child and his or her doctor and lay an important foundation for future health!

"These materials are the product of on-going activities of the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network, a funded program of Autism Speaks. It is supported by cooperative agreement UA3 MC 11054 through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Research Program to the Massachusetts General Hospital. Its contents are solely the responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily represent the official views of the MCHB, HRSA, HHS, or Autism Speaks."

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