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Tuesday 23 Jan 2018

Addressing Medication Decisions and Blood Draws

This article was recently posted on the Autism Speaks website. The Autism Treatment Network (ATN) recently published three toolkits for families of individuals with autism. The first one addresses the questions families have around medications for their kids. The other two are guides for parents and professionals regarding doctor visits involving blood draws. All the toolkits are available for free download. Visual supports and social stories are included in both toolkits to support positive behaviors during this sometimes difficult life activity.

September 13, 2011

Are you thinking about having your child take medicines for challenging behaviors?

Is your child frightened by the routine blood work required during medical care?

Autism Speaks’ Autism Treatment Network (ATN) has been developing tools to help parents and medical professionals manage a variety of issues common to children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs). Today we are pleased to roll out our new ATN toolkits: “Autism: Should My Child Take Medicine for Challenging Behavior?” and “Taking the Work Out of Blood Work: Helping Your Child with ASD.”

The medicine decision toolkit is for you if…

√ You are a parent or caregiver of a child with autism who struggles with challenging behaviors.
√  You want more information about medicines used to help children with challenging behaviors.
√  You want to be an important part of the decision-making process concerning treatments for your child.

When it comes to medical decisions, there is not always one “right” choice, and this decision aid can help you understand the possible risks and benefits of different treatments. It will help you clarify the goals and values most important to you and your family, as well as focus on your child’s specific needs. The overall goal is to help you work with your child’s healthcare provider to choose a treatment that matches your needs and values.

The blood work aid is for you if …
√ You are a parent or caregiver of a child with autism who is frightened by routine blood work.
√ You are healthcare provider who performs blood work for children with autism.

“Taking the Work Out of Blood Work” was developed by ATN clinicians who observed that children with autism and their parents often struggle with routine blood work and that nurses and phlebotomists need guidance in communicating with and calming these children and their families. The result: Two tools, one each for parents and for healthcare providers.

You can download “Should My Child Take Medicine for Challenging Behavior?” here; the parent’s version of “Take the Work Out of Blood Work” here; and the provider’s version of the blood work aid here.

Then please join us at 1 pm, Wednesday, Sept. 14, for a related live webchat with ATN medical director Dan Coury, M.D., professor of clinical pediatrics and psychiatry at Ohio State University College of Medicine and chief of developmental and behavioral pediatrics at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, in Columbus.

Over the next few months, the ATN will be rolling out more toolkits for parents and healthcare providers. Look for them on the ATN’s “Tools You Can Use” page at the Autism Speaks website. Development of these tools is the product of on-going ATN efforts and was supported in part by a grant from the Health Resources and Services Administration. Funding for the grant was made possible through an initiative of the Combating Autism Act (CAA).  Please consider supporting the renewal of the CAA by visiting our Combating Autism Reauthorization Act Action Center.

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