Taking the Work Out of Blood Work: A Provider's Guide


What is distraction?

"Distraction" means taking your patient's mind off stressful events, thoughts, or emotions and putting attention on other positive thoughts or activities. In other words, distraction means to "change the channel" of your patient's attention. When a patient comes in for a medical appointment, he or she may be on the "thinking about that needle" or "I wonder how badly this procedure is going to hurt" channel. As providers, we want to help patients to "change the channel" to something more like "one of my favorite toys" or "what are we going to eat for dinner after this appointment?" channel. Using a concrete example like "changing the channel" may be easier for your patient with ASD to understand rather than discussing the concept of distraction in general.

How to Use Distraction with Patients with ASD

Ideas for Distraction

The following are useful tools, toys, or ideas to have available in the clinic for use by patients and families during medical appointments:

Characteristics of Good Distraction Supplies

Examples of Good Distraction Supplies

Distraction Tools to Use During Blood Draws