October 20, 2017
LifeLabs and Holland Bloorview launch Canada’s first Serving Customers with Autism (SCA) Program
Toronto, ON (October 20, 2017) – Ontarians with the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and their families can now receive specialized service through LifeLabs' Serving Customers with Autism (SCA) program. This program is the first of its kind in Canada and has been developed by LifeLabs in collaboration with the Autism Research Centre at the Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Informed by research as well as insights from citizens with autism and their families, the SCA program provides national guidelines and training that help ensure a positive and stress-free blood collection visit for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
"No two people with autism are ever the same," says Dr. Evdokia Anagnostou, Clinician and Co-Director of Autism Program at Holland-Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. "This is why LifeLabs' SCA program is so important. LifeLabs is changing the way ASD patients experience blood collection procedures through individually customized visits, something we are thrilled to be part of."
"Previous to the Serving Customers with Autism program, blood collection for my daughter caused tremendous amounts of anxiety and stress, making blood collection very difficult for her and those involved," says Ann Marie, mother of a child with ASD. "Now, through LifeLabs', employees now work with our schedule, they create a comfortable environment custom to my daughter's needs. I hope LifeLabs' program inspires further development of more programs like this in Canada."
"It is estimated that 1 in 68 children are currently diagnosed with ASD, and that ASD is the fastest growing and most commonly diagnosed neurological disorder in Canada. We are delighted that at any LifeLabs Patient Service Center in Ontario, patients with ASD and their families will receive blood collection services through our specially trained staff in a stress-free environment tailored to the specific needs of the patient and their family," said Sue Paish, President and CEO of LifeLabs.
For a person with ASD, blood collection can be a traumatic and stressful experience. In some extreme cases, patients require sedation, further postponing diagnosis and treatment. The LifeLabs experience is different. It includes fully-trained staff, soothing light options, the ability to play videos, and the use of many other calming tools and techniques to make for a stress-free, tailored visit at all patient service centres across Ontario.
The SCA program is available at all LifeLabs Patient Service Centres in Ontario. To ensure all needs and required procedures can be met, please schedule appointments in advance. To find a LifeLabs location near you, please visit lifelabs.com.
To learn more about the Autism Research Centre at Holland Bloorview, click here.