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Medical Care - Blood Draw Testimonial

Brian Smith - Blood draws are no longer  a drawback for him:


Practice Without Pressure (PWP) in Newark, Delaware has a noble mission: helping people, especially those with disabilities, overcome their fear of doctors, dentists and medical procedures.  Although nobody looks forward to the dentist's drill or a needle stick, when fear overwhelms the ability to cooperate for needed healthcare, it can be very detrimental.

Brian, my 17-year-old son with Down syndrome, could never cooperate to have his blood drawn.  When we was younger and much smaller, we could physically restrain him.  As he grew, there was just no way he could be held still.  His fear and panic made for a difficult situation.  Watching this, as a parent, was exasperating and it seemed there was no way this would ever change.

Last summer, we heard a news story on public television about PWP, and we excitedly called for an appointment.  Through example, pictures and visual cues, they showed Brian each step in the blood draw procedure, encouraged his participation and rewarded each successful step.  In just three visits to PWP, they were able to draw Brian's blood as he cooperated fully with confidence.  It was an amazing and unbelievable sight!

PWP was founded by a parent of a special needs child who was determined there had to be an alternative to the nightmare of dentist and doctor visits with her son.  She developed the PWP Model, which is based on understanding the individual and building the behavior needed for success.  They take the time to tune in to the patient and then tailor their approach to the patient's ability.  Medical procedures are broken down into small steps and practiced.  Importantly, patients always hold a "stop card" so they can signal when they are feeling stress and need a break.

Cooperation for dental care is the next goal for Brian.  Step by step, he is learning to sit with his head back and allow dental instruments into his mouth.  We are confident he will triumph over his fears once more, and will never again need to be under general anesthesia for routine dental care.

We are so thankful to PWP for teaching Brian to cooperate for medical care, and for the patience and caring they show.  Although we live two hours from PWP, we gladly travel to frequent practice sessions, knowing that Brian is learning techniques to overcome fear that will be a lifetime skill with unlimited benefits.

This testimonial by Brian's dad, Jack W. Smith, appeared in the Merck & Co. Partnership for Giving pamphlet distributed to employees nationwide in 2011.


Two years later:  Blood Draw Made Easy

A note of thanks to Deb Jastrebski and Karen Bashkow from Carol, Brian's mom who reported that Brian has made great strides in blood draws and dental care with PWP.  Now, a blood draw at an area hospital is routine:

Brian and I were at the hospital today to meet the doctor and then have a blood draw.  Brian prepared himself by talking it through as we

drove, reviewing his PWP videos (which he looks at daily anyway..!), but

he had no anxiety at all about the impending visit.



When we went in for the blood draw, he continued to show no anxiety, and was 100% cooperative with a woman who was less than calming.  She held only his fingers and chatted about the snow while he watched the blood flowing - still and calm.   When she finished with the draw, he smiled and calmly enjoyed

her band-aid choice.  It was so totally uneventful and SO Totally Cool!!



How does one say "Thank you" enough to you two, who have made such a huge difference in our lives?!    What blessings you are to us!!    We are

amazed and beyond appreciative of all you have accomplished with Brian!




Carol, Brian's mom  Share Update: Fall, 2013 on Sleep Study


Brian has had another sleep study at CHOP and did well with all the hook-ups and his Cpap mask on top.  His willingness to wear the mask each night amazes us. We are convinced that he would be doing none of this without the training and victories he has had through PWP!

You've blessed us immensely and we are so grateful!




Brian has since been successful with dental care.  Read more about his success in dental testimonials.



Practice Without Pressure Corporate
P.O. Box 829
Bear, DE 19701

(302) 419-8131