Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 14

T

HE average age of diagnosis for autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is 4 years. These patients also tend to
have higher rates of co-occurring conditions such as
seizures, gastrointestinal issues, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and sleep disorders than the general population, meaning many families must travel
to multiple facilities to receive treatment for those
different needs. Children's Hospital of Orange County
(CHOC Children's) in Orange, Calif., recognized this challenge and sought
to create a centralized facility that would serve as a medical home for children with ASD. "There are other centers out there, but what was missing
was a home where kids and families could come to receive their diagnosis
as well as care in a coordinated manner," says Dr. Tom Megerian, clinical
director for CHOC Children's Thompson Autism Center.
The $9.5 million CHOC Children's Thompson Autism Center opened
in March. A former medical office building located just blocks away from
CHOC Children's main campus was selected as the
site, so specialists can easily deliver services at both locations. The two-story, 20,000-square-foot facility is
divided into three distinct areas: therapy rooms, assessment rooms, and multidisciplinary exam rooms. The
first floor of the center houses nine therapy and interventional treatment rooms for services such as Adaptive Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, toilet training,
and occupational and speech therapy, as well as areas
dedicated to care coordination, family resource consultation, education, and telehealth. Assessment and
adaptive-use clinical exam rooms, which can be used
for dentistry care or electroencephalogram monitoring,
are on the second floor.
Severe behavior rooms and lab spaces are designed
with sound attenuation features, so a child having trouble with getting blood drawn or having behavioral issues wouldn't negatively influence others in the clinic.
Additionally, "the exam rooms are bigger than traditional exam rooms to allow families to be in there and
kids have space to roam around and play, which is helpful to get them to calm down and focus," says Matthew
Lazari, executive director of CHOC Children's Thompson Autism Center.

14

J U N E /J U LY 2 0 2 0

2/4

ABOVE: Assessment

rooms allow early
diagnosis of children
with autism spectrum
disorder. Each room
has similar signage
and wayfinding to
signify its use, including
assessment rooms,
exam spaces, and staff
workstations. BELOW:
Clinicians have a
centralized workspace
with entryways to
exam rooms, allowing
patients to stay in one
location for multiple
appointments.

On both floors of the building, adjacent to the
waiting areas, nooks or circular cubbies were
incorporated to allow a child to choose where
he or she may feel more comfortable. "For example, if children are feeling overwhelmed and
anxious once they have arrived for their appointment, they may spot the nooks and 'hide
out' for comfort," says Megerian.
To inform some of the design decisions, the
design team consulted Dr. Shireen Kanakri,
an associate professor of interior design at Ball
State University and director of the Health Environment Design Research Lab in Muncie,
Ind. "She provided valuable research information regarding color, imagery, and acoustics and
their effect on autistic children," says Hilary
Thomas-Herd, associate vice president, interior designer at CannonDesign (Dallas), which
provided architecture and interior design services on the project.
For example, Kanakri's feedback noted that
children with ASD thrive in calm and relaxing
settings where they can decompress, so the design team chose a color palette with pastel hues
and artwork with familiar themes of animals
and families to avoid triggering negative emotions. "The thing I love about the center is that
you don't walk into a sterile environment, because the entire facility was designed to provide
a comfortable, non-threatening environment
for children who sense the world differently,"
Lazari says.-Tracey Walker, managing editor

LAURA PETERS/CANNONDESIGN

monitor

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Healthcare Design - June/July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Healthcare Design - June/July 2020

Healthcare Design - June/july 2020
Editorial
Show Talk
Homeward Bound
Take Five With Tammy Felker
First Look
Into the Light
Difference Maker
Planning and Operations Decompression Space
Staff Spaces Building Alignment
Productspotlight Behavioral Health
Product Spotlight Artwork
The Center
Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Healthcare Design - June/july 2020
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Cover2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 1
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 2
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 3
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 4
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 5
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 6
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 7
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 8
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Editorial
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Show Talk
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 11
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 12
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Homeward Bound
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 14
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 15
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - First Look
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 17
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Into the Light
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 19
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 20
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 21
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 22
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 23
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 24
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 25
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Difference Maker
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 27
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 28
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 29
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 30
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 31
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 32
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Planning and Operations Decompression Space
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 34
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 35
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Staff Spaces Building Alignment
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 37
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Productspotlight Behavioral Health
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 39
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 40
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 41
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Product Spotlight Artwork
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 43
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 44
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 45
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - 46
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - The Center
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Face Time
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Cover3
Healthcare Design - June/July 2020 - Cover4
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