You probably remember the bright lights, loud noises, and strange tastes of your first dental appointment. You probably felt a little scared but got used to these sensory elements the more you visited the dentist.
A child’s first dental visit is important, especially for children with autism because those sensory elements we just mentioned can be more difficult to process for them. Luckily, knowing what to expect at your child’s dental appointment can help you prepare for their appointment and help lessen some anxious feelings your child may have. I have been practicing family dentistry for 17 years and know how important it is for your child to have a positive experience at the dentist office. That’s why I have come up with a list of what you can expect when taking your child to the dentist, and how to prepare to make it a positive experience.
It’s common for anyone to feel nervous at their first dental appointment, so this is expected. There are many great ways to help overcome nerves and sensory issues your child may be feeling to help them at their dental appointment.
Practicing at home is one great way to start working through any nerves. Role-playing dental visits at home and telling stories or watching videos about dental checkups have helped many patients I have had throughout the years. There are many different ways to work and prepare for your child’s dental visit, and it may take a while to figure out what works best, but never give up. Do what you can to make going to the dentist a positive experience for your child. Your dentist will be right there beside you helping you along the way.
1. New people
Another thing that you will for sure experience at the dentist is meeting new people. As you begin going to the dentist more frequently, you will quickly be getting to know the office and staff members at your dental clinic.
If your child is feeling especially nervous towards visiting the dentist, try setting up a familiarization appointment ahead of time for them to visit the dental office. This will give them the chance to meet the office and staff before any work is done. They can also see what the office looks like which will make it more familiar when your child comes back for their appointment.
The staff members at your dental office are going to work to make your child’s experience as comfortable as they can. Ask any questions you may have regarding your child’s appointment and let them know ahead of time any special accommodations you’d like to be made. These can include things such as specific toothpaste flavors or reducing waiting room time. Think of you, your child, and your dentist as a team. Teamwork is the best way for your child to have the most positive experience at the dentist.
Going to the dentist gives you and your child an amazing opportunity to establish a positive relationship between you guys and the staff at your dental office. They will be working closely with your child so having this relationship is important.
3. Future dental visits
Finally, it is extremely important to your child’s overall health to visit the dentist regularly so be prepared to schedule future visits. It’s recommended that your child visits a dentist once every six months. Note that your child’s first visit is going to be the most difficult, but it will become easier with each visit. Make note of what went well during the first visit and what can be improved on. At first, it will be trial and error but enjoy the learning process.
One thing that many patients with special needs benefit from is working with the same staff each time. As mentioned before, establishing that relationship with office and staff members will be beneficial in the long run. Your child will be more willing to visit the dentist if they can be around people they are familiar with. It will help ease any anxieties your child may have previously had and make for great and positive dental visits.
It’s very common that people experience nerves when they visit the dentist. You probably remember feeling a little scared at your first dental visit, too. However, children with autism often have more difficulties when it comes to visiting the dentist. Thankfully having an idea of what to expect can help you prepare for your child’s appointment.
Be sure to keep conversations around the dentist positive and encouraging. Visiting the dentist is a great learning experience for you and your child. Remember that proper dental care is essential to your child’s health and well-being. Embrace learning about the dentist with your child as they begin to overcome their fears and become comfortable at their dental appointments.
About Dr. Grillo:
Dr. Grillo spent eight years at the University of Washington and received a bachelor’s degree with honors before attending the School of Dentistry on the same campus.From there he was selected for a Health Professions Scholarship by the United States Navy where he served as a dental officer for four years.
While in the navy, Dr. Grillo served tours in South Carolina and Japan, treating families of squadron military members and receiving advanced training in multiple areas of specialized dentistry. He especially enjoys caring for growing families in his practice and remains passionate about incorporating new technologies into his work that enhance the patient experience.
Dr. Grillo continues to take numerous continuing education courses on all aspects of dentistry and is also involved in a variety of community activities in the Omak area outside of his work.
As many of you know, April is observed as Autism Awareness Month in the United States. Through the years autism awareness has increased, but shouldn’t there be more? Aside from being aware of autism in general, maybe we should raise awareness of the downside of exposing ourselves to a world that is still not sure what to do with us.
Being surrounded by people who are merely aware of autism isn’t enough. Then again, being around people who are aware of autism may also be too much to bear. In some instances increased awareness drives an even larger wedge between those of us on the autism spectrum and others? Why, because the more knowledgeable people are of our differences, the higher the wall of stigma.
Autism Awareness in of itself does not guarantee that we will be considered viable members of society. Autism Awareness does not guarantee that our strengths and weaknesses will be included in the common fabric of humanity. Autism Awareness does not guarantee that we will have equal rights in opportunities for education, employment, and housing nor does autism awareness guarantee that we receive appropriate medical attention, even under the umbrella of whole person-centered care.
So why is it so difficult to be aware and accepting of autism? Maybe people don’t know how to accept autism. It’s not rocket science. Autism acceptance is taking the time to get to know us as individuals, recognizing our strengths and challenges, and being thoughtful in diversifying problem-solving; systematically removing barriers to promote seamless inclusion. With acceptance, adaption to differences in ability would become second nature.
There is no shame, disgrace or dishonor in having an autism spectrum disorder. Such notions tend to motivate parents to lean towards highly questionable treatments and therapies, a sort of fools gold encapsulated in hope-filled attempts to “cure” autism.
There is no cure for autism.
Amidst the infinite listings of traits and ubiquitous connotations, one fact still links us together…we are all human. Can that be enough?
This year, let us not only look to ways of raising autism awareness but let us also be part of the push to increase autism education and ACCEPTANCE.
Organization: The Pilgrimage: Autism's Love
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Facebook: Autism's Love: The Pilgramage
Today is April 1. the day we kick off the Royal Blue for Autism Awareness campaign.
We will be providing links, information and great new content for you through this site and our great participants. Its also an election year. So we will be taking on how the politics of Autism Awareness is shaping up.
Here's where we are:
We will be talking about both Awareness and Acceptance. We understand that in many communities, "Awareness" is still needed before "Acceptance" occurs. We will also be talking about how Acceptance has to happen in Autism communities that don't include underrepresented communities
Long Story Short, We have a lot of work to do, and with your help, we can make change happen.
Please share our posts, articles and stories the entire Month of April. Our goal is to not only erase the stigma, but to provide people the tools they need to help the children around them.
Monika Brooks, Founder
Mocha Autism Network
MOCHA AUTISM NETWORK LAUNCHES 3RD ANNUAL "ROYAL BLUE FOR AUTISM AWARENESS" CAMPAIGN
“Royal Blue for Autism Awareness” campaign to use social media to provide information to underrepresented communities.
Oakland, CA: To address the information gap regarding Autism in Areas in need, the Mocha Autism Network has decided to take to Social Media to increase awareness. Called the “Royal Blue for Autism Awareness,” the Oakland organization has teamed up with THE Cooperative Federal Credit Union as well as the Omega Kappa Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated to provide information on Autism Spectrum traits and resources to underrepresented communities.
The number of children diagnosed on the Autism Spectrum, Studies are on the rise due to new identification techniques. However, people in underrepresented areas are diagnosed last. The goal of this campaign is for supporters to utilize their Electronic Footprint of our to be used to serve the community.” states Monika Brooks, Executive Director of the Mocha Autism Network.
Per the Centers for Disease Control, children or adults on the autism spectrum may:
avoid eye contact and want to be alone
~ have trouble understanding other people’s feelings or talking about their own feelings
~ prefer not to be held or cuddled, or might cuddle only when they want to
~ appear to be unaware when people talk to them, but respond to other sounds
~ be very interested in people, but not know how to talk, play, or relate to them
~ repeat or echo words or phrases said to them, or repeat words or phrases in place of
~ have trouble expressing their needs using typical words or motions
For More information, please go to royalblueforautismawareness.com
Established in 2013, the goal of the Mocha Autism Network is to provide awareness, promote advocacy and form alliances among the Autism communities in underrepresented communities.
Below are the items shared on April 23
The Mocha Autism Network: Empowering Minority Communities With Autism Support
Autism affects 1 in 68 children, regardless of their skin color or ethnic backgrounds. But, responses to the signs of autism vary, especially in minority communities. Monika Brooks, a California mom with a child on the spectrum, founded the Mocha Autism Network to help change perceptions of autism in her community and surrounding ones. More
7 Tips for Helping the Day Go Smoothly
Many families struggle to get everyone to school and work on time. This can be particularly tricky if learning and attention issues make it hard for your child to transition from task to task or keep track of time. The following tips can enhance—and ease—your daily routines. More
Addressing Inequities in Care for Latino and African American Children with Autism
Below are the items shared on April 22
How kicking a trash can became criminal for a 6th grader
Diagnosed as autistic, the sixth-grader was being scolded for misbehavior one day and kicked a trash can at Linkhorne Middle School in Lynchburg, Virginia, in the Blue Ridge Mountains. A police officer assigned to the school witnessed the tantrum, and filed a disorderly conduct charge against the sixth grader in juvenile court. More
Teachers Quick to Label Black Students Troublemakers
The study showed that teachers tend to view black students more harshly than white students even when their disruptive behavior is exactly the same — possibly triggering a destructive cycle. More
Me As a Boy: On Raising an Asian American and Autistic Son
Every day we try to figure out the future for Charlie. He is on the moderate-to-severe end of the autism spectrum, minimally verbal (speaking in one to five-word phrases), with numerous cognitive delays—he is unable to read more than a few words and attends a county autism center where he receives vocational training and learns “skills of daily living,” such as washing his face. He can have some extremely severe behaviors of the “textbook autism nightmare without end” sort, including,when extremely agitated, head banging. More
Autism Resources for Spanish-Speaking Families
When my son Norrin was diagnosed with autism, I was completely lost. The pediatrician who diagnosed him recommended a list of services but offered little hope. I found myself feeling like Alice in Wonderland and I had just fallen down the rabbit hole. Navigating the special education system is complicated. It's been nearly seven years since Norrin's diagnosis and I feel comfortable in searching for resources; I know who to ask and where to look. But like so many parents, in those early years, I spent many hours scrambling, searching and scouring the internet for autism resources. More
Below are the items shared on April 21
What Reading Self Advocate Blogs Does
There’s plenty of autistic people blogging, mostly adults since it’s mostly adults who blog. Most of the ones I’ve read, most of the autistic adults who are involved in advocacy that I’ve talked to, most of the parents who “get it” say how important it is to listen to autistic adults. Some people might take the “what’s in it for me” approach. I’d prefer that self-determination and the right to be included in conversations that concern your own future be reason enough, but just in case it isn’t, here are some answers of how it really does help parents to read self-advocate blogs and how it really does help kids when their parents “get it,” which is a pretty common result of reading them. More
AUTISM AWARENESS AND ADVOCACY CLUB ENCOURAGES NEW MEMBERS TO JOIN
A club with a cause. Members of Southern’s Autism Awareness and Advocacy Club said they have plans to educate the campus about the truths behind the disorder while also addressing some stigmas that are associated with the diagnosis. More
Below are the items shared on April 20
Autism In History
I never set out to write about autism. My interest in the history of psychology and the human sciences directed me towards this subject and compelled me to reflect on the meaning of autism and its changes over time.
Some Doctors Still Dismiss Parents' Concerns About Autism
Most children with autism get diagnosed around age 5, when they start school. But signs of the developmental disorder may be seen as early as 1 year old.
Yet even if a parent notices problems making eye contact or other early signs of autism, some doctors still dismiss those concerns, a study finds, saying the child will "grow out of it." That can delay diagnosis and a child's access to therapy. More
Temple Grandin works to find 'can' in autism
The world needs all types of thinkers.
Temple Grandin's mind works visually, in a series of photographs. Some people with autism think verbally. Others fall elsewhere along the spectrum. More
Thanks so much for participating in Picture Day! Here are some submissions
Below are the items shared on April 15
How to work with someone with autism
The new guy in the office is loud and aggressive, can’t read social cues, won’t wait his turn in meetings, and talks obsessively about the same things every day. And yet, sometimes, he shares extraordinary insights.
Autistic Adults: Socially Impaired or Socially Different?
Many of us almost take it for granted that individuals with autism have fewer and poorer friendships than others. Even worse, this assumption is usually assigned reflexively to the autism itself. This isn’t just true of our culture at large, either; it is true of researchers and professionals.
Fortunately, some in the field are starting to challenge existing ideas about social deficits and autism. Authors of a recent paper published in the Scandinavian Journal of Disability Research, Brownlow, Bertilsdotter, and O’Dell, drew on a theoretical perspective that casts autism as a neurological difference rather than a deficit.
Peter Thiel: Asperger’s can be a big advantage in Silicon Valley
He avoids hiring MBAs, since he says they tend to be “high extrovert/low conviction people,” a combination of traits that “leads towards extremely herd-like thinking and behavior.” Similarly, he says that “people end up behaving more lemming-like” in places like San Francisco’s South of Market neighborhood, where tons of tech companies are crammed into a .635 square mile area. All that socialization leads to conformity, he argues, preventing people from coming up with original, innovative ideas.