April is an opportunity to recognize World Autism Month. Kicking off with World Autism Awareness Day on April 2, the purpose of World Autism Month is to increase both understanding and inclusion of autism in our communities and around the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, autism affects approximately 1 in 54 children in the United States each year. While the cause of autism is unclear, it is likely due to a combination of genetic and environmental factors.
Symptoms of Autism
Autism spectrum disorders are marked by a wide range of behavioral and communication symptoms.These can include:
- Difficulty with verbal communication.
- Difficulty with nonverbal communication, such as eye contact, tone of voice and facial expressions.
- Trouble expressing emotions or understanding emotions in others.
- Repetitive behaviors, like rocking or repeatedly touching objects.
- Strong need for routine.
- Sensitivities to light, touch, sound, smell or other sensory stimuli.
In addition, many children with autism are hard working, sociable, honest, respectful, and kind.
Visiting the Dentist
Visits to the dentist can often be challenging for children with autism, but our goal is to make it as positive and comfortable an experience as possible. With years of advanced training, our pediatric specialists are able to adapt to the needs of every child we meet, including those who need that extra level of care. Our goal is to create a relaxing atmosphere where we can instill positive associations with visiting the dentist and reduce feelings of anxiety. In cases where an additional level of relaxation would be helpful to the child, our specialists are also qualified to perform sedation in the office and/or hospital.
We welcome children with autism and other special needs to our practices! If you are a parent of a child with autism and have any questions for our team, please don’t hesitate to reach out.