Understanding oral health challenges for children and young people with autistic spectrum conditions: views of families and the dental team

Parry, J and Shepherd, J (2018) Understanding oral health challenges for children and young people with autistic spectrum conditions: views of families and the dental team. Journal of Disability and Oral Health, 19 (4). pp. 170-174. ISSN 1470-8558

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Abstract

Anxiety regarding dental procedures and fear regarding dental re-attendance when families have experienced problems relating to difficult behaviour at a previous visit, can result in unmet dental treatment needs for patients with autism. The aim of this project was to involve key stakeholders meaningfully to gain understanding of the issues and challenges facing children and young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) when they attend for dental visits. Qualitative data regarding dental experiences was gathered from children diagnosed with ASC, parents of children with ASC and dental service providers. Children were engaged to participate, where possible, in interviews with their parents present. Individual interviews were conducted with parents of children from across the autism spectrum (with and without learning difficulties) and across ages from 5 to 14 years. Information from primary care dental providers was gathered through participation in a focus group discussion. Sensory difficulties, dentist expectations and attitudes, and lack of pre-visit preparation for dental visits were highlighted as important factors influencing dental experiences for patients with ASC and their families. Pre-appointment preparation and education regarding ASC were identified as areas where positive action could be taken to improve dental experience. Sensory reactivity was identified as a common and significant obstacle to optimal oral care requiring further research. The aim of this project was to involve key stakeholders meaningfully to gain understanding of the issues and challenges facing children and young people with Autism Spectrum Conditions (ASC) when they attend for dental visits.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: L Education
Depositing User: Deeptima Massey
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2019 09:12
Last Modified: 01 Jul 2019 17:31
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/82668

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