It can be scary for both adults and children to visit the dentist. But if your child has autism, then certain sensory issues could make the experience even worse. However, with the right amount of preparation, you can help make the dentist less scary for your child. Here are some things you can do to help your child with autism prepare for the dentist.
Pick a Dentist
The first thing you should do is make sure that you have the right dentist for your child. There are several dentists who have specialized experience working with children who have special needs. Choosing a dentist in this area will make the experience much easier for you and your child. You will have someone who will better understand your child’s needs. If you can’t find a dentist who is specifically trained to work with people who have special needs, then you should talk to several dentists and ask them if they have treated a child with autism in the past.
Practice with Your Child
Especially if your child has never been to the dentist before, it’s a good idea to prepare them mentally. A harmless role-play at home can go a long way towards making your child feel safe and prepared at the dentist. Also, if you have the opportunity, you can show your child a few dental tools so they can be familiar with them. Taking pictures of the dentist’s office beforehand and showing them to your child is another way to let them prepare.
Pack Favorite Items
It’s always a good idea to bring something your child will enjoy to take their mind off if the dentist. If they have a favorite blanket or stuffed animal, then that will be a big help in making them feel more comfortable. This is the reason it is important to talk to your dentist about your child and make sure that they will let your child hold something while they are in the dentist’s chair.
The Connections Therapy Center
The Connections Therapy Center serves families of children and adolescents with disabilities and special needs. We are a team of experts in the fields of pediatric speech, occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, and behavioral sciences. As a team, we offer intensive hands-on therapy for children and adolescents, as well as informative and useful resources for families. If you are interested in learning more about what we can do to help your family, visit us online or give us a call at (301) 577-4333. Want to get more information on how to help your child thrive? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.