Can you believe it’s been a quarter of a century since the Autism Society launched a nationwide effort to help promote autism awareness? Us either, but we are so thankful they did! National Autism Awareness Month represents an amazing opportunity to help promote and spread autism acceptance and awareness to the tens of thousands diagnosed each year!
Increasing Awareness: 6 Common Characteristics
As a pediatric dentist, it’s important that the additional knowledge and training I’ve received is being implemented in all aspects of my job. I specialize in children, especially those with special needs. This is only one of the many qualifications a parent should be in search of when choosing a dental provider for their children.
There are many characteristics commonly found in children with complex disabilities. Just to name a few:
- Social skills – those with autism commonly shy away from interaction with others, but it’s not uncommon for a child to display clumsy behavior or no interest in social interaction at all.
- Empathy – children with autism find it harder to show empathy to others, although they are teachable in acknowledging others feelings.
- Physical Contact – in some cases, autistic children do not like physical contact such as hugging or tickling.
- Speech – some children may be affected with “Echolalia” type speech symptoms which includes the child repeating words or phrases they hear. In extreme cases, they may not speak at all.
- Sudden Changes to Their Environment – children with autism often struggle with sudden changes to their environment. That can include a loud noise, change in lighting or even a change in smell.
- Changes to Routine and Behavior – Studies have shown that children with autism often display repetitive behavior, especially in their routine. A disruption to any part of it can be unsettling for them.
Spreading The Word
Did you know, one in every 110 children is affected by autism in the United States? I’m sure you would agree that a better informed public provides better support and acceptance to those with autism.
Oral health is a very important component in our lives, but for some children, keeping healthy oral habits can be extremely difficult. That’s why we want each and everyone of our patients’ visits to be as stressless and productive as possible!
Be sure to check out this video put together by Colgate and Philips-Sonicare for an at home guide to improving oral hygiene.
~ Dr. Randy Pagenkopf