Abstract of S.A. Cermak lecture


S.A. Cermak1, L. Stein1, J. Polido2
1 University of Southern California, USA; 2 Children's Hospital Los Angeles, USA

Oral care is integral to health and function. Children with disabilities
such as Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) are at particular risk for
poor oral care. This may be exacerbated by sensory sensitivities
common to children with ASD. Sensory sensitivities are associated
with anxiety and behavior problems, the greatest barrier to general
dentists’ willingness to treat children with disabilities. The purpose of
the study was to ascertain if children with ASD, in comparison to
typical developing children, have increased oral care difficulties, and
whether these difficulties are linked to sensory sensitivities. Methods
included an oral care survey that was completed by parents of 398
children, an ASD Group (n=196) and Typical Group (n=202), ages 2-
18 years. Results indicated that a significantly higher percentage of
children with ASD experienced difficulty with almost all aspects of oral
care, in comparison to TD children. Moreover, a significantly higher
percentage of children in the ASD group experienced over-sensitivity
in each of the sensory domains in comparison to typical children.
Within the ASD group, 74% of parents of children with ASD reported
that their child was “moderately-extremely” oversensitive to 3+
sensory modalities, significantly more than parents of typical children
(15%). Among children with ASD, being an “over-responder” to
sensory stimuli was associated with difficulty with routine oral care in
the home and dental office, self-stimulatory behaviors in the dental
office, and use of restraint by the dental practitioner for routine teeth

No comments:

Post a Comment