Going to the dentist with an autistic child. Continuation.
Print or prepare your own picture book or Social Story explaining what is happening in the dentist’s office.
Take pictures from the Internet or, if possible, use pictures of the real office and the doctor you are going to visit.
Show the story to your child before going to the dentist and bring it with you to your appointment (you can even laminate it to keep it from fraying).
A copy of the history can be given to the dentist or hygienist for use on site.
Try buying or borrowing some basic dental instruments for your child to see and touch before going to the dentist.
Think about your child’s tastes in terms of smells.
For example, you can bring your usual toothpaste to the hygienist’s appointment.
This is certainly not ideal for oral hygiene, but much better than a meltdown due to sensory overload.
If your pediatric dentist does not have dedicated patient video screens, bring a portable DVD player and your child’s favorite cartoons.
Distraction is a powerful tool for keeping your child calm.
If your child has difficulty perceiving bright light or loud sounds, take sunglasses and earplugs with you.
Talk to your pediatric dentist and hygienist ahead of time to get a clear idea of the procedure.
Do you have to expect a reception in a room with lots of children and noise?
Who will receive the baby first – the dentist or the hygienist?
Make sure there are no surprises.
Come with toys, food, videos, or other items your child needs for comfort.
To be continued.