Training children with autism spectrum disorder to undergo oral assessment using a digital iPad® application
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To present a training programme for teaching children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), to be compliant with a dental examination.
Fifty-two children and adolescents with ASD (age range 3–19 years) with a parent-signed consent form were enrolled. Dental examinations were performed once a month in education centres by a paediatric dentist using a visual activity schedule on an iPad® that was created with a digital application, çATED. Achievement and anxiety were evaluated using scales and grids every 2 months for 8 months.
Showed an improvement in oral assessment; the children became compliant and less anxious. The percentage of individuals who underwent the entire dental exam process increased over time; it was 25% at the beginning of the study and 65.4% after 8 months. Only 7.7% of the sample was not anxious at the beginning, while 59.6% of the sample was not anxious after 8 months. Wilcoxon analysis also showed significant improvement in the studied variables.
Training children and adolescents with ASD to undergo dental examination was efficient. The use of the iPad® is attractive and easy for practitioners and people with ASD.
KeywordsAutism Oral health Dental examination iPad® Training program
This study was supported by grants from the International Foundation of Applied Disability Research (FIRAH). We would like to express our gratitude to the çATED-autisme team. The authors would like to thank children, parents and professionals who participated to the “çATED pour tes dents” program.
Compliance with ethical standards
All procedures performed in this study involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
For this study, written informed consent was obtained from all parents of children and adolescents included in the study.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.
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