2 Things You Can Do To Set Your Dental Office Up For Special Needs Kids
Kids with special needs often have problems when they go to places like dentist offices. That's because the appointments can be loud and bright, which can overly stimulate kids with problems like autism. Autistic children may already feel like they are unable to filter things out and may already need to hold to a regular schedule so that they know what to expect. A dentist office, especially a new one, can throw off that schedule and make them feel like they are unable to handle the next thing. All that adds up to the fact that special needs kids often have a hard time finding a dentist because those problems can make it hard for other patients as well as themselves. If you want to set up your office so that you can serve kids with special needs, there are several things that you can do.
Separate Entrance/Waiting Room
One thing that you can do is set up a separate entrance or waiting room for kids with special needs. This isn't a punitive or discriminatory kind of thing, but you are giving them a place where the kids are able to wait in a less overwhelming or overstimulating room. Things that you can do help with this is to have a room that doesn't have a television that is on or piped in music, does have comfortable seating, and does have dimmer lights. If possible, you may want to make sure that the waiting room is as far away from office noises as possible. That way the kids aren't hearing drills or other upset patients while they wait, which could upset them.
Another thing you can do is to hire some assistants who are there to specifically work with your special needs patients. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is that you can send those assistants to continuing education to help them learn to help your patients. Another is that your patients will be able to form a relationship with your assistants which can help your patients to have a better experience. For example, if you have a patient that has to come in because they have to have a lot of fillings if that patient knows that they will always see Assistant Betsy or Assistant Bob, that can give them a sense of familiarity and routine. It will also mean that those assistants know your patients and know what will help keep them calm.
Kids who have special needs like autism often have problems finding a dentist who will treat them. Setting up a space so that you can be a dentist who can help them will make it easier on the kids who are your patients. Contact a clinic like Treasured Smiles Dentistry to learn more.