Autism Speaks,the autism science and advocacy organization, has released a free guidefor dental professionals treating children with autism spectrumdisorder (ASD). The guide, Treating Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders: A Tool Kit for Dental Professionals,provides up-to-date information about individuals with ASD and how tofacilitate a successful office visit for children with autism.

According to the guide, patients with ASD may present with dentalconditions resulting from behaviors associated with ASD or diets oftenhigher than normal in carbohydrates, which can lead to dental decay.Dentists and therapists with the Autism Speaks Autism Therapy Networkdeveloped the guide after observing that dentists, despite beingwell-versed in strategies for treating children, often feel unpreparedfor interacting with patients with the special sensitivities and medicalissues often associated with autism. The Tool Kit is designed to helporthodontists, hygienists, and office staff better serve the needs ofthis growing patient population during office visits using behavioralapproaches.

The Tool Kit is available for free download on Autism Speaks’ Tools You Can Use Web page. In addition, a companion Dental Guide,which provides information about oral health and dental hygiene forfamilies, previously published by Autism Speaks, can be found on thesame page.