Dental visits made easy for children with autism

Dr. Phoebe Tsang and her research team would like to extend a big thank you to all participants in her study, focused on helping children with autism cope with their dental visit, at BC Children’s Hospital (BCCH).  She was also very grateful for the opportunity to collaborate with BCCH psychologist, Dr. Janet Mah in the last few years.  Their hard work has been recently published in the Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry.

Here is the abstract of the study for those who are interested.  You can find the full article in with the following citation:   Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry Volume 40, Number 5/2016.

autism awareness

Visual Schedule System in Dental Care for Patients with Autism: A Pilot Study

Objectives:  A pilot study to test whether a visual schedule system using picture communication symbols can help children with autism have successful routine dental cleaning visits.

Study Design: 14 boys with autism between three- to eight-years-old presented to the dental clinic for four weekly consecutive dental appointments. Patients were randomly assigned to either the control group who received the tell-show-do method (i.e., standard of care), or the test group who received the tell-show-do method plus the visual schedule system.

Results: Patients in the test group completed an average of 1.38 more steps, at 35.52 seconds per step faster, and with 18.7% lower levels of behavioral distress than those in the control group.

Conclusion: The use of a visual schedule system, along with repeated weekly visits, showed some promise in helping children with autism successfully complete more steps, progress at a quicker rate, and exhibit lower levels of behavioral distress within a dental appointment, compared to a traditional tell-show-do approach.

Visual Schedule for dental visit

Fraser Valley Child Development Centre – ‘Helping Kids Shine’ Run, Walk and Roll was a great success!

C.O.C.C. – Commitment tO Community Care

“Helping Kids Shine – Walk or Run and Roll” is an annual fundraising event for Fraser Valley Child Development Centre.  The Fraser Valley Child Development Centre (FVCDC) has provided services to enhance the quality of life for children with developmental needs since 1982.  The organization reaches out to children at facilities located in Abbotsford, Mission, Chilliwack, and Hope.  They also visit schools, client homes and community centres to serve families as far as Boston Bar, Agassiz, and Harrison.  These centres provide wide range of services to children whose development is delayed or who are at risk. The child may be experiencing difficulty with physical movement, reasoning or problem solving tasks, or emotional issues. Their third annual family friendly, wheelchair accessible walkathon, “Helping Kids Shine, Run, Walk and Roll”,   took place at the Sardis secondary track in Chilliwack, BC on June 23 from 9 a.m. to noon.  Participants had options of a 1 km walk ‘n’ roll, or a 5 km fun run.  The event also featured a children carnival with face painting, bouncy castle, mini golf and a Children’s Concert.  The Children’s Oral Care Centre strongly supports the missions of the Fraser Valley Development Centre and was proud to a be sponsor for this event in the past few years.  All proceeds raised from this event is to support children and families with developmental needs.  To learn more about this event or the services of the Fraser Valley Child Development Centre, please visit:

Children, special needs children, developmental delay