To investigate the challenges faced by Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) children and their families in Dubai from three
different perspectives of dental care: oral care at home, oral care at the dentist and access to oral care, and to compare the results to their normally developing peers.
A case-control comparative study of 84 ASD and 53 healthy children
attending special needs centres and schools in Dubai including siblings of the autistic children. Data collection was by a survey
questionnaire completed by parents or guardians.
More parents of ASD children compared to parents of healthy children
reported difficulties across almost all oral care variables explored. The majority of ASD children’s parents (83.3%) reported that their children need assistance in brushing their teeth compared with 15.4% of the healthy controls (p-value < 0.001). The ASD children’s uncooperative behaviour increased during dental visits and significantly more parents (37%) rated their child’s experience as negative compared with 9.5% among the parents of control children (p-value=0.006). The autistic children had visited a dentist mostly for extractions.
This study indicates that autistic children in Dubai experience more challenges and barriers to oral care than their typically developing healthy peers.
Vol.19 – n.2/2018
Harvard: D. Mansoor, M. Al Halabi, A. H. Khamis, M. Kowash (2018) "Oral health challenges facing Dubai children with Autism Spectrum Disorder at home and in accessing oral health care", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 19(2), pp127-133. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2018.19.02.06
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