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By Dr. Greg GrilloAs a dentist that works with special needs patients, I have personally seen how difficult a dental visit can be. However, with experience and cooperation with parents and guardians, I have also discovered how important preparation is for a special needs child to have the best dental visit possible.
When speaking to parents about their loved ones, there are some common elements that contribute to success at the dentist’s office. Good oral health and hygiene are essential to the well-being and success of any child and will pay dividends at the dentist office. I also suggest planned activity training - it has shown to be an effective means to prepare for an activity and will encourage good behavior. Another key is to find the right dentist; one that is compassionate and competent, one that has experience working with children with Autism or Down Syndrome.
What Is the Temperament of the Dentist?
Finding the right temperament in the dentist is because you seek a practitioner who specializes in working wiht special needs children. Certified dentists have spent an additional 3 years learning how to properly care for your loved one. If you are unable to find a special needs dentist, ask your friends, ask your dentist, call around. Find someone that is receptive to treating your loved one. Finding someone that understands your child’s needs, establishes a good rapport, and is patient and receptive will make the experience more beneficial as well as more pleasant. Whether you find a special needs dentist or not, you are going to want to communicate with your dentist what needs your loved one has, and what to expect.
Applying “planned activity training” (PAT) to prepare your child for the hardship of the dentist will be helpful. Incorporating this approach broadly well before seeing the dentist will make the dentist seem less startling and uncomfortable. PAT is a way to communicate with your loved one what exactly they can expect. I encourage you to do research on this technique.
Practice Through Play at Home
Start by preparing the child mentally and physically. For especially difficult settings make sure they are well-fed, have had adequate sleep and have everything they need. Bring something pleasant to occupy them during downtime. Explain the activity and the rules of behavior for that activity. Without being deceitful, try to exclude or diminish the unsavory elements of going to the dentist. If the opportunity is there, perhaps allow your loved one to see you having your teeth cleaned so they will be more comfortable and understand that it is not a punishment, but something even you must do. Explain rewards they may expect for good behavior and try to give choices whenever possible to allow the child to have some degree of investment in the activity. For the dental visit, highlight the fact they could choose the flavor of their toothpaste perhaps. Applying this approach seems to make the experience more pleasant for everyone.
If your loved one doesn’t already, establish routine brushing, flossing and the use of mouthwash as well. If your loved one has issues with these, do not force them, rather, consider teaching by example or incorporating positive reinforcement. Make dental hygiene a fun bonding experience. Make sure to comment on the benefits of brushing to protect their beautiful smile. Let them choose a flavor of mouthwash, toothpaste, and floss. Maybe play a favorite song of theirs to make it a more joyful activity and to cue when they have brushed long enough (a song around 2 mins). Make a fun activity out of oral hygiene and make that the routine. If they do not engage themselves, make yourself a visible and continual example and they are likely to join in. Once they begin to practice a good routine make sure you continue to reinforce their adherence to that routine, keep it fun and never diminish the accomplishment of maintaining a healthy mouth.
A happy child is a healthy child. Do not neglect or diminish the importance that oral health plays in the overall happiness of your loved one. With a proactive attitude, some effort and the right dentist, your child can benefit from a dental visit without a struggle.
For further information regarding dentistry for autistic patients, check out
For downs syndrome,
Dr. Greg spent graduated with honors from the School of Dentistry at the University of Washington. He joined the United States Navy and served for 4 years and then returned home to join the practice of his farther Dr. Jerry Grillo. Dr Greg enjoys working as a dentist, writing about dentistry and spending quality time with his family.
Everyone has habits; both good and bad. These are behaviors undertaken every day automatically. Successful people intentionally create success habits that enable them to achieve the life they desire. They are prepared to invest their time in creating these habits as they understand that they will help them to reach their goal.
Creating new habits has to be an intentional process and generally takes 21 days for the new behavior to be assimilated into daily life and routines.
Successful people tend to adopt the same habits. These success habits become part of their daily lives and help to keep them successful as they understand that the journey to success is not final. It continually moves as they need to keep growing in terms of achievement.
An entrepreneur may set his goal of achieving success at selling services worth 5 figures in one year. However, once that goal has been achieved he will re-evaluate his definition of success and set another goal for the following year.
Generally, the following five habits will be key to gaining success and maintaining it.
1. Positive Mind-set: having a positive mind-set can be learned. It will require mental programming (changing your thinking patterns). There are various ways to create a positive mind-set including using positive affirmations, visualization, self-hypnosis or coaching.
One of the most crucial factors in succeeding in anything is to believe that you can achieve it.
2. Exercise and Healthy Eating: taking care of the body through exercise, diet and good sleep routines is another crucial component. Research has shown a strong mind-body connection. By taking care of your body you are preventing ill-health from causing you problems on your way to achieving your goal.
3. Prioritization: successful people plan and they prioritize. They decide what the essential elements or tasks are each day and act on those first. By knowing which tasks will help them achieve their goal they are continuing to act on the plan for success that they created.
Delegating inessential tasks ensures that they get completed but do not detract from your ultimate goal.
4. Goal Setting: identifying the end goal and creating a plan is another essential habit. Without a goal you won't know what you are aiming for. All successful people know what success means to them and plan how to achieve it.
5. Life-long Learning: whether it is reading, taking a course or listening to audio recordings, successful people understand that knowledge is power and a crucial aspect of helping them to achieve their goals. They stay up-to-date on relevant industry information, new trends and innovations. This is built into their daily routine.
These are just five of the key habits of successful people. By adopting these success habits into your daily routine you will be creating a stronger, healthier and more successful version of you.
Successful entrepreneurs share several common features and traits, often developed through practice and perseverance. More than likely, you already have some of these traits if you explored becoming an entrepreneur.
- They Are Fearless – Few people are fearless. Most of us entrepreneurs, however, learn to push through boundaries and accomplish results through the fear. Fearless refers to being bold, spunky, and courageous. When my colleagues learned I wanted to train parents to help each other through coaching, they concurred that the need was great. The idea of peer-to-parent-coaching was bantered about through many discussions.
- They Make Actionable Plans – An entrepreneur makes plans that are actionable. Making plans, setting goals – that’s just part of the process. Doing is more important than any of that. When ACPI was discussed as a viable business, I had interviewed six people who had successful businesses, and their advice moved me forward to take action and devise a solid plan.
- They Understand Cash Flow – New entrepreneurs think that income is an indicator of success. However, the truth is that businesses fail even with adequate cash flow. Cash flow management is a critical element in running a successful business. Work hard to understand cash flow needs to be consistent, and also develop an additional financial account for backup. Believe me, just knowing an amount is set aside for emergencies, will keep you from being overly stressed. You will feel creative and excited to see the business evolve.
- They Know It’s Not About Them – You’ve heard the cliche before - the customer is always first. A new entrepreneur feels this and learns to separate his wants and desires from the customers’ desires. The customer should drive your products, services, and even price point more than your passions and dreams.
- They Aren’t Afraid to Self-Promote – As an entrepreneur, you have to let go of shyness and promote yourself. Become the expert. Be known as the “go to” person in your niche, You can’t get there if you are too afraid to be a self-promoter. Tip: Create something valuable that you’re proud of and it’ll be easy to promote it.
- They Take Action – Entrepreneurs are doers in addition to being people with good ideas. They know how to put ideas into action. They’re good at identifying opportunities, being innovative, and creating value to implement the ideas. To take action you need a clear vision, and you must be willing to overcome obstacles that get in your way.
- They Understand That Change is Inevitable (and good) – Every business that exists today will not be here tomorrow. Think how the past technology as VHS tapes have evolved. They don’t exist now, but businesses that kept their eye on the future adapted and started creating other types of storage like DVDs.
- They Listen – One skill that a successful entrepreneur has is the ability to listen to what their audience is saying. Open your ears and listen to other people’s ideas, listen to their criticisms and their desires.
- They Keep Learning – Knowing how to research and evaluate the market, their customers and competitors is a very important skill that they have honed. It will help them avoid making errors, and they’ll know how to best promote it.
Developing an entrepreneurial mindset and building your personal, business skills move you forward to fully embrace success.
My ideal client is between 35 and 65. She may be married or divorced with one or two children. She is middle class, educated, and lives in a middle-to-upper class neighborhood.
She has always been financially independent. She owns her own business or would like to have a part-time business of her own. She is discerning with money, though will rarely spend it on herself unless it’s for a practical reason.
She makes lists and likes to be able to cross everything off her list, even though there is often more there than she can achieve. She compares her achievements to others as a way of gauging her worth. She often is overcritical of herself and lacks compassion for herself, though finds it for others.
She grew up in an environment where she had to take on responsibilities too early, which forced her to put aside her creative, spontaneous side and lose touch with her own needs and intuition. As a result, she is an over-responsible, independent, strong adult. She is dependable and tries to be there for others, whether it is in her best interest or not. She is overly loyal and often takes care of others because she feels like she should because nice people do that.
She follows the rules. She lives a lot in her own head and is afraid of making the wrong decision. She is a thinker and analyzer. As a result, she has lost touch with her own feelings and needs.
She has difficulty setting boundaries with others until circumstances become extreme. When she does set a boundary, she feels guilty and often softens the boundary or changes it to suit the other person. She says “yes” when she doesn’t want to, then feels resentful. She doesn’t have a good sense of self-worth and therefore has difficulty honoring herself.
She’s unaware of her own values and using them as a way of navigating life or making decisions. She makes decisions out of fear or guilt. Only when she feels she’s been pushed too far will she get angry and lash out or finally give herself what she wants.
She is a busy person who experiences free-floating anxiety during quiet moments. She tries to get out of these feelings by staying busy, eating, or distracting herself with Internet activities. She is afraid to feel “negative” feelings for fear they will lead to something bad or shut her down completely. She is knowledgeable about positive thinking and feels guilty or fearful if she isn't thinking constructively.
She has a spiritual reference (God, the Universe, Spirit, Higher Self) and may engage in a spiritual practice. She has trouble with meditation because her mind is constantly busy. She loves self-help books, psychology, and spirituality (especially relationship books, Law of Attraction, and codependency). She loves to read or learn about these things so she can fix her problems. When an issue arises, a book or self-help source soothes her. She feels in control of the problem.
She is afraid to let go of control. She has difficulty relaxing and will often need to eat, drink, or distract herself with Internet use to relax.
She is constantly thinking about the future and the next moment. She’d like to have more fun or nurturing activities, but can’t give herself permission or justify them. She often feels overwhelmed and drained. Her feelings seem to vacillate between anxious and depressed.
She can be found working on her computer either from home or at coffee shops, running errands, and taking care of the people in her life. She enjoys bookstores and self-growth classes. She has a creative side, though it is undeveloped and not given priority. She has a worldly cause she believes in that she may or may not be aware of yet. She enjoys people and has friends, but doesn’t make relationships a priority – this can be because of lack of time or lack of energy.
She has difficulty trusting or being intimate with men. She often attracts untrustworthy or needy men. (Or this could describe her relationship to a husband.)
Her greatest desire is to learn to love herself. She realizes she doesn’t treat herself well and wants to change. Yet she feels caught in shame or guilt when taking steps toward this.
She is tired of feeling anxious and depressed. She wants to feel better about herself and her relationships but does not know how, despite the self-help books.
She is attracted to my sense of self-acceptance, non-judgment, safety, optimism, and trust in myself and a Higher Power for my safety and future.
She is ready to work with me because she sees my story and wants the balance and security I’ve achieved within myself. She feels seen and safe.
I offer her a place to begin to get to know her own feelings and emotions without fear. I show her how to feel her feelings in a way that will allow, heal them, and lead her to hear her own Inner Voice. She feels encouraged to listen to and take action toward her own needs and self-care. She experiences more self-love, self-compassion, and self-trust.
She feels more settled in her body and is able to feel good about herself and her decisions. When she makes a mistake, she sees the growth and good without shame. Though life may present her challenges, she feels more confident in herself and in life to take care of her. She is able to be with others in a way that allows her to be real and unafraid. She is able to lovingly set boundaries. Her relationship with herself and others are healthier because she is different inside. She now honors herself and is able to present with others in a way that honors them.
New ideas and desires arise in her as a result. She is more in touch with her body, needs, and emotions. She knows more of what she needs and where her limits are. She knows herself and how to take care of herself under stress. She has the resources, tools, and knowledge to handle her life. She can hear own Inner Voice and feels empowered to take risks towards what she desires.