Preparing with Your Special Needs Child to Visit the Dentist

By Dr. Greg Grillo

As 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?

dentistFinding 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.

Establish Routines

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
https://www.emergencydentistsusa.com/autism-and-dental-care/

For downs syndrome,
https://www.emergencydentistsusa.com/down-syndrome-and-dental-care/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8875813

https://www.oumedicine.com/docs/ad-pediatrics-workfiles/planned-activities-training-parent-handout-booklet.pdf?sfvrsn=2

https://adayinourshoes.com/find-special-needs-dentist-ask/

https://www.innovativepediatricdentistry.com/dental-tips-for-parents-of-special-needs-children/

http://deltadentalazblog.com/dentistry-for-special-needs-7-tips-for-making-dentist-visits-less-stressful/

 

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.

5 Key Habits of Successful People

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.

Understand the Top Traits to Be a Successful Entrepreneur-Join ACPI Now!

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 FlowNew 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 thecertified parent coach “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. 

Parent Coaching Skills for Transformation

What if your calling to support parents and children were your career? The value ACPI provides extends far beyond the monetary aspects of the parent coaching skills training and the profession. Being a parent coach is exciting and inspiring, but how exactly does it add value to you, the coach?

Being a Parenting Coach is one path to freedom of time and better-earning power if you are committed to success as a helping professional. This option strengthens your character and fulfills your motivation and moral and social values. Learning coaching skills and ethics offers rewarding experiences. Or, learning consultant planning sharpens your mind and lights the fire of curiosity again.

As Richard Branson states, you just have to say yes to a novel opportunity.

“If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”
― Richard Branson

Learning parent coaching skills can be life-changing, and not just for the families with whom you interact, but also for yourself. You might feel that parent coaching is your calling, so you help others in your parenting and friendship circles. When your satisfaction grows, the calling pulls you even further into the possibility of working at home for yourself. Think of the possibilities!

[tweetshareinline tweet="The wonder of being pulled toward your journey is unparalleled. The idea of coaching stays in your mind and you mull it over." username="parent_coach"]

Learning Enhances Earning Power

A good teacher or mentor is a life-long learner. Learning adds value to

  • How you feel emotionally
  • What you do
  • How you respond to others
  • IHow you increase your confidence and personal esteem

Your temperament and values motivate you to seek opportunities to use your natural skills like listening. You are a helper like a coach, a counselor, a teacher, a nurturer. You look for new challenges like coaching that broaden your knowledge and expand your skill set. By temperament, you are often called to teach, share, support, negotiate, and help.

Bringing your natural temperament traits into a profession like coaching engages your heart, which any job must do. If your heart is not engaged, you lose interest. If you are not seeing progress and achievements in your sphere of life, then consider parent coaching.

 

The Sense of Giving Back

The most satisfying act for a nurturer is knowing you have contributed to society in an effective way. Even better is knowing that the changes you have made have a long-term effect. By helping families and parents to strengthen their bonds, you offer them better connection and communication skills which can become their best habits.

You are assisting parents in raising their children as emotionally healthy individuals with ethical and moral values. There can’t be anything more satisfying and rewarding than knowing you help influence three generations of parents and children. However, the coaching skills are very different from giving advice.

The Client-Coach Relationship

  • As a mentor and coach, you know your clients on a personal, intimate level. They will share their emotional struggles and problems with you.
  • You are wired to be an empathetic listener who can understand and feel what the client is experiencing.
  • This requires developing a strong emotional bond with the customers.
  • You learn to build a relationship to help your clients heal, grow, and refine their focus and actions. This is missing in self-help parenting books and resources. That is what gives coaches an edge.

Taking Multiple Roles as a Consultant, Coach, or Mentor

As a parent coach, you are not just a counselor; you are a mentor who listens, teaches, educates, supports and transforms. Parent coaching skills can be defined as a set of excellent listening, coaching, and counseling skills. It is a universal skill set that will help you throughout your professional and personal endeavors in every walk of life.

However, you need to acquire the skills set required to become a good parent coach and reap the real value of being a mentor. You can start now by enrolling in Academy for Coaching Parents.

Be a Certified Coach