Empowering People, Launching lives

The introduction of a desensitisation programme to teach teeth brushing toleration

Building confidence and independence

Andrew Swartfigure BCBA, Consultant with BeyondAutism, talks with Rebecca Lowes, ABA Supervisor at BeyondAutism, Taylor Christensen, OT at BeyondAutism and Tom Bailey, Head of Therapies at BeyondAutism.

When necessary health care needs are more important than preferences. How do you begin to approach oral care when the individual finds it aversive? We explore how this was achieved and how beginning to teach autonomy through escape mands can support desensitisation.

Download or listen below.

This podcast is ACE accredited, providing one Type 2 credit. To apply for this CEU please complete the short form at the bottom of this page.

References discussed

Bishop, M.R., Kenzer, A.L., Coffman, C.M., Tarbox, C.M., Tarbox, J. and Lanagan, T.M. (2013) Using stimulus fading without escape extinction to increase compliance with toothbrushing in children with autism. Res Autism Spectr Disord; 7(6): 680–686.

Carter, L., Harper, J.M., & Luiselli, J.K. (2019). Dental Desensitization for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder through Graduated Exposure, Reinforcement, and Reinforcement-Fading. J Dev Phys Disabil; 31(2): 161–170.

Diab, H.M., Motlaq, S.S., Alsharare, A., Alshammery, A., Alshammery, N., Khawja, S.G., & Shah, A.H. (2016). Comparison of gingival health and salivary parameters among autistic and non-autistic school children in Riyadh. J Clin Diagn Res; 10(10): ZC110.

Lewis, C., Vigo, L., Novak, L., & Klein, E.J. (2015). Listening to parents: a qualitative look at the dental and oral care experiences of children with autism spectrum disorder. Pediatr Dent; 37(7): 98E–104E.

Loo, C.Y., Graham, R.M., & Hughes, C.V. (2008). The caries experience and behavior of dental patients with autism spectrum disorder. J Am Dent Assoc; 139(11): 1518–1524.

Shabani, D.B., & Fisher, W.W. (2006). Stimulus fading and differential reinforcement for the treatment of needle phobia in a youth with autism. J Appl Behav Anal; 39(4): 449–452.

Stein, L. I., Polido, J. C., Mailloux, Z., Coleman, G.G., & Cermak, S.A. (2011). Oral care and sensory sensitivities in children with autism spectrum disorders. Spec Care Dentist; 31(3): 102–110.

Click here if you’d like to read the full case study.

Desensitisation programme case study image

Registered Charity No. 1082599. Registered in England and Wales Ltd by guarantee No. 4041459 Registered Office: Ashurst LLP, London Fruit & Wool Exchange, 1 Duval Square, London, E1 6PW