Parent Preferences for Dental Preparatory Aids for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders
Marion, Ian William
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Purpose: To investigate caregivers’ preference regarding the use of storyboard preparatory aids to prepare children with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) for dental visits. Methods: Caregivers of new patients with ASD were given a survey regarding demographics, behavioral and medical characteristics, and media preferences. They were then shown dental preparatory aids available via different media (print or digital) and image types (photographs, drawings, or videos). Caregivers were invited to use these preparatory aids and complete a follow-up survey. Fisher’s exact tests were used to determine associations between predictive factors and media preferences. Results: Forty initial and 16 (40%) follow up surveys were completed. Subjects were male (85%) and white (48%). Mean child age was 6.7 years (SD =2.9 years). Nine (64%) caregivers found the aid useful for themselves and their child. Two (14%) caregivers found the aid helpful for themselves but not their child. Preferred media type was associated with language understanding (P=.038) and home media preference (P=.002). Prior use of preparatory aids (P=.043), media type (P=.009), and image type (P <.001) of aids the child had used in the past were associated with child preferences. Preferred dental aid image type was significantly associated with the image type used in prior aids (P=.013) Conclusions: Practitioners should consider using visual aids to help prepare children for dental visits. Individual preferences for media and image types vary, asking parents which types of media their child has been responsive to in the past may aid in selecting preparatory aids that are effective.
- Dentistry