Supporting patients on the autism spectrum
Nik Sisodia discusses the special needs of patients.
One in 100 people are thought to be on the autism spectrum, meaning you are likely to come across autistic patients in practice on a day-to-day basis. World Autism Awareness Week not only shines a spotlight on the lives of autistic people, but also provides us with the opportunity to improve our understanding and appreciation of the condition, enabling us to enhance the standard of care we provide to autistic people. This is extremely important given that those with autism often face various challenges in accessing essential dental treatment.
What is autism?
Autism – otherwise known as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – is generally understood to be a complex and lifelong developmental condition that can impact an individual’s ability to communicate and relate to others, and how they experience the world around them. It is categorised by a specific set of behaviours and affects individuals differently and to varying degrees. This means some autistic people need little or no support, whilst others may require help from a parent or carer every day in order to maintain a good quality of life.