At Velez & Lozano we would like to take advantage of the fact that this past Saturday, 2 April, was the World Autism Awareness Day to recall our commitment to all sectors of our society and to remember that at the clinic we have a specific protocol for patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)which has the quality seal of the Astrade association and for which they have relied on their team of specialised professionals. The new protocol involves all members of the clinic, from the reception team to the dentists and hygienists, and the aim is to make the experience as bearable as possible for this type of patient, some of whom have difficulty in coping with a visit to the dentist.
The fact is that some patients with ASD often show a rejection of noise, bright lights, new places or unfamiliar people, which means that treating them in a dental clinic involves certain difficulties that we are used to dealing with. In fact, our assistant Jacobo Martínezthe creator and promoter of this initiative, came up with the idea of setting up this protocol after discussing it in the cabinet of paediatric dentistry with several of these patients over the years.
The protocol is activated from the first moment that the parents, guardians or educators-accompanying persons of the potential patient contact the clinic. The reception team sends them by email a pack containing several useful resources, such as a first visit protocol, photographs of the clinic's staff and facilities, stories about visits to the dentist in video format or, most importantly, a complete form that allows parents, guardians or carers to provide all the relevant information about the potential patient, such as stimuli that may cause problems (such as loud sounds or strong light) or, on the contrary, those that relax them.
This information is crucial to prepare a first visit as less traumatic as possible for the patient with ASD and to coordinate the clinical staff for it. Once the patient enters Vélez & Lozano, the next part of the protocol is activated, which includes from specific WAIT / PASS cards for the waiting room (or the possibility of being notified just when the office is ready, so as not to have to wait in the clinic if this causes discomfort for the patient) to special paddles that they have manufactured to facilitate communication in the office with those patients more reticent with verbal forms of communication or special symbology.
In addition, and internally, the clinic has received training on ASD and guidelines on how to behave with these patients, addressing in several clinical sessions the adequacy of this protocol and its implementation as well as the most common behaviours that can be expected in this type of patients.
This is another example of the clinic's commitment to Murcian society, the integration and firm belief that in order to improve the oral health and dental aesthetics of all its patients, it is necessary not only the efficiency of state-of-the-art technological equipment, but also the close treatment of a multidisciplinary and specialised team, and that each and every member of society deserves this personal treatment based on their own characteristics.