While studies show that patients with autism and other syndromes often have a lower prevalence of dental caries, unfortunately they are more likely to require general anesthesia for dental procedures.
Of importance to the anesthetic care of autistic patients is the common desire to maintain a consistent and predictable environment. Any behavioral manifestations such as, inflexible nonfunctional routines and repetitive motor movements are adapted into the anesthesia management.
Pre-anesthetic planning for a child with one of the Syndromes will include a discussion of your child’s likes and dislikes. Also any phobias or anxiety triggers should be discussed including stereotypical behavioral patterns. It may be helpful to make use of the child’s preferences that include video games, DVDs, or a cherished object. We will be seeking your input and discuss what would work best for your child on issues such as injections, masks, or intravenous catheters that are required to begin the anesthetic. The anesthetic will be designed to minimize breaks in your child’s routine. We will be encouraging your child using positive verbal reinforcement, distraction, and rewards. We will avoid any unnecessary restraint.
It is important for transportation home that you bring another adult to help either drive or supervise your child during the drive home.
Our anesthesiologists care for hundreds of patients with syndromes each year and are some of the most experienced special-needs anesthesiologists in the country. Your child’s safety and comfort are our primary concerns as well as our emphasis on quickly reintegrating your child back into their routine.