Dental service for children of the Regional Centers for Autism

Albanian Children Foundation opened in the beginning of this year at the Regional Center for Autism in Farka, the dental service with a new dental cabinet especially for children of both centers. The service will provide screening, diagnosis and treatment of dental problems to children. New dental cabinet will be led by Olesia Duke, the doctor of “Shendi Dent” Clinic, already known to the public for its contribution to children with special needs.

On the first day of the opening of the clinic Dr. Olesia Duke and colleagues who assist in this mission, met with parents of children and conducted several visits screening children thus allowing the opening of cards for each of them.

Why this new service?

Children with autism, unlike other children, often are unable to tolerate dental examinations because of fears associated with the sights and sounds produced by dental equipment. This makes their dental treatment a problem. In their daily lives these children exhibit difficulties in providing the service for oral hygiene resulting to increased teeth morbidity .The studies have shown that to reduce phobic behavior that these children exhibit toward treatment, well-structured and analyzed procedures should be applied.

To better understand how this service will run and what the children will benefit we had a short interview with Dr. Olesia Duke.

Dr. Olesia, what was the idea of having such a cooperation with the foundation?

In fact this is an early friendship between my mother and Dr. Berisha. It has has been my desire expressed to the doctor 5 years ago which was support by her.  Becoming more professional over the years thanks to my experience in the “Shendi Dent” clinic opened from my parents, I thought was ready to say “YES” to this cooperation for this mission.

Why did you choose to do this?

I am dedicated to these children because they are first and foremost children, and children must be helped.

Secondly, I see that people are more attracted to supporting children with special needs such as those with autism spectrum disorder or those with Down syndrome, etc. I like to give love unconditionally, to give my support and warmth; why not when I have an opportunity from my family.

What specific work will be done with children?

First we will build the social engagement doctor-child. This goes through some steps. Then the child gets used to the doctors, the doctor develops a full recognition and create a more reliable trust with the child. Then it goes on with the opening of the mouth which is difficult but not impossible. Secondly, the parent’s role is very important. This means that if doctor-parent relationship is set, it means my successful work with children. So if a parent helps during the clinical process, since at children with autism spectrum disorder the jaw is on the weak points of their own, then we can achieve good treatment results.

Specifically what feature of children with autism spectrum disorder in this regard?

Children with autism spectrum disorder have difficulties in the first approach, at the first meeting. Those children are very smart and have sharp senses. Aggressiveness to these children is current and manageable. Thus if the problem lies in the white shirts, the color can be changed until the child is briefly introduced. The studies has shown that “A” is the first sound that comes out to children with autism spectrum, which means that the opening of the mouth is realized through this.  This is the first stage. The second stage is patience between doctor-child-parent. These children should always have their parent or their clinical psychologist.

Meetings will be three times a month, every ten days and will be divided into age groups. Children are divided into two groups,: 2-6 years and 8-10 years. 70% of the work in the first 6 months of treatment will be therapeutic and psychological process. In the second 6 months the clinical process will begin.

This collaboration will be a contribution from you?

Absolutely yes. It will be free. It will always will be. I take this opportunity to appeal to the business customer, friends, classmates and colleagues to invest a little bit for children who have health problems in our country.

Learning Skills to Toddlers, A Program for Parents.

Foundation brings in a new didactic DVD package.

Albanian Children Foundation brings the new instrument in the field of therapeutic education for children with autism spectrum disorder. It is “Learning Skills to Toddlers, A Program for Parents”, a project which has come as a collaboration of the foundation and “Autism Speaks” and the University of “Connecticut” and is genuinely a research sponsored by ” Autism Speaks “and National Institute of Health in the US.

The project which has already begun in December 2014, comes in the form of a composite material from 6 DVD 6 chapters and 4 chapters as a textbook. It teaches parents step-by-step how to work with their children. Filming materials of 6 DVD package presents concrete examples of therapy guidelines and processes with video clips recorded specially for this purpose, and correctly oriented toward the parents how to do the right thing with their children to succeed.

This pack brings up to another level the foundation work in the most remote areas of the country, where quality services will take time to be introduced. So families living in remote areas and have no possibility of being close to a therapist, can be informed and educated through this very worthwhile program visually.

The Therapeutic program which is believed to be the best in the world for the moment, is designed by professors Deborah Fein and Lynn Brennan that a good part of our audience know them through their books translated and published in Albanian. Currently the project it is extended to 4 cities: Tirana, Elbasan, Korça and Berat.

The Foundation has the copyright to the text in Albania as well as the right to distribute this material and republish the material for Albanian speaking families in Albania, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Greece, Serbia etc.