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Treating Patients with Autism in a Dental Setting

Course Number: 402

Definition of Autism

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) are a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. People with ASDs handle information in their brain differently than other people.

“ASDs are ‘spectrum disorders.’ That means that ASDs affect each person in different ways, and can range from very mild to severe. There is not one autism but many subtypes, and each person with autism can have unique strengths and challenges. People with ASDs share some similar symptoms, such as problems with social interaction. But there are differences in when the symptoms start, how severe they are, and the exact nature of the symptoms."1