Saturday April 2, 2016, was World Autism Awareness day and L.A’s Autism Speaks Walk marked the official kick-off of our city’s celebration of Autism Awareness Month, a worldwide movement consisting of a series of events and fundraisers to educate and enlist support of those not directly affected by someone with autism. Dr. Micheal and Dr. Jill Lasky are longtime supporters of the L.A. event and its founding organization Autism Speaks. Over the past few years, the Lasky Pediatric Group team has participated in this fundraising walk or have supported patients’ families who had created walking teams.
This year, the Autism Speaks Walk 2016 raised over $1.2 million dollars which will go to support research, education, and family support programs. For more information about Autism Speaks or to make a donation help them meet their goal, please go to the Autism Speaks Los Angeles Walk 2016 website.
The Lasky Pediatric Dental Group holds their young patients on the autism spectrum as well as those with other special needs in a special place in their heart. Many parents come to find the Lasky Pediatric Dental group after many years and just as many unsuccessful attempts to get their child proper pediatric dental care with or without sedation. Dr. Michael and Dr. Jill are known for their high success rate in caring for special needs children with no sedation, although they have it just in case. The Drs. Lasky and their team of dental assistants, hygienists, and even the front desk personnel, are all highly experienced and sensitive to the needs of these very special patients and their families.
How do Dr. Michael and Dr. Jill succeed where some other pediatric dentists may fail? Both of their Studio City and Tarzana offices were specifically designed to look like an average a living room, with couches, chairs and a child’s play area. The one thing you won’t find in their offices, are TVs or video games, also purposefully done to prevent overstimulating all of their young patients.
Again, while many pediatric dentists prefer to sedate the special needs or highly fearful patient, Dr. Michael and Dr. Jill may use
it as a very last resort. Their gentle and effective method – scheduling several short visits over weeks or months, as long as it takes – eases a child into the dental experience. Plus, the Drs. Lasky will treat a child where she or he is more comfortable which can be in their home-like waiting room, on the floor near the toy box or on a parent’s lap. Other siblings or family members are also invited to participate in the “treatment” of the child to make him or her more at ease.
It’s a very happy day for all, when one of their special needs patients allows Dr. Michael or Dr. Jill to look in their mouth and proceed with an exam. Some parents say that their embracing of their pediatric dental experience dental experience has helped their child grow more confident and secure in other areas of their life. Not to mention that they did not to have their child subjected to unnecessary sedation.
Finding a pediatric dentist who is experienced with special needs children may be a daunting task. Below, the Drs. Lasky offer several tips to help you find the perfect pediatric dentist for your family and your child’s particular needs:
- Ask your local Autism Speaks group or other similar organization for recommendations
- Ask other parents or neighbors or teachers for pediatric dentist referrals
- Make sure you get several recommendations, meet the dentists to ask about their methods and philosophy
- Don’t be afraid to “shop around” – you should feel comfortable with the entire staff and not just the doctor
- Go with your gut and you will find the right pediatric dentist for your child
If you live in the Greater Los Angeles area, the Lasky Pediatric Dental Group always welcomes young patients on the autism spectrum or with other special needs to their practice. You may call one of our offices or email us with any questions and in case of pediatric dental emergency, please call their 24/7 EMERGENCY PAGER: 818.215.0102.