Solstice Dental & Aesthetics: Louisville, Ky. (Sensory Friendly Dentistry).




Earlier this month, I was invited to come check out Solstice Dental & Aesthetics. I wasn't quite sure how I was going to integrate a dental place on my blog, but I was told I would probably find a special reason to fall in love with it, and boy was she right!

Being a caregiver to a loved one comes with challenges all on its own. Being a caregiver to a loved one with special needs... magnifies that by 100... times 100 more. I think one of my biggest worries when my sons were little, had to be when they were sick. When you have a little one sick in the middle of the night, you *wish* they could tell you what was wrong. What hurts? What's bothering you? You're grateful for the day they can vocalize what's wrong, so you can figure out how to help them. When you have a child with special needs, sometimes that day unfortunately doesn't come. Or maybe it does, but your communication and guessing games have to be manipulated a little differently.

My oldest son was diagnosed with Autism, sensory disorder, developmental delay, & speech disorder at the age of 2.5. Communication between us has come *so* far, but little things can easily cause anxiety, and doctor visits can play a huge role in that. Sometimes Dr's, with little to no experience with special needs children, don't understand that the cold stethoscope can cause pain with children with a sensory disorder. Loud noises, bright lights, odd sounds just overload their systems, making it difficult for everyone involved. A bad experience can be very traumatizing, and unfortunately, sometimes laying a foundation for future negative experiences with Dr's.



Walking into Solstice Dental, it doesn't even feel like I'm at the Dentist. It's very welcoming and beautifully decorated. Copper fixtures, and imported textiles makes it seem warm and inviting.



I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Dr. Manning (owner and founder of Solstice Dental) had done all of her research, and had her own desensitization protocol meant specifically for people on the Autism Spectrum. With the assistance of a behavioral therapist, they came up with their own unique way to help ease patients into her office.




First they start you off with a pre-introduction: They give you their own clinic specific social story (blown away by this!!) that you can read daily to your child before their first appointment (and you can call to explain any aversions or preferences the patient has before their first appointment.). We personally use social stories in our home to help ease into a new routine. I've never heard of a Dr. offering this!

Next: You have the first visit: Pairing Appointment.
Goal here is for the Dr. to get to know the patient, and whether he/she is a good candidate for desensitization. Treatment may or may not happen, its all depending on if our child feels comfortable. (So important for kids to ease into treatments, less anxiety and less traumatizing).

Then: Subsequent Visits.
If its possible, they will schedule the visits once a week, same day, same time, to establish a routine (Personally, routine is so important in our home. This is amazing to me that they do this.).

Lastly, they recommend Bi-Monthly consult visits to keep the patient familiar with their office. If this is in their routine, dental visits become a norm for kids, less anxiety and less stress for everyone!

There's so much more I'd love to share about Solstice Dental, but that will be in upcoming posts. If you are a parent, or caregiver, of someone on the spectrum, I highly recommend you come and see Solstice for yourself. Dr. Manning is amazing, I wish more doctors offered this to their patients. A practice like this would have saved us a lot of anxious visits had one existed when my son was littler.

Dr. Manning is raising the bar, and I applaud her for offering this service. I know this is something very needed in the Autism Community, and how lucky this is now an option for those in need!

Visit Solstice Dentistry & Aesthetics:

Solstice Dentistry & Aesthetics
2301 Terra Crossing Blvd.
Louisville, Ky. 40245
502-434-4004

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Do you know of any other Autism friendly practices in Louisville?




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