College of Dental Medicine awarded $3.4 million grant to enhance Care and Access for People with Autism

nova-southeastern-university-logoThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has awarded  Nova Southeastern University College of Dental Medicine a $3.4 million grant to train dentists on the special sensitivities needed when working with patients with autism.

The program will include the development of a curriculum addressing the transition of children and adolescents with autism to adult dental care and aims to increase access to dental care for children and adolescents with special health care needs such as autism.

“Nova Southeastern University is committed to researching and implementing new techniques to help patients with special needs,” said Dr. Romer Ocanto, chair of the Department of Pediatric Dentistry. “We are excited about this opportunity to make a difference in the lives of so many people.”

Approximately one in 68 children has been diagnosed with autism, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Average medical expenses for children and adolescents with ASD are $4,100-$6,200 higher per year than children without autism.

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