Dental app helps children with disabilities

A mum has developed an iPhone and iPad app to help make dental visits easier for families and dentists caring for children with special needs.

Avril Webster, whose eldest son Stephen has a severe intellectual disability, came up with the app to offer information about dental visits especially for children with autism and other learning disabilities.

The Going to the dentist app is based on a book of the same name which is part of the Off we go! series.

Avril found that by using the Going to the dentist book to prepare Stephen at home and then bringing the book to the surgery, he was better able to manage.

What makes the Going to the dentist book different is that it is particularly focused on the needs of children with disabilities; the pictures are clear and uncluttered and it is presented in an easy-to-follow 12-step sequence, along with practical language.

The apps are practical and easy to use, and would appeal to any young child, as well as those with disabilities.

The touch-screen and swipe functions make it easier for children with disabilities.

Features include narration in English and Spanish (you can also record your own narration), and the ability to colour in the pictures.

The iPad apps have sound and animation to give the child a better idea of what to expect. Avril has added sound zones that include sounds found within the surgery.

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For more information, visit www.offwego.ie.

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