Student Theses, Dissertations and Capstones

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Dentistry

Copyright Statement

All rights reserved. This publication is intended for use solely by faculty, students, and staff of Nova Southeastern University. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form or by any means, now known or later developed, including but not limited to photocopying, recording, or other electronic or mechanical methods, without the prior written permission of the author or the publisher.


College of Dental Medicine

First Advisor

Romer Ocanto

Second Advisor

Jennifer Chung

Third Advisor

Oscar Padilla

Publication Date / Copyright Date



Nova Southeastern University


Background: Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a prevalent neurodevelopmental disorder in the U.S (about 1 in 54 children). Treating children with ASD in the dental office can be challenging due to their impairments in social interactions, communication and aversive behavior. Visual Support Schedules are visual aids or picture cues that have been beneficial for the behavior management of patients with ASD. There are limited studies regarding effective behavior management techniques that could help those patients have a better experience at the dentist. Methods: A Visual Support Schedule App was used for behavior management compared to Tell Show DO (TSD) on a randomized clinical trial study with a sample of 8 participants with ASD during a routine dental visit at Mailman Segal Center dental clinic. Data was collected regarding the number of tasks the patient was able to complete and the time required for their completion. The level of stress that patients experience during the dental visit was measured using biological markers (Heart Rate and Salivary Cortisol). Also, the perception of the patient’s behavior by parents was measured using a Likert Scale, as well as using the Frankl scale. Objective: Determine the efficacy of a Dental Visual Support Schedule App to help children with ASD successfully complete a routine dental care visit. Results: Research was interrupted due to COVID- 19. Only 8 out of 15 participants were enrolled. All participants were male. No significant difference was found in age, gender, and ethnicity between intervention and control groups. There was not statistical significance for the number of tasks completed. Conclusion: Overall, significant differences were not found between the groups. The deficient data collected limits the possibility of drawing strong conclusions that the App can facilitate a routine dental visit for patients with ASD. More research is suggested.




App, Autism, Behavior Guidance, Oral Health, Pediatric Dentistry, Visual Support Schedule



Download Full Text (2.7 MB)

Included in

Dentistry Commons