A Special Needs Success Story with Lorena De La Garza

Today, we want to shine the spotlight on one of our favorite families, the De La Garzas. Lorena De La Garza has brought her four children to our offices for years, and we love them all so much! Lorena’s third child, Jose, is ten years old and has Angelman syndrome, a genetic disorder that can cause sensory and stimulation sensitivity similar to autism. Jose has been coming to PDAO since he was a year old, and he has taken several tremendous strides of growth since we first met. 

During a recent interview with our very own Amy Morgan, Lorena remembers her first visit to PDAO with Jose. Overwhelmed by the noises and number of people in a new environment, Jose was nervous and a bit panicked. Luckily, our dentists and hygienists are specialists who are specifically trained in working with special needs children. 

While the first visit could be categorized as a struggle, Lorena and Jose stayed consistent with their appointments and worked hard to build healthy dental hygiene habits. Over the last nine years, Jose has transformed during his appointments and can now go into his appointments alone, follow instructions calmly, and get his teeth cleaned without struggle. 

Lorena has also experienced this transformation at home. While Jose used to refuse to let anyone brush his teeth, he can now brush them on his own at home. The change didn’t happen overnight, but Lorena credits staying patient and persevering through the difficult days to establish a routine that Jose was able to grow comfortable with. 

Lorena also discussed the importance of preparation when bringing Jose to our offices. Because new environments can be overwhelming and overstimulating, she found that touring the office before an appointment could help Jose know what to expect and calm some of his initial anxieties about the dentist. If you have a child who is nervous about the dentist, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us about a tour of our facilities. We love to help children overcome their nerves about the dentist!

We are huge fans of the De La Garzas, and Jose’s journey has been a privilege to experience. If you have a child with special needs and have any questions, anxieties, or fears about bringing them to the dentist, please reach out to us at PDAO. We have a huge heart for children, especially those with special needs, and we believe every child deserves an amazing experience with the dentist!

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