Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders

, Volume 41, Issue 12, pp 1629–1634 | Cite as

Characteristics and Dental Experiences of Autistic Children in Saudi Arabia: Cross-sectional Study

  • Ebtissam Z. Murshid
Original paper


The purpose of this study is to report base line information about characteristics, and dental experiences of a group of autistic children in three major cities of Saudi Arabia. Most of the children (76.2%) included in the study were diagnosed with autism before the age of 5 years. More than half of the children (53.7%) had no previous dental experience while 33% were treated under general anesthesia. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendations should be applied in Saudi Arabia to help improve the average age of diagnosis and make a positive effect on children with autism and their families. Regular visits to dental clinics should be recommended to all families with autistic children to reduce dental disease.


Autism Saudi Arabia Diagnosis age Disabilities Dental experiences 


  1. Afifi, M. M. (2005). Mental health publications from the Arab world cited in PubMed, 1987–2002. Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, 1(3), 319–328.Google Scholar
  2. Al-Salehi, S. M., Al-Hifthy, E. H., & Ghaziuddin, M. (2009). Autism in Saudi Arabia: Presentation, clinical correlates and comorbidity. Transcultural Psychiatry, 46(2), 340–347.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Aman, M. G. (2004). Management of hyperactivity and other acting-out problems in patients with autism spectrum disorder. Seminars in Pediatric Neurology, 11(3), 225–228.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. American Academy of Pediatrics. (2001). Developmental surveillance and screening of infants and young children. Pediatrics, 108(1), 192–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Children with Disabilities. (2001). The pediatrician’s role in the diagnosis and management of autistic spectrum disorder in children. Pediatrics, 107, 1221–1226. [203].CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders. DSM-IV-TR (4th ed., pp. 69–75). Washington: American Psychiatric Association.Google Scholar
  7. Baird, G., et al. (2006). Prevalence of disorders of the autism spectrum in a population cohort of children in South Thames: The special needs and autism project (SNAP). The Lancet, 368(9531), 210–215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Barbaresi, W. J., Katusic, S. K., & Voigt, R. G. (2006). Autism: A review of the state of the science for pediatric primary health care clinicians. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 160(11), 1167–1175.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Boyd, B. A., et al. (2010). Infants and Toddlers with autism spectrum disorder: Early identification and early intervention. Journal of Early Intervention, 32, 75–98.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Centers for Disease Control, Prevention (CDC). (2006). Mental health in the United States: Parental report of diagnosed autism in children aged 4–17 years—United States, 2003–2004. MMWR Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 55(17), 481–486.Google Scholar
  11. Chez, M. G., Memon, S., & Hung, P. C. (2004). Neurologic treatment strategies in autism: An overview of medical intervention strategies. Seminars in Pediatric Neurology, 11(3), 229–235.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Dover, C. J., & Le Couteur, A. (2007). How to diagnose autism. Archives of Disease in Childhood, 92(6), 540–545.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eigsti, I. M., Bennetto, L., & Dadlani, M. B. (2006). Beyond pragmatics: Morphosyntactic development in autism. Journal of Autism Development Disorder.Google Scholar
  14. Friedlander, A. H., Yagiela, J. A., Paterno, V. I., & Mahler, M. E. (2003). The pathophysiology, medical management, and dental implications of autism. Journal of the California Dental Association, 31(9), 681–682. 684; 686-91.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. Friedlander, A. H., Yagiela, J. A., Paterno, V. I., & Mahler, M. E. (2006). The neuropathology, medical management and dental implications of autism. Journal of the American Dental Association, 137, 1517–1527.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Gardener, H., Spiegelman, D., & Buka, S. L. (2009). Prenatal risk factors for autism: Comprehensive meta-analysis. The British journal of psychiatry, 195(1), 7–14.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Hulland, S., & Sigal, M. J. (2000). Hospital-based dental care for persons with disabilities: A study of patient selection criteria. Special Care in Dentistry, 20(4), 131–138.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Kanner, L. (1943). Autistic disturbances of effective contact. The Nervous child, 2, 217–250.Google Scholar
  19. Kanner, L. (1944). Early infantile autism. Journal of Pediatrics, 25, 211–217.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Klein, U. (1998). Autistic disorder: A review for the pediatric dentist. The Pediatric Dentist, 20(5), 312–317.Google Scholar
  21. Lindsay, R. L., & Aman, M. G. (2003). Pharmacologic therapies aid treatment for autism. Pediatric Annals, 32(10), 671–676.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. McInerny, T. K., Meurer, J. R., & Lannon, C. (2003). Pediatrics, 112, 1163–1165 [204].Google Scholar
  23. Medina, A. C., Sogbe, R., Gomez-Rey, Am., & Mata, M. (2003). Factitial oral lesions in an autistic paediatric patient. International Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 13(2), 130–137.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Murshid, E. (2005). Oral health status, dental needs, habits and behavioral attitude towards dental treatment of a group of autistic children in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Dental Journal, 17.Google Scholar
  25. National Institute of Mental Health. (2008). Autism spectrum disorders pervasive developmental disorders, May 30, 2008.Google Scholar
  26. Newschaffer, C. J., Croen, L. A., Daniels, J., et al. (2007). The epidemiology of autism spectrum disorders. Annual Review of Public Health, 28, 235–258.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. NIH. (2008). National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Autism fact sheet. Publication No. 06-1877.Google Scholar
  28. Palermo, M. T., & Curatolo, P. (2004). Pharmacologic treatment of autism. Journal of Child Neurology, 19(3), 155–164.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Rutter, M. (2005). Incidence of autism spectrum disorders: changes over time and their meaning. Acta Paediatrica, 94(1), 2–15.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Shumway, S., & Wetherby, A. M. (2009). Epub 2009 Jul 27. Journal of Speech Language and Hear Research, 52(5), 1139-1156.Google Scholar
  31. The National Autistic Society: Prevalence of autism spectrum conditions in children aged 5–11 years in Cambridge shire, UK. Autism, 6(3), pp. 231–237.Google Scholar
  32. World Health Organization. (1992). ICD-10: International statistical classification of diseases and related health problems (Vol. 10). Geneva: World Health Organization.Google Scholar
  33. Yazbak, F. E. (2004). Autism seems to be increasing worldwide, if not in London. British Medical Journal, 328, 226–227.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Zafeiriou, D. I., Ververi, A., & Vargiami, E. (2007). Childhood autism and associated comorbidities. Brain and Development, 29(5), 257–272.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of DentistryKing Saud UniversityRiyadhSaudi Arabia

Personalised recommendations