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How to Help Special Needs Children Take Medicine


Autistic children often have a hard time taking medicine. “It’s very common for children with or without disabilities to have difficulty swallowing pills,” said Fae Dopwell, M.D., a board-certified developmental-behavioral pediatrician at Pediatrix® Developmental Medicine of Dallas. Not only do they fear choking, but “some autistic children may have difficulty swallowing certain textures because the texture elicits a gag reflex. This can be either mechanical or sensory.” According to Dr. Dopwell, the best thing you can do is practice. “Practicing daily for a short period at a time and when they don't need to take medication will help calm their fear.” This can be done using small candies to practice, such as sprinkles, Tic-Tacs or mini M&Ms.


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