A Sensory Adapted Dental Environment

By Dr. Jessica De Bord, Pediatric Dentist

Going to the dentist can be an experience filled with sensory stimulation for anyone . . . strange tastes, odd smells, bright lights, spraying water, and things touching your mouth.  For children with difficulty processing sensory input, which frequently occurs in children with developmental disabilities, going to the dentist can be a big challenge.

dental chair A Sensory Adapted Dental Environment

The Children’s Village dental team always puts a lot of effort into making visits to the dentist a positive experience, and tailoring the experience to each child’s unique needs.  Now there is a new way to help make that happen thanks to a Children’s Village-wide collaboration between Dr. Susan Armstrong (Pediatric Dental Resident), Dr. Emily Bugger (Pediatric Dental Resident), Cindy Carroll (Speech and Language Pathologist and Autism Coach), Dr. Jessica De Bord (Pediatric Dentist), and Debbie Sheppard (Occupational Therapist).

The dental clinic now has a Sensory Adapted Dental Environment!  The dental team can modify the dental environment to remove some of the sensory stimulation for children who are sensitive to it and can create an environment that is more compatible for children with sensory processing difficulties.

The process begins with a survey for parents to fill out (we have them in both English and Spanish) to identify the child’s specific sensory concerns.  Then we have multiple things we can do to the dental room to make it a better fit that child’s unique needs such as: a star projector, calming music, pleasant smells, balls with tactile stimulation, limiting smells and tastes, vibrating pillows, and padded cushions for the dental chair.  The goal is to help children have a positive and comfortable dental experience regardless of what unique needs they may have.

For more information on Pediatric Dental Services at Children’s Village visit us here or call 509 574-3200.


Posted in News & Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Thank you for your Passion!

What a magical evening! Thank you to all who were able to join us at last night’s, sold-out Passion for the Village event! You are now part of our extended family. Visionaries that made Children’s Village a reality as well as supporters, both old and new, came together to learn about the exciting things happening at The Village.

And there was definitely magic around every corner last night as several Village families shared their personal stories of hope and healing.

Without the support of our amazing community, Children’s Village would be unable to provide the level of programs and services currently offered to Yakima Valley children with special healthcare needs. All funds raised last night will be used to provide more magical moments for the children and families of Children’s Village.  Together, we raised $37,000!!!

The evening wouldn’t have been complete without the help from our YouthWorks Council, the YV Tech Culinary Arts students and the passionate families from Children’s Village that gave their time and effort in helping to coordinate a magical evening. And we couldn’t forget Dave Ettl and his apprentices who entertained our guests with their magic tricks during the evening.

THANK YOU!   Be sure to check our Facebook page over the next week or so to see pictures from the event!

If you weren’t able to join us last night or didn’t have the chance to make a gift at Passion for the Village, you can still show your support by donating here.

With gratitude from The Children’s Village staff, volunteers and families


Posted in News & Events | Leave a comment

What are Sibshops at Children’s Village?

Parent to Parent’s Sibshops program just finished our year with a celebration!  Sibshops are support workshops for brothers and sisters growing up with a sibling who has special needs.

Sibshop participants shared some great advice for other sibs.

Here’s their advice:

  • Be patient; play with them a lot; get to know them a lot; understand them—Andrea
  • Play with her—Chris
  • Be kind to them and play with him or her—Bethany
  • Run when he is mad and be nice to him—Michael
  • Play video games with your sibling; if you don’t have a video game, just play with them— Jackie
  • Get to know them; be kind; play with them; teach him things he does not know; don’t be mean—Campbell
  • Don’t take stuff from them and spend quality time with them—Anonymous
  • Love them!—Laurel
  • Play outside with your sib—Alexis
  • Do something both of you enjoy together—Lizzie
  • Help them learn more—Loren
  • Play with them—Henry
  • Never hurt them; love, care, have fun; and be with them—Bridget

For more information about Sibshops or other great programs through Children’s Village Parent to Parent program email them here or call (509) 574-3200.


Posted in News & Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Pediatric Dental Residency Program – Reducing Barriers to Care

emily Pediatric Dental Residency Program – Reducing Barriers to CareEmily Bugger, DDS, Chief Resident of the Yakima Pediatric Dental Residency recently received a “Project of Distinction” award for her resident research project entitled “Effect of a Pediatric Dental Residency on Access to Care” by the Lutheran Medical Center’s Caring for Health Quality/Research Competition.  This was one of six projects chosen nationally throughout the entire Lutheran HealthCare system in all fields, not just dental.

Dr. Bugger’s research demonstrated that more children who are served by Medicaid were able to access dental care following the inception of the Pediatric Dental Residency program here in Yakima. The research shows that placing pediatric dental residency programs in rural and underserved areas can work to mitigate barriers to accessing dental care for underserved and high risk children.

The Pediatric Dental Residency program in Yakima was originally a collaboration between Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC) and the University of Washington, and has since transitioned from the Univeristy of Washington to Lutheran Medical Center.  The pediatric dental residents train and provide direct patient care at both YVFWC Pediatric Dental Clinics; ViewCrest Pediatric Dentistry at the Lincoln Avenue Medical/Dental Clinic and Children’s Village Pediatric Dentistry.


Posted in News & Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Children’s Village receives $900,000 federal grant

Children’s Village receives 0,000 federal grant.

Posted in News & Events | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Meet Angel – Physical Therapy at Children’s Village

Angel had an awesome day in physical therapy today.  He stood for 60 seconds independently and took two independent steps!

OI stands for Osteogenesis Imperfecta (sometimes known as brittle bone disease)   It is a rare, congenital bone disorder characterized by brittle bones that fracture easily.  Angel has sustained multiple different fractures in both of his arms and legs.

I have been working with Angel since he was 17 months old.  ( He is now 5 years old and attends Kindergarten)  He received physical therapy at home through the early intervention program and then after he turned 3 years old, he began coming to see me for physical therapy at Children’s Village.

Angel has made steady progress over time, but each time he has fracture, his progress is slowed.  Over the last several weeks, he has progressed to being able to stand completely on his own for extended periods and he has been able to take 2-3 steps on his own with close supervision.

Angel’s diagnosis is unique and specific to the pediatric population.   As pediatric physical therapists, we have the knowledge, experience, and expertise to treat children with these types of rare diagnoses in a fun, play-based  environment while maintaining  the necessary precautions.

Posted in News & Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

“Ready, set . . . GO!”

It was such a magical moment the day our non-verbal autistic son finished his speech therapist’s sentence.   His beautiful little voice proudly saying “GO” bringing tears to daddy’s eyes.  “Ready,” the anticipation is killing him “set” “GO!”  Such a simple word, yet such a huge accomplishment.  With every visit, his confidence is building and new words are starting to come through.  The staff at Children’s Village are always so caring and accommodating.

Whether it’s Cindy Carroll working with him in his favorite window seat or Melissa Wright setting up the swing in the therapy room, Oscar always enjoys his visits to Children’s Village and is excited to be there.  We would like to say thank you to Melissa Wright for being one of Oscar’s new best friends.  And thank you to Cindy Carroll for helping our family find our way.  They have truly made an impact on our lives.

Posted in News & Events | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Special Smiles

On Sunday April 27th, Children’s Village pediatric dental team provided dental screenings and oral hygiene education to 69 Special Olympic athletes from Yakima, Wenatchee, Tri Cities, and Spokane at the Yakima Regional Special Olympics soccer tournament held at Davis High School as part of Special Smiles (the oral health component of Special Olympics).

Thanks to all who came out to support Special Smiles!

dental 2 Special Smiles dental 3 Special Smiles dental Special Smiles

Posted in News & Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Children’s eczema: An itch that persists into adulthood?

Children with itchy, dry skin caused by atopic dermatitis are likely to have these symptoms persist on and off throughout their life, according to a study in JAMA Dermatology.

Atopic dermatitis (a type of eczema) is a common skin disease that often begins before age 2 and is believed to disappear by about age 12, according to background information in the study.

But after analyzing the records of thousands of children with atopic dermatitis and following them for up to five years, researchers with the University of Pennsylvania concluded that the disease “is a lifelong illness with periods of waxing and waning skin problems.”

About the study

Researchers used data from the Pediatric Eczema Elective Registry (PEER). PEER was started in 2004 by companies that manufactured creams to treat atopic dermatitis as part of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s drug approval process.

A total of 7,157 children with dermatitis were involved in the study. Most of them had been diagnosed with dermatitis before age 2. Their ages at the start of the study ranged from 2 to 17 years old.

Every six months, caregivers or physicians filled out surveys about the children’s symptoms and treatment.

Information was collected for at least two years for 4,248 children; the rest of the children were followed for at least five years.

Researchers found that most of the children reported needing medication to treat their dermatitis symptoms well into their 20s. By age 20, only half of study participants experienced at least one month in which they were both symptom-free and not using medication. But in most cases, this was only a temporary lull.

“Based on our findings, it is probable that [atopic dermatitis] does not fully resolve in most children with mild to moderate symptoms,” the study authors wrote.

The authors acknowledged that their findings conflicted with those of previous studies. One possible reason for the discrepancy, they theorized, was that the children enrolled in PEER had more severe, and so more persistent, atopic dermatitis.

“It is possible that our results do not generalize to all children with [the disease"],” they wrote.

The take-home message
Conventional wisdom that most cases of atopic dermatitis resolve within about 10 years of diagnosis may be incorrect, especially in children with severe cases of the skin disease. The study’s authors suggest that physicians and parents let children know that the disease may persist for decades, if not throughout their life.

Atopic dermatitis can’t be cured, but parents can do many things to help their children feel better. Find out how with this guide to childhood eczema.

Posted in News & Events | Tagged | Leave a comment

The Children at Children’s Village

Posted in A Children's Village Story | Tagged | Leave a comment