Diana, age 27, was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. She has lived with her grandmother nearly her whole life. Growing up, Diana attended a Portland public school as a student in the special education program. After she completed her education she was connected to Trellis (trellis-or.com), a special education program that uses a team model in which families and professionals work together to develop social and independent life skills.
The Trellis program pairs Diana with a direct support provider for therapeutic integration into the community twice a week. They accompany her on numerous outings which include shopping malls, art classes, dance lessons, volunteer opportunities, and other group activities. Diana spends much of her free time on the computer, engaged with YouTube or watching her favorite cartoon characters. She loves to breathe new life into her cartoons by writing short stories about the characters.
Diana is able to visit a traditional dental office for exams and cleanings, but she is unable to tolerate more extensive dental treatments. It was for that reason that she was referred to Exceptional Needs Dental Services (ENDS) for hospital dentistry before being referred back to her primary care dentist.
Diana’s grandmother said the ENDS staff were extremely caring and supportive towards Diana and she is grateful that ENDS was able to coordinate the necessary oral procedure for Diana. “The treatment was not as traumatic as she had feared and now Diana has taken a special interest in her dental hygiene.” The care and compassion delivered by ENDS’ providers, along with the dental benefits provided by the Oregon Health Plan, ensure patients receive the treatment they need to continue living a happy and healthy life.