The Parent/Guardian Stage of Grief and its Impact on Communication and Care of the Special Needs Patient
Stephen Beetstra received his dental degree from Baylor College of Dentistry in 1990 was commissioned into the United States Public Health Service. He created needs-based programs for pediatric, Native American, migrant, and medically complex patients in Oregon, Florida, and North Carolina. For his efforts, Dr. Beetstra received an Outstanding Service Medal, the highest award granted by the Service and was recognized by the National Health Service Corps as a Healthcare Hero.
After service in the Public Health, he joined the faculty of the University of New Mexico, School of Medicine. As the first dentist ever hired by the medical school, he was the Dental Services Chief and expanded the dental footprint on the campus. During his seven years of service, he created a network of university affiliated dental clinics to address the unmet needs of rural, medically complex, and IDD patients and the first graduate dental and predental program in the state.
Dr. Beetstra was recruited to Arkansas Children’s Hospital in 2005. In 2011, he received a master’s in health services administration from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) and became the Chief of Dental Services. Under his leadership, hospital, outreach, and graduate training activities focusing on oral health for children and individuals with IDD expanded. In 2017, he became the first Chair of the Department of Pediatric and Special Needs Dentistry at UAMS.
In August 2020, Dr. Beetstra moved to OSU Nisonger Center as its dental program director. In that role, he is developing training programs to teach dental residents, students, and dental hygiene students to care for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. He is the immediate past president of the Special Care Dentistry Association and serves on numerous national committees that focus on pre- and post-doctoral curriculum development, patient and student education, and dental health policy address issues to dental care with persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Disclosure: Dr. Beetstra has no relevant financial relationships to disclose.
In this lecture we are going to discuss the seven stages of grief first identified by Ken Moses, PhD that parents go through when having a child with IDD. Hopefully, you will learn to recognize the stage of grief and we will discuss communication techniques with parents to improve their child's oral health outcomes. In addition, I will discuss language communication with patients to improve patient management and treatment outcomes.
- Understand the grieving process for parents of patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Develop strategies to help mediate dental visit communication with parents and guardians of patients with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
- Understand the importance of communicating with patients with developmental and intellectual disabilities in behavior management.