Friday, April 11, 2008

Helping a Williams Syndrome Boy Get Dental Care | Local News:

"Josh has Williams Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that causes medical and developmental conditions, including mild to moderate mental retardation or learning difficulties, a distinctive facial appearance and heart or blood vessel problems.

He had open heart surgery when he was only 1 year old, Jody Hegwood said.

'(Josh) has a hard time getting a regular dentist to see him because of his heart condition,' his father said.

So the Hegwoods bring Josh to the University of Iowa Center for Disabilities and Development for his dental care through a statewide program called Dental Care for Persons with Disabilities. The program, started in 1983, is administered by the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the UI College of Dentistry, the UI Center for Disabilities and Development and the Iowa Department of Public Health.

Since its inception -- it was started by Dr. Arthur Nowak, a former pediatric dentistry professor at the University of Iowa -- the program has served more than 3,000 children and young adults.

'It's a program to meet the needs of families who would fall through the cracks,' said Gayle Gilbaugh, program associate and dental hygienist in pediatric dentistry."

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