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Kids with Disabilities Get Free Dental Screening

Aug. 4, 2007 – Nearly 30 USVI children with intellectual and developmental disabilities were given free dental screenings recently by Dr. Susan Anderson as part of the Camp Shriver Special Smiles program.
The mission of Special Smiles is to increase access to dental care for Special Olympics athletes, as well as all children and adults with intellectual disabilities, and to increase the number of dental professionals serving them.
The two-week Camp Shriver St. Thomas got off to a good start July 20 as Dr. Anderson did dental screenings on 10 campers. On July 26, Dr. Anderson went to St. Croix Camp Shriver at Good Hope School and did dental screenings on 19 campers.
Camp Shriver was started by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, sister of the late President John F. Kennedy. Until 2006, she held camps at her estate. Since then Camp Shriver has been offered in many states and countries. St. Croix is the 24th camp and St. Thomas is the 25th camp to be opened.
The Special Smiles Program is a dental screening, education and referral program developed in 1993 and first implemented at the Special Olympics Massachusetts Games that year. In 1997, Special Olympics officially adopted the program into their Healthy Athletes Initiative, created to focus attention on the overall health issues facing Special Olympics athletes but benefiting all people with disabilities.
Dental screenings, oral hygiene education and Report Cards are given to each camper participating in a Special Smiles event and the information is entered into a computer database.
Dr. Anderson, of Red Hook, St. Thomas, was trained as a local clinical director during the Special Olympics Special Smiles Train-the-Trainer Program in Toronto, Canada.

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