Building student involvement, fostering civic engagement and enhancing community service to advance public health. 

Caroline Kaufman and Yuki Zaninovich (top left) and students, faculty, and alumni gathered via Zoom for student presentations about their Code for Good projects and what they learned.

TUSDM’s Autism Smile initiative is highlighted in TuftsNow as it endeavors to create a motivational app for children with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). Even before Covid, the Autism Smile’s team knew they wanted to create an educational and motivational App  to: 1)introduce kids to the dental office experience before arriving as a way to make the experience less scary; 2) To give them a way to hold on to the experience after their appointment; and 3) To provide valuable oral health educational material to the caregivers. The onset of the pandemic has made the completion of Autism Smile’s app even more timely. Because it is unclear if they can do an onsite Autism Smile Day so the app will be an important way to support good and safe oral health care in the home.

The app development has been a  great collaboration between the TUSDM dental team (Martha Forero, Nancy Marks, Kathryn Dolan, and D22 Adrienne Smith) and the Computer Sciences team (Ziyu Song, a rising senior leader and mentor of the team consisted of four rising junior developers and two interphase designers.)

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