Dr. Karen Bopp 

Ms. Kayla Ragosin-Miller, RDH

Session Date:  Saturday October 21, 2023

Session Time:  8:30 AM – 12:30 PM

Presenter Name:  Dr. Karen Bopp and Ms. Kayla Ragosin-Miller, RDH


This presentation will review strategies that can be implemented right away to better support and treat autistic and neurodivergent individuals of all ages in the dental setting. You will hear from autistic individuals about their dental experiences and learn evidence-based strategies that can be used before, during and after the appointment to create successful dental visits for all. The new free, on-line, self-paced program “Autism & Neurodiversity in Dentistry” developed by CIRCA at UBC will be reviewed and you will learn where to access resources to support your on-going development.  

Learning Objectives  

  1. Learn about the key features of autism and neurodiversity and address common myths and stereotypes 
  2. Learn how to create a sensory adapted dental environment 
  3. Learn how to share positive pre-visit imagery with your clients 
  4. Learn How to Use Visual Supports and the Key Components of Systematic Desensitization 
  5. Learn how to provide an individualized at-home oral hygiene plan based on a family-centered approach 


About The Speaker

Dr. Karen Bopp has worked extensively with autistic individuals and their families in British Columbia for over 28 years. She started her career as a Speech-Language Pathologist and a Program Director at a Child Development Centre. She then went on the complete a PhD in Special Education and then an interdisciplinary post-doctoral Fellowship at the University of BC (UBC).  

Karen worked at the BC Ministry of Children and Family Development (MCFD) in Children and Youth with Special Needs (CYSN) Policy and Provincial Services for 10 years. Then, from March 2018  to January 2023, Dr. Bopp was on a secondment from MCFD to UBC as the Director of Provincial Outreach at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research and Collaboration in Autism (CIRCA). At CIRCA, she created four continuing professional development programs for service providers in the fields of medicine; dentistry; employment; and childcare in order to improve access to effective, evidence-based services and promote accessibility, acceptance and inclusion for all neurodivergent individuals and their families.  

Dr. Bopp has now returned to public service and is currently the Executive Advisor for Children and Youth with Support Needs for the Office of the Representative for Children and Youth (RCY). 


Ms. Kayla Ragosin-Miller is a hygiene graduate from the University of ManitobaShe works in private practice, is a part-time instructor and a lecturer on Special Needs Dentistry.   However, her true passion and love is working at BC Children’s HospitalThere she developed and created the Special Smiles Dental Intervention Program for children with Autism and Related DisordersThis has landed her the nickname “The Autism Lady of Dentistry”. 

Currently she’s involved in Autism research and consults privately with her Special Smiles Dental Intervention program.   She has been awarded for her dedication by CDHA with the” Dental Hygienist Hero Award “and  by BCDHA with” Dental Hygienist Making a Difference Award” for her work with this clientele. Kayla partnered with CIRCA at UBC to collaborate and develop a professional development module for professionals to learn to support autistic and neurodivergent clients in the dental office.