These children need dental care just like every other child. Children with Autism usually present with a spectrum of disorders and often have difficulty communicating or interacting with others. Loud sounds, lights, smells and sometimes touching can overwhelm a patient with Autism. This presents a special challenge for dental treatment because pretty much anything about dentistry involves these things. Other than these sensitivities and the patient's reaction to them, the dental problems are pretty much like every other patient. Special attention to oral hygiene is helpful along with a measured approach to dental examinations and cleanings.
When fillings or other treatment is needed, sedative medications can often help patients more easily cope with the stimulus and stress of their environment during treatment. In a few cases where extensive procedures are required, general anesthesia might be considered. Each child is different. Treatment modalitites for one may differ for the next. As patients with autism may present reactions and symptoms in varying degrees, many can be treated in a similar manner to other children.
I see Autistic patients almost every day and they do quite well for most things. Sometimes just doing an exam can cause a loud commotion, but the kids are sweet and none the worse for it. Most parents are well versed in their child's condition and special needs. Although, like most parents, I think they are more stressed out by any dental appointment than their child.
*Interestingly, patients with ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), seem to have fewer cavities than non-affected patients: