Sunday, October 21, 2012

Trip to the Dentist. Ick.

How to be informative and engaging and… sincere, all at the same time…

I don’t know. I don’t know if any of this is necessary. I don’t need it as an outlet. I’d like to think it’s a good public record of things. For me. For others.

We went to the dentist for the first time, earlier this week. I was apprehensive about someone putting their hands in my son’s mouth, but other than that, I thought things would go smoothly. He’s always good at the doctor’s office. I told him ahead of time what we were doing. He understood.

And then we got there, and there was smooth jazz coming out of speakers mounted outside. I wouldn’t have even heard it, except as we approached the building, my son covered his ears and stiffened up. By the time we got to the front door, he was backing up. A quiet whimper escaped him, but when I gestured to him to take my hand, he ran ahead of me, but kept both hands over his ears.

As I was filling out paper work, my son paced back and forth with his hands over his ears. I was completely unprepared for his sensory aversion. He does have some auditory sensitivities, but. This was the first time I had seen him unable to cope. And the heartbreaking thing was—he usually copes. He toughs it out. He sucks it up.  So if he wasn’t able to cover his ears and suffer briefly and silently… I knew it was extremely unpleasant for him. For the first time, ever, I found myself approaching the staff and explaining his autism. The experience was rather meaningful at this stage in our journey. I have put intensive intervention behind us, and right now, things are feeling strangely typical. I feel, for the most part, that I’m pretty accepting of the fact that my son “still has autism” although, at this stage, it doesn’t seem so terribly disabling. And then a disabling aspect of his autism emerges and totally catches me off guard.


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