Autism & The Dentist

My daughter is 18 and is on the Asperger spectrum for autism. If you have anyone in your life that is even close, you know that there are just some things that Must be done, but are so very stressful for your child. The dentist has always been a major event, but she and I have worked through the years to ease her fears. Everybody who works there knows her and they even have 1 lady that she is always scheduled with. Well, getting her to brush her teeth is one of those battles that is ongoing and most of the time she doesnt do a very good job. Being a teenager, the attitude is definitely there.

A couple weeks ago I noticed she had a cavity on 1 eye tooth. Last week another cavity showed up on her front tooth, which means she needs to go yesterday. She has had fillings before and the Dentist and staff all know how to get her through. And Grandma is going too, as I have to work. That nagging feeling sat in the back of my mind, even though she has surprised me before. I’m sitting at work and Mom messages me that it will be $350!! For 2 fillings? Que sinking feeling. I call her and she puts me on with our nurse. 4 crowns in the front. Its bad. I’ll be there in 30 minutes!!

When I get there they wave me back, and she is in the back room, starting to calm down from a MAJOR Panic Attack!! Me and Mom trade places and oddly, I had just gotten one of those “Spinners” that morning, which was in my purse. I’m gonna tell you that thing is pretty cool. I made her take her pill, I gave the spinner to her and let her vent some. Then she noticed it was flashing, and spinning in her hands. YES!! She was calm and the dentist was able to get it all done. It took 4 hours, and we are all exhausted.And they managed to save the 2 front teeth from needing crowns.

3 things I learned today. 1: realize that everyone who interacts with your child is part of your support team, and finding good doctors etc. is extremely important. 2: get a spinner or some other form of distraction and carry it with you everywhere. 3: Let them try. No one knows how strong they are until they are given the chance to Try.

I have had a headache ever since 8:51am when I saw the 1st message. It is late now and she is fine. It’s amazing to me how quickly she moves on with some things. A cup of frozen yogurt later lol

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