I claim my own sensory issues. I really don’t like dentists. I’m being very diplomatic in saying that. If J-Man takes after me, the end of the world may be nigh.
So, now we have to take him to the dentist tomorrow for the first time ever. It originally took months of therapy just to get him to let us near his mouth and to eat table food of any kind, then it took us months to get him to let us into his mouth with spoons, washcloths, etc., and then it took a while to get him to put a toothbrush in his mouth. He still fights us brushing his teeth with a brush (we usually use a textured washcloth), but he will sorta brush his own teeth with one (emphasis on ‘sorta’).
So, we know his teeth need cleaning. He seems to have an overbite too. Nothing good can come of this when a dentist gets involved.
Autistic kids often have problems with their teeth, primarily because it’s hard to negotiate with a kid about dental hygiene when having someone pillaging around in their mouths when they’re sensory-sensitive anyway isn’t really on their favorite activities list. It’s not like “go get your toothbrush and brush your teeth” is a practical course of action either at this point.
Here are some other things compounding the problem.
- Our dental insurance has no pediatric dentists in network. How dumb is that? So, this is out of pocket. Great.
- I fully expect him to fight to the death in the chair. Remember, this is the kid who required five people (and me of 225 lbs practically sitting on him) plus an entertainment committee and his favorite video to sort of get his hair cut. This time some stranger is going into his mouth with shiny, sharp, scary-looking instruments. You must be joking.
- Distractions are pretty much useless with him after a certain point. Once he slides past that point of no return, ain’t nothing you can do to get him back except wrestle or take him home. In really stressful situations, honestly the distractions don’t much work regardless. It’s more how long you can delay the inevitable.
- I also fully expect them to give up and say “you’ll have to come back and we’ll need to sedate him. By the way, go ahead and leave your wallet with the receptionist.”
- I personally hate dentists. This does not give off good vibes to J-Man I’m sure.
- It never gets easy watching him go through something this hard on him. It kills me every time.
- If he has cavities, I may start drinking heavily when we get home. There’s a ‘package store’ two exits before ours.
The one good thing – the doctor comes recommended by the person who did his autism evaluation. So, let’s hope for the best.
Urf. We’ll let you know…