This week was a busy week. But then again, every week is busy around here it seems. Nick had his very first dental visit on Tuesday. This was a two-person effort-hubby would not get to stay home for this one. Nick was understandably anxious as we entered the building. He had to go in an elevator-something that he is leery of, but he did spectacular. Once we got to the waiting room, it was filled with other kids and Nick was already on edge. He was running everywhere. Hubby did not even get a chance to sit down. He was on full-blown Nick patrol while I filled out all the paperwork. Even so, Nick managed to get behind the counter and start slamming cabinets. The forms started with the usual; birthdate, sex, etc. But then I got to the middle portion that said something like "circle all that apply"...hmmm, Speech Delay..yes, Developmental Delay...yes, neurologic something...yes. Then I see different conditions listed on the bottom portion. Bingo. Autism was one of them. I also listed some of his sensory issues, as this office would pretty much push him into sensory hell. Then it asked something along the lines of what requests I have for my child. I found myself writing "treat him like a normal child, talk to him like any other kid and explain everything you are doing". He is autistic, but he is NOT stupid. We do not treat him like that at home, and I will be damned if anyone else treats him as such. Anyway, the time comes for us to go back into another office to discuss what brought us here in the first place. The assistant is very nice and laments on Nick's long eyelashes and big blue eyes. She is very patient and explains we will just do as much as he lets us do. If we get to a cleaning, we get to it. We will just do what we can. I already like this place.
We take Nick back to an exam room, and get him situated in the chair. He is bestowed with a small magna doodle, and a pink toothbrush that a nurse accidentally gave him. She went to try and exchange it for a blue one, but hubby told her there was no need, as Nick likes pink. Nick does not see gender specific colors, all he sees is that pink is a nice color and he likes it. Even his therapists have noticed that he just seems to like pink. The Dr comes in and takes notice of his adult tooth growing behind his baby tooth and that his mouth is very small. She says what we had been thinking all along "hmmm, that tooth will have to come out, as well as the one beside it to make more room. Otherwise, his teeth will be all bunched up. See? There's not room in here for it to grow in the right spot. He will probably need braces later on, but we will do what we can right now." Nick is squirming and crying just a bit, no where near the scale as he got his vaccines though-this is going rather well. We actually managed to get through a cleaning. Success! Hubby came out going "wow, that was alot of crying." I looked at him like he was nuts. "That??!" "Oh no, that was nothing. You should have seen him when they gave him ONE shot. Really, that was just a little whining."
We schedule his tooth extraction for a few days later. Yesterday. Yesterday Nick walked into the office like a pro. He pushed the button for the elevator, and waltzed in like saying "I got this." In the waiting room, Nick was stimmy-but happy. He jumped and flapped while looking at all the toys. One little boy was asking questions about him. Things like "why is he doing that? why does he like that?" His mom explained that he was autistic and did things differently. Hubby piped in "yes, but he knew his ABC's and could count to 30 when he was two!"
"Wow, really?" the boy said. His mom even chimed in "Yes, he is very smart isn't he?"
I did not mind that the little boy was asking questions-it is better than simply staring. And we got the opportunity to give them a little education. Mike presented them with a little card that explains autism, and told me "I carry those around everywhere; so when people stare I give them one." This is from a guy who would not even say the word AUTISM a few years ago. Now, he tells anyone who will listen.
We went back to the exam room, and this time Nick climbed into the chair by himself, and requested that the light be turned on. We gave him the sunglasses to protect his eyes, he had some tape to feel on his hands, and a magna doodle. He was ready. He barely flinched as they gave him some numbing stuff for his mouth, and a few minutes later it was time to pull. The first tooth came out in no time, as the roots had already been degraded by the adult tooth behind it. The second tooth took a little more time, a little more crying(actually, hardly crying-more like whining)and a few more minutes later it too was out. We were done. Nick walked out like nothing had happened. The funny part came on the ride home. Nick was blowing raspberries and sticking his tongue out due to the anaesthetic. The dentist was wonderful, and I would recommend them to anyone. All in all, it proved to be not such a big hassle after all.