Going to the dentist is scary. Going to the dentist when you have sensory issues, motor planning problems, high anxiety and a diagnosis of Autism makes the experience even more scary. It has been my job to make the experience easier for my son. My attitude and approach has determined how he has taken on board the challenge. It's been a slow, yet deliberate process. First off, all that was requested of Nick was to visit the waiting room. Thereafter, he would sit in the same room as me while I had dental work done. A few visits later, he was invited to sit in the dental chair. That is all he needed to do.... sit in that chair without any pressure to do any more. Eventually, on another visit, I was able to gently pull back Nick's lips in order for the dentist to quickly peer inside. Last year, we had some success. Nick was able to tolerate me holding his lips back to enable the dentist to do a brief scraping of the teeth and a quick clean. Yesterday, I took both boys for their checkup. The big brother was up first. I chatted to the dentist while he was working, and Nick played on his iPad. When it came to Nick's turn, we took it slowly and gently. We followed his lead and gave him frequent mini breaks. When I saw the anxiety mounting, I started to count aloud using a soft calm voice. During the mini breaks I gave him a little bit of pressure on his chest. Twice, I reined him back in by using a stern voice.... nothing more than a, "Oye, Nicholas".
Our dentist was absolutely brilliant and Nick was in that chair for twenty minutes. HUGE!
Edge plus one all the way. For all of us!
A helping hand from big brother!