Taking Dean to the dentist is a special kind of torture for the two of us. I've tried every tactic but this is just one of his areas of struggle sensory-wise (it is pretty typical for a child with autism to resist grooming, especially brushing teeth). We've had "happy visits," he's played with the equipment and chair, tried our great dentist who gave up and sent us to a pediatric specialist. We ended up sedating him and doing his xrays and cleaning when he had oral surgery last September (TEN modified root canals - VERY expensive out of pocket costs!!).
This time holding him down and bribing him did not work. They broke out the big guns and we strapped him down -- it is like a surfboard type cot that goes on the dental chair and his arms are strapped down by the wrist then he is swaddled in large weighed blankets the velcro shut, like a straight jacket. Tears, wiggling with all his might. Not successful, he just kept biting the fingers of the hygienist. It was heartbreaking, as a mom.
Then comes the scolding over not flossing and brushing his teeth well enough. I pick my battles. A lot of things are a battle - toileting, meds, chores, eating, getting dressed... It is exhausting being the bad guy all the time. It's hard to have my child hate me simply because I clipped his nails. Everyone tells me how sweet my children are - and I AGREE, but I don't often get to be the one to enjoy them. I'm the one fighting the battles with them. I have to do all the tough parenting stuff.
Here's how forgiving my sweet boy is: getting into his carseat on the ride home he wraps his little arms around my neck, squeezes tight, and says "I love you, Mommy, SOO much." I love you too Dean Bean.
He saw his developmental pediatrician this week though and she said it was going to take a good 6 months to get the icky old poop out and for his tummy to start feeling better. She also added some meds for seasonal/outdoor allergies and a chewable lactaid pill so he can digest dairy better. I've got him all set to see a nutritionist this month. He's got the same weight issues as Julia but we are finding lots of medical reasons to connect the dots (this info may help Julia as well).
He's talking SO MUCH and so clearly - and I love all the things he has to say! I am so proud of his progress! He LEARNED TO RIDE A BIKE!! Oh, and he had summer camp at the Nature Center and loved it. I stayed the first day (no other parents stayed at all, but I was concerned - plus he needed his pull up changed often), his PCA the 2nd, and then he was on his own the last day, like the other kids. The teachers said he did great! He's loving his therapies at Fraser and is on the waiting list for several more still.
Julia had her intake visit with our new in-home family therapist. The girls and Dean will share a therapist who will becoming out to our house 8 hours a week starting next week. I am SO excited about this - despite the extreme volume of time it will take out of our busy lives. This is where they work with just the kid one-on-one, just a parent or PCA to equip us to better parent each child, with the family as a group, or even with a sibling. The therapist will be able to see the family as a unit and really see the whole picture!
Oh, and she finally got in at Fraser for her Individual Skills therapy! These are all resources we have really wanted to use for years but could not afford to, or did not know existed. I am thrilled to be getting help and services now! We are, however, running out of blank space on the calendar to get all 4 kids everything they need scheduled.
The study for it involves breathing into test tubes over several hours. It was actually kinda cool because it made Julia curious about how our body can emit gases and she was researching online all day - everything is a learning opportunity! We've got her scheduled also for a gastric emptying study. She is rarely hungry between meals and struggles to eat full servings. So the GI doc is thinking her stomach is never fully emptying which prevents her from feeling hungry. I don't know why these are not things they looked into already but I'm game for whatever helps us get her healthy.
She did a summer camp that involved TONS of biking and loved it! I am really proud of her - she was so exhausted at the end of each day but just loved it! Getting worn out physically like that actually makes her so much more cheerful and less prone to melt downs.
Her and Bruce were also seen together at that Genetics Doctor last week. He is certain it is genetic but also thinking a lot of health issues may be from our home -- not only the black mold (there when we moved in, hidden under a layer of sheetrock to hide it) but also possible lead paint residue/dust. So I am so relieved we are moving!
showing off how difficult his job is! Julia and Dean won't even let him leave!)