New Year, New Challenges, Same-old, Same-old

9 Jan

“Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”
― L.M. Montgomery

Especially true in the world of autism. The Princess started her new year off going back to school, coming down with Fifth’s Disease, deciding she will be assertive and with her first dentist appointment.

We were blessed to select a pediatric dentist who truly has a heart for all children, including those with special needs. And she has taken on a partner now with that same heart and hired an office staff and hygienists also of the same stripe. We were equally blessed our pediatrician’s office has that same atmosphere. It’s no secret that The Princess is not a fan of the dentist or doctor’s office, but more because of the procedures. She doesn’t cry when the doctor or nurse or hygienist enters the room. She loves that movies are playing AND books are available. She is okay with waiting most of the time. And the staff knows her by name but not with an, “oh, no, it’s The Princess!” type of knowledge but a “The Princess’s coming, how can we make this work the best for her.”

There are certain things she will always hate: having her temperature taken in her ear, any kind of auditory or oral physical exam, dental cleanings and the like, but everyone is determined to make them as painless and short as possible for her.

Last week we had a new challenge for the doctor’s office. A throat culture. Although the pediatrician was confident from the rash and lack of fever that Fifth’s Disease was probably what we were dealing with, The Princess’s throat was red. And although that is also a sign of Fifths, she wanted to rule out strep. And I don’t blame her. I wanted to rule it out too so that I could psyche myself up if we needed to give oral antibiotics. But that requires a throat culture. And not only had we ever done this, but we knew The Princess was not going to cooperate. Fortunately, the pediatrician was prepared and had recruited a nurse who has a child with autism to help with the process. No strep. Thank God. And because of how hard our pediatricians have worked to make the office a better experience for The Princess so she recovered quickly while we awaited the results.

The new year brings about new challenges for us all, but if we have the foresight to see potential pitfalls and try to make them less painful it can make these challenges appear less daunting. Of course things will always happen that are unpredictable, but we can change our attitudes even when it comes to dreaded tasks related to autism. This new year, like this new day, starts out mistake free, it won’t remain this way for long but we can begin learning from the old problems/mistakes which will make life that much easier.

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