Thursday, October 20, 2011

Panic and the Pediatrician

I am not quite sure who dislikes going to the pediatrician's office more - myself or my daughter. Yesterday's visit was so lovely. Not! It, (the screaming) began even before we arrived. She figured out that was our destination at least a few miles away, as we made "that" left turn. For those of you that do not have children with autism, let me explain.

While our kids with autism seem "tuned out" to much of our environment, at the same time they are highly "tuned in" to other aspects of our environment. Many of you have observed children with autism covering their ears when they hear certain sounds. Mia dislikes the sound of a vacuum cleaner, so much so, that as we were passing the vacuum cleaners in the aisle at Target the other day, she yelled and covered her ears. If she had not begun to yell, I would have had no idea we were even walking past vacuums. They were not turned on, but her fear is so intense the mere sight of one triggered that reaction.

Now let me get back to the fun we had at the pediatrician's office. Ofcourse there was much crying. And, ofcourse, there were many "gawkers" both old and young. I am used to this, and I have made a habit of blocking out the staring and making her my sole focus. Yesterday she relaxed as soon as I got out the trusty ITouch and "Dora" once again saved the day. 

While in the waiting room I noticed two young brothers watching her intensely. They cocked their heads in unison, attempted to gain her attention, and smiled at her. Their empathy was apparent, and all I could think is how beautiful it was to see, and how I hoped they were able to retain it as they aged. The adults pretended not to notice. I was appreciative because I much prefer this response to one that involves lots of staring, or my least favorite, a completely blank stare. If you are going to make eye contact remember your eyes convey how you feel. By all means give that struggling momma a smile. I do so every occassion I am given.

We managed to make it out of there in one piece again. It is starting to get easier as she ages. She is slowing realizing that while it might not be her favorite place (or mine!) she can get through it. We walked out the door as she said, "Bye byes home?" I smiled at her and drove to Wendy's for our rewards. She had chicken nuggets and I got a big Frosty Float! Until  next time...

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