Friday, 16 January 2015

A Side of Autism: Dentist Appointment

Here in Finland - it's typical that you take your child to the dentist when they are 1,3,5 etc. years old.
I brought the V-Man with me when he was 1, as I had an orthodontist appointment anyway and the dentist said it'd be fine.

V-Man bit him so hard - he didn't bleed.  But he remembered it.
For whatever reason - we haven't had a 3-year old appointment.

Now that he's 5 - I took him in and as I'm done with my braces and orthodontist - I scheduled an appointment with a public dentist downtown.  I had made the appointment with the last dentist I met with when I took A-Man for his 3-years appointment and advised her that we need a dentist that speaks English (I don't trust my Finnish for health-related things currently) and that I have 2 more children due for appointments. 
Oh and V-Man is a non-verbal autistic child with a strong fear/dislike of needles, hospital-like settings and such (horrible memories of blood tests - another story some day perhaps).
Let's just put it this way:  I dread the days that I have to take him to ANY kind of appointment.  Someone always gets punched, kicked, elbowed, bitten, head smashed in the teeth or glasses go flying...we need two or three people to hold him get the idea.

So dentist #1 set me up with our current dentist #2 - Merja.
I walked in there with V-Man and she didn't attack him with tools right off the bat but let him try to sit in the seat by himself and said it'd be fine if he was in my arms.  She read his paper I filled out and didn't freak or stare at V-Man when he started snapping and curling his fingers repeatedly.
She was very professional and calm throughout the whole thing.
So I held the V-Man and she went in there as fast as possible and that was it!
It took 4 minutes.  She confirmed he doesn't have any cavities and I figured we'd leave but she had the extra time available and chatted with me.
Simple conversation about why we're in Finland and who V-Man had seen before because he wasn't in the system.
So I told her that V-Man bit my first dentist/orthodontist and she laughed quite a bit because she knew him and said he is a really great dentist as well (I agree!) and that perhaps, "Because I'm an old lady he likes me more!"
(She's 62 and plans to retire in 2 years.  Good grief I'm stressed I won't find anyone else like her then!)

Then V-Man did something out of this world.

He walked over to her, looked her in the eyes and "asked" to be picked up by lifting his arms up to her.  She smiled and obliged and lifted him and he repeatedly hugged her a few times.
Merja then asked if this was "normal" for V-Man and by the look of my stunned face - she gathered it was not.  Especially a stranger and especially one wearing scrubs.
Pfft - I was blown away.
He played with her name tag for awhile and as we kept chatting about our future plans for life in Finland etc. - he then opted for diving his hand down the v-neck of her pale purple scrubs.
She was very calm and removed his hand and I'm blushing and apologizing and she said it was fine.

Clearly the V-Man noticed my reaction and decided, "This is a fantastic game! Let's see if we can get Mom to be 50 Shades of Red!"  and repeatedly tried to fondle/grope/feel-up the dentist.

Well, she took it with a grain of salt... I'd be saying "Oh yeah I still got it!" but that's just me and slightly wrong anyway.
And off we went!

I never thought I'd write a blog post about a positive dentist experience with the V-Man...but here it is.
AND she looked like Jamie Lee Curtis.  Seriously.

1 comment:

  1. That must’ve been very surprising for you! It's great that he can be friendly with people in scrubs. Anyway, I think Merja is just really friendly and fond of kids. Just look at how at ease V-man was in that short session. That being said, I can say she’s definitely one of a kind. Good day!

    Annette Freeman @ Bozeman Dental Assoc.