This morning, I told T that we were going to the dentist after school, and promised him that Dr. B would be so impressed with him. For the last several months, T has allowed me to use those flosser pic deals to floss his teeth, and I said that Dr. B would be so proud of him for doing so! I said that we were going to show off his wonderful teeth. Little did I know how impressed Dr. B would be with our boy – and how impressed I would be as well! Not only did T allow the dentist to floss between most of his teeth, but he also (with some encouragement & cheering on) allowed him to use the polisher all through his mouth! He still does not want to have anything to do with the actual dentist chair, but he sat just fine in a regular chair, and this dentist is so kind and experienced with our kids that he knew not to push the dentist chair thing. Both he and his dental assistant acknowledged that he made great progress today.
To paraphrase our Vice President (whom I adore), this is a big *bleeping* deal. About two years ago, he would get agitated if I even moved my hand toward the electric toothbrush the dentist suggested we use, let alone touch it or bring it toward his mouth. After several months of work, his Verbal Behavior therapists had him using it comfortably. We've been using an electric toothbrush since then, and I'm sure that being used to the sensation of something vibrating like that made today go as smoothly as it did. Bless his heart, the minute the dentist was done with the cleaning, T looked at me and said "Car", but he tolerated the flossing & quick fluoride treatment as well.
Other moms have told me stories of having to do several thousand dollars' worth of dental work on their child with autism because they simply won't tolerate having their teeth brushed. That adds to the wonder of this day – and the wonderful-ness of this boy!
Such a good day! We went to a party supply store afterwards to pick up things for Rob's graduation party this weekend. I tried to find some small plastic slinkies for him to play with as a reward, but I couldn't find any. No problem: the store had large (like 3 feet wide) pedestal fans going in the store. That is nirvana for T – no better reward than getting to jump and play in front of a huge fan! He earned it.