Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Dentist and Sensory Issues

Our afternoon was spent at the dentist office.At his previous cleaning visit, my son saw the tools on the tray and he told them which ones they were NOT allowed to put in his mouth. Today he was getting cavities filled and was given prescriptions meant to give a sedative affect in order for his work to be done. (I really drug my feet on the sedative drugs... I just hate giving him prescriptions and things.) He was also given the laughing gas stuff. We were there for quite some time before he calmed down somewhat. (After I suggested they put the heavy vest on him that us usually used for the x-rays.) The dentist somehow got one little filling done, and that was it. He never was sedated enough for the work to get finished.

The heavy x-ray vest helped calm him down because the extra input feels good to his slightly malfunctioning nervous system. ("oh, I can feel where I am because of this extra weight on me. I don't have to constantly wiggle to be able to tell where my body is in space right now.") He has a weighted vest that was handed down to him. He wore it to school one day. His mainstreaming teacher said it was the best day that he ever had in her class! Once the special ed teacher saw it, however, she told me that to protect the school they needed a behavior plan written by the OT in order to use it. The vest went home, and he has not gotten to take it back since because said OT is so spread out among schools that said plan has not been written. Poor kid.

Why does my child need fillings anyway? I sometimes wonder that, but as the dental hygienist today so kindly reminded me that brushing and flossing are important. In spite of my efforts, for years it has been difficult to get a toothbrush in his mouth. I often had to get new toothbrushes when he was 5 and under, because he would bite down on them so hard when I was trying to brush his teeth, they would get ruined. (Trying to brush is teeth was just a scene, of course.)

What this whole thing boils down to is some serious sensory issues. I have for sure heard of worse, and my son has been worse off in the past where those are concerned. Often people with autism have sensory issues, and they are not all the same. My son has always been sensitive with his hearing. Even now he sometimes runs from the room when his baby brother cries. Of course he is super sensitive with his mouth. When the one filling was finished, the dentist was speaking to me and my son just fell right to sleep. He had no response to a little pinch I gave his ankle. We thought perhaps we could do some more work, but when they started going at his mouth again, he woke right up again. Poo, now we have to take him to a special pediatric dentist and have him completely sedated just to fill some cavities.


Anonymous said...

That's rough!
I don't know what I would do, but I do know you continue to be an incredible mom.

Californiutahan said...

That seems silly that the school feels that a weighted vest YOU put on him is potentially a problem... oh, well. Hopefully the OT will be able to come and take care of that. (Can you make an appointment to meet with them?)