Over the past two and a half months I have been trying to expose Adrian to new things, situations, and environments.
In June we took him to the lake and walked the board walk. There are so many variables at play. The wind, spray, people walking next to us and walking. He does not like to walk. He tires quickly and after awhile it hurts his legs. We ended up seeing wind surfers though. He loved them and the tricks they did. I ended up putting him in a life jacket and because he now accepts things touching his face and head sunglasses and a hat. He had one minor meltdown on the walk back. At which point Steve picked him up and carried him the rest of the way.
Adrian, Jade, & Daddy
In July we took him to his first real race. He had a rough time. He wanted to take part in the fair rather than watch the cars race. He used his iPad while his sister, dad, and I watched the cars race by. He drank a couple of juice boxes and ate his snack. For the most part though he hid under his blanket playing apps on his iPad.
Adrian focusing on an app
Our August adventure took place just yesterday August 18. I had found an excellent deal on train rides in our area. The train has excursions every Wednesday and Saturday. We chose Saturday. Adrian has had a love of trains since age two. He saw a Henry from Thomas and friends and started wailing until I picked the Henry train up. I now know that my son’s favorite color is green. He was probably drawn to that train by it’s color. We bought Henry home that day. Since then Adrian has had a love of all things Thomas. He has a green bin filled with Thomas and friends trains. He owns the movies and watches Thomas on TV and Netflix. I thought this train ride would be the perfect thing for him. He ended up wanting to take to trains with so Duck and Douglas went with us.
We started with breakfast at a place new to him. He did fine. Then we grabbed drinks. The ride is 90 minutes. Then we drove to the station. We got our tickets and we got on car number 3. 3 is Adrian’s favorite number. We picked a seat closest to the entrance and waited 15 minutes for the ride to start. It was nice scenery and we saw cows and horses. Adrian played apps on his iPad and looked out the window once in awhile. Then I heard the train whistle and I thought that might trigger a meltdown. I asked him if he thought Thomas and Percy sounded like that when they “peep” he said “Yeah Momma I think so.” The whistle did not bother him. He enjoyed riding the train.
Jade & Adrian
After we got home Adrian started watching a Thomas video on YouTube. Steve said to me “You think he started watching the video because we rode on a train?” Yep, I sure do. My son maybe a mystery to most but I know what he likes and what he doesn’t. I knew even before he could speak. He will relate what he’s done in his own way and he knows and understands more than any person can probably measure. It’s there intact he just works it all out and shows it to us differently. It is amazing to watch. I hope more people will take them time to in the future….
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We have been hard pressed to find a dentist who can deal with our son’s uniqueness.
My husband was the first to attempt a dental visit with Adrian. The dentist who saw Adrian was my husband’s dentist as a child as well. Our son was five. This is the age my daughters dentist agreed to see him at. They are a multiple dentist practice and the only dentist we could see since we had Medicaid at the time. The dentist stated that our son was too difficult and that he needed to be seen elsewhere.
My husband was angry. The clinic suggested we take him to a specialist who accepts Medicaid. The specialist was wonderful. Adrian ended up having to have dental surgery to remove an abscess tooth and caps on three teeth. It was hard after surgery. He cried and was groggy.
We switched to a different dentist in the same practice but Adrian also saw the mobile dentist at school. In May 2012 we went back to the dental practice after the mobile dentist sent home a note stating that Adrian may have cavities. Adrian had his first ever in office x-rays done and then his dentist said he had 3 to 4 cavities and that they would have to contract him out again for dental surgery. He could not see the specialist he had previously seen because he was over the age limit. They just could not handle him in their office he insisted.
I had to play phone tag with the new dentist whose office is 50 miles away from our home. After a lot of debating because we no longer have Medicaid they told us they could see him, but we would need to pay any costs after the initial appointment upfront. I scheduled an appointment. While the appointment came and we were without enough gas to get there. I forgot at the time about the money I had put aside in case that happened. I called the dentist to explain and they said well if you miss this first appointment we can not see your son for six months, policy rules.
After that I searched for yet another dentist. Aspen Dental. We took Adrian there once last month. They tried to do x-rays and had a different machine then he was used to. Adrian’s sensory issues were evident as he could not tolerate biting on the spoon shaped object. They sat us in a room where my son nearly fell of the chair twice because the chair had collapsable arms. I was ready to walk then. The very nice dental assistant than proceeded to tell me that they do not typically see children in their office. That was the first question I asked when I contacted them.
We then got referred to a pediatric specialist. I did not know there was one in our area. I had never heard of the place or the dentist before. I called as soon as we left Aspen dental to schedule an appointment. The person was very nice and said she would send me forms ahead of time so we did not have to fill out paperwork while there. That was a relief. I received the paperwork and the header to the dentist office clearly states Specializes in Special Needs. I was even more shocked when I looked at the forms. There was Autism right on the form. After years of dealing with dentists who handed him off because he was “too difficult” we found one who might be able to help without dental surgery or having to contract him out.
We went to his first appointment today. The dentist office is exactly what I would hope for. Sensory input everywhere. There were wall toys with mazes and cranks and toys. I think the biggest hit though was the Nemo look a like fish tank. There was a fish who looked exactly like Dory. Adrian kept telling me no momma her name is Dora. There was also one who looked like Nemo’s dad. We arrived at 2:15 and did not have to wait long. The dentist looked at Adrian’s teeth throughly. I was waiting for the worst possible news. The dentist said he has no cavities. He does need sealents to prevent tooth decay. I asked her of she was sure because I could have sworn the previous dentist had sealed his teeth. She said while if they did it’s gone now. Then I asked her about cavities. She said his teeth are healthy, they look good. She also could tell he sucks his thumb which he does and no one can break him of the habit.
His previous dentist told me at his last appointment that I could not possibly be brushing his teeth. That there was just too much plaque. When I mentioned that the mobile dentist said he needed an alignment possibly. He said the only way to do that is braces and I would never put braces on him with as many cavities as he’s had. I told him I personally pry his mouth open to brush his teeth twice daily and his suggestion brush after every meal and cut all juice out. I went home feeling like the worst POS mom on the planet. Hearing that you haven’t done your job is never easy and it always hurts. As it turns out our son does not have cavities at all. Sometimes I really hate people!!
Adrian loves his new dentist and the office. I am happy we finally have someone who is willing to work with him. His new dentist assured me that he would not need surgery. She will give him gas and if he wiggles she will wiggle with him. It is so refreshing to hear someone tell you they are okay with your child just they way they are. On the way home Steve looked at me and said I think this one will be great and at least she will try!
Steve and I been debating for several months now whether to buy Adrian a bicycle or a scooter. At first Steve did not want to buy him either. Adrian has issues with walking for periods of time and his motor skills are delayed. Neither of us were sure he would be able to maneuver either.
Today we were shopping at Wal-Mart and I suggested we stop in that section to see what they had. We found a couple of different Razor models and then Steve came across one he liked. It is a Fuzion Sport Scooter. It boasts a wider deck and 4 wheels, instead of the slim two-wheeled style, with a rear break. The Fuzion Scooter seemed to be a better fit. We bought the last one in stock.
Then Adrian had a mini meltdown because daddy had to take a different aisle than mommy and he thought mommy was lost. We picked out his helmet and finished our shopping.
On the way out we decided to get Adrian’s hair cut. It was so long. He was the first customer in and he did so wonderfully.
Once home he helped his dad put together the scooter and then he went riding for a little while. The scooter leans which ever way you lean and he was nervous about that part. He got it though. Steve had to show him at first and then he did it himself. I was shocked. My husband was so moved he was almost crying. It is a big HUGE leap for our son.
His sensory issues keep him inside often. I was just mentioning that to Steve. Last year that would have never happened. He complains when we are walking to his bus stop five minutes away. His sensory issues take a lot our of him and our home is his safe place. Nothing is ever too loud or too bright or different too often. We hear about it if it makes him concerned. That is a new development too. Him being able to tell us what bothers his senses is wonderful.
I am so proud of his accomplishments. He has to work 10 times as hard to do things “typical” people take for granted. I can not even tell you how great it is to see him progress.
I attended a seminar this past Tuesday on Anxiety and Sensory Processing in children and teens. I went because Adrian has Sensory Processing Disorder.
The presentation was given by a counselor and an Occupational therapist. We went over what we can do to help our children and the different activities for situations.
Below is an outline:
What Can We Do?
Sensory Diet – Sensory Diet
Relaxation Methods-whatever helps calm your child down and relax them. For Adrian the is usually what I call a deep pressure massage. I squeeze along his extremities lightly.
Occupational therapy- Adrian did three months with an Occupational therapist privately in 2010, but during school since 2009 he sees an OT once or twice a week.
Neurofeedback-Neurofeedback Adrian has a 24 hour EEG every three to four months.
Listening To Music
Jumping On Trampoline
Carrying Heavy Objects
Throwing A Ball
Eating Crunchy or Chewy Food
Drinking Through A Straw
Core Strengthing Exercises
Parent Support Group
Speech, Physical, or Occupational Therapy
Community Mental Health
Beyond Consequences by Heather Forbes