Autism presents all kinds of challenges. Let me tell you, there are exploding landmines everywhere and just going to the dentist can often produce an explosion. The twice-a-year appointments on the calendar are dreaded events, which take lots of planning and fortitude.
Finding a dentist is no easy task. It takes a special professional willing to take on the challenge, and believe me, they are hard to find. A simple trip to the dentist can make anybody nervous, even those who don’t have major sensory deficits. I remember the first time I had a cavity filled. The huge needle full of Novocaine terrified me and the sound of the drill gave me nightmares for weeks. Gives me chills just writing about it. I was never going to go through that again – and I never did. Fear is a great motivator. Brush your teeth kiddos. Continue reading It’s the Little Things
Anxiety is defined as: “Distress or uneasiness of mind caused by the fear of danger or misfortune.” Sounds about right, although a bit technical. For me, anxiety is a rapid increase in my heartbeat, as if I’ve had a lot of espresso. It’s a jittery, panicky feeling, which makes any type of focus impossible. I tend to obsess over what I’m anxious about, to the point of paranoia. Seriously. One thing that triggers my anxiety level is when I hear, “Allie, we need to schedule an IEP meeting.”
An IEP is an Individual Education Plan for students receiving special education services. It sounds rather innocuous, but it comes with all kinds of emotional baggage for the parents. On its best day, it’s kind of like a State of the Union address. The school tells you all that they’ve accomplished for your child, with goals met and mastered and a plan is drafted to raise the bar. At its worst, momma storms out of the meeting, slamming a heavy, industrial-sized door, which reverberates so loudly, I will still hear it in my subconscious, a year later. (It was not my finest hour.) Continue reading IEP Anxiety