Being an autism mom has drastically reduced my tolerance for disrespect.
Our old dentist, had this thing going on with his assistant. He treated her like she was not smart. She took it, meekly.
It made me squirm.
Then…one day, when I mentioned Riley, her Asperger’s and associated anxiety regarding dentists, he said,
“The problem with kids and anxiety at the dentist is 99% of the time, the parents.”
And we were done.
I’ve avoided the phone calls from his office, wanting me to make appointments for cleanings for over six months. I had not found a new dentist and didn’t want to end the relationship (in case one of us got a toothache in the meantime) until we found a new one.
Referred by a friend, I went to a new dentist this week. He inquired about why I left the old one. I hesitated, not wanting to be negative…but then thought it might be good information for him to have. Do not blame autism parents, for our childrens’ behavior. You have no idea how long and hard we have worked with our children to help them. No idea.
His reaction to what the last dentist said was stronger than I expected. You see….he has an 18 year old son with autism.
This is my new dentist’s boy. He is non-verbal but proficient at sign language. He is signing in front of a crowd of 900 at a school assembly. Check out his killer smile!
Besides being dentists, his parents run a website called www.autismtutors.com, which helps match children with autism and tutors who want to work specifically with that population. There is a vast amount of valuable info on various autism resources on the site.
The cool thing is, I don’t think my friend who recommended this dentist, even knew he had a kid on the spectrum.
I love it when The Universe winks at us like that.