Amazing Self Advocacy at the Dentist!

The kids had dental cleanings scheduled for after school today. Last time, Riley really wanted me to go back with her. This time, as I’ve done every time, I asked if she wanted me to join her? Or was she okay going by herself?

“I think I’m okay going back by myself,” she said.

I played it cool.

“Okay Riley. And if you want me for any reason, you just say, “Excuse me, but I’d like you to get my mom.”

She looked up from her People Magazine,

Okay? Okay. We’re good.

The hygienist came out and took her back. No prob.

I sat in the waiting room with Seth, basking.

When she was finished, she came out as if she’d always gone back to get her teeth cleaned without me. Totally nonchalant.

Can you take it?

Next it was Seth’s turn. He did want me to go back with him, so I went. On the way down the hall, the hygenist (who had never worked with Riley before) told me that on the way back to the room, Riley had advocated for herself saying, “I have autism, and I’m really sensitive so I’m going to ask you to be gentle.”

I am so glad she told me Riley said that. I felt giddy over it. She’s asked the assistants at the orthodontist’s to be gentle before, but never explained the whole thing. Never without her mom.

I thanked her and then told the hygienist about Seth’s tics, made sure she knew he can’t help it, yada, yada.

All was well and then, she tried to give him mint mouth wash. Little man don’t do mint. He hates it, says it burns his mouth. He stopped her and asked for another flavor and she said, sure. Evidently, Seth advocates for himself too.

It was awesome telling HT. He had the exact same proud, thrilled, oh-my-God-how-far-we’ve-come reaction. We love us some Riley. And Seth is the coolest as well.

It has been an extremely stressful time lately, getting the house ready to sell. I’ve been out of my mind with the pressure of getting it all done. But this, has made my day.

I can’t stop smiling.

*Sometime soon I’ll tell you about my talk at the dental school last Friday, a result of the post linked to above. The short story is they were nice and it went well.

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8 Responses to Amazing Self Advocacy at the Dentist!

  1. Kim says:

    So awesome. so very, very awesome. Both of them. (and I can relate to the stress before a big move having been in your shoes in 2011. You will get it all done. You will.)

  2. I just joined my alto to that glorious chorus!

  3. kario says:


    Your kids rock! What a beautiful, glorious day for you all. Pat yourselves on the back, please.

  4. Chloes Mom Mary says:

    Awesome! I’m so happy that they both advocated for themselves. I’m still working on the self advocacy thing for a certain young lady, and it is a challenge to say the least.

    I’m glad last Friday went well. I was thinking of you all day 🙂

  5. Carrie Link says:

    Little man don’t do mint. OHMOG! The sass and spunk (and self-advocacy) don’t fall far from the tree.

  6. Meg says:

    I am grinning from ear to ear. Your babies are going to be JUST FINE.

  7. Tanya Savko says:

    Celebrating with you! So incredibly empowering – for us as much as our kids! I will never forget the first time Nigel “went in” without me (at like, 16) and came out the same way – nonchalant, like it’s always been that way. No accidents, he has a dental appointment this very afternoon! Love to all of you.

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