I love this picture, I really do. It was taken this spring, during our latest visit to the dentist with both kids.
Our first taste of victory.
Our first ever successful visit to the dentist with Charlie.
We had worked hard to prepare him for it, using the sensory integration techniques we had learnt alongside picture stories explaining to him what would happen and when.
We had been using the Wilbarger protocol brushing and joint compressions technique** faithfully every 90 minutes of every day for a few months prior to the visit.
We chose a quiet time of day to visit, when the other local kids would be in school, early in the day when the smell of the products used in the dentist’s are at their least intense.
We encouraged him to wear his ear defenders.
We talked to the dentist, we explained his diagnosis and the types of things that might bother him.
She was brilliant, I cannot thank her enough for the gentle way in which she handled him and the whole visit. Although she has met Charlie before he had always been very uncooperative.
She gave him the option to go first or second, he chose second. She talked him through what was happening during his sister’s examination so that he would understand and could anticipate what would happen during his turn.
She spoke to him in a kind gentle voice with simple sentences and helped him to feel like he was in control of his body and what was happening.
Lillie was great too, she showed him what to do and help him see that it didn’t hurt. She has become very good at supporting her brother in new situations. I am so proud of her and the maturity that she is able to show.
Then it happened, for the first time ever he confidently climbed into the chair, lay back and opened his mouth. He allowed her to do a full examination of his teeth, he even let her put some special protective cream onto his teeth.
It worked, it was beautiful.
It was like watching a miracle unfold in front of my eyes.
We were actually speechless.
I love how relaxed he looks and the big smile on his face.
I snapped this picture with my phone, I didn’t ask for permission because i was too scared that i would ruin the moment.
** the brushing technique should only be used under the instruction and supervision of a qualified occupational therapist trained in sensory integration, it works for us, it may not work for everyone.