Songs for Lexi

Songs for Lexi

the dentist

Alexi, like a lot of people, has a fear of going to the dentist.  But since she has autism, it has proven quite difficult to calm her down at her past appointments.  2 years ago we were referred to a wonderful dentist - Dr. Cohen of Dental Care for Kids in Englewood - he works with all kinds of kids and is extremely kind to those with special needs.  He has a cocoon-wrap he uses to calm his patients who lack the understanding about staying still - those with ASD respond very well to it and Alexi seemed to like that wrapped feeling so he always used it for her.  Before her past appointments, she would get very upset and anxious on the way there.  The wait in the waiting room was never easy - for her, for me, or for the others waiting.  She would cry and scream through most of her appointment and scare the bejesus out of the kids waiting I'm sure.  However, while she hated going, you could tell she kind of liked the feeling the anxiety gave her... and after her appointments, she would talk about Dr. Cohen endlessly with an excited look in her eyes, mostly repeating scripts like, "All done dentist, Dr. Cohen... Cake" and "I want, I want to go home, no dentist" - several times a day. 


Skip to yesterday... 


When she noticed where we headed, she asked, "I go see the dentist?" and when I told her she was right, there was no sign of her usual anxiety.  Instead of her usual panicked entrance she happily and calmly walked up the stairs.  For the first time ever she was quiet in the waiting room and not wailing "I want... I want to go home - NO DENTIST...."  Instead, she played with letter blocks and was very interactive with Kyra and I as she spelled her favorite words.  When her name was called, instead of ramping up and crying, she calmly walked in and sat in the chair.  I was completely astonished...  then a hygienist she never met before greeted her and started counting and cleaning her teeth - all before I had a chance to explain that Dr. Cohen usually wrapped her in the cocoon wrap.  Alexi held her mouth open the whole time.  I couldn't believe how calm and "normal" Alexi was. 


So -- there were two things different about this appointment - Kyra accompanied us for the first time so that could have made a difference and also, earlier this week, Alexi witnessed Kyra's dentist appointment at a different office, so there definitely could have been some "modeling" going on....  she was just so incredibly different, so calm and so seemingly understanding that she was going to be ok.  It was like she was a different kid altogether. 





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