Thursday, June 21, 2018

Zach Says Yes To Dental XRays!

This past Tuesday, something huge happened. Something Epic.  Zach was able to sit still and handle having four dental x-rays for the first time ever. He actually enjoyed the entire appointment. Cleaning. Flossing. Polishing and X-rays. Absolutely AMAZING!!!

Zach is 15, attends Chanhassen High School, and has Autism.  He can speak and have his needs met, loves his family and friends deeply and loves Dora and Blue's Clues like they are his best friends. Zach struggles with sensory overload, including loud children, babies crying and dogs barking.  He wears headphones often to block out the unexpected noises that often bombard him in daily life. Zach enjoys VCR tapes each day, flipping through top bound spiral notebooks. Zach is a ridiculously amazing artist with so much talent. I firmly believe he will design pictures for greeting cards or wrapping paper some day. He loves to swim, listen to the birds talk to him and discover new adventures each daily.

Since Zach was tiny, he has struggled significantly with his finger nails and toe nails being cut, with hair cuts and with going to the doctor and dentist.  Josh was able to get Zach to the point where he could handle his head being shaved about every six weeks right in the middle of the kitchen floor.  Occasionally, we are even able to bring Zach to Cost Cutters to get his hair cut. Once Zach had surgery on two toes to correct a defect, he was able to have both  fingernails and toenails cut by me at home every couple of weeks. He was so much more comfortable seeing a doctor because of his surgery that he realized how cool it was to go to the doctors office.

Zach will often watch videos on youtube.  Our search history is comic gold.  How to draw funny french fries.  Shalom Sesame, These Are the People In My Neighborhood. Adelle Hello.  Dora VHS release dates.  The best videos that he searches for are the ones pertaining to real life. Going to the dentist. Going to the doctor.  How to make Chocolate Chip Cookies.  Make people laugh. How to buy groceries. Zach searches these topics over and over until he feels comfortable with the matter at hand.  He then will script through a doctors or dentist appointment with what he remembers and what he thinks will happen next. Scripting keeps him calm and enables Zach to actually enjoy what he is experiencing.

"MOM! I got a toothbrush!!! I love it. Look at the toothpaste!  Oh a green water bottle!"  My mom heart beams with all this joy he is experiencing.  He was happy to go to the dentist. He loved that he got presents. He has talked about it to anyone who will listen for the last three days since he has been to the dentist. Every day, we continue to pray that life gets just a little easier for Zach. That the bark of a dog or yelp of a child will no longer him. That sounds, and lights and sometimes destinations will no longer bother him.  But until then,  we will count this as a huge gain. We will count this experience, (even 3 days later) as a success.

We will focus on all of things that Zach is able to now do and accomplish and work on the things that are still challenging for him.  We will persevere right along with him.  We won't let him give up. We will show him how to do the hard things. How to tackle what seems impossible.  We will love him, hug him and encourage him.  Because this kid, steals our hearts.  His smile, his laugh, his ability to make others want to always be near him.  This kid, deserve it. He deserves joy in return. Because joy is exactly what he has given to us as his parents.

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