A month after Tristan was placed in our family, we had early intervention therapists come to our home. Susan was Tristan’s developmental therapist. She came to our home weekly for two years. Susan and I spent a lot of time together. I clearly remember one of our chats. She would gently encourage me by saying, “ALL children need to do chores. A child needs to feel like part of the family. Special needs children must do chores.”
If there were one area of parenting I could skip, it would be immunizations. Just the thought of Tristan getting shots causes me great anxiety. One reason being is I do not do well with needles. Another reason is that there is no way to explain to Tristan what is going to happen to him. He will understand to a degree but then will freak out. Tristan is developmentally around a 2 to 4 year old in a twelve year old body. Here is what we have learned along the way.
1. Bring an extra adult with. Brian and I both went and brought a friend,
2. Go to the health department- or another place other than your doctor office.
3 Alert receptionist/ staff to not say key words: nurse, doctor, shot
These could trigger the child’s anxiety. It has taken us a long time to figure this out.
4. Ask the nurse to get shots ready and do not prep in front of child. Explain to the nurse your child has anxiety so do everything FAST. Explain to the nurse you have enough adults to assist. We explained his special needs and took a few minutes to talk to our nurse. Tristan did not go back until everything was ready.
5. We had Tristan sit on Brian’s lap in a chair. The extra adult and I were ready to hold down Tristan if needed .
Tristan’s two shots were given so fast that he didn’t really have time to re-act.
Let me just say that I sweated over this for a very long time. I can not believe how smooth the process went. I kept waiting for Tristan to really get mad. He did not. We did take him out to eat at his favorite fast food restaurant.
Do you have any tips to share on this topic?
Hope this encourages you as you prepare for the next school year!
This is very important, yet easier said than done.