It’s that time of the year. Summertime. Time for physicals and teeth cleanings and all of those appointments you put off during the school year because it’s too difficult to juggle the schedules.
My kiddos are getting old enough that their physicals/check ups aren’t near as important, but teeth cleanings never go out of season. Sometimes, you can call and get right in, other times, not so much. My luck is always that the time when we get right in is when I remember to call at the beginning of the summer. When I procrastinate, never fails, the ‘next available appointment’ is after school starts.
THIS would be one of those times, kinda.
I called yesterday, and they had an appointment that had just opened for yesterday and another for today! YAY!! (you’d think I’d say, and I did…kinda) I could easily get one of my boys to adjust his plans for the day to go to the dentist, but the other? Not so much.
You see, one of the common traits of an individual with Asperger’s is that they like structure and routine. This particular son opperates better when he knows about an appointment at least week in advance. It doesn’t matter if he has something else to do: He just likes to mentally prepare.
I tried to ‘speed prepare’ him, but to no avail. He explained that he wanted to go, but needed more notice. (of course!) I explained that the dentist’s schedule was packed and the only appointments available before his fall classes start are ‘cancellations,’ otherwise, he would need to juggle his appointment with his class schedule.
Still he declined. I wasn’t surprised: It was worth a shot.
The problem came when his dad learned of the news. Sadly, dad doesn’t accept that our son’s anxiety is only manageable when he can prepare for things such as appointments. So, dad texts our son (and sent me a copy). I won’t share what it said, but will say that it made me sick to my stomach.
I replied to the dad that our son needed more time to prepare and received a response that I was enabling our son. He didn’t mean I was enabling him to be HIMSELF, rather that I was enabling him to be/act/behave in the manner that dad thought he should.
Why is it acceptable to insist that others accept us as we are, but we EXPECT them to ‘conform’ to our definition of “normal?”
I understand my son’s dad’s point: I really do. But, truly it breaks my heart. Our son is trying so hard to learn his own limitations and to adjust and plan in ways that alleviate his anxiety; all without using medication.
Some day, I expect that he will be able to take the last minute appointment, just not today. Of one thing I’m sure, no amount of bullying or down-talking is going to speed the process.