Blake’s eye appt today lasted 2 hours. I spent a lot of time prepping him and explaining how the exam would work since it was his first; machines, what he would have to do, etc.
I failed to explain to him the dilation and that whole process. He was amazing the whole time but fell apart at that point. I don’t think the doc did a good job of helping or explaining anything to him, and he had a hundred questions for her (what did it feel like? What was going to happen, etc), and she didn’t really help, so I stepped in to do my best to answer his questions.
He cried and screamed when the drops went in and she seemed frustrated. I asked her if she could explain the process but it was too late by then. He had a meltdown.
When I saw how annoyed she was getting with him I said “can you explain more? He’s high functioning autistic”. Not that I go around saying this flippantly, but I really needed her to do something different to helphim and be patient. If she would’ve just talked about the process before she did the drops he would’ve been FINE. But she still had NO patience and changed nothing. I was very surprised.
Surely seeing any 5 year old patient, label or not, she would’ve explained it had better bed side manner?
I don’t feel like I was asking a lot or expect her to be autistic-psychic or something. I just had an expectation in the moment that she would explain, at least, to a 5 year old. And that’s why I busted out the label when that didn’t happen.
The dilation takes time to settle in and he was crying and saying his eyes were burning. He kept rubbing them and she scolded him for it saying they were going to have to do it again. (Not a good idea to make threats to go through the process again when he’s already clearly upset!) As we waited for the dilation to set in I took him out to the van to get Lamby to bring back in to the waiting room, and that really calmed him. (I needed to try something at that point)
He sat in the chair watching TV with Lamby and started sucking his thumb. I didn’t stop him. I pick battles sometimes, and it had been an hour and a half at this point and he hadn’t even eaten lunch and it was after 1:00…he was getting hangry!
A lady sitting across from us started lecturing me on how he was too old to suck his thumb and allowing him to do so was damaging to his teeth, and it would one day cost me a fortune. I tried to just smile and ignore her, but she was very persistent and just kept going!
(He probably IS too old to suck his thumb, but I was concerned about it at the moment.)
When she noticed I wasn’t really responding she rolled her eyes at me and huffed.
I know she was judging me, and him.
Maybe she thought she was helping, but the way she went about it was all wrong, in my opinion.
I’m not saying I never judge people, though I try really hard not to. Being a parent of Blake has really taught me to be less judgmental because everyone has their own thing, and there’s usually so much more behind the curtain.
She didn’t know I was trying to calm him and that he’d just had a meltdown minutes before because he wasn’t prepared and it wasn’t fully explained what was happening.
Or maybe my big 5 year old (who looks like a 7 year old) wanted to rest his giant pupils in front of the TV at the eye doc with his stuffed Lamby and suck his thumb, just because.
I would’ve preferred her to make some small talk, or maybe ask if he was okay? Or maybe just smile at us and leave it at that. Think what you want in your head. (I teach B that. You don’t have to say everything you think).
I don’t know. It’s hard to say what the right approach would’ve been.
Either way, judge less, smile more.
PS-He will be getting glasses, and they look so cute!