The time had come. It was time to meet our new quarterback. Although you had no idea where we were going, you seemed to find enjoyment in driving along on a day date with mommy and daddy. Surely your mind was swirling with plenty of fun possibilities of what today would hold! Mommy and daddy were excited too after all, so maybe our mood was infectious.
We had arrived at our destination and almost on cue your demeanor started to change. Just the sight of what appeared to be medical buildings lead the anxiety to creep in. There’s no fooling you, you’re super smart Addie. I slipped your headphones on and you knew, nope, we officially weren’t going to the park to swing and eat “banella” (vanilla) ice cream! At this point you were probably thinking “I’ve been duped! Flag on the play! Where’s the penalty?!”
Headphones on, dad's hand in yours, mom holding our bag of tricks and an encyclopedia of paperwork - we entered the building...
One step in, and you completely froze. Your shoulders shot up to you ears, readjusting your headphones, and you began to shake. You didn’t run or scream, you just stood shaking like a stiff leaf.
With reassurance from mom and dad that it was OK, we were able to move closer to the elevator. As the elevator doors opened you were still unsure, you bent forward leaning your head in first to ensure there were no hidden surprises of distress before entering.
You clung tight to daddy and up we went. Lucky for us it was only one floor.
The doors opened and daddy whisked you off to a small corner of the waiting room where some books and small toys were located. You ditched your jacket and headphones almost immediately before snuggling in close to dad to read a book as I checked us in.
All was going well until your name was called and right on cue you began to cry. Crying in such a way to let us know that you were not pleased with whatever was about to happen, but also not fighting us on moving forward because you were still very unclear about where we even were.
With our triage of the standard height, weight, blood pressure yada yada completed, we were ushered into a room where you took one look at your surroundings and the crying ensued only a little louder.
You see Ad, you have a love/hate relationship with the typical doctors office medical tables. You know, the ones covered in paper?! The paper is crunchy and ever so fun, but if you have to sit on it, that means the doctor is going to invade your personal space, and let’s be honest there’s still very few people that you’ll even give a hug to because it’s invasive to you these days. A lot of autistic individuals feel threatened if their personal space is invaded, but on the flip side, think nothing of being a space invader themselves.
So safely sitting between mom and dad (in chairs) the doctor gave a soft knock and slowly opened the door. He emerged in an almost delicate manner smiling and gently (in a very none startling way) grabbed a chair before sitting down on our level to introduce himself.
His approach couldn’t have been more perfect for you! Clearly this was not his first rodeo. Your demeanor started to relax. You didn’t seem to be feeling threatened or teetering on the edge of fight or flight.
This seemed to be going quite well already!
Now, I need to back up just a bit for this next part. Prior to our quarterback visit, I had filled out and faxed over 30 pages of medical history and recent evaluations to the office. Yes, 30 pages! Starting from my pregnancy with you until present day.
Side note: I’ve been to my fair share of doctors who I’ve done similar due diligence for and it seems when they’ve walked into the room that they only spent the last 30 seconds before seeing us looking at anything!
Now back to the visit.
The doctor introduced himself and started by saying “before we get started, let me tell you what I know about Addie - would that be ok?”
I remember thinking - ummmmm OK?!
He proceeded to rattle off, in great detail, without looking at a single piece of paper your entire history. My mouth may have dropped. I knew right then we were in good hands.
As the appointment went on you eventually mustered up enough courage to give a few solid attempts back and forth of sitting on that crunchy paper table all on your own before actually doing so. With this act alone and the amazing conversation of our new potential game plan, we were feeling even more optimistic that we were on our way to finding relief for you (and us)!
We left that day feeling as if we had just drafted Drew Brees to our team and we were equally excited about our new game plan!
Let’s do this Ad!