As I write this, I am sitting in the car outside the dentist’s office.  Michael and Elizabeth are both scheduled for their routine visits. Their first one since the pandemic began.

I apparently scheduled them for the same time, 10:00, good for me, as that means they both go in at the same time, get done at the same time and I don’t have to sit in the car as long (sorry I know it is not all about me, but it is a good thing!).

However, Michael got called in first and that left Elizabeth waiting for “someone to get me”, and we are going on 10 minutes now.  She is all masked up and waiting.

Anxiety in increasing as the time she is waiting, she says she isn’t but her fidgeting is telling me another story.  So is her talking about the next things today, like making sure she can talk about what she can hold onto….

This type of thing is the reality of the struggle that our children faced prior to Covid but face even more now.  We prepare them but the reality is that they will face changes in plans, waiting times that are more than we thought or situations that fall short of what we told them to expect.

The preparation we did was great, she has a mask on, has sanitizer and knows that she has to social distance ( that means in her words “keep your distance”). I even called early in the morning to confirm that they would go in together.

But things happen and life steps in.

This is a small bump in the plan, not a huge crisis, but it illustrates my point that the increased anxiety our special needs children feel upon navigating this new normal is valid…Really valid!

I put on some soundscape music for her and we talked about how she was feeling.  We did some deep breathing and positive affirmations that she likes.  I have to think to offer that having some of these things at the ready might be a good idea along with perhaps a calming sensory item ( see our store for ideas)

 She told me that it is tough waiting and I don’t know what to do when I get in there.

Again, I really can’t tell her what to expect as I only know what I was told (my appointment isn’t until September, so I have no first-hand experience to rely on).  This helps but only a little.  I have learned getting to the event or experience is to lessening anxiety.  Sometimes it’s the only way! But it once again proves my point that each new experience in the new normal most likely will elicit similar feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. 

So best to recognize it and prepare as best as you can.

Thankfully, the dental assistant arrived at our car window to take her in…this is their protocol.

She exited the car, had to fix her mask as it was below her nose, and in she went.

Once experience down….

I hope you are all having a peaceful week and staying safe.

I am wearing a mask for my mom and those who could get really ill.

Michele Gianetti author of:

I Believe in You: A Mother and Daughter’s Special Journey

Emily’s Sister

Elizabeth Believes in Herself: The Special Journey Continues