Joshua had a lie in yesterday as he was due at the dentist for a check up at 9.30, so I did not need to wake him until 8.30. But even then he was reluctant to get out of bed, as he held tightly onto his duvet as we faked a tug of war with it. In the end I used my secret weapons to get him up and I sent in two lively puppies who jumped on him and licked his face. That did the trick, they got him fully awake and so I was able to get him dressed and out of the house on time.
Joshua is aware of familiar journeys, so he will have assumed I was taking him to school but then at the last minute, I took a different turn which lead to a health centre close to school. He was happy enough to go into the waiting room – the dentist does not hold any fear for him as it does for many people – for Joshua it is a place full of adults to meet . We sat in the waiting room and in the pile of children’s books , I found one of our favourites – Emma’s Lamb – that I had not read to him for ages. He enjoyed the familiar tale too as he sat still and mesmorised as I read and ‘baa’d’ until the end, which is rather unusual these days.
Just in time, we were called through by the dentist to the consulting room. I encouraged Joshua to lie down in the dentists chair and lifted his legs up, but as we were chatting – I knew the dentist initially as a Mum at Joshua’s first special school – he got fed up and jumped off again and began to kick the radiator and look for the exit. so he brought our attention back to him and I seated him again. He obliged by opening his mouth so that she could take a look at his teeth and gums. It can only be a brief examination, that is all that he will tolerate, but it s a vast improvement on the days when he would only stand, while I wedged his mouth open and risked getting bitten. She was pleased with what we are able to achieve these days with the electric toothbrush, so I felt satisfied with his preliminary check up. We are really waiting for a proper examination and clean under sedation, which should have taken place at the start of the year but she assured us that we would be on a waiting list still and urged me to be patient.
Before we left, we compared notes on daycare options for Joshua as he daughter is older than him and has left school already and is now in supported living. It has always been invaluable to take Joshua to a dentist that has first hand experience of dealing with young people with special needs as I know she understands the issues we face. As we were talking, Joshua got bored again and began to kick my shins, rather than the radiator, as a reminder that he needed to get to school so we headed off. Joshua was delighted to get to school and rushed into his classroom to get settled on the settee, before I had even put his bags into his locker. His home school diary reported that he had ‘ a proper sparkle in his eye ‘ which is a lovely thing to read and is impressive after any day that begins with a trip to the dentist I think.